MacBook Pro Long Term Review (as a Windows User)
Welcome back to the channel uh. In january 2020, i made a first impressions, video about the uh macbook pro that i got 13 inch macbook pro. So this is the 2019 model it’s an intel machine, so it’s not based on the new apple m1 it’s, also the base model with only two thunderbolt ports. The only difference is that this one is upgraded to 16 gigabytes of ram instead of the starting eight and it’s still running mac, os catalina, as opposed to big sur or monterey and i’ll get into why that is later on in the video. So here i’m going to be talking about my long term experience of using this macbook over about a year and a half and it’ll sort of be from the perspective of someone who’s used windows for their entire life. Now i’ve used mac os before, but in terms of hardware. This is my first real mac experience. I primarily got this mac for university, so the main things i’ve been doing on it have been note. Taking writing reports. Doing research i’ve also been doing some coding on it and i’ve been occasionally using some electronic simulators i’ve also been using it a lot in my everyday and personal life for things like managing my calendar, my emails content, consumption and things like youtube and netflix and listening To music through spotify and i’ve also been doing the occasional content creation on it, such as video editing or recording music.
So, as a windows user, why would i get a mac now it’s undeniable, that a lot of people get macbooks purely because they are macbooks and not anything else, so the cool factor definitely did play a role in my purchasing decision. On a more serious note, i really appreciate the build quality of macbooks. That probably is some of the best, if not the best, in terms of build quality amongst all laptops. I also really care about display quality and apple’s. Never really disappointed me with displays in their devices, so i felt like going for a macbook was a safe bet in terms of display quality and i kind of wanted to get into the apple ecosystem a little bit more to see what all the fuss is about. I’M, not super deep into it, but i do appreciate a lot of the benefits. So the big question was it worth it. So i paid a thousand three hundred and thirty pounds, which is about seventeen hundred and fifty dollars, uh and that’s with a student discount without the discount. It would have cost me a thousand four hundred and eighty pounds or about two thousand and eighty nine dollars now keep in mind that uk prices actually include tax in them. So the price that i said in dollars actually includes tax. Already. The student discount also included a free pair of beats studio threes. So if you want to see a long time review of these, do, let me know um.
These normally would have cost about 299 pounds, but obviously getting them for free is a is actually quite a nice perk. I would say that the overall package, the way i got it with the shoot and discount, was definitely worth it for me. The way i see it is i managed to get a 16 gigabyte macbook pro for the price of an eight gig one, and on top of that i got a free pair of decent wireless. Headphones now would have gone for the exact same macbook without the shooting discount or the free headphones. I probably would have done. I probably would have bit the bullet and got the 8 gig version instead, because in theory, 8 gigabytes should be fine. If you’re just web browsing note taking or doing some light content creation, i probably wouldn’t have been so keen on spending the extra 200 pounds to upgrade to 16 gigs of ram. However, if i did want to do some more heavy duty, content creation or in two or three years down the line, the eight gigabytes of ram might have been a bit of a struggle. There are three primary sections to this review: the drawbacks of the macbook pro the things that are just okay and the things that are really good, so let’s start with the drawbacks. The first drawback is the storage, the macbook pro that i have only has 128 gigabytes of internal storage, which at the time was the storage of the base model.
This has now been fixed as macbooks start from 256 gigabytes. Instead, however, this doesn’t fix my problem, so i do have to be more careful with my storage to put things into perspective. The base iphone 12 pro has just as much storage as my macbook. So here it definitely feels like i didn’t get enough storage for the price i paid. The second drawback is the thermals and noise during extended load for things like long video, editing sessions, rendering videos or gaming it’s fine in everyday use or for light workloads. Like short sessions of video editing, the temperatures can go as high as the low 90s, though they never reached 100 degrees. Now, while it might sound a bit alarming, this is still within the intel specifications. So i don’t have any concerns over thermal damage. It can be a bit hot on the bottom of the laptops, so i don’t tend to keep it on my lap during these longer loads. It gets warm on the keyboard side, but it doesn’t get hot so that doesn’t really bother me. There is one single fan calling this macbook, which is not super loud, but it’s such a high pitch. That makes it even more noticeable and apple seems to only get the fan spinning when it’s absolutely necessary. They will let the computer heat up until the last minute. It can at times ramp up and slow back down back and forth a few times, making it even more noticeable that’s it for the drawbacks.
Let’S have a look at the things that are just okay. The first thing is the webcam, which is 720p, and it does well enough in good lighting, but can be a bit noisy and grainy in darker environments. It’S, not amazing, but it’s good enough. The microphones are pretty good, though the second thing is the keyboard and the touch bar. So the keyboard is the controversial butterfly switch keyboard it’s, the third generation. I personally haven’t had any fatal issues. Uh i have had two keys: the equal and the forward. Slash uh get sticky but repeatedly pressing them fix the problem, and it has a comeback since now, butterfly keyboards do have a higher risk of failure, and that is something to keep in mind but at the same time apple offers a free replacement program for eligible macbooks. So, at least that gives me a bit more peace of mind. The actual typing experience is okay, it’s, really good for bursty typing, for things like web browsing replying to messages coding or taking notes. However, for longer sessions, where i’m typing up a script or a report, i do wish there was a little bit more key travel because i will occasionally mistype. The touch bar is also just okay, it’s, definitely, a conversation, starter, it’s, really cool to demo. However, its utility varies between apps some implement good, useful controls. However, some don’t offer much more than keyboard shortcut replacements and some don’t use the touch bar at all, so it just remains blank.
