The MacBook Pro with Touch Bar was designed to appeal to the eyes. This is one laptop you would want sitting on your lap on a train ride to garner envious looks from your fellow passengers, or in a board meeting with a client when you want to work on his big project. However, as aesthetic as it may look, its sleek design is also it’s the most major failing.
About seven months after making its debut, its singular approach to ports has been quite frustrating for several users of Apple’s MacBook Pro. With Dell and HP laptops offering touchscreen features, Apple’s response to this, the Touch Bar, is still mostly poorly supported.
Apple has looked to address some of the complaints in the 2017 model of MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Let’s see how good is the latest model:
At the top of the keyboard where the function keys ought to be, lies a strip-like OLED touchscreen known as the Touch Bar. It just replaces the function buttons with the ones that readily alter their appearance to suit what they do. They can do a whole lot, depending on what the developers intend for them to accomplish – from adjusting the volume to color palettes and brush sizes in Photoshop.
The Touch Bar is handy in Photoshop – it is a lot easier to use than trying to adjust brush size via on-screen controls with the trackpad. However, support for Touch Bar is limited to layer properties, favourites and brush parameters. Several months after making its debut, Premiere Pro is the only Adobe app that supports Touch Bar.
With Premiere Pro on your touchscreen laptop, you can use your finger to scrub within clips in the Library and on the timeline, flip clips to insert, replace or overwrite as well hide or open panels and a whole lot more.
It has a screen size of 15.4-inches which is similar to that of its predecessor. Apple said a lot about the MacBook Pro been able to offer full DCI P3 colour space used for films for digital cinema output. But it is just the Adobe RGB colour space that counts as it is what is required internally by tools – Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro.
Unfortunately, the Apple MacBook Pro is lagging in this area. In tests that were conducted using DataColor Spyder5 Elite colourimeter, it was found that the screen of MacBook Pro could output 91% of the colours in the Adobe RGB while the screens of Wacom and Dell models could output the entire 100% Adobe RGB colours. However, MacBook’s display was the most accurate, only by a small margin, on the test conducted.
Another point about using the MacBook Pro’s screen is the complete lack of a touchscreen although it offers a Touch Bar. So if you travel or work in the cramped setting, on a train or a plane, you might want to consider Dell’s Precision 5510, Wacom’s MobileStudio Pro and HP’s ZBook Studio G3 all have higher screen resolutions (‘4K’ 3,840 x 2,160 displays) than the MacBook Pro (2,880 x 2,160 resolution).
Trackpad and Keyboard
While the Touch bar might not catch your fancy, its trackpad is a knockout. Relative to the big trackpad of the 2015 MacBook Pro, it makes it easier to position the cursor precisely wherever you want it. Some users, however, feel it is too large for use in cramped spaces like trains and cafes where using a touchscreen would be preferable. The MacBook keyboard is smaller to accommodate the new Trackpad.
The difference form PC laptop keyboard is its Force Touch- a kind of pressure sensitivity that activates different things all depending on how hard you press. Force Touch has already integrated into MacOS although it is yet to be supported by any primary application.
The SD card, USB and power connector of the MacBook Pros before 2016 are gone and now replaced with four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. The power cable also fits into one of these. You can purchase adapters to connect your USB devices, monitors (via DisplayPort or HDMI) and read SD cards.
There are advantages of this port design, and you could easily plug anything to both sides of the laptop. However, it can be quite annoying if you have to show up at a client’s office loaded with adapters and you start trying to find the right one in their presence.
MacOS is by far the superior operating system particularly for artists and designers. It’s a lot more intuitive working with files and everything just sort of feels better. However, if you spend less time on the OS and more on your apps, then it loses its advantage.
MacBook Prop’s external design has not changed much – it just now has a darker Space Gray colour that would match your iPhone or iPad Pro. While it might not be significantly better than the Dell Precision 5520, it is still the best out there.
While there are several features that the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is still lagging relative to its competition, it still feels good to have the MacBook Pro back. Particular if you’re not a fan of touchscreens. It is still a great laptop for artists and designers.