Thursday, October 27, 2016

New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac

Updates: October 28, 29, 30, 31, November 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 22, 27, December 2, 5, 12, 13, 27, January 2, 5, 5, 9, 11, 13, 22, February 2, 19, March 15, 17, 21, 22, 28, April 3, 5, 6, 12, 20, 23, May 3, 6, 19, June 4, July 27, September 1, 13, October 9, 27, 30, November 8, 10, January 11, February 22, March 1, June 2, 9, July 11.

I was really disappointed with today’s Apple event. It seems like Apple has either lost its way, that it has lost touch with what (some of) its customers want, or that it simply doesn’t care about those customers. Developers are a captive audience, and creative professionals can switch to Windows, I guess. Apple no longer considers them core.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with what Apple announced. I like Thunderbolt 3. The display looks good. I’m not crazy about Touch Bar, but it does seem potentially useful. The problem is that the MacBook Pro is not a true Pro notebook.

My Retina MacBook Pro is almost 4.5 years old. I’ve been wanting to upgrade it for a while and was planning to do so today. After seeing what was announced, I’m no longer sure that I want a MacBook Pro as my main computer. Unfortunately, the current iMac and Mac Pro don’t seem like good choices, either. I wish that Apple were still licensing the operating system to clone manufacturers, who might make the sort of machine I want to buy. And not neglect whole sections of the product line.

The new MacBook Pro has a premium price for a Mac that’s still limited to 16 GB of RAM, has CPU performance that is likely lackluster because Apple didn’t talk about it in the keynote, and apparently doesn’t have such a great GPU, either. Apple prioritized thinness and lightness, which I care about hardly at all. I would rather have better performance, a good keyboard, more storage, a larger display, more ports so I don’t have to carry dongles, an SD card slot, etc. Double the weight and half the battery life would be fine with me. I’m not saying Apple shouldn’t make thin and light notebooks, but why do they all have to be that way?

Shara Tibken and Connie Guglielmo:

Marketing chief Phil Schiller, software engineering lead Craig Federighi and top designer Jony Ive explained, in exclusive interviews earlier this week, why the Mac matters. Since they say it’s so important to Apple, we asked them why it took four years, four months and 16 days to deliver what they call a “milestone” and a “big step forward” for its top-of-the-line laptops.

“The calendar isn’t what drives any of the decisions,” Schiller says[…] “We didn’t want to just create a speed bump on the MacBook Pro,” he says. “In our view this is a big, big step forward. It is a new system architecture, and it allows us to then create many things to come, things that we can’t envision yet.”


Even Cook questioned why anyone would buy a personal computer instead of an iPad Pro, saying in an interview last year [links added], “Why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?” Cook didn’t answer our question about that.

It has seemed clear for a while that the CEO doesn’t really understand the Mac, or simply doesn’t like it that much, and that’s a problem for those of us who do.

Jeff Johnson:

Apple was famous for their ecosystem integration. But out of the box you can’t plug a new iPhone into a new MacBook Pro. Absurd.

Dermont Daly:

Even Apple Support aren’t getting it.

Marco Arment:

Despite most of us not buying it for years, it’s worth noting that the last upgradeable Mac laptop went away today.

Colin Cornaby:

With an SSD capacity range of 256 gigs to 2 TBs it would still be much more reasonable if Apple added upgrades after purchase.

Peter Kirn (via Michael Yacavone):

It was really hard for me to watch Apple’s “Hello Again” event today.

Understanding history is important – to a point. But Apple’s obsessive naval gazing in the Mac event today speaks volumes. This is a company with no real vision for what its most creative users actually do with their most advanced machines. So, instead, they look into the past.


The competition is faster, and/or costs less – so those graphs turned to older Apple products and even the poor PowerBook 100 rather than compare to the PC. We didn’t even get a thinner/lighter comparison, because even that ship has sailed.

The Mac made its name because it embraced desktop publishing and graphics when the PC missed the boat. Now, it seems Apple is about to miss next-generation graphics, 3D, and virtual reality. Even if some of those are gimmicks, the fact that we live in a three-dimensional world and have two eyes suggest it’s still an important development.

Previously: Apple Said to Plan First Pro Laptop Overhaul in Four Years.

Update (2016-10-28): Felix Schwarz:

Here’s how the 15" #MacBookPro 2016 component specs compare to the 2012 model.

Brian Stucki:

Reminder: The current Mac Pro page brags about the performance with Aperture, a program that Apple retired 2+ years ago.

Mark Walton:

Don’t expect to do much gaming on your shiny new MacBook Pro.

Thomas Brand:

“All MacBook Pros now use ‘onboard SSDs’ a la the MacBook” If your logic board dies your data dies with it. Backup your new MacBook people.

Owen Williams (Hacker News):

Apple spent the entire event comparing itself to its own past, rather than showing us the future, and even then painted a very clear picture: it has no idea who the Mac is for.

Jason Snell:

On stage Thursday, Schiller said that the MacBook Pro’s keyboard was a second-generation version of the MacBook keyboard and featured design changes to give it more movement feel. As someone who is not a fan of the very small amount of keyboard travel on the MacBook keyboard, I noted the phrasing. He didn’t say the keys moved more, just that they felt better.

Well, it’s my sad duty to report that the MacBook Pro keyboard has the same key travel as the MacBook. Apple says the stainless steel dome switch beneath each key has been honed to give you a more responsive feel, but to me it feels just like the MacBook’s keyboard.

Dan Frakes:

Because Apple’s website lets you compare only two laptops at a time, here’s a spreadsheet of MacBook specs.


I wouldn’t call the new MBP GPU options competitive with mid-range.

Joe Cieplinski:

The days of the sub $1,000 Mac are done. I thought the Air would stick around for another generation because of this price tier, but then I thought about it more carefully. Low-cost PCs make almost no sense anymore.

Adam Knight:

After watching yesterday’s Apple Event and reading around a bit at the reactions, I’ve become concerned for the future of the Mac, at least in the hands of the current leadership at Apple.


I can’t help but feel Apple has decided the core audience of their Unix-based powerhouse OS is the latte-sipping children in campus coffee shops and anything at all about their systems that appeals to anyone else is just something to be removed in the path to a sheet of paper with nothing but content. Frankly, it’s that total disconnect between what computer users want and what mobile users want that has me worried about the Mac. The source of my fear — after much contemplation — is that the same people that design the Mac are designing the iOS devices, and that’s a horrible situation for both platforms.

See also:

Update (2016-10-29): Brent Simmons:

Except — and this part shouldn’t be underestimated — many of these Mac developers are here because Macs are the computer for creative professionals and artists. That’s what attracted us to Macs in the first place.

It’s more than a niche. It’s our identity as Mac developers: we write apps for people who make things. But what if the Surface Studio takes over as the computer for people who make things? And what if we could bring over some of our investment (such as learning Swift) with us?

Jeff Benjamin:

If you’re holding out for an Apple-branded 4K or 5K standalone display, you should probably stop waiting. Apple is reportedly out of the standalone display business for good, according to The Verge’s Nilay Patel.

