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Windows 10 on MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is surprisingly fun… and good!

Is running Windows 10 on a dual-boot late-2016 MacBook Pro fun or garbage? I've been experimenting over the last few weeks and here are my thoughts

In a recent tutorial, I demonstrated how easy it is to install Windows 10 on a new MacBook Pro. While many people are still tied to Apple's ecosystem ergo macOS there's no reason why users can dip their toe into the world of Microsoft and dual-booting with Windows 10.

How is using a late-2016 13-inch MacBook Pro with Redmond's latest and greatest OS? I've been moonlighting with the controversial laptop for a few weeks now to share my perspective as a dedicated Windows user. Here is what I've learned!

So, how is it?

I'll probably catch a lot of flak for this, but I like Windows 10 on the new MacBook Pros. I think it's silly to deny the quality of Apple's hardware and manufacturing techniques. When combined with a more modern OS (in my opinion) like Windows 10 I think the combo is rewarding and much better than expected.

Of course, I would never advise you buy a MacBook Pro just to use Windows 10. Something like the HP Spectre x360, Dell XPS 13, or a Surface in most cases is significantly cheaper, come with a better selection of ports, have nicer displays, and offer neat things like facial recognition or flip to become tablets.

Still, Windows 10 on a 13-inch MacBook Pro (2880x1800; though Windows for some reason recommends 2560x1600) is more than fine. Sure, there's no touch screen, but personally, that is not something that bothers me although I get that for some users this is a deal breaker. Fair enough. I will point out that because there is no digitizer the display is sharp, bright, and has an excellent color gamut. Plus, like the Surface series it has a less-wide aspect ratio (16:10), which I prefer (seriously, I think PC manufacturers need to go to 3:2 or 16:10 at least).

Battery life is on par with most Ultrabooks in this category, and I can get 6 to 8 hours depending on some settings.

While I agree that the new 'Butterfly' mechanism for the keyboard and very low key travel is different, I surprisingly do not hate it. In fact, I type just fine on it and sometimes even prefer it. I do agree though that it's a very divisive feature amongst users and one that you either get used to or you will forever loathe. I find that result surprising if only because mentally I was prepared to hate Apple's new keyboard design, but I don't.

MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Force Touch Trackpad is stupidly huge on the new MacBook Pros. Being able to click through something as you can in macOS understandably doesn't work in Windows 10 (there's no function for it to perform anyway), but the solid-state trackpad does "click" as expected through its "taptic engine". While not the best out-of-the-box experience on Windows, Apple still does make very good trackpads that feel great. I'd still recommend installing something Trackpad++ to bring back gesture support and more configuration options. Overall, the trackpad experience with a MacBook Pro is shockingly still better than some PCs, but far behind something like Microsoft's optimized Surface Book.

Turning to ports… what's there to say? The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has four USB Type-C ports, all supporting Thunderbolt 3. There's no SD card slot, no HDMI, or anything else besides a headphone jack. Despite the angry blowback and #donglegate controversy, how much an all-Type-C machine bothers you will vary on your daily habits. Is it weird that for my daily use I don't mind an all-Type-C layout? I do not deny people have qualms with Apple's decision, and I get how it's a deal breaker for many, but in my case, it's not a problem. At least for PC users, we have a choice though for laptops, manufacturers, and models. Those tied to Apple have none, hence the greater outrage, which is understandable.

What about the Touch Bar and Touch ID?

The new MacBook Pros (all except the low-end 13-inch version) come with Apple's somewhat gimmicky Touch Bar and Touch ID for fingerprint logins.

Both systems are optimized for macOS, but Apple does provide fundamental drivers for Windows 10 to at least use the Touch Bar. Here is what you get:

  • Escape key
  • Brightness Up and Brightness Down
  • Keyboard Brightness Up and Brightness Down
  • Skip Back, Play/Pause, Skip Forward
  • Mute, Volume Down, Volume Up

Missing, of course, are important things like Print Screen. To get to the useful function keys you just hold down the FN button and the Touch Bar will show F1-F12. You can also set the function keys to display be default instead of the media and system keys, which is a nice nod.

However, unlike in macOS you the Touch Bar never changes based on the app being used and those functions are non-configurable. In other words, those are static, presets that never change. The LED lights that power the Touch Bar do turn off after defined user time though to save battery.

