Some of you may know that I have now returned two MacBook Pros — both were identical 13″ Touch Bar models. The first return was recommended by Apple Care — a nice Senior Specialist suggested I shouldn’t be getting only 6 hours of battery life with my light workflow (Tweetbot, Safari, and Ulysses) — while I returned the second after getting the exact same battery life results.
Unfortunately, the new P3 display is really great, so I had little choice but to get the model without the Touch Bar. I went for the MacBook Pro 13″ Escape, with the base Core i5 2,0 GHz, a 256 GB SSD, and 16 gigs of RAM. Since both MacBooks are nearly identical, I’ll just focus on the differences.
I apologise for taking this long to get these words down — I should have done so a long time ago.
Getting at least 8 hours of battery life was paramount for my needs, and this MacBook actually provides me with the needed minutes. When I stress it (a bit, nothing hardcore), I actually get those 8 hours, but I can get up to 10 hours when taking it easy. That means I get roughly an additional 2 hours of battery life over the Touch Bar model.
Not having the Touch Bar is such as relief. I was actually surprised, when I realised it, about 5 minutes into configuring this Mac. I felt complete, having the function row back. The Touch Bar is most definitely not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I get why some people like it, but I try to keep my hands on the keyboard at all times, using shortcuts to get what I need done. This allows me not to take my eyes off of the screen. Unfortunately, I could not get used to shifting my eyesight down at the Touch Bar from the display, which was made worse by the fact that when using the MacBook Pro on my lap, my hands would block it.
I truly hope that the Touch Bar will become an option in the future — I’m a diehard keyboard fan and I do not want to change my habits for what I consider a gimmick. I want to be able to buy any MacBook Pro and specify whether I want a Touch Bar or not, like RAM or the CPU.
I do miss Touch ID, especially for unlocking 1Password, but my Apple Watch makes do. It’s more than fast enough.
I’m more than satisfied with this MacBook Pro, even though it isn’t cheap, and I much prefer it to the Touch Bar version. I just wish it had 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, faster RAM, and perhaps more CPU/GPU options… And less compromises to get really good battery life.
And no, I would still prefer the Escape edition, even if the Touch Bar model had identical battery life.