You probably know who Casey Neistat is if you are reading this. But to avoid assumptions, here are some stats on Neistat.
He is a YouTube celebrity, filmmaker, a vlogger and a social media cofounder called Beme. He has been showing the world what it would be like if we all just got off our behind and ventured outside. All I can say is just Google the guy, you will be enamored.
For a guy who has never gone to film school, he has been shooting some great videos and getting quite a following thanks to his content. Video shooting aside, what we are interested in is what laptop he uses.
For a guy who travels a lot and always has to stay in touch with his family, followers, colleagues and many others, he has to be able to access his correspondence not only via the cell.
And seeing that he always has to upload a vlog every day he needs to have a mobile device (read laptop) that is big enough in memory and power to handle all the editing and the travelling stress.
After some research, it turns out that he uses a MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar. Known for its design and functionality, this laptop is also reliable and fast, a quality that Neistat appreciates and holds dear.
Let us have an in depth look at this laptop and see why exactly Neistat and many other vloggers prefer to use it.
Design and Build
Looking at its aluminum framework crafted from a single piece of metal makes it very light and not malleable. One is able to choose from its classic aluminum or darker Space Grey.
This MacBook Pro is 15mm tall and thin, very thin, I mean thin enough to get into an already stuffed up bag with no hustle. Its screen size is the same as the previous model of the 13 inch MacBook Pro.
There are some key differences between this newer model and the previous model and they are:
- It has two additional USB 3.1 Type C/Thunderbolt 3 combination ports which gives this laptop four USB ports. Two on the right and two on the left, a plus advantage is that you can use all these ports to charge your laptop.
- It has a Touch Bar and TouchID module.
Let us have a look at the Touch Bar function that comes with this laptop. Its work is to make traditional function keys contextually aware. Having a Touch Bar is like having an Apple watchOS at your fingertips. It allows for fast responses and shortcuts. It will give you quick access to the following software:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Microsoft Office
- Affinity Designer and Photo
- Da Vinci Resolve
Touchpad and Keyboard
The MacBook Pro’s latest model keyboard is a great upgrade from its previous ones although it still uses the Butterfly technology. It has shallow travel, a feature that might be a little off for some but you get used to it quite fast, giving you the best feeling when using it.
Its touch pad is sensitive in that every swipe, motion and tap is handled swiftly. When browsing or working on your laptop, you can select or get a different result on what you are working on by pressing hard on that particular item thanks to the touch pad’s pressure-sensitivity.
This laptop has a 13.3 inch 2,560 x 1,600 pixel retina screen. It still retains the 2015’s model resolution but with better performance. How so?
Well, its brightness is out-of-this-world getting to at least 550 nits, its color range covers 99.9% of the sRGB and 98.3% of the DCI-P3 cinema range used in the video industry. This feature makes it easier for those shooting and editing their videos to determine how the end result will look like. For others, watching a movie would be a great experience.
Speakers, Webcam and Microphone
There is nothing worse than a bad, crackling speaker on a laptop. That is not what you will get on this top of the range laptop. Tipped as one of the best speakers found on a laptop, they are loud, have a lot of bass and great stereo separation.
Its microphone has the ability to cancel out all background noise no matter where you are and gives you the best voice quality that is clear and uninterrupted thanks to the extra microphone added to boost quality.
Getting down to its webcam, at 720p, it is quite useful for your basic video chats and conferencing but really has no wow-factor to it really.
General Performance Prowess
It comes with a big processor which is a dual-core 2.9GHz Core i5-6267U which can also boost to 3.1GHz. This makes a world of a difference when it comes to video rendering times and the whole system agility.
It comes with a standard 8GB or 2,133MHz RAM. If you are a vlogger or you edit a lot of videos, you can spend a little more and get a 16GB one. It also has a very fast SSD which works at 2,00MB/sec read speeds and 1,700MB/sec write speeds. It has a storage space of 256GB.
