Apple got so many things right with it, because all the design choices made sense, for exactly the reasons Marco gives.
The design choices being made at the top of Apple no longer make sense. Take the touch-bar, for example; it was a passable idea, but flawed in execution and production. If you want another example, how about DongleGate™? The most recent USB-C trend was not handled the way Apple used to handle standards progressions. Yes, they annoyed us in the past with too many FireWire ports, and an overly-futureproofed candy drop iMac (USB)... But even then, those choices made sense because the rest of the ecosystem was thought about. This is clear when you compare it to today's offering, where you cannot plug a new iPhone into a new MacBook, out of the box! Incredible...
This was the first MacBook Pro to exclude an ethernet port, and when Desktop Support at my company handed it to me, I looked at it and asked them what the fuck was I supposed to do about it? They shrugged, threw up their hands and left (I was the prima donna that asked for the Mac, figure it out asshole), and so I limped along on guest wi-fi for a week, until figuring out that I had to buy a dongle if I wanted to use wired ethernet. Eventually snagged some from desktop IT services too, but initially, they were callous and indifferent to my plight.
If anything seeing the statistics for the successful sales of this model and related essential dongle accessories, despite knee-capping ethernet, and forcing dongle adoption to replace an old, standard, widely reliable and convenient data bus standard, could only have inspired and emboldened choices like the headphone jack debacle and USB-C minimalism which still plague us even today.
There has to be a balance between features on the device and the number of people that will end up ever using them. Hardly anyone uses wired ethernet these days, so expecting the tiny percentage that do (most of whom are probably on HN knowing my luck) to use a dongle is a justifiable decision.
The USB-C debacle is not justifiable. It's a stupid, necessary mess that will affect almost everybody at some point or other.
I don’t think you can honestly say hardly anyone uses wired Ethernet.
Hardly anyone uses wired ethernet...
Wireless communication is often attacked at the joints, by targeting the login handshakes that relay the password-oriented auth tokens back and forth, when confirming access. These side channel attacks on encryption are more likely to succeed than trying to capture a terabyte of traffic, in order to crack the encryption itself.
Anyone tasked with the technical aspects of handling millions of dollars securely, is likely to be avoidant of wi-fi for some select activities, where convenience is not the priority. If you know you're a spear phishing target, there are certain things you don't do over wi-fi.
This monitor serves as a secondary display, a laptop charger, _and_ a USB-C hub. I ended up throwing a USB hub on my desk connected to the monitor for keyboard + mouse.
When I get to my desk, I plug in one cable to the computer and everything works. I know that ThinkPad people have had this sort of stuff for ages, but it's much nicer than my old workflow of magsafe + display port + USB setup.
Being able to charge on either side is a big deal for me as I move around a lot, plus being able to use 30W USB-C power packs and third party chargers (e.g. Anker) without fear of fire.. a massive boon for me, especially as my phone and Nintendo Switch work on the same cables. USB-C cables fall out with little tension so have had no pre-MagSafe style accidents so far.
The touchpad is better than my 2016, the touchbar is almost pointless to me but no worse in operation, and it runs way cooler and quieter - the past two generations used to burn my legs and were noisy. The only downsides are reduced battery life (not a big issue to me) and the keyboard. I like the reduced travel, but it can "clog".. if they fix that, I prefer its design overall.
You're not. I have the late 2016 model. It replaced my ~2013-2014 model and I consider it an improvement.
The Touch Bar / touch-id is a (mostly irrelevant) improvement over a row of keys that I never used.
I think my computer would be worse if it dedicated space to a SD card slot reader. I've never used it.
I wouldn't mind a USB-A port. But I have only wanted to plug something in twice over the last year and the adapter was fine.
I really don't see why I want an HDMI port. I have never used it once over the last decade I have owned Mac laptops.
I get that Marco wants this stuff. He runs some complicated portable podcast setup that pretty much requires every port on the old laptop. But I can't really tell the difference between him and the people that did not want Apple to remove the ethernet port. Or the floppy drive. Or the VGA port. Or DVI. Or the DVD-ROM drive.
The only port removal issue that I suspect hits a sizable number of users is the iPhone cord still being USB-A.
Expansion, not sure how many people realise this - I have a 128GB card and make heavy use of the extra storage on top of my internal 256GB SSD.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a non-issue because of the existence of USB wires that have USB-C on one end and USB-A on the other, isn't that right?
Basically, any device which is USB-A works just fine if you simply use a USB-C<->USB-A wire.
I'm a mobile dev. Also to charge it.
