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May 21, 2019 23:13:10

The 2019 MacBook Pro — Underwhelming But I’m Still Getting It

by @nicksimard PATRON | 340 words | 🐣 | 73💌

Nick Simard

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So Apple once again released some product refreshes quietly, with little fanfare. I had expected the refreshed MacBook Pros to be revealed at WWDC but lo and behold they snuck them out already.

Overall, it’s pretty underwhelming to see no major design changes. The Touch Bar is still there, there aren’t any extra ports, the bezel remains, etc, etc. Sure, it’s got the 8-core processor and the SUPPOSEDLY fixed keyboard (which still won’t have nearly enough key travel for my taste).

I’m typing this on my 2015 MBP, with all its glorious ports, the lovely keyboard, and no Touch Bar. But, it’s starting to show its age. It heats up quickly, the battery life sucks, things are starting to hang and overall it looks and feels dated.

The company I work for offers a hardware refresh every 3 years and my time is here. I’d been holding out to see what might be coming up but at this rate, I’d have to wait until AT LEAST the fall before something different comes along. If it does, I’ll be bummed that I went ahead with the just-released model. But so be it. Gotta pull the trigger at some point.

I’ve got the 15” 2.3GHz 8‑core model coming. To keep costs down I’m sticking with the 16GB of RAM and the 512GB hard drive. My current laptop has 1TB but there’s a lot of crap on here that I don’t need.

I look forward to a thinner and lighter machine, with (I’m assuming) longer battery life and less heat/noise. We’ll see how I adjust to the new keyboard and maybe I can actually find some uses for the silly Touch Bar. I’ll miss ports but I got myself a HyperDrive USB C Hub to go along with a new 34-inch curved ultra-wide monitor.

It’s gonna be a whole new world compared to my 2015 MBP and the 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display I’ve been rocking for over 3 years. Fingers crossed that the performance improvements and the extra screen real estate will be worth the adjustments.

From Nick Simard's collections:

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    @nicksimard I was just looking at the costs of one of these for my Son, who uses his current MacBook for making music and is starting to reach the limitations of RAM and hard disk space.
    It's probably overkill, but the model that looks most suited would be just over £3k - 32Gb of RAM and a 512Gb SSD. The jump in price to a larger disk is massive! Not sure how they can justify the cost.
    He would also have to invest in a new USB hub too. He has USB connections to different musical equipment plus to an HDMI monitor, so that is additional cost.
    Hopefully some inheritance he will get in the next few months might buy him one, until he starts touring and earning money from the upcoming EP and album.

    Twizzle avatar Twizzle | May 22, 2019 11:22:32
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      @twizzle If it was my own money I’d be hard pressed to justify the cost, honestly. I do love the Mac ecosystem and would find it hard to go back to Windows, but $3,000 for a laptop is pretty astronomical. If an inheritance helped pay for one, upping the RAM to 32GB should get him 3 years out of the machine, at the very least.

      I got a high-end refurb for this 2015 model and it’s lasted me quite well. I could make it work for a couple more years if I had to. And then I could probably sell it for $1,000. That’s one nice thing about MacBooks. They hold their value pretty well if you ever wanna sell it :)

      Nick Simard avatar Nick Simard | May 22, 2019 22:45:05
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    @nicksimard this wasnt too convincing!

    Any thoughts/recommendations for someone who has never had a mac considering taking the plunge?

    Craig Petterson avatar Craig Petterson | May 22, 2019 07:58:44
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      @nicksimard @craigpetterson I have never had a Pro model. Overkill for what I need a computer to do. I use the latest MacBook and have been very happy with it. As Nick said the direction Apple has gone with keyboards is annoying, but you can always visit an Apple store and test the feel for yourself.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | May 22, 2019 08:23:05
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      @nicksimard @brandonwilson I might just do that actually! Thanks

      Craig Petterson avatar Craig Petterson | May 22, 2019 21:01:16
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      @craigpetterson Eesh. It’s tough, because I’ve had several high-end MacBook Pros provided for me by jobs I had. Having not paid for them, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them. I really do like the Mac OS and the apps. But if I had to buy my own I’d probably go for a 13-inch model. They’re still great machines and get you 80% of what the average person will even need. Hell, even the MacBook Air will do what many people will need. Refurbs (via Apple) are the way to go, in my opinion. Full 1-year warranty and you can get AppleCare.

      Nick Simard avatar Nick Simard | May 22, 2019 22:49:23
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      @nicksimard when you say "most people" :eyes: do you mean like browsing etc? I'm looking for a development machine right now. The price does seem quite high, but I'll look into refurbs as well. Thanks!

      Craig Petterson avatar Craig Petterson | May 23, 2019 08:15:37
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      @craigpetterson I think for the price difference you could go with a 13-inch MacBook Pro rather than the 15-inch. To future-proof it a bit it's nice to get a decent processor and/or more memory.

      I've not really looked into the MacBook (the 12-inch one) or the MacBook Air in terms of being something like a development machine. Seriously, you can find some killer deals on refurbs sometimes. You could possibly get a decently upgraded 13-inch Pro for less than the cost of a new base model.

      Nick Simard avatar Nick Simard | May 25, 2019 22:07:09
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