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Saying Goodbye to 2015 MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro has been a dream machine for me a for a very long time. In early days of my computing life, I did not have a computer at home. I used to go to what is called cyber cafe and pay hourly for using a computer with internet access. Eventually, I got my own desktop computer followed by a laptop, but I never could own a MacBook. I would routinely look at apple.com and see the glorious pictures of MacBook Pros and sigh silently.

My editor at a news agency that I used to work had a MacBook Pro and he would let me type on his Mac sometimes. I loved how awesome the screen looked, how satisfying the feedback of the keyboard felt, and how cool the overall look of OS X was.

At this time last year, I had two MacBooks at home. A 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display and a 2015 11-inch MacBook Air. The rMBP was an office laptop, so I didn’t have to pay for it. I bought the MBA as a backup computer, one that I would take everywhere I go so that in case I got mugged, I would still have my precious retina MacBook Pro.

Not having to reinstall the operating system and still getting fast performance was the best thing about Mac.

I was due for my first laptop replacement in November 2016. But I stayed with my 13-inch MacBook Pro because it was serving me well and I didn’t really want to jump on the first generation of a redesigned MacBook Pro. (Related: Why I’m probably not getting the iPhone X.)

Nearly a year later, I have now upgraded to the 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro. I sold the 11-inch MacBook Air. As I was giving the 2015 rMBP back to the company, I almost felt sad.

Two Years, Zero Reinstall, Zero Regret

I’ve owned and used the 13-inch MacBook Pro for a little over two years. I’ve previously owned Windows laptops, though they weren’t as pricey as the MacBooks, for a similar period of time. And I can tell you that Windows machines would just never remain the same after a long period of time.

Why? There are several reasons.

2015 retina MacBook Pro
I loved the tactile feedback of the MacBook Pro’s chiclet keyboard and was furious when it was replaced by the keyboard with butterfly mechanism. Thankfully, the second-generation has gotten so much better that now I love it too!

One: Previous versions of Windows would always become slow over time. Reinstalling the complete OS is inconvenient for a work laptop where you have many apps and configurations that are time-consuming to set up.

Two: Most laptops in Bangladeshi market come with a weak, cheap, and unreliable Hard Disk Drive. I don’t have a reliable source for this information, but I’ve had market insiders tell me that’s the case, and if you ask around, you’ll find that HDD is the first thing that dies on most laptops in Bangladesh.

This obviously has a workaround. You can just install an SSD and get over it, which is what I did with my second Windows laptop (and it’s still running somewhat well). But the first one was the killer for me. I didn’t like how Windows aged over time. No matter how many “cleaning” apps I used, it never remained the same like it was after a fresh install.

The greatest thing about Macs is that they hold their value for a long time — both in terms of price and usability.

And then there’s the Mac. Even when I was giving the MacBook Pro back to the company, it was in an excellent running condition. Every app ran fast compared to how it would do on a two-year-old Windows laptop with zero reinstalls. I never felt the need to reinstall macOS because it just remained fast.

The only reason I needed an upgrade was that some of our internal tools run a lot of heavy scripts, and Chrome — with its large number of extensions that I use on a daily basis — just couldn’t keep up with my entry-level configuration of early-2015 13-inch retina MacBook Pro.

Although Chrome would routinely slow down when I had many tabs open, when Chrome was not in use, the Mac was lightning fast. You could get away by saying it was a brand new Mac if it weren’t for the old design!

And that, my friend, is something that Macs excel at.

A truly deserving of the Pro title

I’ve exclusively used my MacBook Pro for over two years. I had an 11-inch MacBook Air and I also have a custom built desktop PC running Windows 10, but I haven’t used them as much as I used the rMBP.

The saddest farewell goes to the ports!

I used the 11-inch MBA for writing only. And the PC? I use that for occasional gaming. Although its configuration makes it a better computer to do stuff like photo and video editing, I’ve pretty much always used the Mac for when I needed to do those.

retina MacBook Pro

All that is to say that the MacBook Pro has stayed up and running no less than 10+ hours pretty much every day of the week (except on weekends when I disconnected a bit). Along with the typical work — that includes a lot of browsing, testing, opening tons of heavy tabs and switching back and forth, writing and so on — I’ve watched tons of movies, TV series, Netflix, and YouTube on the Mac. I’ve written essays, blog posts, and assignments for the class. I’ve edited photos and videos and used apps for task management as well as productivity.

All in all, I’ve used this MacBook Pro as a heavy work machine that it is supposed to be, and it has lived up to the expectation. It would only feel slow when running Chrome with a bunch of tabs because, well, Chrome.

My #MacBookPro does not have courage. It has #ports. 😔 #apple /s

A post shared by Aminul Islam Sajib (@aisajib) on

 

Even after two years of heavy work and personal use, the Mac is still running in excellent condition. That’s one of the reasons why I will miss the laptop. The other reason is that it’s my first Mac! I had the option to buy it from the company, but I didn’t want to have too many devices at home. (I do, already, though!)

You can never go too big

Over the years, I’ve never liked opting for 15 or 17-inch laptops. For me, they kind of lose the ‘lapability’ (props to Microsoft for inventing this word). Most Windows laptops back in the day were 14-inch in size. My personal favorite was 13.3-inch, which was the size of Retina MacBook Pro.

The current 15-inch MacBook Pros are perfectly ‘lapable!’

However, when it was time to upgrade, I asked myself, should I get the 15-inch and give it a try? It’s a company property anyway, so if it doesn’t work for me, I can always move to a smaller laptop for the next upgrade.

