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2020 MacBook Pro Review

Backstory
I have been a Windows user since 3.11 and a big time PC gamer. There are several reason I choose a MacBook pro which I will touch one in the thread. But I used to be one of those people that said Apple sucked. While some of their polices are meh. After purchasing my iPhone XR my opinion changed a bit. Due to some poor experience with Windows 10 that led to a lot of frustration, I ended up looking for a machine with an Alternative OS that could do what I needed it to do. 

May 19th my new Macbook Pro 2020 model arrived at the house. This was the first Apple computer I have ever owned. Previously I bought an iPhone XR and really liked the experience. Due to some poor experiences with Windows 10, as well as a $1200 stimulus check from the US government I decided to buy a Macbook Pro. My previous laptop died a while ago and I was looking for a replacement. I also kinda consider this my “Mid Life Crisis” purchase LOL. 

 

Specs

  • 13” Screen
  • 2 Ghz 10th gen i5 
  • 16 Gigs of LPDDR4X
  • Intel Integrated GPU 
  • 512 Gig SSD

 

First Impressions 
Taking it out of the box for the small size it is, it does have a bit of heft to it. It feels very solid and looks very clean.

 

Screen 
Powering it on you get to see the nice screen. Its very vibrant. At 50% brightness is pretty damn bright. Great for watching videos and such. While some might consider 13” small, using it in a mobile configuration its a decent size. 

 

Trackpad
Every tech youtuber says Apple’s trackpad is second to none. They are right. I hate trackpads with a passion. But this track pad is very usable and feels great. Best experience with a track pad I have ever had. It feels very smooth and its very easy to use in terms of the gestures and such. 

 

Keyboard/Touch Bar
This uses the new magic keyboard. It feels fairly solid. BUT I have a 2013 Razer Black Widow Ultramate Keyboard with Cherry MX Blue switches. Nothing beats a mechanical keyboard, however I do use that keyboard with this machine when in a docked configuration. But over all typing on this keyboard is not bad. The power button also has a finger print reader, very nice to have on a computer. THe keyboard is backlit and it works well.  The touch bar is kind of a waste in a lot of ways. I know there are various ways to configure it but I haven't done any of that. I do use it to adjust the brightness of the screen or mess with my audio levels. Other than that I don't use it. 

 

Connectivity/IO
This computer has AC WiFi and it works very well at least for how I use this machine. The bluetooth connectivity works great and I use my HD4.40’s with this machine all the time. Unlike the Apple phones this computer does have a 3.5 mm audio jack. I sometimes hook up a wired audio. Then we have the 4 thunderbolt ports. This is both a good and bad thing for some. I have NAS that and I can move data from and to this computer without the use of external drives. However some people have expressed dislike for the newer Macbooks due to the lack of IO and I do understand that having to buy an extra dongle is an inconvenience. 

 

Accessories I have bought
Due to the lack of IO I have bought a few dongles. First is this guy: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YZ48HCT/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This works very well. It gives me USB connectivity as well as HDMI out. The SD card reader is a bonus, I do have a raspberry pi and this could be useful if I need to install stuff on it. 

I also bought this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081P4JPKQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have multiple monitors I use with this computer so I bought this dongle for connecting another monitor to. I run a 24” 21:9 1080p LG panel and a 23” 16:9 1080p Acer panel. THe built in screen is pretty much the highest resolution screen I have in my home. However both panels perform well. I have the dock on MacOS on the built in screen and it auto hides. I use the Ultra wide for surfing the web, I have two windows open side by side one with Linus techips forum and the other with my social media (Twitter and Facebook). The other monitor is just for Youtube and other media. To be honest, the thunderbolt ports were the BIG reason I went for the Mac. Because I wanted a laptop that could connect multiple external monitors without issues. 

 

MacOS
Lets just say Windows is not the only buggy thing out there. MacOS has a few bugs. The first one I came across was that my USB devices would disconnect and refuse to reconnect unless I restarted the machine. It was a known issue and Apple has since resolved it with an update. One feature MacOS does not have is Window snapping. I had to pay like $1.99 for an App to do this. I heard it was some kind of patent thing with Microsoft, not sure if that true or not. MacOS seems to be very privacy oriented. Which is nice. One other thing I noticed is about updates. Unlike Windows where you might have an OS update that doesn't require a restart. All MacOS updates require a restart and it sometimes can take a bit of time for the update to apply. Overall MacOS is easy to use, though from some readings on the MacBook help group on Facebook I belong to, Catalina seems to be pretty buggy and does not always run well on newer machines. ALSO Catalina is a 64bit ONLY OS. So that does limit software to an extent. Some steam games for instance that might have run on MacOS might not work in Catalina, which is kind of a shame. 

