At the end of 2017, my seven-year-old MacBook gave up on me. Using my laptop for both school and blogging, I had no choice but to make a new laptop my first purchase of 2018. I decided to stay in the Apple family and purchase the 13-inch 2017 MacBook Pro, and I wanted to review it from the perspective of both a student a blogger for anyone who is in the same position as me looking for a new laptop.
Why did I stick with Apple?
Honestly, all of my electronics are Apple, and it’s just an easier way to sync everything. I love that I can AirDrop pictures quickly from my phone to my laptop and vice versa. I’m sure there might be laptops out there with better graphics, but I’m content with what I have. I was considering switching to a Microsoft Surface Laptop since that’s what I use at work, but I just couldn’t get with the keyboard.
Could I have done more research and gotten more bang for my buck? Sure. But I was in a crunch and already familiar with Apple products, so 2017 MacBook Pro was the way to go. I was choosing between the regular 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, but I felt like I didn’t really need the Touch Bar feature with Touch ID at this time.
There are quite a few changes from the now-ancient 2010 MacBook unibody I had to the 2017 MacBook Pro. The new Retina Display has a native resolution of 2560 by 1600 at 227 pixels per inch. The difference in resolution felt like I came out of the Stone Age and was finally with the times. It makes editing pictures and graphic design in Photoshop so much better! I haven’t watched any movies on my 2017 MacBook yet but I imagine they would all look incredible.
Another main difference was that there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Although these ports are supposed to be faster than USB ports, it is a tad annoying to charge my laptop and try to do anything else like charge my phone on my laptop, or upload pictures from my SD card. There is an adapter needed to be able to use USB cords that does not come standard with the laptop. I bought mine through Apple, and while it works, I think I’m going to get a multi-use adapter with a built-in memory card reader. It’s impossible to watch DVDs on the MacBook as far as I know, which is another con if you don’t have a DVD player at home. Fortunately, I do.
The Force Touch trackpad is also something new to me. It’s essentially a trackpad with more sensitivity than previous models. I haven’t really noticed a difference while editing photos/videos or doing graphic design, but someone who does a bit more with their trackpad (i.e. using it to draw) might notice one. I like the updated trackpad overall- it’s smoother to use, especially when right-clicking often.
What’s so good about the 2017 MacBook Pro?
Everything’s fast, which is what I needed the most from my new laptop. My 2010 MacBook was anxiety-inducing slow; it always seemed to be hesitant to work when I needed it to work the most (like for taking notes during lectures and working on assignments). I also made sure to get an external hard drive before purchasing my new MacBook Pro so that it is never overwhelmed with too many files. This can happen easily when you’re constantly editing pictures/videos, and especially if you combine that with lecture PowerPoints and assignments for school, so this is a must. I transfer files over once a week, if not more, then delete them from my laptop.
Editing is a dream. I haven’t experienced any lags in the software I use, and since the Retina Display is so good, I actually look forward to editing photos and videos. I’m still in awe of how sharp graphics look on my new laptop. I also love the stereo speakers; the sound quality is great and I only use headphones when I’m working in public.
The battery life is also worth noting. It only takes me a little over an hour to charge my 2017 MacBook Pro to 100% and the charge can last me an entire 8-hour school day, taking into consideration my constant use of my laptop while taking notes and working on assignments. This for me was one of the biggest pros as it can be a bit of a hassle to find empty outlets to charge my laptop at in local coffee shops and in certain spots on campus.
If you couldn’t tell, I am so happy with my purchase. I don’t expect to have any issues with the laptop so early in the game, but you never know. To protect my laptop, I have been using a custom skin I made in collaboration with CaseApp. I also use a simple faux leather sleeve I found on Amazon to carry my laptop around when I go to school or anywhere public. Both products haven’t made my 2017 MacBook Pro any heavier to carry around, which is something I appreciate. The CaseApp skin is not only stylish but it’s kept my laptop in great condition since purchasing it. To minimize the loud keyboard clicks, I purchased a rose gold keyboard cover from Amazon as well.
Feel free to weigh in on the 13-inch 2017 MacBook Pro in the comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with it!