Vlad Savov:

Apple’s new MacBook Pro family is universally more expensive than the one it’s replacing: the supposedly entry-level MBP, lacking a Touch Bar, starts at $1,499. To get a Touch Bar, the least you’d need to spend is $1,799, and if you want to go beyond 13 inches, the 15-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,399. Upgrade the processor and graphics, opt for 2TB of storage, and you’ll reach the incredible heights of $4,299.

Yoni Heisler:

Apple’s new MacBook Pro has created quite a stir in the Mac community, with many developers and creative professionals expressing outrage and frustration that Apple has seemingly created a Pro machine that is decidedly underwhelming and watered down.

Apple pissing off the pro community is an especially interesting dynamic because, as many seasoned Mac observers can attest, Apple managed to survive some of its darker days in the early to mid 90s precisely because the Mac was the computer of choice for a wide swath of creative professionals.

David Owens II:

To me, Thursday’s event signaled one thing for me, and maybe I’m completely wrong, but the Mac is officially over.


Apple, the MacBook Pro is not a pro-level computer. It’s simply not.

You want to see what a pro-level laptop looks like? Look at the Razer lineup. They are crushing it on terms of performance and style in hardware design.

Chuck Toporek:

As a long-time Mac user, today’s event left me with more questions than answers about the Mac’s future. And what’s more telling is just how out of touch Apple is with their own user-base, at least when it comes to desktops and laptops.

Rui Carmo:

As far as I’m concerned, Apple is completely out of touch with my segment (call it UNIX-centric pros, if you will), so I’m going to seriously rethink my options over the next couple of weeks.

Rui Carmo:

I actually use and rely upon that top row too much to feel comfortable with the idea of a touch bar.

Ted Landau:

Apple’s desktop Mac lineup is headed for the graveyard. Dead. Done. Over.

Why do I believe this? Because of the unstated implications of what Apple announced (and didn’t announce) at its media event yesterday.

Seth Lewin:

Apple no longer makes anything I care to buy. Flat statement. Sad to admit after nearly 30 years of buying their products but true. Apple could care less what its customers think or say or want, it seems.

Ruffin Bailey:

Did Apple build a truck? Do they even care about trucks any more?

I think the quick answer is no.

He bought a Lenovo with 24 GB of RAM for $850.

Alex Guyot:

The new trackpad is 2 times larger than the trackpad on the previous MacBook Pro for the 15-inch machine. It’s slightly less than 2x larger for the 13-inch. Other than the increased size this is the same Force Touch trackpad that has been shipping on MacBook Pros since last year.


Sadly, this change spells the end of MagSafe on Apple’s MacBook Pro line. No longer are MacBooks safe from people tripping over power cords while they are charging.

Lloyd Chambers:

The people at Apple no longer have a clue what is desirable in a computer. At this, Apple is now incompetent. Tim Cook thinks everyone should just use an iPad. Out of touch with the reality of what core traditional Mac users is an understatement: yes iPhone and iPad are popular. Which is precisely why computers should distinguish themselves as computers. Not iPad-like stripped down gimmicks. It’s called market differentiation. Instead Apple pursues convergence.

Gabe Weatherhead:

I think the next few years will be awkward and actual real-world use of MacBooks will look more like the lone airport electrical outlet than the sleek design in the Apple presentations. The price of a dock will seem too expensive and many people will opt for a death by a thousand dongles. But, I think this is a transitional period leading to a much better future.

Craig Grannell:

I can’t remember the last Apple event where I came away actually quite annoyed, but there it was.


The inference was Apple’s new MacBook Pro broadly replaces the MacBook Air, and yet the former is considerably more expensive. The new MacBook Pro – impressive though it is – also happens to be spendy for even professional users.

Juli Clover:

An entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar costs $1,799, a full $500 more than previous-generation models, and 15-inch models start at $2,399. Schiller says Apple cares about price, but has to design for experience rather than cost.

Nick Heer:

I’m not complaining about the new MacBook Pros. They look incredibly powerful, ridiculously thin, and have amazing displays. But they are very spendy right now, and that’s an especially hard pill to swallow when the Mac seems to receive less attention than it used to.

Juli Clover:

While there is no new MacBook Air available for purchase, Apple is continuing to offer the 13-inch MacBook Air models that were last updated in 2015. […] At $999, the MacBook Air is $500 cheaper than the new entry-level MacBook Pro and $300 cheaper than the entry-level Retina MacBook.

Juli Clover:

According to the document, while all of the ports on the 15-inch MacBook Pro and the 13-inch MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar offer full Thunderbolt 3 performance, only two of the four ports on the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar support Thunderbolt 3 at full performance.

Michael B. Johnson:

Very disappointed with the state of Mac hardware. No good excuses left.

For me it’s not about the laptops, it’s about the Mac lineup. Mac Pro doesn’t have Thunderbolt 3 or vaguely current GPUs. Infuriating.

They are NOT complemented by performant desktop Macs, therefore they serve as pro desktops, which they are clearly NOT.

Stephen Foskett:

You’re about to enter a world of confusion thanks to those new “USB-C” ports. See, that simple-looking port hides a world of complexity, and the (thankful) backward-compatibility uses different kinds of cables for different tasks. Shoppers have to be very careful to buy exactly the right cable for their devices!


The core issue with USB-C is confusion: Not every USB-C cable, port, device, and power supply will be compatible, and there are many different combinations to consider.


If you’re not careful, you can neuter or even damage your devices by using the wrong cable. Seriously: Using the wrong cable can damage your machine! This should not be possible, but there it is.

Riccardo Mori:

As a technology observer and enthusiast, I like the new MacBook Pros a lot.


At the same time, I’m getting tired of this obsession with lighter/thinner at each design iteration. Professionals are more interested in sheer performance, in machines that can be upgraded and expanded down the road. Why can’t Apple leave the light & thin to the consumer line of notebooks, and offer pro notebooks that follow a more ‘function over form’ approach? What once was a clear distinction between ‘consumer’ and ‘pro’ machine, has now become something more like ‘regular’ versus ‘deluxe’ machines. Nowadays, a professional computer shouldn’t be constrained by a maximum of 16 GB of RAM. I know a few people who are barely comfortable with 32. Considering the non-trivial investment when you purchase one at its maximum tech specs, these MacBook Pros are supposed to last a few years.

Jeff Johnson:

Those complaining about Apple’s current Mac lineup are not haters, they’re lovers. They’ve spent 10+ years and 5+ figures on Macs.

These aren’t Luddites who simply hate change. These are people who already had blank checks written to Apple but had to tear up the checks.

Lloyd Chambers:

The table below summarizes various options for using existing displays, card readers, Thunderbolt 2 devices, USB devices, etcetera on the late 2016 MacBook Pro (the 13" and 15" models both have the same type of ports, 4 ports for the 15" model, 2 ports for the 13" model).