 

The App store
Not much to say here. I have purchased a few apps but not many. I generally do check the store first before going out over the internet for apps. The App store feels like the app store on iOS. 

 

Product Integration
I have a iPhone XR. The best part about having a Mac is that as long as the phone and computer are on the same network I can receive calls and texts on my computer. Half of the phone calls I get I get on my computer. This has made life a lot easier and I don't have to hear the bitching about not answering my phone because I was on my computer with headphones. While I don't have an iPad, my sister has an iPad and iPhone as well and the same thing applies to the iPad. 

 

Safari
I have been using Safari for the most part. It seems to be a bit faster than Chrome. I did notice that there are a few issues with it however that made me install chrome. Firstly If I have Youtube playing a video in Full screen on one monitor and go to work on another monitor then I would get a green hue over on the Youtube video. Chrome solved this and it has something to do with Hardware acceleration. I haven't figured out how to turn that off in Safari. I also noticed that a lot of streaming services would not work with safari as well, even though they said they would. So I use both Safari and Chrome, Chrome only for videos. 

 

Overall Usage
I pretty much use this computer as my primary machine. My Windows machine is pretty much only used for gaming at this point. When I use this machine at my desk, I attach both dongles which gives me use of my two monitors my Razer keyboard and my Logitech gaming mouse. I have a laptop cooler connected as well, this is just because this thing does get a bit toasty at times. But most of the time its fine. I use this: https://www.newegg.com/iogear-gus404-usb/p/N82E16817399128?Item=N82E16817399128 to switch my keyboard and mouse between my Mac, PC and Plex server. It works very well. I do also use this computer around the house. Mostly in bed when I don't want to sit at my desk. Battery life is not bad on this machine, I can get a decent chunk of a day out of it. Due to the size its very easy to carry around and not a burden like my last laptop the Lenovo Y50-70. 

 

Final thoughts
The product does feel premium. I do like the experience over all and would probably consider other Apple products in the future. However, value is a bit off with this machine. Its very expensive. With the ARM Macs on their way its not very clear how long Apple will support this Intel Macs. Would I recommend this machine current? No. I would recommend waiting to see what Apple does with its own silicone based Macs. As mentioned above the ability to connected multiple external screens and the size of this machine are the reason I decided on the MacBook Pro. 
 

Was there dairy in that? ***30 min later**** Yep..... You might want to let it air out for a bit.....😂😂😂😂😂😂

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I don't know with the whole apple moving to arm I expect a lot of people to be left in the dust with current x86 based macbooks no matter what apple promises with their transition from x86 to arm. 

Quote me for a reply, React if I was helpful, informative, or funny

 

AMD blackout rig

 

cpu: ryzen 5 3600 @4.4ghz @1.35v

gpu: rx5700xt 2200mhz

ram: vengeance lpx c15 3200mhz

mobo: gigabyte b550 pro 

psu: cooler master mwe 650w

case: masterbox mbx520

fans:Noctua industrial 3000rpm x6

 

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2 minutes ago, Gundar said:

I don't know with the whole apple moving to arm I expect a lot of people to be left in the dust with current x86 based macbooks no matter what apple promises with their transition from x86 to arm. 

Well Big Sur is suppose to be coming to the Intel based Macs. So At least we will see 1 OS update. I think Apple will continue with security updates, but Id expect not to many new features. I use mine for basic computing tasks but some people might have issues in the future. 

Was there dairy in that? ***30 min later**** Yep..... You might want to let it air out for a bit.....😂😂😂😂😂😂

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6 minutes ago, Donut417 said:

Big Sur

Was really confused by this because I thought you were calling me a big sir but upon a google search this apparently a major mac os update. Does apple have some sort of naming scheme with this or do they go to a random word generator and just click twice to make a phrase. Companies that don't use number have a pattern. Intel has their lakes and android had desserts while apple is out there with their big sur.

Quote me for a reply, React if I was helpful, informative, or funny

 

AMD blackout rig

 

cpu: ryzen 5 3600 @4.4ghz @1.35v

gpu: rx5700xt 2200mhz

ram: vengeance lpx c15 3200mhz

mobo: gigabyte b550 pro 

psu: cooler master mwe 650w

case: masterbox mbx520

fans:Noctua industrial 3000rpm x6

 

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Dang, you been on windows longer then I been alive

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Just now, Litbelb said:

Dang, you been on windows longer then I been alive

I think I was 5 when we got the Packard Bell computer. Windows 3.11 and MS DOS. I used to play the shareware version of Doom and Microsoft Flight Simulator 5. It was great. 

