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After Mac? (tbray.org)
101 points by emilong on Oct 30, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 113 comments

Every time I mention the biggest flaw of the Linux desktop people freak out and point me to Qt. I know QT but the effort of making a half decent GUI app in QT is way above the effort it takes with Cocoa.

I very much remember the development and push of cocoa and the slow transition away from carbon and quickdraw.

I believe NSDrawer was something that first showed up in third party code and then was adopted in Cocoa.

Apple has constantly refined their toolkit by looking at well designed apps. Everything on Linux seems to be doing the exact opposite.

Although GTK was developed out of Gimp it's so much easier to make a good looking photo editor on Mac than it is on any other platform.

Until we sit down and design a good looking and easy to use GUI toolkit we can forget about decent Gui applications on Linux. (with a focus on easy to use)

I used Cocoa on iOS and I agree that it's easy to build an app matching the platform UI guidelines. When using the storyboard designer it's ridiculously easy.

Qt gives one a lot more freedom to screw up and look out of place if they're not careful. But when one wants to customize controls or build a customized UI Qt will win hands down.

The problem with Linux UI has nothing to do with Qt per se. Qt is more than able to build high-quality UIs, but as long as Linux is lacking a UI identity (like Unity, which many hate) it will never be as good as macOS.

I'm curious what you found wrong with Qt? My experience using it has been really positive, my only grumble is that configuring builds with it can be a huge pain-in-the-ass. (Both building Qt itself, and integrating Qt into your project's build). The UI designer leaves a lot to be desired, but I find UI code ends up being a lot cleaner if you avoid RAD tools anyway.

Personally Apple's UI API's and toolkits are a non-starter for me since I don't want to write UI code twice, and Objective-C and XCode are a nightmare to me. YMMV of course.

> integrating Qt into your project's build

With CMake Qt is a breeze to integrate. Four lines in a CMakeLists.txt and you are off the races.

Unfortunately I see those type of toolkits dying in favor of things like Electron and web rendering.

Ironically those are the developers that contribute to make the GNU/Linux desktop irrelevant, as most are happy to have a second class experience instead of enjoying what native applications are able to offer in terms of UX.

The web might run on BSD sockets, but that doesn't have any meaning on the rendering side.

Any OS able to run a browser will do.

As someone with way too many (Mac) desktop app side projects, I agree entirely. I've tried making the jump to Qt several times figuring that there's a lot of value in making my projects cross platform, but it's never stuck. By comparison Qt is frustrating to use and the end product is always lacking in platform specific details. There's just nothing like Cocoa for UI development.

Cross-platform will always be harder than one platform by definition. If that annoys you, you can expect to stick to Cocoa forever. :-)

Or just use a cross-platform core with multiple UIs.

Huh? Never heard of QML?

Can you point to some well designed QML interfaces?

I can spot QML from the ill-fitting looks and mostly poorly though-of interaction.

People think QML has magic powers, but in reality any UI designed in 5 minutes has only the value of a 5 minute interface.

To me QML is the biggest mistake in Qt5.

> To me QML is the biggest mistake in Qt5.

I think they are trying to appeal to the JavaScript hipsters as a way to stay relevant, and in the process also annoyed many C++ developers that don't see a value in it.

All the other major declarative toolkits, XAML, AXML, JavaFX, Cocoa don't use a JavaScript like language for the UI descriptions.

Every time I checked Qt blogs it seems there is a new QML flavour.

Not really inspiring.

Also not everyone jumps of joy to use JavaScript to describe GUIs.

This has changed a lot with React.

Honestly I jump with joy every time I start a new react project.

Apple laptop hardware seems to be best in class in terms of performance, support and longevity.

I have some complaints about the way that macOS (or OSX) has progressed. My computer feels more like a Windows 8 desktop running a tablet operating system than ever before. Core usability features that I love have morphed and changed (exposé, spaces). I have more but that's not the point. The point is, despite my personal feelings that macOS continues to decline in quality, I haven't found any hardware that is in any way comparable.

I use a 13" Macbook Air base model and I've used the Dell XPS 13 clone. The Dell has a basically unusable trackpad while the air has the best trackpad on the market. Little things like this make a big difference. Longevity is another big one.

> despite my personal feelings that macOS continues to decline in quality

Not disagreeing with about the changes to exposé etc., but I find it interesting how often this 'decline' is talked about. I read somebody saying that Snow Leopard was the last solid release the other day...and I'm wondering, do some people have selective memory here? Are they remembering the same OS I remember?

I've been using OS X since 10.3 Panther, and it's always been a 'work in progress' and rough around the edges. It's currently the best it's ever been in terms of security, for sure. There are some superficial areas that I don't like much (Mission Control, Launchpad), but they can be ignored. The OS itself is as solid as it's ever been...which is to say it does still have issues (the discoveryd debacle being a notable example), but it's also had a lot of improvements to its fundamentals too (Core Storage, APFS to pick two big examples).

I also think it hasn't helped that the change to high-DPI screens certainly made the whole OS feel slower, and I think we've haven't quite recovered from that yet.

My personal complaints with OSX are all UI related. I give up too much of my screen and time to animations and buttons that I don't want. The underlying OS is quite good. Much more stable than me endlessly fiddling with Linux. That said, seeing as I can't customize the UI or workflow to what I consider to be a reasonable level, I'll stick with a custom WM on Linux.

