Editorial

Is the 2015 MacBook Pro the Ultimate Portable Laptop?

Comments (68)
  1. aizathisyam says:

    BTW, you can install windows in your Mac via virtual machine such as Parallels or dual boot using Bootcamp.

  2. Filament says:

    You scared the sit out of me. Whatever you have written, is exactly what I wanna say as well. I learned and use Mac back in May. That was my first time full exposure to using os x on an iMac and macbook pro.

    But not the latest version, it was a 2011 and 2012 machine respectively. Not belongs to me, but my office.

    And since I just started working back in May, just last month I decided to purchase a Mac. And I got myself a 2nd hand macbook air 11 coz of the portability that I needed most.

    My next mac MUST be retina display.

    Oh btw those mac at my office, I have already installed windows 10 as well so that the rest of the team in the office can utilise it whenever I’m not using it. Otherwise it’s collecting dust coz no one in the office know or wanna learn how to use os x at all.

  3. tim says:

    try streaming from a NAS through WiFi, you will feel another inferior experience of OS X…

    1. Filament says:

      oh i’ll try that once i got home. you mean streaming movie right? coz last time i only tried streaming music from my nas on my air and it was ok. and one thing i liked about mac is that it can automatically map the nas always.

      btw what are you experiencing?

      1. tim says:

        yeah, video streaming, the last time I tried, it was still disappointing even though I managed to stream it without any issue in Windows. Have to stick with cable with Mac.

        1. Filament says:

          i see.. well definitely gonna try myself tonight.

    2. alvinf says:

      Hi Im using a mac mini as my download server and i hv a NAS as well. I don’t have any issue with streaming, i have an apple tv streaming my movies and i even have another PC streaming to my TV. Basically all my TVs and PC all connected to the same network.

      1. tim says:

        Maybe you have an “industry-grade” AP? or the content you tried to stream was optimized for the iTunes (since most of my videos do not even play on iTunes without conversion) ? or even a lower resolution content? I was just sharing my experience of using one for wireless video streaming (which was inferior to windows) 🙂

  4. K C says:

    Can u install pirated software in your macbook?
    The original software could easily cost u more than the price of the macbook.

    1. Anonymous says:

      What kind of stupid comment is this?

    2. Filament says:

      yes you can. but only popular softwares. like adobe, microsoft office,etc. small unpopular software is hard to find crack like internet download manager, prezi etc.

  5. Xeoni Ionus says:

    I think it can because I saw one of my vendors at the office installing and playing pirated copy of Call of Duty except that you need to explore a bit. If you could manage to purchase macbooks, software wise shouldn’t be an issue for you to use original copy instead of pirated one, isn’t it ?

  6. Xeoni Ionus says:

    I was lucky enough that my father is someone that likes to use new tech especially involves computers. Since I was small, I got some experience using Amiga, Sinclair, Macs, Unix, and also PC with DOS and Windows Workgroup. At least from that experience, using other OSes that was introduced nowadays doesn’t pose me a lot of problem to adapt.

    1. Tom Kao says:

      So what is your best personal experience of OS?

      1. Xeoni Ionus says:

        For gaming, I would prefer using Windows as it is cheaper. Work wise, Mac is the best choice in terms of battery and also hardly laggy (based on my experience). My personal choice overall, I like both.

    2. Filament says:

      very lucky indeed.

  7. Ongtk says:

    I can relate with your users’ experience too. I purchase my Mac Book Pro 15″ top of the line model prior to the GST implementation and I have no regrets at all. This is a superb machine compared to all the high end Windows notebooks I have used in the past!

