Welcome to my review of the 2017 13″ MacBook Pro. After using the laptop for a few months I found some features I really enjoyed and some I wish they had gone without.
Overall though, like any Apple product it really is well-designed and a real pleasure to use as a daily driver.
I also did a video review of the MacBook pro which you can check out below:
Right out of the box you can tell by the build quality that it’s an Apple product it has a solid aluminium body and really nicely defined edges.
As it is with a majority of Apple products people don’t mind spending extra due to just how good the design and build quality is.
This is the base model here which runs for around $1500 Aussie dollars and so far it’s been reliable and a pleasure to use.
I edit my videos on a Mac and I’ve had iphones over the years that have all been great and this MacBook Pro is no different I really enjoy the Apple ecosystem and how well the devices work not just standalone but together as well.
One of the largest drawbacks of choosing a MacBook over other laptops out there is number of ports or lack there of.
So there’s 2 USB type -C ports on the far left. You can charge in either one and that’s all there is so yes you’ll need to buy some dongles.
Especially if you need to download video files from an SD card or plug in a USB type A device like an external hard drive.
MacBook Pros are really well suited for on the go video editing because they have the power to handle any kind of video software with no problems at all.
Final Cut Pro has it’s benefits because it’s so well optimised for Mac OS but personally I use Adobe Premiere and haven’t had any issues.
The keyboard has butterfly series two switches that have a very low key travel and definitely take some getting used to if you’re coming from a mechanical keyboard or any other keyboard really.
I found the keyboard really easy to use and it felt comfortable after hours of typing, the keys have a nice tactile feel to them.
The speaker setup is a big improvement on previous models with stereo speakers that boast a high dynamic range.
I noticed a huge improvement in sound quality when comparing it with my older MacBook air.
Having only two USB C ports is somewhat limiting especially for content creators.
I would much prefer an SD card slot and one USBC port with an additional USB type A port.
Just like the move to wireless head phones the same is happening for laptops with fewer ports.
That’s fine it just means you need additional dongles but I would prefer as an apple user to have them in built in the laptop as so many other people have voiced their preference for this too.
I find it interesting that the MacBook pro has kept the headphone jack though on the right-hand side but
quite a number of Apple phones from the i-phone 7 onward don’t have a head phone jack at all.
Hard Drive storage is fairly limited on the base model with 128 gigs which might not be enough for most people especially if you have a lot of video files you like to keep on your computer.
This is where you’ll likely need an external hard drive or usb storage to solve this problem because upgrading to the 256 gig model MacBook will cost you $300 dollars more.
The track pad on the other hand is one of the stand out features of the MacBook pro and it’s one of the best track pads available on a laptop right now.
It’s really smooth and the haptic engine gives it a mechanical feel even though it’s design is quite simplistic with a single piece of glass situated on top of a motor.
It’s one of the most responsive track pads I’ve come across.
Battery life is impressive with up to 10 hours wireless web browsing and movie playback time.
Keeping the screen brightness set at around 50% should see you out the whole day without needing to recharge, which is excellent.
There is a 54.5 watt hour lithium polymer battery built in and the charging cable is a 61W USB C Cable connected to a Power Adapter.
A minor downside to this charging setup is that if you trip over the cable for whatever reason you end up with the laptop on the floor and possibly damaged.
I would much prefer the mag safe cable setup that the older MacBooks had.
You never had to worry about this issue, instead the cable would just come straight off and no harm done to your laptop.
If you’re doing video editing the battery life is cut in half to around five to six hours at least with the base model.
Models with the touch bar have one to two hours more battery life for video editing.
Performance of the MacBook Pro is descent, this is the i5 based model with 8 gigs of RAM
It performs well against similar laptops in the price range including the HP Spectre and Dell XPS 13
The fan for the MacBook pro really only turns on during video editing or video calling with extra processes running in the background
General use is pretty much silent you don’t hear it kick inWhilst web browsing for example.
Touch Bar Is It Worth It?
A question on a lot of peoples minds is about the touch bar add-on and if its worth the extra money.
After comparing the touch bar models in an Apple store I have to admit the OLED screen is a nice addition but other than that I don’t see it as being all that viable.
It wasn’t incredibly versatile and you can really only use it if you’re looking directly down onto the keyboard so it’s not practical if you’re laying down whilst using it.
It did have some shortcuts for apple apps in particular but for the extra $300 dollars I don’t think it’s worth it.
I was a little disappointed with the front facing camera for face-time and video calling.
It’s only a 720p camera and the video quality is sub par.
The audio however was decent due to the two in built microphones it has.
When you’re paying this much for a laptop the least Apple could do is include a 1080p camera but that’s just my opinion.
-The Retina display is really nice with bright vibrant colours and accurate colour reproduction,
-Keyboard is comfortable use, and the track pad is one of the best I’ve seen on a laptop
-The speakers are high quality especially when comparing it to older models.
-The battery life is impressive as well, having all day use for general tasks and four to five hours of video editing.
-number of ports
-charging cable setup
Despite paying around $1500 for this device I think the good outweighs the bad with this MacBook.
It’s a really well designed laptop, it’s functional and practical for video editing.
A perfect candidate for someone who travels a lot, or needs a super portable laptop that can handle anything you throw at it.
Now don’t get me wrong, this type of laptop isn’t for everyone.
If you’re a student and only use a laptop for typing up documents and emailing you can pick up a cheap laptop to do that no problems at all.
This laptop really isn’t well suited for college because of its high price tag.
For people like myself who sometimes need to edit outside of the studio this makes a great setup.
There will be a link to the MacBook Pro in the description below so you can check out the different models and prices to see what kind of system will suite you overall.
If you’re not sure about some of the points I’ve mentioned that could be considered drawbacks I encourage you to go to your local Apple store and test one out for yourself.
Play around with the operating system and if you’re coming from a windows setup you can get a feel for the mac operating system.
Or you might be like some people I know who run windows on a Mac through parallels or virtually.
You also get a chance to see the build quality which is in and of its own makes it worth the Apple tax.
Be sure to leave me a comment below with questions or what setup you’re currently running.
Stay tuned in for more tech reviews in the future.
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