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2016 MacBook Pro: Returning it

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.

See also 2016 MacBook Pro: Readers Considering 2015 MacBook Pro Instead.

See my Nov 22 post 2016 MacBook Pro: Return It and Stick With 2013 Model? for my reasoning.

I’ve made my decision. The 2016 MacBook Pro is very nice for anyone who does not own a reasonably recent MacBook Pro Retina, but for me (Lloyd) the value proposition is just not there—it is a travel machine only (6 weeks or so a year), and it’s no faster than my 2013 MacBook Pro for what I do. The value proposition is just not there. I’d rather wait a year for a model that has more features, or at least 32GB of memory and/or a faster CPU and GPU.

This is the first and only Mac I’ve purchased with the intent to keep and use and then returned. Which speaks volumes about Apple’s priorities in hardware development. The 2016 MacBook Pro is an excellent machine, superior to the 2013/2014/2015 models in most all way, and were I buying a laptop for the first time or replacing a far older one, I would be delighted. But it just does not offer meaningful value for me vs the 2013 MacBook Pro I already own.

I’ll finish up various tests before it goes away in the FedEx truck on Monday.

Richard H writes:

Especially since the 2016 MBP does not allow RAM or HD upgrade. They are becoming more like iPhones, where a user needs a new model every 1-2 years. I'm sure the Apple business lease program and Apple iPhone Upgrade Program will filter down to non-business MBP lease consumers in 1-2 years.

MPG: seems like a good possibility.

Frank K writes:

Just to let you know that I've returned my full blown MacBookPro 15" 2016 as well. Got random but frequent issues with the track pad (right click commands even when touched the trackpad in the middle or upper left corner, no palm contact involved BTW.)

And graphics issues while using Capture One Pro 10. Every adjustment with the arrow keys result in a short greenish noise pattern on the left quarter of the screen.

Battery live with an external 27" NEC display and Capture One / PS use is down to 4 hours.

My 2011 17" MBP will have to do the job until the next iteration of the current models in fall 2017. Yes, screen is great, graphics performance is more snappy, the fan hardly kicks in but it's just not a big enough upgrade for me - even with a 5 year old model. I do my critical editing work on an external monitor anyway and have upgraded the internal HDDs to SSDs in the last 2 years so as long as the thermal meltdown isn't on the horizon I'll have to stick with what I have.

MPG: I have no hesitation in recommending the 2016 MacBook Pro for a new buyer, assuming it is free of graphics glitches.

Ira W writes:

I'm returning my 2016 MBP as well. I have a Photoshop action that I typically run on all of my images that sets up a variety of curves to add contrast and color and calls a few tools within the Camera Raw Filter.

On my new 2016 MBP it takes *longer* to run than on the 2013 MBP it was supposed to replace. I wound up getting a 2015 refurb instead which runs the action faster -- 17 seconds with the 2015 model where it takes 21-22 seconds with the 2016 model. That's a 25% slowdown! I suspect it's either due to Sierra or (as you've suggested) bad GPU drivers.

I waited for 10.12.2 to come out but it didn't help performance at all. In fact, it may even have made things slightly worse.

MPG: good independent confirmation of the test results in the MPG review of the Apple 2016 MacBook Pro. The 2015 model looks like the one to have for Photoshop users, and the 2015 model also has a fast SSD. But anyone with a 2013/2014/2015 model should just stick with it barring some *specific* known and tested gain with the 2016 model.

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