It’s not thin enough to slice salami but I am a vegetarian so that’s not a big deal.
MacBook Air (Early 2015) and later
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) and later
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014) and later"
Earlier years will only do 30Hz, which is fully usable for development/office work.
Recently bought a second-hand perfect condition 2016 MBP with function-keys, and it's been brilliant so far, and I get proper 4K :)
However there is a workaround if you are willing to disable SIP and play around with a program called SwitchResX. You can customize the display timings in such a way that allows 4K60 video to just sneak in under the bandwidth limits of the Thunderbolt ports. It also requires a Thunderbolt to HDMI 2.0 adapter, and a compatible monitor. If you like fiddling around this is one way to do it, but I have found it finicky and not really worth it.
If it's HDMI only, as the sibling pointed out the HDMI port won't work. However, Startech makes a displayport to HDMI adapter which works ( https://www.amazon.com/DisplayPort-HDMI-Adapter-Converter-60... ) (just make sure you get one which supports 4k60hz, most DP -> HDMI adapters don't).
The difference is absolutely striking: I will never go back to a non "retina" display if given the choice.
My screen is filled with Excel and some sort of online database, usually. I’m also using my 13” MBP screen below this one for chat windows, email etc.
I would hate to go back to the lo-res 1080 days.
As for text, I've been able to use tiny font sizes and increase the information density since hi-DPI screens— my eyes are good for it. Ahh, iPhone 4 and retina MBP... they were astounding tech at that time.
The fast XPS 13 with Ubuntu also seems to really be taxed pretty heavily by electron apps, while the MacBook that is 8 times slower does just fine. When I switched, I finally understood why so many people on hacker news complain about electron.
Everything on the Mac feels like someone thought really hard about how to make it as good as possible, even if they were wrong in the end (like the keyboard). Everything in Linux always feels like someone said “ehhh... good enough!”.
Speaking of which: Do you want to buy an X1 Carbon 6th gen? i7 8650U with 16Gb RAM and 256GB SSD.
Only downside that happened is part of the trackpad stopped clicking and one of the fans starting running crazy loud. Took it in to the apple store and they diagnosed it as a swelling battery (seems like a problem for macs so if it looks like your case is fat, get it checked out). Ended up getting the battery, keyboard, trackpad, case, fans, and potentially the monitor (it looked new or was cleaned extremely well) for $300 which isn't too bad to make it feel like new. I'm probably going to keep this computer for another 5+ years unless it dies.
Would totally recommend and I would definitely not sell it for $600.
Unless you go the Hackintosh route, you’re locked into Apple hardware.
For many of us, Apple is an escape from that hell.
The 2015 touchpad is plenty large enough to accomodate my needs.
Even dumber: Apple didn't make it work with the Pencil. WTF? Now THAT would be far more useful than the emoji bar.
The former shouldn’t set you back much. The biggest cost on the latter would be the commissions, but you may be able to find a forum with a decent buy/sell section.
Same here (well, I have the "cheap" one without the Touch Bar). Everything has been replaced at least once (on Apple Care, fortunately) except the bottom plate.
> The only reason I got it is because the MacBook Air it replaced was dying
Same here. That MBA was a fine machine.
Say what you want about Apple and price, but I've had PCs since 1994 and the two Macs I've had have (usefully) outlasted every other machine by quite some margin - this one in particular. 6 years without formatting a Windows machine (I can't talk for now, but especially back then) would be crazy.
You might want to consider running Manjaro or Haiku instead (I've had great luck with both on older MacBooks [2,3]).
Nessus reports El Capitan as a "Critical" vulnerability due to lack of security updates:
According to its self-reported version number, the Unix operating system running on the remote host is no longer supported.
Lack of support implies that no new security patches for the product will be released by the vendor. As a result, it is likely to contain security vulnerabilities.
Mac OS X 10.11.6 (intel) support ended.
Upgrade to Mac OS X 10.14 / 10.13 / 10.12.