Unfortunately, the Touch ID also does not work with Windows 10. That's interesting if only because Windows 10 natively supports fingerprint readers for bio-authentication, but Apple would presumably need to write a driver for their Bootcamp tools to let that happen and they have not. While it is conceivable that Apple could make that happen (and take advantage of the Force Touch trackpad), the odds that they will devote any resources to that end are very small.

The Touch Bar, while limited, works quite well, even if it's just duplicating buttons here. Notably, the slider option you get for screen brightness and volume in the Touch Bar no macOS did not make the transition to Windows 10 on the MacBook.

Keeping on those updates

Apple has been good with software updates. Initially, there was a severe audio issue with the new MacBook Pros and drivers that could cause the speakers to get physically damaged. That was quickly patched, and an even newer update was just released with the following improvements:

  • Improves the automatic adjustment of keyboard brightness in low-light settings
  • Fixes an issue that may cause the computer to wake up without user interaction
  • Resolves an issue where speaker tuning may become disabled
  • Corrects an issue that limited audio output levels of the built-in speakers
  • Improves 5GHz frequency connections when using 802.11n WiFi routers

Sure, as mentioned earlier it'd be neat for Apple to enable Touch ID and Force Trackpad support, but at least they keep the drivers fresh.

Combined with the extreme compatibility of Windows 10 and modern hardware it all works quite well 'out of the box.'

Performance: This ain't half bad

Regarding speed and performance, the top-end 13-inch MacBook Pro is excellent as Apple uses exceptional SSDs and Iris graphics. Here are some benchmarks on storage performance:

CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)

Razer Blade (960 EVO)2079 MB/s1809 MB/s
MacBook Pro 13 (2016)1549 MB/s1621 MB/s
Spectre x360 5121332 MB/s589 MB/s
Surface Studio 1TB1327 MB/s512 MB/s
XPS 13 (9360) 2561287 MB/s794 MB/s
Surface Book 1TB1018 MB/s967 MB/s

As you can see, Apple's SSD and motherboard setup allow for some very high read and write speeds out of the box. While you cannot upgrade the MacBook Pro's SSD, there is little reason you would need to unless you want more storage.

Even though it's "only" a Core i5 processor, Apple uses the more powerful 28W version in the Touch Bar models, compared to the 15W versions found in almost all Windows Ultrabooks. Customers, however, can also customize their MacBook Pro during ordering and for an extra $300 get a more powerful Core i7 version of the 28W processor. (In real life that means a Core i5 (6267u) in the MacBook Pro with Windows 10 performs as well as a Core i7 (7500u) Ultrabook like the XPS 13 or even Surface Book:

Geekbench 4.0 Benchmarks (Higher is better)

DeviceSingle CoreDual Core
Surface Studio420013323
Razer Blade 14377412638
XPS 13 (9360) Core i741207829
Spectre x360 Core i741007469
Apple MBP 13 (2016; 28W)40277802
Surface Book Core i739487415

And that's just in this 13-inch model. The 15-inch MacBook Pro can be configured with a quad-core Intel Core i7 running at 2.9GHz (with boosting up to 3.8Ghz).

For the GPU Apple uses the Skylake-based Intel Iris Graphics 550, which is more performant than the Intel HD graphic system found in most Windows Ultrabooks. Intel Iris is still far below a dedicated NVidia GPU like the GTX-965m found in the Surface Book with Performance Base, but it is much faster than the standard Surface Book with integrated HD20 graphics.

Geekbench 4.0 Graphics OpenCL (Higher is better)

Surface Book GTX 965M64108
Apple MBP 13 (2016; Iris)31022
XPS 13 (9350) Iris26436
XPS 13 (9360) HD62019410
Surface Book HD52018197

Opting for the 15-inch MacBook Pro throws in a dedicated GPU in the form of an AMD Radeon Pro 455 with 2GB of VRAM, or for $100 more a Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB VRAM. The best-configured model scores around 43,000 on GeekBench's GPU test — far better than integrated graphics, but far behind the Surface Book's last-generation NVIDIA GPU.

Better than expected

Overall, the late-2016 MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar is an accomplished machine dominating single-core tests, while unsurprisingly falling behind a quad-core i7 device like the Razer Blade in multi-core scenarios.

Factor in the GPU and the MacBook Pro performs far below a Surface Book with Performance Base or Razer Blade, but it easily bests any Windows Ultrabook without a dedicated GPU.

When combined with decent battery life, a high-quality display, excellent speakers, and good build quality it's not hard to understand why people put Apple's hardware on a pedestal.

