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Apple is evaluating new keyboard mechanisms to make thinner MacBooks (appleinsider.com)
181 points by protomyth 29 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 449 comments

I'm honestly the biggest Apple fanboy — I have all the newest gadgets and I use literally every one of their products, and have been for the past several years. However, this is one thing that upsets me. The MacBook doesn't need less ports, it doesn't need to be thinner.

I understand the thinning of the MacBook Pro from the 2012 model to the 2015 model (which is what I currently own, and in my opinion is the best Mac). But I definitely don't think it needed to get any thinner or lighter than that, especially if it's sacrificing ports or a good keyboard.

IMO the 2015 MacBook Pro is the best Mac out there, mainly because of its beautiful retina display, perfect weight, and most importantly, a good keyboard.

While I understand the reticence towards thinness, I'm going to withhold judgment until I'm holding the new laptop. Thinness isn't just about aesthetic (although that is an aspect that HN commenters severely underestimate). It's also about the act of physically using the device.

I know that going from a 2015 Macbook Pro to a 2017 one made a gigantic difference in how I used the device. The 2015 one I had to decide if I wanted to put in my backpack. It added a non significant weight to my bag and therefore my back. I wouldn't open it while standing or outside, simply because it wasn't comfortable to hold in one hand, or to type in a password.

The 2017 Macbook Pro, while flawed in many ways, is very different. I carry it everywhere without a thought. I can easily carry it open in one hand or closed like a book. I can pop it open for a second, type some stuff in while holding it, then put it back (TouchID is great for this too).

This may sound like Ive-esque purple prose, but truly, a lighter laptop lowers the barriers between the physical object and what I want to accomplish. I don't have to think about the physical weight of the laptop. I can just bring it. I don't have to think about putting the laptop down and using it. I can just palm it.

You've made a great argument for a lighter laptop. Your 2017 laptop is a whopping 36% thinner than your 2015 laptop but only 11% lighter.

This modest difference in weight is mostly due to the reduced battery size that a more efficient chipset allows the newer laptop to have. The total weight of the 0.8mm thin ribbons of plastic and aluminium shaved off the plastic keys and edge of the aluminium case (the difference in key travel), is negligible compared to the weight of the laptop.

Apple could have made a laptop that was within 1% of the weight of your 2017 laptop, had a normal keyboard with good travel, and was just about 0.8mm thicker.

Pursuing thinness at some point even comes at the expense of higher weight, to maintain adequate rigidity.

I do feel the newest MBPs gave up too much for the sake of thinness already. (The keyboard is unpleasant to use, on top of being unreliable.)

I wish Apple would be so bold as to Think Different here and prioritize usability.

There’s the problem of feeling cheap however. If you make a laptop that’s thicker but lighter, you run the risk of having a laptop that feels weirdly light and cheap.

Also thickness does matter! If you’re gripping a laptop in one hand, a thinner body is easier to hold. And it’s just plain beautiful. It feels futuristic. Which, yes, is nonsense. But it’s also how you make a product that people want.

> If you’re gripping a laptop in one hand, a thinner body is easier to hold.

Is it though? If you're trying to hold six closed laptops in the same hand, thinner might be better, but when holding one laptop in one hand, it's weight not thickness that matters.

Has the product not been thin enough to easily hold one handed for years? We're talking about shaving millimeters off a 1.5 cm thick product. Not inches off something a foot thick

There's a difference between thin/light and holdability. My prior Asus[0] actually had a part sticking out the back (where the battery was attached) that provided an amazing grip. Flat macbooks, like my current Asus, I'm more afraid will slip out of my grip (or, held from the side, flex and damage something), especially pushing against it with the other hand while using the keyboard.

[0] https://www.asus.com/Laptops/U46E/

> a thinner body is easier to hold. And it’s just plain beautiful. It feels futuristic

IMO, a thinner body feels fragile. It feels like they've chosen aesthetics over durability to a detrimental extreme.

Thinner also means less room for cooling and a smaller battery. If I see a super-thin laptop, I'm going to assume it has low performance to compensate for inadequate cooling.

> But it’s also how you make a product that people want.

Is anybody asking for a thinner laptop? Or is Apple just creating a benchmark and advertising it?

This whole thing just re-affirms my belief that Apple isn't a tech company, they're a fashion company. They have absurdly inflated pricing and over-emphasis on aesthetics over performance.

> This whole thing just re-affirms my belief that Apple isn't a tech company, they're a fashion company. They have absurdly inflated pricing and over-emphasis on aesthetics over performance.

I don't disagree! If you don't understand fashion, you won't understand Apple. I'm always mystified at how people are seemingly disgusted at Apple's business model of selling products that look good. Well, yeah, people will want to buy products that look and feel good.

That's why people buy expensive clothes. They don't buy clothes for the features. They buy it because it looks and feels nice. You can certainly wear clothes that have more "features" like cargo shorts or pants that unzip to shorts. But don't be surprised when people eschew them for clothes that are objectively less practical but more beautiful.

It actually stuns me how other companies don't understand aesthetics at all. Windows laptops are shockingly ugly. Thinkpads are truly the cargo shorts of laptops. Sometimes they're slightly slimmer, slightly better cut cargo shorts, but they're still cargo shorts. Microsoft's laptops are probably the closest to beautiful, but they're still not that good. And when they're good, they're suspiciously close to Apple's products.

That being said, Apple's laptops aren't as bad for the money as you'd imagine. Try finding a cheaper laptop with a unibody construction that feels as durable, as well built as a Mac. Try finding a cheaper laptop where I can speak to an actual, physical person about getting it fixed. Try finding a cheaper laptop with as fast of an SSD^[1]. Try finding a cheaper laptop with as good of a touchpad. It's not as easy as you'd imagine.

[1]: https://www.macrumors.com/2018/07/13/2018-macbook-pro-fastes...

I would prefer the same size as 2015 with the same battery and much longer battery life from reduced power consumption.

It seems like Apple is spending the gains from better circuitry in the wrong way.

yes, weight matters much more than thinness, when it comes to portability and usability. my 15” 2008 macbook pro weighed 5 1/2 lbs and hurt my back and shoulders carrying it all day. the 2012/2015 was 4 1/2 lbs; better but not great. somewhere between 3-4 lbs seems to be where the threshold is for portability/usability.

with that said, these discussions on mbp keyboards and thinness always miss the reason apple strives for thinness in the first place: to drive the market in a direction where apple is always perceived to have the lead/the best products. thinner products are harder to design, harder to manufacture, and really lean on the supply chain and operational focus/excellence of apple. that gives them their enviable market position, and most of the industry’s profits, so that’s why they do it. it’s really that simple.

As a counterpoint, I was issued the maxed out 2018 model for work, and I do not like the design. I only used it on a laptop stand, plugged into big external monitors, and with an external keyboard and mouse.

Not having a tactile escape key is a poor decision, as is the choice to ditch the inverted-T cursor keys, just to make the keyboard look more symmetrical. Both seem like steps backwards in usability — both being harder to navigate by feel.

2018: http://cdn.iphonehacks.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/macboo...

Prior: https://images.anandtech.com/doci/9136/MBA_Keyboard_575px.jp...

The weird thing is that they could have added the touchbar and kept a full function key row and still have plenty of room for a good sized touchpad. The current Macbook's touchpad is arguably too large.

coming from the world of windows ultrabooks, it's sorta hard to imagine how a touchpad could be "too big". does the palm rejection suck, or is it just that you think the real estate could be used better for something else?

Coming from the world of tiling window managers on linux, I do not use a touchpad at all. On the Macbook I have to use it occasionally, but I still stay on the keyboard as much as possible.

So having to remap ESC to Capslock and often hitting the wrong arrow key is a much too big drawback to a bigger touchpad

As an example, both thumbs hovers the touchpad when my hands are on the keyboard. One of my thumb frequently taps and moves the cursor to another line all the while I am writing code. It's frustrating.

Imo, the touchpad on Macbook has always been its greatest strength and they managed to ruin it.

Totally agree. The loss of the arrow key space plus the no real escape key is the most pro-hostile (for coders at least) design decision. Although i guess could argue a keyboard that misses keys is worse but I haven’t had that problem.

Remap caps lock to Escape in the Keyboard settings. If you’re using vim keybindings, use HJKL for arrow keys.

I'm a hardcore vi user and even I miss-strike the arrow keys at times when I'm not using vi. Also, remapping caps lock to escape is great but for some reason I just can't get out of the habit of sending my pinkie or left ring finger up to the esc position. And for some reason, remapping caps-lock to esc has resulted in frequent esc-enter mis-type sequences, almost always when I've spent time writing long emails, thereby aborting the email with no draft to recover. Sheesh.

Good to know you're having trouble with the workarounds. I'm dreading get a newer MBP for this reason, but I mostly use a mech keyboard.

Sounds like you have a setup that works for you. If you're not planning on using it on the move then why does the keyboard matter to you?

I carried it home with me every night, where I use my maxed out 2013 MacBook Pro without the displays or external keyboard.

While thinner, the maxed out 2018 15" model is 4.02 lbs, whereas the maxed out 2013 15" is 4.46 pounds. To me, there isn't much difference in 'heft' between the two.

It's the opposite for me. With my personal mid-2015 MacBook Pro I love to sit down and type on it for hours, creating great software and documentation. With the newer MacBooks I try to avoid long typing sessions or I have to mess with dongles and keyboards for a good typing experience. On a train an external keyboard is not an option so the newer MacBook stays in my bag.

For portable use I'd rather throw a 12" MacBook in my bag.

Everything you describe is good but the problem is if these things come at the expense of one of the fundamental functions of the device then really it's a tradeoff that should ever have been made.

(Had to edit repeated keypresses when typing this post due to the butterfly keyboard I wrote it on)

I have a 2018 MacBook air and have never had the repeated keypresses issue, so I imagine they've probably fixed that in the newer keyboard designs. That said, I don't like typing on the keyboard. It feels awkward.

