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MacBook Pro? No (shahidkamal.com)
233 points by IcePenguino on Jan 12, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 233 comments

I’m also stuck on an old MacBook Pro model. Can’t justify the price but after some research — namely trying to find an equivalent Lenovo or Hp or whatever — I reached the conclusion that it’s mostly Intel’s fault.

Let me explain: Intel chipsets don’t support enough lanes to supply USB-c, GPU, SSD and anything else with no less than 4 of them. The extra “legacy port breakout” ruins the tally and that’s why Apple dropped it and called itself “brave”. Any other vendor I’ve seen that sticks with legacy connectors will gimp one of the other 3 parts; it’s the chipset that ties their hands.

Next is RAM. low power DDR3 only runs up to 16GB and that’s what you get from Apple. Want more? Nope, Intel chipsets don’t support lp DDR4 so that’s what’s on the menu. Other vendors will use chipsets to get those 32GB but they’re power hogs and turn the machine into a skillet.

Apple’s only homemade blunders are the asinine keyboard and the silly half assed attempt at touch-but-not-screen.

Oh and the stupid obsession with thin, give me back an unibody design without CD drive and more battery. I’ll be fine rocking 12h on a charge thanks

The 2015 Macbook Pro included an SSD, 2x Thunderbolt 2, 2x USB3, HDMI, and an SD card slot. It had 9 hours of battery life. Are you saying Intel chipsets actually regressed since then? If not, then it seems like Apple is the one who has regressed here.

Apple choose the low voltage CPU, weaker GPU and super slim case at the expense of ports and computational power. Also 9 instead of say 6 hour battery life.

The only thing "Pro" in MacBook Pro is the price. At the same price points you can get Lenovo, Dell or HP workstation class laptops.

As a professional computer toucher, I definitely value battery life because a dead laptop doesn't let me get work done

The "Professional" moniker signals improved workload capabilities more than it does mobility/battery life. Essentially, Apple needs to change "MacBook Pro" to "MacBook On-The-Go" and just admit they don't have a Professional device.

When you think of a person with the title "computing professional", is your first thought, "Gee, I bet this guy spends very little time around power outlets"? No. While that may be true in some cases, that is not what the word "professional" means in the English language.

> Essentially, Apple needs to change "MacBook Pro" to "MacBook On-The-Go" and just admit they don't have a Professional device.

The Verge's review[0] was not far off: it is a MacBook Air replacement... except the Air had insane battery life and that one definitely falls short.

[0]: https://www.theverge.com/2016/11/2/13490774/apple-macbook-pr...

Professional means that I use it in the context of my profession. For me, the new touch bar pro is fundamentally better than the old for what I do because I need more battery life but I also don't want to pay a weight or size penalty for it. I get paid to get work done with my computer, so in that context I am a professional.

Historically the "Pro" in the MacBook line has referred to a device that is optimized for professional computer work. A journalist can certainly _be_ a "professional" and use their computer to get work done without requiring anything beyond a glorified tablet.

The kind of device required for a video rendering, database engineering, software development, or some other _computer_ based profession is inherently different and has stricter requirements on the capability of the device beyond mere portability and being able to pause Spotify with dynamic function keys.

I am a professional software developer / data scientist :)

I definitely agree that video rendering and HPC is not going to go well, but that is not that relevant to even many "pros"

The scope of the professional software world is broad.

The battery life on my touch bar pro is horrendous.

So do on mine without touch bar

Sorry, but that’s not entirely true. Mobile workstations (say a p15 or p17) can even equip a Xeon but they’re either throttled, have humorously short battery or a grotesque power supply and are still gimped somewhere (USBc, NVMe, GPU).

Apple made a mess of their PB but it’s not entirely their own fault, other vendors can’t offer great alternatives either l

No, not a regression just a gimped progression. Thunderbolt 2 carries 20Gb/s, while version 3 does 40Gb/s and requires 4 PCEe lanes. GPU wants another 4 and so does the SSD for a total of 12. My guess is that in older MBPs Tb would take 2 lanes leaving 2 for the legacy breakout hub, but Tb3 needs all of them to support multi-monitor 4K and imagine the howling if Apple gimped that instead.

I tend to blame Intel for cheaping out - or scrooging - on the PCI lanes... hopefully Ryzen and the Meltdown blunder will make Intel more generous.

The chipset doesn’t have to provide all the functionality. There’s no reason they couldn’t add another USB controller chip like most PC motherboards.

The RAM is technically Intel’s fault, even though it isn’t like Apple has no say in Intel’s roadmap.

IMHO the 2015 MacBook Pro was the apogee of Apple design. It will be hard to beat.

> IMHO the 2015 MacBook Pro was the apogee of Apple design.

It might be worth noting that, for some odd reason, in the 2015 macbook pro Apple decided to run the keyboard/trackpad cable directly on top of (and glued to) the battery. So with regular use, in about a year the battery destroys the cable and the keyboard / trackpad fails. Major design flaw.

And it's such an obviously dumb thing to do (hey let's glue that thin, flat cable flush on top of the battery that heats up and expands!), that the tens of thousands of people viewing the youtube videos on how to fix this issue themselves have questioned whether this was a designed / controlled hardware failure.

Well where would you wire the extra controller to if not to a PCIe port? (it's in the name, Peripheral Component Interconnect ;)

Partial Correction - numbers - according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacBook_Pro#Technical_specific... 15"MBP use 2 TB3 chips, one per pair of USBc ports. This raises the total of PCIe lanes to 16 which corresponds to the max affordance of the i7 Cores used https://ark.intel.com/products/97185/Intel-Core-i7-7700HQ-Pr...

> Apple’s only homemade blunders are the asinine keyboard and the silly half assed attempt at touch-but-not-screen.

The keyboard rules. Can confirm. Also some content creation apps I use (ex: Ableton) are starting to get useful treatment in the Touch Bar.

> Oh and the stupid obsession with thin

The thinner the laptop, the more stuff I can cram in my carry on. ymmv

> The thinner the laptop, the more stuff I can cram in my carry on. ymmv

This is important. Because all those adapters do take up space.

A couple USB-C pigtail adapters take up nearly zero space, and everything will be USB-C in the near future.

But so do a couple millimetres of extra depth.

This means you're probably not using the laptop as a workstation. Say, graphics, CAD, CAM, video or audio authoring.

To do these you might want extra ports for say audio interface, specialized controller, digitizer... And a video output to present the results perhaps.

Instead you get to carry that and an interface box.

More disk space and RAM are major assets too.

Not that i wouldnt agree with you but when you are doing music production you will need powered hub anyway. At minimum i plug in mouse, soundcard, midi controller and most of the time keyboard and midi keys.

This is problem on every laptop since most of them have under 4 usb slots.

I do use it as a music workstation - external monitor, audio interface, a bunch of midi devices, external disks, ethernet, etc.

I plug all of this into the laptop with a single cable, via a thunderbolt dock, and it's the greatest thing ever.

If I'm carrying around a bunch of equipment for work on the go, throwing in one or two small usb hubs [0] is no big deal.

[0] https://www.anker.com/products/variant/USB-C-to-4-Port-USB-3...

2015 MacBook Pro - 0.71 x 14.13 x 9.73 = 97.6 cu in

2017 MacBook Pro - 0.61 x 13.75 x 9.48 = 79.5 cu in

The difference is 18 cubic inches, about the size of a 2 1/2" cube. I personally would take a few more hours of battery life, 32GB memory, SD card slot, etc in exchange for that volume on my carry on, even if I traveled as much as once a week.

n=1 disagreement on the keyboard. My hands can't find their way around it. I thought it would be fine - there are nubs on the F and J keys as normal - but the the lack of tactile sensation between the keys means I can't easily find the ~ key by touch. I've hit 1 and Tab more times than I have the ~ key, because I'm off by an amount which would be detectable and correctable if there was a tactile difference between keys. Similarly, the arrow keys are not easily found without looking at the keyboard for the exact same reason.

I can and have gotten used to the lower profile keys, but the lack of a tactile distinction between the keys makes a big difference.

I personally love the keyboard. Also, I don’t mind it being a little thicker but I love the current weight.

I have the exact opposite experience so far. By all means, this is a professional laptop in my opinion.

To expand a bit:

- I love the keyboard, best I've seen on a laptop (I'm a 80+ WPM typist)

- I don't have issues with the touchbar, getting used to quickly manage apps like spotify.

- My default editor is vim and don't have issues with escape

- Trackpad is the best I've seen on a laptop

- The machine is fast

- The screen is amazing

- Battery life is decent

ps. On the other side, I don't have experience working on a high-end XPS/Thinkpad, but the main reason to buy is the OS. My workflow and tools are tailored around the mac. It's not that I can't find my way through Linux or even a BSD Laptop running i3. It's that I don't want to.

Interesting. The 2017 Macbook Pro is the first Macbook I've ever had, and I find the keyboard terrible. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but I just struggle to type on it, often finding letters missing from the words I've typed, and the keys never being where my fingers expect them to be. The key travel just feels wrong too.

By comparison, I also have a very cheap Asus netbook (13", I think) - it was about £100 compared to about £3000 for the MBP, and it actually has a better keyboard!

It is interesting how polarizing the butterfly mechanism is. I absolutely love it. I can type more accurately and faster on it (they keys feel more stable) and I dread when I have to use an external keyboard with the old scissor switches or a pre-butteryfly MacBook. My colleagues who have a new MacBook Pro also prefer the new keyboard. The only large downside seems to be that it breaks more quickly.

Of course, in the end it is a matter of taste. It would be nice if Apple could find some compromise between the new and the old design. But Apple being Apple, they will stick to it ;).

This is like saying the Xbox 360 is polarizing. It's not that some people love it and some people hate it. It's that some people get a working one and some people get a broken one.

There's enough complaints about broken butterfly keyboards to conclude that the failure rate is significantly higher (across both the first and second generation).

My experience between a 2015 MBP and a 2017 MBP tells me that the problem is the lack of a tactile difference between keys. Unless I'm focusing really hard, there's very little to tell me without sight where my finger is on a key.

This results in hitting 1 instead of ~, losing my place on the keyboard on a regular basis, and being completely unable to find the arrow keys by touch. Perhaps my typing is a bit sloppy, but it works just fine on the 2015 MBP, with a tiny fraction of the errors I encounter on the 2017 MBP.