It's not super easy to replace, but if you're comfortable with a screw driver, it shouldn't pose much of a challenge, and the instruction from ifixit are great.
I'm still holding tight to my 2012 MBP, but it's got a replacement battery, and a roomier SSD to breathe some new life into it.
I'm currently weighing up the option of installing Linux onto it as I'm more inclined to move away from the Apple ecosystem, but I have reservations on what that will do the battery life :/
I still own a MBA from 2011 in its original state (0 repair).
If you do some googling you will see there are two versions, and depending on the size/shape of SSD you are buying it may be better to buy one rather than the other.
If you do more googling, people have tried various drives and report on performance/compatibility etc but generally compatibility is good except with some samsung drives.
TBH, I think it's put me off Macs for life. While I haven't had a hardware failure, the keyboard is simply horrible - there isn't nearly enough key travel or feedback, and swapping useful physical keys for a useless touchpad is completely pointless - I have a cheap 13" netbook kicking around which has a far superior keyboard!
After having Macbook aficionados harp on for yeara about how wonderful Macbook keyboards are, I feel cheated.
I wish Apple would stop valuing thinness above all else - it's important, but there are diminishing returns. We've got the point where I don't want it to be any thinner - I want ports, good battery life and good heat dissipation (my MBP is quiet, but it gets bloody hot!)
Also, what's the plate made from and what alt keyboard do you use?
I've seen a colleague carrying a wireless keyboard with the macbook >2016, and putting it on top of the macbook directly, no plate.
The Display cable, while Apple making is 1cm longer, will only make it last a year or two more. That is 3 - 4 years of Display Lifespan. I hardly call this durable.
The Thunderbolt and USB-C design is a bag of hurt, the amount of short circuit , logic board failure due to it is unacceptable.
(Disclaimer: I have a MBP with Touch Bar, but I do 95% of my interacting with it with an external keyboard and mouse because I hate the keyboard / Touch Bar so much.)
The problem is though, Touch Bar and buttons would not work on 13" Macbook, the touch pad would be too small for some of the macOS gestures.
I would caution Apple against placing too much weight on any particular opinion. Pleasing the curmudgeonly neckbeards might mean that you piss off the creatives, or vice versa.
Something really stupid (related to TouchBar design) happened to me about 2 weeks ago.
I watched a movie using an external TV, and I set the laptop screen brightness to zero. The movie ended, so I shut down the machine using the TV as a monitor.
Next day, when I turned on the laptop (without the TV). Zero! No sound, nothing, only the artificial "ESC" key in the TouchBar. My first reaction... "ohh the brightness", it happened before with older MBP models.
But... Where are my brightness keys!? For some reason, there were not displayed. (after a little bit of search in support forums, I found that some users were not seeing TouchBar keys during login too).
I connected the TV again... nothing.
I tried to login... but since I couldn't see the login screen, I ended in the password recovery mode.
In total desperation (that included trying to reboot in recovery or to do a SMC reset without any visual and auditive feedback), I found by chance that the screen displayed the right brightness if I open/close the lid.
When I saw the password reset mode screen, I was happy. But if I restarted the brightness remained in zero! and no TouchBar...
After another trial & error of open closing the lid, I saw the pass recovery screen again. Then I deactivated FileVault to reboot in recovery mode, and finally, I saw the brightness keys in the TouchBar!!! (it was a WTF moment).
I searched in a lot of forums if it was possible to change the brightness with another key combination, but it wasn't possible. My secondary keyboard is a MagicKeyboard that is Bluetooth only... so I almost have to contact support for a very stupid design decision to not give the users a secondary method to control brightness when the TouchBar fails.
BTW previous Mac models emitted a sound during power on... that would have been helpful. It's very hard to know if your computer is working without any feedback. And it's also very hard to hit the recovery key combination without auditive feedback.
I like the aesthetics of Apple design, but as an Apple user for many years... the change of priorities in the hardware user experience is noticeable.
The problem with touchbar is it’s hard to use without looking at it - like most professionals do because it’s just muscle memory.