Perhaps it's surprising to you, dear reader, that I didn't lambast the glaring deficiencies with the MacBook Pro like ports, the butterfly keyboard, or lack of touch display? My habits are unique, and I've stated numerous times that touch, inking, and a bevy of ports are not my priorities for computing. Writing, multi-tasking, getting good battery life, and ideally excellent performance are what I am concerned with these days. Putting Windows 10 on the MacBook Pro along with Trackpad++ for better gesture support and I think the experience is impressive.

Running Trackpad++ greatly helps in the transition from macOS to Windows 10

That's not to say I would recommend the MacBook Pro over any high-end Windows 10 Ultrabook. On price alone, there are far better options in that category that not only will save you some cash, but you get more features in return. Still, I think it's exciting that those tied to the macOS world can install Windows 10 on their machines and get a solid experience. That is, after all, how you get people to switch. If Windows 10 on a MacBook Pro was terrible Windows fans might laugh with condescension, but that experience may also prevent a future switcher from jumping ship.

How to put Windows 10 on a MacBook Pro (late-2016)

Finally, as a testament to how well HP, Dell, Lenovo, and even Microsoft are doing for PC hardware, I can at least say that in 2017 Apple is not the only game in town when it comes to building a quality laptop. I think PC manufacturers still have room for improvement, but that gap is quickly closing, and that competition is good for everyone — even Apple.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • I can't believe you did this!!! But still an interesting read. I probably want an Apple product much less now than 10 minutes ago so this didn't sway me at all!
  • A good way to reuse old hardware though. I'm looking forward to the follow on articles, 'Running OSX on a Surface' and the big one, 'Running Windows 10 on an iPhone'.
  • The thing is, I don't know how many of us readers care about these things. After all, we are pursuing the Windows 10 ecosystem and look for news on it. No one would do this outside an expensive experiment. Also, it feels as if an Apple fan site posted the benefits of building Hackintosh machines. Dunno, I fail to see the point.
  • Well, with a Hackintosh you get a Mac but with good hardware. With an iPhone conversion (I can dream...) I would have an upgrade path from my L930 next month (since Alcatel are being so carp at getting their phone into the shops in the UK for some reason).
  • You're just wrong on so many points I don't know where to start. For one, lots and lots of developers do this on a regular basis. Did you ever stop to ask why Apple includes in macOS Boot Camp to install Windows 10 and have supported/updated it for years? Think about it. Plenty of devs need to work in both environments so the question of "Well, how is Win10 on the new MBP?" suddenly becomes a very valid one. Second, as an Apple user you may be thinking of switching to Windows 10. Instead of buying a PC and taking the risk you can just load of Win10 and try it at your lesiure to see if you even like it. If you do, you take the next step and get a new PC. Third, some Mac users just want to PC game. This solves that problem. Fourth, some people have jobs that require them to own/use a MBP. They may prefer PC. Again, problem solved for them with this guide. So, to your point about " I don't know how many of us readers care about these things" it's actually quite a lot. Even the views on YouTube for this video are higher than average because of interest. You mention people that "look for news on it (Win10)" yeah, but a lot of traffic is via search, not front-page. Again, I'm not 100% interested in catering to hardcore Windows 10 users who visit our homepage every day. I'm interested in winning over the Mac guy who is thinking about Windows 10 and does a simple Google search asking "how is Windows 10 on the do I install it". I hope that makes things clearer.
  • Can you name a Job that would require it's employees to own/use a MBP and the reason to it? No hate, just curiosity =)
  • I use to own a AV and home automation company, and there was virtually no home automation tools for Mac. Eventually one company (Savant) did, but you can't program the systems without windows. Want to calibrate a projector using Mac OS? Nope! Even outside that arena most non-student, MacBook owners I know all run parallels or bootcamp.
  • The jobs in Apple. :p
  • My friends company has about 100 employees. They all use Mac's. Sad very sad but it works for them.
  • I can't name a job but when I was in college some students were required to have Mac.
  • My company issues all developers a MBP whether they use OSX or Windows. They probably got a bulk discount on them at one point, It probably also save on IT costs to have a single "known good quality" hardware platform for 90% of your employees raher than deal with dozens of different PC vendors.
  • You were too harsh on him there Daniel 🙂 But all your points are valid. This attempt isnt new at all !
  • I disagree. While I have no use for Mac OSX, I can see that some people may need to use both OS's, and installing Windows 10 on their MacBook would definitely make things easier than having two devices since you can't install OSX on other devices.
