So you’re into video editing and you are well aware of the pros of editing on-the-go with a laptop. If you’re interested into Apple products, then you’ve already made a great choice. But what is the best MacBook Pro?
In this article we hope to answer that very question, as well as give some recommendations on our favorite Apple MacBook Pro laptops. First, a little history.
The Apple Macbook Pro has been through 4 generations of development, improving over 11 years. The latest version is the Space Grey version, in a 13 or 15 inch display, multi-touch, super thin and with a new touch bar on the keyboard and Touch ID feature.
Which model is worth going for? And what are the advantages over the previous design. Here I’ll look at the current price points and features, discuss why it’s worth upgrading. I’ll also look at the MacBook Pro models and their specs, plus performance for work, gaming and graphics.
Four MacBook Pro flagship models
The Pro range consists of four Apple MacBook Pro models:
- 13 inch Macbook Pro,
- 13 inch Macbook Pro Touch ID,
- 15 inch Macbook,
- 15 inch Macbook Pro Touch ID.
One of the reasons Apple Mac has been so popular especially over the last 10 years or so is because of the combination of the solid hardware and OS performance that’s fantastic for system intensive activities like video editing.
In fact, for years Apple has marketed their machines as the solution to any creative’s workflow issues. And it’s very true!
I call this (like many) the Steve Jobs factor and it’s prevalent across all of Apple’ products, of course: ipod, iphone and Apple Macs, including the professional grade Apple Macbook Pro.
But these feats of engineering can back it up and they really walk the talk. With stability and a reliable performance, plus great independent performing hardware, Apple Macs are incredible machines.
Now let’s look at each model option in detail.
The Best MacBook Pro – The Models
Let’s take a detailed look at some of the best models of MacBook Pro on the market.
The 13-inch display is the standard model. I use the term standard loosely because as with all MacBook Pro models it comes fully loaded (specially compared to many other manufacturers entries at this price point). It comes with an Intel i5 2.3 GHz dual core, a seventh-generation Intel processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz).
Both 13” inch models come with 8GB of 2133MHz RAM, which is sufficient for the system to run well and smoothly.
Storage is a Solid State Drive with 128GB and an Intel iris Plus Graphics 640 chip, force touch trackpad and two ‘Thunderbolt 3’ ports.
The 13” Inch model, whilst not the best spec is well made and highly compact for easy portability. The first thing you notice about this MacBook is the display – it is crystal clear, sharp and the colours are excellent.
The display combined with the shear quality of the MacBook Pro build is highly attractive. The product, just communicates luxury and honestly it’s a joy to use. This is a hallmark of the MacBook and even more so with the Pro models.
The 13” inch display has a resolution of 2560 x 1600, whilst the 15” model is slightly higher at 2880 x 1800. Not 4K but certainly HD and both look sharp and bright.
The 13” inch model weighs just over a kilogram at 1.37kg and is about one inch squared smaller than the 15” version.
From a professional work perspective, these machine are so effortless for tasks, they turn a difficult essay or work report into an enjoyable objective. More so, when you compare doing this task, on a standard desktop PC for example.
The Iris graphics performance is good, it runs medium 3D games and applications like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Photoshop pretty seamlessly.
However you aren’t going to be able to play graphics intensive VR games or high end gaming demands from the newest games on maximum settings.
But to be fair, this isn’t what a MacBook is about. It’s a machine of beauty and creativity, designed to be ergonomically friendly and a pleasure to use. This means in all honesty, Apple has done the work for you and whatever model you choose, it won’t disappoint.
This means Apple want all their customers to be catered for. Comparing it to the PC market, this is a great experience and one of the reasons why Apple, as a brand, has been so successful.
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.3GHz Core i5, 256GB – Space Gray – 2017
- PERFORMANCE: 2.3GHz dual-core i5 Intel Core processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, the MacBook Pro…
- SPEED: Includes 8GB of memory for high speeds so you can multi-task without compromising your power…
- STORAGE: MacBook Pro is slim and sleek at just over 3 lbs. with 256GB SSD storage behind a 13.3…
- GRAPHICS: Featuring Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 with 64MB of embedded DRAM so any graphic tasks can…
- CONNECT: Includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports to integrate data transfer, charging, and video output in…
This model is again available in standard silver or dark grey colours.
The Macbook Pro & Touch ID version is a slightly jazzed up standard 13” inch standard version. It includes a slightly higher processor 3.1 GHz CPU (Turbo 3.5GHz), a slightly better graphics chip, the Iris 650 and the Touch ID Bar and fingerprint recognition verification.
The larger display 15” model is available is three versions.
A budget Iris 650 chip, 256GB SSD storage, i7 Intel processor 2.2GHz quad-core, 16GB of 1600MHz memory and two Thunderbolt 2 ports.