Yeah, I went from 2015 to 2016 MacBook Pro and the keyboard is way way worse. I use several keyboard and this new one is the only one where I regularly make typos (which is very frustrating when typing passwords).

> I find the keyboard terrible.

> I can't put my finger on it exactly

Sounds like that's your problem!

He was fumbling to find the words.

How long have you had it? What’s your typing style?

Finding where the key tops are is largely down to familiarity/practice, and it’s possible your netbook had smaller-than-standard key spacing, which then might take some time to readjust to the standard key spacing.

I’m sorry Apple made the key tops bigger and the gaps between keys smaller on this version though, as smaller key tops with wider spaces between tend to help train your fingers to find the right keys and reduce errors from accidentally hitting a corner or edge of the neighboring key. The change to the arrow key layout is IMO a serious regression.

I also think the key travel is a bit too shallow, but after a while most people can sort of get used to it. The new snappier tactile feedback is pretty nice. I wish they could figure out a way to make a keyboard with the old amount of key travel (or even slightly more), very reliable, but with the new tactile feedback which hearkens back to full-travel clicky switches of the 70s and 80s.

Many people used to rubber domes and cheap laptop keyboards end up with a typing style where they really mash the keys down hard into the bottom of the stroke. This especially comes about when people use the cheapest type of rubber dome boards (e.g. the ones that came with most PC desktop computers in the 2000s, including Macs) which need to be pressed all the way down to actuate, and sometimes actuate unreliably unless the key is pressed very firmly; using such a keyboard for any extended time ingrains incredibly damaging habits.

If you try to do a hard mashing style of keypress on a key with extremely shallow travel and not much cushion at the bottom, you’ll put a sharp impact on your fingers with every keystroke, and cause quite a bit of strain. It’s kind of like what happens if someone habitually runs wearing shoes with thick padded heels, landing on his/her heels with every step, and then switches overnight to running barefoot on concrete, without changing running form. Ouch!

If this describes your typing style, try to figure out a way to type with a lighter springier kind of stroke, ideally with your forearms and palms floating in the air above the keyboard instead of resting on any surface. Try to type with just enough force to reliably actuate the key, but not much more. (Irrespective of which type of keyboard you are using.)

Edit: in response to otempomores’s dead comment: this is not intended as an apologia (maybe try reading more carefully?). As a long-time keyboard nerd, I’m just sharing some of my impressions of the changes (positive and negative), and providing some hopefully helpful additional feedback/advice, most of which should be broadly applicable beyond this particular keyboard.

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response!

I've had the netbook for 1-2 years, but I only use it one every few months or so. Still, it's a joy to type on for such a small device.

The Macbook I've only had for 6 months or so, and I only use it once a week or so (I work mostly on Windows, but need to build iOS apps). I should also have said it's the 13" version.

TBH, I don't really want to try change my typing style to suit the MBP; that kind of reminds me of Apple's infamous "your're holding it wrong" response to users complaining of aerial issues with one of the iPhones from years back :)

I regularly work on quite a few different keyboards (6, I think!) and indeed have worked on several over the years, but this is the only one I've ever had any real issue with.

> The Macbook I've only had for 6 months or so, and I only use it once a week or so

The once a week part might make it extra difficult to adjust. I’ve seen reports from several people who found the new Apple keyboard uncomfortable/weird for the first few weeks of full time use, but then got used to it well enough.

Switching between a full-travel desktop keyboard (of whatever type) and a very low-travel keyboard could be a pretty jarring transition.

Personally I prefer a keyboard with longer travel distance, and generally despise all laptop keyboards. The new Apple laptop keyboard is for me not really significantly better or worse than previous Apple laptop keyboards or than the better PC laptop keyboards. It’s a bit different – a nicer tactile response, but less travel distance – but for me those are roughly a wash.

Have you considered using an external keyboard with the laptop? I generally prefer to use an external keyboard if I have any significant amount of typing to do.

As for “holding it wrong” – many if not most people I have watched type have quite terrible posture and typing style, which is why so many end up developing repetitive strain injuries. 40 years ago, typists were likely to go through serious typing training at a secretarial school, and learn ways of sitting and typing which tried to accommodate human practice to the shape of the typewriter so that it was possible to be efficient while not injuring themselves. Nowadays people tend to learn in an ad-hoc way by just picking up the device and figuring it out for themselves. I constantly see people sitting slouched, their arms reached way out in front of their bodies and palms or forearms resting on the table, with wrists flexed uncomfortably upward, etc.

Most of our furniture (and definitely our computer keyboards!) are not very well designed for human anatomy. Ideally keyboards would be split into two pieces, tented upward at the middle, and detached from a display so that the keyboard part could be kept close to the torso. Each half of the keyboard would be better designed to put as many buttons as possible within very easy reach, and aligned with the fingers instead of an arbitrary staggered grid dictated by the implementation details of 19th century typewriters. The screen could be placed slightly below eye level, tilted slightly upward, and at least 2.5 or 3 feet away from the face. Logical keyboard layouts would be fixed to be more efficient and convenient. Etc.

How long have you been using it? The keyboard keys getting stuck seems to be a fairly common problem. I think it stems from dirt getting stuck beneath the edges. I had the „k“ key not respond at all for a few days, then I furiously scratched along the edges with a finger nail, and after that it always registered two key strokes (better than none at all). After some weeks, functionality returned to normal.

The escape key has a steep learning curve, but after a few weeks you learn to always hit it. I don’t like the lack of physicality though.

Touchbar controls sometimes get stuck in a State (Eg after sliding volume up or down), so I had some instances of suddenly playing very loud music when I really couldn’t use it.

Battery life is 2h for me, with XCode, Simulators, Safari and Slack open. My previous MBPro (first with Retina display) did 3h in this scenario although its components were older and needed more power. Maybe High Sierra is to blame though.

I would have loved an iteration on the previous design - change 2 USB-A ports for USB-C, maybe the new keyboard and only slightly bigger touchpad, and I personally don’t care about the lit Apple logo. It‘s not nostalgia, but pure practicality. My coworkers were always a bit envious of my MBPro, but now they hear me swearing a lot about this and that.

I'll add my anecdotal experience to this too. I had to have the whole keyboard replace on mine last week because of a stuck b-key. Fortunately it was still under warranty through work. As of last night some miniscule crumb has got behind the up-arrow key and I have the same problem again.

Yeah.. try cleaning it with a finger nail or piece of sturdy paper. Even though it looks like not doing much, this regularly fixes my problems. Perhaps the crumbs are just pushed inward.

So, uh, you just kkept using the computer even though a common kkey was brokken, for two weekks?!!

And then it healed itself so that's no biggie?

Makes me wonder about your workflow. I write code and would have been in a (silent, I'm from Sweden) rage in a day or less.

Holding out for so long with a major fault seems very forgiving.

You bet I was in rage. I told everyone about it, and ranted on Twitter. I‘m a coder too, you know. But we have no Apple store in Austria, just certified partners, and they all were like „Uhm, we don’t dare try fix this.. we have to send it in. Or do you want a new keyboard? That would be €€€ and you have to leave your machine here with us for a couple days“. Since I have no portable backup machine, I decided to stick it out instead - I thought it might fix itself since it seemed to have to do with dirt beneath the edges. Patient? Yes. Forgiving? Not so much.

I am so happy that we live a 25 minute drive from an Apple store now. When I lived in the northern Netherlands, there was only an Apple dealer nearby. They were absolutely terrible. I once had a broken 'f' key, the laptop was still under warranty and they were blaming me that I broke the key by removing the key cap (which I didn't). They only repaired the laptop after a lot of arguing.

I had to use my warranty twice at an Apple Store and the experience was stellar. One time they repaired my phone within two hours. With a broken MacBook Pro, they just replaced it. No questions asked. I know that some people have bad experiences, but for me their support has been a lot better than that of Apple dealers and other vendors (looking at you Motorola/Lenovo).

We will reportedly have an Apple store in Vienna, I‘m looking forward to it :)

>but the main reason to buy is the OS

Is that still true? I feel like that argument is vanishing more and more these days.

nah. I switch between windows, linux, and osx for work and personal use all the time. OSX is just fine. Windows is just fine. Linux is just fine. Everything is at about the same level of ability, the same level of suck, and the same level of "just works." Every modern OS is good looking, occasionally frustrating, and generally effective once you take a few days to figure them out.

I do the same, I have to install a few apps on Mac to help out with window management but otherwise I can't say any OS is a true game changer anymore.

That's how I feel about it. There is a convergence towards common usability as long as you choose your graphics card carefully for GNU/Linux (no nvidia).

I suspect it's the part after this that's more important:

> My workflow and tools are tailored around the mac. It's not that I can't find my way through Linux or even a BSD Laptop running i3. It's that I don't want to.

I've been mostly full-time on the Mac since...2003, I think? I would be fine with Linux or FreeBSD, and I could live with Windows, but I'd just prefer not to. For me, macOS captures nearly everything that I loved about old-school Macs and everything that I love about Unix. There's a lot of little touches that make macOS just "feel better" to me, although I've found in practice those get to be really hard to explain in ways that don't make me sound slightly insane. For instance, drag and drop feels like a first-class UI metaphor on macOS in ways that it never did to me on Windows or any Linux desktop environment; I'm dragging and dropping all the time on the Mac in ways that I didn't--or in more than a few cases, simply couldn't--elsewhere. And when people rail against how difficult macOS is to customize and bend to their will, it's clear they're using very different metrics than I am.

I think other GUIs have certainly narrowed the gap over the years, and not everyone agrees with Apple's design decisions. (Including me, although most of the ones that drive me nuts are hardware decisions, and a continued obstinance in opening iOS up enough to let it become the general-purpose computing platform they seem to be positioning it as.) But as long as macOS keeps doing what I want and Apple doesn't screw the pooch hardware-wise, then I'm in the camp of "yes, I will buy Apple products to keep running macOS."

> drag and drop feels like a first-class UI metaphor

This is definitely a taste thing. Personally I hate drag and drop, everytime I'm forced to do it I wonder why the developers are making me perform virtual manual labor. Why am I applying constant pressure to carry things from one side of the screen to the other?

God yes. I—personally, just an opinion obviously—detest Windows. I viscerally hate it.

> God yes. I—personally, just an opinion obviously—detest Windows

There's a lot more choice than just macOS and Windows.. :)

It is for some. I love linux and want to use it but in printing industry you are done without adobe indesign. There is no good way to run indesign on linux.

