No Touch Screen
If I only used Photoshop, I would probably go with the Surface Book or Surface Pro, but I don't, so I have to consider how this one fantastic feature would affect the rest of my use cases. Unfortunately, Apple thinks that Pen(cil) input is only good on a tablet, but their tablets currently don't run Photoshop, and while Lightroom Mobile is fantastic, it does not currently take advantage of their Pencil. One of those holes really needs to be filled in by Adobe, otherwise, photographers are forced to use other apps to get some sort of Pencil input.
As you can tell, I am always looking to be more efficient with my time on the computer. Whether it is the efficiency provided by a larger screen or a Touch Bar, I welcome it. I currently have an app called Alfred that you can run on an iOS device (it works with the Desktop app) that gives you quick access to websites, system preferences, etc. by pushing one button and it is awesome. The problem is that it is better to use alongside an iMac than something you want to use while sitting on the couch. Having more controls right on the keyboard has to be more efficient. Personally, I consider a gimmick a showy feature that doesn't serve a purpose. As a result, my impression is that the Touch Bar is not a gimmick, but only real world usage will answer that question.
Ports, Pricing and RAM
These laptops have 4 USB-C/thunderbolt 3 ports that will be awesome when more products come out to take advantage of those ridiculous speeds, but right now it makes it impossible to connect anything I own without an adapter. The other issue is that you can only get the MBP in a 16GB RAM configuration. I would love to have the option of 32GBs since I plan to own this laptop for several years.
The price is still very hard to swallow and I am not sure I would have gotten one if it wasn't so easy to spread the payments out for 18 months via their free financing deal with Barclays. For me, it makes it less of an upfront commitment of money (right before the Holidays) and I can take a few months to pay it off.
Another consideration is that I have an iPad Pro 9.7 and I can at least access Photoshop with the Asrtropad app while I wait for Adobe to update Lightroom Mobile so it works with Pencil input.
The other thing I looked at was Final Cut Pro vs Adobe Premiere Pro. I simply don't want to pay $20 a month for the rest of my life to use the software. With Final Cut, you pay $299 and it is yours. I haven't used either program, but from what I have read, Final Cut is more efficient (theres that word again). Also, I currently use iMovie and I think the transition to Final Cut will be more seamless. I have been testing Pinnacle Studio 20 on the Toshiba Laptop and it is buggy and crashes too often for my taste. I have a feeling Final Cut will run much better on the MBPs.
All that being said, this was a much more difficult decision than I thought it would be. The Surface Book looks pretty awesome, but for a similar configuration it costs about the same as the MBP and the main shortfall is that it runs Windows and the screen is smaller than I like. I would still love to try one out to see if the Pen input would change my mind, but if I am honest, I spend about 10 percent (if that) of my time in Photoshop and it isn't worth the sacrifice. However, I can understand why some people are sitting this one out and deciding to stick with their older Macs or are considering switching to Windows. My newest Mac is from 2011, so I have been sitting it out a while.
I will write an article after I get the MBP and use it for a while to describe how, or if, I am using the Touch Bar for more than TouchID.