Honestly, I've never liked typing on any generation of Apple keyboard and much prefer the Thinkpad keyboard. In fact, that's the main thing I look for in a laptop these days, since most keyboards seem to be getting worse and worse (even the Lenovo keyboards are getting worse).

I also hate that Lenovo are trying to join the "everything should be thin" crowd, especially seeing what it has done to Apple's keyboards. If you want thin, the MacBook Air or the Lenovo X1 models are there for you. If you want a more complete experience for working on for longer periods of time, the Thinkpad TXXX and MacBook (Pro) used to be what you go for, but those are condensing to look like the ultra thin models that it's becoming increasingly hard to justify the separation.

Please Apple/Lenovo, leave the thicker models thick and focus efforts on the thinner models if you want to make something thinner. I just want a good keyboard on my laptop...

> so I imagine they've probably fixed that in the newer keyboard designs

It's not they're all in the replacement program and the mechanism condom they added to the 2018 still has holes dust can get through unfortunately.

I have the 2018 MacBook Pro and I occasionally have the double typed keys issue. Though it doesn't seem to happen as often as what I've read about previous versions of the keyboard.

I agree with your point, but I also agree with the parent comment.

Thinner != lighter.

It's totally legit to have a not-so-thin laptop that gets lighter every year, but preserves the most important ports.

Mmm... just 200gr of difference (over 2kg) doesn’t seem enough to me to go from “I can’t use it at all standing” to “I easily carry it open in one hand”. What I’m missing?

The musculature and size of the person holding it.

What kind of musculature and size is affected so much that goes from “impossible to use” to “perfect to use” for a difference of 10% (2 kg vs 1.8 kg)?

To be fair, their post finally made me realize that I'm outside of Apple's target demographic after all since I can do at least one pushup.

Does attacking the assumed physique of a commenter really add anything useful to the discussion?

You're just changing the goal posts of requirements. It is well known that ergonomic comfort is dependent on the actual person. Human strength in relation to weight is dependent on the square-cube law.

our rugged farming ancestors would be belly laughing at us complaining about the weight of a MacBook pro lol.

And in the opposite direction, our space-faring progeny of future physical and virtual galactic colonies squeal in delight by the notion of actually 'carrying' anything.

When I'm walking my fields repairing my fences I absolutely wish my fencing tools were lighter, even if I'm using my truck or other vehicle to carry my tools. I don't think they'd belly laugh at someone who preferred more efficient tools.

Not really. This is a common misconception. It is typical to go to the field with very little weight. Very light clothing, light (or often no) footwear. You typically will have a single tool for the job at hand (and whetstone where required). Maybe a woven basket with some lightweight sacks if you are collecting. Its hard enough work without carrying stuff.

Well of course they did; they were busting their butts all day. I doubt they would have been bothered much by a one pound difference in a laptop though.

People still farm this way. Carrying an extra pound absolutely makes a difference.

You can ask any athlete, or look up calorie expenditure charts for people carrying different weights if that more your thing.

>You can ask any athlete

I was a serious athlete for about fifteen years and still am casually. Of course it makes a difference; the question is how much. The answer is not much, especially when we're talking about relatively short distances (I don't think anyone commenting here is talking about carrying their laptop for a 30 mile hike), and I'd much prefer better battery life and the old keyboard.

Farmers don't move relatively short distances (I walk 5km just to cut half a hectare of grass) - and the movement is a lot more dynamic than simply moving from one place to another.

Im not saying a pound of weight is much, I'm saying that our "rugged farming ancestors" certainly wouldn't scoff at carrying a pound less weight.

I thin you missed the point... of course a farmer wouldn't want to carry additional weight. What they would scoff at is a software developer complaining about an extra pound when their most strenuous activity is walking from an Uber to the local cafe.

We're not farmers. If you are living under conditions like a farmer then yes, by all means, shed every pound you can. I don't imagine that the person who started this thread has to deal with those sort of conditions.

Actually, I am a farmer (and work with 'traditional' tools) - which is why i responded to the thread in the first place. Clearly we read differently into what was stated.

It seems I wasn't the only farmer to state this, as @lolsal said:

> When I'm walking my fields repairing my fences I absolutely wish my fencing tools were lighter, even if I'm using my truck or other vehicle to carry my tools. I don't think they'd belly laugh at someone who preferred more efficient tools.

Such small barriers to use suggest that the question of using your laptop or not was similar to an impulse control problem. Such as, whether or not to have another snack cracker. It's right there, so why not have another.

There used to be two options, for both use cases. Now they just turned Pro into Air.

> IMO the 2015 MacBook Pro is the best Mac out there, mainly because of its beautiful retina display, perfect weight, and most importantly, a good keyboard.

Yep. 2015 Macbook Pro is the last best mac. Probably this is why refurbished 2015 MBP commands premium over other models.

That's funny, because I call the Late 2013 MBP the last best one :) Among other things, it was the last one to feature a physical trackpad click, as opposed to the fake "taptic engine" all-glass trackpad of the 2014 and newer which doesn't physically move when you click (similar to newer iPhones).

To be honest, I actually prefer the fake click of the new trackpads. It feels very real, it's not at all comparable to the taptic feedback on the buttonless iPhones.

The fake click feels so real that people don't even realise it's a fake click if you don't tell them.

The mechanical trackpads only allowed clicking in the bottom half (since it was a hinge), and in my experience it was unreliable. After a few years, clicks started registering twice, or not at all, etc.

The fake click track pad allows clicking everywhere, it lets you configure activation force, and for me it has been working flawlessly every day for years.

My trackpad stopped clicking one morning and I was worried that maybe battery expansion was keeping it from being pressed down.

Then I finally remembered it was haptic feedback and a reboot fixed it. I had completely forgotten it was not a real click.

I can confirm this, as I am an owner of two 2018 Macbook Pros for 7 months and I did not even realize that the click was fake !

The haptic trackpad works beautifully imo, you can click anywhere, there is force click, the clicky sound can be turned on or off, the feedback can be adjusted. And to me it feels real.

I honestly thought I wouldn't like the fake clicking, but I ended up liking it after I used it for a day!

I can never sent to click and drag successfully with the new track pad. Plus it is needlessly big

Don't know where you got this idea. My mid-2014 MBP has a physical click, where the trackpad actually sinks when I press on it.

Ah right, it turns out I misunderstood the EveryMac page about the Mid-2014 [0], with the wording 'a "no button" glass "inertial" multi-touch trackpad'. Thought that was their wording for the non-moving trackpad! haha :) It's the 2015 that had the taptic engine trackpad first, I think.

[0] https://everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/specs/macbook...

Does it click when the power is off?

Yep! And I can see it physically depressing when applying pressure.

Oh, turns out I was one model off, the next model afterward ("Mid 2014"[0]) still had the physical trackpad click, while they introduced the taptic engine with the Early 2015 model[1]. I misunderstood the EveryMac description of the features!

[0] https://everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/specs/macbook...

[1] https://everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/specs/macbook...

My 2012 one jammed up one day and the glass actually shattered upon a click. Still works and somehow I'm not getting splinters, but that's definitely an inherent flaw in the physical keyboards as batteries expand over time.

I don't think this is accurate, the 2015 MBP I am using now has a physical click (pad has vertical travel).

Is it definitely 2015? Starting "Early 2015" they had the taptic trackpad https://everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/specs/macbook...

Pardon the wild analogy but I think it says something about this era. Star Wars 7 and 8 were already sold cheaper than the original movies on Youtube movies.

Why so much "new" is actually worse these days..

Sturgeon's law: 90% of everything is crap. 90% of movies from 1977 were crap, but we only remember the ones that weren't, like the original Star Wars. Comparing all movies of today to the best movies of the past is unfair.

It's not really the same here. Both SW trilogies made rounds of moneys worldwide (ep 7 is in the top 10 I think). But the latest movies, which are brand new, and were somehow successful are already deprecated. It's like processed food, taste doesn't last.

I think they discount the newest movies so they can get as many people to watch them as they can in order to sell them related merchandise. It is Disney Star Wars after all.

Most merchandise I've seen in stores (e.g. LEGO) is from the old trilogy, though.

honestly I don't buy it (sic)

even with plausible disney merch. strategy, to me it's a clear and sad sign of some issue in entertainment production

It's part of getting older.

Not many things quit at their peak. You tend to notice less things which were past their peak when you were growing up and remember things which peaked while you were around.

It might have something to do with why people get more conservative as they get older. There's a bias towards thinking things were better before than they are now when people just don't remember the crap from when they were younger and things actually are pretty much the same (or really are generally getting better by most metrics)

Nono it's not my tastes. I'm speaking about youtube pricing. Even they realize that new sequels don't hold much value, even though to most of their audience (new generations using youtube often) has no reference to favor the past movies from the new.

Oh I meant it in a different way, maybe I could rephrase:

You have a tendency to notice things getting worse that you personally experience. When you're younger you have had less time to experience something you care about declining than when you're older which leads to a cognitive bias where it seems that things were generally better when you were young.

However old you are, there were plenty of things in decline when you were young that you just didn't notice or care about because you never experienced them at their best and are much less likely to experience them. So many people have experienced Star Wars because it's super culturally relevant, but slide down that scale and there will be tons of things your parents saw the decline of that you might not even know existed.

> Why so much "new" is actually worse these days..

New stuff in general is not worse. New versions of old things quite often are! So upgrade your taste and try new things instead of newer versions of the old things you know you like, because with these you're very likely to be disappointed.

In this context maybe the answer would be to try something else than a macbook. Tbh, and iPad pro capable of running Xcode and docker would rock for me.

Indeed. I have an iPad Pro that admittedly doesn't see much use because I'm very much tied to my MacBook, but having played with iPadOS I'm blown away by it and I had a very sudden realisation of "So this is where Apple's development efforts have gone!".

I can't wait until the day where I can genuinely do some development on an iPad.

Regression to the mean may be part of it. Even for a master of their craft success and quality will depend on random factors beyond skill, so pieces of work following a great one are more likely to be worse than better, assuming skill remains constant.

