A few days ago I got my CTO, 15” MacBook Pro (2.6 GHz, 512 GB, RP 460)
that I ordered right after the October Keynote. I ended up returning it because of a defect, and I won’t be reordering it (spoiler, more on that below), but I have a lot of impressions that I want to share. Hopefully they could be of help to anyone still on the fence about it.
Industrial Design, Fit, and Finish
I’m going to be going into this in obnoxious detail, comparing it to my 2012 Retina (which is largely if not completely the same exterior design as the 2015 model). I figure that if you’re even considering this laptop, a part of you may care about its design more than most, and you might be considering the 2015 model.
The slimmer, smaller footprint and lighter weight are the first things I noticed, and are improvements that I greatly appreciated. On paper, the changes to footprint and weight appear insignificant: not even a full centimeter in either width or depth, and just half a pound lighter. But in person and in use, there’s this real sense of compactness that, when going back to the older model, you miss pretty quickly. I was initially dismissive about the half-pound weight savings, but the moment I picked it up out of the box I was impressed. I’ve seen a lot of questions here over whether the 15” is compact enough to be a suitable replacement for the outgoing 13” Pro or Air. I don’t believe so; there’s no confusing this footprint for one from any of the 13” laptops in Apple’s line-ups, not even the original unibody 13”. But it definitely comes close to a lot of 14” ultrabooks on the market.
Changes to thickness ended up being a tad more complex than I expected. Don’t get me wrong; it’s thin. It’s very thin. But when placed side-by-side with the outgoing design, I was surprised at how close they felt in thickness, especially when the laptops were open and I was comparing base to base
. A reduction of 0.1” is nothing to scoff at, but I didn’t feel all that impressed. As I looked more carefully, I found several factors that might explain this. The more obvious reason is that thinness is an increasingly diminishing return, a problem that is compounded by the width and depth of 15” laptops. Thickness differences are much more perceptible among 13” machines or smaller. A more subtle source for the minimized impact stems from the display gasket and the rubber feet. These two elements have undergone the most drastic changes in thickness, as you can see in this picture
. From my rough measurements, I found that the display gasket is half as thick as the previous model, and the rubber feet to be double in thickness. I believe that the rubber feet have been made taller to make the laptop as easy to lift off a table or desk as before, but that’s just my guess.
The aforementioned thinner display gasket contributes significantly to the sensation of a more solidly-built laptop when closed. I felt like the tolerances on this new model are simply tighter all-around. The bottom plate meets the top case at a near seamless junction all around the laptop. Different materials are joined so perfectly that they seem to be hewn from one piece. The gaps between keyboard keys and the top case are unbelievably close. I always expect exceptional construction, fit, and finish from Apple, and this laptop excels in these fronts. If I had to complain about something, I feel like the Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports could use more deburring and finishing
. The edges appeared much sharper and more jagged on mine than on my old machine.
The exterior is largely unchanged. The lids and bases have similar tapers that are amazing at masking thickness. I continue to like the way that light plays with the curvature of the lid. Speaking of lids and lights, I’m a big fan of the removal of the glowing logo. I hate branding, especially when it glows, and in my ideal world the logo would just be printed on like the regulatory text on the bottom. But I like the current solution. The new logo is slightly smaller, and the metal gives it a really premium feel.
The hinge back is, in my opinion, the most significant change to the exterior. I never minded the black plastic that used to cover this area, but the new metal hinge helps make the entire exterior feel much more complete, which is a huge feat for such a refined design. I really like how thin the seam is between the hinge and body here, and the neat little intersection the bottom corners make with the seam of the bottom panel and the vent opening. There’s one omitted detail here that I would like for Apple to reattempt. If you look carefully at MacBooks with the black hinge, the actual seam where plastic meets the aluminum of the lid is really thin and virtually impossible to see at a distance. However, there’s a ridge that’s about a millimeter wide by the lid that’s molded into the plastic. I believe that this ridge is meant to match the width of the display gasket, keeping the line the gasket creates unbroken around the entire laptop. Because the hinge is now aluminum, the absence of this detail is much more pronounced. Creating a similar detail may diminish the impression of solidity between hinge and lid, but I think that it could benefit the design to create a small, 0.2 mm deep indent across the hinge to keep this line unbroken. Perhaps this is a bad idea because could lead to cracking, since the hinge itself is pretty thin.
