“I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?”
– Tim Cook, talking about the iPad Pro
It's time to face the fact that Apple doesn't care about professionals and never has. With the release of the original Intel MacBook Pro in 2006 they created a near perfect computer that would come to dominate the market amongst developers for the next ten years. What we don't acknowledge though is that this was purely an accident. While Apple had intended to build nice hardware and a stable OS, the Unix-y nature of the OS that that helped capture the hearts of developers was never exposed in an intentional way.
What we're seeing with the new MBP is a regression back to the core Apple value that are already so prominent on the iPhone and iPad: form over function. Why have a headphone jack when you can make the bottom of the phone more symmetrical and shave 0.2 mm off the case depth? Why do you need a physical keyboard when the iPad's virtual one is just fine for writing emails? Expect more of the same on future changes to the lineup.
I need a new laptop, my older MBP had some unfortunate accidents. I tried to find a better one than the new MBP. I honestly could not. This new MBP seems to be the best ever laptop I can buy at this moment. I guess it would be better if it had 32gb ram option or a newer gen CPU. Still, nothing else seems to come close.
If you don't agree, please help me with my decision:
- Unix. Linux is fine though but I prefer macOS.
- A high resolution display.
- A good, large trackpad and good software support for that.
- I can work with ~4-5 hours of battery life.
- Something portable. Been carrying this thing all day every day.
- Don't really care about graphics performance.
I've been using the X230 as my daily driver for a while, and it's held up quite well running Fedora. The trackpad was a bit jittery, but that just required a quick parameter fix in Xorg.conf (I don't think that is even required anymore).
The only complaints, are that Lenovo has pulled some stunts before, mostly with their non-thinkpad line, such as Superfish. Or the recent issue with a Microsoft-specific release of one of their Yoga machines. But, stick to the models on the Linux certified list, and it should be OK.
Other than that, it would be nice to get a 3k or 4k screen, but I'm having a hard time seeing how that would be a big deal on a smaller sized screen. As long as it is above 1080 vertical (I have issues with some IDEs default layout on my current X230 with a 720 vertical resolution screen). But the newer models are available with at least 1080.
However, after all those shady stuff they did, makes it hard to go for Lenovo.
Windows is a non-starter for me, and even now Linux is just not well supported enough for a daily driver laptop. I'll gladly remap caps lock to avoid the certain bug-opening that comes with a Linux laptop.
They're plastic but personally, and in my office, we've actually found them to be more durable and easier to repair. Sure, they're different aesthetics but they both look and feel solid.
They're basically 'no-frills' laptops made by people with very different ideas about what the frills are.
This is what makes Mac perfect laptop in comparison to what you mentioned.
I do see what you saying , but I don't agree with you.
But on the other hand, I like having enough choice. And, I like the ability to customize after purchase (that is, buy with lower amount of ram, and upgrade it in a year or two). So it is just a matter of where each person puts their priorities (too bad we can't all have everything, at least not yet).
Using a mac was always involved a level of trust. They made machines that were good enough to keep buying. They were pricey but always had good connectivity, even if it wasn't always a standard connection (firewire...). But if you want a mac, its not like you have a lot of other options besides what apple puts out.
The new machine is not completely terrible though it means dongles.. Lots of dongles.
Needs more RAM, the SDHC slot (every camera still uses these) and a couple plain usb3.0 ports (external drives are useful and aren't all usb C yet). I use my machine portably and "docked attached to monitors" at work. The new function keys bar is useless to me when at work.
At your desk you have some mini docking station that powers your laptop and connects it to monitors, wired mice, the Wacom tablet, the network, the thumb drive, speakers, cameras, mobile phones and everything else.
Then, on the road or at home you just have the one dongle that you plug normal USB stuff, the ethernet and maybe an SD card into. You power the computer with the adaptor it came with and not the docking station.
In this new future there is one or maybe two leads connecting the computer to stuff. It does not have a forest of leads sprouting out of every side except the front, everything is neat and less likely to break. I am not an Apple fan and I prefer mini USB to whatever it is those Apple things have. However I think Apple are right to sort the ports out properly.
The other oft-quoted problem with the new Apple machines is the max memory, I feel that some explanation is needed for that as quite a few Intel high end low power CPUs are limited to 16Gb RAM, as are their own NUC computers. So there is nothing sinister going on here, it is just a choice of low power/battery life/cooling that Intel have forced on their customers where the compromise is the 16Gb max RAM.
But, besides having a singular environment, a dock isn't so useful when you have an actual desktop computer. Especially these days when laptops top out at half the RAM and cores as a baseline desktop.
When my laptop is functioning as a laptop, I still want connectivity. Both routine (SD/USB drives, headphones, HSM if I ever find a good Free one), and all the useful ports for ad-hoc situations (eg wired ethernet). Some of these do go away with time (eg RS-232), but prematurely deprecating still-popular ports and pretending that dongles are a decent solution for portable connectivity is ridiculous.
No more docking to one side of the machine...
Obvious it doesn't run OSX. I run Linux on mine and it works great.
Doesn't really offer too much over the MBP I guess? It was faster as month earlier but the new ones should be on par. If my main OS was Linux it could be the best choice.
I wonder if my concerns about reliability is bogus. Gotta check a little more about reviews.