16GB RAM limits on a $3200 laptop is bewildering to me. If the strategy here is to kill off the Mac brand, while focusing only on the iPhone, then I think they are well on their way.

Tom Bridge:

I no longer believe the design team at Apple is innovating to make the best product experience, rather they’re deep in “pure math” territory, exploring the boundaries of innovation itself. I feel like this can go one of two ways. One of these is a future where Apple is a pillar of the desktop and laptop community, one of these is a future where the Mac is both expensive and underperforms.


I’ve been waiting few months for yesterday’s MacBook upgrade and I’m dissatisfied, as most of you. I read many comments about alternatives and one of recurring favorite is Dell XPS Developer Edition. Could I ask you about your experience with this model?

Brian Benchoff (via Hacker News):

In the past, I have defended people who choose MacBooks as their laptop of choice. A MacBook is a business-class laptop, and of course carries a higher price tag. However, Apple’s latest hardware release was underwhelming and overpriced. If you’re looking for a new laptop, you would do well to consider other brands. To that end, here’s a buyer’s guide to ThinkPads, currently the second most popular laptop I’ve seen with the dev/hacker/code cracker crowd.

Steven Levy (via Hacker News):

This week had the rare circumstance of two aged-but-still-sprightly competitors unveiling products on successive days. On Wednesday, Microsoft— formerly the heavyweight champion of the personal computer world on the basis of its software—actually introduced its first desktop computer. The Surface Studio is the result of an epically long transfer of Microsoft’s surface technology from research project, to bar room gaming device, to tablet, to desktop. It features a ginormous 28-inch touch-screen and an ingenious dial for precision zooming and menu-selecting. It’s also got a sheen of design haughtiness once unheard of in the precincts of Windows-land. The cheapest version is $3,000.

A day later, Apple ended the long wait for laptop users yearning for an upgrade by unveiling a new line of MacBook Pros. With the exception of a novel feature called the Touch Bar — a multi-touch strip above the keyboard that Disney-fies what function keys used to do — these new machines were pretty predictable iterations of how Apple does generations these days: thinner, faster, and more expensive.

Matthew Johnson:

In 2016 I do not want to charge, carry, and maintain two devices just because there are two important interaction models, each of which is better suited to some tasks and circumstances than the other.

In many respects this is reminiscent of how it felt in 2005 and 2006 to carry a cell phone and an iPod everywhere you go.


Apple’s failure to announce a solution to this problem right now is not terribly concerning on its own. But presenting the new MacBook Pro and Touch Bar as a truly revolutionary announcement, cast in a historical light, coming at the end of an extremely long dry spell falls flat.

Chuq Von Rospach:

There’s a huge amount of criticism of Apple coming out online after this event. And there’s a lot to criticize Apple about, unfortunately, because while they updated these laptops, they didn’t even mention the rest of the Mac product line, and the huge questions about where Apple sees this line going over the next few years weren’t even acknowledged, much less addressed.


What is Apple’s long-term strategy for pro apps? To be honest, Final Cut seems like a prosumer app that is used by pros, not a pro app that’s used by prosumers. What’s the future of Logic? they’ve killed Aperture, is it next? Am I going to be pushed to Premiere and Audition in the next two years?


Where are the updates to the desktop line? Where are the developer-class macs? And what about users who need high hardware with larger memory configurations? These new laptops all max out at 16Gb which is fine for, I’d wager, 95% of users, but for that other 5%? Is Apple really suggesting they head off to Microsoft instead?

Update (2016-10-30): Milen Dzhumerov (Hacker News):

From where I’m standing, Apple are redefining (shrinking) their target audience for the Mac platform. If you feel left out by the latest updates and the neglect on the desktop, it’s simple as Apple deciding not to serve your segment’s needs. I know that it can feel quite personal to Mac devotees, like me, but it’s simply business and strategy.


This one-size approach has fundamental flaws because we haven’t reached the stage where the tradeoffs are acceptable to high-demanding professionals. Almost every choice we make in this life is all about tradeoffs: it’s the same in hardware engineering. For example, making laptops thinner and lighter means sacrificing performance that you wouldn’t if you did not have those constraints.


The counterargument that I’ll make is that if you lose the professionals, you’ll lose a significant chunk of innovation and content that keeps consumers in the Apple ecosystem. Those professionals are content creators and if they use Macs at work, they’re more likely to use Macs at home and create for Apple platforms. Professionals are influencers and affect the computing choices of their immediate family & friends.

Colin Cornaby:

Apple appears to be offering the highest end Polaris 11 part available: the Radeon 460. This is a huge improvement over previous generations where Apple tended to only use the middle end of AMD’s mobile offerings. But while AMD has improved their performance compared to their previous generation, they’ve failed to take the performance crown from Nvidia. Nvidia’s low end professional notebook GPU, the GTX 1060m, is still almost twice as fast as the Radeon 460.

The issue with the new Macbook Pro is it ignores everything professionals have been asking for, while adding things that they didn’t. Unnecessarily making the laptop thinner prevents them from using a mobile GPU like Nvidia’s 1080m, which offers nearly four times the performance of the Radeon 460.


Apple also ignored almost the full list of what pros were looking for in a new Macbook Pro: features like upgradable storage, higher resolution displays, more RAM, external graphics expansion… Apple is pushing this laptop as a 4k editing professional notebook, but hasn’t even equipped it with a 4k display.


The monitor not being Apple branded means it is no longer Apple supported. When you buy an Apple branded monitor with a Mac, it’s covered under the same warranty as your Mac. If your Mac had three year AppleCare, your monitor was covered for three years too. And your monitor was serviced at the same local stores your Mac was serviced at.

Hellbound Wracker:

I guess Apple thinks of the MBP15 as a mortifyingly-huge portable device, doesn’t realize its customers think of it as desktop that travels.

Greg Koenig:

The sad thing about all this, is just how unnecessary it feels. It wold not take much for Apple to delight hardcore Mac users.

Ben Brooks:

Apple didn’t launch a crappy product, they launched devices which still are the best option on the market. Which still have top notch industrial design. Which still have the best operating system. Which still have the best third party apps on any desktop platform. Which are still the best option for most people in the world. And frankly, if you can’t see that, then you need to go buy a non-Mac laptop and see for yourself how bad it truly is.

Tim Bray (Hacker News):

Apple thinks thin-and-light is more important than well-equipped-and-powerful.


My best bet is to buy a future Mac that’s aimed at people like me. Which requires that Apple wants to build one; they don’t at the moment, but maybe they will again before this box I’m typing on runs out of gas.

Rui Carmo:

It’s not just about their removing the startup chime, or expansiblity. It’s about the honest reviews, the way marketing has taken over and the realization that the Mac, the foundation of what became Apple’s empire and still the only platform people can develop on for iOS, is effectively neglected, and that whatever Apple needs to do to try to regain their Pro user base, the new MacBooks are not it — or, at least, definitely not enough.

Lloyd Chambers:

The killer feature of the late 2016 Apple MacBook Pro may be its wide-gamut display, the best ever offered by Apple, and perhaps the best in any laptop—to be seen.