I agree with the sentiment of this comment. I think you're articulating what I perceive as feature decline particularly in the GUI interface. Advanced features seem to be disappearing and unless I'm using terminal, I feel like my machine is increasingly operating with settings and parameters I can't access, customize or eliminate (iOS analogy: non-deletable apps, obscure OSX example cmd-ctr-option-8 used to invert screen colors, this is now default off and only if you know its a feature you can enable can you use it). Huge UI bugs in OSX not previously present are update alerts that cannot be eliminated and will overlay full screen presentations and videos until closed, there's also no way to turn this off, same is true for time machine backup notices).

After all my school years working and developing on macs, some professional years on windows, I'm on linux for 5+ years. 6 months ago I bought a new slick ~2015 mac book pro to be able to develop some iphone apps. So coming from the other side (wild world of linux), I was disappointed by the last 3 versions of OS/X, and finally upgraded to Sierra yesterday.

Endless little annoyances on the GUI side on OS/X (and Sierra)! Some recent issues are, app store crashing when you click the menu and press Cmd+Q, a lot of confusion on the terminal app between the use of command and ctrl, alt, and other key combinations. A lot of drivers being obsolete and unsupported after jump to Sierra. The update/packaging mechanism being a total failure, where I need to update xcode by downloading 4.5GB of files again and again. Apple software appears so far to me an incomplete toy, filled by annoying delaying animations. Apple fails to develop stable software just for couple of hardware, while having a fanatic user base which can accept any kind of planned obsolescence. Sad.

I feel the same way. While I don't like the way macos has progressed recently, and I think the new MBP is almost a joke, I can't find any other brand that offers a good computer with a comparable trackpad, battery life and build quality. On top of this, Apple's support has spoiled me, and I can't imagine having to go through Dell's for example now. Lastly, while macos may have been lacking recently, as a developer having a unix OS of course is way better than Windows, while Linux has some issues when it comes to using it as a leisure computer. Right now I'm really happy my 2012 rMBP is still working amazingly, as for the first time I can't seem to find a single laptop I would want to buy.

I have two MBPrs (work, home) and they feel like childrens toys next to my friends Razer Blade Stealth and XPS 13s. I haven't seen the new Asus Zenbook in person but it's reviews are incredible. Do yourself a favor and go to the MS store and try out the latest laptops, they're incredibly feature rich and the issues with track pads is almost gone now that pretty much everyone uses glass and Windows 10 native drivers as opposed to synaptic/ELAN drivers.

I'm only using MBPrs for OSX at this point. If Apple licensed out the OS to other manufacturers there is not a slivers chance I would be using their hardware anymore, unfortunately I don't feel like dealing with a hackintop (can't run it on Kaby Lake yet, either). But I also don't keep a laptop for 4 years, I typically refresh yearly or bi-yearly (depending on the Intel release cycle). I was actually expecting this new MBPr to be Kaby Lake with a 32gb max and was going to upgrade from my 2015, but I guess I'll wait for the next update unless I move back to a windows PC with linux (I'm aware of the TDP limitations).

Some great recent reviews with different options; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEwOCfv6Ucg

I've held off getting a new mac for about a year already, but this 'refresh' is the first time I'm seriously considering moving away from Apple. The most interesting options appear to be the XPS (13(s?)) and one of the Razer Blade laptops.

What keeps me from the XPS is really bad experience with Dell and the fact that I can't seem to customize it on the Dutch Dell site. And, perhaps more importantly, I keep hearing that the trackpad sucks. What is your experience with it?

The issue I have with the Razor is that it's apparently not so easy to get in Holland. Any thoughts on that?

Or, for that matter, any other suggestions you can think of? I keep hearing good things about the ThinkPads, but they're too ugly for my taste...

Some years back I bought Dell's Mobile Precision Workstation, with an extended support contract.

The price was about that of a MBP, and its battery life probably worse. But overall I was very pleased with the purchase.

At least back then, the people who provided support for their workstation-class products seemed to be a totally different group within Dell. They were far more responsive and helpful than Dell's non-workstation support people are reputed to be.

I've only used MBPs and Thinkpads for the last 5-10 years or so, so I can't really comment on extensive use of other laptops. I know a number of people with XPS 13s and honestly haven't heard any complaints.

I'm EXTREMELY wary of Razer products as I hear nothing but complaints about their mice/keyboards breaking and the fact that they put out a laptop that gets such rave reviews and seems very well received really kind of blows my mind. Maybe someone else manufacturers it. Normally I'd say stay away from Razer, but I've watched review after review and know people with the Stealth and they love them.

Thinkpads are great but their screens were abysmal for the longest time. The newer ones I believe have really upped the game but it was years and years of them offing 1368x720 or so resolution on their 12-13s with low quality TN panels. They're the ultimate "Pro" machines in my mind. They're super customizable, from docks to adding on extra battery packs, etc.

With that said, I use my laptop as a desktop. I never, ever use the trackpad unless I'm on a flight or laying in bed or something so the trackpad isn't a deal breaker to me. I don't ever use gestures or anything like that. I get serious hand cramps when I'm forced to use a trackpad for more than simple quick things.