The Touch ID versions of the Macbook Pro are slightly higher spec’d. Both with 16GB of 2133MHz of RAM, a Radeon Pro 555 with 2 or 4GB of VRAM and a 3Ghz i7 CPU, 4 thunderbolt ports and the ID Touch Bar feature. With SSD storage up to 512GB.
The first thing you notice about the 15” is the bigger size and better display, which looks great. It should be noted that for any kind of video editing, the bigger the screen the better. And, in fact, it’s highly recommended that you have 2 screens for editing if you’re doing any kind of (even slightly) professional work.
The greater CPU, RAM and SSD specs make the system smoother and the Radeon Pro 555 improve gaming performance noticeably. However, this still isn’t going to be a top end gaming machine, like a dual SLI GTX system.
The 15” inch version weighs 1.83kg, about 0.5 kg heavier than the smaller option.
These systems are noticeably more pricier than the base model. However, they make great graphics workstations, a mid level gaming laptop or high end workstation of very high quality.
The 15-inch Macbook Pro with Touch ID comes in at a very competitive price point.
All models come with the option of a 3 year care replacement plan for access to 24/7 access to Apple experts and technicians.
In its simplest form the Touch bar replaces shortcut keys from the earlier MacBook Pro models.
At the moment, the Touch Bar and Touch ID is well written into the OS, with limited software compatibility. This should improve over time, as the option becomes better supported.
Photoshop is well supported, as well as Premier. However, Cinema 4D isn’t, nor is Sketch. This is a little disappointing, but does not detract from the overall performance of the MacBook. And, who knows, future updates will probably take care of this omission as more software compatibility is added.
If you have multiple users, just press the Touch ID button and the MacBook changes user with the fingerprint associated with that user. This also allows Apple Pay authorisation.
The fingerprint recognition is a handy little feature, which is very clever and makes the Macbook Pro more advanced, adding to the overall modern feel of this luxury laptop.
Standard features across the Macbook Pro range
So what are your choices and the features with the MacBook Pro and what are the best price / performance options?
Colour choices wise – Silver or cool dark grey? I like the dark grey, it gives the MacBook Pro a slightly mysterious feel, bit like the Alienware products, but classic grey is still nice.
13” or 15” inch display models are available all with similar hardware and processors. Generally speaking the 15” is a desktop model and has slightly more powerful specs, but on the whole not really that noticeable.
The new Touch ID feature is a payment and user button bar, which makes using Apple Pay and managing more than one user, plus custom shortcuts and controls, easy to access.
Graphics choice of 640 or 650 Intel Iris Plus chips. The premium 15” inch version has Radeon Pro 555 Graphics with 2GB or 4GB of memory, Intel Processor i5 or i7 models. All models have a battery life of up to 10 hours.
5K super high resolution display output support on the mid to high level models. Needless to say, the colour and resolution of all the Apple Macbook Pros and other models is stunning!
The colours look vibrant, the display sharp and crisp, making the MacBook Pro easy to use and great for design and HD gaming.
Thunderbolt ports – these are clever because the MacBook Pro can be charged from any of these ports if needed and it offers high speed data transfer and peripheral connection for mouse, graphics pad or external HD. OS is 10.4.4 codename Tiger, across all models. That’s set to change as new versions are brought out, of course.
Best MacBook Pro – Final thoughts
The 15” is the ideal, however you will pay for this. Matching the price and performance with the overall laptop market, here I’d have to say either of the mid level 13” or 15” MacBook Pro versions are most competitive, depending on your needs.
The MacBook Pro price options may seem a little expensive for the initial hardware outlay. However, due the quality of the systems, a looked after Macbook Pro will last you over 5 years in great condition! And I know plenty of people with 10+ year old MacBook Pros that are workhorses with a lot of life still left in them!
Yes, occasionally you might need to get a part replaced. But these don’t turn into Frankenstein machines – your MacBook Pro five years from now will probably be running absolutely fine without any unforeseen hardware replacements.
These MacBook Pro systems really shout luxury, precision and quality build. Which, in some ways is transmitted into the work process of the user – adding to the professionalism of the product and work it produces – a Steve Jobs and Apple mindset, which communicates the standard for modern business and technology.
Combined with the stability of the Apple OS and the service support, you are guaranteed a high quality, reliable working laptop which like the usual Apple product standard, keeps on giving back.
A great, performing, high quality laptop, that screams modern and is extremely reliable. Not to mention access to premium features like Apple store and music. Highly recommended!
And let’s not forget that these MacBook Pro is a great, on-the-go video editing workstation for the travelling filmmaker who needs to edit on-set. If that’s what you’re after, pay special attention to these bad boys, as they will pay for their investment many times over.
We hope this article on the best MacBook Pro models on the market has been useful for you. Did we miss out your favorite MacBook Pro? If we did, drop it in the comments.
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Published at Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:37:34 +0000