Isn't this sort of a cake-and-eat-it-too situation? If you want a slim, lightweight laptop that still performs at a high level, you can't expect the old pop out batteries with the little switch we grew up with on laptops.
While $400 is expensive to replace a battery, it's obviously not as simple as just popping a new one in, which is the compromise one has to make if they want a Macbook Pro. If you want easily swappable batteries, get a different machine.
Also, $400 to get a brand new battery to essentially revive a computer that will probably work great for a few more years is a whole lot cheaper than having to buy a new computer. Just food for thought.
Is this a trade-off that most buyers are aware of? I'm not sure it's as simple as "shaving off a couple of millimeters", but if that's the case I know I would personally trade those millimeters for better serviceability, especially the day I realize I need a new battery.
I was thinking about switching to a Macbook Pro, but for me this is just another argument to go with something else.
Can't deny that the hardware is great though, but to me this makes it less great. I had my last laptop for 8 years because I could replace broken parts myself, and upgrade to an SSD, I think that's a nice feature of the hardware too.
They've dedicated whole chunks of keynotes to talking about how the new batteries are integrated with the chassis. Obviously, most of their customers don't care, but then: you can say that about this story too! Most people just take their laptops back to the Apple Store when they want anything changed.
> Most people just take their laptops back to the Apple Store when they want anything changed.
Yep, and this would still be true if the laptop was more serviceable. Most people don't change the oil on their car either even if it relatively easy. In fact most people don't even put air in the tires and instead rely on getting that done during quarterly oil changes!
If you could make a car more fuel-efficient, faster, or less polluting by making it difficult to change the oil yourself, that would be a valid tradeoff. Maybe you'd keep buying Volkswagens so you could enjoy the DIY, but it would be weird to try to make a consumers rights case out of the manufacturer who took the other side of that tradeoff!
Apple tends to use the space savings to stuff in class-leading batteries.
I have a T450s at work. The stock battery is only 46 watt-hours, versus 75 on the similarly-sized 13" rMBP. The 15" rMBP has a 100 watt-hour battery, which you can get on a T550s only if you buy the extended battery that sticks out half an inch from the bottom.
>> Apple tends to use the space savings to stuff in class-leading batteries.
But can you imagine how big the batteries could be in a 15" MBP that was roughly the same size as those from 2012 and earlier? Those things would last even longer than a current 15" rMBP would, especially under load.
I would personally trade those millimeters for better serviceability
Same here. I've been a dedicated Mac user since 2002, and have been contemplating upgrading my 2010 MBP. The decreasing serviceability gives me lengthy pause, though I'm not sure that I would be happier with something else (even if it were more serviceable).
The primary driver to me switching from Mac to Windows was the lack of serviceability in newer models. That and the fact that my 2011 MBP bricked (famous heat issues that Apple pretended didn't exist until after I bought a replacement laptop).
I loved, loved, loved the 15" unibody Macbook Pro design. It allowed me to upgrade to better components (RAM, SSDs) as prices came down. The only thing I felt was missing from my 2011 MBP was USB 3. Once the shift was made to thinner bodies and soldered-on RAM, the writing was on the wall for me.
Personally, after using OSX on Intel for a decade, I found that moving to Windows 8.1 and now 10 was not nearly as jarring as I thought it would be. Windows isn't the XP I remembered using. I actually like using Windows. The one thing I really like is touchscreens on Windows PCs. Of course, depending on your preferences (and/or biases), going to Windows may not be for you.
I always had the opinion that I would never buy a computer that wasn't able to be serviced by me and I would build my own desktops and buy Thinkpads. Then I realized that I never did any upgrades anyway, if the battery died, the laptop was usually ready to be replaced. If the CPU or memory needed to be upgraded, usually it was both, and there was probably a new technology (new socket, new type of DDR, etc). And I realized I hated dealing with my desktop, hated troubleshooting and fixing and buying replacement parts and stuffing it all together and scraping my knuckles on the case...
As soon as I realized this, I said "to hell with it" and bought a Macbook. I don't need the downsides to having a serviceable laptop if I never actually perform any service on it.
More and more PC laptops are moving to the same model. There are a lot of benefits for the manufacturer. Fewer parts (less $ to make), less to break (less support $), can make the laptop thinner and lighter (so you can charge more $), the battery no longer has to be a easy to use shape (have you seen Apple's tapered layers of thin batteries?), extra engineering costs, etc.
There are people who really like/want removable batteries but it doesn't seem to be enough to keep most of the market supplying them. And now that laptops use less power little juice packs (not unlike those for cellphones) become reasonable. Plus in general removable batteries made a lot of sense when basic typing would only get you 3 or 4 hours, but now that many machines can do basic typing for 10+ hours a ton of users can get by without needing that second battery.