Take a look at that Youtube channel I posted (MobileTechReviews) she does fantastic reviews on ultrabooks. She's a MBP user herself so she's fantastic at comparing the various competitors to it. She sounds very unhappy with Apple in that specific video I posted, though.

Unfortunately I'm in the USA so I can't speak on affordability/access to the devices in Holland. I saw a breakdown of the EU prices on the new MBP + vat and it was terrible. Something like a $200-300 mark up when the pound is $1.09 to a dollar plus +$300 VAT.

The guy who I watched break down the pricing is Irish and was pretty livid about Apple using them as a tax haven then arbitrarily marking up (beyond EU/$ difference) the prices for him in Ireland. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQtrmjubfEo

My last laptop was running Linux Mint and I had zero problems with anything other than a couple of useful (Popclip) small OSX apps missing and 1password has to be run in Wine but their Chrome plugin can't find the main app because it's running in Wine (there's an old fix on github but it hasn't been updated in a year or two and I don't believe works anymore).

I'm actually testing running OSX in a VM now to see if it's viable for day to day development. Evidently a fix for the screen lag caused by vsync was made (it's called beam on osx).

The thing I actually really like about Mac laptops is that there are no vents or intake fans on the bottom, so it can actually be used on your lap without trying to keep your knees in just the right spot. Apple has a pretty unique cooling system that seems to be hard to find elsewhere.

It's hard to beat Apple store support where you can bring it egregiously broken products and walk out with brand new replacements at no charge (recently exchanged my 2 year old premium iPhone headphones which had literally broken the headphone jack off for a totally free replacement no questions asked, a couple months before that I had my 3 year old BT keyboard replaced for free after batteries exploded inside it). Their hardware quality (materials, performance, durability and longevity), customer support, low level tech (like batteries) and hardware aesthetics are great. It also seems like their laptops tend to last ~5+ years.

"...and longevity"

I never had a laptop that I used as long as my MBP (2011) and it's still going strong.

That being said the problem with the new Macbook Pro's is that in their quest of making things thinner a lot of possibilities regarding future upgrades disappeared. Through the years I have upgrade my RAM and replaced the HDD with a SSD. I spend in total (including the macbook pro itself) 1500 euro's max and that over a couple of years.

I do work but I'm also disabled making that my income is not at the range that I honestly can afford the new Macbook Pro's or can cough the amount to get a configuration that will last me 5 years... The base model costs more than my current system (including the upgrades) and the price they ask for a simple 16Gb RAM makes the cost even more out of my reach. And unfortunately in this we aren't able to buy refurbs from the store as it only includes iPods and iPads.

That being said there are more important things in life than a MBP and I'm also thinking about my post mac life that will happen when my current machine dies.

How is the XPS a Macbook Air clone? Because it has aluminium on the outside? The XPS looks better than any of the Macbooks if you ask me.

It does not work well. In particular, the Dell trackpad has either bad hardware or drivers or both, but it so bad that it significantly detracts from the product's usability.

I don't know about the recent models, but the original Studio XPS 13 (2009) literally used exactly the same basic hardware as the 13" MacBook air at the time. I wouldn't be surprised if they've continued that trend to at least a lesser extent.

The XPS line is on Kaby Lake now so they're literally a generation ahead of the just announced MBPs.

The reason you can't get 32 gigs of memory is because Skylake (and Kaby Lake) don't support mobile DDR4 memory, which is necessary to make power consumption low enough for a laptop. This isn't Apple's fault. Short of making a 7 pound windows-style gaming laptop, there's not really much that they can do until 2018 when Cannonlake comes out.

Bologna. Dell and system 76 offer current and last gen Intel processors in excess of 16 GB of RAM going up to 64 in the case of system 76.

Yeah, but what sort of battery life are they getting? It's not that you can't have more RAM with those processors, it's that you can't have more energy efficient mobile RAM.

Is it possible for a machine to dynamically turn the power to RAM blocks on and off?

In periods of low use, the OS may choose to swap most of the RAM to disk and switch it off to save energy.

You can't turn off blocks of memory in a single RAM chip AFAIK, it's all or nothing. And I think enabling and disabling different RAM chips wouldn't be very viable since you'll need to move memory from one chip to another when turning one off, there would be a lot of potential issues when that happens.

However enabling and disabling RAM chips and rebooting the laptop, like a low-power toggle, would be possible.

Hot swapping RAM has been possible for a very long while in software, though originally built for servers. Apple, with their tight control over the hardware, could likely have also modified the power management controller and whatever other hardware that needed modifying to pull something like that off.

It's rumored that the Surface Book 2 will use Kaby Lake and have a 32GB option. So does this mean the only way MS can support that is by increasing size and weight to 7lbs+?

Well either they need to use a lower TDP cpu/gpu or else make it bigger. Either way, TANSTAAFL.

Any reason why they couldn't use SODIMM DDR4? It's 1.2v of DDR4 vs 1.2v of LPDDR3.

I would like to see some hard facts instead of everyone simply quoting what a marketing person from Apple had to say.

IMHO, it's just that they didn't really didn't want to go through the trouble - the % of their target users requiring 16GB+ isn't that large.

Razer's Blade Stealth is on Kaby Lake now, and it's basically a macbook air form factor with excellent battery life http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-blade-stealth

So? The Blade Stealth maxes out at 16GB.

