This is the 2016 non-touchbar MacBook pro, the first apple laptop I’ve ever owned for a long period of time. I believe that gives me a unique perspective. And now it’s been two years. How has this thing held up? Does it still meet my needs? Did it break down? Would I recommend its newer versions based on my own experience with this one? Let’s find out with a little discussion.
This isn’t a review of the 2016 MacBook pro, if you want that I’ve made plenty of videos on this machine. I’m here to tell you how it’s held up much like I did a year ago. I feel like this information would be useful for people looking at the newer models or looking at a used model of this. Anyway, let’s dig into it. This MacBook has been my daily driver machine and is worked to death. I abuse the thing, it goes with me everywhere and is used around 6 hours a day, every day. And I mean it. I’m constantly using it. That means it has seen its fair share of drops, having food around it, and even me spiting on it while over video chat once. Ew. Disgusting. My point is, think of everything you could imagine about what happens around a laptop, this has probably been through that.
So first let’s talk about the positives. The laptop build is still practically intact even after falls with it in my backpack. Everything about the MacBook still works fine, the keyboard still types, the speakers still sound good, and the screen looks as great as the day I got it. So, the structure of the device is amazing it’s withstood the test of time, and overall looks to stay that way for a long time. The little rubber feet still look pretty good despite me dragging it around a lot. The MacBook Pro runs almost as well as the day I bought it. I noticed the things I do end up lagging a little more often. Which still isn’t often on day to day tasks. Games don’t run amazing on this thing and if you don’t mind playing things in the lowest graphical settings then light games play fine. Just don’t expect to play your new Call of Duty or something, even on boot camp. You’re crazy. Get a dedicated gaming machine. I edit all of my videos on this machine with FCPX, but my workflow isn’t complex, but your mileage may vary.
There are however, some minor imperfections that appear over time that people may not notice that may end up annoying you. This is a bit nit-picky though. For one your finger oils will transfer over to the keys. Basically, when brand new the keyboard looks matte and clean, after owning it for a while and typing, even with clean hands, the keys get this wet shiny look to it in certain lighting. Nasty but pretty common on laptop keyboards. Okay, fine minor setback, right? Well… the oils also transfer onto the display from the keyboard and create an outline of the keys on it if it’s really dirty, but that at least can be cleaned with a breath of air, microfiber cloth and some water. People do have negative things to say about these older butterfly keyboards, and they do act up. Mine at one point had the v button register more than once every time I pressed it. And on a different occasion, the space bar felt funny when I pressed on it. But those issues sorted themselves out. If that situation scares, you the new 2018 macbook pro and 2018 macbook air solved the keyboard issue.
Plugging in cables into the ports all the time ends up scratching up the area around the port, showing signs of use. Especially if you’re stupid enough to try and plug it into a Nintendo switch dock for experimentation and end up damaging it a little. Who would do that? When you do intense things, like exporting a video, the fans rev up and become hot pretty fast. This used to be pretty uncommon for this machine using FCPX but lately it is getting a bit obnoxious. For daily use, it doesn’t really ever get hot just warm. And my last complaint? Battery. Apple rates their MacBook batteries to lose only 20% capacity after 1000 cycles. That means from 0 to 100, 1000 times. I have around 600 cycles and well… Battery life just feels short. I already lost 20% capacity. Then again, this particular model does have a battery recall, so I really suggest you check that out if you own one, it may improve battery life, and when I turn mine in, I’ll see if it fixes my fast degrading battery as well.
Overall, I’d say this laptop is living a good lifespan. My previous $1000+ laptop failed to function this well after its first two years. So, I’d say this machine has been great up to now, and I can see myself using it for a couple more years before even getting rid of it. It’s been a great machine to me.