The MacBook 2015 is a very powerful model of the MacBook series and considering the controversies which surround the 2016 MacBook. Some people may still be in the market for the 2015 A1398 model especially for those who want the Apple Legacy Ports while remaining within the Apple legal system.
The laptop has a full aluminum body which makes it highly resistant to nicks and scratches. The top is an aluminum casing with a glowing Apple logo. On the bottom, there are the full rubber feet with screws holding down the base plate.
The standout feature of the MacBook Pro 2015 is the selection of ports – on the right is a USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, and an SD card slot. On the left, there is a MagSafe connector, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a USB 3.0 port, and an audio jack. This is a decent mix of ports especially when compared with the 2016 model which has 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports and an audio jack which means you would require adapters every now and again.
The laptop has a smooth hinge, making it easy to open it with just one finger although it has a plastic hinge cover compared with the 2016 model which has an aluminum one and is more durable. It has a 2880 x 1800 resolution screen with a retina display, delivering gorgeous colors and a very sharp image.
The version of the mid-2015 MacBook we reviewed was an Intel Core i7 (2.3GHz) with 16GB of RAM and Intel Iris Pro graphics. The speakers on this device are phenomenal, producing crystal clear audio without any distortion. The keyboard is very nice and fast although would require more pressure to type on them. It uses a force touch trackpad so there’s no physical click and the trackpad detects how much pressure you put on to it, giving you feedback meant to simulate a physical click. It’s one of the smoothest trackpads out there.
Performance of this device was pretty good when it came to carrying out certain tasks. Editing videos on this device was seamless despite the absence of a GPU; the quad-core processor and the iris pro graphics made this possible. The gaming performance is good, and you would play most video games just fine on this device. Performance on Photoshop was very smooth, and the machines retina display contributes to the kind of work you can create, with excellent color accuracy. It runs Adobe Premier just as fine although it could have been a lot better with the presence of a GPU.
What’s new in 2016?
Compared to the 2016 model, the MacBook Pro 2015 is heavier and slightly thicker. The 2016 model also feels sturdier, and with the butterfly mechanism implemented into the keyboard. You don’t get as much travel when typing, making typing on it a great experience. Also, the 2016 model comes with the touch bar and runs on Stanwyck architecture which are the 6th generation of Intel processors compared with the fourth generation on the 2015 model.
Overall, the 2015 MacBook Pro is a premium device which would handle about any task seamlessly. It is light to carry around and is very modern. However, the device seems to throttle under heavy use due mainly to the fans kick-starting only until the last minute although the vents at the bottom still do an excellent job of spreading the heat. In conclusion, a great device and you don’t have to sell your MacBook just yet to buy a newer one. You can easily expect a couple of years of good use and save a few hundred bucks.