The quick controls are really nice and useful, though, for things like brightness and volume, my only real complaint is the escape key being part of the touch bar and therefore being a touch button rather than a physical escape key. I have mistakenly touched it before, though. I have gotten used to its position slightly more to the right than on a regular keyboard. The i o is also just okay, so we have two thunderbolt 3 ports, which nowadays we can also refer to as usb 4 ports. Now these have a 40 gigabit per second throughput, which is eight times that of usb 3.0 and four times that of usb 3.1 thunderbolt can also be used as a display. Cable and thunderbolt 3 can go up to 5k, 60hz or 4k 120hz or quad hd 240hz. It can also be used as ethernet as a high speed data transfer, port and, of course, for charging by the way, either port on the macbook can be used for charging on paper. Thunderball 3 sounds like a very versatile port. However, of course, we’ve got the issue of only having two ports on the macbook, but then there’s also not that many usb type c devices around. I do have some type c cables for external drives and one type c thumb drive and there’s. Even fewer thunderbolt 3 devices and a lot of these can be quite expensive. I did end up getting a hub specifically for the macbook pro, which has three usb type: a ports with 3.
0 speeds, a 4k 30hz hdmi port, an sd and microsd card slot. Another spare thunderbolt 3 port, as well as a charging type c port. This one only cost me about 20 pounds and this one’s done the job just fine realistically. Nowadays, most things are wireless anyway, with things like airdrop, airplay cloud storage, bluetooth devices, so the i o hasn’t really been a massive issue, except in a few specific cases. Now, if anything, i wish there was one port on each side, rather than both of them being on the same side, just to make charging easier now, let’s talk about the good things, so the design is very light and thin and yet very solid with the aluminum Shell, it feels very premium it’s, very sturdy chassis with no flex at all in regular use. It feels like you, can take a beating better than most other laptops. The hinge feels perfect: it stays at any angle, there’s, very little wobble and a very satisfying magnetic shot. The display is very bright, great colors and contrast. It tops out at 500 nits, which makes it very visible in direct sunlight, it’s, also very sharp at 2560 by 1600 it’s, a taller qhd so it’s a 16 by 10 aspect ratio, and this helps a lot with productivity. By giving you that extra vertical space it’s a great balance between 1080p and 4k, i don’t have any complaints about the display, except maybe the refresh rate, which is 60hz.
But then again, this is not a gaming laptop, so it’s not really a problem. The trackpad is also really really good. Apple is at the top of the game. In my opinion, when it comes to trackpads, it has virtually perfect tracking it’s very easy to do gestures on due to this huge size. It has a very convincing haptic feedback, so the trackpad itself, doesn’t, actually click it’s, just a haptic motor that simulates the feeling of a click and it’s actually very convincing. So the trackpad is pressure sensitive, which is how it can detect clicks and you can actually push even harder than a regular click to get a force, click which is a cool idea, but personally i never really used it. The speakers are pretty much. The best i’ve heard from a laptop this size they’re more than adequate for laptop views for things like movie and video, watching casual music, listening listening to podcasts there’s, not a lot of bass but they’re, still very clear and punchy and they’re more than loud enough. Music battery life is also really good. It would easily last me an entire day to give you an example back when i was still going to campus. I would leave the house around 7 30 in the morning and come back around 6 30 with about 20 to 30 battery left, and what i would do, while i was gone, would be web browsing or document editing on the train.
Note taking the lectures listening to music on spotify, watching some youtube here and there, and all of this would be with my brightness around 80 to 100 and by the way the dim display option in settings was also turned off. I was so confident with the battery life that i never actually brought. The charging brick with me to university standby time is also amazing. I once left the macbook in standby at 90 percent not fully shut down. I literally just closed the lid. Whilst i was on holiday, i came back to it almost two weeks later and it was still on still at 75 percent charging with a provided 61 watt. Usbc charger takes about two hours to reach 100 or about 45 minutes to reach 50 percent performance, while not quite as impressive as the new m1 macbooks is still pretty good. It’S very snappy for general tasks for things like web browsing note, taking editing documents and content consumption, and this is due to the combination of a fast pcie based ssd, as well as a fast cpu for single threaded operations. The cpu itself is an intel core. I5. 8257U it’s a hyper threaded, quad core, so it’s four cores and eight threads. The base clock is 1.4 gigahertz and the boost clock is 3.9 gigahertz and i’ve actually found that on the sustained loads it caps out at about three gigahertz. The igpu is the intel iris plus 645. it’s. Definitely not a gaming.
