Having lost my 17″ Macbook Pro from 2011 to the ravages of time, in december I bought a Macbook Pro 16″, the larger standard config, the one with 2.3 GHz CPU, Radeon 5500M 4 GB, 16 GB RAM, and 1 TB SSD. It’s a fantastic machine, and I was very happy with it. So, naturally, I gave it to my wife and ordered another one for myself, but this time a litte more pimped out; 2.4 GHz CPU, Radeon 5500M 8 GB, 32 GB RAM, and 2 TB SSD. I think that was a mistake.
I started out by migrating from the previous 16″ and almost immediately had a lot of problems. I couldn’t get Zoom to screenshare, couldn’t get ScreenFlow to see the screen, either. The problem was that they simply didn’t show up in the “Screen Recording” pane in system preferences. I also got system freezes at random times, plus kernel panics after sleep. At one point I had to long-press the power button to shut down and had to try for minutes to restart the machine.
At times, the keyboard lagged up to several seconds. Backlight got too dim or too bright a few times all on its own.
I reset the PRAM and the SMC, but that made no difference. I then completely wiped the machine and reinstalled the OS over the Internet, but still had several of the problems. The kernel panics persisted. In total, I reinstalled the OS three times from scratch after deleting the partitions but never got rid of those panics. Miscellaneous stuff didn’t install right, either. Retrospect client installed but the server couldn’t connect to the client at all, so I gave up those attempts, but a day or two after the last install, it suddenly worked. I have no idea why it didn’t work or why it suddenly started working.
As all this was unfolding, I was approaching the two week limit on sending the machine back, so I gave up and requested a return which went without a hitch. It’s the first time ever I’ve returned anything to Apple, and I’ve bought a lot of stuff from them over the last almost 20 years. I really hated to return it, but there were too many weird problems with it.
Around the same time that I returned it, I heard someone who should know, say that there have been an unusual number of unstable Macbook Pro 16″, in particular the “larger” configurations like mine. Even though it’s only hearsay, it makes me feel better about returning it and it would explain why the first one was so free of problems. But now I have another problem, namely: what do I do now?
I went back to my 11″ Air from 2014, but it’s a miserable experience after the 16″, so I ordered an iPad Pro 12.9″ with the Magic Keyboard and will try to use that, while doing text editing on my 2014 iMac. Since I edit RTF files in Nisus Writer Pro, I can’t do that on the iPad.
Now I’m waiting for Apple to update the 16″ so I can order one again and hope it’s more stable. If only it doesn’t take too long.