Now you're probably thing "but what about bluetooth"? And I'd agree. In fact, I have almost no need anymore for the unifying receiver. Except my elecom trackball isn't bluetooth, and up until this year's Logitech MX Ergo, bluetooth trackballs just were not an option. I still prefer the Elecom over the MX Ergo.
And the plantronics headset? I've gone through so many bluetooth headsets, and this is really the best one I've ever found that lets me switch between phone and PC. However - computer bluetooth leaves something to be desired for VOIP windows and mac). That's where their UC adapter comes in - it makes voice conferences heavenly sounding.
Anyways, these are small nitpicks. When I'm at my desk, my laptop is docked and the various accessories live in the dock. It's really only when I travel or want to use that headset to take a zoom call on my computer from the couch that I find myself missing it. I'd love to just leave that tiny dongle live in the laptop all the time instead of retrieving it (plus usb-c to usb-a adapter) as I'm setting up for the call.
The USB-C transition is certainly painful right now, but he's glossed over many advantages of the current model too:
- 3+GB/s (yes, gigabytes) storage speed
- 10Gb/s USB (and 4 of them)
- Thunderbolt 3 (and 4 of them)
- Discreet GPU is standard (thank you Apple)
- Touch ID on a Mac really is nice
- Better screen (actually very low reflectivity for a so-called "glossy")
- Better sound
- Better cooling (and quieter indeed)
- Does make the previous model seem thick and heavy to me, so we'll have to agree to disagree on that one
- I like the keyboard, but it requires some adjustment for sure
Keyboard is better, screen is better, ports and touchbar - neutral.
Especially when trying to use things like 3-finger drag, or 2-finger scroll, it feels like half the time it's not working properly. It completely removes the spontaneity / "no thinking about it" quality of what was once the literally best part of Apple's laptops - the fact that the trackpad is an amazing input device for laptops.
I will probably end up getting one of these 'newer fangled' models at some point, if only for faster CPU, eventually, but I was quite disappointed in the 2016 model, as were many of the long-time Mac users I know.
For me, the Touch Bar is awesome and is super useful to me when doing video and audio editing and BetterTouchTool basically makes it useful in absolutely any app I want. The touchpad is almost laughably huge but, to me, it's way more useful than the smaller one, and I'm a big fan of the keyboard. It's a little loud but it has a very solid feel and I never feel like I miss a key accidentally because of the keyboard. It's very, very consistent for me and I really like that.
Overall, I just think it's a better computer for my case. I have 1 dongle that has USB, VGA, HDMI, and ethernet and I've used it twice since I got the laptop.
For one subset of users (of which I'm a part) I'd need one dongle - USB-C to DisplayPort - because everything else I need for my software development job is wireless. I'd occasionally need an SD Card reader for my camera, but I'm more likely to use my iPad Pro's dongle.
For others, they've invested in a lot of attached hardware that would need dongles to attach. It's a real pain for them.
Nobody's right or wrong, and to please everyone they'd need to maintain two models of MacBook Pro and that's not Apple's way. They'll either be successful, or like the Mac Pro they'll have to back out and redesign. They might lose users along the way but I'm sure they're aware of the risk. After all the play-it-safe PC laptop brands are nowhere near as successful.
Those upgradable connector ports have a cost associated with them.
If you’re really depending that much on the ad-hoc access to a backup, drop an additional external SSD in your bag and add it to timemachine. That’s even more secure.
I highly doubt that you are currently packing an external adapter to transplant your internal SSD to in case your notebook fails....
I'm not paying $3k to be inconvenienced by such retarded design and carry yet another ssd along with my bag of dongles, because apple decided to get cheap on a $3 connector. Kapish?
I remember when I got my first MBP (it was a 2010 model). I had long been a linux user, and getting the mac was something I had done begrudgingly. I remember how the little LED on the front would fade (not blink!) on and off. I thought it was really cool. I heard a story (maybe from here, actually?) that the apple engineers studied the way that humans breathe when they're sleeping, and modeled the fade after that.
When I told this story to one of my friends (a long time mac user) she just laughed and said "Welcome to mac, Ryan.".
I can't imagine a "welcome to mac" story like that one anymore. The only version of "welcome to mac" I can think of is Apple seemingly crippling their own hardware. Can't use your headphones on their $1000 (!) phone? Welcome to mac! Can't plug anything USB into your laptop without an adapter? Welcome to mac! Can't even plug your $1000 phone into your $1500 laptop made by the same company without an adapter? Welcome to mac!
The new MBPs are just such a downgrade. I totally get why they dropped the optical drive when they did. Online/flash storage was getting cheap enough and ubiquitous enough that it was a real replacement for CDs.