I wonder if people at apple know this and what they think on the matter.

:waits patiently for input from throw_away6747357:

c'mon we won't tell

I actually think it was the fully loaded 11” 2015 MBA. But. Regardless, they don’t make em like they used to.

I'm not at all an Apple fan but have certainly handled and used Apple hardware lots of times, and every time I need to pick up or otherwise handle a MacBook, it feels very weird and uncomfortable. They look nice, but the thinness and sharp edges combined with smooth metal both makes me scared that my hands will slip, yet the sharpness provokes a natural aversion to holding it firmly. I have a metal-bodied Thinkpad but it doesn't feel as uncomfortable to hold. I wonder if anyone else has this experience.

What's funny is that 10-15 years ago, apple was making the most approachable, softest computers in the game. My brother's old 2007 macbook is sitting nearby right now, and it's in all white with the rounded corners and it feels really nice to touch and use, and you don't feel like you need to take special care of it to protect the finish.

Apple takes the aesthetic far too seriously now, they're no longer concerned with approachability and usability. They're not really in the running for "what computer to give grandma" anymore.

Hopefully, they've turned a corner on that philosophy. The new iPhone 11 Pro is slightly thicker than last year's model, to make room for a bigger battery and other components. Perhaps they can apply this change of priorities to the MacBook Pro line. As well, Jony Ive is gone, off to start his own independent design consultancy — a fine time to break the focus on 'thinner at all costs'.

My wish would be to see a return to a nice keyboard that feels good to type on, an option to omit the Touch Bar from high end MacBook Pro models, and the option for an Nvidia GPU. Otherwise, my next MacBook Pro will be a decked out 2015 model.

Jony Ive's new "independent" firm has one big primary client: Apple.

John Gruber had thoughts on that in one of his two takes on the issue so far

> This angle that he’s still going to work with Apple as an independent design firm seems like pure spin. You’re either at Apple or you’re not. Ive is out.

But also,

> Apple’s hardware and industrial design teams work so far out that, even if I’m right and Ive is now effectively out of Apple, we’ll still be seeing Ive-designed hardware 5 years from now. It is going to take a long time to evaluate his absence.

I didn't watch the full September iPhone keynote, but from what I saw there was a noticeable lack of Jony Ive voiceover in the featured iPhone product videos. I may have just missed it, though?

In the Jobs era, Apple would sometimes make drastic hardware changes very close to the release of new hardware. It's possible that the criticism of the keyboards from so many corners (WSJ, famously [3]) may have shifted their plans.

[1] https://daringfireball.net/2019/06/jony_ive_leaves_apple

[2] https://daringfireball.net/2019/07/on_the_post-ive_future_of...

[3] https://www.wsj.com/graphics/apple-still-hasnt-fixed-its-mac...

iPhones have been getting thicker/weightier every year since 6, with the exception in 7.

Nvidia is never going to happen given the bad blood between them and Apple. Sigh.

Money can clean up a surprising amount of bad blood.

True and false. Qualcomm could be seen as an example where money and monopoly helped clear up some bad blood. Nvidia doesn't have a strong enough monopoly, and the damage to Apple's reputation went beyond money.. so, sometimes no amount of money is going to resolve a conflict when your product has a mere 10-20% performance differential vs the nearest competitor. If Nvidia were to bring out some sort of super-chip that offered 10x performance per watt at half the price.. Apple might raise an eyebrow, but AMD has been keeping up and Apple has no reason to switch.

I've been wondering if Apple might get in to the dedicated GPU game. First replacing the integrated Intel gpu in the lower end machines with their mobile gpu chip designs, then maybe tackling a scaled up version?

They used to use PowerVR GPUs in the iPhone line, but I think (?) they're designed in-house now. They have their own Metal graphics API already. And they're on a 7nm process from TSMC.

Thin laptops are like big screens on phones and cheap airline seats. Lots of people say those aren't the most important criteria, but the tyranny of the majority says otherwise.

As far as this particular tech goes, the frailty of the butterfly keyboard is only half the problem for me. The other half is the lack of travel itself! I'm going to hang on to this 2015 model until it completely dies and then go find something else if what's on offer from Apple feels like typing on a sheet of tin foil on a kitchen counter.

I also use my 2015 and refuse to upgrade. And use it a lot; lot of the letters on my keyboard are long gone. But the keyboard keeps working, which is a major plus compared to the newer models. If only the MagSafe 2 wasn't such bad design...

It could be a little lighter, but I carry it around in a backpack so I don't mind, and it's still not too heavy to balance on my belly if needed to, so I don't mind either.

Thinner? I also had an Air, and while it was a pleasure to carry around, I never liked the feel. It was too thin for my taste already.

Why do you think MagSafe is a bad design? I miss it on my latest MacBook.

MagSafe 1 had the cable at a right angle instead of sticking straight out. Much easier to use the laptop with the power plugged in.

On the other hand, the later magsafe cable was finally the design that seemed to work the best in more chaotic environments like at a cafe where someone can kick the cable.

People complain about how it falls out "all the time", but to me that suggests that it's doing its job.

Meanwhile one of my two usb-c ports on my 2017 MBP is already damaged from normal wear (jiggling a cable will challenge the connection), probably from the times the port took the whole load of a pulled cable. Magsafe did the right thing of sparing the port.

Though as Apple macbooks become lighter and lighter, we increasingly deal with the ridiculous failcase where a pulled cable can launch the entire laptop off the table. I feel like magsafe is even more necessary now than ever before.

>People complain about how it falls out "all the time", but to me that suggests that it's doing its job.

I wasn't aware this was even a complaint. The magsafe always just seemed like it did exactly what it needed to; I think I can recall just a few occasions when I didn't realize I had set one of my MacBooks down at an angle on the bed or something and separated part of the power cord just enough to stop charging it.

I upgraded to a 2018 MacBook Air just earlier this year, and the lack of a native magsafe option is my only regret on the purchase. The plus side is that the battery really is pretty amazing, so most of the time I am just running without it plugged in at all, and at night the laptop peacefully charges.

Still miss the comfort of the magsafe though.

There were two different designs for MagSafe 1... the design used on the 2008 Macbook and 2008 unibody Macbook Pro had a plastic rectangular end that jutted straight out. The design used on the early Macbook Air is like you describe, with a right angle and an aluminum body. Both designs work with the Magsafe 1 to Magsafe 2 adapter.

I preferred the L-form plug you're describing, but that's not my main issue.

I used an MagSafe 1 L-form one for a couple of years as well, and now the MagSafe 2 T-form one.

With the MagSafe 2 the cable sheath started to become kind of porous and would fray after a year at the connector, which I had to fix (used some excess sugru my sister had lying around). This worked, but made the connector end a little heavier meaning even more chance it will slip if the laptop is moved ever so slightly.

Another half year later or so the cable showed the same symptoms in the middle of it, where now a large area of the cable sheath would become rigid, porous and would eventually rip open. That part of the cable was usually in the air, did not touch anything and of course was not in front of a heat source or anything like that. Imagine my confusion. I patched it up again with some electric tape.

I never had these problems with the MagSafe 1 cable. When I googled a bit, this seems to be a common issue for Apple cables, and a lot, lot, lot more common for the MagSafe 2 (anecdotally from what I saw in the google results)[1]. That and a lot of people would have the entire cable fray and stop working (usually at the power block end), at which point you'd either have to open up the thing and solder it together or more likely buy a replacement for 80 bucks, but that didn't happen to me (yet) thankfully.

I've used a lot of laptops, and while the magnetic connector is certainly an improvement (so of course, Apple replaced it with USB-C), I never had a cable slowly shed the cable sheath before. That's what I meant by bad design.

As far as I can tell, things didn't improve. Instead Apple decided to not even ship a cord with new models, so you either have to buy one yourself (another 20 bucks) or plug the power block directly into the wall socket. I'm cynic enough by now to believe they didn't stop shipping one because they are cheap, but to make the packaging box "thinner".

[1] e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13307130

Anecdotally, I'm on my third magsafe 1 charger. They are all shit. My GFs current magsafe 1 has like 3 patches of tape throughout the cable after the block, and a big beefy wad on the L connector. I've ran into a couple other people still rocking the 2012 mbp, and they are all on their second or third magsafe charger too.

They used to not have that grippy coating and I think those smooth cables worked great (until I ran over mine with a desk chair), even the original ipod cables were pretty solid in my experience, but every L shaped magsafe 1 is a time bomb just like any other apple cable these days.

Many USB-C magnet thingies also have that design

My USB-C to Magsafe adapter is currently in the prototype phase. I'm really interested in what you didn't like in the design so I can fix it in the final product. I'm in the same boat as you, but most of my devices including my work laptop uses USB-C for charging. I want to cut down on the number of chargers I have to bring with myself I going somewhere. Also, I really like that I can "dock" my work laptop with only one cable.


But is it just programmers that don't care about the thinness of their keyboards and want something functional and high performing?

It perplexes me why non-programmer consumers wouldn't want the same. Who is Apple aiming at?

Apple used to be about a certain quality. Not just appealing to impatient masses. A good keyboard matters. Ports too. It seems they just lost some good sense.

Apple no longer competes on the same metrics as they used to. It used to be about functionality and quality, but they've become a status symbol (mostly in the ohines, but I think it carries over in the brand), and thus they don't have to face as much market pressure as other companies in the same space that other companies do to make sure they don't have problems.

Is it really any wonder that as Apple products become more and more of a status symbol we see quality slip, not entirely, but just enough that they can keep their status but increase their margins? I would argue it's what we should expect given their situation (even if it sucks).

I'm a developer (I've worked on products many here use). I prefer thinner and lighter pro laptops. It has nothing to do with status.

People use these things around town in coffee shops, take them around campus, travel the world with them, etc.

Every pound in my backpack matters to me. Weight matters to me. Thinness matters to me. It's the difference between me deciding to bring my laptop and completely leaving it behind.

Same philosophy with my camera gear. I never got into the DSLR game because they were simply too heavy and bulky. I much prefer mirrorless cameras and I'm fine with the tradeoffs that come with them because I actually take my mirrorless camera around with me.