Anyway, when opening the laptop, the hinge feels much lighter than before. I always felt that the hinge on the older Pro was a tad too tight. While the lid could be lifted with one finger with ease, the whole machine would slide back on certain surfaces. This is no longer an issue. Opening the hinge even more effortless than before. The hinge feels solid and holds its position well. It does not dampen small oscillations as well as the older hinge, but that certainly isn’t an issue.
looking inside, the hinge design seems largely similar to the MacBook, with a few notable differences. While the MacBook seems to route its display ribbon cable under the hinge, the Pro routes its two ribbon cables over the top, wrapping them tightly over the black section of the hinge. The cables match the finish of this portion of the hinge well, and the seams flanking them are small enough to mask their presence. There is no visible ventilation grille in this area. I’m sort of sad about this. The ventilation grille on the outgoing design was one of my favorite details (and probably no one else’s). Looking at those grilles felt like I was seeing something I shouldn’t be seeing, something that betrays the clean look everywhere else. But the vent area was always finished with the same quality as the rest of the exterior pieces, and was seamlessly machined into the top case.
Vents like the old grille sort of live on elsewhere on the laptop. The intakes along the left and right sides are wider and longer than on the previous generation. Gone are the two visible buttresses that broke up the vent into three sections. It’s now one long unbroken strip. I never liked these vents on the older design, but now that the buttresses are removed, I actually find these vents to be integrated into the design better than before. While the seam of the bottom plate used to be routed around this detail, the seam now simply becomes the side vent, as cutouts in both the bottom plate and top case contribute evenly to the vent opening. Looking into the vent, there’s a recessed vent grille that’s similar to the one on the old model, but with many more segments. This vent is very functional, as the lower portion is the aperture for the woofer, and the upper portion the fan intake. The slight draft around this opening feels stronger than on the last model’s, suggesting that they’re doing a better job taking in air. This is likely the result of both a larger opening and a more direct path to the fan than before.
Significantly thinner bezels frame the display. The left and right bezels are impressively thin. They may not match those of Dell’s Infinity Displays, but they still look stunning, and are quite the feat considering how aggressively the edges are tapered. I measured the left and right bezels at 9 mm wide, including the gasket and metal surround, which is about 5 mm thinner than before. It also seems the the Bezier curve that rounds the corners of the display, and therefore the entire laptop, are smaller to correspond to these new bezel sizes. They still appear bounded by each edge of the top two corners of the screen. I happily welcome this design change; tighter corners match the the more compact dimensions as a whole.
Even though the lower bezel has been shrunk as well, the lower portion of the screen now has a lot more area, thanks to the smaller, more recessed hinge. Apple decided to use this space for, ugh, branding. The move to San Francisco from Myriad for product labels makes it feel a bit austere. It matches the gray well, but I’m not so sure about the shift in general. I can’t say that I’m a fan of San Francisco outside of the digital realm. At least it’s neither reflective nor glowing, so I guess I can’t complain too much. It’s not all bad here. The material of this lower portion is matte, and I like having a different material line the lower portion, because it breaks up its visual mass (the recent Yoga 910 demonstrates how this could go wrong). I’m not entirely sure about this, but I think this matte material might actually be glass. It’s cool to the touch, has a texture eerily close to that of the trackpad, and has a top edge that is reminiscent of cut glass. That’s just a guess.
The speaker grilles that frame keyboard are much wider and much closer to being centered. I didn’t like the grilles on the 2012-2015 models for being so narrow and off-centered. Now they don’t look like afterthoughts. The scalloping around the keyboard is smaller and and narrower to correspond to the lower height of the keys, and it looks nice.
Overall, I am blown away by the design and the quality of the construction. This new MacBook Pro feels more premium than ever by a huge margin, and I think the design will stay fresh for the next four years.
I didn’t buy too many USB-C accessories and didn’t have them around to test. And I ended up cancelling my hub and cable orders on Amazon (more on that later). As a result, I can’t say too much on #donglelife from experience, so I’m just going to preach about how I feel about the situation for a bit.
I have always had at least two dongles for my 2012 Retina display: Thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet and a USB 2.0 hub. Two USB ports may be enough for most people, but it never cut it for me, as I have a mechanical keyboard, a mouse, wireless headphones that have a dongle, an external hard drive, and a phone or tablet occasionally connected to my laptop. Since USB 3.0 was a relatively new protocol at the time, a USB 3.0 hub was both hard to find and expensive. So when I was shopping around for USB-C adapters, the whole process felt somewhat familiar to me.