Windows 10 is actually pretty great, it gets out of your way for the most part. Linux runs perfectly as well. The hardware is flawless, great GPU (Nvidia), nice keyboard, and probably the best touchpad I've ever used on a Windows laptop.
I also own the XPS 13. It's great in all the same way, too, I just found that I prefer the larger screen.
Honestly for me nothing compares to the experience of a Mac trackpad in macOS (gestures, tracking, palm rejection, etc). I got it a year ago and had to wait months for Linux support of the Skylake CPU to get mainlined. Battery life is much worse under Linux than Windows neither of which compare to macOS and the default Windows 10 install is garbage using Software raid even if you only have one drive.
The Windows 10 drivers and bios updates also took months to resolve. When I first received it it had loud fan noises when charging and buggy suspend and resume. Also I had intermittent blue screens until I did a fresh reinstall without the raid setup.
Sure its cheaper (I got mine for $1600) and some people may find the hardware equal to the MacBook (I wouldn't say so but it's a matter of taste I guess?) But, in no way does the set it and forget mentality apply.
Of course if you are thinking about running Linux as your daily this may not be a big factor for you to begin with.
Edit: I wonder if the people who have had good experiences with it have never owned a modern MacBook. I see some comments who match my experience directly for instance the comment that mentions no automatic brightness/keyboard backlight controls. Something you don't even think about until you try to switch away from the Mac.
Best laptop I have seen yet. No complaints. Great screen, color calibration, cpu, size, weight, good keyboard when on the lap (could be better on a desk), smooth trackpad.
Battery lasts about 4 hours of programming work, 6 or so browsing.
What horror stories have you heard?
Maybe those were isolated incidents. Also there are a lot of XPS models, gotta check for a specific one I guess.
Trackpad is excellent - responsive and smooth. two finger scroll, pinch to zoom and just normal delay and sensitivity is great. Not sure what more one needs (I don't use 3 or 4 fingers really).
Never had coil whine.
FWIW, I've read a lot about the 'coil whine' too, but neither of my XPS laptops have that problem. Not sure what to make of it.
I rarely go 3 hours without charging anyway, so this wasn't a problem for me.
The 1920x1080 version is supposed to have better battery life.
It's mostly good, but 1) doesn't have an ethernet port and 2) only one of the USB ports delivers enough power to connect a USB ethernet adapter thing.
Keyboard's a bit rubbish, but then laptop keyboards just are.
I hope Acer is going to update it with newest Nvidia/AMD cards which will make it a perfect graphics dock choice, not so large and expensive as Razer, AKiTiO Thunder3 and other ridiculous boxes.
That might happen soon, since Thunderbolt 3 has come to the mass with Kaby Lake CPUs (looks like no addition chips needed like it was with prev Intel's CPUs).
That said, I've not used tools that open windows so I've been all command line.
Additionally, the terminal that comes with it is pretty crappy, but my internet searches don't turn up any way to get a better terminal that works with it. I also can't figure out where the Linux Subsystem filesystem is stored on my drive.
If you are willing to build it yourself, [HyperTerm](https://hyper.is/#installation) is good.
For running GUI apps from within the subsystem, take a look at:
I think the relevant Google keyword for this is "vcxsrv", an X server running under Windows. I saw something about people using it in WSL to launch regular Unix applications talking to X, but don't remember where.
Now, if we give that a couple of years to mature. I might go back to Windows too. Seems like a reasonable setup if it works perfectly.
Wait a few years for USB-C to become a more widely used port. I can't imagine that Apple won't soon move the iPhone to USB-C (or they're waiting for wireless charging to get better).
I think that is why this story is getting so much press. People have been waiting for Apple to refresh Macs with something meaningful and all we got is a digital menu bar that could turn out to be a total gimmick (or developers never adopt it) and a substantial price increase from the previous generation. And on top of that, it just appears that Apple has no cohesive strategy for how Macs fit into the Apple ecosystem.
I have been using Macs since the 90s but this is the first time I'm thinking about switching to PC hardware and just running Linux. I have the 2015 model so I'll probably just wait for that to die and then switch.
Do you agree with what people are saying about the new MacBook Pros? What are your specific needs? Does it look like the right machine for you for the next few years? What are you going to be using the machine for? Given the list you've provided, I think it's likely the MacBook Pro would work for you. But like I said, it matters what you're using it for.
Yours may not be the same as those who believe the new MacBooks are not right for them. It's really what's right for you.
I don't get the battery life, and I imagine some tweaking would be required to do so.
I've not had a problem with trackpads on linux, after accounting for the 'set up synclient to run on startup so I don't accidentally scroll' that's been annoyingly necessary forever.
In the end, with Sager I get more memory + more max memory, faster CPU, larger SSD + secondary TB HDD for quite a bit less than a maxed out MBP. I haven't compared against the new specs yet, but I imagine it'll be consistent. My machine also typically outperforms mac-using coworkers for common dev tasks, but this is anecdotal and not measured.
On another note, System76 has great hardware support...but outsources their hardware to Clevo:
I have owned both. Battery life on the Dell, even with the 4K touchscreen shocked me (in a good way).
Both come with Ubuntu pre-installed.