  • Really? I disagree. I think I can install OSX on other devices.
  • You can install MacOS on other hardware, but it's far from trivial, especially considering that you need specific hardware and a copy of the software. Then every time there is an upgrade, you roll the dice on something breaking. A hackintosh is a fun hobby, but the money you saved will likely get lost in the time troubleshooting. Last I checked, that's essentially what the dedicated hackintosh sites will tell you. 
  • Good luck with that. It makes installing Windows, Linux, even Android on "other devices" a breeze. OSX isnt made for or designed to install on "other devices" so its challenging to do so. Unless you know that world really well, which you probably do. But for most people its not an option. 
  • Possible, but apparently difficult and by-design because installing Mac OS on non-Apple hardware breaks its EULA.
  • Yep. I never said it would be easy. Very definitely a fiddler's choice. But I am indeed an inveterate fiddler. Bit odd that someone decided to vote my comment down for it. Made me chortle.
  • I'd forget about dual boot and just wipe out the mac OS. If only you could change the apple to a Windows logo.
  • Etsy and other sites have stickers you can put over the Apple logo on the lid, at least.
  • Have you seen that bath fitter commercial? I would need a laptop fitter if I had to carry around an idevice.
  • Looks like you had fun dan. Interesting that touch bar worked. How long until f keys are replaced?
  • Why would you want to do this? unless you are a developer i suppose i can see some uses....
  • I have an audio editing software that I use that is sadly PC only. The podcast network I work with on editing projects uses it so it is a necessary program to share projects between editors. Having both MacOS and Windows on my late 2014 MacBook Pro has been very nice. Best Windows machine I've owned to this point without needing to worry about firmware or driver issues. I used to laugh at the "It just works" quotes Apple fans always throw out there, but from my experience and needs, it is true. I just wish I would have had the extra $ at the time to get the 512GB storage option instead of the 256GB I have.
  • "Why would you want to do this?"
    (1) Curious about Windows 10 (2) Thinking of switching to Windows 10 (3) Want to play PC games and use Steam (4) Being a developer (5) Because you can
  • My wife uses Windows 10 exclusively on a Macbook Pro Retina that I gave her. She's never used or booted into OS X, all the software she needs as a teacher runs on Windows only anyway and she's happy with that. I originally had the Macbook Pro before a Surface Pro 3 because I wanted a machine with certain specs and there was no ultrabook at the time that had what I needed. We used them within the business with Windows running in Parallels (Where we did all development), but my wife uses it in Bootcamp straight into Windows 10 as default. Many reasons to do it, and nothing new. People have ran OS X on Windows for years, like you say and Apple fully support it with drivers. Surprised so many people have a problem with it.
  • I would say 70-75% of mac owners run windows via bootcamp on their macs. They just lie and say they don't....ha ha. Windows works great on mac machines...BUUUUTTTTT touchscreen is so much better than marginally better build quality that a REAL windows based device is 10 times better than a MacBook running any OS.
  • Dream a little with me. Imagine yourself sitting in a coffee shop, with this mac/Pc hybrid. So you pull a Xbox elite controller, plug it in and start playing games. Then everybody would be like "wow, what the fudge? That guy is playing on a Mac?! How's that?". Then you just summon Cortana, and ask "what do you think about siri?". Everybody's minds would blown away. So to finish them all off, you would take an windows logo sticker and place it right on top of the apple, and quietly speak "you have been reborn"
  • No one would care.
  • You would be surprised. On the campus at U of Michigan, people are actually amazed at things like that. Students are always looking for different things. They usually go by what they see and hear. If people say get a Mac because Apple makes great things but then they have a hard time connecting to the school wifi because of it, the want solutions. Something like this would solve the issue of many students. Now apply that to all schools and the workforce. There are people looking to do this. Also taking a Mac and plugging an Xbox controller into it to play PC games that they can't on MacOS turns heads. May not be for you but the scenario mentioned is a likely one, minus that windows sticker part lol.
  • Actually, the sticker part is because I got busy and couldn't think about other things lol
  • I wonder how someone who has a MacBook with stickers all over it would feel if I slapped a Windows logo over the Apple logo.
  • I would pay to see their reaction lol
  • I have a Macbook that work gave me (which I rarely use but whatever) and it has a windows sticker over the Apple logo, since while I rarely boot it, when I do it's always to Windows, never OSX.
  • Haha this is the truth, why would anybody give a crap? I certainly wouldn't and I doubt the general population in a Starbucks would even be paying attention to some random person
