Later in the fall, we’re looking at a possible launch of the ‘iPhone 8’, which may coincide with the 10th anniversary celebrations, and it looks like a game-changer that will keep most of us excited. In the meantime, the folks at Cupertino, CA haven’t had any revolutionary changes to their product lines this year so far, but it isn’t a bad thing, as things keep getting better.
Case in point; the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro MPXT2LL/A gets much in performance thanks to newer components –Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processor– as the hallmark upgrade, with focus on speed, class-leading battery life, packed into an already perfect, well-designed laptop with a crisp, 13-inch display. It is among the best 13-inch MacBook Pro, so far. If you’re considering an upgrade, this premium-class laptop is worth the buck, but if you need it bigger, the 15-inch MacBook Pro MPTT2LL/A (Newest Version) deserves to be at the top of your list.
This year’s MacBook pro hasn’t changed much in design. It sports the same aluminum build, premium construction and styling as last year’s model. It comes in two color variations Space Gray (our test unit) and Silver, but both are easy on the eyes and have a nice feel on the hands. Measuring 0.59 by 11.97 by 8.36 inches (HWD) and weighing 3.02 pounds, the Pro is portable enough for daily commute in a mid-size backpack. Compared: it isn’t as thin as the New Razer Blade (0.52 inches) or the 0.41-inch-thin HP Spectre 13, which HP claims to be the thinnest laptop in the market, yet.
With the new MacBook, it remains identical from last year’s model. This gorgeous machine remains attractive in the ever-growing crop of svelte and stylish ultrabooks. The Mac faithfuls will take issue with the non-backlit logo on the lid, but its still shiny enough, and folks will definitely realize you’re using an Apple product.
Unlike its siblings from this year, it lacks a touch bar, but it isn’t a bad thing altogether as it makes the 13-inch MacBook Pro fairly cheaper. Saving a few hundreds from a feature like a touch bar, isn’t badly off, especially for budget-conscious college students. The Touch Bar may be an innovative approach for creative workflow, but for most people, its an auxiliary feature that only serves to bump the price, and not a need-to-have on a productivity laptop.
The laptop runs on MacOS Sierra, but it should work with the beta releases of MacOS High Sierra, before the full OS launches in the fall. The backlit keyboard has butterfly switches, which Apple claim to be more stable than whatever you find on traditional laptop key switches. Still, it isn’t enjoyable, is very shallow, with little key travel, and comes with no feedback to your generous presses, it feels like you’re typing on iOS touchscreen. It is responsive, but it isn’t the best experience for an editor or freelancer who spends considerable time typing. The speakers flank the keyboard, and produce clear sound without distortions, and are audible enough to fill a small-to medium-size room easily.
The screen is awesome, excellent and everything else. The 13.3-inch Retina display has a resolution of 2,560-by-1,600, with a vibrant, and crisp profile. It is rated at 500 nits, same as last year’s model, which helps brush off reflections, when working in a sun-drenched office or finishing a project outdoors. Just like its predecessors, the display has a DCI-P3 color gamut, to match the wider range of colors that you can capture with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the iPad Pro, or an actual camera.
For the professional photo editors and other creatives, the color accuracy and gamut coverage are an important tool, though you may have some screen glare, though not prohibitively so. The XPS 15 rings an even-higher resolution 4K touch display with 100 percent Adobe RGB coverage. To that, add superb clarity, superior clarity alongside capability to view native 4K content, and you have better visuals that the MacBook Pro’s sub-4K screen.
This MacBook Pro has very few ports. All you have are two USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 connectors on the left, and a single audio jack on the right edge. The 15-inch MacBook Pro (with Touch Bar) has four USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, two on each side.While we give Apple credit for including Type-C ports, we’d have preferred at least one USB 3.0 (Type-A) port for connecting older peripherals. What that means is that you’ll have to purchase a USB-C–to–USB adapter if you want to connect a USB thumb drive, a USB-C–to–Lightning cable for your iPhone, and a Thunderbolt 3–to–Thunderbolt 2 adapter to connect a Thunderbolt hard drive.
Port selection isn’t at par with competitors like the HP Spectre 13 and Asus ZenBook 3, while the Dell XPS 13 Touch boasts both USB 3.0 and USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. Apparently, a third-party docking station will come handy or even a monitor with a Thunderbolt 3 cable, but you’ll probably need to buy a bag full of dongles or simply upgrade your peripherals. Yes, we all will eventually adjust, but for now it’s an incomprehensible, costly inconvenience that will annoy most of us.
For storage, our test unit, is equipped with a snappy 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) and 8GB RAM, though you can go for the base model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro that comes with 512GB and 16GB RAM. Other include a 720p front-facing camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2. As with all Macs, it comes with several preinstalled apps, including iTunes, iBooks, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, and Photos, so you’re all set to use the system as a home base for your Apple TV, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iPad.
A system equipped with a 2.3GHz seventh generation Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of memory should be enough for productivity tasks, and the newest MacBook Pro doesn’t disappoint. While it isn’t possible to run the usual Windows-based test suits, its multimedia performance on Photoshop, AutoCAD and video encoding point towards a very stable machine. It does deliver good performance than most general-use laptops on most media tasks, though it can’t match the high-end gaming laptops that come with overclocked processors and better dedicated graphics cards. The XPS 15 is a strong contender in both Photoshop and media encoding, though the Pro gets and upperhand as a professional laptop meant for the creative folks. Overall, this year’s MacBook Pro offers better performance over its predecessor from last year.
With an integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 graphics card, the Pro isn’t a good candidate for 3D tasks and heavy gaming. This is a modest car that only performs like most entry-level systems, but won’t survive any serious gaming. Let’s face it, neither the MacBook or the XPS 15 are meant for gaming, though the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 in Dell’s XPS 15 is more-gaming friendly. The XPS can be used for 3D applications, it has more power and can play modern titles smoothly, but not t native resolutions. It is possible to do some gaming on the MacBook Pro, but you’re to stick with the basic games and nothing much.
Battery life on MacBooks, is always, perfect. The newest MacBook Pro lasts for 16 hours and 19 minutes, better than any laptop we’ve tested so far. Last year’s MacBook lasted 11 hours 14 minutes, while the HP Spectre x360 lasted 10 hours 13 minutes, which is almost double the XPS 15’s 6 hours 8 minutes (due to power-sipping 4K resolution display). The 2017 MacBook Pro lead the pack, with better battery life than any laptop we’ve tested, yet.
This is the MacBook You Need To Have
In 2017, Apple made modest changes to the MacBook Pro , but they are well worth, and battery life is the best among them. It delivers better performance than last year’s model, thanks to the newer Kaby Lake processor, otherwise the other aspects like size and features remain unchanged. If you own the 2016 model of the MacBook Pro, I don’t see any compelling reason(s) to upgrade.
But if macOS is must have, over Windows, and have the spirit to pay, I can vouch this as the perfect upgrade to your dated Apple laptop. If the you’re on a flexible budget that can stretch a little, the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is worth a long look, too. But if you’re on a tight budget and MacOS is a must-have, then this is the best value you can get on a MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Pro MPXT2LL/A is so far, the laptop of choice for anyone looking for a blend of power and relative affordability. It does get a few upgrades here-and-there, especially on performance and has the best battery life.
- Excellent battery life
- Thin and light weight
- Nice Retina display
- Relatively affordable
- Middling connectivity, only two USB-C ports
- Only 256GB storage, though upgradable