MacBook 2015/2017, MacBook Pro 2017 (15"), MacBook Pro 2018 (15")
I have really liked the MacBook (12") from the first release around 2015. Solid laptop that is able to accomplish a lot of the day-to-day tasks (email, web, document and basic data work). The form-factor is very nice (small and portable) and with the release of the 2017 model (a 16GB option for RAM) it gave many hope that this machine could do much of was required for students, administrative professionals and educators expected — with the one drawback of a single USB-C port. I believe and used the MacBook exclusively until recently (about two months ago) and jumped ship to a 2017 MacBook Pro (15").
The screen size of the Pro was one big factor for me. Much of the work I had focused on was making some adjustments to a few aspects of out systems and the 12" screen was very cramped (and in some cases just did not display everything without scrolling from side to side or top to bottom. The dedicated graphic card, the i7 Processor (vs the lower power model mobile processor in the MacBook) provided a nice boost to the efficiency of my day-to-day work. The weight of the machine is noticeable but carrying around a 15" laptop vs a 12" is dramatic when tucking it under an arm.
I continued to question the timing of the purchase since many expected Apple to update some of their product line. Sure enough, early in July, the 2018 MacBook Pro was released.
A follow up will be posted shortly following some daily use of the newer model MacBook Pro.
The initial reports and reviews made me feel that the bump was not that big of a deal. A number of reports came in reporting issues with throttling of the processor due to heat issues. After about a week, Apple released a firmware update to address this issues and the reports from the professional users have been glowing.
The new model is capable of 32GB RAM with an i9 processor thought this is a build to order machine running in the range of $3500. Apple also heard the issues and complaints of the MacBook and MacBook Pro users and addressed some of the issues with the butterfly keyboard that was problematic with the smallest bit of debris getting into or under the keyboard could cause key-press failure or repeated keys. The new model is also said to be substantially quieter when typing due to the membrane that helps protect against debris getting into the case. The processing speed now as a point where i7, i9, 16GB or 32GB does not matter a lot in the daily use of a device.
For many (students, professionals or admin), the MacBook with an external monitor will work very well for their daily life. For professionals looking for programming, graphic or processing power, the MacBook Pro is without a doubt a formidable machine.