  • I'm curious to the Xbox controller scenario (let alone the gaming capabilities of a Mac). Do they even come with full size USB ports or would this require the usual array of adapters?
  • Not sure about the latest models. Some are USB-C only I believe but that's nothing to do with being a Mac, the next Surface Pro may only support USB-C for all we know. Macbooks have had regular USB ports for a long time, MacBook airs too
  • I feel like this article had too much "This doesn't work but that's ok because it was meant for macOS." This setup isn't for me but if it works for you, attaboy.
  • I thought the whole "Better than expected" reached a different conclusion.
  • A welcome article. Almost all people I knew using Mac install Windows, for specific things they can't do with their Mac, e.g. Playing some games.
  • As a former long time mac book pro user.. This is very true, but in my case softweare i needed for IT classes didn't have a MacOS vaarient(packet tracer,vshphere,etc). Found my self in windows more than OSX.  Sold my mac and got a surface instead. 
  • So can you dock these to a desktop setup (monitor, keyboard, mouse) via a thunderbolt dock with a single cable? And if so, does scaling work well in that case, does everything look good and work well?  
  • Yup, it just has some cropped sides. You can change the resolution to 2560x1440 to get it "full screen" on the external display assuming you are running a regular 16x9 PC display. Works well though, no issues AFAIK. Just tried it.
  • Awesome, thanks for trying!
  • I can't believe this, have we really been reduced to covering apple products, I thought that's what imore was for.....its sad that we are running out of stories for our platform, may as well have redirect links to
  • Your tears taste delicious. But seriously, you're being hyperbolic. We're a Microsoft/Windows site. Asking how to install Windows on a MBP or how well it runs is a valid question. Maybe not for you, but this site isn't called "What Wilson Blaze wants to hear today!". The question is do others find value in this? I think they do. That's all that matters.
  • Not to mention that MS is a cross-platform company now. There's testing Windows on a Mac, and there's also things like testing Office365, and MSN apps on MacOS and iOS. MS has made other platforms part of their business!
  • This is no hyperbole, it speaks of a dying platform and I hate it. Maybe you should care about what Wilson Blaze wants to hear, because when fans like me go the way of msft employees meaning they don't know that windows 10 mobile exists, then you have less ppl to write for. Not being facetious, just being honest. If windows phone had a strong core of apps and windows 7.5 and 8.x weren't abandoned and told to deal with it by way of their pocket book perhaps we would have more than 1% market share and ppl that want to dev for the system.
  • Cool story
  • Also from an ambient user perception standpoint, talking of using Apple products is just plain giving money to Apple ("mind share" or market share, it works together). Dunno, it's his site, he can write whatever he feels about and he does. Some people might care for this stuff, of course, but I don't.
  • I am surprised that so many people have a problem with this. The days of Microsoft vs Apple are over. Microsoft makes Windows, which can run on ARM, x86, x64, phones, tablets, desktops, hololens, laptops, hybrids, raspberry pis, and even Macs. And it runs well on them.
  • If the company I worked for gave me a MacBook for work, this article would apply to me. That's the case for many others. Hardware is one thing, but installing Windows 10 on it is getting back into the Microsoft Ecosystem obviously. Does it matter if you bought a laptop with linux but installed Windows 10 on it? At the end of the day, it become hardware to run the operating system this website covers.
  • Granted, though one of the reasons why people are supposed to buy Macs is precisely that they are the only ones which run Mac OS. So if you need both OS choices, you need to do this sort of thing, but otherwise (out of personal preference, of course) I always think it makes more sense to just have a Windows 10 laptop. They are really good now, it's not 2005 anymore.
  • Many of the articles I see on iMore are about iPhone 8 rumours (because the current models just aren't good enough to cover), games available for macOS/iOS, or trying to sell you cases or other things. Personally, I think this article was an interesting read.  "Hey, here's some hardware from the enemy. Let's put our favourite OS on it!"
  • I find the amount of people that are genuinely offended by an article that enables more users on windows 10 staggering. I don't usually reduce myself to comments such as these, but holy crap there's a lot of one-dimensional dumb people that follow WC.
  • if i payed that amount of money for macbook pro with touch bar i wouldn't install windows 10 on it, if you want windows 10 get windows 10  2in1 laptop
  • Exactly. SurfaceBook is better all round and its touchscreen and a tablet as well.
  • Cool. This is for Mac users thinking about switching, who want to try Windows 10, people who's job requires them to use a Mac (but they prefer PC) or who want to play PC games. It's not for you.