This is not the case with USB-C, evidenced by the fact that apple doesn't even use it on their own consumer electronics yet (!!!).
The new macs are really pretty. I do not understand and probably will never understand their hardware design decisions.
My god was that an eye opening experience. I'm still on my 4 year old 13" MBPr and it works flawlessly. It's easily the best consumer computing product I've ever used/owned. Everything is thought out so well.
The new macs have so much that I like, but the touchbar, the new keyboard, the dropping of the sd-card slot (hobby photographer here), and the dropping of magsafe seem like huge regressions to me. Everything else is great. I firmly support the USB-C switch. The new chassis is amazing, the new P3 display, and TB3 put it close to perfection.
Apple is so, so, close to making the perfect laptop again. Give me a quad core 13" MBPr with no touchbar, improve the keyboard, and return magsafe and the sd-card slot and I'll dish out the money. Until then, my amazing 2014 MBPr will continue to be my daily driver.
The biggest problem IMO is that Apple decided to outsource the whole connectivity problem to third party. Apple provides no  cable, no monitor, no external anything that uses the ports. At the very least Apple could have done some sort of certification program so that their user are not left with an infinite combination of unmarked cables of varying capability, or something to show commitment and strategy.
That's like removing the headphone jack and failing to provide their Airpods for months. But at least they announced the Airpods ...
2015 was a terrible year for Apple, the year they did nothing right - not because their product were bad just meh, but their delivery, the PR was terrible. 2016 is ok so far, but following 2015 it does not feel like enough.
 OK they provide cable and dongle, the point is that there is no USB-C product line or anything special around them, nothing that really help or make USB-C cool, just Apple-basic package as exiting as the ashtray option in a Tesla.
I think you have your years off.
> This is not the case with USB-C, evidenced by the fact that apple doesn't even use it on their own consumer electronics
A better comparison would be when the original iMac abruptly dropped support for SCSI, ADB, and serial in favor of USB, which was almost unknown at the time. The iMac drove demand for USB peripherals and started us down the path to USB becoming ubiquitous, but everyone griped about it at the time and there were all sorts of ADB-to-USB adapters for awhile.
That being said, I think USB-C does have some serious issues which Marco outlines well in another post: https://marco.org/2017/10/14/impossible-dream-of-usb-c
Except, the next few updates of that iMac brought 2 FireWire ports, a 56k modem port, ethernet, and a Mezzanine slot
We had a generation B iMac, and it was an incredibly versatile machine.
It worked with all our old SCSI stuff (Scanner, ZIP drive), supported all the new USB printers (no need to get a "Mac" printer anymore)...
Only stupid thing was that all those connectors where squeezed into a tiny space behind that a small door.
I loved that computer.
With this latest generation of MacBooks, it seems that you have to constantly struggle to adapt to them, not the other way. You need to bring dongles to connect peripherals, the charger no longer has MagSafe and the LED that used to tell you when it was charging and when it was fully charged, etc.
I used to love Macbooks, now I hate them with passion.
Yes, compared to modern laptops it is heavy, slow, bulky and has a shitty display but: i) I can replace every single piece of it with a simple screwdriver and ii) 4:3 is still the best aspect ratio for reading and developing. If I am doing the latter I prefer a screen with a lot of height. A 4:3 aspect ratio gives me a tall screen while keeping the overall size of the laptop down.
When DVDs became popular there was suddenly the idea that a laptop _had_ to have a 16:9 aspect ratio (e.g. "HD") and unfortunately this killed the whole idea of a laptop with a tall but narrow screen. Microsoft seems to go back to an older style with their 3:2 but I'd still love to see a modern T61 with a true 4:3 screen.
Which is why I thought it was odd that he didn't even mention aspect ratio. 16:9, for example, is a deal-breaker for me personally. This limits the kind of devices I have available (and sadly, increases the price point) but I simply can't do 16:9 as I find it too constraining.
My options today are 16:10 and 3:2. From a hardware standpoint, Apple's document-friendly screens on both their laptops and tablets have always been a strong selling point. Currently on a 16:10 but shopping around for a more modern 3:2/16:10 that's Linux-friendly.
Maybe I'm having trouble envisioning a modern 4:3 screen, since the only ones I have for reference are a couple old 19" ones I've got lying around but I can't imagine I would comfortably be able to have 3 vertically split files open on a screen e.g.
There is no technical or supply chain barrier to 4:3 displays, panels are available in quantity on alibaba.