Give me a real escape and I won’t mind the rest being a touch Bar.
But I hope they make it like gaming keyboards that have real keys with tiny lcd displays on so you can customise the function but still have a real key to press.
It very much is a small set of people who complain loudly about the touchbar, and many of whom have not even used it that just think they won’t like it.
Here's the modification I use: https://pqrs.org/osx/karabiner/complex_modifications/#caps_l...
"Change caps_lock to control if pressed with other keys, to escape if pressed alone."
No thank you.
I’m afraid of mapping the caps lock to escape as a holdover from flash games where escape quit your game and so I fear destructive actions if I accidentally press escape instead of the “a” key, whereas if I accidentally press control nothing happens.
To me it adds zero value so whatever it adds to the cost of the product is an extra I don't want to pay.
I think if Apple had given the option to get their MBPs without the TB I doubt very few people would have bought it.
problem: flat keys suck
- the force of a keypress is concentrated on one point of fingertip
- finding the edge/center of a key is very hard
solution: concave keys
the keyboard on the first generation macbook pro were SIGNIFICANTLY better:
it was more comfortable - even luxurious - to type on, and your fingers could find keys and center themselves.
- people will never have USB-C flash drives
- people will not have USB-C televisions
- people will never have USB-C ethernet
solution: ask people and give them back a few dedicated ports
- people actually touch-type
- some keys like escape are frequently used
solution: restore regular keys PLUS a touchbar above
I actually almost prefer the keyboard, I feel like having less travel means I have to press slightly less and can type marginally faster on my Mac keyboard than a normal one.
I’ve not had to replace anything, I’ve had a key that felt stuck once or twice, but after a good bash it fixed itself. But it is almost 3 years old now!
The Touch Bar is a bit useless I’ll admit, but using BetterTouchTool I’ve made it more useful. Shows me my company share price live, tube status and the time of my next train as well as shortcuts to my most used apps.
There are actually mechanical switches, like the Cherry MX Brown, that register the keypress before actuating. They're usually preferred by gamers because you can rapidly tap the keys without fully depressing them.
It's a shame there isn't a convenient way for people test out the variety of switches out there to find the style they prefer. Like Warby Parker for mechanical keyboards.
At the minute it doesn’t do much except replace your function keys with a display. If it could render the dock or maybe take over some of notification centre, it might have some novel functionality.
What I’ve been trying to do so far is see if I can integrate it with emacs through a dynamic module, so it could render the modeline.
Overall, the 2015's are reliable machines with only the relatively minor annoyances of the battery recall and the "staingate" anti-glare coating issue.
Really hoping Apple returns to the ethos of their older designs, with serviceability and modularity higher on the list of design goals.
I dropped a full bottle of gin on it last week. The bottle literally broke over my open backpack with the mbp there. It seemed like I threw it on the distillery.
After letting it fully dry, isssues are:
- Couple small spots on the monitor. I think water got inside between the glass and display. They were very big (20% of the screen) and been reducing and now just 2 small spots (maybe 2-3%). These don't seem to reduce anymore but I will try to see if applying some subtle heat over will make them disappear.
- At first a couple keys didn't work, but now just the P and S seem to sometimes not register a tap, but when I press again, I get two of them. Not exactly sure what is going on or if it will go away. I would say it happens once every 20 or so taps (funny, writing happens there caused it on both the s and the p :))
Apart from that, all seems to be working fine. I can't say if it will continue, but I was sure it would be 'trash' after I saw what happen. Super happy it is working
I makes your Touch Bar into your dock, and can include the date time, battery life, a mini Spotify/music controller, and several other useful things.
I've had the keyboard replaced once already for exactly the same problem, but I'm a contractor and Apple can take weeks to repair the keyboard so I'm probably going to be stuck working like this for a while longer - at least until I take holiday.
It's far from acceptable for a $2,000 [pro]fessional machine.
I don't use function keys much, and I need to confess the emoji keyboard is pretty neat.
