�When Apple released the new MacBook Pro I was extremely disappointed. Sure, the weight and the size of the laptop are incredible. But there were two things I was very unhappy about:1) The Touch Bar. Sure, it looks cool. But it seemed like a useless toy feature to me, a downgrade even from the function keys. I am a power user and the most important metric for me is productivity. Fixed keys have the advantage of, well, being fixed: you build muscle memory and can blindly adapt the brightness of the screen or change the volume. The idea that the function keys would now change with every single application, and that such frequent tasks as adapting the brightness would now take more effort than before, seemed like a nightmare to me.2) The new keyboard. For a researcher and programmer, the keyboard is probably the most important part of a laptop. It is essential for productivity. While I'm quite happy to sacrifice ports to get a laptop that's even lighter and thinner, I am unwilling to compromise when it comes to the keyboard. The new ""butterfly mechanism"" keyboard seemed very much like a compromise to me, to allow for an even thinner laptop. The keys have virtually no travel. I had tried it on several occasions in the Apple Store on the MacBook and was not impressed, to put it politely.Steve Jobs is dead, I said to myself. He was not a man of compromises. He would have never sacrificed an amazing keyboard, the interface between human and machine, for some extra millimeters in thinness and a flashy new toy bar. And let's face it: Apple makes their money with iPhones nowadays. MacBooks have become a niche product for Apple, they are inessential to their business.While the latter may be true, my judgement of the MacBook Pro was completely wrong. This is hands down the best laptop I have ever owned! Sure, the price is somewhat insane (I got a special deal and still payed $2120 for the 13'' version with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB storage). But if you are a power user like me and this is your work machine than the price is not an issue, provided the machine is really worth it. This laptop is worth every penny!My worries with regards to the Touch Bar turned out to be unfounded. Adjusting brightness or volume has in fact become even easier than before: the respective symbols are by default always present (no matter the application) and always in the same position, and to adjust them one simply touches the respective symbol and then slides right or left (like one would on a smartphone or tablet). While the slider appears in the middle of the touch bar (quite some distance away from the brightness and volume symbols), it works just fine to slide right on the respective symbol and it is not necessary to first lift the finger and find the slider. Just like I'm used from Apple, they payed attention to the detail here. They clearly anticipated this use case and optimized things for power users.But not only is the Touch Bar not annoying, it does in fact improve the user experience in many cases and is not just a toy! Here is my favorite example: I often listen to music in my web browser using SoundCloud. Until now pausing the music could be quite a hassle: one had to first switch apps, locate the appropriate tab in the browser, and then find the SoundCloud pause button. With the TouchBar, a little media symbol appears right next to the volume control (and stays there even as I switch to another app). I can press it and then pause the music or jump to another position in the track, right there without ever switching to Safari!I also couldn't have been more wrong in my judgement of the keyboard. This is a surprise to me, as I went to the Apple Store multiple times to try it. I didn't like it a single time. But after buying the MacBook Pro, I basically loved the keyboard immediately. There was no period of getting used to it. In fact it is a big improvement over previous keyboards, and now one of my favorite parts of the new laptop! (My previous laptop was a MacBook Air, mid 2012). I cannot quite explain why I didn't like it in the store, but maybe it wasn't actually the keyboard that was feeling awkward, but just the fact that I was standing while typing?Let me point out just a few more details that I find striking: My new 13'' MacBook Pro is significantly smaller than my old 13'' MacBook Air! (The weight is virtually the same) The performance is fantastic. In fact my laptop is faster than a fairly well-equiped desktop computer from Dell I have at work! The machine has no moving parts. Zero. This means there is no noise, ever. It also means you don't have to worry about data loss if you drop it. The screen! The case is now 100% metal, giving the machine an even higher feel of quality than previous models. The plastic apple and the plastic hinge (in the back) are gone.To summarize, this is the best laptop I have ever had (and the best laptop on the market, I believe)! I have had it for about a month now and I haven't found a single flaw, but instead plenty of pleasant surprises. The new TouchBar is not a toy, despite my initial skepticism - it actually improves the user experience and productivity. The keyboard, to my complete surprise, is the best I have ever had on a laptop. I was very skeptical with the new MacBook Pro, but I can now say with confidence that it is worth every penny. If you can afford it :)ADDENDUM: I completely forgot to mention the new fingerprint sensor (""Touch ID""). I was very pleasantly surprised when I ordered food on GrubHub last week and was able to pay using my fingerprint, right from Safari! A few other places where it can be used include: Apple Store And iTunes, System Preference, and LogIn. I also have a Numbers document that is password protected (my budget), and I can now use my fingerprint to unlock it.ADDENDUM II: My review is mistakenly tagged as referring to the 15'' model. I have the 13'' model with 16 GB RAM, 512 GB storage, and the 3.1 GHz Core i5. I purchased it (unopened And sealed) through eBay.