I am hoping for kvm/virtulasition with gpu passthrough will soon be good enough solution.

Some Linux distributions are very competitive nowadays, with many desktop environments to choose from.

A key reason to own a Mac would be to build iOS apps and MacOS software.

A key reason to own a Mac would be to build iOS apps and MacOS software.

For me, the reason to own a Mac (besides hardware support and generally liking macOS) is the amount and quality of third-party software. There is a lot of software that I either need or want, and there are no good-enough competitors on Linux, e.g.: Microsoft Office (for work), 1Password, Affinity Designer, Pixelmator, Acorn, LaunchBar, Little Snitch, Tweetbot, Mic Snitch, DeckSet, Paprika (for recipes), Things, PDF Expert, Arq, Dash, Sonos, etc. In addition, a lot of these tools and macOS are very well integrated, e.g. I can directly search Dash or 1Password from Launchbar. I can make a phone call to a person directly from Launchbar, etc.

For some work there are better open source tools, e.g. Emacs as an editor, org-mode for notes/outlining, LaTeX for typesetting, Handbrake for video transcoding. But they all work fine on macOS.

I am surprised by your use of a closed-source password manager. I feel much happier using something less susceptible to secret flaws.

Oh, that same old argument. No they're not. Absolutely not even close. This is coming from someone who actually uses linux 90% of the time every day. Linux on the desktop is still a huge mess, every desktop environment on linux is a real pain to use, I won't go into details, but those who use linux daily on the desktop cringe reading comments like this, unless using a wm like dwm or i3, but those suck BIG TIME too if you ever have to leave the terminal.

In general I prefer Linux, but the synergy you get from macOS and the hardware, for energy management in particular, is yet to see on Linux.

Or you know, to have a UNIX, but also a nice just-works-most-of-the-time desktop UI, device support (for stuff like external audio interfaces, scanners, etc) and access to all kinds of proprietary pro apps, from Above and Microsoft to whatever.

See how much you love that keyboard a year from now once it's built up enough dust under there.

This is what I find to be the problem. I can get used to typing on it and it's even weird to go back to normal keyboards now. However, keys keep getting stuck due to dust and that is quite unacceptable.

My wife uses my previous MacBook 12" 2015. It's now over two years old and I used it day in and day out. The keyboard still works fine.

(The MacBook 12" also uses the butterfly mechanism, though the 2015 version uses the first iteration.)

Anecdotally my girlfriends 2015 Macbook with 1st gen butterfly switches suffers less of a problem than my MBP with 2nd gen switches

I hate the keyboard (I'm a 110+ WPM typist). I can't feel them as well because there is no sculpting and the key edges are too far from the center of the keys. The keys tend to get stuck and/or don't activate (my Option key requires extra pressure to work). Easily the worst keyboard Apple ever invented.

The touchbar is useless. The only things I ever use on it are the brightness and volume controls - which worked just fine with the function keys they removed. Actually, they worked better, because I didn't have to look at the keyboard to use them.

The trackpad is ridiculously large, which makes it awkward. Palm detection is poor because my palm hovers just above the trackpad when I am typing, and the slightest brush (as I'm typing) moves the pointer. This would not be a problem with a trackpad of reasonable size.

I agree with the rest. Even on my external keyboards, I have caps-lock mapped to Ctrl and Esc via a Karabiner-Elements script.

I'll echo these sentiments. I've had the older macs and I love the new butterfly keyboard a lot more. I recall it taking me a week or two to get use to, but I was hitting the same WPM/accuracy right off the bat.

As for Windows, I think they have some great hardware out there. I really enjoyed the Surface, but the OS was terrible. What I realized was that software developers didn't take the time to really focus on the UI and polish the apps. Even apps like 1password had horrendous experience. I hacked it into a hackintosh, but it was a pain to keep it updated and some features were missing from a real Mac. At the end of the day, a Mac still wins over for me.

Edit >>

Wanted to add, the one thing that annoys me about the touchbar is that I accidentally hit the top right keys when I hit backspace. Aside from that, I'm fine with it on vim. Escape isn't an issue.

>My default editor is vim and don't have issues with escape

if you are using vim, it is more efficient to use ctrl+[ instead of the escape key. This way your hands are staying where they mostly are.

Or map Esc to `jk`. Gold.

never thought about it! Thanks!

Just don't forget about it if you're writing something about Dijkstra in vim.

Or just map caps lock to escape. Then you replace an almost useless home row key with an extremely useful one.

> if you are using vim, it is more efficient to use ctrl+[ instead of the escape key

I'm always amazed by how, after using vi(m) for so many years one can always learn something new. I opened a session and tried it out and then found my hand moving to the escape key automatically...

Ctrl-c does the same and it is easier to press.

it's not 100% equivalent, for example C-v (select visual block), I, ..., C-c will cancel the block prepend action, whereas esc or C-[ will execute it.

Took me a while to realise that when messing around with visual/block.

I still mostly use C-c from muscle memory though, but do occasionally swear at it.

I see this caveat all the time, why don't people just rebind C-c to Esc and be done with it

Anecdotal data for “I love it so far” here, too.

My MBP is a 2016 model, decked-out 13-inch. I can't say I love the Touch Bar but I don't dislike it either. It works fine. I wished the Touch ID sensor was used for more dialogs–some don't use it and I can't understand why. The keyboard is great, love it. The touchpad is awesome, absolutely love it. The screen is amazing. The battery life is OK (I wished it was better but I come from crappy laptops so it is much, much better than what I already know).

So it's the best trackpad based on sample size of 1, or what?

Lucky you have gotten a keyboard that works. My WPM suffers from having to go back and correct stuff all the time. Of course, now it's almost ingrained that in order to make a space, I have to press the spacebar, and then backspace to remove the extra space.

If your laptop is still under warranty and you can wait a few days while they ship it back and forth, Apple will replace the keyboard for you free of charge.

I had this same keyboard problem and Apple replaced it FYI. You might want to bring it in.

I recently (well a year ago), switched from using and recommending a MBP to a Lenovo with Linux.

Buy a $500 ThinkPad T450s - <latest series model> off eBay, replaced it with new internals. I get 20Gb of RAM, 2x1Tb SSDs, a nice keyboard, a decent track pad, 10 hours of battery life - total cost: $1300-$1800.

I've done this for myself and three family members and we all couldn't be happier. I fly a lot and having that battery life is so helpful. I even carry 2x back up batteries, and have ~25 hours of battery life (enough for a whole trip). Finally, I prefer the 14" body.

I should add I still use a 2015 MBP for work and find it acceptable, I wouldn't go out and buy a new MBP ever. My co-workers with their USB-C converters, touch bar(s), and stupidly sized track pad find my 2015 model much more enjoyable.

T450s was my first Thinkpad, bought when it was a current model and still feels like new. Wish I'd switched from consumer laptops earlier.

Lenovo has a pretty awful history of security / privacy issues. For me, it feels like giving them money [1], is saying that I'm ok with that behaviour (which I'm not)

[1] I know you said you bought off ebay, but I don't think that distinction matters

Lenovo yes, but not the thinkpad line.

Is Apple any better regarding security issues? No doubt they try regarding privacy - but security? Just to leave a reminder: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208315

A security vulnerability seems like a different ballgame than intentionally compromising security (aka, installing backdoors). Just one of the Lenovo incidents: https://thehackernews.com/2015/02/lenovo-superfish-malware.h...

Again, your link is about consumer devices, not the thinkpad line.

"Again"? I'm missing a reference to something?

Genuine question, why does the distinction matter?

I think the distinction matters because the Thinkpad line gets handled completely separately from the consumer devices, perhaps because it originally was a different company (IBM).

The "Again" wasn't meant to be snarky, sorry. Upthread you posted the same malware point and annother commenter already said that all the adware/malware stuff was consumer-only.

Because all X are not Y, even if some Y are X.

Security holes, yes, MacOS they have their share. Actual security issues that are not trojans where users are duped to install them themselves, not much (if any).

Sample of one, but it's been 15+ years, 10 versions of OSX/macOS, and not a single malware (even with getting stuff from torrents etc). Can't say the same for my Windows boxes.

Any part list you could suggest for the replaced components?

Depends on the model. Here's some items from my last build...

Most in the series come with 4Gb of RAM soldered in, so you get another 16Gb stick[1].

Regarding the SSD, typically you get a laptop with one installed, but you can add in the m.2 ssd slot[2].

Then you buy the battery pack [3].

You should be good to go from there. I've seen people replace the screen, trackpad, and keyboard as well, but those are all I typically replace.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Single-PC4-19200-Unbuffered-2...

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-960-PRO-Internal-MZ-V6P512BW/...

[3] https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Battery-0c52862-Factory-Sealed...

Yeah I'm pretty sure this Macbook Pro I have from 2014 will be my first and last. I've loved it, I'd buy it again, if it was the same design with new specs. I'm not going to downgrade for the same or an increased price tag. And for what? Shaving 0.3lbs off? Worse battery life? Someone get those noodley Apple designers some weights to lift. And some brains.

Carrying around the two laptops, the newer one’s slightly smaller bezel, significantly thinner case, and weight reduction (overall, it fills 22% less volume and weighs 13% less) make a pretty big difference in portability, without the sacrifices that go into the Air laptops.

If you leave it on a desk all day, then it doesn’t really matter, but if you’re constantly taking it on the go you’ll likely appreciate the change (even if you don’t think it’s worth the trade-off in keyboard button travel distance, elimination of some ports, opportunity missed for a larger battery, etc.).

Personally I wish they had allocated an extra millimeter of depth for the keyboard.

Are you carrying two laptops at the same time? I found I've not had too much trouble carrying my laptop in a backpack since 2008 (when I replaced a beastly ~5kg 15" Acer with a thin 2.5kg 14" Dell Latitude).

That really made a huge difference (the Acer used to give me backaches, as it also had a much larger power brick) but all the laptops since didn't really bother me in terms of weight.

That really made a huge difference (the Acer used to give me backaches, as it also had a much larger power brick) but all the laptops since didn't really bother me in terms of weight.

I cycle to work every day. I found switching from a MacBook 12" (2015) to a MacBook Pro (2016) a huge downgrade in this respect (the 12" is 0.45 kg lighter).

