Apple Macbook Pro (13 inch Retina, Touch Bar, 2.3 GHz Quad-Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD – Silver

The Apple MacBook Pro.

This is a review of my son’s newest Apple MacBook Pro.  His previous Apple Macbook A1278 got him through high school and the first semester of college.  However, the touchpad locked up, and I tried to unlock it.  I needed a t7 tool to unlock it, but even with the t7, I was not able to unlock it.  The screw was starting to strip and I gave up before it was too bad.  I had my son buy a mouse, and the Macbook worked fine with the mouse.  However, the need for a mouse made for an unsatisfactory experience.  The Apple store refused to touch the 7 year old Mac, and would not repair it.

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New Mac time

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It was time to get a new MacBook.  We looked around on the internet, but more importantly he needed it fast for school.  We needed to know what was in stock at the local Apple store.

Quad Core i5

My son went to the local Apple store and found the dual core i5.  I asked him over the phone whether the store had the quad core i5.  They did but at a higher price.  Still, a quad core (in my opinion) beats a dual core any day, so we went with the quad core.

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More software, please

Typically the Apple store tries to sell you on additional software.  If you need it, so be it,  But you can often get a better deal if you install your own software.

Retina display

This MacBook has a Retina display with True Tone technology.  This is very nice, but in our house, the Mac is often used by multiple users, making the technology more of a nuisance than an advantage.  We just don’t use the Retina technology.

Touch ID

It also has a Touch Bar with Touch ID.  This is also something that we don’t use.  It is pointless to try to use this when you have peanut butter on your finger or a bandaid on your finger.

Graphics

It has Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, which means the display is beautiful.  We are not video gamers, but I suspect most simple games will play well.  As a home theatre card, the 655 will work well.  You tube videos look great.

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SSD

It has an Ultrafast SSD.  I don’t know how fast, but it boots up in seconds not minutes like the old Mac.  Having an SSD, and only an SSD (not combined with a hard drive) makes this Mac super fast.  Instead of a standard hard drive with a motor and platers to read data off, an SSD is like a giant (it’s actually rather small) flash drive.  Just like there is no motor in a flash drive to break down, there is no motor in a SSD.  You don’t have to wait for the platter to start spinning, because there is no platter, and no motor.  This also means less noise.

Thunderbolt 3

It has 4 Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports.  These are super fast connections to your computer.  USB 3.1, which is very fast at 10 Gbps, is bested by Thunderbolt 3 at 40 GBPs.  That means it is four times faster than USB 3.1.

Where is the USB?

However, I was expecting Apple to include Thunderbolt 3 to USB 3.1 so that files and data could be transferred via a flash drive.  No such luck.  If you want to transfer files using a USB flash drive from your old Mac to your new Mac, you better buy adapters for it, because Apple does not include the necessary adapters.

Battery life

It has up to 10 hours of battery life.  This depends on what you are doing with your Mac, but it is enough for the typical school day.  This assumes that your typical school day is not crunching video in a video production course and not photo editing, and not writing code for advanced video games.

Wi-Fi anyone?

It has 802.11 ac Wi-Fi.  Ac is the latest greatest and fastest Wi-Fi.   However, it is not any greater in range.  Meaning you cannot go further from the Wi-Fi source.  It is 3 to 5 times faster than n, which was way faster than g.

Big touchpad

It has Force Touch Tracpad.  This means it has a larger, easier to use touchpad.  This is really convenient on a 13 inch laptop.

What operating system does it have?

It has macOS Mojave (the new Mac operating system) with Dark Mode and easier screenshots.  Mojave seems to be working fine and I am having no problems with it.

Where is the power button?

Apparently, the Touch ID button doubles as the power on/off button.

Recommendation

I strongly recommend this Mac to everyone.  The quad core Intel chip works fast, the SSD is ultrafast, and the 8 GB of RAM is enough to move this laptop from the mondane to real excitement.

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