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The Apple MacBook Pro brand has been an icon for as long as I can remember. But it still has also had intricate issues that disappointed Mac-fanboys nonetheless. Don’t get me wrong, the machine is still as superb and superior to the rest but how long it might hold on is debatable. Since shortcomings initially unseen at product release always arise after long-term use and reviews, and we appreciate Apple’s revisiting of the Pro line to improve some of these previous shortfalls.The Apple MacBook Pro MLW72LL/A is a result of this long-awaited revamp.
In this review, we revisit the old model and what improvements have been addressed. Notably, the switching away from the usual USB and HDMI ports to the advanced Thunderbolt and in addition the Touch bar. Is it as impressive as it was marketed to be? Does it provide value? We compare the Apple MacBook Pro MLW72LL/A’s Touch Bar and the MacBook on major changes based on specs, display, battery longevity and price among others. Read on to get the highlights on these and more.
Macbook Pro 13 Touchbar Review
- Large 15.4 inch display
- Thin, attractive and outstanding design
- AMD graphic chips
- Ridiculously large trackpad
- Touchbar- works impressively too
- Plenty of Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports (4 in counting).
- Fingerprint sensor
- Larger 15 inch version is expensive
- One has to buy dongles separately
- The Apple MacBook Pro MLW72LL/A has a great set of hardware sufficient for a premium laptop, at least on paper! Its versatility doesn’t stop there, with the release of the Touchbar Apple has opened a new realm of possibilities. It brings forth digital control in a way we’ve not seen before; a touchscreen strip laced to the physical keyboard keys we all know. It also has a few other significant differences: a fingerprint sensor, additional Thunderbolt ports (but ridiculous port situation nonetheless) and remarkably thinner design. It however has a not-so-lofty price, but I guess you already knew that, if not expected it.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
The external design of theMacBook Pro 13 (2017) is not any much different from the past designs. It comes in a darker variation of Space gray but other color schemes are available too. The aesthetics remain just as remarkable on this Pro as any other, the Touchbar notwithstanding.
This part here goes to Apple. Bring back the illuminated logo at the back of the screen. That was a proud statement right there. Apple took an already bold and premium laptop and pushed it up a notch in many ways, but on this one bit they compromised. It might not mean much if you value performance over aesthetics, but I’m sure I’m not alone here, there are other lovers too.
The previous base model of the MacBook Pro only had two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Apple revisited that and now there are two extra USB 3.1 Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports making a total of four. This makes the list of the most significant improvement for this model. And Apple’s professional users will definitely profit from this upgrade, especially when connecting to external monitors at work or home office. Users should be able to enjoy fantastic 5K resolution from a single cable, which is sure to bring relief and respite. But wait, that’s only one point of view.
While all this change is futuristic, if you’re coming from the older MacBook versions, you however need to deal with lack of USB 3.0 and SD card reader. How this affects you, whether positively or negatively really depends on your use for the laptop. You can buy adapters to connect USB devices if need be but that will cost you more, which ultimately becomes an issue being that you already paid a good coin for the laptop in the first place.
Now, if we could break it down further. Our issue comes in when you need to plug in more than a single unit. For instance the flash drive, external hard drive and SD card will all need new cables which ultimately becomes expensive. Apple should at least give a cable or two to remedy this failure which if I am being honest and generous, is otherwise a great system.
The headphone jack is also present; the only other opening besides the listed ports.
Besides from the Touch bar and port, the other feature that make this laptop a gem it is now is its performance. There is a 16 GB RAM but that is the far as the memory goes. Unlike the 13 inch that lacks graphics power, our reviewed unit sports discrete GPU from AMD – 2,048MB Radeon Pro 455 / 1,536MB Intel HD Graphics 530. But of course that was much lower than what we expected, let alone what professionals like photographers, video editors and web developers wanted.
256 GB of solid state drive for a $2000 bucks laptop is extremely low. The least size should have been 512 GB of memory (there are configurations offering that now but costs extra). This is the 21st Century when there are so many programs, music and video to save and I honestly think 256 GB will barely cut it. There should be more space to cover users to do what they please for instance looking to install Windows 10 OS with boot camp. I think Apple dropped the ball here being that most Windows at this price tag are well loaded with both HDD and SSD.
On top of a thinner lightweight unibody and smaller display, the MacBook Pro 13 (2017) also has a favorable keyboard. I’m not exactly picky about MacBook keyboards honestly because the keyboards have never been much of a problem. The keys are clicky, spread out spaciously enough around the keyboard and responsive. The little fingerprint sensors sits above the delete key for fast security checks. It uses a new custom T1 security chip to accomplish the Touch ID system process. It also allows multiple user profiles on its system so your family or friends can gain access through their own separate user Touch ID.
Battery life is pretty average and can last almost through a normal day’s work. Working through graphic tasks and plenty of multitasking work affords you five to 6 hours which isn’t a bad result, but not amazing either. Light web browsing and reading lasts up to 10 hours which in the real world is pretty good. But majorly depends on your typical work schedule. If you typically on demanding applications, that will definitely cost you battery.
- Screen Size 15.4 inches
- Screen Resolution 2880 x 1800
- Processor Intel Core i7 Turbo Boost 2.6 – 3.5 GHz
- RAM 16 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz
- Hard Drive 256 GB Solid State Drive
- Graphics Coprocessor 2,048MB Radeon Pro 455/1,536MB Intel HD Graphics 530
- Card Description integrated
- Battery Life (in hours) 10 hours
- Brand Name Apple
- Series MacBook Pro
- Item model number MLW72LL/A
- Operating System MacOS Sierra 10.12.1
- Item Weight 4 pounds
- Product Dimensions 9.5 x 13.8 x 0.6 inches
- Color Silver
- Processor Count 1
- Battery Type Lithium Polymer (LiPo)
Apple Macbook Pro MLW72LL/A Price and our final take
The Apple MacBook Pro MLW72LL/A arrived late into the scene with their revised version 9 months after its competition Dell and HP had released their own (the Dell Precision 5510 laptop and HP ZBook Studio G3). Even so, we hoped the late arrival was warranted by much Research and development (R&D) and great impending results. Well, the Touchbar did quite hit us by surprise alright and quenched our growing yearning but many other aspects were a disappointment. Talk about the un-upgradeable 16GB RAM memory, lack of a touchscreen to complement the Touchbar (the latter is however a matter of preference on our side) and a good Thunderbolt port system devoid of dongles to back it up(dongles cost extra making the aggregate price of the laptop larger than planned for).
Overall, the MacBook Pro looks great, still is a style above the rest and appears a creative and sophisticated option for the businesspeople and other artistic audiences. I think Apple managed to maintain the elegance they’ve always worked to keep with the Touchbar and slim design. But that is majorly a matter of style over substance. In comparison with other brands, Apple takes the larger cake share in visual appeal and elegance, but it shows nothing more than on paper performance which explains why it’s about to be superseded on a number of fronts.
On the other hand, if we compare between the Apple MacBook Pro MLW72LL/A and the older MacBook Pro the decision is pretty easy. The latter is clearly cheaper but if you want advanced Apple tech and Touch bar the choice is clear but it’s going to cost you extra.