You may be interested in making a "T70", which is a 15.4" T61 shell with a contemporary motherboard made by a group of Chinese ThinkPad enthusiasts. I've been considering an "X62" (same concept applied to the X61) but haven't pulled the trigger yet due to concerns about reliability and maintenance.
Quality control is an issue, but only kind of. There's a warranty and the 51nb people are super cool and helpful. Some people go all out with the backlight mod etc, but the only reason I'd do that is improved battery life; the regular backlight suits me fine.
Other than that, it's an amazing machine. I used an X60 for years and it's just like that, but better in basically every way. And relative to other comparable machines they're pretty cheap too.
I tried a few different ways; ordering was kind of difficult. I tried a couple PMs on Reddit which got lost, I tried the order form a couple times from facebook.com/lcdfans but that didn't work out either. Then I sent a Facebook message, Jacky responded and we started emailing. That worked. I think their email addresses are listed on the FB page. Basically the strategy is to be relentless haha.
Ordering itself took more than a month; I think I wired money 10/5 and finally got them 11/10.
I did order them assembled and they were perfectly new, no blemishes, scratches or anything. They're so new it's eerie (because all the parts are new old stock), except it's such a beautiful experience you don't care. I think the shell I got was an X61s; I still have that X60 and there are some small differences (no infrared, for example), but they mod them - ex: for the video outputs - so it's possible they do other tiny mods also.
I ordered 2; one was completely fine, the 2nd freezes with 2 DIMMs installed (works fine w/ 1) and I haven't decided whether or not to warranty it.
All of which is to say that you're right, it's significantly more effort than just loading up Amazon and clicking a few times, but I love ThinkPads so it was completely worth it to me. Even with 1 DIMM I'm super satisfied - so I guess either I'm completely in the tank or they're really great haha.
LMK if you have any more questions :)
If there would be a modern "IBM" with a 1600x1200 IPS display in a 14"-ish chassis I would be first in line to buy it.
This is exactly my problem! 12" is too small for longer reading and 15" is already getting too bulky for carying it around. 14.1" is the perfect myth of both worlds.
Since computer displays are advertised by their diagonal measure, for monitors with the same display area, a wide screen monitor will have a larger diagonal measure, thus sounding more impressive. -- Wikipedia
In my view there is no comparison to the x61 and x61-tablet with the higher resolution screen. I continued using mine until I couldn't get a replacement screen and backlight dimming and bubbling made the screen unusable.
95% of the time I'm using the workstation on my desk but when I'm not I almost always reach for the W530. I've probably only touched the MBP three or four times in the last year or so (since I built the workstation).
I absolutely love the W530! I've had it for, I think, about 4.5 years but it still has twice as much RAM as the MBP (32 vs. 16) and a pair of Samsung 850 PRO SSDs in a ZFS mirror. It is a beast of a laptop (considering its age) and it takes a beating riding around in the saddlebag of a Harley-Davidson.
While Steve Jobs was unique, I believe Apple has the right people to continue delivering the same great products. They just need to let them do their jobs.
This said, I'm looking forward to test a Pixel 2 Chromebook.
I tried a 12" MacBook. It was a gorgeous machine and wildly fast given its size.
But its trackpad is a grotesque monstrosity, and while I writing I too often activated it by accident, flinging the cursor to some distant spot by accident. Then I'd have to stop, recover, and reset.
I can't figure out what usability case would mandate a trackpad that large.
I returned the computer and suspect that the last generation of 13" MBPs may become "legendary," because they don't make the ginormous trackpad error.
I couldn't figure it out either. Did they have a bunch of focus group feedback saying "this trackpad is too damn small... moving my wrist 1/4" to touch the trackpad from a resting spot is way too much work, I'd rather have my wrists touching the trackpad"? That's the only feedback I can see them getting to justify it. That or... it's a general trend towards the ios-ification of mac, and pushing towards "touch interface" for everything (except, of course, on the actual screen).
I would also argue that Macbook Air was the first laptop ever since it was the first truly portable - not just transportable personal computer ever. For the first time a notebook was light, performant and run long enough on battery to be actually usable out of your office or home.
Yep, the screen is not retina but it's also significantly lighter, thinner and has longer battery life.
The design, so perfect that hasn't changed since 2010.
With every previous laptop I would have just taken it as a good moment to buy a new device, but I honestly don't see the point right now.
The Air was easily Apple's greatest laptop in my opinion. They made the perfect compromises on size, weight, and performance for my use case.
