This post was most recently updated on January 23rd, 2020
From the garage of Steve Jobs’ parents’ house in Los Altos, California, Apple has grown to become the richest company in the world. Utilizing some shady business practices and a continued passion for developing new products, Apple has cultivated a fan base that could definitely be described as “cult-like”.
And I’m one of them. Don’t blame me, blame my art degree.
I’ve been using Apple products since the third grade. Our school was given a grant to replace our old PCs with a full library of Mac computers. I’ve loved them ever since.
As an art student, I was told a Mac was a necessity. While this is absolutely false, I do love the versatility and functionality Macs have. The interface is beautiful, they work very well with other Apple products, and they have great performance.
With all that said, I hate the company.
Let’s be real, tech companies are shady. If you deny that, you’re misinformed or willfully ignorant. As an electronics salesperson, I know that no electronics manufacturer cares about their customers beyond getting their money. Once they have your money, they don’t care what happens to you until it’s time to buy their new product. This is true of all technology manufacturers.
But god, is Apple ever blatant about it.
So, this review will be disregarding my disdain for Apple as a corporation. I will begrudgingly ignore their shady business practices, possible human rights violations, and their apparent distaste for their customers. This review is about the product. And, no matter how you feel about them, it’s hard to argue against this; Apple makes a superior product.
Here are the Apple MacBook Pro Specs
Processor: 2.6GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7 (Turbo boost up to 4.3GHz)
Ram: 16 GB
Hard Drive: 512 GB SSD
Graphics: Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 Memory
Screen: 15.4-inch LED-backlit Retina display
Add-Ons: Touch Bar, Touch ID, USB-C Ports
That Screen Though
If there is anything Apple knows how to do, it’s how to build great displays. When I bought my first MacBook Pro all the way back in 2010, I thought the display was amazing. Then, Apple comes out with their Retina Display and blows everyone’s minds.
The MacBook Pro screen has a resolution which is nearly equivalent to a 3k resolution. While this is very sharp, this isn’t what the marketing term Retina Display means. Apple’s Retina Display refers to the way they’ve clustered pixels in their screens. Basically, they put their pixels closer together, so you don’t see them. This creates a smoother image.
This is one area the Apple MacBook Pro stands apart from competitors. Place this laptop between two laptops with the same resolution. I guarantee you will see a clear difference.
Touch Strip Technology
Apple’s new touch strip for their MacBook was oddly controversial when first announced. People were vocally angry about the new Touch Strip, with no real reason why. The closest I ever got to an answer was, “Because it’s stupid.” Sometimes, we just hate change.
Personally, I like it. As an artist, I can use it to select colors quicker. It also has application when editing music or video. Worst case scenario, it’s just there and you don’t use it. I promise it won’t hurt you.
I’ve said before that with more power you are sacrificing battery life. Because the Apple MacBook Pro comes with an i7, you would expect a lower battery life. But that isn’t the case.
The Apple MacBook Pro advertises up to 10 hours of battery life. And, in my experience, you typically get more. If you’re running YouTube all day, I’d expect 10 hours. If you are listening to Spotify, you’ll probably get way more.
The Apple MacBook Pro series has been known for a long time as being the most powerful laptops available. When I got my first MacBook, it was the only laptop available with an i7 processor. And, they haven’t changed.
The Apple MacBook Pro comes with the best tech available. They even offer a version with an i9 processor. The reason I’m not reviewing that version is twofold. I haven’t used it, and most people have no need for an i9.
The difference between the modern Apple MacBook Pro and previous versions relates to competition. In the past, Apple was always a step ahead of the competition in relation to tech. They had components PCs just weren’t using yet. Now, the competition offers the same internal components as a MacBook. This is the reason for the next point.
Eight years ago, an Apple MacBook Pro was twice the price of competing models. They had the best performance, and you had to pay for it. Now, because PC manufacturers are using better internal components, Apple has had to stay closer to the competitors pricing. They still tend to be more expensive, due to a great user interface and premium features, but it’s closer than ever before. A Microsoft Surface Book 2 runs about the same price as an Apple MacBook Pro, and they trade back and forth with functionality.
Slim and Sleek
The Apple MacBook Pro is just sexy. Does Apple have a cultish fanbase? Yes. Would they buy anything with an Apple logo on it? Probably. But damn if they don’t make one of the best looking and feeling laptops on the market.
Designed to Work Together
My favorite part of owning a Mac is how Apple products work together. The user interface is intuitive and familiar between Mac, iPad, and iPhone, while each serving a different function. My Apple ID is the same between each product, and what I purchase on one works on the others. There are enough cross-platform features to create a separate article, but their products just work together in ways others don’t. Because they build each product and own all the operating systems, they just have an edge over Windows or Android-based products.
Still No Touchscreen
It’s almost 2019. Why don’t Apple computers have touch screens yet?
They obviously know how to make touchscreen work. The iPad Pro probably has the best touchscreen ever created. I think they are trying to keep customers buying both iPad and Mac products. However, I think their customers would buy both anyway.
If I had to guess, I’d say the next gen of Apple MacBook Pro will have a touchscreen, and possibly be a detachable two-in-one. If they don’t, they’ll see their sales figures take a dive.
The Apple MacBook Pro runs on the OS X operating system. Like everything else at Apple, it is proprietary and awesome. Also, it doesn’t play nice with others.
The biggest drawback to owning a Mac is the inability to install .exe programs. In recent years, software developers have done a great job in creating Mac-friendly versions of their programs, with one notable exception: games.
If you are a gamer, you should know already an Apple MacBook Pro is not for you. Comparatively few games work on a Mac. This is a laptop built more for productivity than entertainment.
Siri is Sad
Why is Siri in a MacBook? I don’t need her help. I have a computer, like, right here.
Using Siri on a Mac is dumb, because, if you have a Mac, chances are you have an iPhone. And, if you ask your Mac Siri a question, iPhone Siri is going to hear, and pretty soon the machines are rising up to take over. Keep Siri on the iPhone, we don’t need virtual assistants on laptops.
The Apple MacBook Pro is a sweet machine. If you’ve never used a Mac before, I’d recommend spending a few minutes on one at Best Buy. You’ll find it isn’t that different from a PC. However, where it is different, it’s different in a big way.
I compare having a Mac to having an SSD or a touchscreen. You never knew you wanted it, but once you’ve had one, you can never go back. Try it out, you won’t be disappointed.