You don't have to agree with me, but I'm a huge fan of thin and light devices.

I too care about the weight and size as I travel with my laptop everywhere, literally everywhere.

But I don't like having to carry extra connectors/adaptors (esp SD Card and ethernet port).

In my backpack, the screen presses on the keyboard and is leaving a mark on the screen.

A simple 1 meter fall on soft carpeted floor can dent its corners and cause the lid to not close fully flush.

These damages are not worth the few millimeter thinness or few grams of weight needed for added structural strength.

These are things I wish they addressed while pursuing thinner/lighter MacBook Pros.

I was commenting more on the actual quality issues they've been having, and their replacing some components with ones of perceived lesser quality in the pursuit of size and weight reduction (e.g. the keyboard).

The quality argument isn't worth discussing much, as I assume you agree with the premise that quality should not drop, even if you may or may not agree it has or has not dropped (but Apple doesn't score nearly as well as it used to with review sites, and there are various things I could link to regarding quality problems, or you could just watch from stuff from Louis Rossmann).

The keyboard argument I think requires a bit more explanation, in that I think the keyboard is both of more relative importance than weight, and should be of importance for more time than the weight is as well (you should be using the keyboard longer than you are walking around with the laptop, if it's actually important for your job). As such, I see a change in the keyboard as a functionality loss for a marketing gain, since the actual weight reduction could be very minimal since it was mainly for thickness reduction (it appears the 2015 Macbook Pro might be lighter than the 2019 Macbook Pro?). To me that speaks to Apple trying to retain or cement the status symbol feature of their brand, where artistic design is, to some degree, outweighing functional design.

That sounds like an argument for the regular/Air lines which already exist. I want a Pro option that isn't just the Air+. Apple hasn't yet figured out how without catastrophic hardware failure.

But do you really notice that large of a weight difference between the 2015 and the 2017? Do you really use the few millimeters of space saved? I honestly can't tell much of a difference in terms of weight, though I acknowledge that there is some.

I actually do notice and appreciate it, personally.

I don't mean to excuse the keyboard problems - those should be addressed. But I just wanted to share my opinion because there are A LOT of others who feel the same way I do - they just have no incentive to participate in these discussions. I usually just ignore them - but in this case I was a bit bored.

There's definitely advantages, and I say that as someone with a sore back and a 2012 macbook, but there's no excuse for the modern macbook pros to not just have actually useful ports for a change. They used to give you a card reader too, and that slot is as thin as usb-c!

I've had professors delay class because they forgot the damn dongle, or the dongle mysteriously doesn't work in this particular lecture hall but "worked fine in my office!!" Occasionally you'd see someone in the wild with a tiny keychain usb drive or logitech wireless nub and a hulking 4 port dongle taking up nearly half the table space as the laptop.

I get keeping a wedged laptop like the air sparse, but Macbook pros have like 6 inches on either side where they could throw in a usb type a or hdmi cable (or the card reader, if you like photography!) if they reduced the taper by 1mm and kept the laptop at the same thickness. To not do that is aggressively stubborn, especially when usb-c isn't even the standard plug for their phones.

Maybe they shouldn't be making them out of aluminium then? My 14inch t480s has all the ports, a card reader, replaceable battery, ssd and memory. Well, maybe it's a bit chunkier, but it weighs a tiny bit less than the new 13inch macbook pro.

No it is a wonder how one of the most profitable companies in existence cannot manage to keep both mindsets alive. Milk the status money without deprecating the quality line.

> It used to be about functionality and quality, but they've become a status symbol

They've become a fashion company. They have an over-emphasis on aesthetics over performance and durability, matched with incredibly inflated prices. For the price of any Apple computer, I can get a PC with equivalent or better specs for at least 30% less cash.

There is high resale value in Apple products, you can quite literally always have the newest mbp 13” for around $150-250 a year depending on how often they release.

Don’t get me wrong, when I sold my mbp 2018 edition earlier this year it was replaced by a surface pro 6. But if you’re not fed up with the Apple eco-system as I am, then there can be a lot of value in resales and you won’t get those with any other brand. My surface pro by contrast lost 80% of its value to moment I bought it.

Where do you resell? Is this within a year or beyond 1yr?

> However, this is one thing that upsets me. The MacBook doesn't need less ports, it doesn't need to be thinner.

The article is based on a patent filed half a year before the current butterfly keyboards were introduced. There's absolutely no reason to assume that this is exactly what the next iteration of the mac laptop keyboards will be like.

I disagree. The 15" MBP is still pretty heavy and big to carry around. At half the thickness, and say 2/3 the weight, it would be a much more reasonable daily driver.

And i disagree with you? What you consider big and heavy i consider basically feather weight. Its light, has a great keyboard, decent battery and all the ports. it's perfect. i don't want it any lighter tbh.

Maybe there should be a 15" MBP lite that is just that?

While thin and light is nice for carrying the laptop around, you still want a laptop which offers everything you need to do your work. And the late 2015 MB Pro seems to be the smallest, which hasn't made painful sacrifices. It offers a reliable keyboard and a wide selection of ports. Having at least one HDMI port is very convenient. It also has a large battery. The only thing missing, and I would sacrifice further thinness for it, would be easier exchangeable battery and ssd storage.

It seems strange no one in this thread has mentioned thermal limitations of such a thin and light design. True current CPUs are more energy efficient than those in the past but you are still going to get throttled when the machine is working hard from what I have read.

Also as you said, user replaceable battery, ssd and ram.

Thermals are indeed a good reason too. While it seems that the current MB Pro does a reasonable job with cooling the CPU, it is obvious that with better cooling you could drive the CPU harder. As the laptop is for me a mobile workstation, there is also the point that I would prefer a slightly bigger laptop that runs faster.

Which is why Apple should differentiate between the "air" and the "pro" line more. There would be a place for a 15" air, which is a slightly thinned version of the current 15" pro, and a true pro machine which sacrifices a bit of portability for features and performance. My current dream machine would be roughly like the late 2015 MB Pro (that happens to be the machine I am typing this on), with at least a 16" screen (the bezels are plenty large on mine) and 1-2mm more thickness, allowing for good thermals and more serviceable parts. For a pro machine a battery, keyboard or ssd exchange needs to be doable by a skilled technician on-site.

If you prefer a computer with a non-functional keyboard buy an iPad

I have one and it’s great for daily use. I’d really like an upgraded 12” MacBook for traveling though. I mostly use a very old ChromeBook but there’s no real replacement for that available.

To me it seems an oddly missing niche. A lot of people spend a lot of time on planes, don’t need much of a laptop, and often don’t much care for tablets as laptop replacements. Nothing really on the market for them.

corodra 28 days ago [flagged]

Are you serious right now? Half an inch thick and 4 pounds has a negative impact on your daily well being? For what I assume is a work computer. You've never picked up a shovel or any other tool in your life, have you?

Personal attacks will get you banned here. Would you mind reviewing https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and sticking to the rules when posting to HN?

But its not a daily driver. Its a pro.

I'm up for thinning components if it doesn't make the experience worse, but I rather like my late 2013 MBP and I'd rather they fill the space with battery.

To be fair though, I'm not that bothered about macos and ran linux on it for several years. I bought it because of the screen, typing and the trackpad, and since the MBP is well into compromise land, I might buy a matebook x pro.

> IMO the 2015 MacBook Pro is the best Mac out there, mainly because of its beautiful retina display, perfect weight, and most importantly, a good keyboard.

Yep, I have a Late 2013 Retina still going strong, the only thing is I've had to replace the battery a couple of times which is a pain in the ass but it was used as my daily work machine for half of its life and still going strong.

My old work laptop was one of the more recent MacBook models and I never got used to the keyboard or having to use dongles for everything.

Can confirm. My late 2013 13” MBP is still kicking. The SD card slot failed but otherwise it’s fine. I got it refurbished originally and haven’t had to change a thing.

At work I have a 2015 15” and imagine that’s the route I’ll go to replace my personal machine soon enough...

Exactly why I bought a 2015 model when its successor was announced. I hope Apple will release a new decent model before mine become obsolete otherwise I’ll have to find a non-mac PC again. Also price increases make it harder and harder to justify buying a MBP.

They should make a retro 5 year anniversary mbp like thinkpad 25: https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-t-ser...

I hold the opposite view - Thinner and lighter is good, not just for looks, it saves my bag space and weight on my shoulder. And ports that are not used, most of the time by most users are a waste. With Thunderbolt and usb-c the laptop doesn't need them any more, so long as there's enough bandwidth they can stay on the desk.

But I'm with you on it needing a functional, decent keyboard. That shouldn't be sacrificed.

I just want to connect to a projector without a damn dongle. I’m not asking for a parallel port, or even a serial port. I can even live without Ethernet. But - just about every office worker routinely has to connect to projectors and TVs.

There is a wireless standard for displays, but Macs and PCs seem to be incompatible.

I haven't come across the wireless standard yet.

But I would ask - what sort of projector? Because some of the meeting rooms here still have VGA connectors, we have others that use HDMI, screens in our collab area that have mini-displayport, I'm pretty sure there's a DVI-only projector hanging around somewhere too... Do you want all these ports on your laptop?

I'm loving the (seeming) convergence of display-port-over-thunderbolt using USB-C connectors. Though unfortunately it also seems that not every device and every display are happy talking over that so maybe it's no panacea either.

>The MacBook doesn't need less ports, it doesn't need to be thinner.

I think this needs further explanation, because I do think people want less port and thinner. Just not at the inconvenience of it.

Example, had there been a Wireless Standard that allow direct transfer of 5Gbps+ Real World speed, energy efficient, widely available etc. I dont need more ports. I need one for power / Display and that is it.

I would love the MacBook to be thinner, but not at the expense of having only 7W cTDP CPU and zero-travel keyboard. ( And I know we are approaching the limit of physics )

And I wanted to point out, when the current MacBook generation were designed, Apple were looking at Roadmaps of upcoming tech. That is 802.11ad 60Ghz and its successor 802.11ay with 80Gbps direct transfer, 802.11ax with 3.2Gbps and more. Intel 10nm that is suppose to be Super Power efficient, and its 7nm that superseded it.