The #1 disappointment with the late 2016 Apple MacBook Pro is its 16GB memory limit, which inherently places a performance limitation on professional usage.

exploding_m1 (via Tony Arnold):

So, a lot of people have been disappointed at the lack of a 32gb option.

Apple’s statement is true, but lacks detail.

The true reason behind the lack of 32gb or ddr4 is intel. Skylake does not support LPDDR4 (LP for low power) ram. Kabylake is set to include support, but only for the U category of chips. So no LPDDR4 support for mobile until 2018 I think.


Meh, the ThinkPad P50 and P70 pack a Xeon processor, 64 GB of ECC memory and a Quadro graphics card. So do the zbook from HP.


The Razer Blade comes with a Skylake i7 6700HQ and DDR4.

Update (2016-10-31): Maciej Ceglowski (as Benjamin Button):

Everything about the new machine seems designed for typists. The trackpad has been made smaller, so you’re less likely to brush against it with your palm. The keys themselves are much more comfortable to type on, with improved key travel, a softer feel, and more satisfying tactile feedback. You no longer feel like you’re tapping on the glass surface of an iPad. And not having a TouchBar means no longer having to look down at your hands all the time.

Despite the many improvements, Apple is actually dropping the price on its flagship 15" MacBook Pro by $400, another sign that they’re serious about winning over developers.

David Owens II:

Now, the MacBook Pro is not everything I want in a laptop. It is most certainly not everything that I want in a desktop computer. But, when the dust settles, it’s still a Mac. With all of the warts that macOS has, with all of the mind boggling decisions that Apple makes with some of their products at time, is there really any other platform I’d rather be using?

See also: Hacker News.

Steven Frank:

The level of pushback from the MacBook Pro event is staggering. I sure hope someone at Apple who can make a difference is paying attention.

Chuq Von Rospach (tweet, Hacker News):

Under the assumption that there are updated desktops coming after the first of the year, I think it would have made sense to mention that, just so users waiting for them can stop feeling abandoned. It doesn’t require a lot of disclosure, but I think it was time for at least some.


I’ve come to the belief that the trash can Mac pro, the “Can’t Innovate my Ass” machine, is a product mistake of the “20th Century Anniversary Macintosh” caliber. It was a technological marvel, it was a stunning design, and it was a terrible piece of hardware for it’s primary audiences because of limited upgradability and component flexibility — and then Apple compounded that by not having good upgrade plans in place to refresh it since the design it created wouldn’t let its users do it for themselves.


The fact is, the Mac product line itself is becoming a niche product, because the days of the personal computer have started the shift back to where computers will be a hobby for the nerd and for the mainstream user, devices which use computers to enable tasks are starting to replace them: that includes tablets, but also gaming consoles and whatever it is that will ultimately take ownership of the living room.

Baron Chandler:

The minute the argument dismisses concerns by urging people to use their VT-100 if upset, it’s gone Godwin AFAIC.

Brent Simmons:

What I actually want, though, is a powerful desktop Mac that can compile my apps really, really fast.

Ruffin Bailey:

Here are some quick benchmarks for my $700 Lenovo Y700 vs. the $1500 “low-end” MacBook Pro I talked about Friday […] Remember, for $850, you’ve got 24 gigs of RAM and 128 Gigs of SSD (plus a terabyte of spinning platter storage) on that Lenovo.

Benjamin Encz:

Apple has always been a premium brand and its loyal customers have embraced it. But this premium price was paid for a whole product that worked well out of the box and was well integrated into Apple’s ecosystem. Today this increase in price stands in a stark contrast to the decrease in software quality in the last years and the product design issues I discussed.

Roman Loyola (via Kirk McElhearn):

If you’re planning to buy a new MacBook Pro, make sure you set aside a considerable amount of cash for the adapters you need. Apple doesn’t include any in the box, except for a power adapter.

And it doesn’t include the cable from the power brick to the wall.

Jeff Carlson:

I don’t fall on the Apple-is-doomed spectrum (hell, we’ve been through enough of that), but this does seem like an unusual move for the company.

Robert Cringely (via Hacker News):

This very durability presents a problem for Apple that they’ve tried to deal with by eventually stopping software support for older machines. That’s why the Mac Minis of my kids now run Ubuntu. Old Macs get handed down or sold on Craigslist and that’s a problem for Apple, but not nearly as big a problem as the fact that pretty much everyone who wants a smart phone now has one.

Yes, Apple has a problem — a problem most other companies would love to have: customers like the products too much so the market is becoming saturated.

Peter Sphilio (via Hacker News):

Why do some car and motorcycle companies have the courage to devote significant resources to racing?


The reason Apple should spend money on creating and marketing true professional hardware is the very same reason for which car and motorcycle companies devote significant resources to racing; because it provides them with credibility. When motor companies race, they are affirming their ability to create the very best possible product, the one that no other group can challenge.

Brian Fagioli (via Slashdot, Hacker News):

While you might expect some of these disappointed Apple loyalists to turn to a Windows machine -- and I’m sure some will -- some are turning to an unexpected alternative -- Linux. You see, immediately after the Apple Keynote, famed Ubuntu laptop and desktop seller, System76, saw a huge jump in traffic from people looking to buy its machines.

Michael Gartenberg:

Overall, it’s a dramatic shift from where Apple and Microsoft used to be. Microsoft is now appealing directly to creative professionals with hardware, and software innovations. Apple is introducing solid, workhorse devices that lack the magic of previous updates. Even the “birth” videos reflected a difference in how these machines are going to be sold. Microsoft’s felt more Apple-y than Apple’s this time around.

It wasn’t long ago I’d watch an Apple keynote and dream of all the new things I’d be able to do. This week, though, I’m dreaming about the Surface Studio.

Ben Slaney (via Greg Koenig):

The Federal Aviation Administration has capped the maximum allowable size of laptop batteries on flights to 100 watt-hours. That explains why Apple’s 2015 pro model contains precisely a 99.5 watt-hour battery. Although the recent MBP release only contains a 76 watt-hour battery, due to the fact that there is no low-power RAM available in greater than 16GB capacities for Intel’s latest mobile CPU it can be argued that Apple are still working within that 100 watt-hour ceiling, and that they are using the best components that they can given that ceiling.

Seems like this is where USB-C battery packs could come in handy. Apple makes an external iPhone battery pack, and it isn’t pretty, but apparently it works very well.

Colin Devroe:

I don’t care about lighter or thinner. I care about performance, storage, reliability.

Colin Devroe:

A rift. A schism. We are witnessing it. I believe anyway.

John Gruber:

The second paragraph above shows the difference. In the first paragraph, Cook is questioning why anyone would buy a (Windows/Linux) PC. In the second, he’s saying many people don’t even need a notebook or desktop, period, implicitly including Mac notebooks and desktops.