Of course, when considering a Power Delivery dock or hub, the stakes are much higher; 87 watts higher. I have been really disappointed by the availability and documentation for Power Delivery hubs. The whole thing is an absolute mess and I won’t get into the USB PD specs, because most of these third-party manufacturers won’t either. I own a Nexus 6P, so I’m accustomed to the hazards of buying third-party USB-C charging accessories for a while now, but because of the different wattage, I’m now facing the growing pains of the new port all over again.
It’s one more thing that makes me lament the loss of MagSafe. Sure, I’m glad that we can now charge from any port on both sides, and sure, I’m glad that we can just replace the cable alone on the power adapter. But I think charging a computer, especially one that requires 80W+ is a very critical task, one that merits having its own, dedicated port. Since I couldn’t rely on any of the Power Delivery products, and wasn’t even sure if Apple’s own multiport adapter was up to the 87W task, I was planning on playing it safe just using the supplied adapter only. While Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C are capable of doing an assortment of things, a port that’s plugged into that power adapter is just doing one thing: charging.
And I think that’s really the most compelling argument against the current port situation. Replacing ports that do one thing with ports that do five or six things sounds great and looks great on a keynote slide. But in practice, each port is often restricted to doing just one thing most of the time; whether it’s charging your computer, transferring data to and from your slim external drive, reading your SD cards, or charging your phone. And yes, it can be argued that you can get monitors that have charging and daisy-chaining right now, but I highly doubt that you will get those features from any of the devices I listed.
So why does that matter so much? Because if we treat each port as one thing at one time, just like the ports of old, the old MacBook Pro had seven ports (MagSafe, two USB 3.0, two Thunderbolt/MDP, HDMI, SD). And now we’re down to four. A USB hub used to be something you potentially needed, and now seems to be a requirement, especially when USB-C takes off. Perhaps this will be solved in the future with Kaby Lake’s native Thunderbolt 3 support. The current Pro 15” is already using two Alpine Ridge controllers, and any more ports on Skylake would require a third chip, if that’s even possible (is there even another PCIe 3.0x4 to utilize?). The wattages and price on those really start to add up.
Without digressing too much, I’m not too happy with Apple’s own USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 peripherals. They make a multiport adapter with only one USB-A port that’s still rather expensive even after the price cut. Their C male to A female adapters are relatively clunky compared to what third parties have managed. Getting a complete second power adapter with cable and extension cord is now expensive as all hell. Even the LG 4K display only supplies 60W and not the 80+ that would be more suitable for this 15” Pro. It’s a recent trend of Apple to really skimp on its own accessories, and I’m not liking it. There are still no Airpods with the new iPhone 7. Some of the dongle backlash could have been mitigated by including both A to Lightning and C to Lightning cables with the new iPhone and iPad Pros, which I think is fair, considering the USB-C MacBook has been around for well-over a year. I think public perception about Thunderbolt 3 could be much more favorable if Apple presented a great and unique application for its throughput. Look at what Razer is doing with its Core. I'm not suggesting that Apple do the exact same, but it's something to consider.
I’m not done with mourning MagSafe. It’s the death of another nifty thing that made MacBooks a little more thoughtful than everyone else. Just when computers became dramatically more portable, they nixed the battery indicator. Just when computers were getting whisper quiet, they took away the awesome invisible sleep light. And now, just when Microsoft makes an annoyingly good implementation of a magnetic charger, we lose MagSafe. The chargers on the Surfaces are the best magnetic charger implementations I have ever seen: they’re thin, the plugs are light so the computer just grabs the charger from a larger distance, and the protruding element better prevents them from disconnecting from slight bumps, without interfering with the main feature. It’s also just a pain to aim and plug in stuff to such a small port without being able to angle the port towards me, like I can on a phone.
In my limited use of the ports, I found the connectors’ grip to be really strong, much tighter than that of my Nexus 6P. There’s a satisfying click. Removing things without pulling on the cable is kind of a challenge, and I found the best way to do it is to wiggle the plug out. I don’t agree with the decision to put the headphone jack behind the right side ports. As you can see, they’re slightly too close
, especially when you have an angled connector on your headphones. You don’t need to put the power connector in on the upper port, it’s just a habit, but if you anticipate being port constrained in the future, it’s something to keep in mind. At least it isn’t on the upper right of the the display like on some other laptops.
If you own a Nexus 6P or 5X, you’re in luck, because I could rapid charge my 6P from the MacBook Pro with the Huawei-supplied cable. This is probably the case for the Pixel as well. Surprisingly, I couldn’t get rapid charging from the 87W power adapter.
