I have been using my 16-inch MacBook Pro for almost two months. I wanted to share some thoughts on the computer. For context, I updated from a 2012 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. I never had a computer with a butterfly keyboard. This is my first computer with a Touch Bar.

This machine is nice and fast. It compiles Unread about 1.9x as fast as my 2012 did.

I hear the fans spin up periodically, but they seem to spin up less frequently than they did on my 2012.

I initially felt indifferent to the keyboard. But now when I use the keyboard on my 2012 it feels a bit clunky to me. I do think the keyboard on the 2019 feels better than that on the 2012.

Thus far I have not used the Touch Bar much. I think this is primarily because my eyes are almost never focused on it. Its capabilities are discoverable, but I rarely look at the Touch Bar to discover them. Since I typically work at my desk with an external keyboard, it would be difficult for me to get into the habit of using the Touch Bar anyway. If Apple decides to push the Touch Bar forward, making an external keyboard with a Touch Bar would help.

I really appreciate Touch ID and Face ID on iOS devices. Touch ID is handy on the MacBook Pro, but I do not find it nearly as beneficial as I do Touch ID on iOS devices. I can type a password much faster on a MacBook Pro keyboard than on an iOS software keyboard, and if I am using an external keyboard I have to reach to tap the Touch ID button on the MacBook Pro.

Initially I was annoyed by the combination of switching to USB-C and the reduced number of ports. On my 2012 I would use the MagSafe connector for power, the Mini DisplayPort and the HDMI port to connect to two monitors, one USB port for my keyboard and mouse, and one USB port for an iOS device. After buying the right cables and adapters, I could connect everything to the four USB-C ports. Eventually I purchased a dock that allows me to connect my computer to everything on my desk by connecting one cable. The dock also allows me to connect to my network via ethernet and to connect to two iOS devices simultaneously. An additional benefit is that the Apple power cable and brick now reside in my backpack. When I need to go somewhere with my computer I can unplug the computer from the dock, put the computer in the backpack, and I am ready to go.

The major downside to this device is that I get occasional kernel panics when connecting to external displays (FB7493774). Some combination of disabling Automated Graphics Switching, setting Turn display off after to Never, and installing macOS 10.15.2 appears to have significantly reduced the frequency of these kernel panics, but I still see them about once a week. I hope Apple is able to address this with a software update soon.