It’s not clear to me that Cook has always used “PC” to mean non-Mac. In any case, the second paragraph expresses pretty much the same sentiment and clearly includes Macs, and Cook declined to elaborate when interviewed a year later about the MacBook Pro.

John Gruber (tweet):

Rather astounding how much backlash last week’s event has generated. I can’t recall an Apple event that generated such a negative reaction from hard-core Mac users.

I’m looking forward to his longer piece.

John Gruber:

The argument against this design is that it’s backwards — that for MacBooks targeting pro users, Apple should start with high performance specs and then build a machine that supports things like 32 GB of RAM. If they had done that, they’d have wound up with thicker, heavier designs. Many actual pro users would be delighted by that.

Apple simply places a higher priority on thinness and lightness than performance-hungry pro users do.

Ron Offringa:

Typically when Apple makes big changes to their products they explain them. Lately Apple hasn’t been doing that.

Why is 1 port better than 2? Why is USB-C better than MagSafe? Why is a keyboard that is tolerated at best now standard?

Update (2016-11-01): Dave Mark:

Apple did a superlative job with the MacBook Pro reveal. The Touch Bar itself is a thing of beauty, but Apple prepared well here, bringing a variety of apps to the stage to put the Touch Bar through its paces, to show how this Touch Bar makes possible a brand new way of interacting with your computer. This is so much more than what I expected, so much more than programmable soft keys.


Lots to absorb, lots to read, but so far, sounds like Apple has a real winner here.

Dave Mark:

If this were simply a bunch of curmudgeonly complaints, we’d have skipped the post entirely. But there are a lot of fair complaints in this list, insights that are worth paying attention to.

See also: MBP Prices Over Time.

Alex Payne:

In conversation over two years ago, we converged on an assumption: Apple and Microsoft will taper off their investments in pro hardware and software while they chase bigger, easier money in the consumer and enterprise spaces. History being known to repeat itself, we saw a moment on the horizon not unlike the one in which NeXT and Be emerged. We figured there were some instructive lessons from the histories of those upstarts. We wondered if the right team could move pro computing forward today, and by measures beyond small increments.


Apple will only see an exodus of pro users if it turns out they’ve shipped a machine that truly can’t meet the needs – the actual working limits – of their customers. Armchair grumbles about misfeatures, memory limits, and the wrong ports aren’t the same as being totally unable to do your job because your tools have utterly failed you. I don’t think that’s where most pro users are today, but some are starting to recognize that today’s professional computing tools aren’t likely to carry us forward into new ways of working.

Lucas Mearian (via Mike Rundle):

Apple, a company that has led the laptop industry in its use of PCIe solid-state drives (SSDs), again upped the ante in performance with its latest refresh of the MacBook Pro, which may be the highest performing stock system on the market.

Manton Reece (tweet):

I might have doubts about the Mac product line, but overall I like the new MacBooks. The outrage seems overblown.

I tend to agree. As I said at the top, these new MacBook Pros are not what I was looking for, and I have concerns about the Mac product line, but the level of outrage is way beyond what I expected when writing this post.

Baldur Bjarnason:

I suspect many of those annoyed about the event are in my position: the fact that the Touch Bar is interesting just makes it more annoying that Apple just announced a line of computers that I can’t really use.


For a developer work machine, 16GB is the uncomfortable minimum requirement. It does not cover the needs of a developer’s average workday without us making some compromises in our workflow and productivity.

John Gruber:

But that’s not most MacBook Pro users. Most MacBook Pro users will do just fine with 16 GB of RAM (in fact, most will do just fine with the 13-inch models’ default configuration of 8 GB). For most MacBook Pro users, Apple is right to prioritize battery life over the maximum RAM configuration.


This might make people who want such things even angrier (than if they were technical limitations), but they’re both deliberate design choices.

Update (2016-11-02): John Martellaro:

By discussing the MacBook Pro only, Apple seemed to be saying, “We never intended, nor do we need, to talk about anything else.” Unsatisfying.

Evidently, we are to take Apple’s silence on other Mac matters as a statement of steadfast indifference.


Finally, the feeling we all at TMO got during this presentation is that Apple just doesn’t see a future in powerful desktop Macs. If you are a technical or creative professional, a MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar is going to be your thing. If that doesn’t do the trick, there’s little recourse available in the rest of the product line. You’ll need to turn elsewhere.

Sean Hollister:

If Apple had introduced a new MacBook Air last week, the company wouldn’t be facing down a mob of angry creative professionals. It might not have Apple software developers questioning whether the company has lost its way.

Because the new MacBook Pro basically is a MacBook Air -- the most impressive Air ever made.


Apple chose to market a thinner Pro instead of a faster Air, even though they’re basically the same thing. And that’s not lost on Apple -- it was Apple marketing VP Phil Schiller who suggested the 13-inch MacBook Pro (the one without the Touch Bar) was designed for MacBook Air buyers.

Sean Hollister:

“We are the company that stands for the builders, the makers, the creators.” Sounds like a thing Apple might say, no? But those are the words of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella -- the guy who just ate Apple’s lunch.


Here’s the truth: Apple’s new MacBook Pro isn’t for pros. Not all of them, anyhow.

Chuq Von Rospach (tweet):

Apple did a great job of introducing two new trees while ignoring the forest dying of drought around us.

The more I think about it, the more I think that sums up my discomfort with the announcements this week.


In 1997, Steve introduced his new philosophy for what products should have using this grid. 20 years later, we’re now trying to make sense of the Mac product line and we seem confused, so I decided to sit down and try to sort it out a bit. So here we are, the New Grid.

Dave Lawrence:

I’m a photographer, so the lack of an SD card slot stinks. The personality is leaving. The upgrade path is non-existent. Maybe the only saving grace is that Macs still run macOS, still the best operating system out there.

And it could be that I would be just fine owning one of the new MacBook Pros. It’s just that right now I’m in the market for a new iMac, and those options aren’t all that appealing either. If/when an iMac update comes, do I see things getting better or worse?

Worse. That’s what makes me nervous.

Colin Cornaby:

But the problem is Apple themselves is marketing the Macbook Pro as a desktop replacement.

Curtis Herbert:

Apple just gave me the computer I’ve been waiting ~3+ years for. No, really.


I’m breaking my 4-year upgrade cycle early because Apple just shipped my unicorn. The beauty of the Retina 27" 5k iMac when I’m at my desk, the convenience of a rMBP the rest of the time.

Lloyd Chambers:

As it stands, there is a hidden extra cost of $200 or more if you’re like me and want to attach a USB3 SSD, USB3 card reader, Thunderbolt device, external display, etc. That’s about a 5% to 7% hidden cost increase. OWC has USB-C to USB adapter cables for about $9.99 so at least there is a low cost option for that common use case. Which brings the point to it: why isn’t there at least one token USB-C to USB adapter in the Apple box?

Ben Lovejoy (Hacker News):

I haven’t ever seen any stats, but my guess would be that the vast majority of MacBook owners never connect anything other than power to their machine. For those that do, mostly it will be just one or two USB devices, like a USB key and external drive.