Was there dairy in that? ***30 min later**** Yep..... You might want to let it air out for a bit.....😂😂😂😂😂😂

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On 10/25/2020 at 6:00 PM, Gundar said:

I don't know with the whole apple moving to arm I expect a lot of people to be left in the dust with current x86 based macbooks no matter what apple promises with their transition from x86 to arm. 

not really in the dust, as least you can still install windows on it even apple abandoned it.

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6 hours ago, noobpri said:

not really in the dust, as least you can still install windows on it even apple abandoned it.

Yeah but the Apple drivers kinda suck for Windows 10, from what I have read. It would be more helpful if you could easily install Linux on it. 

Was there dairy in that? ***30 min later**** Yep..... You might want to let it air out for a bit.....😂😂😂😂😂😂

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On 10/25/2020 at 9:10 PM, Gundar said:

Was really confused by this because I thought you were calling me a big sir but upon a google search this apparently a major mac os update. Does apple have some sort of naming scheme with this or do they go to a random word generator and just click twice to make a phrase. Companies that don't use number have a pattern. Intel has their lakes and android had desserts while apple is out there with their big sur.

It names macOS versions based on California locales. Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan...

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On 10/25/2020 at 9:03 PM, Donut417 said:

Well Big Sur is suppose to be coming to the Intel based Macs. So At least we will see 1 OS update. I think Apple will continue with security updates, but Id expect not to many new features. I use mine for basic computing tasks but some people might have issues in the future. 

You'll probably get several updates. Apple isn't as forgiving as Microsoft, but it does tend to keep supporting hardware in macOS for years even during chip transitions.

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8 minutes ago, Commodus said:

You'll probably get several updates. Apple isn't as forgiving as Microsoft, but it does tend to keep supporting hardware in macOS for years even during chip transitions.

Cool beans. 

 

I know my sister was interested in an iMac or MacMini. Im waiting for Apples announcement of the new ARM Macs here in a few weeks. I curious on what they will be releasing. Im hoping my sister asks my thoughts before buying one. I hope Apple makes its position more clear on the Intel models. maybe provide some kinda of support dates or at least a general idea. 

Was there dairy in that? ***30 min later**** Yep..... You might want to let it air out for a bit.....😂😂😂😂😂😂

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On 10/26/2020 at 1:21 AM, Donut417 said:

One feature MacOS does not have is Window snapping. I had to pay like $1.99 for an App to do this.

you didn't need to. there are plenty of free and open source apps for this. one i've always used is https://rectangleapp.com/. it also supports loads of keyboard shortcuts for moving windows around. 

 

if you have any more questions about macOS and apps etc etc feel free to DM me :) 

Phone: iPhone SE 2020 | 64GB iOS
MacBook Pro: Mid-2012 | Core i5 3210M | 8GB RAM | 250GB SSD | macOS

PC: Supermicro X8DT3 | 2x Xeon X5650 | R9 290X | 32GB RAM500GB SSD | Bitfenix Whisper 850W | Windows 10

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On 10/29/2020 at 11:52 PM, Donut417 said:

Cool beans. 

 

I know my sister was interested in an iMac or MacMini. Im waiting for Apples announcement of the new ARM Macs here in a few weeks. I curious on what they will be releasing. Im hoping my sister asks my thoughts before buying one. I hope Apple makes its position more clear on the Intel models. maybe provide some kinda of support dates or at least a general idea. 

They are going to replace the base model 13inch as first ARM Mac :)

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On 10/26/2020 at 2:03 AM, Donut417 said:

Well Big Sur is suppose to be coming to the Intel based Macs. So At least we will see 1 OS update. I think Apple will continue with security updates, but Id expect not to many new features. I use mine for basic computing tasks but some people might have issues in the future. 

Big Sur already is on the Intel Based Macs. We will definitely see support for Intel based Macs for quite a few years.

 

Apple supported the PowerMac Macs for around 3 years after the transition to Intel. I am assuming, that it will be at least as long this time given that its likely going to be less of a hassle to support with current hardware/software possibilities.

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2 hours ago, LYPTUS said:

They are going to replace the base model 13inch as first ARM Mac :)

Im glad I didnt wait then. Because no way Im touching a first gen ARM Mac. Ill look in to gen 2 or 3, after Apple has worked out the kinks. 

Was there dairy in that? ***30 min later**** Yep..... You might want to let it air out for a bit.....😂😂😂😂😂😂

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