At the WWDC 2017 held around June, Apple announced the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, HomePod, and watchOS 4. Apple also refreshed its MacBook Pro and iMac product lines. I got the 15″ MacBook Pro and unboxed it a couple of weeks back. I was using a 2011 MBP which was long overdue for an upgrade.
I’m quite new to 15-inch MacBooks, but my work these days require all the power and screen estate I could get. On the unit I got, there’s a 16GB RAM which is the largest anyone could have on a MacBook right now. And for the first time, Apple is putting the new Kaby Lake processor on its laptop, that’s the 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor. The one I have is clocked at 2.8GHz with Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz.
A 256GB storage is what I have on this machine, but it’s totally optional and it depends on your budget or needs; there are 256GB and 1TB storage options. There’s a dedicated Radeon Pro 555 GPU with 2GB RAM and an integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 GPU. However, there’s another version with Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB video RAM. Again, it all depends on your budget and needs.
In the box
Apple keeps the package minimalistic. Along with the 15″ MacBook Pro 2017 are:
- 87W power adapter (x1)
- USB Type-C cable (x1) and
There’s no extension cable. You may need to buy that separately if you need one. Luckily, the one I’m using with my older MacBook Pro “13 2011 works fine with this new adapter.
Taking the MacBook Pro 15″ 2017 out of the plastic wrap, the first thing I notice is how thin and light it feels. It’s actually thinner and lighter than the 13″ model from 2011. The Apple logo at the back too no longer glows. Apple stopped that on the MacBook Pro last year, although that was also done on the MacBook in 2015. The chrome logo now looks shiny like the one you have at the back of the iPhone.
Opening the lid, the MacBook automatically boots up. Nope, you don’t have to press the power button. There is no regular power button. At the top of the keyboard is the Touch Bar. On the 2017 15-inch model, there is no non-Touch Bar version, you only have that choice when going for the 13-inch model.
I’m not yet decided about the Touch Bar. You have mixed feelings about it at first, but it’s fun to use when you have a lot of applications that support it. Every native app on the macOS supports the Touch Bar though. It’s pretty nice receiving iPhone phones calls just by tapping the Touch Bar.
Apps like Mail, Final Cut Pro, Safari and lots of others have useful shortcuts right there on the Touch Bar. Like I said, it’s quite fun to use, but reaching up there isn’t always convenient.
And further to the right, you have the Touch ID to unlock the MacBook Pro using your fingerprint. Technically, this also serves as the power button because long-pressing it forcefully turns off the machine.
The touchpad is gigantic. It’s actually bigger than an iPhone 7 Plus. It’s insanely large and I kind of like it.
As for the retina display, it’s pretty sharp. The resolution goes up to 2880 by 1800 pixels, but I had to reduce it from the settings to make texts a bit larger. Auto-brightness works quite fine.
The only problem most people have with the laptop is the issue of ports. Apple puts just 4 USB Type-C ports on the MacBook Pro “15 2017. No USB Type-B, no HDMI, nothing else. This shouldn’t be a problem though since USB Type-C is extendable. You only have to deal with dongles and adapters.
There’s little or nothing to complain about at the moment. The machine has been my daily driver for a while now and the full review should go live soon.
Depending on your configuration, the laptop costs between $2,200 to $2,800 on Amazon. if you’re buying in Nigeria, it currently sells between N750,00 to N900,000 on Jumia.