Joe Cieplinski:

All joking aside, I do worry, reading my Twitter timeline over the past few days, that some people actually believe Apple makes decisions based on what the executives personally want, rather than what data tells them is viable.

Phil Schiller (Slashdot, MacRumors):

We’re steadfast in our belief that there are fundamentally two different products to make for customers and they’re both important. There’s iPhone and iPad which are single pieces of glass, they’re direct-manipulation, multi-touch and tend towards full-screen applications. […] Then there’s the Mac experience, dominated by our notebooks and that’s about indirect manipulation and cursors and menus.


These are pro machines. If it was just about headphones then it doesn’t need to be there, we believe that wireless is a great solution for headphones. But many users have setups with studio monitors, amps, and other pro audio gear that do not have wireless solutions and need the 3.5mm jack.


There has certainly been a lot of passionate dialogue and debate about the new MacBook Pro! Many things have impressed people about it, and some have caused some controversy. I hope everyone gets a chance to try it for themselves and see how great the MacBook Pro is. It is a really big step forward and an example of how much we continue to invest in the Mac. We love the Mac and are as committed to it, in both desktops and notebooks, as we ever have been.

And we are proud to tell you that so far our online store has had more orders for the new MacBook Pro than any other pro notebook before. So there certainly are a lot of people as excited as we are about it.

Lloyd Chambers:

When you sit all but idle for 4+ years in the pro laptop space, and then finally produce a gorgeous laptop, one would hope for strong sales.


From my perspective, Phil Schiller’s perspective on card readers is that of someone who has a dim understanding of the pro photography market, namely that the vast majority of cameras sold today (even pro cameras) have SDXC card slots (my pro Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, Leica cameras all do so I rarely use CF cards any more). Schiller’s lame rationalization might be accepted by the ignorant.

Michael Gartenberg:

Unusual for Apple to defend design decisions like this. Problem is most people who transfer pictures want that SD.

Nick Heer:

First, the SD card doesn’t have to stick out. Every camera that I’ve used has a sprung locking mechanism to keep the card snugly in its slot. Something like that might be really elegant on a MacBook Pro, and would help prevent removing the card without ejecting it.


As far as wireless transfer is concerned, it’s just not fast or reliable enough, especially for cameras producing 40-plus megabyte RAW images.

Marco Arment:

The difference between light-load and heavy-load battery life is staggering.


I have actually lost sleep since the announcement. I keep going over in my mind alternate hardware, but the fact is that macOS (OS X) is the single best operating system for developers today. I am generalizing "developers". For any embedded development, or HDL stuff, OS X will not be a nice experience. But for web or mobile development (which I anticipate is quite larger than development that could not be done in OS X), it’s just better. Things work. If the don’t, there is a massive support system in place and worst case scenario you can drive <1hr to an Apple store and let them take care of it. Sure, there are edge cases there as well, but compared to the ultrabook you bought from Costco or any distribution of linux, you have much more support available. I do love my macbook pro (glass trackpad, backlit keyboard, good display), but I absolutely must have macOS. At this point my only hope is that a new distribution of Linux evolves that can seriously compete and works flawlessly on off the shelf hardware (such as the Dell XPS), but we’re not there yet. Elementary OS looks promising. Perhaps developers would fork Darwin completely and make a macOS competitor.


The negative reaction is not because the new MBP is terrible when viewed in a vacuum, it is because people who would like (or actually need) more powerful hardware than the one-size-fits-all approach that seems to be Apple’s current course are no longer catered to, or so it seems.

Personally, I don’t really care about the touch bar one way or another, but what I do care about is that I would like to have one machine I can do all my work on, which involves a wider range of things one a daily basis than is typical (e.g. video/image editing, GPU powered number crunching, coding, and sitting in moving vehicles plugged into a bunch of stuff). In the past few years, the 15" MBP has been the machine to do it all, but in it’s newest incarnation(s) I am no longer sure it would still be the best tool. It seems like gimmicks are added, but useful extras are stripped away. Maybe it’s just in the uncanny valley of progress with USB-C, but for the moment the way they went about it all or nothing seems like a major inconvenience, with all the “legacy” hardware I need to attach. And there’s minor things like removing the power brick’s cord.

Marco Arment (tweet, 2):

Having four USB-C ports is awesome.

Having only four USB-C ports is going to hurt the versatility requirement of pro gear, because there’s a very real chance that you won’t have the right dongle when you need it.

This is going to happen a lot, because even though USB-C is the future, it’s definitely not the present.

John Gruber:

But this is not how Apple thinks about transitions like this. They design for the future, and in doing so, they bring the future here faster. In the alternate universe where the new MacBook Pros ship with one USB-A port, the transition to ubiquitous USB-C peripherals and cables will happen at least a little slower.

Michael Rockwell:

Where the company and I don’t see eye-to-eye, though, is with the keyboard. The new MacBook Pro features a second-generation version of the butterfly-style keys introduced in the MacBook. I’m extremely hesitant to switch to this type of keyboard. Granted, I haven’t spent too much time with it, but the limited key travel felt terrible to me. And that’s setting aside the decreased distance between keys which makes it more difficult to know where my fingers were without looking.


But Apple has me overlooking the mediocre keyboard with the inclusion of a giant trackpad and the Touch Bar — the most noteworthy feature in these new machines.

Ruffin Bailey:

Tim Cook uses “PC” to mean “anyone’s PC”.

I know Jobs didn’t. Cook always has. Used to sound incongruous when he did it, but now that Windows is sort of a lesser beast, it makes some sense to stop with the Mac/PC dichotomy.

Michael Simon:

But it’s hard not to see a shift in Apple’s thinking. While its price is certainly commensurate with its predecessors, the new MacBook Pro isn’t your standard professional notebook. Rather, the latest flagship portables from Cupertino are more in line with the iPad Pro than the MacBook Pros they replace, and it could signal major changes ahead for the rest of the lineup.


The Butterfly 2.0 keys are indeed updated! Check this sweet MacBook/MacBook Pro (with function keys) rollover!

John Gruber (tweet):

I know a lot of people — DF readers, developer friends — who are deeply worried that Apple is sunsetting the Mac. […] But I would hold up as proof of Apple’s commitment to the Mac two things: the annual update cycle of the OS and the MacBook lineup. (Personally, I would prefer if they slowed down on major updates to MacOS and updated hardware more frequently with minor speed bumps.)

Riccardo Mori:

Call me an old-school Mac curmudgeon all you like, but I think a single regular USB port in the new MBP wouldn’t have hurt.

The fact that one needs an adapter to even plug a common USB pendrive is ridiculous.

When using the MBP at home, you can tolerate various adapters, but on the go it’s just annoying.

Update (2016-11-03): See also: MacRumors.

Mike Wuerthele (via Keir Thomas):

Additionally, the system profiler’s report on the 13-inch MacBook Pro has no listing for S/PDIF Optical Digital Audio Output, while the 2012 and 2015 Retina MacBook Pro models do.