If Apple releases a MacBook 12" with at least two USB-C ports and good 4k@60Hz support, I will probably switch back to the MacBook 12" on the next upgrade.

No, one at a time. I’m just saying that there is a noticeable difference between carrying the new one all the time vs. carrying the old one all the time. And that one was noticeably more portable than the previous model with the spinning disk and CD drive.

Isn’t the Air designed for that purpose?

The new laptops have many spec advantages over the Airs. Most notably for me, they have displays with double the pixel density.

Edit: The below is incorrect.

The weight reduction surprisingly doesn’t have a lot to do with battery capacity.


Ok, so they couldn't increase the battery capacity. But why did they reduce it from 99.5 watt-hours to 76.0 watt-hours rather than just keeping it?

Half in what terms?

I looked at the wrong rows in the table of capacities. So it's not a reduction by half. I corrected my message.

But it's still a reduction in capacity (from 99.5 watt-hours to 76).

You know what, I was under the impression the 15" had a 99.5wh battery. My mistake.

The removal of the Magsafe port alone conveys someone stopped believing in what they believed in strongly before. [1]

Now that Apple has taken a controversial stance on the design of the newer Macbooks (no Magsafe, fewer ports, no ESC key, etc.), I think it's going to be hard for them to fallback to their previous design as that would be an admittance of their failure. And this alone means to me I wouldn't be buying a laptop from them for the next couple of years until they admit they screwed up, or come up with a better solution. This is a classic example of don't fix something if it ain't broke.

At the same time, I can't imagine myself using a HP or Lenovo either after being used to the MacOS ecosystem. All one can do is just hope, I guess.

For the record, I own a retina 2014 MacbookPro, and I think it's the perfect machine for any programmer.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hzseCyqr4s

My personal laptop is a 2012 15" Retina MBP, and my work one is a new 15" with the TouchBar. This is, by far, the longest I've kept a laptop and I'm sorta dreading having to replace it (it is having some reliability/battery issues lately) for pretty much the reasons the author described - they match my experience with the new MBPs.

Admittedly, a lot of the things come down to personal preference. I've met a lot of people who like the new keyboard (I slightly prefer the old one, but I hate hate hate the arrow key configuration on the new ones), use the TouchBar a lot (100% useless and annoying for me), and enjoy the extra space on the new touchpad (I really dislike how big it is - I accidentally click a lot).

The really worrying thing, though, is how unreliable the new keyboards are, and how difficult they are to replace. Repairability is pretty terrible with Apple. I'm not holding my breath for Apple to change any of the design decisions they've made with the MBP lately, but hopefully they can at least address reliability issues with the keyboard.

Given all that, plus how unreliable OS X has been for me lately, it is tempting to consider non-Apple alternatives, but it is hard to say if any of them are actually going to be any better. Either way, I don't feel the same about them now as I have from the early 2000s until 2012.

“but I hate hate hate the arrow key configuration on the new ones)”

Not sure why they removed empty space on top of left and right arrows, but this change had the biggest affect on my performance while writing code, I used that blank space to navigate my way around the keyboard, now it’s gone I keep pressing wrong keys. They did the same on the new magic keyboard as well, I hate the guts of it.

Yes, the new MBP keyboard has the same arrow key layout as the new Apple wireless keyboard, and I despise it. My fingers are constantly trying, and failing, to find the proper arrow key to press and I end up having to look at the keyboard. The only hope is that they change it back in the next version (along with removing the ridiculous TouchBar), but I'm not holding my breath.

hjkl forever

Likewise, I'm sitting on a late 2013 13" retina model.

It has 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. I just don't know why I'd pay more for an apparently worse keyboard and little else, even though it's just a business expense. So I haven't, because neither do I know where else to go.

> This is, by far, the longest I've kept a laptop and I'm sorta dreading having to replace it (it is having some reliability/battery issues lately) for pretty much the reasons the author described - they match my experience with the new MBPs.

I tried hard to like the new MacBook Pro. But I could not justify the cost. Now way I went with the TB one, so I configured a FK one that was maxed out, because it costs so much money that I have to at least plan for the future. So, it's over 3k€; no way I can justify that kind of money for something that has documented issues and limitations in such key areas and in the end doesn't feel like an improvement over my late 2013 one which I got for exactly half that price tag. So I just swapped my 256GB SSD for a 1TB one, and while the lid was popped realigned the screen that was slightly offset due to a fall. It's the entry level i5, with 8GB of RAM, and battery is at 487 cycles yet 93% wear ratio, and the thing performs brilliantly. Now it's as good as new. I plan to keep it a while and with things starting to feel strange on the macOS front maybe in a few years if I feel like the OS lets me down I'll probably move to Linux (I wish it were FreeBSD but hardware compatibility just isn't there).

But for now, upgrading just didn't make sense, it just feels like a regression from 2013 hardware.

I have to agree - same gripes for me. This MacBook is my 8th Apple laptop going back to sometime in the late 90s (my first was a pre-PowerPC PowerBook), and it's the first one where I really and truly have regretted the purchase. I've usually had a second laptop during that time (ThinkPad usually, Surface lately), and I've rarely had more nice things to say about the non-Apple machine until now.

Also, the main selling point of Macs for me since 2001 when I made the big switch to an Apple-dominant hardware ecosystem was having a Unix-based system that had a reasonable desktop environment. Lately, the Windows Subsystem for Linux has been making me question if MacOS and the corresponding hardware is worth the headache.

I am saddens to see a lot people are saying most of these are minor annoyances.

People forget, the reason most buy an Apple is attention to details. Quality, in places where you dont't expect it. We dont expect Apple to be just "good", we expect "better" or "best". It is a reason why people pay a premium over others.

Lets skip the discussion of whether the MBP is Pro or not, it is certainly a top price range premium notebook on the market, you expect these pieces of equipment to last, not the old golden standard where your 484 could still turn on, but at least within its warranty period. 2 Years, with AppleCare+. Even having 1% of your customer coming in within the first 2 year of its usage because of a faulty keyboard is a design failure. That is 200K Macbook Pro. And Apple spoke about this, which has less then 5% return rate. 5%? Serious? Even 0.5% within first year on a Keyboard is wrong.

I know most people love the new Keyboard spacing, and its key stability. But we have a polarise group of people on Key Depth. Not every body likes to type on shallow keys, and not everyone can get used to it. I haven't seen anyone who could type of these new keys would mind if they had more depth, they wouldn't be bothered. But not vice versa.

Given Intel's new released KabyLake-G, It is likely the new Macbook Pro will use it, you get similar CPU performance, but 50% better Graphics, along with support of 64GB Memory ( if Apple Choose to, but my guess they will limit it to 32GB ).

I really care about any of that. But the keyboard definitely needs some rethink. Some have suggested Apple regress to old Keyboard. But I disagree, since we are talking about Apple, I expect them to have a new Keyboard that is just as thin, gives more depth then even the old keyboard, have ultra high reliability, and even better key stability. I.e It needs to be better in every way then this and its previous keyboard design. A Tall order, but that is what we expect of Apple.

Note: Dell is a maglev keyboard shown with their new XPS 15. Which is suppose to be everything i described above. Will be waiting to see it it is any good.

I think it depends on what your profession is. The article read more like a list of minor annoyances to me, but I may have a very different usage compared to the author.

The problem to me is, that if I want to switch from the Mac, I have no where to go. I have yet to see another laptop in the same build quality or and OS that just let me do my work to the extend that MacOS does.

Apple is far from perfect, and the Mac is moving in the wrong direction, yet they are currently still the best offer out there.

> The article read more like a list of minor annoyances to me

It is mostly a list of minor annoyances, and if MacBook Pros were about half their current price, it would make sense to accept them as inevitable.

But when you're paying close to $2800 (or £2800 - about $3800 -- if you're in the UK) for a laptop you have the right to expect better. If I want a crappy keyboard and a short battery life, I can have them without paying a massive premium.

Also depends on your profession.

I DevOps and was tired of waiting for the new MacBook Pro (I have the 2012 Pro which is showing its age), so a few months before they released the current iteration I got the skull canyon nuc and put Linux with i3 on it. It is so easy to chuck into a bag and carry between work and home (you need monitors, power and keyboard at both places though). I am so much more productive with i3 and the only thing that Linux so far does not do for me is Photo management. So I have dual boot with windows and Lightroom.

Looking at how bad the new macOS is, I feel I made the right decision and tiling WM is such an incredible productivity/mind clarity boost.

At some point I might get an XPS 15 or similar. But for now this works perfectly.

You can install macOS on your NUC, it works surprisingly well (i.e. 100%). I have one with i5/16GB and quad-boot Linux Mint/macOS/W7/W10.

Why dual boot instead of virtualization?

a. Why do people have a need to write blog posts about why they won't buy a macbook? What do we care? I won't buy most things I see offers for: certain soda drinks, instant coffee, etc, etc, etc, etc

b. Why do these posts get so high on the HN main page? What is the value? Is it just nerdy conversation and, in this case, Apple shaming just like we do with celebrity gossip? Do we feel like giddy children telling stories around the campfire of fallen giants. That is fine, but why do we need to upvote this over other, worthwhile, articles? Relax people, a Macbook is just a product you don't have to buy.

This isn't a post about why the author won't buy one. The post is about why the author, a long time Apple die-hard, doesn't believe the current Macbook Pro is "Pro".

These posts get so high up on HN because they resonate with people on HN. I'm a new-media producer/developer, and my 2014 MBP is the best machine I've ever owned- but the state of the current MBP and the current Mac Pro have left me in an interesting situation: If this machine dies, there isn't anything in the Apple line up that I want. I refuse to pay $400 more for a touch bar that I don't want, and I refuse to get locked in to a configuration on a /desktop machine/, which rules out the current MBP and iMac Pro.

These blog posts are creative pros telling Apple to get their shit together, and they get upvoted on places like HN because a lot of other people feel the same way.

Firstly, people can write about whatever they want. Also, I understand that people might feel the same way here, but the issue I am raising is that we as tech interested readers should not idolize the subjective ramblings of people who are dissatisfied with the products they buy.

Issues raised in the article:

- 'The arrow keys are squished together' - Usually when I buy things I do research about what I am buying, especially when those things cost $2000+. I don't even have to go to Apple's website to know that there are pictures of the macbook pro with its arrow keys close together.

