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I’m going to say no to the new MacBook Pro

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols | Nov. 2, 2016
Many of the design choices are likely to add up to user frustration

Lots of people will buy the new 2016 MacBook Pros. They’ll do it because they’re invested in the Mac and Apple hasn’t updated the Mac line in ages. But I don’t think Mac users, other than the fanboi contingent, are going to love it, or even like it that much.

I use and like Macs. There are three in my home/office. I also have Apple TVs, iPads and iPods. But I’ve never drunk the Apple Kool-Aid. For example, I recently said AirPods were a bad idea. That got people so cranked up, an article was actually written about how wrong I was. Funny, though, Apple has admitted that the AirPods aren’t ready to be used yet.

So, as someone who’s neither an Apple lover nor a hater, but just a user, I think the new MacBook Pros aren’t that bad. They’re just not good enough to be worth the lowest model’s $1,499 price tag. If you add Apple’s proud, newest “one more thing,” the Touch Bar, you’ll pay $1,799. That’s 39% more than the last generation’s lowest-priced MacBook Pro.

Oh, and if you have never shopped outside Apple Stores, you might be interested in knowing that the average non-Apple laptop costs about $500. Adding insult to injury, the 2016 MacBook Pro comes with RAM and CPU specs that are practically the same as the 2010 version.

The new and “improved” MacBook Pros don’t feature the MagSafe power connection that effortlessly releases from the laptop when the power cord is tugged. I can’t count the number of times I or my dog has tripped on my MacBook’s cable, and thanks to MagSafe, it never went crashing to the floor.

It also no longer has any SD card support. I know more than a few photographers who are not happy about this.

Oh, and as long as we’re talking about legacy ports being abandoned, you know all your gear that uses USB? You won’t be able to use it now without a dongle. Ditto HDMI video.

Instead you get two (on the bottom end) or four USB-C ports. Now, I like USB-C a lot, and there are a lot more USB-C devices than they’re used to be, but they’re still uncommon. And word to the wise, Apple: HDMI is still, and will be for years to come, the video I/O standard of choice.

The result of all these “improvements”? As Computerworld’s John Brandon already pointed out, “Terrible things. Sudden annoyances. Frustrations.” Why? Because everything you can already easily do today will become annoying.

Argh!

Moving on, Jony Ive has had many great design ideas. This new generation of Mac laptops isn’t one of them.

 

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