  • so wait he bought an expensive 2016 macbook pro with touch bar then suddenly he want to switch those who bought this laptop already know what they bought and those who want to play games knows that they should build a desktop or buy a console. 
  • Or they were given one by their employer as some jobs do. Or they're a developer and curious about how it all works. Or they want to game. I think you need to talk to actually Apple users more.
  • Daniel as Ron White said, "You can't fix stupid" Many posters just can't see past their very, very small piece of the computing world and need to think their use case covers the majority of users. 
  • You can see this mentality on the latest Cortana Ad that Microsoft put on YouTube. So many commenters there didn't understand the point of it was to push Cortana, and they showed it is cross platform by having the guy use an Android Phone - So many people triggered by the fact he wasn't using a Windows Phone - They didn't understand that W10M users already know they have Cortana, many Android users don't have any idea Cortana is on their platform too - It was an ad to push the use of Cortana, nothing to do with Windows 10 Mobile in any way whatsoever. They don't get it though and Windows 10 Mobile is dead to them because an Android phone was in an advert that aimed to turn Android PC users to using Cortana over the Google Assistant
  • There is nothing wrong with running Win10 on a MBP I do it on my work computer since they forced a one on me. But as long as you don't run OSX, I have tried, seriously tried it. But, contrary to what they want you to believe, it is just downright unfriendly to use, not good for power users (it doesn't need to focus on power users, but at least support it) and the Apple restrictions to fit into their walled garden show though over and over again. I thought about getting the MBP 15" and installing Win10 so I can get the HQ CPU, but with the intro of the new XPS 15, and the price of the MBP pushed it off the top of the list. Now we just need the new XPS 15 review from this site.
  • Seems totally backwards. Why use a Macbook Pro? It has a touch bar instead of a full touchscreen. A worse quality picture image and you cant detach the screen. Just buy a Surfacebook. For the price tour getting a better laptop and a better Tablet than it would cost you to get a Macbook Pro and the latest Ipad.
  • Apple was asked about touch screens on their laptop, and they said that it didn't work because OSX wasn't friendly with touch. So rather than trying to fix OSX, they just said they were not going to do it. I use touch all the time on my Windows laptops, and I even have a desktop touch screen. I have a MacBook for work and am always tapping on the screen, and then get frustrated when it doesn't work.
  • You're really asking the wrong question. Some people's jobs require them to use a MBP. And they may not like it and prefer Windows. Or, maybe you're a lifelong Mac user curious about Windows 10. Or, maybe you want to try some PC games. Like a lot of readers here you see the world only from the perspective of someone using PC 24/7. This article isn't about those people.
  • This I get. I was looking purely from the perspective of buying one to use it for Windows 10. But I understand if a person's company has bought one. I mean their can't be many. OSX only has a 4% market share in 2016. It's amazing how Apples hardware was considered the best years ago. Now they aren't even in the top 3 laptops of 2016.
  • I find the most interesting part of this the benchmarks. I would expect a 28W processor to blow 15W processors out of the water, even with i5 vs i7. The graphics benchmark is also very surprising, especially their GPU choices. I wouldn't have expected the Surface Book to be able to compete so well with MacBook Pros. I'm very surprised the Surface Book can compete with the 13-inch's CPU and best the 15-inch's GPU. I wonder if Apple ran into thermal problems with their new designs. That to me would be the main explanation to their limited processing capabilities on the 13-inch and limited graphics capability on the 15-inch. I do like that they are going towards all thunderbolt 3 ports though. It might seem like an inconvenience now, but Apple always goes towards the future first. It is exactly what the industry needs to kickstart the development of peripherals to utilize thunderbolt and USB-C. Give it a few years and there will be more things sold USB-C than not, and that's an overall good thing for the industry. My wife uses Macs and I use Windows, so it gives me an interesting perspective. I used to hate on Macs all the time, but she has helped show me the value in their hardware and engineering design, as well as hardware and software synchronicity. Windows machine have been getting better on all fronts, modern Windows laptops at similar, or now lower, price points to macs have IMO equivalent hardware levels: trackpad, materials, weight vs battery life, etc. They have also gotten better hardware-software synchronicity with Microsoft's precision trackpads, touchscreens, inking, etc. It honestly disappoints me that Apple didn't go further with their new MacBook Pros. They used to be a great thing of no tradeoffs yet great design, light, and lightning quick. Now it seems they are doing tradeoffs to get thinner and lighter, which is not what the pro in their name says should be the case. Either way, I will continue buying Windows PCs and my wife will continue to buy Macs (she does end up having windows on them with parallels or bootcamp). There is good and bad in both, and I'm happy to see that Macs are not some of the best windows PCs, as they were 5 years ago. I do hope they step up their game with hardware to compete with the likes of the Surface Book and other windows machines for the sake of Mac lovers. You shouldn't have to sacrifice graphics and CPU power that you need just because someone decided they wanted their machine to be thinner, lighter and more stylish.