I've just bought one after holding out for 6 years since my last MBP. Everyone's wishes will be granted imminently.
1) the keyboard. This thing really feels like slamming your fingers into a metal slab. I think my iPad Pro keyboard is better. The MacBook Air keyboard is also very loud. For something with so little depth the sound is shocking.
2) the webcam. Total garbage. In a laptop this expensive I think this is inexcusable. my old ipad has a significantly better camera for video calls so I’m not carrying around both. Ridiculous.
3) the new charger is so much worse than I could have expected. The lack of MagSafe I knew about, thought it would be ok. Really a big loss. There’s also something wrong with the cable. It’s constantly getting kinks/twists in the wiring which I can’t straighten out, even though I baby it.
If they release a new MacBook Air this year I’ll definitely feel a bit betrayed. Like they knowingly released something that was a stop-gap PoS.
From what I've been reading, the push for portraying Apple as a fashion company, came directly from Ive's side.
The keyboard I can almost understand. You might argue that there were true believers in the tech, thinking they just needed to iron out some problems and then it would be “so much better.”
The webcam is something that just makes me mad. It is clearly just bad. Even with ok lighting the video quality is just horrendous. There’s absolutely no excuse. It’s basically apple saying they don’t give a fuck.
And it's not just sales; Apple generally ranks at the top or near the top in customer satisfaction surveys as well.
That happened with the iPad 3. It was replaced 6 months later since its SOC was totally underpowered for its retina display.
With one exception, they've released a new MBA literally every year from 2008 to 2018. At this point it would be a betrayal not to release an update this year.
There were many complaint about it. Somehow post 2015 model, all Macbook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air Retina has regressed in one way or another.
It's hard to unlearn old habits.
Those who are very pleased to hear they will be backpedaling on their updated keyboard designs.
Those who "don't understand" because they actually like the new keyboards (and the TouchBar even).
No matter where you stand, the new keyboards are highly controversial and divisive, and that's not good. The old keyboards didn't put people into opposing sides, they just were there. Sure people compared them to other manufacturer keyboards, sometimes for the worse and other times for the better, but it wasn't a hate or love relationship by the user base. There was no "getting used to it," it was just a keyboard.
I look forward to a return to a non controversial, highly usable and widely accepted as "fine", keyboard. I hope that's what we get.
Have you ever spoken to a thinkpad advocate re: chiclet keyboards? The previous mac keyboards were absolutely controversial. It took years for the previous keyboard to be 'just a keyboard', which I do acknowledge happened.
> I look forward to a return to a non controversial, highly usable and widely accepted as "fine", keyboard.
Honestly, this will never happen for two reasons:
1) people's needs are diverse enough where that's simply an impossible job. I happen to _really_ like the current apple keyboards, but the reliability is bad enough for me to want a change. The consensus where I work (100ish mac laptops) is that the keyboard is awful. Someone is going to be unhappy, and it sounds like it might be me :(
2) There's some segment of the technology world (non-unix people?) that will latch onto any criticism of apple - fair/deserved or not - and shout it endlessly.
I would dispute that people stopped caring about the keyboard shortcomings. They're ergonomically bad keyboards, just not bad enough to keep complaining for this many years. If all Apple cares about is what people are currently chattering about, they're missing an opportunity to improve the product, because I still regard the MacBook keyboards as a reason to buy something else. When I think of the painful adjustment that I'll have to make if I ditch Apple laptops in favor of something else, there's a voice in my head saying, "Remember when a laptop keyboard could feel good to type on?" Banging my fingertips into a hard surface all day never became "just a keyboard."
Let me guess, you have a guy feeling about this stuff?
I’m also noticing that the article suggests that apple’s real reason for change is poor yield and reliability. Those are objective measures, so I think we can agree that the current keyboard is bad.
I really don't know how one can come to this conclusion. Apple people bitch about _everything_ that changes. I think the one and only exception might be any time that they added retina screens to something.
Source: I am an apple user.
