Youll struggle to get anything next to even one of the smallest USB-C to USB-A dongles. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian I wish you could permanently place a single F key on the Touch Bar, but you cant Touch ID seems slower than on an iPhone 7 Below 5% battery the computer becomes incredibly sluggish Being able to plug in power either side is great The speakers are louder and sound better than old MacBook Pros, but still not quite room filling The USB-C ports are too close together to put anything wider into them meaning USB-C to USB-A adapters have to have a decent cord length to attach them next to anything else I kept touching the Touch Bar accidentally when resting my hands on the keyboard Changing the volume or brightness is now a two-stage tap and tap or tap and drag affair Price
The 13in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar starts at 1,749 and reaches 2,759 with optional upgrades.
For comparison, Dells XPS 13 with a compatible screen starts at 1,129, Microsofts Surface Pro 4 with an Intel Core i5 starts at 849 and
the Surface Book starts at 1,299. Verdict
The 13in MacBook Pro could be a wonderful computer, but it isnt. Is it great to use? Absolutely, its brilliant, its beautiful, its almost everything Apple said it was, I absolutely love it until it runs out of battery. Or you have to dig out yet another dongle to use a sodding USB flash drive, or a card reader, or attach a display. Or you realise that you spent a months mortgage money on a computer and are having your house repossessed.
And that is the 13in MacBook Pros biggest flaw. It is very expensive for what it is. It hasnt got the latest processors or graphics, it has limits on the amount of RAM you can pay to shove in it and you cant change anything after youve bought it. Thats not such a problem for a general computer, but a minimum of 1,749 for a general computer, even a post-Brexit referendum Apple computer, is a lot of money.
So then its for the Pros, who justify spending large sums of money on working machines. But its not capable of getting through a journalists day on battery, let alone anyone who does anything more intensive than browse the internet, write in a basic text editor and edit the odd photo. Itll
saddle you with iPhone 7 syndrome constantly in search of a power supply or chaining you to using it as a small desktop surrogate.
Perhaps all-day battery life shouldnt be a thing we expect, but previous Apple computers could do just that and more.
And theres the question of power. For almost two grand youd expect a machine to last four to five years. For a demanding user who must have a Pro the RAM cap of 16GB isnt going to cut it in two years time, which again, wouldnt be a problem if the machine cost 1,000 not 2,000.
So, then, the 13in MacBook Pro is the best computer you shouldnt buy.
Pros: beautiful, great screen, interesting Touch Bar, Touch ID, massive trackpad, thin and relatively light, USB-C Cons: short battery life, no USB-A ports, no ethernet, no native display ports, no upgrading after purchase, very expensive #DongleLife Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian Other reviews