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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?