You can also consider running an OSX VM, but the same licensing issues apply, plus consider the fact that OSX guests on VMWare don't support graphics acceleration. You also have to patch VMWare to support a non OSX host.
 Hardware compatibility list: http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
Most people use the OS installers downloaded from their own App store account and make a boot key so those should be safe too.
TonyMac makes a regularly updated list of hardware components  (mostly desktops) that should provide the fewest compatibility issues for those who are interested in making a Hackintosh.
On the other hand, I really agree with your points about large touchpad, good battery and portability. Also include SSD and the ability to swap out the CD/DVD for another disk drive.
Beyond that, I think it's just some of the subtle ease of use things. I strongly prefer OS X's implementation of virtual desktops over anything I've used on Linux; the UX is just smoother. All in all, all the Linux desktops just end up feeling a bit more fiddly to use, which leaves me feeling like I'd rather have Aqua than any Linux desktop as my main UI.
Installing userland software also gets a bit obnoxious on Linux, owing to there being eleventy-seven different package managers to deal with, none of which include everything you might want, so you're inevitably stuck dealing with some bits manually, which, again, is just an annoyance. And heck, 20something years since dpkg first hit my radar I'm still having to fiddle with dependency conflicts, which is something that I've never experienced with OS X style bundles. I'll gladly swap the minor loss of disk space that comes with not relying on shared libraries for the convenience of drag-and-drop installation whenever possible.
I find the best Virtual Desktop (Workspaces) implementation to be that of i3wm. I can spin up as many as I want, on the fly, using a keycombo and even ask apps to open up on a specific workspace.
By the way, the XPS 13 has been upgraded to intel's latest (Kaby Lake?), but the XPS 15 hasn't yet. It's probably coming any day, so if you're thinking about purchasing you might want to wait a couple weeks.
Come this time next year 90% will be using the new MBP because it's a damn good machine and developing in MacOS is simply more comfortable.
and yet despite this, professionals around the world use the Macbook Pro. The user base that apple doesn't care about, and never has cared about, is "power users" - the people who have strong opinions about how their tools should look and behave. There's tons of professionals out there, in many different industries, who simply want a computer that works reliably and that they don't have to think or worry about, and that has always been the segment apple has served. They've never catered to the die-hard macbook pro fans. Function over form has never been the goal. They build laptops with broad appeal that make the compromises that work for a large number of people, and they balance form against function. And yes, sometimes that means form wins out over function.
Apple is just continuing to do what they've always done. They haven't lost their way, people have just been expecting stuff from them that was never realistic.
> and yet despite this, professionals around the world use the Macbook Pro.
The problem is that everyone including people on HN have different ideas as to who these "professionals" that Apple serves are.
Creatives? Programmers? Salespeople? Accountants? Architects? All of these users are power users in different areas.
As a general purpose computer, Macbook Pros are good for most "professionals". If you're talking about more specific professions, then yeah, there's going to be a lot of debate.
I mean, professionals are the most likely to use dongles and attachments. We sometimes have esoteric needs (I very frequently require a serial port, but I'm not crying that Apple doesn't include one), we can commonly get our work to pay for them, and we generally have a desk to put things on and a bag to carry them with. Consumers wouldn't put up with that nonsense, they just want to use Facebook and Netflix.
We've already established that I am not a professional because I don't need HDMI or function keys, so all I can say from the outside looking in is... man professionals are seriously whiny. Also can we start a campaign to get Apple to put a full-size serial port back on their laptops? That's something a real professional would use.
I drive projectors with my display port. I record my band with the FireWire interface on mine. I copy files off my camera with SD card (it's a Sony HX60). I use 16GB of RAM because I develop under OSX and Windows at the same time, given that Windows is running in a VM and running Visual Studio.
Basically what we're expecting is a full useful laptop that is capable of a variety of uses without additional dongles and hardware. What's the point of a slim laptop if you need a thick bag of dongles just to use it? It's truly stupid. My Mac isn't just for web browsing. And this isn't whining - it's having expectations of a device that it is not some form of glorified etch-a-sketch. If you stick the word "pro" on it, it has to be more than a consumer device.
What's next? The enter key is redundant?
There are some valid complaints. I use Ethernet and VGA a lot, and the dongles I already bought are useless with the new machine since it doesn't have Thunderbolt ports. Kind of annoying, but everyone kind of accepts that Ethernet and VGA are gone now. No one sheds a tear for them, but I still have to use them. No one sheds a tear for serial, but I still have to use it.
I really think it's hilarious that the one thing everyone seems to agree that we like about the Mac is that it's Unix, and Unix is all about small, single-purpose modules that work together. Yet when Apple creates a laptop that's the embodiment of that philosophy, it's the end of the world.
So yeah, you can keep acting like it's not a pro machine because you can't step through code with your function keys (which I'll remind you, still fucking exist), or you can realize the "pro" world is a lot bigger than your needs. At least your function keys are still built into the laptop. I have to carry an Ethernet, VGA, and serial adapter with me everywhere. It could be worse.
But I wouldn't saddle your machine with my particular needs, because not everyone needs what you need. Pro doesn't mean "specifically tailored to your particular needs".
I am stating that if a replacement machine doesn't do what the previous generation did, its user base will shrink as it will no longer be useful to the same user base. This is precisely what everyone is upset about - it isn't an improvement if we can't use it in the same situation.