  • Daniel, I appreciate your objective look into this topic. Although I may never personally end up using this (depending on future jobs and computers and such), it is very interesting to see how it works out! It is good to see that all the features (besides the touch-id) work at a basic level. I'm glad Apple is still supporting Windows at a basic level on their machines, it shows just how far they have come from their entirely closed ecosystem. I would like to see if third-party developers can do something with the touchbar, just like you suggest using their prowess with the trackpad. Macs are great machines, and if you need one for whatever reason, its good to see that you can use windows on it, and it not be completely half-assed! With touchID, it might not be that simple for them to get it to work with Windows Hello, even if they wanted too. It appears that it uses specialized hardware that is taken from the iPhone to store and authenticate fingerprints. If this is too far off from how Windows Hello authenticates, it could be physically impossible to integrate the 2 systems, no matter how much you wanted too. Now if they could somehow get the systems to work together, that would be incredible! But as you mentioned, I doubt they will put forth the effort, no matter how easy, as they want people to stick with MacOS.
  • In all fairness to Apple, they have supported Windows on Mac computers since they migrated to Intel processors in 2005. Before that they didn't really have an option other than emulators given that Windows did not have a PowerPC version.
  • Win10 can be installed on MB pro, but Win 10 mobile cannot be installed on iPhone! What does it take? A jail broken iPhone?
  • I used Macs for many years and in the days of HDDs using BootCamp was the only way to run Windows productively on those machines but it wasn't always a painless experience with buggy drivers, lacking support for some hardware and so on. Glad to see it is not the case anymore. However, as soon as I got my first Mac with an SSD though I stopped doing that and used Parallels to run Windows on a VM where the support is even better, I could run MacOS and Windows at the same time and could move my Windows install from machine to machine easily. That until I lost interest in MacOS and switched to Windows machines. That said, if I had the need for MacOS again today, I'd definitely buy a Mac computer and run OS X as host and Windows 10 in a VM again. Most flexible setup I found when needing to work cross-platform.
  • As much as I hear that there is no need for touch screen on a pc or laptop, now that I've had it for so long and I go to use something with a standard monitor, I find myself over and over, reaching for the screen in situations that my mind just thinks its faster to tap the screen. Once you get use to it, it is hard to do without.
  • It is a great laptop, but for the price, I would go for something else. Still, it's good to see an interesting review on it.
  • After the Creators Update, using MacBook Pro to run W10 will become even less attractive.  Touch screen, pen and Surfae Dial will make W10 much more demanding and useful, unless you have to use Mac for some reasons. 
  • No one is installing Windows on a Mac in order to avoid the form factors that are more conducive to the desired usage paradigm that Microsoft is after with its own hardware and upcoming Creators Update.  For those who choose to do so, using Macs to run Windows is not about attractiveness - it's about necessity for the distinct individual who also wants or needs to also have macOS as inexpensively as possible;  So, instead of buying an at least $1500 Mac AND at least an $800 Surface Pro or better, the Mac owner need only purchase a Windows license for $119 or $199. People who do use Windows on a Mac are unlikely to be doing so hoping for the Creators Update. They just need Windows for more routine things that can only or be better done in Windows.
  • I think to many readers I see in the comments dont understand the concept of dual boot (2 Operating systems on one piece of hardware.. You choose which to boot into). While Dan's article does specifically say in the header its dual-boot I think people skipped over that... For a Mac user this is essentially have your cake and eat it too. The ability to have access to both ecosystems is essential to many users... Not for me but nice just the same for those that do need it.
  • I've always felt that Apple makes some really great hardware as far as PCs are concerned, it would really be in their best interests to make the Windows 10 on Mac experience as smooth as possible, because they've already sold you the hardware, so why not make whatever OS you choose to run with it run well?
