My previous opinion 1 year ago, here.
I’ve recently started doing more machine learning and data stuff, and noticeably less of iOS development. So, my needs have kind of changed over the year and I’m starting to see new perspectives of the Macbook Pro 2016 as a developer machine.
The Good :
- Hardware : Apple’s machining is top-notch, and it feels svelte and “high-class”.
- macOS : I prefer macOS over Windows 10 due to the Unix-ness of the OS.
- TouchID: It’s a nice way to log in without typing my password.
- Battery Life: The Macbook has pretty good battery life. It lasts me throughout the day when I’m doing non-intensive tasks like taking lecture notes. Apple doesn’t exaggerate too much when they advertise their battery life. Pretty sure it’s the OS-Hardware integration as there are many reports of bootcamp Windows 10 taking a battery hit.
- “Butterfly” Keyboard : I simply cannot get used to it – the click-clack noise and low-key travel just doesn’t do it for me. It’s near to impossible to not disturb others in quiet places like the library with me click-clacketying away when I am typing.
- Touchbar : I have it on F1-F12 mode all the time now, and I hate not being able to “feel” say, the F9 button and having to look at the touch-bar to look for it. It’s ironic that a new feature actually represented a step backward in (my) reality. Developers who use F1-12 shortcuts for building, running code in python console, etc in IDEs will find this cumbersome.
- Dongle Mess : My desktop looks really messy due to the two unwieldly dongles I have dangling over several wires. Plus the other two USB-C cables, one for charging and one for my iPhone.
- No NVIDIA graphics : I knew this when I bought the mac, but still… it’s a downer when I want to run Tensorflow in GPU accelerated mode. No NVIDIA == No CUDA == no cuDNN == Neural Nets that run on CPU == slow.
- Linux Unfriendly : I wanted to install Ubuntu as dual-boot, to test out Tensorflow’s OpenCL experimental implementation, only to be dismayed by the various hardware incompatibilities documented here. https://github.com/Dunedan/mbp-2016-linux Wifi not working in Ubuntu? That’s a serious downer for me. 😦
At the point of this writing, I actually really feel like getting a Dell XPS 15 because it has the NVIDIA card for deep learning, and a better (IMO) keyboard. But the guilt of just recently buying an expensive machine is stopping me from doing so. The Dell XPS 15 would work for Ubuntu, according to this. I would miss macOS though.