Also tried plugging in my old computer to the new Pro using my Nexus’ USB A male to C male cable, and got this message
on my old Pro. I’m not sure why it's only recognizing this cable as a Thunderbolt accessory.
Keyboard, Trackpad, and Touch Bar
I was so ready to hate the new keyboard. I used to use ThinkPads, currently I use an MX Blue mech. I am a member of the Church of Key Travel; I pray to the IBM Buckling Spring every day for forgiveness for my rubber-dome sins. And I always felt like the keyboard on my 2012 Pro, while decent, was a bit of a compromise. So when I read that the new keyboard had a key travel of just 0.5 mm, I was irate. But I ended up loving the new keyboard so very much. If reducing the key travel is what it takes to make keys this tactile and stable, then I am all for it. It amazes me how crisply and evenly the keys depress. There’s virtually no wobble, no play besides up and down. The keys are satiny and nicely scalloped. The increased size not only looks better, but feels better for more distant keys, such as delete. The sound is my favorite part. They can be loud if you slap the keys down, but typing normally, there’s a lovely “tunk” sound that isn’t too loud. I didn’t need to dramatically change my typing style to adjust; I just needed to be lighter with my keystrokes and I was set.
If I had to nitpick, again, I’m not a fan of San Francisco replacing VAG Rounded for the legend font. VAG Rounded might be too dated, but San Francisco just feels strange here. Perhaps San Francisco with a bit of tweaking could address both of my concerns over legends and labels. There’s also too much variance in the weight of the symbols, and on the whole, the symbols don’t appear to be getting sufficient backlighting. I’m not sure why control, option, and command are now justified towards the spacebar, considering fn is still left-justified. But that’s about all the negatives I have regarding the keyboard. The keyboard on my old Pro feels and sounds squishy and squeaky.
The trackpad is a different story. I was so excited by the size of the new trackpad, but in practice, I don’t really understand why it needed to be so big. I really like how close it is to the keyboard, because it’s now much easier to make minor cursor movements with your thumb without removing a hand from the keyboard. But I do not appreciate the width. While I haven’t had any issues with palm rejection, my right palm was always resting nearly entirely on the trackpad. It just doesn’t feel right. Additionally, the trackpad glass feels much smoother than the trackpad on the 2012 Pro, and occasionally my clammy hands had trouble gliding over the surface. Multi-touch gestures felt less responsive, and it often mixed up four-finger swipes for pinching.
This is the first time I used a Force Touch trackpad extensively. I loved the click. It felt more real than my older model’s actual physical click, which doesn’t make a lick of sense, but it’s the truth. While I would like the click to be a little firmer than the firmest setting, I still really enjoyed the feedback. I was also surprised at how even the feedback was across the entire surface. I often found myself Force Touching challenging words such as “the” and “or” just to feel the feedback. The sound has to be mechanical. It just sounds too much like a glass or ceramic tile actually tapping into something. But Force Touch wasn’t perfect. Occasionally, especially near the edges of the trackpad, the trackpad would miss my click, probably a result of aggressive palm rejection. It would also do this when it didn’t register that I’ve completely lifted my finger following a previous click. Missing a click is catastrophic because it suddenly breaks the illusion, and left me feeling bad about pushing so hard, even though I shouldn’t.
Right off the bat, I’m going to start off my discussion about the Touch Bar by saying that, in it's current state, I loathed it. I can’t sugarcoat it. I had a lot of issues with it.
I didn’t expect the hardware to be so problematic. The outer glass covering the bar has a slight satin finish, that, while not quite matte, does a good job of preventing glare. However, there is a considerable air gap between the cover glass and the display. Because of this, the display itself ends up very prone to glare and reflections
, negating the efforts of the cover glass. I didn’t find the display too dim when I avoided light sources directly above. But when there were light sources above the laptop, it became much harder to see the display without peering over to look. I haven’t seen complaints about this in other reviews, so I may be too demanding, but this really bothered me. I also didn’t find the display itself to be of the highest quality. It’s high density and has that amazing OLED contrast, but for some reason, I kept seeing weird color distortion around the fringes of every icon, like some sort of chromatic aberration. Again, I could just be too demanding, because I haven’t seen anyone else say this. The sapphire crystal on the TouchID button doesn’t match the reflectance of the rest of the bar, which is fine, but what I was less okay with was just how rattly the button was. Resting my finger on it was nowhere near as pleasant as the solidly constructed home buttons on the iPad Pro or iPhones before the 7.