I was hoping when they released the MacBook it would continue the tradition... but that price! I wanted a Retina screen, but after comparing specs and price with the 13" MBPr, the pro was the clear winner, and a pretty great laptop too. No way I'm getting a touchbar though, and with Mac alternatives like the Pixel pushing touch screen / tablet mode... I might have to go back to the Air.
It's shape also allows more casual usage, there's something magical about being able to pick a laptop with one hand and swing it.
The trackpad isn't improved, the touchbar is crappy and it runs for less time and runs hotter.
If any HW startup wants to do a Macbook Pro 2015 redux (maybe using an ARM core) i'd throw money at them.
This thing is pure functional art. The first time my screen just magically unlocked itself because I happened to be wearing a particular watch was the moment nerd-like turned into nerd-love.
I have a 2012 Retina 15". The first generation. I spec'd it out at the time hoping for it to last me at least a few years.
From 2015 I've been eyeing off every new release of Macbook Pro thinking "yeah this time I'll upgrade" but then I realise there is actually nothing wrong with my current one. Like, nothing at all.
I realise the battery is going die eventually and software updates will no longer be supported at some point, but for now it really is the best computer I've ever owned.
Note: I've been on all sides of the fence (Amiga/win95->winVista/OSX) so I'm not just a fanboi.
Why would i upgrade to in many ways a crappier computer?
I'm hoping with the new mac pro we get a real macbook pro again. And i'm coming at this from the same place, i've used all different platforms. But this is the best laptop i've ever owned, and my favorite since my old T60. It was the first one that really felt like it not just checked every box, but filled out every corner.
I mentioned this here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15700403 regarding the 12" Macbook, but I'm baffled by the size of the trackpads on the new laptops. What's the point of having trackpads that large? It seems only to impair usability.
Meanwhile we lost both the quality and the fair price. It really makes me feel sour, to the point that I just bought a new 2015 model only to have the warranty that I'll have a proper MBP for three years to come. It was no more than a contingency plan; a rational decision made out of a lack of options, involving no enthusiasm at all. During that period I'll either have to find a good alternative to switch away to, or – hopefully – Apple will introduce something new that will make me want to be their customer again. Honestly, I can't say I'm optimistic about either.
*This new one isn't really worse, nor is it much better. The biggest improvement is the SSD. No more dGPU is a loss in terms of performance but a win for durability and battery life. The screen has this weird thing that something inside slides when you shake or turn it on the side (https://youtu.be/HmL7KXCMfxU). Don't bother having it replaced because all have it to some extent. I suppose it doesn't affect anything but my quality perception. Everything else feels pretty much the same.
Suddenly I learned that the SAME version of my mac but newer cost the same and REMOVED the dGPU.
I was flabbergasted... why the HELL would I pay the same money to lose the dGPU.
That day I had to abandon the mac and I got a Surface Book. The new line of Macbooks with their poorer battery life, silly keyboards and overdosed trackpads made me feel less like I was missing something.
First mac was the Macbook “white” one of the forst intel ones.
Magical is the only word I have. The breathing sleep led, the orange/green charging indicator. The button on the underside which would light up a simple gauge indicating battery level. The media remote control. The terminal with Python and C installed out of the box.
I mean it was way way way beyond anything you could buy and although more expensive it was worth every penny.
Just doesnt feel like that anymore.
The new macbooks just cost too much and the features dont feel like an improvement.
Any downsides you've hit in switching? I do a lot of work with intellij/phpstorm, vagrant/vms - I'm assuming there wouldn't be any substantive changes in those. Also, some of the WSL/ubuntu stuff in win10 looks promising too.
Bringing a new meaning to "tortured artist", opening up for tortured software devs to join in a more literal sense.
Why don't we look for other cool ways to make excuses for things getting worse or being bad, like saying "It's a bad craftsman that blames his tools" and other platitudes to excuse away technology that is legitimately worse than its alternatives? It's so meaningful to everyone around us when we refuse to engage in any kind of discussion about how good things are and why some things could be considered worse than others.
I have an expensive Windows laptop for personal use. The much more impressive specs aside, the experience is admittedly inferior. Why is it taking so long to build a similarly seamless laptop on Windows?
Apple laptops are becoming too thin at the expense of features I care about: larger battery, more diverse (HDMI and USB3) port, the mag safe connector and a longer travel keyboard. I could care less about Apple having the thinnest laptop. That's what the Air line was for.
It wasn't a bad Laptop but I would place pretty much any Thinkpad Tsomething above it in usefullness every day.
Edit:// forgot the horribly glossy screen. I really like sun, not like hiding from it to see my work.
When the new Macbook pro came out, I just kept my old one. Apple lost a guaranteed $4000 sale.
