Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Not dead yet, and an update on my newest Mac

Tonight I pulled ye olde blog and realized that I haven't posted anything here since February. Yikes. I have posted over on Survival and Emergency Preparedness, which if you don't read you should check it out. (I might be a bit biased in that regard.)

Anyhoo, in my last post I mentioned that I had a new 15" MacBook Pro on the way. I've been living with it now for several months so I thought I'd offer some subjective impressions:

  • It's fast as hell, even with several large applications open, e.g., Excel, Outlook, Chrome, Slack, and Skype for Business.
  • The screen is beautiful.
  • The keyboard is different from earlier Macs but I got used to it quickly.
  • I love the huge trackpad when I'm not connected to an external keyboard and mouse.
  • With 16 GB of RAM I am able to allocate 8 GB to a Windows 10 VM running in Parallels, and have decent performance in the VM. I most commonly use Windows to run the vSphere Client (still a better UI than VMware's web client) or Visio 2013.
  • Having only USB-C AKA Thunderbolt 3 ports is a pain in the ass. I have to use an adapter to connect to my 27" Thunderbolt display, or connect most common USB drives, or to Ethernet if I'm not using the Thunderbolt display with its integrated Gig-E port.
    • I got one of these Anker USB C to USB 3.0 and Gig-E hubs. It has worked well for me although I haven't tried pounding on an external USB drive with it, just flash drives and Ethernet.
    • The Anker hub worked with my FTDI chipset USB to Cisco console cable. (And of course the point of buying the latter was to minimize the number of dongles attached to my laptop. Grr.)
  • The Touch Bar is a gimmick. Most of the time I don't even see it because I run an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard, so the machine's lid is closed anyway.
  • Battery life is very good.
  • It's super thin and not too heavy.
  • Apple no longer includes the power cord extension with the machine. Just the wall wart and a single USB C cable. The older power cord extensions are compatible with the new power supply, however.
  • I fucking hate that it doesn't have a MagSafe power connection. The MagSafe connection on my other Mac laptops, and my daughters' MacBook Airs, has prevented damage more times than I can count. This is a massive step back.
Overall I am happy with it but would have preferred the retention of at least one USB 3.0 port and I want my damn MagSafe connector back. (Griffin sells a USB C to MagSafe adapter but it's rated for only up to about 60W. The 15" MBP uses an 87W power supply.)

1 comment:

desertskyquilts said...

Looks like I might never update my 2012 machine. LOL