I recently wrote an article on the upcoming MacBooks at “zopq”, sharing my enthusiasm – “finally, Apple’s going to update its dead Mac lineup”. I have always been an avid desktop user but with technologies changing the way people interact, I felt an urge to shift to a laptop. I saw the pros – I can carry it around, work on the go, etc. I know these are all old technological shifts but these will be changing the way I work and interact. *I’m late to the party I guess*
The New MacBooks are out now and my thoughts are a mixed bag. First, Apple’s answer to touchscreens – Touch Bar, is a touché, second, the removal of things I loved and third, the price (whoa!).
Part One: Amazing Amy
Jony Ive keeps axing the MacBooks, making them thinner and thinner whereas this time around, it has a smaller footprint too and less volume but still packs a lot of power. “We didn’t want to just create a speed bump on the MacBook Pro” says Apple’s marketing chief, Phil Schiller in an exclusive interview with CNET, addressing the new Touch Bar which sits in place of the function keys. It shows app specific shortcuts and a standard set of functions – the volume and brightness controls. There’s also Touch-ID on the MacBook Pro now sitting quietly on top of the power button which resides beside the touch bar.
All the standard set of ports have been ditched in favor of the futuristic Thunderbolt 3.0/USB-C ports which are universal, meaning they can handle data transfer, video transmission, charging, etc. Unlike the MacBook, the Pro has four type-C ports (because this is a pro :D).
Under the hood, there are a lot of changes, a new thermal system for handling the miami-like heat generated by the high end components, new set of speakers, a secure chip named T1 for working with the secure use of Touch ID (for more about it, head over to Ars-Technica).
Part Two: Confused Amy
Apple has surely created one heck of an interesting MacBook but it’s being a little reckless about the way things go. Recently with the iPhone 7, Apple pulled the plug on the headphone jack calling it an unnecessary old port. I totally agree with that and the alternatives it has provided. But with the MacBook Pro, Apple has decided to keep the headphone jack. This will irritate a MacBook-iPhone user. The iPhone 7 ships with lightning headphones and USB-A charger which cannot be plugged into the Pro needing users to carry a different pair of headphones to be used with the Pro and buying a USB-A to USB-C dongle for the charger.*Dongle life*.
Apple’s trying to be forward thinking, the way the iPhone 5S was described. In the process it’s pulling out things which might not be a big problem in achieving that – like the – MagSafe and Apple logo. I can live without both the two but those were two big things that added the “touch” to the MacBooks. Maybe the latter is not a big thing but the MagSafe was a niche.
I was a user of the 2006 MacBook for a short time (as I said above “avid desktop user”), the first Apple laptop to feature Intel processors. It got me. It was amazing. A slew of things that made my MacBook feel “mine”, “personal” are missing on the new Pro.
Maybe when I do start using the new Pro I’ll get over it (that begs for part three).
Part Three: Demanding Amy
I have been delaying my desktop-to-laptop shift for a long time, waiting for the new MBP. But now that seems uncertain with the price being incremented heavily.
Maybe the price was incremented due to the less demand for laptops and desktops. According to The Verge, it’s what almost all companies do with their products when the demand is dropping and with no hope of exponential increase, they increase the price, so as to get a higher profit. But I don’t think that period is here yet – desktops and laptops are going to be here for a while. There is still a lot of demand for MacBooks and the main reason for Mac sales hitting low was because of the lack of new machines. Whatever the reason, the MacBooks are turning way expensive.
Final Part: Amy is an eye catcher
Apple’s new MacBook Pro is like a delightful ice cream which can turn an angry kid happy. People who were eyeing the MacBook Pro for a long time and were disappointed with the lack of updates to it will be delighted. The Pro is surely an eye catcher.
I think only if Apple had not been so reckless (with managing the ports and the price) this Pro model would have been perfect.