All of these were suppose to come in 2016 / 2017. And if there were delays, may be 2018. But none of them did, we are closing in to 2020 and we are just starting to see WiFi 6 coming out. And judging from Intel's extremely conservative statement 10nm won't be in high volume any time soon either.

So Apple designed their product with future iteration in mind for the next 4 years and none of that went according to plan.

On one hand I blame them for not reacting, like their Keyboard they simply refuse to admit there is a problem until a Journalist herself had the same problem described and decide to write a piece on it that went viral. On the other hand I believe everyone were blindsided, the WiFi 6 tech has been on trade show since 2017, and it keep getting delayed, Intel kept thinking their 10nm will come. And most Keyboard problems dont actually went to Apple Store for repair because we cant afford to have 3 days without our laptop. And Apple thought the stats were fine.

> IMO the 2015 MacBook Pro is the best Mac out there, mainly because of its beautiful retina display, perfect weight, and most importantly, a good keyboard.

What about integrated USB and display ports that don't require external adapters? Isn't that the dream? o_o

2019 [reality]: peripherals use USB, USB-C, HDMI, 3.5mm audio.

- Apple: you get USB-C and a bucketful of dongles.

- Others: we'll make machines with all those ports.

2024 [the dream is realized]: peripherals use USB-C exclusively.

- Apple: We were right about USB-C. To congratulate ourselves, let's introduce USB-NeXT (incompatible with USB-C).

- Others: Your old machines still work. New machines just have USB-C.

2024 [darkest timeline]: peripherals never converge on USB-C.

- Apple: USB-C isn't converging. Let's introduce USB-NeXT (incompatible with USB-C).

- Others: Your old machines still work. We'll continue making machines with all those ports.

I'm of the same view where I don't desire thinner also. I preferred the form of the pre-touchbar model MBP to my current 2017 MBP. But from a competitive perspective, thinness is a barrier to competition as it requires substantial engineering investment. Few can invest in the materials and process like Apple. In lieu of other differentiators, thinnest and lightest is at least something for marketing.

On the flip side, the maniacal focus on thinness led to the disastrous butterfly keyboard and associated replacement program.

I’ve really enjoyed my 2017 and 2019 MacBook Pros (and the MacBook I bought for traveling). I know some people have had issues with the keyboards, but I haven’t. I like the minimal amount of travel they have because typing on them is easier on my aging fingers. I don’t ever use the Esc key, since I use Karabiner to remap my Esc and CTRL keys to the Caps Lock key and my parenthesis to the Shift keys, so the Touch Bar doesn’t upset me at all. For me, the 2019 MacBook Pro is the best one.

My 2015 has taken some serious abuse such as falls on hard floors and impact with a wall. The MBP came off better every time. This will of course curse it, but everything still works perfectly (only the rubber feet have fallen off). It runs the latest OS fine.

It was the first Apple product I bought but I can't see myself buying another MBP. They've signalled and demonstrated over and over I'm not in their target market.

I'm done. I'm still on my 2015 MBP, my next computer will be a Thinkpad.

I sold my MBPro 2016 and got back to the early 2015 version. Also, i own Lenovo X1 Yoga (with touch display). So i have two laptops that i really love to use. If apple keeps producing crap the Lenovo way will probably be my way also. For now the MBpro 2015 is my work horse though

You don't use any Apple-only software? The hardware I buy has always been determined by the software I need.

I would consider a Thinkpad if Lenovo gave us the option of buying it without the nipple - which I feel is an awful pointing device (sorry, people who love it).

You know it has a track pad too right? And you can use a mouse and some of them even have touch screens.

Yes, I know, but I don't want a pointing device that is intermingled with my keyboard.

It can't be the only thing holding you back. You can just not use it if you don't like it.

Just seems like a weird complaint about otherwise excellent laptops.

I have an X1 Yoga and it's pretty good. A little awkward as a tablet, but I rarely use it that way, just as I rarely use the trackpoint.

>The MacBook doesn't need less ports, it doesn't need to be thinner.

This is especially true now that they're trying to position the iPad as a serious "work" machine. If it hasn't crossed this threshold already it will soon where the only reason one would need a small MacBook is because the interoperability of ports and a solid keyboard/mouse navigation process is important to your workflow.

Let the iPad handle use cases where those aren't important and let the Mac be the heavy-duty machine.

Jobs had a good quote back in the day about how not everyone wants or needs a computer equivalent of a pick-up truck and most computer vendors tend to assume they do. Apple is leaning towards the opposite problem where they're assuming everyone wants the equivalent of a sports car, which is just as bad.

Let the iPad be the Miata and let the Mac Pro be an F-250. But some of us in the middle just want a nice Camry (or the BMW/Audi/Mercedes equivalent) and they're doing a poor job of understanding what that means.

I love my 2015 15” MBP, but I do have to say the smaller size and weight of my new 2019 that work provided is certainly easier to carry in my bag. I don’t think it’s a great trade off for not being able to upgrade the RAM or SSD plus the less than stellar keyboard, but I didn’t have to pay for it so meh.

We don't "need" to improve the form factor for anything, everything is fine as is.

That said, theres nothing wrong with trying to make progress. Sometimes there are hiccups (the 2016+ keyboards).

I certainly appreciate the thinner form factor of my 2018 model (I don't mind the keyboard). I do see room in improvement for making them thinner, as my absolutely favorite portable is the Pixelbook (sans giant bezel), which is quite a bit thinner (0.4" vs 0.61") and still has the 2015 style keyboard.

The focus on thinness is going to make macbooks converge to ipads.

Yeah, I don't get the thin obsession. It doesn't provide improved function (or decreases functionality). It's really just a vanity thing for Apple.

I think the first generation macbook pro was the best for the keyboard - it was a wonderful keyboard with scuplted keys that fit your fingers. Additionally your fingers could easily detect the edges of the keys and self center because of the concave keycap shape.

It also had a variety of ports. The only downside was the machined aluminum case of subsequent models was rock solid.

What a coincidence that the optimal laptop dimensions match the model you happen to own! :)

The LG gram series of laptops convinced me MBPs could definitely be thinner and lighter.

Lighter - SURE! Thinner - who cares?! Between current thickness and 2x-ing it it would be just as ergonomic...

The 2018 LG Gram 15 is great on weight, but man does it feel like cheap plastic with a lot of give.

Also, cramming a number pad into the keyboard seems like a poor trade off.

It's a measurable metric which they can through advanced engineering at. Even if they fail once in a while like they did with the last gen (I bought a 2013 mbp instead) I think it's a net positive that they try at all.

I'm currently travelling and need to carry both a work and personal laptop with me.

I realise this is a bit of an edge case, but at this point i'll take every gram I can get.

I could do without thinness but if they is a way to make it lighter I'm all for it.

Also, user upgradeable SSD and (somewhat) replaceable battery.

Pipe fucking dream now. There was a time when apple let you change a battery with zero tools and a hard drive with 4 screws through the same port of entry. RAM upgrade was another half dozen screws.

It's pretty telling that apple is only concerned about milking every dollar out of you when phones start at 64gb, laptops are sold with 8gb of RAM, and getting 1tb of storage on your laptop requires another thousand dollars. Apple either rips you off on the upgrade or forces you into their cloud service, where you are at the mercy of our good friendly and ever reliable ISP cartels to access your files.

This sounds a lot like "nobody will ever need more than 640k of ram" quote attributed to - but denied by - Billy Gates.

"The MacBook doesn't need to be thinner": The MacBook doesn't need to exist either, but I think as technology improves and things are lighter and more power efficient, the smaller the footprint will be (size and weight).

I can see the argument against a decision to shrink it down 0.001m - which is only a 6% reduction in thickness (0.001/0.0149), but if it was a 0.49m reduction, bringing it down to a thickness of 1cm, would you still hold that same opinion?

Taking this to levels of science fiction - I would love a laptop so thin you can fold it like a piece of paper and place it in your pocket. I don't need any ports if all my data is always available in some "cloud" that my laptop has free and instant access to. So thin and cheap, if I dirty it I can crumble it, toss it in recycle, and just rip open a brand new one.

I kinda get your argument, but I look at my 2015 MBP, and I don't really wish it was thinner. I wish it'd had upgradable RAM and better battery life, and right now I especially appreciate that it has a replaceable SSD because it just gave out.

These are all things I care about that are being sacrificed by Apple to improve one aspect I don't care about (thickness).

I'm definitely not the only one who's thinking that, as evidenced by the comment threads here.

I appreciate you not getting on me for being "stuck on words".

On your opinion on RAM - I disagree. I feel like the way memory modules are psychically, they would probably be detrimental enough (thickness, keyboard, battery, maybe eventual water resistance) that it would out weight the benefits. Besides, you can get enough RAM when you buy the notebook that the amount you get will be good enough far past the date of the CPU being good enough.

On SSD though, I agree. I think with M.2, now with Gen 4 M.2 (and SFF NVMe?), Apple could and should of went to the lengths of allowing that. Even at this thinness, there is not great excuse why not. Besides, its STORAGE. It goes bad, people want to back it up, extract it, recover it, etc. Apple should not have to replace the whole logic board for that.

If you, in your head, read "The MacBook doesn't need to be thinner" as "The MacBook doesn't need to be thinner for ME" you'll realize your entire comment makes no sense.

I really wish they would move focus back to being more expandable. The way they weld stuff to the mainboard is hot trash. There is no upgrade path for these newer macs. My old 17"? That got a 16G RAM/SSD upgrade with the CD swapped out for a second drive. Added years to its life. I suspect the new 16" version will only have four USB-C port.

I got lucky and ended up with a 32G work laptop. I've got enough headroom to run a couple docker containers at the same time. My co-workers stuck with the 16G laptops are really in a tough place. As things stand, I end up stuffing a pile of dongles into my bag as I transition from work to home and back again.

