MacBook Pro Late 2016: Overrated or Absolutely Amazing?

The MacBook Pro 2016 was rumored for a long time before it was actually announced. There were talks about all kinds of different features and appearances, some of which were that, just like the iPhone 7, the new MBP would not have a standard audio jack. Some rumors actually turned out to be true. Two examples of that are the USB-C ports and the Touch Bar.

Since the unveiling of the new series of MacBooks on Oct 27, a lot has also been said about Apple’s new computers. The reviews have not always been positive and despite that, the sales show that the new MBP has been in demand. It is said that, the late 2016 MacBooks are the first MacBooks that have been developed and released without any input from Steve Jobs. For years, the MBP has pretty much stayed the same with only minor improvements. Apple tech-fanatics have waited for a considerable update for a time and in my own opinion, Apple came through. The OLED Touch Bar is obviously the selling point of the MBP, which made it outsell other similar computers, like Microsoft’s Surface Book.

There has been reports of GPU problems with the new MBP 2016, mostly affecting the 15-inch versions. Myself, I haven’t had any problems at all with my 13-inch MBP 2016 with Touch bar, while others might have had the GPU problem. More on that can be found on 9to5mac.com

It is time to address the Touch Bar (and Touch ID)

Not a lot of non-Mac apps use the Touch Bar yet. For me, it is an absolutely amazing tool to use and it sure helps a lot when you edit clips, edit images or even produce music. I have not really felt the need to use it for other everyday things, such as browsing the web. Of course, you cannot be without it since all controls like function keys, screen brightness, volume, play/pause etc. are integrated into the Touch Bar. What else must be said about the Touch Bar is that it is far from “explored”. Developers will find a way to use it in their apps and websites in a way so good, you will (probably) not be able to live without it. What I want to say is that do not think that the Touch Bar is overrated, like many other seem to believe. Give it some time and it will really pay off.

Now, for the Touch ID there is really not a lot to say. It can be used in the same way as the iPhones with Touch ID. Unlock your MacBook, purchase products on iTunes/App/iBooks Store, or use it with Apple Pay. More on that in this article.

More on the Touch Bar can be found in the article Use the Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro and if you happen to be a developer with your own app, this should probably be helpful.

So, what about gaming on the MacBook Pro 2016?

The testing I’ve done is with the stock MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar, 2,9 GHz Intel Core i5-processor and integrated Intel Iris Graphics 550 graphics.

If you want to play games like Hearthstone or older games that do not require a lot of computing power, you will not have any problems. However, the truth is that macOS (and MacBooks in general) are not really made for playing games.

Myself, I tried playing Rocket League. In order to play in maximal resolution, you will have to reduce all graphical settings to a minimum. And even then, the game is hardly playable. At least for me. What you will have now is a ~30 fps gaming experience with textures looking not good at all. Sure, if you do not care about the graphical aspect of games you could probably settle for that. Myself, I was not happy so I installed Windows 10 with Boot Camp on a partition of my drive. I tried playing Rocket League again and voila! I could suddenly play on 45-60 fps with decent graphical settings. If you want to keep macOS and still be able to play games, this is what I recommend you to do. Partition your drive (split into two drives) and install Windows 10 on one of them. Keep in mind that you will need to have enough space for the Windows 10 system AND the games you want to play. If you only have the smallest storage drive (256 GB) you should allocate at least 100 GB to the Windows drive. If you are struggling with space, you could get Google Drive or Dropbox cloud storing for files that are not critical to have on your drive.


The conclusion I can draw from my time with the new MacBook Pro is that it was worth my money. It is no secret that the price difference is a substantial raise from the previous versions, but then again, have you seen a OLED touch display with a fingerprint sensor in any other high-end computer yet? What you must consider before buying a new computer is, do you really need one? Do you have the money to buy a MBP? If not, get something else (or maybe the MBP 2016 without the Touch Bar?).

MacBook Pro information and Tech Specs