Do you have a link about the technical properties of "mobile DDR4" memory? Lenovo T460p has 32GB RAM, DDR4 RAM and a quad-core Skylake i7 CPU with 4lb weight and a claimed 10h of battery life.

Just google Skylake LPDDR4. Or Kaby Lake LPDDR4.

For whatever reason, Skylake doesn't support LPDDR4. And the Kaby Lake refresh isn't going to include chips suitable for the MBPs, but even if it did they also won't support LPDDR4.

Mobile DDR4 == LPDDR4.

Apple went with LPDDR3 which those chipsets do support to increase battery life. I would have rather they'd gone the other way.

I totally agree with this article. I have a MacBook Pro circa 2015, and it's awesome.

I haven't touched the new machines, but they aren't inspiring, though the black option is really nice to see :)

I haven't touched the keyboard, which it sounds like they changed. I really like the one on the generation I have, and I also like the wireless model that Apple came out with. Anyone know if it matches the wireless keyboard? Cause I like that one, short throw and large quiet key movement.

In terms of the touch bar, eh, I really like the idea of having thumbprint access to the computer. I hope this is accessible to other applications. As a developer I'm minorly annoyed at losing function keys for certain tasks, but maybe I can utilize it to create custom keys and icons in different contexts, which could be really cool.

Otherwise, while it doesn't offend me, it's definitely not worth upgrading to. But IMO, like this article, it's still the best Unix OS based laptop on the market (yes I know it's XNU, but it's 100% posix and full BSD subsystem, which is better than windows' posix mode and Linux veneer).

Anyway, while it isn't better than my current machine, it is thinner and lighter which are nice haves, and I might actually like the new keyboard.

I briefly tried the keyboard on a 2016 12-inch MacBook in an Apple Store and didn't like how "shallow" it felt relative to other Apple keyboards I've used. I hope the 2016 MBP's keyboard isn't like the 12-inch MacBook but it's not a deal-breaker.

I'm not excited by the Touch Bar but I'm not concerned about it either. I think it will take some time to see how useful it is and how committed Apple is to it (e.g. will it appear on a keyboard peripheral soon). You don't lose function keys entirely, you can always call them up by pressing in the fn key.

The Touch ID is available to developers, 1Password will support using it to unlock a vault instead of entering your Master password, same as they do in their iOS app.

I don't care about them being thinner but appreciate them being half a pound lighter. The was achieved, in part, by having a smaller battery, 24% smaller in the 15-inch model, but they claim the 2016 model can get 10 hours of use, vs. 9 hours with the Mid 2015 model.

The 2016 Macbook Pro uses the "shallow" keyboard.

Hope my 2015 Macbook lives forever D:

I use linux exclusively so I am a bit biased. I have used Mac in the past, but I just don't see the value when all I ever need is a web browser and a terminal and I'm set. There's no question that their hardware is the best though. My question is, what's stopping a company like Canonical from polishing Ubuntu to be on par with MacOS in looks and ease of use then designing the "perfect" developer laptop? Seems like they should have done this years ago.

I think Google should do it. If you have thousands of CS PhDs on staff looking for something to do and Apple-scale financial power, you ought to be able to design a Linux system (hardware and software) optimized for producers, not consumers.

There is something wrong when you go to dev conferences, where Apple never shows its face, and you have a sea of Apple laptops in the crowd, many of them Google employees. Then there are the thousands of Google employees back in the office trying to invent the future with walled garden Apple hardware and operating systems.

If you start with an existing Linux system and polish it, instead of starting from scratch, write the drivers and design the hardware to match, and use the needs of your own tens of thousands of in-house producers to guide you, surely you, Google, could come up with something even more attractive to your own developers, artists, producers, inventors than a product built by your competitor that optimizes for thinness, restrictions based on Apple's future plans, and lock-in to Apple stores, products, and services.

Another candidate would be MS. Apple dumped their legacy OS when it moved to OS X. MS Has already showed interest in linux compatibility with bash for windows, but I wish it would go the other way, linux with their own GUI and a super duper version of WINE (or their own implementation) to support backwards compatibility. I wouldn't even really mind if the gui and the windows compatibility layer would be proprietary, I would probably still end up using it.

Their hardware is not the best anymore.

Just visited the Palo Alto Apple store and I'm pretty sure a Microsoft Surface Tablet has a better keyboard than the new MacBook Pro. They really smushed down the keyboard to make the whole configuration thinner, but whereas the old Pro's were halfway between the quality of a dome keyboard and a mechanical keyboard IMO, the new ones are even worse than domes.

I certainly didn't like the shallow keyboard on the Macbook. I don't even particularly like the keyboard on the Macbook Air I'm typing this on because of the short key travel. But I'm curious as to whether I could get used to the new butterly keyboards. Also, would be interesting what an ergonimcs expert would have to say about them.

Another crazy dream I have for a real developer laptop would be to have like a port with real gpio pins. Since parallel ports went the way of the dodo, there is no simple way to interface with home built electronics anymore. I got a raspberry pi 3 recently and have been having a lot of fun with it. Also a built in fpga would be cool. You would be able to do a lot of prototyping that way, basically make computers fun again instead of a locked down albeit polished appliance.

I don't think that Canonical necessarily needs to design the perfect developer laptop (hardware is hard, expensive and time consuming) rather they could do a deal with one of the current top tier non-apple manufacturers (Dell, Thinkpads or maybe Asus) and then provide complete support for that machine with a complete focus on the out the box polish.