- 'Track pad is too big" - I like that it is so big


You say "...Apple to get their shit together". So what should they do? Offer models with big and small track pads? Create models with different positions of arrow keys? Not have the touch bar because some people use VIM?

A few days ago I bought a new baby chair and I wanted to have one that I could adjust so that as my daughter grows I can still have her sit in it. There are chairs that have this features and others that don't. What happens with these blog posts is as if I bought a chair of a hip brand that doesn't offer adjustments and then complain about it online and tell them to get their shit together.

> a.

Because, as opposed to a soda or cup of coffee, he paid a significant amount of money for a device that turned out to be a bad investment to him. 2$ misinvested are nothing to write home about; 2000$ misinvested are.

Same reason why there are tons of car reviews and tech reviews, but not a lot of soda or coffee reviews.

> b.

Because Apple knows how to appeal to people emotionally.

He actually paid 2800£, so it’s something like 3800$ with today exchange rate.

> a Macbook is just a product you don't have to buy.

and you learn these things by reading blogs.

What I mean is that there is a choice to buy certain things. You have free will don't you?

and you can make that choice by reading blogs to make an informed decisions.

I write this as an overall Apple enthusiast. I used to say this every year but I haven't been able to say it for years: "I want the latest MacBook Pro because it's the best yet." It's just not anymore. :-(

Have several MacBook Pros. Favourite is still 15" mid-2015 with Iris Pro. Would buy again.

Previous to 2015, my 2009 and 2011 MacBook Pros are still loved and will likely receive maintenance and use for years because they have easy to upgrade RAM, SSD, and a somewhat easily replaced battery.

None of the new offering turns my head, and they wouldn't even if they were cheaper. So what a perverse trend this is. I think it's truly a design failure of the entire MacBook Pro product line.

I had no problems loading the site.

The old 15” MacBook Pro design with Iris Pro graphics looks like the best Mac laptop available right now, unless you cant cope without more graphics horsepower. For most of the last year I’ve been dithering about getting a new MacBook, and when I first saw the touchbar models I though that was the design for me, but I’ve never pulled the trigger. The negative issues individually wouldn’t be a big deal, so at first I discounted them, but taken altogether it’s too much. I’ll see what they come up with this year, and if they don’t address most of these issues I’ll look at getting a previous design machine second hand.

A company I work with wanted me to have a corporate laptop. I said I would only accept an original 15" rMBP, with keys and magsafe. I waited an extra 6 months until they got one for me. It's used but I don't care. As a vim user with kids and dogs, the new MBP is dead to me.

Jony Ive needs to get out more.

I am a former new MBP owner who concurs with all of this.

I would have actually considered looking past everything in this author's list with the exception of the keyboard. At first I thought it was just my fingers adjusting to the new keyboards after years of a previous generation. But after almost 6 months of not adjusting I gave it up and sold it.

You have to bank pretty hard on the keys and they have this horrible cheap "plastic-y" feeling to them. The old thick rubber keys were one of the best parts of the older MBPs.

The new keys give the sensation that they are sticking or perhaps something has become lodged under them. I found it to be truly a deal-breaker and could not fathom how Apple thought this was in any way an acceptable experience or an improvement.

If you are considering buying one I would suggest bringing your old MBP to an Apple Store and trying them side by side. And then realize that the keyboard on the new MBP will always feel that awkward.

I felt like this about the keyboard for about 4-5 months. Now that I'm totally used to it, I prefer it over the old style keyboard.

The old style keyboard now feels mushy and clumsy to me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Interesting, this is close to the amount of time where I decided to throw in the towel. Do you agree that this seems like a particularly long period of adjustment? I have been through many new laptop purchases at this point in my life and I can't ever remember the a period of adjustment longer than say a week or two tops.

Yes I agree. After a month or so, I wasn't expecting things to change.

Of course, this begs the question - is it actually better or is it just that I'm accustomed to it now? All I can say is that going back to the old keyboard feels very wrong.

I'd still prefer to have a real escape key but I've remapped it to CAPS LOCK and it's good enough.

In my company all developers work on MBPs and none of them says even a positive word on the new generation. To add to the article: Ethernet over USB-C is sluggy at best. We had to change two devices over GPU failures (never happened before). I found myself playing around with the Surface Book and it felt like cheating on my wife ... I bought about 100 MacBook Pros for me and my company and it feels like this is the last generation in use. I still can remember the joy I felt when I opened my first MBP and I think I will not forget the disappointment from the current generation.

surface book is bae

I really enjoy mine. In the beginning, I really loved the keyboard, but recently it caused me trouble; shift key hangs sometimes, my m key feels like it is stuck and my space bar works only on the left half. Maybe I’d hand it in for repair. It’s a bit annoying but I can handle it. What frustrates me, though, is that I cannot connect a second screen without rebooting. Hopefully a High Sierra and not a hardware issue.

I've been considering buying a new MacBook Pro, but the advice I hear is to just wait for the next model (in a few months?) and hope that it doesn't have all its USB ports removed or broken keyboard.

The next model won’t change the port layout or the keyboard. Apple just doesn’t work like that. A redesign of the MBP isn’t due for years, and no amount of negative feedback will change that. (Look at the Mac Pro for a concrete example of this.)

Thats true but they might release new Macbook Air that does not suck. I would stay away from MBP. I switched to Dell XPS after being 10 years on Macs and I have been happy with it.

I get what you are saying, buy Mac Pro is a bad example in this case. I think it's the only bad example here.

Really? When did Apple turn on a dime to bring out a refresh to a poorly received model?

The 2002 iMac G4 (the "sunflower") was discontinued in June 2005 without a replacement in place. It wasn't until the end of the year that Apple brought out a redesigned iMac. If they could have introduced a new iMac faster, they certainly would have -- today it's almost inconceivable that they didn't have a consumer desktop for sale during much of 2005.

I know it is unfair to compare a laptop with a desktop but this is what I did based on my specific usage pattern. I upgraded from a 13 inch 2014 Macbook Pro with 8G RAM to a 27 inch iMac. I am still keeping the Macbook pro for travel, though I fear the out of warranty costs now that AppleCare is over. I wanted a faster, powerful machine but did not want to move out of macos with all those programs and settings from last 4 years. Also, all the other laptops had some issue or the other be it the low battery life in ultrabooks to the bad display, weak processors, or build quality issues. The 2017 touchbar MacBook Pro is the best built laptop one can buy but it looked too expensive to me for what it offered. I explored building a hackintosh but it seemed maintaining it was too much pain.

I now use a Samsung T5 external SSD over USB-C as my macos boot drive in the iMac, which I can unplug and boot with my Macbook when I travel. While being 40% cheaper than the 15 inch macbook in my country, the iMac gives me a faster processor that does not thermal throttle after 5 minutes of 100% usage, 24 GB of cheaper RAM (and yes easily upgradable to 64GB), a gorgeous 5k display, lots of ports, a somewhat better graphics card for the rare gaming and lots of space to save data files. With some difficulty, you could also replace the drives and processor.

So strange. I posted this exact site hours ago and now it is on the top of hacker news. Not sure how that happened since it is the same url. I guess the algorithm doesn’t like me.

In any case, I have been a Mac user my entire life. I too have one of the 2016 MacBook Pros and I have to say I hate it. I previously owned an iBook, two PowerBooks, a MacBook Pro, and a MacBook Air. This is by far the worst Apple laptop I have ever owned. My parents needed a new Mac laptop and I recommended the 13 inch air cause it is the only usable one in their entire product line now.

I was thinking of writing a similar post about all the issues I have but the main thing is the keyboard. What good is a computer that you can’t type on. One spec of dust or one crumb and your keyboard is done. My space bar sometimes inserts two spaces and sometimes inserts spaces between letters. My left command key doesn’t register half the time which is insanely frustrating since I use keyboard shortcuts for everything. Some days I feel like throwing it out the window. The sad thing is I actually prefer the FEEL of the keyboard and the travel to the old one, but the issues with keys not working correctly are too much to overcome. In addition I have talked to a lot of people who have a new MacBook Pro and I haven’t found one person who hasn’t had an issue with the keyboard. I’m honestly shocked there hasn’t been a class action suit yet. It probably wouldn’t matter anyway cause Apple would just give me a free can of compressed air and blame me for eating over my keyboard.

I previously had an 11 inch MacBook Air and it was perfect just missing the Retina display. Apple went ahead and did all this stuff they thought people would want without understanding that no one cared, and they ruined a perfectly good product.

All I can say is that I haven't had an issue with the keyboard malfunctioning. I am now concerned that it's only a matter of time given the comments in this thread, though!

> What good is a computer that you can’t type on. One spec of dust or one crumb and your keyboard is done. My space bar sometimes inserts two spaces and sometimes inserts spaces between letters.

Is there a laptop where this isn’t a problem?

Anecdotal I know but my wife uses my Thinkpad in the kitchen whilst baking and it's fine.

I completely agree. The post-2015 Macbook Pros are a disaster.

- The touchbar is a useless gimmick that is outright harmful to developers like me that use the function keys a lot. I hate that there isn't a 15" Macbook without a touchbar.

- The keyboard typing experience is poor and the key mechanism is extremely fragile, making it super expensive to own and repair

- Missing useful ports. I like USB-C, but I also like to be able to stick in a SD card or a USB flash drive without having to buy a dongle. Which, for a Pro machine that costs as much as this one, I definitely should be able to do.

- Only 16GB RAM. Ok, I get it, this is Intel's fault due to LPDDR. But is it Intel's fault that you keep making this PRO machine thinner and the battery smaller?

- I'd love to see an OLED display on the Macbook, but I understand that may not be feasible in the mid-term. So that one is not actually a big issue.

For the rest, that's entirely Apple's poor design. Until that gets fixed, I'm sticking with my 2012 MBP. And when that breaks, I'll buy a ThinkPad.

They're still selling th 15in rMBP w/out touchbar. https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/macbook-pro/15-inch

But then again, this has the same specs as a 2015 machine: with all the function keys and ports, has an older processor, no discrete graphics, and starts at a smaller storage 256GB SSD. If only they'll offer one with discrete GPU.

I know, I meant up-to-date specs and no touchbar

We’ve got a few a part of the upgrade cycle, but so far the keyboard issues alone have forced a revert to the old rMBPs. Keys just stopped working in the middle of a production bug, during the holiday season. The new switches make a pretty presentation, but Apple really needs to understand that as developers our jobs literally depend on them working well.