Certainly, we have different requirements from the machine. But whilst stating that my user requirements shouldn't be your requirements and that I shouldn't expect them to be, you are then asserting that people who don't fit into your happy requirements set are all "whining"?
I'm not even sure where this idea of "the function keys are gone" even came from. Apple showed them on stage for crying out loud! They're still fucking there. How do you step through code? THE SAME WAY YOU DID ON THE OLD ONE.
You sound an angry person.
I just want to emphatically disagree with this particular point.
It's generally accepted that Ethernet is gone now because people have been buying laptops without Ethernet for years now.
I don't want to worry about forgetting or losing a critical dongle if I need to connect to a wired network, projector or whatnot. I also don't want to have a USB dongle if I know a client is going to be giving me a USB key to exchange some files. Having the right built in ports means you have less to worry about when you're on the road, and visiting a client in the middle of nowhere. The last thing a professional needs to happen is to get into an embarrassing situation because of their hardware situation. No thanks.
Having said that, I'm not really dependent on any particular OS any more, so it doesn't matter to me if Apple, Dell, or Lenovo make a design decision I don't like. There's a pretty good chance that someone out there makes something that satisfies the majority of my needs.
If I was dependent on macOS and ready for a hardware upgrade, however, I think I'd be pretty grumpy about yesterday's announcements and non-announcements. Because of that, I can sympathize with the uproar.
The MacBook line would be optimized for mobility, for pros and college students who need a real computer (not an iToy) with them all the time to do serious work of a general businessy nature: organize projects into folders, use apps like a browser, Keynote, Excel, Word, lightweight photo apps, media viewing, a good text/code editor, a terminal, etc. Lots of reading and writing work, software dev on the road, email, checking flight status, giving presentations (in the office, in class), etc. It would be designed to have battery life extended significantly via 3rd-party USB-C batteries, so you would have the mobility of a light machine with the option of significantly extending battery life when you needed it. Lightweight, mobile, untethered, pro work.
The MacBook Pro line would be optimized for computer power that was still portable: NVidia GPU, lots of RAM, lots of internal storage, big screen (17" version available again), serious battery life, no connector shortage. The words "thinner" would never be uttered. Instead: "more powerful". By allowing it to be a little thicker and heavier (not huge, maybe 50% thicker than a 2015 MacBook Pro), you could use less compact, previous gen RAM and SSD, thereby getting much more for the same price. It wouldn't actually be very thick and heavy except relative to the lightweight line; it would just be optimized for how much of a serious computer you could deliver without making it too large, rather than the current "how thin can we make it without rendering it useless?" This machine would often be used docked to large monitors as a full-powered desktop but could be taken on the road (these things wouldn't be any larger than every laptop used on the road a few years ago.) Photoshop, 3D graphics rendering, serious gaming, video editing, serious software dev docked to large, desktop screens that could be continued on an airplane, number crunching AI and big(ish) data without having to offload to a server farm, having 100 tabs open in Chrome while editing 4K video, having a full library of books and 100 videos on the internal drive for use when traveling, etc.
These two lines could share most design and mfg yet satisfy pros of all sorts without needing much of an increase in number of models made.
Unfortunately Apple does not (well, not any more). And there is a huge contingent who still wants the thinnest possible Pro model.
I would suggest further breaking the Non-pro line into super thin (New Macbook) and thin (Macbook Air) models, and the Pro line into super thin (2016 rMBP) and not-so-thin (the model you describe).
I'm not sure how removing all of the ports that my existing devices plug into is a compromise that works for me, let alone my mum or anyone else I know. Carrying a bag of dongles is not my idea of the future. Is it yours? I can no longer plug my SD card in from my Sony camera. How exactly do you think this is a good compromise? It isn't a compromise at all - it's dictation or an ultimatum, really.
Let's hope that this jump to USB C encourages the rest of the industry to move along. Given that fuzzy VGA is still on many PCs and displays, I can only imagine how long this period will be.
How precisely is the new MBP a regression? I think it's telling that you cited two examples to back this up—but oddly, neither of them were about the MB Pro. They were about iOS devices.
- great input/output hardware
- solid build
- little design touches like the magsafe connector, sleep light, and battery indicator
- Unixy, well-designed OS with some really great 3D party software
Besides the solid build, all of these are now either gone or in decline. The touchpad is still OK, but the quality of the keyboard has been crippled. The OSX App Store still doesn't support demos or upgrade pricing. Magsafe is gone - for no apparent reason.
All of this is mostly in service of gimmicks - the biggest of which being "thinness" which I really don't care about. I'd be buying 17" MBPs if they were still available.
You want. Please don't generalise. Personally, I have always wanted my laptop to be thinner. And I am a "professional" who hates dongles by any possible definition.
OS X was Unix-y until Leopard (2007), when it got certified.
Ok....but then you contradict yourself...
> It wasn't. It was the result of hundreds of small and correct choices, not all of which were obvious at the time.
I'd call that fortuitous which is being accidentally lucky.