  8. Jxsonl says:

    Yeap, this is by far one of my favourite articles in Lowyat.net now, second to the article on the Nokia N9.
    I commute to my uni everyday and spend less and less time at home recently, and commuting to college one way already take me 45 minutes to 1 hour, I didn’t own a laptop but a gaming PC, and I thought I’ll do fine without a laptop, but as assignment pilles up, the study time cut short due to commuting, after a year I finally decided to buy a macbook air,

    so far i’ve been using it for a few months and I have to say the only problem is that I CAN’T GAME on it….
    which in a way is good as I’ll probably focus more on my studies (maybe, I guess? lol)
    I dont have to bother about finding a plug in class while the rest of my classmate/coursemate looks for a plug after lunchtime and their laptop runs dry by 4pm? (and each class only has 1 plugs available? (2 if the class is bigger)

    The built in office apps require some time adjusting to them, since i’ve been using microsoft office for 5 years+
    but overall it’s worth the investment, Retina Pro is definitely my next laptop
    But i’ll stick with custom built PC for gaming for sure.

  9. CY says:

    I think this is all up to personal preference. I owned the XPS13 (2014 version) and to me Windows OS is way more convenient and efficient than using the MAC OS, so XPS13 2015 was definitely the best portable laptop in the market to me. But that is my choice you may not agree and i may not agree with yours.

    But one thing for sure creating articles with controversy like this is good for internet traffic.

  10. Arvin says:

    this is a very good article, i guess what im afraid of is that i might regret later once i spend so much money and buy a macbook..i have been using windows for about 11 years now, and have never used a macbook b4..this is why im scared also 🙂

    would i be able to install pirated software, would i be able to download youtube videos using ytd, would i be able to play videos using codecs etc etc…this are some of my doubts and these are the reason im staying with windows..not to say that macbook cant do those, but its because im not sure macbook can fulfill my requirements or not.

    maybe u guys can enlighten me? 🙂

    1. Filament says:

      3 months of usage and so far im cool with mac. but i havent done the thing that u ask like download youtube video though. btw pirated software definitely can. not that i encourage it though.

      1. Arvin says:

        alright bro..how about transfering files? is it simple like windows?

        any advantage i get from SOFTWARE wise compared to windows? or windows still have the advantages of being very customisable and open?

        sorry bro ask u many questions

        1. Filament says:

          its ok. file transfer yes, just drg and drop also but hmm.. some external hard drive is ntfs formatted. so on mac, it can only read and copy it. cannot write files on the external. must format to fat first. this part only leceh.

          and usb pendrive usually all is formatted in fat. so no problems for pendrive.

          yes relatively easy to customize.

          1. Arvin says:

            alright thanks….

          2. Arvin says:

            bro one last question, how about connecting it to external keyboard and mouse like the razer chroma blackwidow and deathadder. can work normally??

          3. Kok Hoong says:

            Normally? I don’t know what your “normally” means but it can perform as what a simple mouse do, but if you use a MacBook you will apreciate the gestures which are only available if you use the trackpack or buy the external Apple Magic Mouse (Rm300) LOL. and keyboards should work normally but you might lose some special key functions like “Command” key or others. Depends on your keyboard driver too.

          4. Arvin says:

            u know la bro gaming mouse and keyboard..normally as in the razer software. the lightings on the mouse and keyboard, the side buttons on the mouse, the macro buttons on the keyboard, the keyboard usb ports etc etc..

            these are what i meant by normal 🙂

            yup need to check the driver

        2. Kok Hoong says:

          You have to install NTFS driver on your Mac to transfer files to an external hard disk that can be used with windows. However, if you format your hard disk to FAT, the max file size that can be transferred is only 4GB and you don’t have to instlal any drivers.

          1. Arvin says:

            alright thanks alot bro

          2. Zaryl Masters says:

            formatting to exFAT on your external HDD eliminates the troublesome FAT32 format which has the max 4GB file size copy limitation all together. So no more issue on transferring files in between Windows or Mac OS X.