I'm running Xubuntu on an old(ish) Vostro 3750 and with the exception of it's somewhat mediocre touchpad (Alps sucks) literally everything works exactly as you'd expect but that wasn't the case when this was a new machine (certain bits where flaky but got fixed over the following year), if they could provide the experience I have now on a 3 year old machine on a brand new machine with top of the line hardware then they'd be onto a bit of a winner, it would certainly top any list I'd look at for a while since my primary requirement for any hardware is does this work properly on Linux already.

Heard of Dell XPS developer edition?

Absolutely I have but a) people I know with them have still had silly issues b) they came at it from the wrong end, Dell decided to adopt Ubuntu and did some minimal work with Canonical.

IMO Canonical needs to commit to a partnership with a vendor to produce a machine they can fully focus and support on, that way you get a product you know will just work and can be polished to a high degree.

The recent Dell XPS Dev laptops have been plagued with bugs/poor user experience. I'm not sure that's the go to anymore.

The thing separating OSX from Linux nowadays is application quality and ubiquity. I spend 90% of my time in *nix. But unfortunately there are a huge number of fantastic applications that are only developed with OSX (and sometimes Windows) in mind. Linux is the "here's source code, good luck, also the UI was put together in QT in 20 minutes."

Now, this is totally the fault of developers and not Apple. Maybe Linux needs some sort of all encompassing app store to incentivize development.

The app ecosystem is just light years beyond anything that Linux offers. Yeah, I can spin up a kubernetes environment pretty quickly from the command line using minikube or a few alternatives, but on OSX I can use Kubesolo which ties into Corectl and lets me control systems from the task tray. Not to mention when I'm going to get new employees to hop on board if they're using OSX it's stupid simple as opposed to fighting various Linux configurations/security/etc.

1password has to be run inside of Wine which means the Chrome plugin can't connect to the application so you have to copy paste usernames/passwords into websites which all but defeats the purpose of it. Yeah, you can use keepass, but that's like trading in your 2016 VW for a 1994.

Then a ton of tiny $2-10 apps that just make my life and job more productive. Popclip is my must have, it's tiny, you wouldn't ever think about using it if you weren't introduced to it, but once you know about it you wonder why it's not on ever system.

Yoink is incredibly useful, it's a bucket where you drag files to input them into other applications. Yeah, that's not difficult, you can cp or move stuff around but once you get used to using it you want it around.

There are Linux alternatives to just about everything but they're nearly always disjointed and nowhere near the quality of the OSX version.

And if I look up software I can almost always KNOW that there's an OSX version available (sans games). The problem is that Linux, in the laptop/desktop world is still a last effort (if any effort) citizen. And that is hugely unfortunate.

Sidenote: I honestly think the very necessity of Yoink is a design flaw. Doesn't drags onto the icon of a full screen window switch to that window? That is an ages old design pattern, ever since the birth of drag-and-drop, and breaking that doesn't seem to be of any profit.

I don't even try it anymore. I've had so many times where I'd drag a file from my file manager to an app (recently Slack) and it complained about the file type or some other jibber jabber. The other day I was just sending someone a file on Slack, I didn't want slack to preview/play it, I wanted them to get the file. I got an error when I dragged it from my desktop, but when I went into Slack and browsed to it using their attachment browser it worked fine. Situations like that are when Yoink is great, when I have to find some work around to get funny.jpg to load into an app. Without Yoink I'd try it once then give up and move on. At least with it I can easily get back to the file and put it somewhere to access. At least, at a minimum, I can drag the file name into the file browser popup.

But yeah, it's goofy that this isn't a reliable use case. I feel like it is in Windows but I use it a lot less.

What's stopping Canonical ?

1) Their goals. They are trying to get Ubuntu more widely adopted, not to polish it, at least, not yet.

2) Orders of magnitude, risk involved and business model. Apple is like what ? 100,000 employees and 50 billion in revenue. And Canonical is something like 1000 employees and 50 million in revenue ?

I've been using macs exclusively for 10+ years, and my next work machine will be a Razer Blade Stealth with the Core external GPU Dock.


MacBook Pro - 6th-gen i5 2.9/3.3GHz, 8GB 2133MHz memory, 512GB PCIe SSD, Intel HD 550 iGPU, 2560x1600 screen, aluminum body - US$ 1999

Razer Blade Stealth - 7th-gen i7 2.7GHz/3.5GHz, 16GB 1866MHz memory, 1TB PCIe SSD, Intel HD 620, 3840x2160 screen, aluminum body - US$ 1999

And the Razer will be heavier, have half the battery life, inferior fit and finish, plus you're cherry-picking MB Pro configs to intentionally leave out the i7 and higher-end graphics options. Also, 3840x2160 screen on a laptop is stupid; you're paying extra and paying a large performance penalty to get 4k on a screen on which you can't even really appreciate and use the higher res.

You're right, that resolution is a waste of money on 12.5" screen. Can be had with a QHD (2560 x 1440) display for $200 less.

And just because I was curious: MacBook Pro 13" 1370g MacBook Pro 15" 1830g Razer Blade Stealth 1290g Dell XPS 13 1330g

To be fair, I plan on getting the base $999 model and putting a geforce 1080 in the breakout box supporting a 5k monitor, or 5 1400p monitors in portrait mode. I don't really leave the desktop often unless I'm using the laptop in bed.