There's bitching but Apple's audience is always the first to absorb the change that eventually hits the whole industry.
MacOS Classic to Mac OS X? They kept Classic Mode around for 5 years for a reason. Eventually the benefits outweighed the drawbacks.
Loss of floppy drives and serial ports in the iMac? Bitching galore, but it was the right move.
Loss of built in DVD/CD drive on the Macbook Pro (circa 2012 with the retina MBP)? Bitching, but when's the last time we needed it so often?
Lots of bitching about iPhone 6 screen sizes being too big, leading to the iPhone SE. But ultimately more people liked the bigger size.
Lots of bitching about USB-C vs. Magsafe, but ultimately USB-C is proving to be the correct move.
The touchbar feels like the main misstep. I think most of the bitching would go away if they brought back haptics on the ESC key.
To be honest I expect this group greatly outnumbers your number 2), but being quietly satisfied with a thing is not a state of mind as conducive to jumping into an internet flame war as one of contempt for those who don't agree with your own subjective opinion of a thing or things.
The big problem I have with the new design is the reliability. I haven't personally had a key stop working, but it seems to be a real problem, and I do think the keys on my machine that has them (12" Macbook) have gotten fairly mushy after just a few years of use. That shouldn't happen—a really good keyboard will last for decades and/or tens of millions of strokes per key.
But as soon as it started failing and i needed to get keys replaced it became a nuisance.
The old keyboard had much better reliability
So, good riddance. What took them so long?
This isn't what Apple does. There are many examples of them making changes that people dislike initially, but then over time emerge as 'the way'.
It seems in this case they may have gone too far and have not managed to convert enough people over to thinking the new keyboard is actually better than the old one - though this is certainly compounded by the reliability issue and might have been true otherwise.
But what they don't do, and shouldn't do, is drive for non controversial and fine. There are plenty of laptop manufacturers that use this strategy, and we can all agree that Apple make vastly, vastly superior laptops to those brands. Mistakes might be made, but they're part and parcel of what make Apple, Apple. Without the risk of mistakes, we also wouldn't have all the other great features that the MacBook has.
I think they admitted something was wrong as soon as they created the replacement program, it's just they have been completely unwilling to alter their planned product schedule to fix it early. When they create a laptop design they expect to be able to ship the same basic chassis design for 3-4 years and in this design the keyboard and chassis are so entwined they're literally bolted together.
We're getting a new non-Pro design revision with it fixed right on schedule and the Pro isn't scheduled to redesign till next year so we get the fix then. Both these fixes could have been in the market 1-2 years ago if they company truly wanted it.
They just decided it either wasn't worth the money, or wasn't worth changing their cadence to fix it early. Just don't think they have much respect for their Mac customers anymore and know they'll stick around.
How much development time does Apple need for a new laptop design? I think it takes them about 2 years.
So if you say they could have had fixed keyboards in 2017, they would have had to start designing them in 2015, which is a year before the 2016 models even went on sale.
My assumption is that they only realized that the butterfly switches are unsalvageable after the July 2017 upgrade failed to fix the problems, so they started working on new Macbook designs with scissor switches in late 2017, which will be released in 2019/2020.
Given that Apple is a company headed by a COO, run entirely on tight logistics, my strong belief is that they just wanted to use up all the butterfly keyboard key-mechs they had already pumped out.
I mean I'm not trying to downplay how huge it would be to dump that design early, they have an insane amount of machinery and production line set up which they expect to get a few years of usage out of and at the end of the day only the CEO can make a call on if its important enough to go back and retool early and your Ballmers, your Tim Cooks are just never going to make that trade off.
An ops person isn't going to lose any sleep over the MacBook line being downgraded from a great product to an ok product.
This is true for Apple's new keyboard too. We can't automatically assume it's better than the existing one, or that it has no issues. It's an unknown. For all we know a new keyboard might be even worse than the current one. Hopefully Apple will have learned from their mistakes but whether or not they've corrected all the problems or introduced new problems is something we can't know.