> More and more PC laptops are moving to the same model. There are a lot of benefits for the manufacturer. Fewer parts (less $ to make), less to break (less support $), can make the laptop thinner and lighter (so you can charge more $), the battery no longer has to be a easy to use shape (have you seen Apple's tapered layers of thin batteries?), extra engineering costs, etc.
Conveniently, built-in batteries also harm the resale value of a used device.
My previous Macbook (early 2008 white, plastic one) lasted for 5 years, no issue. Battery was fine (slowly dying as all batteries, but no big deal, it just wouldn't last as long as it used to.) Then I got a message about the battery actually dying (get to service, the white early 2008 has user-replaceable battery, though.) But it was already the time I needed a more powerful computer, and I just got a new one and removed the battery of the old one (it still works perfectly fine, no longer as a portable though.) I don't expect a computer (i.e. all pieces together) to serve me for more than 4-5 years, so this battery life is more than I can expect. Of course, if it was a system I could tinker and slowly replace piece by piece, it could but I no longer feel the tradeoff of money/abilities/time is worth it.
I don't expect to be able to pop a switch, but there is a difference between integrating the battery with the chassis and gluing the battery, keyboard and logic board together in a way that makes the laptop extremely difficult to service.
From what I can tell, to replace the battery on my year old lenovo ultrabook, you need to remove 16 easily accessible cross screws and disconnect a single ribbon cable. That shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. I guess there could be glue hiding under there.
Not to mention it continues to last up to 10 hours on a single charge.
Except that even that's not true. You can service it yourself for pretty cheap by getting a kit from iFixIt. It's just that you need a Torx screwdriver (which comes in the kit). It's absolutely user-serviceable if you have the right tools.
Absolutely NOT. You will hear same thing about iphone battery replacement - just get iFixit kit and diy. What happens is people dont know how to work with glue and try to pry it open ripping 0201 parts off the boards edge.
Speak for yourself. I want a thin laptop that feels almost like a slab of mysteriously lightweight solid aluminum, and Apple is delivering that.
It's not like this was a cost-saving measure for them; they're not pulling one over on you. They went nuts trying to make these things solid, lightweight, and skinny, and this was a tradeoff they made --- at significant expense.
"Efforts could be made"? Which passive-voice efforts do you mean, specifically? Apple has designed their battery to be made up of several curved units that take up all available airspace in the case, and those have to be secured in place somehow, so that they don't rattle around like cheap PCs. Screws are not a realistic solution here because of obvious strictures from the design. A simple one-piece replaceable battery design is simply no longer feasible in this form factor.
So if you think it'd be trivial to make this more repairable, you need to say precisely how.
I had a C2D based MBP that I absolutely loved... the drive, ram and battery were user serviceable, and the form factor wasn't that much bigger than my current i7 based MBP. In fact if the original weren't stolen, I'd still be using it.
BTW, $400 comes pretty close to buying a new laptop nearly as capable as a 2 year old machine.
> If you want easily swappable batteries, get a different machine.
Apple doesn't make a different machine.
Obviously what you mean is to buy from a different vendor, which is what I expect to do when the time comes for a new laptop. But how is it good for Apple that they got my money last time and won't get it next time?
Judging by the increase in sales year over year for the Macbooks, it doesn't seem like it's bad for Apple. How many sales has Apple gained by making the laptop thinner and lighter and giving it a longer battery life compared to sales lost from not making a few parts user-replaceable?
> Judging by the increase in sales year over year for the Macbooks...
...you get a number that tracks the economy in general and the consumption of luxury electronics in particular, is affected by the relative strength of Apple's ecosystem against Microsoft and Google, how badly Superfish has affected Lenovo's reputation, etc. etc.
And in any event the numbers aren't particularly optimistic:
> How many sales has Apple gained by making the laptop thinner and lighter and giving it a longer battery life compared to sales lost from not making a few parts user-replaceable?
We don't even have all the data yet. Customers don't realize they want a user-serviceable battery until they've had to replace one that isn't. Apple started selling glued batteries three years ago, which means they're only starting to have to be replaced now and the largest effect will be seen going forward when the people affected are buying new laptops.
But you're asking the wrong question anyway. The interesting question is: What would their sales look like if they had both ultra lightweight models and slightly heavier models with user-serviceable parts?
"And in any event the numbers aren't particularly optimistic"
The article is stating that the rate of growth (still positive) for Macs slowed somewhat.
The same article states:
"Apple nonetheless outperformed the overall PC market, which saw shipments plummet 11% to 71 million for the quarter, according to IDC. Moreover, given the worse performance of other PC makers, its market share rose to 7.6% in 2015 from 6.9% last year, according to Gartner."
If you try to please everyone, you'll please no-one. Most people, certainly most Apple customers, don't care that the battery is not replaceable. In fact, it works in their favour as they can use the failing battery as justification for getting a shiny new MacBook Pro in a few years' time.