Then I asked around and most of the colleagues I’d asked told me the same thing: “Get the 15-inch. You will appreciate the extra screen state.” So I went for the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch ID, and I don’t regret it.

macbook pro 2015 vs macbook pro 2017
Here’s a look and size comparison between the 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro and 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro. Love the picture? Subscribe for more pictures and personal review of the new Mac as well as more cool stuff!

I’m a fairly big guy, so the 15-inch is perfectly ‘lapable’ for me. The screen is gorgeous to look at, and while it’s still a bit too heavy to carry with me all the time, I appreciate the extra screen state it gives me. So I now believe that with devices, you can never go too big. (Unless you opt for a 17-inch laptop because that is too big!)

There are too many reviews of the new MacBook Pros out there already, so you don’t need my review on top of them. But just in case you’re curious about what I think about the new MacBook Pro (And iPad Pro, and AirPods, and OnePlus 5, the list goes on), be sure to subscribe to the blog for future reviews!

Old yet gold

You can find the 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro on the market for an attractive and cheap price now that the newer generation of MacBooks are here. From my experience of the last few weeks using the 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro, I believe that it can be perfect if you need a computer for your personal or work use.

macbook pro 2015
The glowing Apple logo on the back of the Mac will be dearly missed.

Macs, just like everything Apple, are expensive. But the greatest thing about Macs is that they hold their value for a long time — both in terms of price and usability. So, if you don’t need to latest and greatest MacBook out there, you should totally consider the older versions of MacBook Pro to get a Mac on a budget.

I wouldn’t suggest getting anything earlier than the 2015 model. 13 or 15-inch, whatever suits your style, you wouldn’t lose much in terms of usability by getting one of the older models of MacBook Pro. In fact, you would still be getting the many ports that MacBook Pros used to come with. That’s probably the only thing I’m going to miss by upgrading.

I won’t get into the debate of Mac vs Windows because it’s always a personal preference. If you love Windows, by all means, you don’t have to switch to Mac.

But if you prefer Macs, have used Macs, or want to switch to Mac, the point of this post is to tell you that you can absolutely get one of the older MacBook Pros if you’re on a budget. You will still be able to enjoy the greatest thing about Mac: It just works.

Have you been using a MacBook Pro? What’s the longest you’ve used a Mac for and how did it age over time?

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8 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to 2015 MacBook Pro Leave a comment

  1. As you know, I’ve been on the mid-2015 MBP, and I too upgraded at the same time as you did. 🙂

    The reason why I replaced mine was due to a screen damage that my device had suffered (I tend to be a rough user, you know 🙁 ), but it’s totally sturdy even now. That being said, I’m totally in love with the 2017 MBP!

    And I agree with you – MacBook Pro’s are THE best portable laptops in the market now. IMHO, no other laptop can ever beat them on the performance side (especially for work purpose). I’m not sure if I’d have the same level of productivity or comfort, on a Windows laptop – because the Mac is just… awesome by all means!

    Needless to say, loved reading your post. Keep writing, buddy!

    • I agree. Hardcore Windows fans may have something to say here… but you know we love Macs anyway! Macs don’t always come with the highest specifications, but the optimization of the software to take the best advantage of every bit of the hardware is just amazing.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. I’m also on a mid-2015 MBP 15″; I love that extra screen size! I’m nervous about the switch when it’ll be my turn to upgrade, though, in a few months. I’m now sure about the larger trackpad size (will it be helpful or a hindrance? Will I rub against it accidentally all the time?), and I worry about the port changes. I think I’ll miss the magsafe a lot, too. Can you speak to these concerns, and whether you feel they’re warranted or not, now that you have the new one?

    • I’ll be publishing a non-technical review of my new Mac sometime this month, so you should definitely check that out. For now, I’ll answer about your concerns.

      The trackpad definitely is large. It looks and feels huge, but to this day (from the GM), it hasn’t hindered my work at all. You will certainly touch the trackpad while typing, but the palm rejection when typing is good enough to avoid accidental click or cursor movement. I type at about 90wpm and never had an issue with the trackpad.

      The keyboard, however, takes some time getting used to. You’ll miss a lot of keys in the beginning. The good news is, once you do get used to it, it feels faster because of the less travel. It still has the clicky tactile feedback. The key presses are a bit noisy, though.

      Port change is certainly an inconvenience, but it’s not as bad as the media and people on social media suggest. You do need a couple of dongles, and I suggest getting a couple of Aukey USB 3.0 A to C Adapter in addition to the Apple dongle (AV). You’ll need to carry them with you, but that’s about it. I’ve seamlessly transferred files from SD card to an external HDD using adapters, and it didn’t look that bad. Just make sure to keep the dongles with your Mac at all times and you’ll be good.

      The magsafe will be missed. Unfortunately, there’s no getting around that.

      I’m not sure if Macs will get anything new (in a major way) in a few months except for a spec bump, so I think you’ll grow to love it too when you get it!

      Let me know if you have any further questions. It’ll be great to add them to my upcoming review of the laptop. 😀

  3. You’ll miss a lot of keys in the beginning.

    Do you mean, the top row? I use the volume & mute and display brightness keys often; I don’t use any others ever, so if I can adapt the touch barto have those easily accessible, then I’ll be ok.

    Or do you mean other keys elsewhere on the keyboard?

    • You’ll need to look down to change volume and display brightness which might be a change for you, but I meant about the entire keyboard. The key mechanism is different from the 2015 models, so it feels slightly strange when typing on it for the first few times. Basically, the key travels a lot less than they do on your current Mac. So it feels weird. But it does get better over time.

    • Aaaand I just realized how “You’ll miss keys” was confusing. Sorry about that. I meant to say you may mistype because of the change in keyboard. 😛

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