It is unfortunate the person who keeps demanding 'thinner' over 'professional' keeps getting listened to. Wish I could find a 16:10 laptop that had expandability.

No need to beg Apple for expandability anymore on their laptops or desktops. Windows has gotten good enough especially with WSL2. Developers have more options now. I just got tired of waiting for Apple, and gave up when a Mac Pro starts at 6k. People want a headless, expandable iMac that’s affordable, kind of like the old cheese grater Mac Pros. Apple isn’t budging.

“Windows has gotten good enough”

As someone who took a job using Windows after 4.5 years away from it, I completely disagree.

I hate windows with a passion, and it’s part of the reason I’m looking for a new job.

I’m not saying it’s not good enough for some, a lot of things in it still suck.

I’ve been hearing quite a lot of praise for Win10 in the last few years, but in reality my colleagues are cursing it daily and bashing their heads against basic dev stuff that works nice and dandy with Macs or with Linux. Win10 may be ok for running Microsoft’s current flagship, Office and maybe games but otherwise I wouldn’t want to spend time with fighting against the OS.

And no, in my opinion WSL is not real solution if the OS still makes life harder and more weird. Just a new twist to the cygwin/mingw/virtualisation scheme when running the real thing would be a lot better option.

And no, Macs and Linux are not perfect either, but they both are more friendly and humane options for developers.

I believe you, but my own experience could not be more different.

I dual boot constantly and sometimes I forget what OS I am running. Until I see one clock instead of the other.

Of course there are some specific tasks that are more suited to one OS over the other (a reason for restarting), but things like using the browser, the text editor, VPNs, Kodi, epub readers, Anki, etc, they basically work the same.

So, for some games-> Windows, for CLI -> Linux, for anything else, any of them.

I dual-booted or had two machines for dev work for almost 20 years. The Windows machine was mostly for Office.

Since VMs and containers because standard for development, I honestly have no idea what problems your colleagues are having. I haven't had a "Windows problem" other than the clunky UI since Win7, and the UI is 100% customizable.

So far this morning:

- a windows 2016 server for which we needed to dig deep in powershell so it wouldn't reset the clock every 6 hours - a user whose local account services is totalled and he can't access his desktop any more

Personally I would like the start menu search to only look for applications but I gave up on that.

I suppose using windows only for office would help, of course.

I use Windows for servers too (not my choice), and both of those things sound like a sysadmin who is making strange choices and not actual Windows bugs. I could be wrong, of course.

To be fair, I don't have full control of the domain for the server and I suspect a catch-21 regarding the clock setting and the domain sync thingy. I fixed it by "resetting a lot of time thing" but I am a linux guy before a windows guy so I ended up in Powershell (which i like).

I attribute the other one to a brutal shutdown of the PC that somehow corrupted a running update, some random clicking from the user in a misguided attempt to fix things behind the back of IT et voilà.

What problems are you having? The common complaints against Windows now vs back then are really vague. “I hate Windows (for no apparent or specific reason)!”

Why doesn’t WSL work? It’s Linux. It’s closer to what you’re deploying on for production than a Mac

WSL1 is emulated syscalls and a filesystem. It had some quirks.

WSL2 is a lightweight VM and is Linux. It has some new quirks.

I left a job in less than a month after I started because of Windows. I haven't been to companies where there's no possibility to use a Mac for years and I didn't really think about asking during the interview. And it wasn't like the job requires using Windows. I tried for 2 weeks to set it up and get used to it but it was just not working. There was always "Oh it supports it but you need to that workaround". And WSL was crap (2 years ago, don't know about it's current state). So I gave up and resigned on the third week.

Windows needs a bunch of utility programs that nobody tells you which they are. After those are installed things are much more smooth.

Directory management: 'Directory Opus'

Fast search: 'Everything' and 'Agent Ransack'

Powershell is actually pretty neat once you get past the odd syntax.

But yeah, you can't turn it into a native unix env.

10 years on Mac and I’m still missing the Windows Explorer. One feature only: The directory tree in the left handside.

No worries, MS is actively trying to get rid of it (by hiding some folders, by mangling some shortcuts, by putting libraries and stupid things like that first so that you rarely actually have access to the tree).

True enough. What is your favorite image viewer? The built-in in Win10 is basically unusable because it keeps trying to open files it doesn't understand (raw photos) and tells me to install a plugin (which probably doesn't exist).

I mostly use Linux Mint Cinnamon and the window and workspace management just feels more consistent and snappy.

Also Windows apps have a very annoying habit of showing windows for background tasks (file sync? software updates?) which I don't want to care about -- all they really accomplish is that sometimes the service gets stopped altogether just to forget about it.

IrfanView is nice, in that it can open nearly everything.

Everybody recommends IrfanView, but is really the "desktop linux" (in tnat old derogatory sense when it was for nerds) of image viewers: endless configurability (with important things like color management off by default), strange navigation (How again do I switch images when zoomed in?), etc...

It's like Total Commander: efficient and good in a way, but not in a way of modern streamlined UX that e.g. Apple software was once known for.


I'll admit, I have no idea how to do anything advanced with it, but I like it because I can double click almost anything that is an image, from old Deluxe Paint files, PICs, RAWs, TIFFs, whatever, and it'll try to open it and put something on the screen, usually successfully.

XnView MP is another option.

> But yeah, you can't turn it into a native unix env.

Has no one used WSL? It’s pretty close compared to the past. No need for powershell. You have bash now

> No need for powershell. You have bash now

honestly, powershell is a superb weapon. Yes the syntax is .net-ish and not my preference but really the functionality is high.

sadly directory opus is for sale :)


> I’m not saying it’s not good enough for some, a lot of things in it still suck.

The onus is on you to prove that this is true and endemic to the platform and not your unfamiliarity with the workflows on Windows.

I'm not trying to start a flame war, here. I was seriously surprised. I get that some people love using Windows.

I had a similar transition. I used DOS through XP/2000 heavily growing up. I worked jobs that used Linux and had a Mac at home until I had a recent job as Win10 was being adopted. I tried to give it my best effort. I got a book on Powershell and read it and researched. I was aghast that the same frustrations I had with XP and earlier hadn't been touched. I wish I had kept a log as I re-discovered them.

* Nobody used PowerShell. I tried to push it, but then I realized I needed a BAT file wrapper to run PS1 files, anyway. I was hoping PowerShell would be a next-gen BASH, but having verbose flags is great in scripts, but horrible interactively. The system I was on was air-gapped and the documentation required an extra download on each system.

* Man, Windows still updates a lot. Often requiring reboots. MacOS asks to reboot like twice a year (and doesn't force it). With Linux it's very, very rarely necessary to reboot.

* I found window management awkward. I was coming from Linux where META+LMB moved Windows, META+MMB resized them. I tried the hot-corners shortcuts and other built-in things, I tried installing a few things.

* When the UI is busy I still can't resize or minimize it?

* Control Panel and other configurations were a huge mishmash of tacked on menus with a mix of old UIs and icons.

* I really missed ssh-ing in to query and poke at stuff. RDP felt so heavy for small stuff that should be quick or automated.

After a few months I toyed with WSL, but spent most of my time sshed into a Linux box using vim or bash when managing files or source code. Most of the small services I set up running in Linux. After a year and a half I left for a variety of reasons.

Have you tried the new tiling window management support software offered by microsoft? (FancyZones)

Nothing stops you from installing an SSH server also.

Also, you can change the update policy (although that might be due to your IT).

I haven't tried FancyZones. I left that job a couple years ago and haven't yet dug into tiling window managers.

> Nothing stops you from installing an SSH server also.

I didn't want to get too much into this in my previous comment because it has more to do with how the place was managed, then Windows itself. But it does speak to Windows out of the box. This was an air-gapped setup and they were fairly open to me making changes, but I was very careful about jumping in suggesting big changes since I had 0 practical experience managing Windows. They mostly started with Windows as it was installed when it was delivered. Windows 10 was fairly new and they were comfortable with 7. Things were managed with PDQ. Most things were done in an "artisanal" fashion (individually done in a simple or straightforward way). I was used to installing a bunch of software on a network drive and running it directly off NFS. I've been told at multiple places that's unfeasible with SMB because of performance. (I'm definitely not speaking to NFS or SMB as a whole here--just with this specific use-case)

This also meant our rack of headless machines, when the power went out, had to be brought up individually since the disk checker was waiting for input before booting. I had on my todo list to change this, but it's difficult to test and roll out and doesn't come up often.

Back to that question; it would have meant finding a third-party ssh and rolling it out just to appease me. I likely would have done it if I stuck around, though. Maybe in tandem with a full update to Win10.

On that topic, though. Currently, I support Windows users who work from home. It's a bit odd you need admin privileges to create a symlink (I admit, that need mostly comes from trying to get feature parity with Linux/macOS), but detecting and running Admin rights is incredibly awkward [1]. We also need these non-technical people do to some port forwarding or to ssh into our Linux servers. PuTTy's configuration interface is horrid to describe to random people. Since you can't import/export configs we've looked at creating a Registry file with the right configuration, but it's not a trivial thing. For a few people we've had them install WSL, but it's a bit overkill to install however many Gigs along with Linux just to get an ssh client (and it's not an option for non Windows 10 users).

[1] https://stackoverflow.com/questions/4051883/batch-script-how...

I actually bounce between linux and windows very frequently so I may have just grown accustomed to how each OS wants to do things. For backend work, I definitely prefer linux, but working frontend (I'm a graphics engineer), linux still poses a lot of problems. For example, as much as I hate windows apis, the linux X11 system is insane (and no, wayland isn't ready yet). Also, the state of device and driver support is still much more streamlined on windows. If someone complains that something isn't working to me on linux, it can be much more difficult to understand why as a result.

Curious, what sucks for you?

With WSL, it’s usable for me now since Linux is baked in. Are the apps as good on a Mac? Usually not, but a lot apps on Mac aren’t even native anymore.

I assume you mean WSL2, because I'm using LTSB and stuck on WSL and it's unusable garbage. Not that I've used WSL2 just heard that it is better.