> If you try to please everyone, you'll please no-one.
How is that supposed to provide any support for Apple's one size fits all approach?
> Most people, certainly most Apple customers, don't care that the battery is not replaceable. In fact, it works in their favour as they can use the failing battery as justification for getting a shiny new MacBook Pro in a few years' time.
How is incurring an expense of several hundred dollars (or reducing the resale value by that amount) supposed to work in the customer's favor? It seems the customer could achieve the same "benefit" by smashing it with a hammer.
Depends. These days with hardware failure rate becoming higher (maybe it's just an illusion due to the ability of providing feedback on the Internet, but I argue that most of the old machines I know still work today but not so many with the more recent one), the next victim can be your SSD. Apple does get some good SSD from Samsung though. The benefit of a lock-down is controlling variable, and placing Apple at a higher standard (I hope they still do for software). Raising the bar so fewer people are able to customize computer helps controlling quality and also prevent wasting time on figuring out if problem was caused by foreign hardware's fault or not.
At the risk of being "cites articles about cognitive biases guy", it's worth remembering that the reason that the old machines you know today still work is because people have generally gotten rid of all the old machines that are broken (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias)
Absolutely. I really don't have anything scientific but my really unscientific reasoning is that, even if my observation is true, the reason behind it are mass production and the ease of replacement. when you do DOA you usually get a replacement fairly quickly online. Unlike in 2000, you can get computer parts entirely online now, though computer parts are still very expensive (the good one).
I've been nothing but Apple laptops since 2001, when I ran Yellow Dog Linux on a TiBook, and co-ran a company with ~40 people all using MBPs, and my experience is that Apple hardware is getting significantly more reliable than it was before.
I think the effect you're seeing is just that more people are using Apple computers than were even 5 years ago, and so there's just more feedback to read.
> If you want a slim, lightweight laptop that still performs at a high level, you can't expect the old pop out batteries with the little switch we grew up with on laptops.
I can actually expect that. Apple have good enough designers to do so. But lack of serviceability for them is a feature, not a bug. Apple is pushing for rented hardware as a service in consumer space. Repairable, tweak-able or modifiable device is contrary to their goals.
Agree. My older Macbook Pro basically has a dead battery and I'm thinking about just replacing the battery and swapping the hard drive for an ssd to give it some new life. That said, it is used primarily at the house so we just plug it in to watch some netflix and browse the web or pull up a recipe for dinner, so it isn't that big of an issue in the first place for my purposes.
A SSD and some ram upgrade can do wonders for an older machine (and price is pretty reasonable for both these days). You can even get kits that allow you to take out your 'superdrive' and install a second hard drive.
Yep. I'm still using a 2010 MBP. I maxed out the RAM a few years ago and it performed better. Now I've got an SSD in it and it feels like new. Almost nothing I do pushes it so I simply have no good reason to replace it. If I hadn't put the SSD in I would have replaced it two+ years ago because it felt slow.
I'm actually still using a 2009 MacBook Pro(core2duo+4gb ram), I put in a Kingston 128GB SSD and the machine runs El Capitan without any problem. I keep it permanently on as a kitchen PC, for looking up recipes and stuff.
The NFL's streaming offerings are why I pirate game streams and don't have a lick of remorse about it. The only option I have to legally stream games is to not only pay for the gamepass package, but also to have satellite TV installed.
I'd be happy to pay a few hundred bucks a year for HD streaming of games, but it's just not an option. The best I can get is streams of games after they've finished, which is pretty much worthless to me.
First of all, Google does take your content and make a product out of it by selling ad space on search result pages. Those pages would have no value for advertisers if it weren't for the content producers Google scraped to fill those pages up with.
Second, you linked to an api page that clearly says it was deprecated 5 years ago, come on. No one should ever feel bad about scraping Google, considering Google is the world's largest scraper themselves.
I believe that is the case. I highly recommend just purchasing an RPI 2 and throwing the OSMC distro (Debian+Kodi) on it. Kodi supports the AirPlay protocol, so once you enable it in services you can use https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.airaudio&hl... and basically pipe AUX out from your phone to multiple devices on your network. :)
This obviously requires the dependency of your phone, but I prefer the flexibility.
That sounds cool. So basically I don't need the chromecast audio if I have the PI, right?
I like the iOS' system level of audio output (AirPlay) and didn't know Android is flexible enough that an app can do that!
Just like most developments in the bitcoin world, I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out what this thing actually does and why I want it. Isn't the whole major selling point of Bitcoin that it isn't physical and is instead totally digital? What does a "bitcoin command line" even mean?
"With this pocket-sized device, if you are an entrepreneur or developer, you can now instantly buy or sell digital goods and services at the command line using Bitcoin." Isn't that already all possible with just bitcoin itself? Why would I buy this thing?