    2. aizathisyam says:

      You can actually run windows OS on a Mac via Bootcamp or Parallels and etc… Therefore you can install and run windows application / games on a Mac… For pirated apps, the short answer is yes you can, the long answer is Google search is your best friend…

      1. Arvin says:

        but the graphics wouldnt be able to sustain heavy games..so when i buy a mac, i need to leave gaming behind which im willing to as i dont game often now….

        but this parallel thing, have u tried it, is it as smooth as running a windows 10 pc? how baout ram management

        1. aizathisyam says:

          Haven’t try running windows 10 yet. So far I have a windows 7 home running in parallels and prior to that I had a windows XP running in parallels. Both of them run ok as I only use them to run my microsoft office application. You can allocate/assign the amount of memory that you want on any windows OS in parallels app during windows installation. Once the parallels is shut down, that memory is relinquished and once again becomes available for use by other programs.For further understanding you can go to parallels forums, many forumers in the forum will be happy to help you.

        2. Kok Hoong says:

          If you want to run parallel smoothly, you have to have more RAM. (8GB runs okay unless you play games in parallel) and Mac can sustain heavy games.. if you buy the high end MacBook Pro 15 inch, with discrete graphics. However, most games DO run smoothly if you lower the resolution and most games DIE even you have the best graphics card when run on native resolution (imagine how much pixels the processor gonna push). RAM management is okay… Yosemite takes around 2GB of RAM and if you want to future proof your Mac, I would advise you to get 16GB 🙂

          1. Arvin says:

            alright thanks

          2. Arvin says:

            bro one last question, how about connecting it to external keyboard and mouse like the razer chroma blackwidow and deathadder. can work normally???

          3. Filament says:

            If you intend to use the mouse and keyboard with Windows installed on the Mac, then surely all will work fine. If you intend to use them on Mac os x, I’m not sure then.

          4. Arvin says:

            hmmmmm..okay

        3. Filament says:

          Btw if you don’t mind restarting the Mac every time you wanna switch os, then do boot camp installation of windows. Your windows will work exactly like it should on any pc without any limitation whatsoever.

          1. Arvin says:

            i dont plan to install windows on a mac (by booth camp installation or even parallel) or i might as well use windows in the first place lol..but ill check out mac os soon, how it works and how easy to use it compared to windows.. and also whether my keyboard can support mac or not..

            also usb type c never come to mac book pro yet, maybe ill wait for that

          2. Kok Hoong says:

            Yeah it’ll be released this year end or next year early with skylake architecture and possibly new design (may be a bad thing if they cancel all the USB ports and change to USB-C) but if you can wait, why not? 😛

          3. Arvin says:

            haha ill wait bro..usb-c on macbook will future proof itself for years to come

          4. Filament says:

            Make sure to learn all the shortcuts and gestures offered within os x and use on a regular basis. That way, you’ll know what it’s like to do work efficiently on a mac. It’ll also gives you a glimpse of how you’ll be navigating around the os.

  11. uat88 says:

    1. Thought of buying a Macbook Pro 15 until I start trying out Windows 10. It’s got most of what I wanted now on a Mac OS X.

    2. Windows hardware is always far better than Macbook. Waiting for the Dell XPS 15 with Infinity Display. It will still be cheaper than a Macbook Pro 15 given the specs is far more better in Dell XPS.

    3. Design, hands down it’s MacBook Pro but the Dell XPS is not far from behind. Its infinity display is second to none.

    4. Battery power, MacBook Pro wins hands down.

    5. Windows 10 is almost as good as Mac OS X and it keeps getting better with each new version. However, the Mac OS X wins on two important things:
    a) The text scaling on Mac OS X is a far better solution for high end display resolution.
    b) Windows 10 Hibernation is still not as good as Mac OS X. I could it even put it to sleep for a longer period in Mac OX S compared to Windows 10 without rebooting. That’s a very important feature as I can start my laptop and continue the what I was doing before.

    6. The trackpad and its features in Macbook is simply the best. No doubt about it.

    7. Price wise, Windows laptop will always be cheaper and the hardware spec will always be better esp when the price range is similar. Macbook Pro 13 only comes with dual core and Intel Graphic Processor. On an Intel Windows 13′ Laptop, I can find a quad core with an either Nvidia/ATI option.