Why didn't I upgrade? I needed the ports for audio/video work, I didn't need the touch bar. I needed an SD card and HDMI. I would have had to buy an awful amount of dongles just to use the laptop.
I'm going to hang on the the 2015 version until it is obsolete, or until something better comes out.
Every year I don't. Instead I wipe the hard drive, reinstall the OS, and I have a brand new machine. Even the battery is still going strong 5.5 years into ownership.
This article hit the nail on the head. The laptop fulfills every need I have better than anything else I've tried.
But if I backup everything and then wipe the drive, things work perfect. I also get the additional benefit of only adding back the programs/files/settings I actually use, so I use it as a "spring cleaning" to clear out all the cruft that accumulates during the previous year.
I actually enjoy the opportunity to slim down the apps/files/etc. that I need. It's like a spring cleaning for my files.
My settings/dotfiles are something I've been backing up on my external harddrive, but it would be a good project to put them into a repository somewhere and make a setup script to get everything installed just how I like it.
That said, I'm still using my 2012 retina MBP and it's going great. These things are built to last!
People in China are replacing memory modules on iPhones. I'd say you just don't have enough skill to.
The Touch Bar Pro is an equally great model, when used in a similar "perfect" world (USB-C peripherals, connected to an LG 5K). But it's a terrible model "in the field", as very few things are ready for USB-C (including USB-C in some respects).
Very rarely have we doubt and not see the gain from an Apple transition two years in.
USB-C: I dont have problem with bringing in every connection to one standard or Apple dont ship iPhone with USB-C yet. These are all timing problem that will be solved one day. I have problem with USB-C itself. The quality, standard, and execution of USB-C in the public market with lots of different standard of cables that doesn't support PD or whatever feature. It is basically shit. At the moment I just wish they make a new version called USB-D and clean things up, for both the Transfer spec and the plug.
Keyboard: While most do like the bigger keys, it is still no where near as good as the old MBP. And there is a 5% chances ( The amount of new MBP repair due to Keyboard failure ) that the most important input devices on your Notebook does not work. And the repair cost $799. The 2nd revision of the Keyboard tries to solves the key travel problem by making a bigger noise, trying to trick your brain that you have typed and "felt" it.
Cant we just have a extra 1mm thick MBP that has much better keyboard and cheaper to repair, or even no need to repair?
TouchPad: As mentioned, no one has yet find a use case as to why we need such a large touchpad on MBP 15. Apple manage to keep the keyboard same size in both MBP, but not the touchpad. It frustrate you by various misfire from time to time, which was NEVER an issue with previous MBP.
Touchbar: It is useless, and does not work 100% of the time. Which align with Apple's new Keyboard design very well. But it doesn't annoys me since I rarely use it for anything other then those default keys. Trying to work with it for 2 years, it never clicked.
But I dont think any of these blog from Marco or rant in Reddit or HN matters. Tim Cook is much more of an Data / Number person. And the recent quarter shows there are more people buying the Mac then ever.
I miss Steve, i think he better then anyone else understand what the users need, and when to make the call or jump. The Apple now is trying to continue that way, but it is different. And it will never be the same.
Typing this on a 2012 rMBP that's still a champ.
The best laptop is the one with 7 row keyboard, like ThinkPad T420.
While Macbooks have nice aluminium body and are very light and thin they are far from being 'the best'.
Give me a modern-day laptop with 4:3 aspect ratio or even 1:1 and a matte screen and I'll be yours for life. I probably should have gone for the Chromebook Pixel while it was available.
My second one, around a year later, had the same screen problem! Not only that, it had a logic board failure that took me months to resolve and left it practically unusable (random crashes etc). Three times to the mac store to sort this one and a multi week wait at the end for a new logic board.
On both laptops: Wifi doesn't connect to half the hotspots I ask it to. Boot times become long even with a bare minimum installed after a few months of use. Charging cables have a lifespan of less than a year and cost a fortune to replace.
Im a heavy user and admittedly I don't take care of my stuff as much as I could. But Id always bought macs because they were reliable and durable (My ancient powerbook is still in use) and not had any problems.
Indeed - after swearing off macbook pros I had the chance to try and later buy a 2012 macbook air. Damn - it reminds me of macs of old. 5 years old and it just.. works. I couldn't be happier and am seriously considering buying another to do me when this dies.
Im not sure if the tide will come back in but I think the high water mark was perhaps before the retina.
Once you'll laminate a glossy screen, you'll never want to go back again.