I'm pretty sure that I read a 1060 or 1070 saturates the Razer Cores bandwidth, I may be wrong but bear that in mind. I think, specifically, I read a review where only 80-85% of the 1070 was able to be used fully, so I doubt throwing a 1080 into the mix will be a net gain. Just mentioning it so you make sure to research it before you spend the cash.

You are correct. That is incredibly disappointing.

>plus you're cherry-picking MB Pro configs to intentionally leave out the i7 and higher-end graphics options

Wrong. Cherry picking to match the price ($1999).

Not to mention the fact that the Razer line is such a hilarious joke when it comes to battery life that their new "Pro" laptop doesn't even have battery life LISTED on its specs page. Which probably means it's on par with recent Razer offerings: 3 hours or less.

This is just a joke for anything except desk-bound use, in which case you may as well buy a real desktop computer.

And it weighs 8 pounds.

Stop trolling, please. It's a 53.6Wh battery.

The MacBook Pro comes with Intel Iris graphics which is not the same as Intel HD.

The Kaby Lake chips that Apple uses in the MBP aren't out yet.

They don't use Kaby lakes in thei MBP, so what are you getting at here? They're Skylake.

That's not available outside the US, or is it?

> While we are trying to reach all our customers and fans in every

> corner of the world, security and warranty issues prevent us from

> doing so at this point. We currently ship to the following countries:

> http://www.razerzone.com/store/shipping-guide#destinations

razerzone.com seems to be available in many countries.

I meant the laptop.

Linux can look nice. Unfortunately not by default. https://www.reddit.com/r/unixporn/top/

Plasma 5 looks good and feels polished by default.

I do most of my work on my desktop, and wouldn't give up my highly configured xmonad+emacs setup for anything. But I recently got a new laptop and decided to go with KDE and was blown away by the polish. The style of all the GUI apps I use is consistent and I can press a button to switch to a nice, consistent dark mode. I have encountered absolutely no issues with screen tearing or performance, with were common when I used linux on previous laptops. I've faced no issues with fonts after installing Google's noto font package. KWin's external monitor support is also satisfactory.

I haven't used recent versions of GNOME/Cinnamon/Unity, so can't comment on them, but KDE Connect is the killer KDE feature for me. I love the integration between all the apps on the KDE ecosystem. The calendar syncs to my Google calendar, and my contacts and mail are handled by KDE too. I didn't need to install a thing apart from the KDE workspace and apps for any of this.

I've even switched to using the Breeze theme on my xmonad desktop.

I've been bugging the sys admins at work to fix the fonts on our RHEL boxes for months...

elementaryOS IMO looks more than nice by default.

If only they worked to make Pantheon work well with other operating systems, instead of forking off as a separate one. And picking Ubuntu as the base to fork off is not the best choice.

I bought a Windows laptop this year after being a long time Mac user. I still have Macs in the house, and use a beefy 15 inch Macbook Pro for work. I'm pleasantly surprised by my Win 10 experience. It isn't as polished as a Mac but hey .. I have touchscreen, new processor, lots of ports (which I care about) and almost half the price of an entry level Macbook pro. The cost isn't a big factor .. I would have loved to buy an expensive Macbook with beefy hw specs. What is being sold right now isn't for me.

Which laptop did you get?

HP Spectre (the one before the latest once since the latest doesn't have a regular HDMI connector). It is pretty decent .. the only con is the trackpad. I fooled around with the settings to make it livable and also use it with an external keyboard and mouse when I'm coding at home. The windows subsystem for linux is pretty rad.

After spending the last week using the Linux subsystem for Windows, I can see myself potentially using it exclusively for development (assuming they iron of bugs and make GUi programs perform well). I wonder, have others used it and gotten a sense of how much they can depend on it?

There are two reasons I'm avoiding Windows 10 for anything important: (1) I can't significantly control the timing of when OS patches get installed, and (2) the plausible risk of unacceptable spying by MS.

So even if W10's Linux subsystem ran flawlessly, I don't trust host OS in general to provide a reliable, acceptable environment.

I'm curious if you have the same concerns.

> I want a meat-grinder CPU to make photo-editing

Isn't Apple using the latest & greatest Intel mobile CPUs?

> I want a mod­ern video card so game-playing is cool when I feel like it.

I don't know much about gaming but isn't the Radeon HD in the 15" model based on the latest AMD architecture? I can't even find any benchmarks for it so are you sure it's not good enough?

> I want lu­di­crous­ly ex­ces­sive amounts of mem­o­ry.

Do your memory requirements take disk IO speed into consideration? When you can read from disk at 3GB/sec I'm not sure the old assumptions about memory capacity hold true anymore.

> I want lots of con­nec­tors so I can plug in my cur­rent USB drives and mouse and key­board.

USB-C is great for this. You can connect all your accessories to a hub and only need to plugin one cable for power, external display, storage, input devices, etc.

> I want a PS Card read­er be­cause I shoot RAW so my pho­to files are huge and they in­gest faster from a card

USB-C card readers cost about $10-$15 so you could probably just buy a few of them if you're concerned about losing them. Most of them are multi-card readers too so you're actually gaining functionality in the process. Also when newer/faster SD standards come out in the future you can simply buy a new USB-C card reader instead of being stuck with the one built into your computer.