    8. With Windows 10, I’m expecting a seamless integration between the tablet and phone or any other devices running Windows 10. It needs to talk with each other easily. Glad that in Windows 10, the tablet mode and desktop mode works together in a seamless and integrated mode now. Was hoping registry will be done away in the near future on Windows.

    9. I love both Windows 10 and Mac OS X. But for now, I’m leaning on Windows 10 first.

  12. Tarro says:

    well my biggest concern is the integration with domain controller. We have issues connecting OS to windows server domain account. And all shared file is not shown properly (which in windows u can set what to appear in my computer).

    Is there any solutions that we unaware off?

  13. Zaryl Masters says:

    I’m quite contemplating to get a Macbook and I’ve been doing some extensive research on Macbook Air vs Macbook Pro comparisons. But I’m still looking for this few true answers from you all:

    1) How heavy is heavy for Macbook Pro 13″ compared to Macbook Air?
    2) Should i invest in a 8GB Macbook Air or 8GB Macbook Pro?
    3) Is macbook Air really last till 12hours as Apple has claimed? How about Macbook Pro?
    4) For bootcamp, how much GB should i allocate for windows? 10GB is enough?
    5) should i buy now or wait for Apple to implement Intel Skylake in their future Macbook lineups sometime late this year/early next year?

    I’m an academician and i mostly teach students, do research and read scientific papers and the occasional web browsing.

    1. Kok Hoong says:

      1)The weight is not a significant difference if you use it as a “desk”top laptop not a laptop and you wouldn’t notice the weight difference even if you travel a lot.
      2) Depends on what you want to do? You want a nice screen and faster processor – go with the pro. If you really want the lightweight, then get the air. However I would recommending going with the pro. Because the pro has a faster processor and would last longer.. and the screen (you have to see it to know it)!
      3) Yes it last 12 hours you can check for reviews and macbook pro 13 inch last for 10 hours.. with 2/7 brightness I think (but it’s bright enough for a relatively well lit room
      4) Depends on how you gonna use it. How many softwares you want to install in windows? A lot? then you might opt for more. 10GB is too less anyways you can’t even install office in it.
      5) Is it urgent? If it’s urgent then get one now, it won’t go wrong either way. But if you have the privilege of waiting, why not?
      IMPORTANT! if you are an academician you are eligible for Apple Student Pricing! Please go check out more.

      Go with the pro, you’ll never look back. 🙂

    2. Filament says:

      Macbook air 11 inch is 1kg. Pro 13 inch is 1.5kg. I bought air, coz it’s only 2.2k with second hand. And coz I need portability very much. I’ll buy pro 13 in the future with max spec.

      8gb is needed for better future proofing. Coz you’re not gonna buy mac that often right.

      Battery life is pretty much like what apple claimed. My air 11 reach 8 hours regularly.

      Boot camp for Windows please allocate at least 60gb so you can breathe better. Remember now windows will install updates automatically. Over time it’ll consume space. And have to keep deleting restore point every 3 months to regain lost space

      Of you can wait, then wait. High chance can get type c USB by then. And maybe retina for Air as well. And maybe a redesigned Air while at it.

      1. beckkam says:

        Where can I buy second hand MBA?

        1. Filament says:

          Mudah.my. Insist on cod exclusively. Garage sales in lowyat forum too. Many options really.

  14. Mohamed Afni Abdullah says:

    Running Windows on Mac either on Bootcamp or Parallels Desktop is not what you will expect from normal Windows notebook. The fan on Macbook board is useless with Windows OS. So don’t leave your Macbook in Windows mode for torrent download or for longer period of time usage, it will heat up easily.

  15. aidanjaeger says:

    I’m using a late-2013 rMBP and I love it to death.

    But one important fact that I think you should mention is that, unlike the non-retina MBP, the rMBP cannot be upgraded.
    The RAM, disk space is as is from the day you purchased and can’t be changed.
    So when buying a rMBP, you have to plan for the entire lifespan of the machine (7-10 years ahead). Will the current RAM or storage be enough in 5-7 years time? This is among the questions you should be asking before purchasing a rMBP.