I'm a professional, and the MacBook Pro continues to suit my needs extremely well. Perhaps the problem is that "professional" is too vague a term to have any useful meaning in this context. If you mean developers, fine, but I'm also a developer and the MacBook Pro continues to suit my needs extremely well. What exactly is the use case that the new MacBooks fails at, and is this a widespread problem among all professionals, all developers, or a particular segment of developers?
Criticisms of the iPhone are entirely valid. I upgraded from the 6s to the 7 yesterday through the iPhone Upgrade Program. I've only noticed three differences so far:
1. No headphone jack. I only brought my new iPhone 7 headphones to work today, and I can't plug them into my laptop to watch a video. >_<
2. The Capacitive touch home button. Unlike the capacitive touch trackpads, the tactile feedback for this button is not convincing or satisfying at all. It sucks.
3. They moved the camera slightly, so my existing case doesn't work.
That's it. I don't notice any improvements. It's a strict downgrade so far.
I'll reserve judgement on the new TouchBar, since I haven't had a chance to play with one. I'll say this, though, what they've done is dipped their toe into the fully programmable keyboard space: http://www.geeknaut.com/cool-computer-keyboards-2219350.html
This could be a stepping stone to a fully redrawable keyboard. Not saying I want such a thing, but it's interesting. imagine the entire keyboard surface being the TouchBar? It would suck (I think) for typing, but it would certainly differentiate itself from the iPad, and would start making for custom controls that augment the display.
In some cases I could see this as a better experience than just a pure touchscreen (though it would probably be very niche).
Anyway, even with all of the negatives you mentioned, it's still going to be the best Unix laptop out there. My dream is that HP or Dell find a backbone, and starts pitching supporting and building a perfect Linux (pick any distro really) laptop to devs, or maybe Google makes ChromeOS, that perfect OS. Until then...
It seems very likely to me that apple is moving this direction. They continue to pour resources into "taptic" feedback, to make flat fixed surfaces feel like buttons, and at the same time are decreasing the travel of their physical keyboards. They're definitely converging on a full touchscreen keyboard.
Dell has been selling a beautiful developer Linux laptop for a while,
There was one (not redrawable, but who looks at the keys anyway), but Apple bought it and killed it: http://ergocanada.com/products/keyboards/fingerworks_lp.html
I had one. It was not good for typing.
It's funny, but they're really just closing the loop on that acquisition by making a programmable keyboard.
By the way, a friend of mine had the Fingerworks (I use a Kinesis Advantage) and in the winter it would always go wonky because of static. He wound up having the company buy a humidifier... for his keyboard. I thought it was a neat idea (especially switching between typing and mousing by just sliding around) but I found the lack of feedback jarring and didn't fall in love with it.
If someone made an e-paper optimus style keyboard, i would definitely give that a try.
Little animations are neat. they pop. i really like them. for about a day. Then they're just annoying.
Something to be approached with caution. There may be an appropriate programming metaphor for the opportunities and risk, somewhere between operator overloading and self-modifying code.
No, it was pretty intentional. Apple has a history of appealing to power users for a few years, then kicking them in the nuts. First, they did it to professional artists. Then they did it to professional video editors. Now they're doing it to software developers. It's just our turn, I guess.
These were not as well designed as we like to remember.
I still have an early one I keep on hand to tinker with from time to time and love what they represent but let's not kid ourselves. The MacBook Pro had come a long way since then.
That said how they decided not to offer a 32GB ram offering on a MacBook Pro in 2016 is beyond me.
The most perfect MBPs IMO were the 2008 model (pre-unibody) and the first rMBP. The 2008 was fast and fluid; the rMBP introduced me to high capacity SSD and the high res display. Both were hardcore professional workhorses.
The lack of 32 GB on this one is profoundly disappointing but I am hearing it has a major impact on battery life. I'd have to test an equivalent XPS 15 to know, but it's telling that the Surface Book Performance Base (most comparable with this new MBP) is also limited to 16 GB, though they claim some crazy battery life numbers (16 h?).
I'm curious the impact of the new generation SSD and DDR4 RAM will have in overall experience.
I'm the first to join you in this critique (I jumped off the Mac bandwagon a year or so ago), but in fairness, macOS does do memory compression where I don't think the other major OSes do. 16GB goes a little further (in theory) on macOS than it does on Windows.
Frankly, if I need more than 16GB of RAM, I'm going to want to develop on a box in a datacenter somewhere, not my laptop.
Also, adding more memory will shorten battery life.
What does Johnny Ive do his work on? Does Tim Cook use an iPad Pro exclusively?
The answer is almost certainly yes. I've noticed this trend for a while now -- all the execs at all the big tech companies are moving to an iPad only experience, since it does email and web and that's all they need.
Not sure if he still makes/checks spreadsheeets.
I find it hard that a long time spreadsheet person could quit and not get his hands dirty with the numbers.
And if he still gets his hands dirty with the numbers, I would expect it to be hard restricted to an iPad.
Apple developers, as it was already in the older OS versions are right at home.
Speaking of which, just check the recordings of Jobs doing NeXTSTEP related presentations on YouTube, and you see how little relevance is given to UNIX.
A new Pro computer and Pro presentation should look something like:
- Sensible flexibility: while some “forward-looking” port like USB-C is expected, there should also be at least one present-day port. No “dongles by default” in a Pro.