I get that touch surfaces need to be horizontal. I really believe that. However, the Touch Bar demonstrated to me how display surfaces need to be upright. Interacting with the Touch Bar inherently wasn’t as natural as a keyboard key, since I’d have to position my hand in a way so that it wouldn’t obstruct my view of the bar. Most of the time, this meant flattening my hand and reaching with the very tip of my middle finger. Using my pointer finger meant curling in my other fingers, which obstructed my view of half the bar. It’s probably not as bad as I’m making it sound, but every once in awhile I caught myself leaning over or pulling my hand away to see the full state of the bar. Even if you memorize the layouts, which I was starting to do for a lot of applications, pressing on the Touch Bar without looking down is mildly unpleasant due to the lack of haptic feedback. It’s a lot like getting to the bottom of a staircase and expecting another step.
But what ultimately ended up hurting the Touch Bar experience for me the most was inconsistency and bugs. Although the bar is quite responsive, this is probably the buggiest Apple product I have ever used. I could
that I had, but I think this is something that is better shown than told. Half the time, I had no idea what a scrubber would be for; clicking the icon wouldn't take me to the source, and pulling it around did nothing. It was weird opening up File Info in Finder with the bar, and then having to reach over the keyboard to close it with the trackpad. TouchID also suffered problems with consistency. I still am not 100% sure what gets to use TouchID and what doesn’t. It often wasn’t an option when the system needed a password. I don’t understand why a password is necessary on boot when other computers can be powered on by the correct fingerprint. It’s baffling.
I can’t say that it was all bad, though. Many of the features I found laughably useless, like the slow typing suggestions. But some of the uses and features of the bar I found pretty neat. I especially like the bar’s behavior for modal windows. Per-app customization is a nice touch, and I liked having copy-to and move-to buttons for Finder. Tab previews in Safari were pretty useless, since the preview windows are just too small to distinguish each page, but buttons for favorites were nice. I took away the Siri icon and replaced it with sleep and lock buttons, which were incredibly useful. I also ended up liking the sliders for brightness and volume in the compact controls menu. Scrub bars for video playback is a great feature. Also, it’s nice to have an option to display function keys on a per-app basis. This ended up being necessary for me, since I was having trouble with hitting the chevron to expand the control strip, so I rebound fn to expanding the control strip instead. I also had no problem with the lack of physical Esc, as I rebound it to Caps Lock.
In its current form, the Touch Bar just isn’t compelling. Had it been the same price to get a function key version of the 15” Pro, I would have done so. I wouldn’t say that the bar is a dealbreaker by any means, but it is certainly not a reason to get this laptop. Apple is a company that demands a justification for everything that makes it onto their laptops: a charging light only makes sense when a charger is connected, so it should be on the charger; a sleep light is only useful when on, so it should disappear into the aluminum when off. So why am I having such a hard time finding a justification for the Touch Bar's existence? The developer guidelines even tout how there's no API for determining whether or not a device has a Touch Bar. Even the guidelines are indifferent towards its existence.
Usually when Apple introduces something new to the Pros, it’s something that ends up being essential within two years. The entire industry has followed them on the push for HiDPI displays, but I really doubt that the industry will ever mimic the Touch Bar. I’d like to be proven wrong. I’d like for this post to be referenced years from now when every computer has a Touch Bar so that people could look back and laugh at this fucking idiot for not seeing its potential.
I didn’t get a chance to move my more demanding programs over. I also didn’t get to Bootcamp and try some games, since Bootcamp is still blowing out speakers (which, by the way, sound incredible). So I don’t have much to say on this front, unfortunately. I guess the thing that I could appreciate was just how fast the SSD was. The SSD on my 2012 model is no slouch, but there's just something strange about watching 100+ MB files move around like they're nothing.
On a general note, I think the biggest point of controversy in terms of specs would be the Radeon Pro line. Personally, I'm pretty happy with the 460. It's amazing for a 35W profile, and there's never been a Pro with a card over 45W. I'm not really itching for a 75W+ card like the 1060 in a laptop this thin. I doubt that the limitation was price as much as it was thermal performance and wattage. That's not to say that the 1060 isn't impressive, and that machines that have it, such as the Razer Blade, aren't impressive. But most of the laptops I had been looking at have Quadro M500M to Quadro M2000M in this range, and I find the 460 to be a little faster and more efficient than all of those offerings.
However, I'm not sure why three graphics options are necessary. Driving two 5K displays is such a niche feature, that I don't see why the base model needs the 450. The 450 and 455 feel redundant. I'd rather see just two options: one with the Iris Pro 580, and one with the 580 and the Radeon Pro 460. The latter could still be a $200 option. I know Skylake SKUs with GT4e graphics are pricier, but they probably aren't more pricier than an entire dGPU.