AppleInsider contacted Apple about the matter, and was told that the feature was removed due to a lack of customers using the functionality. Additionally, we were told that “plenty of USB-C zero-latency professional peripherals are available now, or coming very soon” featuring optical audio out connectivity.

This is right after Schiller’s statement (above) that Apple left the headphone jack on the MacBook Pro because of its uses for pro audio.

I was able to try the MacBook Escape today at the Apple Store Maine Mall. (The models with Touch Bar will not be in stock, even as demo units, for about a month.) I find the “second generation” keyboard noticeably better than the MacBook One’s. I don’t like feel or the arrow key layout, but I think it would probably be tolerable for me, given that I mostly use an external keyboard. On the other hand, older MacBook Pro keyboard is probably the best that Apple has ever shipped in a notebook, and the MacBook One’s is probably the worst.

My primary use case for the SD card slot is for a Time Machine drive while traveling. Hotel network connections are too slow for Internet backup, and the SD cards are compact enough that I can leave them inserted while loading and unloading the MacBook Pro from my bag. Even if a dongle weren’t required, a USB drive just wouldn’t work as well here. It would not fit in my laptop sleeve, and I would have to unmount it before disconnecting it.

Update (2016-11-04): Accidental Tech Podcast makes a lot of interesting points, particularly about what it means that Apple is getting out of the external display business.

Glenn Fleishman:

The summary for potential late 2016 MacBook Pro owners is that all current USB-C devices, cables, and adapters will work when plugged into a MacBook Pro’s Thunderbolt 3 ports. However, Thunderbolt 3-specific devices won’t work with computers and other devices like the 12-inch MacBook whose USB-C ports are less capable.

Greg Barbosa (MacRumors):

After a battery of tests with their current lineup of USB-C and Thunderbolt products, Plugable learned that Apple’s newest MacBook Pros may not be compatible with currently available Thunderbolt 3 devices. This issue seems to specifically stem from the use of Texas Instruments controller chips in the Thunderbolt 3 devices. If true, this means that has Apple potentially shut out early adopters of the new technology.

Clark Goble:

To me the neglected part discussed was the touch pads. Why are they so big? I don’t think Apple gave a good reason at the Event and no one else has really explained them well. If you look at them they’re the size of a large iPhone. I think there’s something to that.

Clark Goble:

Some people use a MacBook Pro primarily as a desktop machine that they want to be able to occasionally move around easily. These people aren’t as concerned with battery life or weight. They’d rather have more ports than battery life. A different (much larger) group of people primarily want a powerful machine that they can run extended times on battery power and easily carry with them. For most of the life of the MacBook Pro the laptop met both these needs with only a few compromises. At least relative to the choices available at the time. Partially due to Intel’s own product lines this just isn’t true anymore.

Next year’s CannonLake chips from Intel will help this problem a lot. They’ll significantly increase the amount of memory available. However I suspect the days of the MacBook Pro being able to meet both needs are gone. While this “transportable” market is small I don’t think it is negligible. It would be nice were Apple to simply take the old MacBook Pro form factor, drop the DP, power port, and one USB-A port and replace them with USB-C/TB3 ports. Leave the rest of the ports the same, put in a powerful Nvidea mobile GPU, have bigger fans, put in the top Intel chip, ignore the weight and be satisfied with battery life more akin to what the 2009 MacBook Pro had. There is a group of Apple fans who would love this device.

Manton Reece:

It’s a convenient narrative to group together both the migration away from USB-A and the one away from 3.5mm headphones. There are important differences, though.

Jason Snell (Hacker News):

Regardless, the Mac Pro has not been updated in an unconscionably long time. The current Mac Pro, which you can still buy, is three years old. It hasn’t been updated once. The Mac Pro may not sell many units at all—and truth be told, even two years ago the 5K iMac was arguably a better Mac than the Mac Pro—but it’s also symbolic. It represents some part of Apple’s commitment to its professional user base, a small but enthusiastic group that includes developers and other highly technical folks. And users of the MacBook Pro had to look on and wonder if Apple’s commitment to them was wavering, too.


The danger for Apple is how many people are on those margins, and how influential those people are. If the company has miscalculated, it may cede users that keep the Mac platform strong, and that could slow the Mac’s momentum when compared to the PC industry at large.


A larger danger for Apple, I think, is affordability. The move to Retina has dramatically increased the price of all of Apple’s laptops. The 13-inch MacBook Air is still kicking around at $999, but the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, by all rights the proper successor to the 13-inch Air, costs $500 more. A product line that once began at $899 now begins (leaving the Air aside for a moment) at $1299. I’m not sure what solves this one other than time, but it’s an issue.

Adam Gutterman:

Despite Apple introducing new 2016 MacBook Pro’s last week, I just ordered at 2015 model. Yes, the one that was last updated a year and a half ago. I spent a considerable amount of time looking at the new lineup and thinking through how I intend to use the machine. Ultimately I concluded that in addition to costing several hundreds more, the new models simply offer me less utility than the 2015 models.


A huge part of my workflow requires that I use a USB security token, and I use USB flash drives a fair amount. I’m not a huge klutz, but I was looking forward to the MagSafe connector. I connect to projectors and large LCDs on a fairly regular basis, so an HDMI port is very useful for me. The thought of having to use dongles all of the time doesn’t appeal to me.

Update (2016-11-05): Jacob Kastrenakes (Hacker News, MacRumors):

Apple is cutting prices for all of its USB-C adapters following a week of complaints about the MacBook Pro’s inconvenient port situation.


It’s a sign that Apple recognizes these dongles are a hassle, and it seems to hope that reducing the prices on them will lessen the pain of this transition. Starting immediately, all of Apple’s USB-C adapters and some of its USB-C cables will have their prices cut by $6 to $20[…]

John Gruber:

I think Apple wants to counter the notion that moving to all USB-C is a money grab — that they did it to make money selling adapters.

Colin Cornaby:

Before the 2013 Mac Pro, Apple hadn’t upgraded the Mac Pro in three years (and Apple’s neglect of Final Cut Pro 7 didn’t help.) I with video pros at the time and the panic was already setting in. A two year gap, like the one from 2006 to 2008, was digestible. But at three years you start to wonder if the Mac Pro was going to be updated at all. And if you don’t think the Mac Pro is going to be updated, for the good of your business, you’re going to start looking at the Adobe Suite and Windows workstations, and start that transition as early as possible.


When Apple released the 2013 Mac Pro it never calmed the pro community. The 2013 Mac Pro a risky proposition for businesses because it was slower than Windows hardware, which translates to dollars on the bottom line. A job that takes twice as long to render costs twice as much. And that just continued to feed the narrative that investing in the Apple platform was a risky proposition. And then three years later Apple still hasn’t shipped an upgrade, continuing the tailspin in pro’s confidence of Apple.

Marco Arment (tweet, Hacker News):

It’s looking increasingly likely that there will never be another Mac Pro. Here’s why that would be a shame.