- Top-line option with significantly higher maximum memory than other available machines, fastest processor options, and even “unnecessary” extras like 16-core or whatever crazy stuff is available.
- The entire presentation should focus on the damned Mac. I don’t care about your Watch or your TV because I can look those stats up. I counted, after HALF AN HOUR he started to mention the Mac. Come on.
- Every demo should focus on PRO features. I don’t want to see a single consumer item. Show me the crazy performance comparisons of years past. Take the latest, greatest apps and make them scream on stage.
- The web site for a Pro computer should be free of animations, with a big fat “Tech Specs” button in large print at the top that links to an ordinary white paper and some performance comparison tables. (The Mac Pro web site has always failed me; took forever to figure out what the thing could even do.)
Show me the crazy performance comparisons of years past.
Take the latest, greatest apps and make them scream on
1) Touch has no place on PC screens
2) GPUs aren't that big a deal
Intel has only been able to make the slightest performance improvements for years now, combined effect is now Apple get no 'free upgrades' invented by the PC industry to integrate cause all the cool stuff coming out on that side is touch, VR and AR.
Last I gathered Apple chose not to support Vulcan and instead went with the Metal API?
I mean, I agree with a lot of what's in this piece. But this idea of the Mac as cutting-edge creative powerhouse with tons of horsepower under the hood is a fantasy that dates back to the PPC/RISC days.
Every now and then Apple comes out with a new Mac Pro design, or the XServe, or another new Mac Pro design, or manages to cram a leading-edge CPU or GPU into one of their computers. But those rare moments of genuine high-end leadership are the exception, rather than the rule.
All of Apple's innovation eggs are in the iOS basket now. All of them. And before that they were in the "creatives who work out of Starbucks" basket. They haven't been in the "I need to crunch serious numbers to make cool things" basket since before the Cold War ended.
Apple has been a lifestyle brand for creative types and creative type wannabes, and not the heir to, say, SGI, for a very very very long time.
Apple and I simply don't agree on what matters in a computer anymore. My current MacBook Pro will be my last. I've purchased a ThinkPad and am beginning to transition my work over to it.
My ThinkPad isn't the sort of machine that most people need or want, and certainly not the sort that Apple is interested in building these days, but I think it will meet my needs perfectly.
It already feels nice not needing a dongle just to plug in an Ethernet cable.
Out of interest, what ThinkPad are you looking at?
Don't forget that you can replace the RAM and HDD with commodity parts. And you can also remove the DVD drive, drop in a cage and stick another sata drive in there too.
Agreed that the Snow Leopard era was a high point.
"It already feels nice not needing an external superdrive just to use a DVD" (Macbook Pro, 2012)
see for yourself - sit down in any airport lounge in big hubs and observe.
i have seen so many presentations go haywire because windows machines started updates, etc - execs got seriously tired of that shit.
the touchbar, if paired with the Ribbon interface in MS Office, is going after exactly that user group. and they have the money.
see also IBM's press release this week how Macs have far better TCO than windows machines within IBM (50k Macs in an environment of 400k employees).
Everyone who states more or less this sentiment is stating an absolute and speaking for an entire demographic when really they should be saying:
"Apple doesn't care about a certain type of professional who happens to think just like me"
I am a professional: a web designer, a programmer, as well as a musician and occasional video editor. I make a living using my MacBook Pro. I'm typing on one right now. My life wouldn't be possible without a Mac to use for my creative profession.
I love nearly everything about the new MBPs and hope to get the 15" as soon as funds are available. I think the Touch Bar is one of the most exciting UI upgrades to macOS in a long, long time. (For reference, I like the Force Touch trackpad but I almost never use the force part of it and think Apple's really dropped the ball on that particular feature.) I can't wait until Logic Pro X supports the Touch Bar, as well as other music apps like Ableton Live.
Even the fact that Xcode, Terminal, etc. have extensive interactions on the Touch Bar is impressive. This, THIS is how you roll out a new integrated hardware/software UI feature.
Are there some issues? Sure, but what major upgrade doesn't have issues? I still remember when Apple's iOS device lineup was a mess because some devices used Lightning and others used the old 30-pin connector. Heck, the transition to Intel itself was painful back the day...it took years to get the entire Mac product line up to date with all the major software properly compiled.
The switch to USB-C/TB3 is huge...the capabilities and bandwidth of that single type of port is staggering. (I'm still in awe that the new MBP can drive not just one, but TWO 5K displays simultaneously.) Instead of being upset with Apple's changes, we should be clamoring for them to upgrade their other Macs (iMac, etc.) to USB-C as fast as humanly possible. Need a dongle or two to get through the transition period? So what? I've needed dongles for one thing or another at almost every stage of the Mac journey (FW-400 to FW-800, anyone?)
Apple has not lost their way. Perhaps they've lost the willingness to push out Mac hardware on a more frequent basis, which is a shame. But their ability to innovate and come out with a great product when the time is right should not be up for debate.
To me, the MBP I just ordered will pay for itself in no time, so it was a no brainer for me.
To me, the MBP just works, often in really subtle ways too that I just don't notice until I'm not on a Mac.
To me, my current MBP is the best laptop I could possibly have. When I bought it, I even said that I don't even know how Apple could possibly top it. It's the best computer I've ever used, my livelihood depends on it. I probably could do the same things with other hardware, and other software – but man, it just works and that's worth every premium I paid for it.