Sad to see Apple drop the ball completely with all the little things.

I've seen issues with the touchbar and keyboard from all my collegues. As a long time apple user, (since forever, early 90ties) I will never buy one of these pieces of expensive shit ever. A new design with escape and functional keyboard is required to get me back...

I usually buy a "new" (refurbished via Apple) Macbook Pro every 1-3 years, typically just before the end of the year.

I've held off the last few years just because my current MBP has been good enough, the spec bumps haven't been large enough, and because I was unsure about the new keyboard & the lack of a hardware ESC -- and the dubious value of the touchbar, though I did find it intriguing to potentially write some code for it.

I caved and bought one in late November, and just returned in a few weeks ago -- I'm now typing this from my "new (refurbished) 2015 Macbook Pro (non-touchbar) that was delivered today. I'm much, much happier.

Perhaps a fluke, but it's the first MBP I've returned out of ~10 that I've purchased the last 10 years or so. Aside from the ESC key, the keyboard itself was awful -- the [lack of] key travel was irksome though surmountable by itself. The arrow keys were almost painful to deal with, but those too may have been OK in a vacuum. But when a KeyDown on the 'G' key was a dice roll -- 40% expected result, one 'G'; 40% two 'G' KeyDowns; and 10% of the time, no KeyDown at all.

I can't recall the last time I had a computer issue that was anywhere near as rage-inspiring -- and that, coupled with the already poor keyboard experience & the already-dubious value adds, was enough for me to return it. I will perhaps miss the fingerprint reader fluff, but frankly I'm thrilled to be back on a proven laptop platform again, and it's also great that my existing >10 chargers work for my laptop again, too.

I really, really hope that they have come to their senses & released an improved MBP in the future -- hell, keep the same form factor and just add RAM+CPU+GPU, or just let me upgrade RAM+SSD again.

I'll seriously consider a Windows laptop the next time around if there isn't a semi-decent MBP option at that point -- it's a bummer, too -- but may not be much choice.

I really enjoyed the Macbook Pro up till about 2014. I have no comments beyond that because the ones that followed were not interesting and I moved directly to Thinkpads.

So I bought a MBP 13 Mid-2017 Non touch bar. The left shift key started failing about 2 months ago. Went to Apple, and they replaced the key which seemed to have fixed it. It started failing again this week.

I noticed there's a bit of correlation with how hot the machine is running. Ironically, I bought this upgrade to my previous MBP (another 13" from 2013) to run docker better -- but for anyone who runs docker for development knows, the machine runs hot.

The keyboard isn't so bad once you get used to it (I type fairly fast at 120-150 wpm), but the keyboard reliability issue is really something that bugs me as it affects productivity. If you're a programmer, needing to train to use the shift key on the contralateral side is a pain -- especially give all the muscle memory that's been trained over the years.

Devils Advocate Response to this:

If the keyboard is failing on a 2016, take advantage of Apple's stores and get it replaced under warranty and with far less hassle than say, Dell with an XPS 15 and failed motherboard. (From experience with both.)

Battery life is typically quoted at 5 hours doing something relatively intensive, and 6-7 in general for the 15 inch. 4 hours must be heavy, high CPU and GPU use. I'm not sure what other pro laptops achieve in this area, but I doubt it's much higher unless they use the absolute newest GPUs and CPUs. It is a step back from the 2015 Gen, at least with the 2016s. I think this is actually partly Intel's fault for not supporting LPDDR4.

Touch bar is eh, maybe not a pro feature, although it seems like it would be nice for sliders when editing photos? No ESC key can be an issue, although many "pros" apparently map this to caps lock anyway.

I agree on the trackpad, it's too large.

Ports is a tricky one. No normal USB or Display ports is a giant pain, but 4 Thunderbolt/charging ports is super nice and will attach to some really high speed, expensive pro stuff. No SD card is perhaps, a missing pro feature. Then again, the very highest end cameras now use XQD or CFast. And the built in card reader has never been fast compared to a good external reader. Would a real pro machine have this port? Probably. Does it make the macbook pro not a pro machine? Doubtful.

The charging light and other power supply issues are USB-C trade-offs. People yelled at apple for using a custom, non-accessible port, then got angry when they used a standard port. I love my magsafe port, but I also like the idea that I no longer have to but expensive apple power supplies to replace a failed one.

And on the display and no glowing apple logo, I think they removed the logo because they couldn't make the display thin enough with it and not comprise the displays uniformity. And 4k OLED would result in a 3800$ machine with worst battery life, that's a lot of light to power and pixels to drive...

> Ports is a tricky one.

I agree with you here. I looked around at PC laptops and all of them had a combination of ports that felt like a compromise.

> The charging light and other power supply issues are USB-C trade-offs.

Personally, I'm bummed the battery indicator lights are gone as well as the charging indicator. I don't think they had to ditch the charging light because of USB-C because third parties are doing it[1]. The charging USB-C that ships with MacBook Pros is already a beefier, more expensive USB-C cable than the data-only ones.

[1] https://www.moshi.com/usb-c-charge-cable

They could still include an external charging LED. For example, my Xiaomi Air 12 has an LED that changes between red, amber and green whilst it is charging to show the current state of the battery.

That laptop only has one USB-C so the placement of the indicator is simple, but Apple could include one somewhere.

> Would a real pro machine have this port? Probably. Does it make the macbook pro not a pro machine? Doubtful.

If a real pro machine would have the port, then the macbook pro is not a real pro machine. How can you get probably for the first question but not for the second?

I'm in the same boat with a broken keyboard. Was like that new. Got it repaired (which involved flying to a different country). Better, but still happens.

Very frustrated. I was going to get the new XPS 13, but:

- Isn't available in my country (online store doesn't ship in my country anyways)

- Doesn't seem available in Singapore or Malaysia

- Only 8GB option in Taiwan

- 16GB option only available with UHD and 1TB SSD in HK (neither of which I want, nor want to pay for)

All these country-specific sites are awful to use and navigate and digest. If they can't get this right, I'm thinking the many complaints about the hardware aren't exaggerated.

So...ya. Still dreaming that Google's Pixelbook will officially support Linux at some point.

I went the same way. Used to have a MBP that lasted for years (from ~2008). When it finally imploded I got a MBA. Amazung battery life for my work pattern (mostly terminals and vim). It would routinely get 12-14hr, although that would drop to 8-9 if I opened a web-browser and watched video or did anything js heavy.

Sadly I had to get rid of the MBA and did not like the look pf this year’s macs, so I got a XPS13. It is a nice machine, but it has issues.

- Network adaptor is shit. Flakey, loses connection, incompatible with our cisco routers, power draw is completely unstable.

- Keyboard is really nice.

- Screen is a bit dim.

- Touchopad registers phantom touches constantly, driver support for elimination doesn’t work.

I’ve still got it running ubuntu 16.04. Everything on it mostly works, but to be a nice machine:

- network adaptor needs a complete replacement.

- get used to disabling the touchpad.

I took my 9 month old 13" Touchbar Pro into Apple last night for the third time. This time it was a display fault (bottom of screen had horizontal lines and pink hue when cold) and all 4 USB-C ports were soggy with no hold.

Previously I've had a new logic board after a power fault that took a authorized repairer to fix as they were the only ones that believed me.

FINALLY I got a full refund. I bought the previous 15" model (which I should never had sold) with the proceeds in store.

I've never had such an unreliable piece of hardware. Some guy was in store with a key that was stuck and he was told it would take 5 days to repair.

The relief I felt when the genius said refund said it all.

I managed to break my 2013 15” retina MacBook Pro a couple of days ago. It slid off my lap and down my legs and gently hit the floor from about 6 inches up. This managed to critically deform the lid and pop the screen. This in itself is a big WTF.

However, I spent the entire hour following this event being annoyed not because of what I had done to it but because I wasn’t actually annoyed. I was annoyed at myself for not being annoyed.

The I realised why: I know there was no path forwards because the current line is crap. I’ve been putting off thinking about it and dealing with the “what happens next” question.

What happened next was dragging an old i5 Thinkpad T440 out of the cupboard and firing windows 10 up on it.

Got to be honest. The keyboard is better, the thing is a ton more productive, it’s faster (!) to get anywhere and I had forgotten how much stuff I have in muscle memory which doesn’t require hypermobile fingers doing twisted fucked up devils chords on different meta keys to run the entire machine off the keyboard. Plus if you drop it, it still works. The trackpad is crap though (meh, use a mouse) and the screen is crap (meh).

Turns out the only good bits on the MBP were the screen and the trackpad. The screen is extremely fragile though.

The whole machine cost less than a recycled screen for a 2013 MBP and gets in the way less.

I, for one, love my 2016 MBP a year after buying it.

> Typing

I got used to the new keyboard after about a week and going back to my previous-gen MBP the smaller keys and extra travel just feels awkward. I type at a speed of about 120WPM, fwiw.

> Touch Bar

Maybe it's because I keep decent posture, but the touch bar is always in sight for me, and I've learned where all the standard buttons are situated by heart anyway. Plus, it's neat when apps have touch bar controls.

> Track Pad

Again, switching between the prev-gen MBP and this one the difference is massive. I never touch the larger track pad accidentally (I'm 6'1" and have relatively large hands, again, maybe it comes down to posture). He's right about the shitty cursor keys on the new gen.

> Power supply

Although I miss magsafe, I don't miss the shitty chords they came with (I think I went through about 10 chargers because I'm prone to moving my laptop while keeping it charged, and that damages the chord in magsafe chargers). I much prefer being able to plug the charger anywhere over magsafe, however.

> Battery Life

The battery life is as good or better than my old gen's was when it was new. Compared to my old gen now, it lasts about 2-3x as long based on the workload.

My only real problem with it is the increasingly shitty software, but the prev-gen MBP doesn't fix that. :)

The points brought up are mostly valid complaints. Although Apple would never increase the device thickness to give the user more battery life.

I’m holding off on buying a MBP as the current keyboard has terrible travel distance and seems to be unusually susceptible to breaking from dust. If Apple had an updated MBP with a durable keyboard (maybe in a few years? hopefully), I’d buy it right away.

Apple clearly aimed the new macbook pros at creative professionals (and wannabe end-consumers), hence the touchbar and the enormous trackpad. They got rid of the glowing logo to make the screen thinner.