I don't know in USA, but in Europe, a German company does it: http://www.tdcomponents.com/shop/displayschutz_laminierung.p...
Of course, you'll pay the shipment to the company.
(I have this wonderful macbook too, but I got used to the glare, it's not as bad as previous glassy versions)
And those replaced the ubiquitous RJ45 Ethernet jack?
At least they had the good sense to include HDMI and not go full TB.
My main gripe is the keyboard. I know some don't prefer the feel, but I could honestly get used to that (I mostly use an external mechanical keyboard at my desk, but often have to use the laptop portably). However, the keys get sticky real easy and I hate having to constantly clean it/blow the keys out just so it works like normal. I think that's ridiculous for such an expensive computer.
I don't experience any downsides to the TouchBar honestly (besides the annoying non-tactile ESC key), but I don't use the TouchBar for anything more than I used the function keys before (brightness, volume controls mainly) so it's really not worth the extra $$$ that they added onto for this thing. In hindsight, I probably should have went with the 2015 model.
With all that said, it's the unreliability of the keyboard that bugs me the most, because this laptop should work PERFECTLY for this price (even if I don't agree with some of the decisions that were made regarding the design). If I didn't rely on macOS for work I probably would have got a Lenovo laptop instead. That makes me sad, because my first Mac was the unibody WHITE model and that was probably the best "new computer" experience I've ever had.
But all that aside it's a champ and the only reason I would replace is because of the stuck purple line.
I wrote about it here: https://medium.com/@Pier/why-i-bought-a-2015-macbook-pro-fad...
Today Apple is making all its products according to one specific set of tradeoffs: external out-of-the-box form over function, thinness over everything, usability comes last. This set of tradeoffs is fine for some products, but not for every product.
While I like the previous design and think the 2015 model is pretty great, it is important to chronicle the history as it actually occurred so let me paint some light on some not so rosy features in 2012:
- MacBook Pros in 2012 almost universally had an image burn in issue (on the LG made displays) and it took Apple at least 6 month to reliably sort things out.
- MacBook Pro 2012 almost universally had a dGPU problem that made the machine crash on dGPU (presumably because of solder issues).
Those issues were very serious. Apple eventually did sort them out and the 2015 model is great but it is worth remembering that things take time to perfect. Issues will get fixed over time.
I do miss SD card a little bit, but it is no big deal, and I don't get all the fuss with USB-A at all. If you have an Android, MacBook is really made for you. If you have an iPhone you just got to grab a USB-C to Lightning cable (not dongles) and get on with your file. At your desk you really need a compatible monitor/dock anyway. So they are rather obvious choices medium to long term and hardly a design flaw. You could argue about the smaller battery and lower key pitches as a potential long term prioritization issue, but I think they just get better implementations that alleviate concerns under the current form-factor.
I don't get why people don't understand what the fuss is about.
external drives, external mice, external keyboards and USB drives. All of these are things that I or colleagues have/use on a regular basis. To spend north of $3k on a "pro" computer, but still get nickel and dimed to be able to use things that you could use 3 minutes before making 'the switch' is annoying/insulting/stupid. I'll go so far as to say had they even included a token C-A dongle in the box as a gesture... it would have been appreciated.
If only to do a backup/migration from an existing macbook, you very likely are going to be backing up to a non-usb-c device, and will need a connector just to do a migration.
I prefer the older one. I might prefer a 2015 model even more, but the 2012 is almost as good; close enough to perfect.
I have used and compared it to the other latest Macs, and though I can notice the performance increase, I find it a little minimal compared to the 5-year old machine I have! The Non-Macs are not even close, not even on the list, and no, I am not saying this just because of the MacOS, I find the overall experience to be shitty. I cannot imagine using HP/Dell laptops, with that OS!
Not to mention that the touchbar is not very useful, and as an emacs user, a big pain to not have a physical <esc> key.
Also notable: they hold their value exceptionally well, even for an apple product. The 2014 model price is actually trending upwards on eBay lately.
- macbookpro 13" 2011 user
I'm probably in the minority here, but to me, the best laptop ever made was the 15" unibody Macbook Pro, the predecessor to the Retina (so long as we forget the gpu dumpster fire that was the early 2011 models).
It had plenty of ports and had the perfect balance of portability and components that were easily upgraded by end users.
My work–issued 2017 13" MBP requires 2x dongles to run a dual screen setup — at a total cost of $240 — which is just ridiculous. And I have to carry one everywhere, just in-case I want to jack into HDMI (ie; visiting customer, presenting research). HDMI will be the prevailing standard for some time, and is ubiquitous.