On WSL (one? whatever) there is no raw socket access, zero. Cannot run something as simple as tcpdump. Plus the copy and pasting (CTRL-SHIFT-c/v) is incredibly annoying and inconsistent. Also the redraw in the terminal is really screwed up, half the time I try to go back to WSL and my terminal prompt is drawn in 3 different places on the screen.

Idgi, I used Macs for 10 years until the end of last year working as a Linux sysadmin/Devops kinda workflows and WSL is good enough

I prefer my Mac with iTerm etc etc but I still work with WSL just as well today

It sure does. Luckily it’s good enough for my tot desktop at home, although my laptops are still macs. My work laptop cost a shit load of money, but so do the dells the rest of my team has.

Maybe you aren't very good at using Windows?


How so?

Windows isn’t garbage or anything. It’s a decent OS, but for me:

1. I absolutely hate the latest UI changes. Not only are things hard to find and not organized very well, especially in the system settings, but the UI feels jerky and rough compared to MacOS when moving windows around or when the “Are you sure you want to do this?” dialog pops up.

2. I cannot stand working with Windows Explorer, drive letters, and the overly complex tree view.

3. Things that are easy on MacOS (i.e. rotating and cropping pictures, editing and signing PDFs, etc.) are either hard or not supported on Windows.

4. Device driver issues are more frequent on Windows and suck to fix.

5. Windows has a LOT of shitty software for it and it seems that everyone who asks me for help is running that shitty software.

6. I don’t like the cluttered UIs that most Windows applications have; like the Ribbon thing that Office introduced.

7. I don’t like .NET and Visual Studio much, and I don’t like programming for Windows. I prefer Swift and Xcode. Having said that, I do like F# quite a bit.

One area where I think Windows really shines is gaming.

To expand on your software point, I genuinely would say that the quality of software on Windows is all-round lower. I don't know what the reason for this is - whether it's because developers prefer the tools available on macOS or if it's simply because Mac users are more inclined to pay for their software, but the quality is clearly higher.

Does Windows really shine at gaming tho'? Or is it just that it has a larger selection of games?

Try games that also exist on Mac, on the same hardware. They perform visibly better on windows, just because of DirectX. Maybe it's because game devs know DirectX better, but still it's a superior experience even on the same hardware. (eg Civ 5 / 6, most Blizzard games)

Directx 12

Why not Ubuntu and i3? I love my Mac for photo/video/audio work, but linux for pure dev is wonderful!

Why is a tiling window manager so important for dev work (but not for anything else)? I am a dev and I can never wrap my head around why anyone would want to spend time on tiling windows, it looks so tedious.

I don't know how generally true this is of people who like tiling WMs, but for me: a lot of it is about (easily) maximising the use of the screen, and (quickly and easily) moving windows to where I want them to be via the keyboard. I always found managing windows with the mouse to be (comparatively) tedious and slow, which led me fairly naturally to tiling WMs.

These days I'm on macOS not linux but my desire for that kind of control and speed remains; fortunately tools like BetterTouchTool enable this really nicely, and I get the best of both worlds: nice mouse-driven control when I want it, and a quick/easy way to throw a window where I want it the rest of the time (i.e. most of the time).

(I'd also say, addressing the parenthesised part of your first question, that for me, this isn't just about dev - this is a general preference; for some tools, e.g. the GIMP, tiling's a bad fit and the mouse is where it's at, but in general, if I can keyboard it, I will.)

You can use BetterTouchTool to do tiling like stuff?

Well, yeah, sort of, depending on what you mean by "tiling like stuff", I suppose. For me, tiling was all about maximising my use of the screen and minimising labour, which meant being able to easily place windows where I wanted, without space between them, and without using the mouse or otherwise laboriously moving/resizing by hand. That was the "why" of tiling for me, and while BTT doesn't do the "how" of tiling (i.e. it has no capability to force tiling as you move windows around, and doesn't maintain a tree of windows liking a tiling WM does), it does have a pretty powerful "move/resize window" action. Using that action I can scratch my itch and do everything I ever used a tiling WM for.

So I've got a whole bunch of hotkeys doing things like "maximise window", "put window in top-right quadrant", "put window on display 3, taking up 1/3 of the width of the screen at the right and at full height". That kinda thing. This allows me to quickly/easily set things up as I want (not _automatically_ but that's fine for me in practice since the world and my needs are always in flux.) If you dig into it you can do some fairly powerful things... E.g. you can set up named triggers (i.e. actions not bound to hotkeys) which you can then call from AppleScript triggered by hotkeys (or, if you want, triggered externally by, e.g. Alfred, though I don't do that); the AppleScripts can maintain state between calls, so I have some hotkeys that move windows in cycles, e.g. "maximise the window's height and push it all the way to the left, and on each call cycle its width between 1/6, 1/3, 1/4, 1/2, 2/3" - stuff like that.

It's true you don't get "real" tiling with this - but as I say, for me, it satisfies the "why" of tiling WMs, without doing the "how". Hope that makes sense.

>why anyone would want to spend time on tiling windows, it looks so tedious.

Weird, I always ask people the opposite. Why would you spend time manually positioning windows when the window manager can do it for you?

What is "tedious" about tiling window managers?

But I don't spend time positioning them. I switch to a window that needs my attention, or sometimes snap them to get a split view, but that's not common. Maybe it makes more sense on a bigger screen, I'm always on my laptop, so there is not really enough real estate to have many windows shown at the same time.

I use a tiling window manager and I dont really spend time positioning windows either. 99% of the time my programs are in one of two states. Either full screen or split down the middle.

In a tiling WM full screen is the default. I never have to manually full screen something, it’s automatically taking up the whole screen. I usually have it in tabbed mode, so all new programs are just full screen in tabs. (And split view is just a hot key or two away)

Really though my favorite thing is the easy multiple desktops. Win+4 is always my chat program. Win+2 is always my ide, win+1 is always my web browser. I never have to mash alt+tab a varying number of times. and more importantly if the second desktop is actually two programs in split screen, it’s still easy to switch to and from. Otherwise I frequently find myself looking at one thing in full screen, then having to alt+tab multiple times to bring two half-screen programs back to the front.

I’ve tried to install various windows tools to either provide hot keys to virtual desktops, or otherwise replicate my tiling WM setup but nothing seems to be quite as convenient to me. I feel like I waste so much time alt+tabbing and getting things where I want them whenever I’m in a normal WM. In i3 it’s all either already the way I like or it’s 1-2 hotkeys to fix it.

How is that different on a tiling window manager? I would assume a smaller screen would be more apt to using a tiling window manager.

It automatically makes the window you're using take up 100% of the screen. You can also switch between tiling and a maximized view in pretty much every tiling wm. Also, there are usually multiple desktops (or even better, "tags" like in dwm) which allow you to easily switch between applications in any of the different tiling modes.

I have to agree. Total cult.

LG crammed a 17" 16:10 display and 2 NVMe slots + 1 SODIMM slot (with additional 8GB RAM soldered to the motherboard) into a sub-3 pound chassis in the Gram.

Oh my god! This is exactly the sort of screen I was looking for.

Costco has'em on sale right now, too. Check out the in-store display. My boss loved the look and the weight, and bought a couple on the spot. They're really nice to use.

Not so fast :/ LG had to go ruin it with a low-resolution display. (2560x1600 vs. the 15" MacBook Pro's 2880x1800)

In what world is 2560x1600 on a 15" considered "low" resolution?

Is this a joke?

That video card is painful too. I'd be happy enough with 2560x1600@17" as it would be a Linux box... I think. I'll have to take a look at one and see how it feels.

On the flip side, this will give software makers to keep the bloat to a minimum.

Professional bloat-maker here. I doubt it. I want my software to be reasonably lightweight but I've literally never thought about what the user's computer upgrade path might be.

As long as it runs well on anything newer than 5 years old, I'm happy. This captures enough users without requiring me to go to great pains to get the remaining, much harder hardware/software setups.

People may read that and hate it, but the reality is I have deadlines to meet, demanding bosses, and a never ending queue of features and bugfixes. I suspect a lot of folks are in the same boat.

Expanding on what the GP said, I hate Docker with a passion.

I mean, I know it's useful, but at my previous job I was able to use my vintage 2GB Macbook Air after installing things with brew + rbenv, while everyone else needed 16GB. All it took was a couple hours to setup the local environment.

Never had a problem because the environment was different and my app startup times were much smaller.

It's probably not a single person, but a metric that has become statistically related to revenue.

The upgrade path is always "upgrade the device" and/or "buy a mac pro".

I have a 5 year old hp 840 g2 that runs a dozen containers without noticable slow downs. 16gb

Are people really demanding thinner laptops? Who is demanding that a laptop or phone be thinner?

MAKE THEM THICKER, I want more battery life and better performance! I am a fat out of shape need and I can carry 40lbs on my back, no sweat. MAKE THEM THICKER.

Are people really demanding thinner laptops? Who is demanding that a laptop or phone be thinner?

Yes. Anyone who carries them around demands thinner, where possible. I could have bought a MBP and am typing this on a MBA. The latter has various advantages but the latter is fast enough and also lighter. PG uses (used?) 11" MBAs. https://twitter.com/paulg/status/740739637572997120?lang=en

I carry my laptop everywhere, and whenever there is a trade-off I demand performance and quality over thin/light.

I use my machine to do work. Better performance makes we work better and faster. It's my bread and butter. Less weight... is a slight convenience while commuting, I guess?

When you travel, especially internationally where you're probably carrying the laptop in a hand bag then the extra weight starts to be an annoyance. A lot of walking around and 0.5kg savings makes a difference.

I do a LOT of traveling, as I’m a consultant. I fly 2-3 times a month, often internationally. Seriously it is not a concern for me.

Good for you. You are not everyone. Some people have sore shoulders.

Thinner doesn't necessarily mean much lighter though.

If weight is an issue then swapping aluminium for plastic would be more effective. But then it would be function over form.