Apple is shipping last year's mobile CPUs. Dell is shipping current gen Kaby Lake in the XPS 13 as of a week ago, so they are available in some quantity. Kind of surprising, since Intel works so close with Apple and they were the first to ship a Core M powered device.

The GPU is a new one from AMD, but isn't especially powerful[1][2]. It can kind of do 1080P games, but is more geared towards GPU acceleration for video and photo editing.

[1] https://twitter.com/DShankar/status/791712527394545664 [2] http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/10/amd-radeon-pro-400-se...

> Isn't Apple using the latest & greatest Intel mobile CPUs?

Surely Apple is not using latest Intel mobile CPUs, not the Kaby Lake.

> Do your memory requirements take disk IO speed into consideration? When you can read from disk at 3GB/sec I'm not sure the old assumptions about memory capacity hold true anymore.

Why should I use SSD instead of RAM? I use SDD for the persistent storage. Why in general you should look for a trade-off when other laptops manufacturers do ship a decent laptops.

> USB-C is great for this. You can connect all your accessories to a hub and only need to plugin one cable for power, external display, storage, input devices, etc.

Yeh, a hub ... which you will have to take with you every time.

> USB-C card readers cost about ...

Yeh, a USB-C card reader ... which you will have to take with you every time.

> Surely Apple is not using latest Intel mobile CPUs, not the Kaby Lake.

Ah I must have missed that in all the hysteria over the TouchBar and USB-C. That is valid criticism especially for the 13" model that would benefit from a faster integrated GPU.

> Why should I use SSD instead of RAM?

The benefit of faster disk IO you can shuffle things in and out of memory faster. In the case of a photographer dealing with lots of relatively small files faster disk IO can be more important than raw memory capacity. In other scenarios raw memory capacity is more important. In every scenario raw memory capacity and faster disk IO is great but there are tradeoffs to that also mainly weight, battery life and cost.

> Why in general you should look for a trade-off when other laptops manufacturers do ship a decent laptops.

There are many factors to consider and different people have different priorities.

> Yeh, a hub ... which you will have to take with you every time.

Along with all the accessories you're already lugging around to plug into it? Never really understood this argument.

I have a MacBook air 13", the basic one with 4GB of ram and a small SSD. It works fine. I can't really see why it would need to get a whole lot better honestly. If I need a "big" computer then I use my desktop, and if I just want to read then I use my tablet or my phone. I would buy another apple laptop sure but not because of the specs really. They are just good computers in a world where there are lots and lots of good computers. I think apple is right to just keep on keeping on with these machines anyway because there isn't much innovation in terms of parts happening now. Touchscreens are a gimmick to me and newer cpus are only a little better and not worth the price of the upgrade. New computer specs are basically about as exciting as reading about innovations in Refrigerators or other durable goods.

The goal for a lot of us is to not need a "desktop" to do our "big" work. That's the thing. This was the Macbook Pro line, meaning you'd carry it home and to work and plug it into a dock/monitors and never need a "big" computer.

In that case it seems like using "big" desktop computers on Azure or AWS is right around the corner, especially if you factor in better internet speeds to make the remote desktop experience more seemless, so that the client computer doesn't need all that much power. It just doesn't seem like there is a future in developing computers with massive specs as personal machines anymore. If there was a market in it that was profitable, then the analysts at all of the major companies would know it. They seem to see that there isn't a market worth investing in.

There is a HUGE monetary and time benefit to having developers spin up docker/vagrant environments to run integration/etc tests on their laptops before it hits CI/CD systems so I completely disagree. People thought we'd offload developer computing to the "cloud" 5 years ago. It's not coming soon, I doubt it's coming in the next 5-10 years if you're making applications that now rely on microservices, kubernetes, etc.

AWS charges by the hour, GCP charges in 1 minute increments after the first 10 minutes. That all is extremely costly if you have a number of developers sending all of their tests through those systems.

And that seems to me like the main incentive they would have to force developers into that user model. On the one hand it makes sense to charge $2500 for a laptop but then if the quality is so great now that the machine can be expected to work well for almost every user for nearly 10 years then that price point is actually almost a Pyrrhic victory. It would be better to sell smaller cheaper machines that justify upgrades more frequently and then charge power users for time in the cloud. I think that's pretty much the inevitable endgame here in an industry that is all but fully commoditized.

>So, there are new MacBooks and many peo­ple are un­hap­py

I'm seeing this sentiment repeated quite a bit, and I'm surprised because it's almost a pre-literate view of things.

Whenever something changes with regards to human life, there is a brief window for content generators to capture increased attention by writing a timely article.

Content creators get more attention (which directly translates into revenue) if the content is contentious, or can be forced into 'explaining' a larger trend.

Understanding this is basic Internet literacy. "Many people" are not unhappy- that is just the content machine striving to grab your attention.

I feel like Ubuntu has been the F/OSS replacement for OSX for some time. Unfortunately, I feel like the strengths of a Free *nix (Don't like the UX? Change it.) are exactly the things that prevent a critical mass.

Sadly, a critical mass of support seems to be crucial for things like hardware drivers and commercial software with roots in the shrinkwrap era (Photoshop, Office, etc?).