Powerhouse minecraft and csgo are playable on medium to low settings at 1280×800 and i usually get around 60 fps, but it is fast enough to keep mac os animation smooth at the native resolution. It can also handle content creation, it’s good enough for 4k 60fps editing in final cut pro 10, which is actually smoother than my previous desktop cpu, which was the intel core i5 6600k overclocked to 4.5 gigahertz now granted on the desktop i5. I was editing premiere pro as on the macbook. I was editing in final cut, but i feel like it’s a fair comparison because i’m talking about the overall package of the macbook in terms of cinebench multi, core score, the macbook i5 actually did about as well as the desktop i5. Obviously i won’t be replacing my current desktop anytime soon, which, by the way, has a ryzen 7 3700x, but it can certainly do in a pinch for simple edits or, if i’m away from my desktop now no apple device. Video is complete without talking about the ecosystem and that’s another one of those things that are really good about the macbook. It makes a lot of things convenient and it stops you from having to think about a lot of other things. Airdrop is very intuitive and fast. All my photos are synced automatically in icloud with optimized storage. Continuity with apps messages and calls is very convenient. Sidecar with ipad allows me to use my ipad as a second display for the macbook.
I can easily connect to my iphone’s hotspot without toggling it on from the iphone, and i can airplay to an apple tv, including the ability to use the apple tv as a second display, rather than just mirroring the macbook screen and that’s. Only to name a few of the benefits there’s way too many things to mention in a video like this now when it comes to using mac os as a primarily windows user it’s, actually, nothing too drastic. I do like windows 10, but i found that i prefer the aesthetic and general flow of mac os. It seems to be a lot more consistent than windows. The windows has caught up in the past few months and it generally just feels nicer to use. There are two important points i want to mention. The first one is file systems, so mac os file systems are not readable by windows. Unless you use specialized software, whereas windows file systems can be read by a mac, but they can’t be written to by default again. Unless you use dedicated software, one example being paragon ntfs, there is one file system that is fully compatible with both uh, but obviously it requires reformatting your drives, and that is x fat. The second point is apps, so there’s a lot of apple exclusives on mac os, like final cut pro 10 logic, pro 10 and xcode. These are the main ones that i found relevant to me personally, aside from obvious things like imessage and facetime.
I still prefer premiere pro in some ways, but i have used final cut pro 10.. I do really like it as well, but the thing i appreciate the most is the insane optimization logic. Pro 10 is also really good, though. To be honest, i haven’t had a lot of experience with other digital audio workstations and when it comes to xcode it’s, a really nice ide, nothing super special, but i would definitely gravitate more towards it on mac os than any other ides there’s, not many windows exclusives. I personally use except for games, though you might find yourself in the situation of the odd app that doesn’t have a mac os version. Now you can use a virtual machine to run windows on top of mac os, though this will give you reduced performance or you could dual boot to run the applications natively. However, this does require you to switch os’s and dedicate some storage to win those beer, internal or external. So why didn’t i get the macbook air instead, since on paper it has most of the benefits of the macbook pro. Firstly, i think the touch bar is pretty cool, even though it’s not always useful, i think it’s a pretty cool concept and i do enjoy using it. Secondly, i wanted the extra performance of the pro now. This is a little bit more loose now than the m1 macbooks are out. The line between the macbook air and macbook pro is a lot more blurry these days.
I also really appreciate the slightly brighter display slightly better battery life, it’s already really thin and light. So i wouldn’t necessarily want to go to a macbook air just for that, and i just couldn’t really justify the small price difference for the amount of things i’d be losing by getting the air over the pro now. This is not quite as true nowadays, because not only are the macbooks now using the m1 chips and the lines have blurred a lot more, but the air has also dropped in price significantly. Since i bought my pro back in 2019, i would probably say that nowadays the macbook air makes a lot more sense for most people now as to why i’m still running mac os catalina over big sur on monterey um. Personally, i still prefer the design from catalina. I think big sur doesn’t, look quite as macbook air looks more ios ish if that makes sense, uh. Also the ui elements are a bit bigger, so things take up more space on the screen, there’s less space for actual content, but these are not the main reasons. The main reasons are: the significantly reduced battery life and the slightly reduced performance. The performance wasn’t that big of a deal, the macbook, was still pretty fast on big sur, but my battery life pretty much got halved after upgrading to big sur, which is why i ended up downgrading back to catalina and i’m planning to stay on catalina until i’m.
Confident that the newest version of mac, os doesn’t, significantly hinder my battery life or my performance, i also forgot to mention. I had a lot of kernel panics on big sur. They would happen at least once a day, and that was really annoying and obviously i wouldn’t want to use a machine on the daily if it crashes all the time. So in conclusion, i’m very satisfied with the overall package of the macbook pro it’s. Definitely not for everyone, but if you can live with a few compromises or to potentially switch into mac os as a windows user, then i would say it’s a solid, offering i’ll be keeping this macbook pro for a while – and i have to admit apple has got My attention and i most likely will be upgrading to another macbook at some point in the future, so that’s it from me. Thank you very much for watching the video.