It's good that Apple appear to be listening and are trying to fix the problem (if that's the reason for the new keyboard) but I won't be rushing out to buy one for a while.
A combination of Lenovo's keyboard and Apple's touchpad would make a strong combination.
... and thanks to Linux, it runs like on the first day.
I don't know.
I don't find the T520's keyboard to be any better than the MBP's. The differences in key placement are much more noticeable than any difference in key shape, travel, or response.
Am I missing something?
The integrated Intel GPU in my T520 is stuck on XDDM and never got an updated WDDM driver. So it can't run a modern version of Windows anyways.
Credit to Lenovo, they backtracked within one generation, but I am not nearly so rich as to be able to change laptops that often so it was a costly design "innovation" to me on their end!
* It breaks.
* It makes a lot of noise.
* It has almost no travel.
I really dislike #2 and #3 but to their credit it is thin (which I don't care much about). You can argue about #2 and #3 being subjective which is fair enough (the same is true for it being thin). However #1 is not subjective, and doesn't occur in a "few isolated cases". It is a proven design issue.
What I'd furthermore argue though is that #1 and #2 and #3 are together the sole result of going for thinness. After all, the previous keyboards worked great (and I owned 4 MBPs of the 2010-2015 range).
Meanwhile, the prices of the MBPs have only increased which adds insult to injury!
There's this saying, "if it ain't broken, don't fix it". At the same time there's "release early, release often". The first version of the iPhone had serious disadvantages. Apple didn't release AirPower. These each had their minus. However Apple has failed to address this specific minus. We've been beta testing this feature enough. It is time to admit the design flaw, and move on (but don't Osbourne the current series).
You don't work with people using mechanical keyboards, right?
Not every mechanical keyboard creates as much noise as the other one though. And it also depends on how you use the keyboard.
If I'd work from home, a MBP butterfly would make my partner insane though. It could wake up my child, even. If you make your own noise, it is might be soothing or something. If it is other people around you whilst you're trying to concentrate you are violating their ability to use their time efficiently. I'm of the opinion that we should value such as "extremely rude".
Personal anecdote but I was on an film set recently with mine, I'd planned to just work away because I was only going to be needed if things went wrong but on a quiet set I actually felt the keyboard was so noisy that I'd worry it would be getting picked up on the microphones. It felt uncomfortably loud even if they're filming a good 10 meters away.
I actually do like noisy keyboards in my own home, but the issue with Apple is if one size fits all then you really need to think of all the places that machine is potentially going to end up.
And unfortunately I cannot listen to music and read... I wish I could! But I can't...
Also, I even have my TouchPad on silent (I prefer than over the < 2015 versions even though the 2014 have less design flaws).
You prefer it, I don't. Many others prefer it, many other's don't. Like the touchbar, it was a controversial change. But if it then turns out to break regularly, then it is better to return to the previous design.
It puts the dock in your touchbar. It's the first time in the 9 months I've had this laptop where I've actually gone "ok, this is useful" and I am actually using it. I now have the dock auto hide and I mostly use the touch bar to open apps.
That said, I'd still prefer they ditched the touchbar in favor of function keys. I'd be happy if they shrunk the ridiculous size of the touchpad a bit, and put a row of function keys in between the touchpad and keyboard as well.
Unfortunately, so many people hate the current version of the touchbar that there hasn’t been much innovation in this area.
The two worst keys are the touchpad lock key, and the WiFi key. Both of which "crash" the laptop when your average user hits them unintentionally: because either the touchpad stops working or the internet stops working. Absolute madness.
I hope that Apple returns to making quality hardware without Ive present.
I quite like Face ID, the latest gen iPad Pro, and even the new Mac mini, and Mac Pro.
Sure the keyboards were bad, but like it or not Apple has a pretty obvious goal to get MacBooks as thin and light as possible. At some point they needed a switch from the existing keyboard design to make it thinner.