Personally, this is when I started seeing the MBP derails from my needs.
Culminating (so far) with the touchbar. Even after a couple of month with it, its disadvantages run deeper than its advantages.
Otherwise, I dig the keyboard and larger touchscreen, and the rest is the same.
My guess is the Touchbar is a UX experiment
I'd prefer they just ditch the UI they're moving and enable keyboard shortcuts to respond to notifactions
I got mine replaced for free from Apple (they even upgraded me to the most expensive model of the next generation as they didn't have my medium level one any more)
Edit: https://9to5mac.com/2017/02/24/retina-macbook-display-staing... Oh my! I think I could go get a shiny fix/replacement. I am definitely going to have to do that
Thanks for this post! hah
The new ones are just horrible and more expensive. The touchbar does zero for me. So much junk for higher price and little utility.
I have the 2017 MBA 15" . Hate how the thing crashes all the time from using USBC peripherals... arghh..
If that doesn't work, go to Mac > Macbook Pro > Buy > 15" > Scroll down to the 3rd option.
They come in and out of stock though.
I'm in IT and order these all the time for engineers and sales folks; it's much preferred over the new models. ;)
- current MacBook-Escape
- 29W USB-C Power brick
- USB-C Cable
- USB-C to Lightning Cable (iPhones and iPad)
- USB-C to HDMI/USB Adaptor I bought for EUR10
Personally, I use all those regularly.
Chords can remain easily learnable down to about 65 keys, but on a smaller layout (~40 keys), you have to memorize multiple layers for dozens of keys.
This guy gets it.
I suppose if I bit the bullet and unlearned years of muscle memory I could do without those keys, but at this point it's not worth the effort. I'll stick to ThinkPads if I need to code on a laptop.
It's sobering, really. The only substantial improvement made to laptops in the past 6 years is battery life.
It was perfect in every way.
It never crashed, it was never slow and it had GNU tools built right in, but out of the way so I could enjoy the simple and practical UI.
Then one day my X key started missing a keystroke now and then.
Later it started missing strokes.
Then after a while it started to input 'x' when I wasn't pushing the key once in a while.
Eventually the entire computer became unusable because as soon as it powered on it would start to repeatedly ghost type the letter X, resulting in the OS disabling the X key at boot.
So I took it to the Apple store.
"They'll just pop the key off and replace it, maybe clean out under it" I thought. "Worse case scenario I'll have to pay $20 for a new keyboard."
Apple wanted $400 to fix the X key because they refused to simply fix one key. And they refused to simply replace the keyboard. No, the only way they would fix it would be to replace the entire lower deck and that would cost $400.
I had no choice. I needed my computer for business because all of my work depended on it. So I gave the $400.
My computer came back and it worked great for a while, about 8 months.
Then one day the G key started to miss a keystroke once in a while.
I think you know where this is going.
I continued to use the computer until the G key completely failed and began to ghost type G all the time.
This time I didn't have $400, so the broken key rendered my computer completely useless because my disk unlock password had the letter G in it, rendering the OS unbootable.
Even using an external keyboard didn't work because when the OS disabled the letter G at boot it disabled it on both the internal and the external keyboard.
So now I have a computer rendered useless by poverty.
If it was a Lenovo laptop, I would have called Lenovo and they would've overnighted me a free replacement keyboard, which I would have replaced myself in five minutes by removing a few screws, swapping it out and replacing the screws (I've done it on several Lenovo laptops).
I have a perfectly usable Macbook Pro sitting there in the corner rendered unuseable by a single broken key.
- Glued in batteries
- Difficult to repair, especially the poorly-manufactured logic board
- No Kensington security slot
- Soldered in RAM
This is why I still use an 13" A1278 non-Retina from 2012: 2x SSD's, 16 GiB of RAM, SD slot and KS slot. It's a little thick but sturdy, not the fastest CPU but it's solid.
The latest MBP's have unreliable logic boards and Apple's repair policies result in massive charges for binning whole boards instead of repairing cheap components. For such reasons, the "best" macOS laptop these days is arguably a hackintosh Lenovo such as T440 or P50s.
- Spill-resistant, awesome keyboard
- Nearly unbreakable
- Upgradable with commodity parts
- Crazy-long battery life
- Necessary ports included
It doesn't make sense to go with over-priced, soldered-in components that lack sufficient repairability.
> "It doesn't make sense…"
People are definitely entitled to their opinions, and any definition of "best" is going to be based on what one's priorities are. It's clear your priorities and Marco's aren't the same, which is fine. The incredulity you express here is really unwarranted.
How are you optimising battery life?