I think Microsoft's move to add bash on Windows was very well calculated. They have an OS that runs on a huge number of devices giving buyers options, with mainstream driver support, compatibility with most commercial software, and good development tools for the platform. By adding bash gives OSX users who are dissatisfied with the latest Apple hardware a chance to jump ship. At the same time Windows/Linux dual-boot users who also happen to be gamers will find themselves using Linux less.

Sooo.... if Microsoft really wants to be 'smart'... they sort-of allow someone to develop a 'Mac OS' subsystem to run on Windows. They can not do this officially as they'd have layers of lawyers upon them in an instant but since they have extensive experience with subversive operations it should be possible to get the thing running in a rather short time. Maybe they should have a chat with the GNUStep folks to see if they have some converging targets. Having a Mac OS compatibility layer on other systems would enable gradual migration, not something Apple will be wildly enthusiastic about but - if implemented correctly - not something they can do much about either apart from restricting access to Apple-created software to Apple-created hardware and operating environments (something they already do as far as I know).

I don't see the reason for this. OSX (or Windows) at this time are not something special, dev tools except the platform specific stuff are cross platform. Creative software exists for both (more on Windows actually). What would a compatibility layer with OSX on Windows offer that you can't already do other than ios app packaging and deployment (cause even that you can already develop on other platforms if you don't use the official tools). So even if technically is doable it's really not worth the legal backfire.

I think it would be smarter to build an official Windows compatibility layer for other OSes and sell that. Imagine, MS Wine™.

Of course, the engineering required behind something like that may or may not be too hard even for Microsoft.

The thing is that this backslash is mainly driven by the vocal UNIX developers that migrated to Apple hardware due to the underlying UNIX.

However for those of us that actually care about macOS software written in Objective-C and Swift, macOS is as good as always.

elementaryOS seemed to be angling more directly for that market (Ubuntu was always quite Mac-ish, at least up until Unity, but still very much looked to attract a more general userbase - e.g. targeting installers at Windows users, etc.), but I think elementaryOS is probably a bit young to take full advantage right now. They may have gone a little too far on the "simplicity" side for power users coming from MacOS.

I always felt that ElementaryOS was a skin-deep clone. I'm not sure that having a little bit different UX is the reason Ubuntu hasn't achieved blessed third OS status from the Adobes of the world. I think it has more to do with there not being a unified homogenous target to code for.

If the FOSS world wanted to reimplement our own Mac, I've always thought that doubling down on GNUStep would have made the most sense. If Linux + GNUstep were closer to source-compatible with the Mac, with a comparable desktop environment to boot, more of those apps would have likely made the jump.

Even that I'm not sure about now though. Had GNUstep been a viable daily-use platform back in the early 2000s when OSX was ascendant, I think we'd have a different landscape today. Now with the web dominating so much, native app compatibility is less important than it was. You just need to be a big enough target for commercial vendors to care about.

With luck, Chromebooks will help sort out the hardware compatibility issues as more and more of the chipsets are mainlined into the Linux kernel. In terms of software compatibility, I don't know, maybe desktop Android apps will ultimately be what we coalesce around.

I'm good with it. See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12830761 for more.

Then again, I am not the typical macOS power user and just want a good, stable UNIX with an interface I don't (ever) have to tweak.

What do you mean by "up until Unity"? Unity has always looked like a macOS desktop clone, from having the menu bar always on top, and integrating a dock by default. Unity seems significantly closer to the macOS desktop compared to the old Gnome 2 setup.

Unity still has its macish elements, true, but I think the post-Unity GTK+ and general in-default-app experiences tended to move toward "doing their own thing", rather than aping Windows or macOS.

Also, while the Unity side dock is iconified like macOS', I think it's functionality more different than the old Gnome2 bottom panel was from the macOS dock.

All subjective I guess.

Gnome 3 with extensions is really lovely now, heads up.

Not just Apple with MacBook/macOS. What does a post Windows 10 future look like? So many things are not okay, I simply refuse it and stay with Win7 for some time. Microsoft like Apple doesn't care anymore about power user. Apple still makes at least good iPhone/iPads, MS is worse on everything nowadays (XBox, Surface, WinStore, WinPhone, destroying BIOS with DRM EFI) but paying trolls.

A paradigm shift - desktop gets less and less used, I am hoping for a Android/Fuchsia OS on notebook. Today many things are done on mobile iOS and Android - I just want to connect it to a huge TV/projector/monitor and keyboard and mouse and use it for work too.

I'm sorry but I find this to be a weird assertion when you see how much more detailed Windows 10's Task Manager is, or the fact that you can have a Linux subsystem running on Windows since the summer. What makes you think that MS doesn't care about the power user when all signs point to the contrary?

I'd like an answer too.

I'm a Linux guy and Win7 is the last I will ever use personally for my own machines (unless I really need it for work, which case I'll VM it anyway). But my reasons are different, I really don't think they ruined it that much for power users, but it's other details that annoy the hell out of me. Like default online accounts, way too much telemetry data being sent and it still feels like it was designed for a tablet (even Enterprise versions). It is pushing too much for the always-online, always-connected computing experience, which feels like turning PCs back into terminals.

@aweb I dunno, it seems they just moved services and startup from msconfig to the task manager. The Linux subsystem is nice, very nice, actually, the one thing I really liked.

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