Anyways, Apple could afford to offer the dopest machine for software developers, without all the shenanigans, but with all the usability and performance.

From what I recall, the creative professional market has always been their intended "Pro" market. It's unfortunate that they are unwilling to offer a MacBook Pro Developer Edition, but it's not surprising given Apple's history.

Hah, this is actually really true.

My Xcode using half is constantly angry with Apple, but my Logic Pro using half is still in love. :)

Although well-written, I wonder why people buy laptops when they seem inherently poorly suited for their requirements. Most of the complaints seem to be things that are obvious. I've been using MBPs since 2000. But 6 months ago bought a ThinkPad Carbon X1 and lovin' it. Always seems to have battery all the time.

Privacy and integrity is important enough for me to hold Lenovo accountable for their multiple failures by not giving them money.

I can't speak for everyone, but I'm pretty married to OSX at this point. Using anything else would be too much time invested in setting up the environment as I'm used to, and finding similar applications for everything. Windows 10 is atrocious, and Linux isn't much better.

Apple hates developers.

Yes, I agree. This keyboard is terrible. J key keeps getting stuck. Pressing a non-existent ESC key is such a distracting feeling. Lucky I mostly use my Mac on a Roost with an external (MS) keyboard.

The hoops you used to have to jump through to run an app on device & their weak / crashing / prone to getting stuck in bad states of early XCodes was just horrendous.

I don't know about you.. but I'm getting tired of the fake Unix under the hood. Used to be happy we had unix there... but this version puts files in various other places. And when something breaks... who knows what it is. I spent all day yesterday trying to get Safari working. I don't care about Safari, but it was XCode not letting me test an app on device. (says my device is untrusted even if I trust it). I noticed Safari also was not loading, so I figured it must be related. Nope. I'm not sure if Linux has the same problems?

I'm starting to think the actual best way to run MacOS when you need it for iOS dev is via Linux in a VM. Would this be possible & easy? Are there good VMs created that'll allow for this??

I'm jealous of my crypto coin cousins that can work on pure code & not worry about freaking device signing IDs and UI that must work on 37 different devices.

Another biggie: the App Store's complete lack of regulation over fake reviews. fakespot.com does a good job at picking up on fake reviews. Apple simply cannot manage this. Seems like it would be a good way to get started in the AI era... Apple if you are reading this, buy Fakespot & their talent! I had the experience of writing an app that worked better & looked better than a competitor. He took all the downloads because strangely he had several 5 star reviews every day. I guarantee they were fake. Fakespot.com agrees & yet.... it is 2018 & it goes on to this day.

And one more thing... Auto Layout. Are you freaking kidding me!! Massively overcomplicated.

One more... App Store Review process!

Touch bar has me seriously questioning my next purchase.

I'm using a work-provided one right now and I absolutely hate the keyboard.

Everything is so cramped and it just feels like typing on a solid piece of plastic. I ended buying a separate mechanical.

And the Magic Mouse, dear lord. it's the most un-ergonomic mouse I've ever experienced and that, combined with the inability to disable mouse acceleration in High Sierra without hiking sensitivity means I'm stuck using the trackpad, which is fine for basic stuff but it will never beat a mouse for fluidity, speed and accuracy.

Plus I'm convinced if I continue to use the trackpad I'm going to do some permanent damage to my hand/wrist. It really isn't comfortable to use for long periods.

With any luck I will die before my late 2013 15" MBP. The cost of the new ones is criminal, and the reviews are even worse.

I picked up a Toshiba Chromebook 2 and run GalliumOS (a mod of Xubuntu). I use the former-Chromebook for anything outside of the house -- unless its a meeting where I will specifically require Creative Suite. It's basically my 'if someone robs me, take this and I won't blink twice' laptop.

With every new MBP released over the past few years, it makes me wonder what happened to the people who were working in the various design teams during the Jobs era. I can't imagine that these flaws are the result of a single leader.

I'm on an early 2015 MBP. Probably my last MBP. What recommendations have we?

Dell XPS 13 or 15. Some will recommend ThinkPads, but in a side-by-side comparison two years ago, the XPS 13 won hands down against the Carbon X1 they had on display at the shop, for its much better display alone (and it's cheaper, too). ThinkPads keyboards are held in high esteem, but I found the XPS keyboard to work better for me. Didn't get a chance to play with the retro ThinkPads with old-school, non-chiclet keyboards, though. Dell last week introduced the XPS 13 developer edition with Ubuntu 16.04 preinstalled and officially supported. That would be the notebook I'd be buying in a heartbeat if mine stopped working or if I needed 16gb RAM (combination of 16gb and non-glare screen is only available in EU for now it seems).

I have a similar problem to GP. Going to try to make my late 2015 MBP last another year, but not sure what to do next.

Problem with the Dell XPS is it still only supports 16GB of RAM, which is getting to be aggravating for me.

The reason I keep buying Macs though is OSX - I just like it. Linux would be a good fit in many ways, but you can't run Office 365 on it, which is unfortunately a deal breaker. (I know there are alternatives, but I don't really like them - the real killer for me is the loss of Excel.)

A friend of mine holds on to an even older MBP. Due to Apple's generous replacement policy, he's recently got all parts save for the chassis replaced for free or for relatively little money, so sits in front of a brand-new 2012 MBP.

But surely it would be appreciated if Apple could get over their design fixation. For me, there's nothing "Pro" with the MBP. "Pro" doesn't mean "bad-ass", but having (display, keyboard) options for me, a characteristic the MBP lost years ago when the current MBP line was introduced, with the design/aesthetics of the unibody chassis only working with a glare screen. The Touch Bar thingy, and it's mandatory-ness on higher end MBPs is as non-Pro as it gets. It can't be in Apple's interest that real pro users long for the days of old MacBooks/PowerBooks/Snow Leopard, can it?

The 16gb limitation is something the MBPs suffer from as well, and is dictated by Intel chipsets, isn't it?

I think you're correct there, although it's very aggravating, regardless of who's fault it is.

I still have a late 2011 17 inch MBP equipped with quad core i7 and upgraded to 16GB RAM plus a 1TB SSD. I still use it fairly regularly, in particular for Ableton Live. It's really the last MBP you could plug enough peripherals into without needing a separate hub and, key point, still has Firewire, which I need for my audio interface (USB always sucked for this because it chews CPU, whereas Firewire doesn't).

Honestly, as a machine to tote around all the time, I prefer the 15 inch form factor, but the 17-incher is great for working with a lot of tracks simultaneously, and it has all those wonderful ports:

- 3 or 4 USB ports - 1 Firewire port - 1 Mini display/Thunderbolt port (two would be nice, but I'll live) - Line out AND line in (something sadly missing from newer models) - Digital audio out and (I believe) in (using same ports as line out/in)

For the use cases I needed and still need it's a much more useful system than the current line-up. And, of course, OSX has much more capable audio handling built in than Windows (no messing around with ASIO, no app exclusivity over access to audio hardware).

> Problem with the Dell XPS is it still only supports 16GB of RAM, which is getting to be aggravating for me.

XPS 15 does have 32GB RAM? Though it only comes with the 4K UHD model.

I switched to a Dell XPS-15 after 2 MBP’s. It’s been pretty decent.

I don’t use the keyboard or trackpad so I can’t comment on that.

There is no real dock for it. The $200 one they sell as a docking station is really more of a port expander; it doesn’t charge your laptop and didn’t work with my monitors so I gave it away.

I recently switched from a MacBook Pro running Boot Camp to a Surface Laptop (not the Pro aka tablet) and I'm absolutely in love. The battery life is ridiculous -- a claimed 14 of video playback but even in my real world heavy usage, I still get about 8. I also never thought I'd find a touchpad as good as Apple's but I'm actually liking Microsoft's more.

It's a really, really good proper laptop. I think my only complaint is that it only has one USB port (A-type), but seeing as the only thing I use USB for anymore is charging my phone, it's not a deal breaker.

While I agree on most of the topics. Especially on the touchbar(useless crap). But “make the display a 16” 4K HDR OLED” - why would you need a 4K in a 16”? It will just eat batter life

Viewing and editing 4K video would be a pretty common use case on the largest MBP.

I agree with everything in this post. I rarely use my laptop as a laptop.

I stick it on my stand and plug in my Vortex Race3 and wait for Apple to make a laptop that doesn't suck.

I want an eight pound MacBook. (3.6 kg)

That's enough for an honest 12 hours' battery life, a CPU+chipset that supports 32 GB of RAM, full-travel, full sized keys, a chassis thick enough to support all the ports, and an escape key. (And I want it to run OS X.)

Every time Apple moves away from the eight pound point, they compromise something I care about for something I don't: thinness and lightness.

So let me be perfectly clear: I want it heavy, thick, and powerful.

I join that pack, the touchpad is specially terrible for debugging and IDEs, loots of my shortcuts are in that part of the keyboard it's infuriating to use it.

Have been given that choice a month ago, get one a new MBP or a dell precision 5520 + 32Gb ram with Linux.

Linux was the choosen one, couldn't been happier! In fact all our backend developers are switching... That must been something right, it was all macs since since the begging for them.

If Apple wants to cling to the now-inappropriate "Pro" brand for these MacBooks then may I suggest they add a new line: maybe, MacBook Ultimate or MacBook Power or MacBook Unlimited or MacBook Retrogrouch or something. Please make those units thicker for larger battery and replaceable RAM/SSD, with headphone and SD ports and MagSafe.

Comments here suggest many of us would pay a premium for something like this.

Those product delineations exist currently.

Macbook Air has always been touted as " high end specs, flexibility all with great portability". The Pro was sold as the mobile beast. There's some range confusion it seems.

There's so much range confusion over at Apple right now it's starting to feel like the 90's all over again.

Compare the Macbook with the 13" Macbook Pro, there's a ridiculous amount of overlap there that makes their pricing structure seem ridiculous.

I agree with everything that is written in this article. Same experience and same impressions. I have to use new mbp at work. Who would have thought that too much of track pad can be bad, not me. And how many times I accidentally pressed stupid touch pad and lowered lighting, thinking that machine is shutting down on me.

Only thing I didn't have a problem with, battery life. Works fine for me.

Why has Apple not added Pencil support to the extra-large trackpad? Perfect lateral move and great for so-called professionals. Was eagerly anticipating cool new hardware features in that vein to justify buying a new laptop; ended up getting an eGPU for my 2013 MBP instead. And in the meantime, the widely-acclaimed and perfectly precise Pencil continues to languish. Sigh!

