MacBook Pro 2016 review: Apple’s almost-perfect laptop –

All that said, the world is moving towards the universal USB-C format, and Apple’s move to ditch every other port will only speed this up. Many people buy a laptop for the next five years, not for now, and just as we’ve coped to live without DVD drives or Ethernet cables, I’ll bet that we’ll forget about this too.

The trusty headphone jack remains, despite Apple removing it from the iPhone 7 this year.

Performance and battery life

For the money that you’ll spend on one of these laptops, you’d expect top of the range performance, and while there have been a few quibbles about using the previous generation of Intel processor, the new MacBook Pros are certainly an upgrade on previous models.

I don’t do a lot of video or photo editing that requires a lot of graphical muscle, so all I can say is that everything I have thrown at the MacBook Pro it has handled with aplomb. Apple is also claiming a big leap in gaming performance, although as ever, if you’re looking for a pure gaming laptop you should look elsewhere.

Specs do increase along the pricing curve – the model with the Touch Bar has a faster processor while the 15-inch version packs in dedicated graphics and more RAM – which is worth bearing in mind even if you’re not convinced by the Touch Bar itself.

On battery life, Apple promises 10 hours for day-to-day use such as browsing the web or watching video, and in my tests it certainly lived up to that.


The MacBook Pro is a step forward in many ways: a great keyboard, trackpad, screen and a boost to performance all make this a laptop that is a delight for everyday use.

Touch ID is also a great addition and instantly improved how I used the laptop on a day-to-day basis. But I was less impressed with the Touch Bar: while it’s a fun piece of tech, I didn’t find myself wanting to use it that often, and at times I missed the old function keys.

This could well change as time goes on and more apps begin to support the Touch Bar, so I’m interested to see how it evolves. For those who don’t think it’s necessary, the cheapest MacBook Pro doesn’t have the Touch Bar, and at a £300 discount, it’s tempting to say that represents better value – although you also lose Touch ID and two USB-C ports at this price point.

It’s also difficult to ignore the price: this is an expensive machine in a world of very capable cheaper laptops that do have standard USB ports and SD card slots (the pound’s fall post-Brexit hasn’t helped here). But if you’re willing to stretch to it and can handle living in a world of peripherals, the MacBook Pro is still the one laptop I would choose: just not for the reasons you might think.

Pros: Great keyboard, beautiful screen, Touch ID

Cons: Touch Bar not that useful yet, price, having to use USB-C adapters


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