Well aluminum also has the nice property that it's a good thermal conductor, it definitely has functional advantages over plastic. It also has a good specific heat capacity, so as well as conducting away heat via the chassis, it can allow longer bursts of high power usage before temperature limits are reached.

I carry two. And power leads. And clothes for upto 2 weeks (three at a push). And a 10 port mikrotik, a few cat 6 cables of various lengths, a supple of lc-xx sm fibres and an sfp. Sometimes a pi or two as well.

0.5kg makes a significant difference when you're rock climbing because you have to pull that weight up vertically with you. If 0.5kb makes a significant difference while walking around, I suggest that you join a gym instead of buying thinner MacBook.

Marginal gains. A lighter bag, a lighter laptop, less clutter in such bag, can add up. If you're carrying things in a backpack, you can carry heavy loads without an issue, except then in hot buildings you end up with a sweaty back.

If you put it in a single strap bag like a satchel then it can dig into your shoulder after a few hours. If you use a briefcase then you have to mount it somewhere or continually have one hand occupied.

I was so disappointed when they cancelled the little Macbook this year - just a tiny bump in specs, and upgrade the USB-C to TB3 and I would have jumped. That was a nicely sized machine.

I have three machines

1) desktop (Ubuntu), main daily use at home 2) laptop (t410s/Ubuntu). For work in apps rooms. Really falling to bits now, but still using it due to things like Ethernet port. The keyboard is now worse than the air so looking how beast to replace it 3) MacBook Air, for portable use

Right tool for the right job. If I want a portable I’ll go for a small air. If I want a useful machine I’ll go for something larger and heavier, but with the ports I need

the most environmentally friendly thing you could do with that t410s is to replace the keyboard with a new one instead of replacing the laptop with a new one. This of course assumes that everything else is fine and only the keyboard is falling to bits.

Screen hinge is as well

On thinkpads those can be tightened pretty easily.

Well, they could be tightened back when I carried a few around.

I am (perhaps incorrectly) assuming that your hinges are loose and not actually breaking apart.

Totally gone - the long thin bits are normally connected by two robots, it’s just one. This means the plastic case is separated. While I can just about close the lid by pushing from tr base of the screen, it’s really flakey.

The cpu fan doesn’t work either.

I'm "Anyone who carries them around" and I don't demand thinner. I don't mind the weight or size as long as it has the power and usability I need. I still use a "fatty" 13" MBP from 2012 for travel for this reason - great keyboard, lots of ports (no dongles needed), and durable.

And that's what the MBA is for. The MBP should remain thicker to have more ports and a better keyboard for people that want such things.

I agree. Can't they let the Air and Pro diverge? I like them both. A Pro should live up to its name and be expandable and have a useful set of ports. As someone else noted, give extra internal space to the battery. Give it a world class keyboard. Figure out a way to keep the Touch Bar but bring back physical function keys. Let it be a great design given the tech constraints. Let the Air weigh a couple of ounces, be a centimeter thick, and be great specs given the design constraints.

If Steve Jobs was alive they probably would have diverged by now, and he would have never allowed the butterfly keyboard.

There are like a dozen similar comments I could reply to, but I'll just pick yours to pipe up: hi, I'm a person who wants thinner and lighter laptops.

Why? Because I want the least possible weight, and a screen size I can use. The only way to hold screen size constant and drop weight is to get thinner.

I just got a 13" MBP, which is about the same weight and size as my 2012 Air, but gives me better battery life, better performance, and a way better screen. It's great. I even like the new keyboard better.

I'm like you in that I only ever buy 13" ultralight laptops. But there are diminishing returns after about 3lbs.

Like yeah, going from 2.8 to 2lbs is great and all but it's not as notable as the jump 10 years ago from the 5lbs bricks to the original MacBook Air. The computer still takes up about the same space in my bag and I wouldn't really notice ~1 lbs difference, especially if I still have to carry around a 1lbs power adapter because the thin battery lasts less than 8-10 hours of moderate use.

In the meantime, the design compromises to get to 2lbs are becoming increasingly aggravating: thinner keyboards that jam, screens bonded to glass so that repair is impossible, RAM and SSD soldered onto the board, batteries broken up into pieces so that replacement is annoying or impossible, passively cooled Intel chips that throttle, weak integrated GPUs. And probably a bunch of other stuff.

I don’t think anyone is arguing that the kind of lightweight laptop you like is inherently bad.

I see the appeal of light and minimal, but I also see the idea of heavy and feature packed.

Plus pursuing thinness as end in and of itself (edit: to the point that reliability is impacted) is preposterous. Is a few millimeters thinner really going to change the way you feel about your laptop? Probably it would not impact any functional aspect of your relationship with the laptop.

After all, thicker doesn’t necessarily mean heavier. I’m fact thicker things are more resistant to bending, so perhaps it could mean lighter. If you want to understand the mechanics, check this out https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_modulus

> The only way to hold screen size constant and drop weight is to get thinner.

Or get rid of bezels. Or have a better aspect ratio.

> gives me better battery life, better performance, and a way better screen

That is be expected after so many years. Also, before apple started its "retina" branding it just had worse screens than comparable competition, e.g. sony vaio or hp and lenovo with nice high-res IPS screens while the air had a rather low res TN screen.

> I'm a person who wants thinner and lighter laptops. Why? Because I want the least possible weight

But… why?

Some of us are skinny. Or we hate lugging around weight. With something like a laptop, which you're carrying around everyday, half a pound saved makes a big difference.

I won't say I'm for thinner laptops, per se, because I'd rather that every laptop came with the maximum permissible 99 WHr battery, but I want everything as light as possible hell yes.

So get an ipad

I've tried them; so far I have preferred working in MacOS. I might give the new iPadOS a try.

They still need to get the job done.

Lol, I totally agree, why not offer the thick super-long-lasting battery version?!?!?

Let the skinny-jeans kids get their skinny phones and have to charge everywhere, but I'm fine with a brick in my pocket if the battery can go for a couple days.

I have an old HP business laptop I got refurbished for dirt cheap. It has every port you could want from the past two decades, a replacable battery, easy access bays for the multiple drives and RAM. It's probably two inches thick and eight pounds.

It's fantastic and I love it. I just wish it were bigger - 17 inch laptops were a nice, but sadly almost extinct, form-factor. Particularly the 2010ish 17" MacBook Pros were rock-solid, indestructible machines.

Yes. I want my (non-proprietary) ports, and I want my disk media drive, I want a long-lasting battery, and I want key travel on the keyboard, and I want a power+KVM+USB3 dock with magnetic connector.

I will be working and playing on this thing, not waving it around in the air with just two fingers.

If thinner == lighter, then I am.

I want something I don't even notice in my shoulder bag when I commute. Battery life is good enough, performance is good enough (and can boost a bit when the machine is plugged in).

You sound like you might be in the market for a workstation-replacement thinkpad.

Thinkpads do not have OSX. Apple has 3 lines of MacBooks, the MacBook, the MBP and the MBA, why can't they have different focus?

It's true that they seem to be more differentiated on price than on target market, with the MB and the Air being "entry level". Not that there is an MB any more.

Particularly the Air is weird, it's not a lot slimmer or lighter than the 13" pro now, but it is a lot less powerful. It's a weird market segmentation (to my eyes).

Me. Macbook 12 is one of my favourite machines ever. Every Thinkpad feels super heavy and bulky in comparison and I don't want to use those. I value mobility above all else. If I want performance, I have my desktop machine or cloud for that.

I'm the opposite, I value typing economics above all else, and I'd much rather have more battery life than save a little on weight. For me, 14" is the perfect screen size because it gives me a decent sized keyboard, enough screen to see what I'm doing, it's small enough to fit in my backpack, and large enough to fit a large enough battery to last all day. But for some reason the most recent Thinkpads don't offer a second battery and are trying to go thinner, which is precisely what I don't want.

I have my desktop for serious typing and my laptop for a mobile workstation. Sometimes I need to work while visiting family or when going to conferences, and I need a decent keyboard, battery, and performance to do so.

If I want thin, I'll get something like a MBA, a tablet, or my little Lenovo Yoga (11"). But that's not enough for me to get work done on the go, it's mostly just barely good enough to take notes and watch videos. I need something capable of compiling decently large codebases and 3D rendering, and no MBA is good enough for that.

…and it's fanless. A difference in comfort that is hard to measure.

Yeah, it felt analogous to the difference between HDDs and SSDs--going from a loud spinny thing to solid-state sleekness.

Even the X1 Carbon?

Yes. It's what I consider a standard laptop size, I wouldn't call it thin and I don't like it. I mean, sure it's still better than some other machine.

You live in a weird reality. An USB barely fits the carbon, and yet you don't think it's thin. For you a regular laptop is what everybody else calls an Ultrabook.

Yes, I want thinner even at a cost. The 2015 is heavy. The 2017/2018 model is way better because carrying it is less of a hassle. If it was 1/2 thickness and 1/2 weight that would be ideal.

Why not both? There are 3 models, MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, why can't they diverge in focus? Sure, lighter is better, but that is if there are no trade offs. Some people accept the trade offs, other don't, but you have 3 product lines, why not letting them diverge on this question?

Also, you give people reason to have more than 1 Apple laptop, one with ports and great keyboard when ultra portability is not necessary, and the other for portability above all.

I am. As a developer who travels, I want a thinner lighter laptop. I loved the macbook, I want that upgraded.

I am. As it stands, the latest MacBook Pro is too heavy and bulky for me to comfortably carry. Make it more powerful and lighter and I will have a reason to upgrade.

Ah yes, the "I want a horsey" method of engineering.

You've identified what "demand" is in "supply and demand"

There's MBA if you want light laptop that is easy to carry.

Current MBPs have problems with thermal throttling already, but you want them to be even thinner _and_ more powerful??

The iPhone has gotten steadily thicker since the iPhone 6, and has generally increased battery size year over year for the equivalent models.

> Are people really demanding thinner laptops? Who is demanding that a laptop or phone be thinner?

yes. a lot of people, myself included.

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