How about the first generation Pencil? To charge it you had to plug it in to your iPad.... it looked ridiculous and was very distracting. Thankfully, they fixed this in the second generation.
Keyboard: pleasant clicky-ness and little movement required. Thin AF.
TouchBar: customized with BetterTouchTools to be a hybrid of my most often-used shortcuts (expand menu, alfred, fantastical, window management, and 1password on the left, notification center and lock screen on the right) and music controls with gestures in the middle: shows current track, can change volume, switch tracks, play/pause, mute, or tap into a submenu to pull up most frequent playlists and add current songs to my library. Way better than using the function keys of old.
Oh and the escape key… long remapped to caps lock. If I really need caps lock, fn + caps lock key toggles it.
Getting used to the feeling of the flatter keyboard isn't really an issue for most people.
If you are telling me even a 5% keyboard failure rate within the first 2 year of purchase is an acceptable number that we can simply stop further discussion and say we agree to disagree.
It’s a piece of shit, and even after a replacement it’s broken within weeks.
I would say the toucbar is a completely useless liability, and the poor durability of the keyboard is an issue, but if they were able to produce a butterfly keyboard which worked reliably and had a physical escape key it would be more than fine for me.
I've remapped escape to caps lock too, but how do you get fn + caps lock to toggle caps lock?
I've never heard this before.
I thought some people needed their proprietary software that could only be run on Apple products, and that is what forces someone to buy a Macbook.
What are they best in class for?
EDIT: Thank you for the serious responses
I've never heard this before.
Lots of companies were putting their badges on inch-thick, mostly plastic 15" laptops with mediocre touchpads that never delivered the battery life they promised. And if your employer issued you with a Windows laptop, that was what you got. Remember laptop bags, when moving a laptop needed padding and a shoulder strap and pockets to carry your mouse and power brick?
That's not to say there weren't some good products out there - there were some well designed Vaios, some pretty daring early tablet PCs and so on. But there wasn't a brand where you could say "Just buy an X" and know that you'd get a good quality product.
Of course, in recent years a lot of PC manufacturers have stepped up their game (or maybe I'm just spending more money?) while Apple has had a few stumbles.
That's incorrect. You're referring to SuperFish, which was only on Lenovo's consumer machines, not on ThinkPad.
I only advise people to buy ThinkPads, and I make specific recommendations on what model to get and which options to choose after we talk about their needs. For example, most people are better off getting a better display instead of a faster CPU if they don't have the money for both.
Everyone I've advised like this has been delighted with their ThinkPads. If there is any "shadow" over the brand, it hasn't affected them or me.
Best overall balance between performance/weight/battery life.
Best trackpad, hands down, no caveats, no balancing against other concerns. It's just that good.
Best integration with other devices (iphone, watch, etc). Making calls/sending text messages from a laptop is something I'm unwilling to give up at this point.
And most importantly, it's _by far_ the best support for a commercial unix/unix-like OS on a laptop. Dell isn't too bad though.
In the end, unix or a unix-like os is hard requirement for many of us, and I'm just too tired of fiddling with xorg/powertop to get decent battery life. I just want to get work done.
(But yes, the unix-like OS that doesn't require a lot of fiddling about and has nice GUI is the big thing for me, too.)
Edit: And the best trackpad ever designed imo
After the hardware, the software:
it's a GUI that just works with minimal fuss, supports most mainstream software, and also works with all the *nix stuff from Linux and BSD.
AND I can dual boot to Linux, Free/Open BSD, or Windows
AND I can run VMware or Parallels or the native Mac hypervisor (Docker)
I've seriously given consideration to the Surface Book Performance Base and the Dell XPS 15, but there are a lot of tradeoffs that keep me coming back to Apple's choices. The touchbar is not very useful to me but it's a minor thing. The keyboard I've been lucky (for 2 years).
The trackpad is unsurpassed in the industry
Low power consumption / good battery life
The hardware issues are common, but PR damage control teams, stakeholders, and fans will bury anyone who mentions it.
The overall experience.