  • Putting windows 10 on a macbook is equivalent to smearing dung all over a ferarri just to see how it looks or if it runs any better.  
  • MacBook ain't a Ferrari anymore. It's not even in the top 5 laptops these days. MacBook is nowadays more like the Alfa Romeo. It thinks its good because it has an Apple logo. The same way an Alfa Romeo thinks it's great because its an Italian designed car. Haha haha.
  • In your opinion only, but nobody could argue dung is still dung.
  • You have no speaker issues when running Windows 10 on it? I heard there's an audio bug that blew out & permanently damaged MacBook 2016 speakers when Windows 10 is booted up through Bootcamp. I'm not sure if Apple released a public statement about this..
  • He does mention it in the video, at 4:40.  Apple has released a patch that fixes this.  
  • Soz , the web page didn't load properly earlier , so I missed some parts of the written review and I haven't seen the video review yet. Thanks mate :)
  • I would never do this personally, but the inner nerd in me enjoyed the article. I used to have dual boot between windows 7 and Ubuntu on my desktop. Now I just use Windows 10.
  • Hi Dan, How about running parallels for mac ? 
  • In 2011 I bought an iMac because I wanted the best desktop/AIO hardware available at the time.  But I needed to run Windows apps for my work, so I dual-booted using BootCamp. Long story short, over time I stopped booting into OSX altogether -- Windows was just more satisfying to use.  When it came time to replace the iMac, I went with a dedicated Windows machine. Boot Camp on Mac OS is a system-seller -- for Windows.  Thanks for the article, Dan.
  • For many years the joke was that the best Windows laptop was the MacBook Pro running Windows on Bootcamp. The Mac platform has been surprisingly well suited for running windows, so much that Autodesk has some iMacs and Mac Pros listed as compatible for running 3DS Max, which is a heavy hitter in CPU and GPU requirements. Nowadays we have more compelling offerings from other vendors so the MacBook Pros running Windows are a nice alternative for those of us who do software development and need to jump across platforms on a daily basis (multiple times a day) when it's not so feasible to carry 2 computers to work from Starbucks.
  • "buy a real one." :D I love it
  • Makeup on a pig
  • Wouldn't it be interesting if someone made a touch bar app that mirored/replaced the task bar?
  • IM sure that could be done easily. But why? You have the entire screen to use and control your software. Therefore you don't need a "touchbar" type experience. It (the touchbar) was designed to somehow try to prove that MacOS does not need a touchscreen. However, its clear that touchscreen is far superior than the touchbar.
  • Great post.  I found that windows 10 runs really well on macs as well, having put it on a 2014 air.  The only issue i have is the trackpad.  Having been a mac user, the default bootcamp drivers suck, and while trackpad ++ makes it much much better (support the dev!) its still not nearly as smooth as the trackpad is in MacOS.  I really really wish and hope that either apple or windows buckles down and makes drivers that are just as fluid for the trackpad on windows 10.
  • Too funny, Rene on imore is in a corner Cranking one out over this article. He thinks that Daniel is saying that MacOS and MacBook pros are better than the Windows based machines with touchscreen, 2 in 1 devices etc. ha ha.....
  • I have an older mac mini I boot camped Win10 on. First Apple made installing Windows really easy and idiot proof. That being said, It runs really well considering it is older hardware. Super stable makes a great HTPC. 
  • For the few days I kept the new 2016 MacBook, I found Windows 10 to run better than OSX.  I had a number of rainbow wheels and stalls on the OSX side but everything was flawless on the Windows side.  I found ZERO benefit with the toolbar and never wanted to look down at the keyboard.  It really is a gimmick in an effort to not make a touch screen laptop or operating system.
  • agreed Tuzzanti. IT is really a joke...and something to pacify the apple lemmings into thinking their touchbar is better than a full touchscreen.....obviously not true!
  • Dan -- Where'd you get that wallpaper from the feature image with all the brush strokes or fibers or whatever they are?
  • While I would never argue about the Macs build quality, I do question the design decision of soldering on the SSD which   you seem to blow off.  As a long time Apple owner I have had the need on more than one occasion to upgrade storage.  But the real problem is that if the computer fails you have no effective way to recover data.  If you fail to backup for any reason (e.g. traveling) you are done. The end result for me was a decision to buy an XPS 15 9560 which has great build quality, costs a lot less, and even runs Windows pretty well.
  • Welcome to apple....ANYWAY they can screw their customers out of more money....and do it their way, it's done. Like my iPhone playing music no matter what I do when I plug my phone into my car. I hate that...and theres no way to turn it off! my way or the highway.
  • Hi Dan, a great article. Some really interesting points made here.