To each their own but to me, Apple just made this thing that couldn't possibly be better, better.
"All USB-C/TB3" is going to be a disaster in the short term and nobody with an investment in external peripherals is going to move for at least a year, maybe two. This ALONE would make me sit this refresh out. Apple's history with driver stability lately has been not good.
I'm also skeptical about how "professionally" you use your laptop.
Even TB2 on the previous gen Macbook Pro was unstable when you plugged in an audio interface and a 4K monitor. I had to move the 4K monitor to the HDMI port so that the audio interface wasn't interfered with.
The problem is that things that use bandwidth interfere with things that die based upon latency.
However, I have no doubt Apple is working on a external version of this, though after hearing about the complexity of this solution inside the machine (using a variant of watchOS, ARM chips, etc.), I suspect this is a ways off.
The Pro in MBP refers not to them, but rather to those needing powerful CPUs, GPUs, large amounts of memory and compatibility with various hardware. I'd have added upgradeability, but the MBP has been a complete failure at that for a long time.
Who defines "pro" like that? The internet. It became a synonym for heavy duty workloads.
However, to keep in mind here is that for us techies (and for design folks) Macbooks seem as standard as ranger boots in the military, but for the rest of the world, it's a vicious fight for market share and Apple is near the bottom of the 'big ones'. For one of the wealthiest companies in the world, Apple is still behind HP, Dell, Lenovo, even Acer and ASUS in marketshare! [Source: http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/05/11/lower-macbook-sale...]
So, it's not a surprise that our needs are cast aside in the grander business scheme of capturing wider audience by casting a wider net. There's no need to psychoanalyze Tim Cook and pray for the Second Coming of Jobs. It's the widening of the net that we're experiencing as pain.
They just canned their cheapest notebook, the Macbook Air 11" and bumped the price on their other models by a few $100. On top of that the only port on their new notebooks is Thunderbolt 3.
What sort of mass market appeal are they going for exactly?
And trying to appeal to the wider audience with gimmicks like the touchbar at the top.
Also, I have to say, how many of us, with our complaints, are going to bite our lips and buy a new model anyway. I'm on the border, myself (although refurb'ed has been a go-to for me for years in the Apple space).
Innovation has gotten pained across the board - a separate rant, a separate disappointment for me was the new Pixel. I can't use it to replace my 5X because it costs double and doesn't offer much hardware-wise, but the 'Assistant' is supposed to enter that other gimmick captivating the imagination, the AI.
In Apple's case they're calculating that their changes will expand market share and profitability. I don't have an MBA (the degree, not the discontinued model of laptop) so my brain is too small to comprehend the greatness of the decision-making in the design, but I'm guessing it has to do with the 'thinnest, lightest ever' and 'the stupid bar at the top' bulletpoints.
I just think this is another sign that Apple either doesn't care about Mac or they don't know what to do with it. It's felt like a second-class citizen to iOS for a very long time.
I'm thinking about Linux as a primary workstation, using the dreaded Gnome UI on a regular basis. And fighting with driver issues. On the other hand, the Thinkpad Linux support talk has me very interested because it sounds solid.
I wonder how many people are investigating other options at this point in time. This is prime time for other vendors to continue to trounce Apple in market share (see the link in my message above for those skeptical about that claim).
I'm tempted to say, Apple doesn't know how to take the Macbook to the next level, which is what they're constantly trying to do.
I suggest that you also check out some of the other popular desktops (Plasma, Cinnamon, Mate, XFCE), for example with live media.
Also, what about this new MacBook Pro is "mass market" ? I don't know a lot of people that today will spend $2500+ on a computer if they don't need to spend that much. So the article has a point -- who is this laptop for? It's in the price point for "professionals" but what professionals are they going after? It's not clear at all. Losing the function row and most importantly, the escape key, seemed completely unnecessary.
Don't forget the power of marketing. Is it just me or are there Apple logos every time a character in a TV show pulls open a computer?
"It's the thinnest, lightest ever, and the bar at the top has UNLIMITED CAPABILITIES." There's your mass market. Think most people care about the ESC key? I do, but most don't.
I don't want to derail into yet another argument for whether Apple is better or worse on those points but the cost gap between a business-quality PC and equivalent Mac historically has been much narrower than for the cheaper consumer-grade PCs and the buyers have fairly different priorities.
the rest of the world => enterprise IT => techies
And without the visionary leadership of a Jobs, a Gates, a whoever, these companies stop innovating and change into something else. At least this is the second time round for Apple. But I fear that without Jobs there may be no way back.
Sooner or later some one will do something you won't notice and suddenly you will be irrelevant.
For examples see MySpace, Friendster, Bebo, Twitter....
So far, not only did Tim Cook live up to the expectations in Apple under Jobs (which would mean to keep the company value at the same level) but he even overperformed 100%.
Market valuation does not indicate anything about the inner workings of a company, nor about its long-term prospects.
Mediocrity can easily sustain Apple on Wall Street for the next 10 years.
The true measure of the post-Jobs era will be when they will run out of that inertia and will be on their own. Which seems to be happening around these days.
Many tech and near-tech companies doubled and even tripled in value since 2011.