We can all agree that the bane of many laptops is battery life. And that might be the case with this laptop too. It has a smaller battery. Having a more powerful processor and a Touch Bar, the battery does get used more. With its normal brightness, it can last up to seven hours but I worked on it on a half brightness which gave me an extra hour of battery life.
If you use your laptop to stream Netflix, you might need to have it on charge because for an hour, it uses up 14% of its charge, not so good if you are planning on bingeing on two or three one-hour-episode seasons of a show.
Having looked at all the above let me list its key features that make it a great laptop to use:
- 9 – 3.1 GHZ dual-core Intel Core i5-6267U
- 8GB 2,133MHz LPDDR3 memory
- Intel Iris Graphics 550
- 2,560 x 1,440 pixel Retina display
- 4 x Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C combination ports, 3.5mm headset jack
- 256 GB PCle SSD (512GB and 1TB available too)
- 11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
- 15mm thick
- Weighs 1.37kg
This MacBook Pro Touch Bar model has the best features that make using it a lot of fun and more efficient. Its processor performs very good, it gives one the advantage of not two but four USB ports, great structure, amazing screen, easy and adaptable keyboard and touchpad functions.
Just like Neistat, using this laptop to edit your photos and your videos will be the best experience. Battery life might be a problem but not so much, especially seeing that it can last up to eight hours.
I took the liberty of listing down some of the advantages and disadvantages of this laptop for those who like lists:
- Great design and build
- Lots of ports
- High quality screen
- Awesome performance ability
- No adapters available yet
- Battery life not so good
Below are some customer comments that will tell you what other people out there think about this laptop:
“This is an amazing computer – its super portable: it’s very thin and has great battery life. The touch bar, in my opinion, is actually very useful. My favorite part about it has to be the media controls or the MSWord integrations for options buried deep in menus.
Speakers: they’re great. Very loud and clear sound.
Trackpad: I know a lot of people think the trackpad is for older users and less experienced people, but I think it’s great. The large space rarely leaves me wishing for a mouse, and the force click can be useful at times. Palm rejection works like a charm.
I really don’t like the I/O situation, however. Sure, USB C charging is convenient, but you have to buy so many dongles and adapters. I recently ordered a HYPER ThunderBolt 3 adapter that looks great and has lots of ports, but it’s on indiegogo and they’re having supply issues.
Overall, I am very satisfied with this purchase, and highly recommended this laptop for anyone in need of an upgrade.” By Elexia
“Obviously, this laptop is amazing. I’m still getting used to the Touchbar. Very fast and the quality that I expect from Apple.
– It’s fast, it’s beautiful and it Just Works™.
– The Touch Bar is pretty neat (I’m still getting used to it)
– 4 USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) ports
– The fingerprint reader seems very accurate. I sometimes have to touch it 2-3 times on my iPhone 7 before it lets me in, but it works nearly every time on the first try on this MacBook Pro.
– If you are a non-Microsoft developer, once you go Mac you can never go back.
– No power cord extender included for the price. I used to be able to buy the full power assembly for my 2012 MBP for $80. Now, it costs $120 to buy a space (with the extension cable).
– I’m not sure why they went with Intel HD rather than Iris? I am not a hardware guy.
– Given that it is USB-C, you will likely spend as much on adapters/replacement cables for this unit as you paid for it. However, USB-C is awesome. (Protip: You can buy knock-off USB-C cables, but I would recommend only authentic Apple chargers. I have cooked some batteries in the past using knockoffs)
– No touchscreen support (which doesn’t bother me because I’m a developer, but I know that it is a chief complaint among Windows users). I’d rather have a BASH prompt…
Even though the Touchbar is likely here to stay, it does take some getting used to (which I will in time).
– The escape key is now on the Touchbar, so your brain has to reprogram your fingers for that.
– The Siri button is RIGHT above the delete key and very easy to bump, so you will be CONSTANTLY, accidentally hitting it and get derailed by her summons.*
– The volume control is also on the Touchbar, which takes extra effort to adjust (rather than just having keys).
As I said, I will get used to the Touchbar (and hopefully the Siri foul). It is an amazing laptop!” By Daniel M. Hendricks