    The regular MBP on the other hand can be upgraded. If your current laptop usage requires more space, you can easily upgrade the HDD to a bigger storage. Or if the apps you’re running requires more memory, upgrade the RAM. Heck, if you want, you can even chuck in an SSD.

    I’ve maxed out what I think I need my rMBP for, and it’s been treating me great so far. They may cost a bomb, but the quality is definitely there.

  16. Iyayy Yayi says:

    those list of first thing to cut cost in laptop.
    1. display – people are color blind
    2. trackpad – everyone use mouse
    3. speakers – everyone are deaf
    4. wifi – everyone uses personal wifi dongle
    5. battery – everyone carries their laptop charger everywhere
    6. heat – everyone use laptop on the table only

  17. xproc says:

    i downgraded from 2013 mba 11 to dell precesion m4800 because of work purposes… 🙁

  18. Joseph Abraham says:

    no no no my work requires me to work on windows.
    that install uninstall so easy coz its unix based

  19. Leonard Lim says:

    Great article and very good read! I have to agree with you on most of the points on how the Macbook Pro can be the perfect laptop.

    I am using the 15″ rMBP and have been using Macs as early as 2006. Though theres a few points which I would like to point out;

    – Gaming in Mac is very possible provided you are willing to pay the premium of RM6k onwards which is for the 15″ base or 9K for the 15″ top spec with dedicated graphics. Do not expect to push the game settings to all time high or ultra as Apple have clocked down the graphics / processor for battery life efficiency.

    – Uninstalling applications, as mentioned can be done by just moving it to trash. BUT, that also means that you have left behind the files generated by the removed application. One way to uninstall properly and effectively clean is by using this application : http://osxdaily.com/2012/02/15/delete-applications-mac-os-x-appcleaner/

    What it does is it finds all the breadcrumbs that the application have generated and removed it along the way, moving it to trash automagically for you.

    – Some great great application that should you see fit that will increase your productivity;

    Alfred : https://www.alfredapp.com
    Helium : http://jadengeller.github.io/Helium/
    FTP (if you ever need to use one) : https://cyberduck.io/?l=en

    – Getting a mac is like paying for 2 machine for the price of one as you can install Windows on the Mac through bootcamp. Be mindful on the HDD capacity as Bootcamp do install some additional items that bloated up the final Windows installation with an extra of 8GB

  20. Eugene Wong says:

    Yes I love MacBook over than a Windows Based PC!

    I just owned my first rMBP 13 not more than one month ago and I bought it second hand. Although the price of a MacBook might scare you away to buy, but I believe that it is worth to buy and invest. Why I said so?
    1. Yes, the retina display on IPS screen is superb! Just like the display screen of decent flagship smartphone.
    2. Full aluminium body, makes Macbook tough enough
    3. Wonderful TouchPad, with the sweet combination with gestures.
    4. Reading-mode in Safari, it removes unnecessary panel, ads and gives you a clean, neat experience. Besides that, gestures in Safari allows you to go back or next page without scrolling your curse to click the “” button.
    5. “What you see is what you get” concept, settings make effective instantly after you clicked something. Windows loves to prompt you to click “OK” and restart PC to see the effect **
    6. Scroll, pinch to zoom is buttery smooth in every app
    7. Sleep, Standby mode offer significantly low energy, I just close down my lid without shutting down at home, after few hours I open the lid at outside, the battery still 100%, unlike windows you have to wait to hibernate.
    8. Although iWork can’t beat Office, but the presentation made by keynote is more beautiful and stunning.
    9. Parallels helped a lot when I can’t live without Windows’ App. I am an IT student, so some developing tools I can’t let it absent from my MacBook, such as Visual Studio, IBM WebSphere, Microsoft Access, Visio etc. The “Coherence” mode offered by Parallels allows to blend the OS X and Windows together. The app from Windows no longer to fit in a virtual machine windows, and it can now stay side by side with OS X apps! A big thumb for this feature! Furthermore, you can launch windows supported format files from OS X Finder, such as .exe, .msi installer, etc, it will launch the installer/app in Windows

