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2016 MacBook Pro: Readers Considering 2015 MacBook Pro Instead

Mac wish list all 2016 MacBook pro models at B&H Photoall 15" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models • all 13" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models. MPG gets credit if you buy through those links.

James A writes:

I am thinking about buying the Mid 2015 15inch MBP, 1TB, 16gb. I’ll get the ports, display and not give away too much performance. Am I missing something or does this seem like a reasonable move for my photography?

MPG: if one already has a 2013 or 2014 MacBook Pro, then the 2016 model runs the gamut from compelling to a headache; it all depends on how one uses it: desktop or travel, type of work done with it, size of jobs (e.g., memory limits), etc. Even something as simple as external power could be a compelling feature for some users.

The internal SSD of the 2013/2014/2015 MacBook Pro SSD can be upgraded to 1TB.

In general, the MPG recommendation is that anyone with a 2013/2014/2015 MacBook Pro should skip the 2016 offering unless there is some compelling feature (such as external battery power). For example, that a video crew or pro photographer shooting offsite (or even onsite) would find external battery power via USB-C a compelling feature both for runtime and for avoiding trip-over risk of wall cords.

The other reason to upgrade is that the expense matters not, but that is not my situation. The top-end model whose price with AppleCare and tax approaches $5K would be much more palatable, for, say $3200 (Apple has not added any value with the 2016 model in terms of core specs vs price). I’d still be slightly grumpy about the performance sidegrade, but accept the price and make use of the new features like the external battery power—I travel a lot in the mountains and runtime is a hassle on the 2013 model.

See also:

Discounts

OWC and B&H Photo both have discounts on 2015 models. MPG strongly recommends models with the 1TB SSD (and of course 16GB of memory).

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