Battery and Display
I can say a lot about the battery, though. I don’t want to spend too much time cleaning this up, so here are some tests and results of mine. These were performed after I was sure Spotlight had finished indexing. I also performed SMC and PRAM resets. I monitored drain and capacity with coconutBattery, GPU status with gfxCardStatus, and fans with SMC Fan Control. First test
Usage: About 8-12 moderate to heavy Safari Tabs, cycled so that they aren't suspended. Spotify with occasional dGPU acceleration. Dynamic switching enabled. Brightness at 75%.
Data: Consumption at 14-20W range. CPU temp at 39C. The dGPU was rarely summoned, and even when utilized, the fans never spooled up above 2160 L/2000 R RPM the entire time. The dGPU kicked in when I refreshed a page, changed a Space, and opend Launchpad in rapid succession. Temperatures remained low. When the dGPU activated, battery temperatures only climbed by 1C.
My 2012 model would pull 21-30W under these conditions, set to the same scaling setting, with the CPU temp at 45C. Runtime: 7 hours and 10 minutes Second and third tests
Usage: Spotify closed. 8-12 tabs still cycled just as before. iGPU forced using gfxCardStatus, and monitored in case of any dependencies. Brightness still at 75%.
Data: Consumption at 12-16W. CPU probe at 33C. Temperatures were overall similar to dynamic switching. There were no noticeable hangups during animations, video playback, etc. The 2012 model with the same controls draws 16-25W at 37C from the CPU probe. Runtime 1: 8 hours and 19 minutes Runtime 2: 7 hours and 45 minutes Fourth test
dGPU forced by gfxCardStatus. Same load as the first test. 75% brightness again.
Data: Consumption up to around 16-26W, but usually on the lower end of that range most of the time. Forgot to take temperature reading, but fan still never went above 2140 L/2000 R RPM, just like with iGPU only, and it didn't feel significantly hotter. Runtime: 5 hours and 48 minutes.
Even though the dGPU rarely kicks in for day to day stuff, the Radeon Pro 460 seems really efficient for small tasks. 5:48 is nothing to scoff at for dGPU only, and it runs very cool and quiet. My results don't seem too far off from ArsTechnica's, which was 7 and 1/2 hours dGPU only and 15 and 1/2 hours iGPU only at around 40% brightness.
However, the larger issue with this new MBP really is the battery capacity. It's a bit of a challenge to squeeze out a lot of time to begin with. I did manage to get a projected 10:51 at 50% brightness and iGPU only, again basing that on drain and stopwatch and not the inaccurate macOS estimate (the macOS estimate was actually always a little lower, except for this test where it was saying 13 hours). So Apple's 10 hour estimate is very possible, as well as Ars' 15 hour figure. Although, at 50% brightness, the display isn't noticeably brighter
than the outgoing model's (even ignoring the weird color cast I had on the new display), not even by one 10% increment. It's only at the last three increments
where the display seems much brighter.
I probably should have kept it a little longer to do more tests. Overall, I'm impressed with the efficiency of the dGPU, but I'd probably be more impressed with Skylake if the battery in these new Pros were still 99.5Wh or close to that. Regardless, I still think these numbers are quite impressive, even against the competition.
Ultimately, I had to send my laptop back over one defect. That’s why a lot of this review is in past tense (and also because I can’t control my tenses). The right fan would rattle on boot
and wake, and intermittently on idle. I wasn’t keen on my new machine sounding like it had a platter drive, so I took it to the Genius Bar. My Genius didn’t seem all that concerned with the issue, seeing as how he was dealing with two other cases at the same time. So after an hour of software diagnosis after software diagnosis, I realized this was going nowhere. Perhaps I’m too close to actually being insane to enjoy being gaslit for that amount of time. So I decided to spare the second trip and return the laptop right there.
It’s an unfortunate, disappointing end to a month of anticipation. On the whole, I really liked the laptop. I felt like it was quite the upgrade from before, and any complaint that I might have raised in the past 5000 words is minor in the grand scheme of things. I didn’t even mind the price. The thing that I ended up minding the most is the current 3-4 week wait time. I figure that if if can wait another month, I would have already waited two, and I’m already that much closer to a potential refresh. I’m also keeping my eye open for laptops at CES. Had there been no defect or wait, I’d be happily typing away on my new Pro. There isn't a laptop I'd rather have.