I have no complaints about the MacBook Pro I got from Mid 2014. It's been used with OSX, Ubuntu and now with Manjaro Linux. It's a very solid machine, pretty awesome hardware.

But since I'm not going back to OSX, if I were to renew my laptop I wouldn't get one of the MacBook's newest models, I'd just go for a good machine from Lenovo or something.

My biggest issue with the MPB is that if you accidentally press Option+[Any touch bar icon] the System Preferences will open.

This happens quite a lot for me on a keyboard with Swedish layout, where it is easy to accidentally rest my right pinky on the touch bar when when writing chars such as { and [.

    * "(" is Option+8
    * "{" is Option+Shift+8

I had no idea that alt + Touch Bar opens the display preferences or the sound preferences. Quite a useful tip!

(fyi to those of us holdouts..)

On the older ones with real keys it does the same thing:

alt+volume => opens sound prefs

alt+brightness => display prefs

alt+mission control => ..

alt+keyboard backlight => keyboard

also, unrelated but occasionally useful.. alt+shift allows you to adjust volume/brightness in fractional increments.

Site appears unresponsive. Google's cached text-only version:


Loaded just fine for me (I'm in Asia though)

I've just had my keyboard serviced a couple weeks ago because of the sticky keys issue.

So I reluctantly bought a keypad cover. I normally hate covers. But weirdly I like this one; it's very thin, perfectly adjusted and it almost improves the touch. And it's almost invisible. I really like it and it makes me feel way safer.

For those interested, this is the cover I got: UPPERCASE GhostCover Premium Ultra Thin Keyboard Protector for MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 13" or 15" (2016 and 2017, Apple Model Number A1706, A1707) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MRKLH27?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf

Been using an MBP for the past 3 years and looking to try a non AAPL machine for my dev work. What hardware is the most similar/superior to an MBP > 2015? I will be running a Linux distro. I have heard good things about the ZenBook, but I am wondering if there are any better options.

My only complaint is the lack of Escape key, but maybe Apple didn’t have touch typists in mind.

Yeah this is what killed the MacBook/Pro as a touch typist and vi user for me. Plus, the extreme low travel of the keys. Went with an XPS 13 instead, which I can fully recommend. The keyboard, in particular, works really well for me.

You can map ESC to CAPSLOCK in settings.

Obviously no to the Macbook Pro 2017(13inch without touch bar), indeed having a poor battery life, hardly getting 6 hours, Sametime my MacBook pro Early 2015 is still getting 9hours of backup. Overall the quality of Apple products seems to be degrading.

I'm using my MacBook Pro with an external mouse, keyboard and screen both at the office and at home. Haven't opened it in months now. Perhaps Apple had that in mind when they thought of adding "Pro(fessional)" to their MacBook?

No complaints here!

This bums me out so much. I really, really love my 2015 MBP and 2013 MBAir and I'm afraid they were some of the last good releases. I hope apple can get their shit together before I'm in the market to get a new laptop.

Another "it's not what I'm used to, so it's trash" post ;-)

An honest question, how many developers really need a laptop ?

I thought a did but have since some time now a very good desktop (paid around 3k for 16 core machine with 64 GB memory) and a light travel laptop with excellent battery.

This combo works very well.

Depends on your routine, and how much your development time intermingles with design, gaming, or being with slow/no internet.

I've tried to talk myself into a desktop & light laptop setup for years and everytime it's just felt easier to not think about syncing files across machines or whether the light travel laptop is going to be good enough for writing native code (i.e. compile times) or creative work (sitting here with ffmpeg spinning fans right now, and used Adobe's suite most of today around town).

How many developers need a desktop when there's cloud computing for heavy lifting?

I bought my wife a MacBook Pro for a gift about a year ago. Apple recently pushed a software update which broke her wireless connectivity.

She's been on the phone with Apple support numerous times-- no help at all.

So disappointed in Apple. Beware!

These arguments are made for cell phones all the time too. The consensus is that it's impossible to please everyone.

At least for phones, and this might be similar to laptops, we made decisions on everything based on intensive research, usability testing, and profitability. Companies can't simply cater to specific demographics and hope for the best. For example, the keyboard quality on the MBP could be a valid concern for some, but it's possible that it was a justifiable solution for them based on cost-reduction. (a worthy-risk, in their opinion. not mine, IMHO). It could be that the keyboard is perfectly fine for most people.

Finding a delicate balance between every factor is a tough challenge, and I know for a fact that following every advice on the internet is not a solution.

Do you think the user research said to design a keyboard that has buttons that randomly doublepress?

It's not just the author, everyone in my team with the new MacBook have the same issue with some buttons.

I slightly edited my comment. It's a valid claim and I totally agree that the keyboard is atrocious for me as well.

But products aren't just made overnight. I can almost certainly guarantee that these issues came up before release, but they decided that the cost to fix it wasn't justifiable enough. I personally see a lot of problems with that but I'm just letting you know from my experience working at an OEM, Google, and a huge Electronics company.

My 'bb' key double-presses something like 60% of the time.

I'm well aware that is it impossible to please everyone but do new MBs really please anyone?

meh.. we've heard all this many times, most comes down to personal preference. the only point i can relate to is that i don't feel like touchbar is very useful. otherwise imo it's still the best laptop on the market hardware-wise (and software but that's a very different debate).

the main question for me is why on earth are you buying macbook pro if you think it's shit? it's not like you can't go to apple store and try a keyboard or notice the lack of escape key or the size of arrow keys? it's really puzzling.

Why can't Apple make a MacBook Work machine? Design a keyboard with Cherry ML switches, large battery, no compromises on ports, 5 pound weight ceiling. Something that feels more blue-collar.

i'm on a 2013 mac book pro retina and see no reason to upgrade to the latest model. If it died tomorrow i'd look for a refurbed 2015 model.

Mostly i blame intel for not releasing mobile chipsets capable of more than 16GB of ram but apple is also to blame for allowing this.

My next purchase will hopefully be a amd ryzen based laptop with 64GB of ram running linux in 2018 pls.

Has anyone tried the Eve V?


For those looking for an alternative - look at the Dell 5520, am really happy with this machine.

I find the current MBP makes a lot more sense if you mentally substitute “deluxe” for “pro”.

I was kinda onboard untill “bring the lit Apple logo back”. What’s professional about that?

Starbucks street cred.

It annoys me that mine lights up like a Christmas tree.

“Pro”. People should really start using quotes when saying “Macbook ‘Pro’” or omit “Pro” entirely.

A good article about the Macbooks is “The Best Laptop Ever Made” https://marco.org/2017/11/14/best-laptop-ever

I absolutely agree. I have the 2015 15' MacBook Pro and is so much better than the newer "pro" (touchbar) laptop I use at work.

So, what's the alternative? Razer blade? Can we use Windows 10 and be happy?

I've been doing Node.js, Postgres, Redis, React.js, Angular, Ruby, Python and pretty much anything that else that I've wanted to do on Windows for over a decade.

IMO and in my experience, if you can't be happy with Windows and make it work for you then you're probably too picky and/or biased.

oh god I feel you on the keyboard. After using the gen of mbr for ~8 months, a few keys have begun to fail. They require a double tap to fire properly. VERY FRUSTRATING.

I've recently bought my first MBP, and I agree with some of the points on here, but not all of them.

The main thing I would agree with is the cursor keys - despite having spent a couple of months with mine, the up/down cursor keys (which I use a lot) aren't good - full size ones would have been better, IMO, but they of course would ruin the look.

2 Thunderbolt ports isn't enough - I think there should be a couple of USB ports. I've not missed the SD card slot, but then I'm not a photographer, but a lot of MBP users are; having to have a dongle all the time for these would be a real pain. With my Cubase dongle and iLok, I can't charge the macbook without a hub, and that's not very good.

The loss of Magsafe is also a bad idea; previously I had a macbook air (I bought it cheap as a test to see if I wanted to go all in on a MBP for my next laptop), which had it, and it saved it a couple of times when the kids weren't careful. So much so that I've bought a USB-C 'magsafe' adapter which I generally leave plugged into the side now.

I find the keyboard to be good, though; I actually got a 20 minute go on a student's new MBP to see if I'd get on with the keyboard as I was sceptical about it; it's much better than I thought it would be, although I don't like the sound - it's quite loud (or maybe I'm heavy-handed). Hopefully the reliability will be better than the OP's.

A lot of the other issues mentioned are things that were generally known as soon as the models were announced, though? Lack of a physical esc key, etc... and indeed some of the things that I'm not so keen on above are things I was aware of before buying; only the cursor keys and keyboard noise weren't. The things mentioned above were all compromises I took when purchasing, but maybe that's the poster's point - that a 'Pro' machine shouldn't have such compromises, particularly when they don't mean anything is sacficed other than a clean look or a mm off the height/200g off the weight?

There are a lot of positives from the MBP though - the build quality is miles ahead of everything else I've ever owned, and the screen is fantastic; I have taken to using the MBP for screenshots for the book (using Cubase) that I've written as nearly every bit of text looks better than it does on Windows. I've not found the battery life to be as bad as mentioned in the article, but I know this is strongly dependent on usage, and I've spent the majority of my time on mine learning Python, but when I've used Cubase it's not been as good, but not as bad as in the article.

I did spend a lot of time looking at what else I could buy for similar money, but I wasn't sure I'd have the longevity from any other brand; most of my PC laptops have lasted about 18 months before hardware failure (this is averaged over the last 15 years) - with only one exception, the last one which managed 4 years. I've bought the MBP as an investment due to being made largely redundant and wanting to spend a couple of years learning new skills to hopefully move towards a career in programming; I didn't want (and couldn't afford) a computer that would die in 18 months' time, and generally Macbooks seem to be long-lived (and have good residuals after 5 years).

I'd never pay for new Apple equipment because buying used/refurbished is so much more economical.

This summer I got a used 2015 MBP for $1,050 from Amazon (and it still has AppleCare until September 2018!) Last summer, I got a used Mac Pro 2012 for around the same price. Both are running flawlessly right now. I wouldn't have bought the MBP without the AppleCare and I'm glad I didn't because the battery stopped charging past 40% after 6 months and Apple had to replace it with a new one. I could probably still sell this machine for > $1,000.

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