Touch Bar is ergonomic catastrophe. Tiny flat screen hidden behind the keys -- at the event all the people demonstrating Touch Bar had to stand, lean over keyboard and crouch in order to use it. Doing that while sitting and doing some serious work is usability nightmare.
If you think Apple is going to make room for your old crusty ports when there is a new standard you're crazy and haven't paid any attention to Apple at all.
Here's a question: When did HN lose the ability to appreciate awesome technology? Thunderbolt 3 is awesome. The new MBP has four ports. Each port can charge the laptop, supply 15w of power to devices, supports USB 3, a 5K 16bpp deep color display at 60hz (!!), and extends the PCI Express bus to external devices.
Yes the transition period will be annoying.
Once we get there it will be amazing. TB3 is what I've been wanting out of a connector for a long time. One sturdy, reversible, and universal plug that handles everything in a backwards-compatible way.
Now, what are the escape sequences to access the Touch Bar from the Terminal so I can add some much needed usability to emacs/vi?
It remains to be seen if the touch bar is an improvement.
I can't imagine someone presenting this "touchbar" bullspit to Jobs and not getting fired right away for such a dumb idea.
However, I think its becoming increasingly clear that Tim is "not a product development CEO". He is clearly, by far, probably one of the best COO's of the last 100 years (yes, I'm totally serious).
Apple would've never had its rebirth if not for the duo of Jobs as product visionary and Cook as executor. Sadly with Jobs passing, Apple is slowly sliding back to the confused, overlapping, inconsistent product catalog circa 1998.
But this is an example of the opposite. It'd be MORE confusing to have the only difference between the Air and the Pro be the Touch Bar, as the author suggests. How does the a touch bar make it "air?"
Tim Cook seems very competent business person, but has little vision on his own. He'll not risk the bottom line out of conviction like Jobs did.
Say what you want about Jobs but it seemed he was driven by a true sense of what users "should" want... the current leadership seems more to be about stock prices and retaining market share.
That's the conventional wisdom, but I dispute it. Ive and his team seem to have lost sight of some of the most basic principles that made the Mac great in the first place, like: it should be easy to tell what parts of the screen contain things that you can click on.
I'm still running Mavericks because I want buttons to look like buttons. Is that really too much to ask?
There may be some widgets that still look like buttons, but that's not what I'm talking about.
A lot of that drive was motivated by unpleasant personal narcissism - he seems to have had a strong need to feel cool, fun, empowered, and elegantly engineered himself.
But still - it pushed computing in directions that were really positive.
I have no idea what Cook is motivated by. I suspect not even Cook knows what Cook is motivated by.
He knows what Jobs looked like from the outside, and he has some ability to follow some of the moves. But it feels as if there's an aloof and maybe even slightly hostile detachment that Jobs never showed much evidence of.
Unless he has an epiphany and understands that user benefits matter more than manufacturing margins, Apple's future is going to look increasingly unexciting.
Big companies are so difficult to steer and be allowed to do so, and in an increasingly complex world it's only getting worse. I'm not sure it's feasible for much longer for a person to have the amount of power and charisma needed to steer a company off the beaten path. The ever increasing entropy of modern time complexity is not all encouraging.
a) Leadership is smart and actively dismissing portion of the market that's vocal but the largest one
b) Leadership is dumb and misjudged what their users want
c) Jonathan Ive has a lot of internal power and is dictating industrial design changes being disconnected to what their users want
d) They see PC sales slumping anyways and is targeting their efforts where they can earn the most money
e) Internal strife and confusion leading to a muddled product
f) Following an internal strategy road map and being so focused on it that they're discarding any signs that they're wrong
g) They're right and this will be a commercoal successful product... but they might lose their professional segment
h) We're all wrong, it will be a commercial and overall success. We're a loud minority
Jobs was good at what he focused on and other things tended to languish. For the last half decade, everyone has been focused on iOS. Cook seems to be getting the blame for basically doing roughly the same thing while not being Steve Jobs.
Because Macs are much larger than iPhones, so the trade-off in battery life/other components is less significant than on an iPhone.
Where is the positive PR army? I did not see one single positive story about the recent announcements, following a short Google search!
I know why it's happening as well....a lot of us folks waited pretty long for an upgrade and what we got...it was not what we wanted/hoped for and are left stranded of sorts (do I continue and buy the new laptop? do I move to linux? do I get a windows device? - such questions were never an issue before....want a new device? get the latest macbook pro).
For ones saying they don't care about professionals, it's likely to remain a strong, well-designed and productive machine. Maybe a few will leave the walled garden due to this, but I think as many or more will appreciate it.
I don't really get the emotional expectations people drum up about what the tech giants should or shouldn't be doing with new releases.
I like it when computers last years and years and fulfill a purpose for our life and work-life. If your Mac is from all the way back in 2012, don't feel bad! If it does what you need then keep it and ignore the latest product releases this year. Next year might have something more to your liking.
People don't suddenly need a new computer right now just because these were announced, but will all these laptops from 2012 last until 2020 when the next refresh might happen?
Depends on the computer. I know of many people who, after declaring the iphone 6 the greatest thing ever, suddenly realized that they were completely useless upon the arrival of the iphone 7.
Living room judgements cost you nothing.