On Oct 27th Apple announced their new MacBook Pro’s. People of the internet responded, well, in a disappointed and underwhelming way. Some even went as far as saying Tim Cook should step down as CEO of Apple. I, being an Apple user myself, was a bit disappointed but I was in no way wanting anyone’s head over the announcement. I definitely was expecting more from their top-tier laptops. Instead we got ‘meh’ and dongles.
Let’s see what people are upset about.
THUNDERBOLT 3 PORTS
The new MacBook Pro’s will only come with Thunderbolt 3 Ports. No HDMI. No USB. ONLY THUNDERBOLT 3 PORTS. You will use and be forced to use Thunderbolt 3 for everything including charging. But what if I need to connect to a TV or monitor in order to do a presentation? Most meeting rooms I have been to recently are still using HDMI. So, don’t forget to bring the dongle. What if I want to charge my current iPhone 6 or 7 even? Dongle it. Charge my Fitbit? Dongle! Kindle? Dongle! Pretty much until Thunderbolt 3 becomes heavily adopted you will be dongling it where ever you go. Better get a dongle carrying case.
I can see what Apple is trying to do. They are trying to force the industry towards Thunderbolt 3 adoption. I think it might be too soon to go full Thunderbolt 3. I heavily use all my USB ports and HDMI ports on my 2015 MacBook Pro daily. In fact, there are not enough USB ports for me that one USB port goes to an USB Hub so I can connect more devices that are needed. Printers, mouse, external HHD, etc. I am just not ready to jump full body into the Thunderbolt 3 world completely. Easing users in might have been better.
It made sense when they removed the disk-drive. It wasn’t so shocking when that occurred. Disk usage in general was going down and people accepted gladly.
Another problem I see is if you get the cheapest 13-inch model be warned. It will only come with 2 Thunderbolt 3 Ports. Reality is most of the time you will only have 1 free Thunderbolt 3 port available as one of the ports will most likely be charging your MacBook Pro.
The hardware upgrades on the new MacBook Pros are pretty underwhelming compared to last model. I’m not too impressed with the specs I see but for some reason not really surprised either. Apple has never really had specs that made me go ‘WOW’. I didn’t expect to see a GTX 1060 packed away inside. That really would have made me go “WOW”.
The RAM can only go up to 16 GB of DDR3. Not DDR4. It’s 2016 not 2012. DDR4 should have been given. Hell, the option to go 32 GB would have been nice too! Maybe next time?
Starting models for both the 13-inch and the 15-inch will start with 256 GB SSD. These days 256 GB SSD does not go very far. My current MacBook Pro has 256 GB and it is really annoying every once in awhile I have to find ways to free up space. I was really, really hoping the new MacBook Pro’s would start with 512 GB SSD. But I guess I’ll need to spend an extra $400 to bump it up. Bummer.
The processors are ok. Nothing ground breaking. Nothing really awesome. What they have fulfills my needs. The work I do isn’t so CPU intensive.
GPU? You won’t be playing Overwatch on this machine. Not that you could since it’s Windows only but if you could I’m sure you couldn’t get the proper frame rates to make it worth the attempt.
THE NEW TOUCHBAR
Apple has removed the F keys and replaced it with a new Touchbar, a new way to do certain commands within OSX. Some people call it gimmicky. If you watch the video I posted it looks like it could be useful. To be honest, I never really used the F keys all that much to begin with. So a Touchbar might see more usage. I don’t know. We’ll have to see if it really adds value or it really is just a gimmicky feature. It may get the same usage as the F keys out of me. Again, we’ll just have to wait and see its usability.
I will miss the ESC button though. That’s part of the buttons that will be no longer be available on the new MacBook Pro’s. Uncertain what the work around will be when I need to use it. TBT.
Well, it looks like all models of the MacBook Pro’s will go up by almost $500 dollars average. All I can say is hmmm. Mac’s were always up there in price. Now we’re seeing an increase that is way more than people were expecting. As of now reaction to the features alone have been pretty negative (online at least). Why would anyone want to pay more on a device that just doesn’t justify the price hike?
There are more reasons people are disappointed with the announcement but these are some of the main points thus far. Will people stay and pay? Or will people do a move to another eco-system? Some are already saying that Microsoft is doing everything right at the moment with their maturing Windows 10 and the announcement of the Microsoft Surface Studio. Others are hoping Apple is trying to resurrect Steve Jobs in order to get back on track. Sales are down for the iPhone line and the same might occur for their MacBook Pro lines. Only time will tell if things are truly heading south for Apple.
I will be honest. After the announcement I thought about a complete move to Windows eco-system. Yet, when it comes to work what really is keeping me with Apple (for now) is their OSX. I really, really like working on that system. It’s smooth. It’ sexy. I have also already invested on a number of software for my everyday work life. I have a hard time letting go of this and moving to Windows full time. Just as a fyi, I do own a PC Desktop. The hardware is top notch for a 2012 build and runs like a beast. I love my PC because I can game on the highest settings and still reach 144 Hz refresh rate. But that is my leisure machine. OSX is just so much better to work on if I have to be on it for 8+ hours a day. I don’t know. Just my preference at the moment.
Overall, I’m not loving the new MacBook Pro at the moment. I am in no need to upgrade anytime luckily. We’ll see how well Apple does in sales with it and what kind of outcome occurs.