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Short review: This Apple Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: sekker
Date: September 05, 2020 01:52PM
Ended up getting it for my new WFH life. Corporate purchase so comes with a TON of Big Brother software. Purchased an 8 core model due to this CPU tax. It feels about as fast as a non-managed quad core laptop - which is, in reality, quite fast. No waiting on using Apple Mail or other office tasks (yes, that was molasses with a dual core work Mac I replaced).

I know there is all of this optimism that Apple Silicon will be AMAZING and all, which may be true.

But if you need a high-end Mac, I would not shy away from this 16" model. Why?
1) Great screen. Really. And it only takes $40 to make it matte, which can be helpful.
2) Audio out is the best I've heard on ANY computer - it's nearly as good as my Sonos (base is not quite as good). That's really amazing.
3) Audio in is arguably even better. Best microphone for Zoom calls I have - even better than a separate, dedicated USB Blue Snowball.
4) Really small for a full-featured laptop. I took it on my first trip (car trip), and it's nicely trimmed compared to my venerable 2012 15" MBPR I used for years. Not quite as small as a 13" MBA, for example. But when COVID is over, I will look forward to having true portable power.
5) Battery life is excellent. Running Catalina helps I think. I look forward to fixes to Apple Mail in Big Sur.
6) Keyboard - back to the past is fine. Seems nice and 'just works'.
7) USBC is here now. Really easy to get USB-C products now; pay $25 and get a universal dock/superdongle, and you will be fine. Buy a couple USB-A to USB-C for legacy connections. All is good now. (this was not true even in 2018, but true in 2020).
8) As a new Mac setup, I find Catalina an excellent OS. Works will all of my legacy devices, and I find it quite seamless with current software. Just giving Apple a thumbs up - we've given them a lot of crap a couple years ago when they moved their eye off the ball of the Mac OS. I know Catalina isn't perfect, but it's clearly a cleanup that's going to help in the long-run.

Negatives are those with all of this current generation laptops. I find the metal edges literally sharp still (and quite a contrast to the 2012 model when I pick it up from time to time). A case could solve that for me however. Only USBC - this is the future, but that future is mostly here now. Hard to repair.

If TODAY you need a quality and truly portable laptop, the Apple 16" is a terrific machine. No FOMO here of getting it in 2020 rather than waiting for Apple Silicon machines in part because I'm pretty sure they will be rolling out lower-end models first where portability and battery life is king. I expect this laptop form factor machine to be the last Apple replaces with their own chips. Could be wrong of course!

EDIT: correcting title that was misleading.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2020 03:15PM by sekker.
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Re: Short review: This Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: GGD
Date: September 05, 2020 02:31PM
"Short review: This Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac new"

From your subject and much of your description it's not clear if you're talking about an Apple product or some sort of Hackintosh.
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Re: Short review: This Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: hal
Date: September 05, 2020 03:00PM
I thought this was about a PC running Mac OS... but I realized about 1/2 through that I was wrong.
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Re: Short review: This Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: btfc
Date: September 05, 2020 03:10PM
I’ve worked on a couple, very impressed also. The audio IS a huge improvement. The only thing that bugged me involved the T2 chip, but not a dealbreaker.
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Re: Short review: This Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: sekker
Date: September 05, 2020 03:16PM
Quote
hal
I thought this was about a PC running Mac OS... but I realized about 1/2 through that I was wrong.

Sorry, fixed the subject line.
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Re: Short review: This Apple Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 05, 2020 04:21PM
Leader!
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Re: Short review: This Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: September 05, 2020 05:03PM
Quote
btfc
I’ve worked on a couple, very impressed also. The audio IS a huge improvement. The only thing that bugged me involved the T2 chip, but not a dealbreaker.

Boot to Recovery, open the Security settings, set it to "Medium" and tick the box to allow booting to an external and don't think about it again.



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Re: Short review: This Apple Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: btfc
Date: September 05, 2020 05:22PM
One was damaged in a fire, flaky ports, wouldn’t migrate, new one didn’t like the backup or clone, but after jumping through a few hoops it ended up working out.
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Re: Short review: This Apple Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: September 05, 2020 08:29PM
I can’t wait for 2034, when I’ll be able to buy one for $100.

Edited to remove a comment about that date and my student loans.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2020 09:16PM by S. Pupp.
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Re: Short review: This Apple Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: p8712
Date: September 05, 2020 09:42PM
Quote
S. Pupp
I can’t wait for 2034, when I’ll be able to buy one for $100.

Edited to remove a comment about that date and my student loans.

Don’t worry, Your SE/30’s will be worth $5000 a piece by then, assuming you’ve had them recapped.
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Re: Short review: This Apple Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: SteveO
Date: September 06, 2020 09:40AM
Quote
p8712
Quote
S. Pupp
I can’t wait for 2034, when I’ll be able to buy one for $100.

Edited to remove a comment about that date and my student loans.

Don’t worry, Your SE/30’s will be worth $5000 a piece by then, assuming you’ve had them recapped.

Ha. Still have my SE/30!

Great review, thanks for posting. Our 13" '09 white MB has been acting up lately. Too bad because this is such a fine machine, always cool to the touch, edges that are sharp but don't cause discomfort, and just easy to use. May be time for an upgrade here. Saw these 16" at Costco this week and was intrigued. Footprint seems MUCH smaller than the 17" AL PB I had back in the day...I sold that after a year because it was just too cumbersome to lug around; I was always banging it on walls/doorways going around corners at home.

You mentioned sharp edges - my mid-'10 MBP also has that and at times they dig into my wrists. Do the sharp edges dig into your wrists/arms at all while using the machine? Curious.
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Re: Short review: This Apple Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: sekker
Date: September 06, 2020 11:05AM
No sharp edges when in use, just when carrying. Again, a case would solve that.
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Re: Short review: This Apple Intel 16" Laptop is a great Mac
Posted by: gabester
Date: September 06, 2020 12:55PM
And if you can't afford over $2k and need a decent modern laptop, I've got one of these and it's the best Windows/Linux laptop I've ever used - the Acer Swift 3 model SF314-42-R9YN is highly regarded for its price/performance: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/09/acer-swift-3-with-ryzen-4700u-a-budget-laptop-punching-above-its-class/

My only complaint is that I wish they offered 16GB and 32GB RAM versions.

Unfortunately the only place I know to pick one up is bezosville for $680 (list is $650 but apparently they keep selling them out and raising the price):
https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Octa-Core-Graphics-Fingerprint-SF314-42-R9YN/dp/B086KKKT15

I think Acer could really use someone like Steve Jobs to step in and simplify and evangelize their product lineup.
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