    Conclusion, still got countless points to the love on a MacBook, people always compare the spec between Mac and PC, yes, Apple’s product does charge for a premium price tag, but you can have a look in PC market, there aren’t many products offers IPS display, high resolution display, good speaker, multi-level backlit keyboard, large smooth touchpad, PCI Flash storage, Thunderbolt port, good body built (full aluminium body) and many many features in all in one, in a compact body. If there is any PC matches these requirements, usually their price tag is more or less the same with Apple’s. So why need to start the quarrel? xP

  21. Aiden Low says:

    if your budget allowed , please go ahead to macbook except for gamer

    Mac OS can run smooth & trouble free than window and can do everything that window can’t do , Mac OS also can install window on it but window forever couldn’t run Mac OS xD

  22. M_F says:

    I would say the Surface Pro 3 is much more portable. For the same price, you can get the i5 model with 256Gb SSD and 8Gb RAM, PLUS keyboard cover and Surface Pen thrown in. Not to mention, as a 2-in-1 device, it also functions as a tablet as well which works quite nicely in Windows 10. The SP3 is also lighter and thinner. So in terms of value, the SP3 beats the MBP hands down. In terms of battery life, the SP3 is also rated at 8-10 hours. I don’t have problem using it all day without charging.
    Bottom line: So I guess the ONLY reason to pick an MBP over an SP3 is if you are a hardcore Mac OS lover or if you just had to be different or if you just had to have that apple logo on your device.
    But hey, I can accept that some people might feel a nice trackpad is way more important than a combination of the following: 2x SSD storage + touch display + pen + kickstand + detachable keyboard. Who am I to question their value judgment?

  23. TaSiang says:

    proud user of rMBP 15 here too.
    After weeks of using the rMBP 15, feels really good using that as a daily working machine. But there are a few downsides for it too:

    1. The total cost of making it a really effective working companion. Basically you have to spend a little bit more to have better equipment combo, that includes some adapters, some ext.hdd (as upgrading their SSD is SUPER expensive), case + protectors etc etc.
    2. Software aren’t as optimised as it should. True, native apps in OS X works terrific and it’s like wonder. But some other 3rd party application always fall behind compared to the compatibility on Windows. There’s always some patches you need to update, there’s always some bugs you need to compromise with, and there’s always some hotkeys you cannot access compared to Windows version.

    Despite all these downsides.. I really love using the machine. Like the above review mentioned, the wonderful force touch trackpad, beautiful retina display, a very useful and handy OS, and most importantly, the battery life that able to sustain much longer under heavy workload. Been multitasking and doing design for straight 7 hours and still have 15% left. That’s really a hell of a battery life.
    This machine is for work, and it’s perfect for those who travel and work often.

  24. John says:

    A thumbs up for you!

  25. Louis Tan says:

    Been using a MBP for 2 years now. It’s a great machine, but it’s a horrible laptop.

    Seriously, what is the point of building a laptop that gets way too hot to use on your lap.

    Hate this laptop so much because of that.

  26. arcaneKnight says:

    One thing I like about my MacBook is that I don’t need to always shut it down when I’m done with it. Just close its lid anytime. To resume, open its lid, type my password in, and within a second or 2 I’m back to where I was hours ago.

  27. Calvin Ng Kwok Kei says:

    I’m not using a Retina MBP but the older 2012 mid MacBook Pro and the battery till this day still last 6 hours which is crazy… the benfits of using the older gen I can swap my HDD out for a SSD and replace my CDROM for another HDD drive. I also buy a Windows7 Pro and bootcamp into windows for work purpose, now upgraded to windows 10 on my MBP (2012) after 3 years my notebook still perform flawless, the hardware manage to keep up with everything I throw at them minus the game… battery life still excellent, and I can say the best windows 10 laptop made by Apple !!!

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