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Apple MacBook Pro (2016) Review: An amazing laptop for lottery winners

While the minimalist 12in MacBook appeals to general users, the Pro is the choice of more demanding buyers, particularly those who design for a living. They will be keen to see how Apple has updated its top-end laptops this year.

Apple MacBook Pro (2016) Review

Well, it’s taken the concept of ‘top-end’ and run with it. The entire Apple range has undergone a price increase due to the fall in sterling, and on top of that the MacBook Pros are more expensive than before. At £1,449, even the cheapest new 13in is a substantial investment.

MacBook Pros feel like computers from the future – a future where laptops are nigh on unaffordable.

The new design is thinner and lighter and moves the SSD to a PCI-Express 3 interface, making reading and writing data incredibly fast. Combined with an Intel Skylake i5 processor, this gives you a speedy system even for tasks like basic photo and video editing.

This model lacks Apple’s big new feature – the Touch Bar: a miniature touchscreen display that replaces the function keys on the keyboard. It’s a lovely idea, giving you different options in each program, including settings sliders and video timelines. But if you want it, the price soars to an eye-watering £1,749. It also reduces battery life: we got eight hours 39 minutes of video playback, compared with nine hours 50 minutes with the non-Touch Bar system.

At the higher end, the 15in MacBook Pro comes with an i7 processor and a choice of Radeon GPUs to satisfy creative professionals, who are used to paying around £2,000. But it now starts at £2,349. Pay £2,699 for a more usable 512GB machine and you still only get 16GB of main memory – that’s the maximum. If you opt for the fastest i7 chip and other extras, a fully loaded 15in MacBook Pro (2016) costs a crazy £4,049.

In their defence, all of these machines have even bigger glass multi-touch trackpads and superb high-resolution screens with unbeatably accurate color. It’s annoying that there are no standard USB ports or SD card readers, but the four USB Type-C ports can all connect monitors or extremely fast drives, with adapters available for everything else.

These MacBooks do feel rather like computers from the future – a future where laptops are nigh on unaffordable. It’s a difficult time to ask creative professionals to spend more, and for the rest of us a MacBook Pro is now probably out of the question.

SPECIFICATIONS

2.0GHz Intel ¡5 dual-core processor • 16GB memory • 256GB SSD • Intel Iris Graphics 540 • 13.3in 2560×1600-pixel screen • 802.11ac Wi-Fi • Bluetooth 4.2 • FaceTime camera • 4x USB Type-C ports • MacOS 10.12 Sierra . 14.9x304x212mm (HxWxD) • One-year warranty

VERDICT:

It’s thin, light and very fast, but also so expensive that it’s in danger of pricing out even the professionals

ALTERNATIVE:

Dell XPS 13

It’s not as impressive, but it has an i7 processor, 512GB SSD and high-res sRGB screen with Windows 10

2016 Newest Dell XPS 13-9350 Ultrabook Laptop (13.3" InfinityEdge Display FHD 1080p, 6th Gen Intel Skylake i5-6200u up to 2.8GHz, 8GB RAM, 128GB SDD, Bluetooth, Windows 10) (Certified Refurbished)

$869.88 $1,499.00

8 Total Score
Apple MacBook Pro (2016) Review

It's thin, light and very fast, but also so expensive that it's in danger of pricing out even the professionals.

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