Pros wouldn’t be as angry about the limitations of the new MacBook Pro line if there was an alternative that solved their needs. The Mac Pro sweeps up countless edge cases with one product at the top of the line — the only downside is cost, but many pros would rather spend money than compromise on their needs.

Just as the Mac’s power lets iOS be simpler, a healthy Mac Pro frees up the rest of the Mac lineup to make more aggressive progress.


Arment is way too positive on the Mac Pro’s thermal design. Recently I worked on an application where we had about a dozen Mac Pros doing heavy video encoding workloads. Four of these computers started having GPU overheating issues, and turns out that this is a common occurrence on the 2013 Mac Pro. Apple has been quietly replacing units over the years (searching for the specific console error message reveals that it’s common among Mac Pro owners).

My theory is that the Mac Pro hasn’t seen an update because Apple knows that its current thermal design is a lemon, and they don’t really want to sell any more of these because the replacement rate is so high.

Craig Hockenberry (tweet):

Licensing just the operating system was a disaster for Apple. Professional customers don’t have the time to build and maintain their own Hackintoshes. Any partnership to build Mac hardware would need to be structured so that it benefits Apple, the partner, and customer alike.

Just like IBM and their clients have benefitted from Lenovo.

Keir Thomas:

Did you see Louis Rossmann’s YT review? Some USB-C devices kill internet and make the mouse laggy on the new MBP 13in non-Touch Bar.

Update (2016-11-06): Jeff Carlson:

But like a lot of people, I didn’t order one right away. The 16 GB RAM limit was the first thing to make me pause; my current machine is maxed out at 8 GB and I often hit that ceiling when I’m editing photos and running many applications in the background.


I still bought one. As I was deliberating, I wrote up the following list of reasons this MacBook Pro, at this time, is the new computer for me. Let me reinforce that this is my situation; I’m not trying to be universal or tell you what to buy. But I thought that posting my thought process might help other people who are also weighing many of the same questions.

Aniket Sharma:

As someone who had tuned into the event with the singular goal of getting to know more about Apple’s plans for the Mac Mini and iMac, I was left with a very sour taste in my mouth by the time the event ended. Phil, or Tim, should’ve made at least a passing mention to the MacBook Pro’s desktop brethren and told us to hang in there.

Jason Snell (Hacker News):

And what I like is more travel than these keyboards offer. That said, I want to allay the fears of people who think these keyboards don’t do the job: They do. I find the lack of response in the keys unpleasant, but I can still type at full speed and accuracy when I use it. (I do keep hitting the wrong arrow keys, though. I’m still not a fan of the full-sized left and right arrow keys sharing space with half-height up and down arrows.)

In any event, if you like the MacBook keyboard, you’ll liked this one even more. If you disliked the MacBook keyboard, you may find this one to be an improvement—but it’s a progression of that keyboard, not a replacement.

Chance Miller:

That’s where Griffin’s BreakSafe comes in. It brings MagSafe-like tech to USB-C connections, but there are a few things you should note before running out and purchasing one…

See also: Glenn Fleishman (in 2015).

Update (2016-11-07): Fred McCann:

I think a lot of the anger in the community has more to do with the lack of Mac hardware in general than these specific laptops, but there are some real problems.


You can pin this on Intel as the kinds of Kaby Lake chips Apple wants aren’t yet available, but the release cycle of MacBook Pros is ultimately on Apple. I know people (myself included) who were waiting for a quad-core latest generation Intel chip in the 2015 MacBook Pro which never came. Apple is charging premium prices for products that will be not entirely outdated, but certainly behind the curve in a short amount of time.


The old value proposition was you’d invest in as much hardware as you could afford and upgrade later. Apple’s current offerings are already expensive, and outfitting a machine that will go the expected distance is even more so. The combination of limited and expensive options for memory and storage dramatically alters the value proposition of the MacBook Pro over the lifetime of the computer.

John Gruber:

I’ve been thinking for a long time that of course Apple is “soon” going to reboot the Mac Pro. Now I’m starting to worry they’re not. They don’t have to, but they really should. Make it fast, make it quiet, and make it easy to keep updating with CPU and GPU speed bumps every year or so.

John Paczkowski:

256GB base in a Pro laptop is silly. So is demanding an additional $200 to get it to 512 where it should be (at very least).

Update (2016-11-08): John Gruber:

This isn’t a new comment. This was posted 4 years ago, in response to the last major MacBook Pro redesign. Déjà vu.

David Owens II:

Is the point that Apple continues to push sub-pro hardware to us and we continue to buy it because there’s no better alternative?

Vlad Savov:

These are Apple’s premium laptops, its deluxe devices, but not in any meaningful way computers tailored for the pros. A MacBook Pro is now simply what you buy if you’re in the Apple ecosystem and have a higher budget and expectations than the MacBook can fulfill.


The Mac community finds the specs underwhelming, even on the 15-inch model, which uses power-sipping AMD Radeon graphics instead of the world-conquering Nvidia Pascal chips.

Dave Mark:

My hope is that Apple has a new, upgradeable Mac Pro in the works. My worry is that they don’t.

Stephen Hackett:

Out of respect, I think Apple should give their pro users an olive branch here. If the Mac Pro is going to stick around, then the company should have an answer to Marco’s complaints. If there is something in the pipeline, the company should tip its hand a little. I can’t imagine sales of the Mac Pro are good anymore, so I don’t this would be a big hit on the bottom line.

See also: Upgrade.

Sam Mallery has a contrary perspective on MagSafe (tweet).

Jonathan Zdziarski (via John Gruber):

I fired up a bunch of apps and projects (more than I’d ever work on at one time) in every app I could possibly think of on my MacBook Pro. These included apps you’d find professional photographers, designers, software engineers, penetration testers, reverse engineers, and other types running – and I ran them all at once, and switched between them, making “professionally-type-stuff” happen as I go.


The result? I ran out of things to do before I ever ran out of RAM. I only ever made it to 14.5GB before the system decided to start paging out, so I didn’t even have the change to burn up all that delicious RAM.

I found this surprising because on a normal day I run fewer apps than that and yet frequently see lots of page outs. On Sunday I rebooted, did some light work (no Xcode, VMware, or Lightroom) and by early evening had 17 GB of swap. And when I do use those apps, it sounds like I work with smaller photo files than he does, and usually only one virtual machine at a time.

Susie Ochs:

I can type on both just fine, but I’m not a fan of this style—every time I had to switch back to my MacBook Air for a few minutes, its old keyboard felt better immediately. With the MacBook Pro’s new keyboard, I find myself typing extra hard, like my brain isn’t convinced the keys are even going to go down unless I really pound them. For what it’s worth, I don’t have this problem with Apple’s wireless Smart Keyboard.


Putting it to the test in Geekbench 4.0.1, this stock, entry-level MacBook Pro racked up a score of 3765 in the single-core CPU test, and 7316 in the multicore test, both at 64-bit. But that single-core score is just 1 percent better than the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro from early 2015 (2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM), and the multicore score is better by 4 percent.

Becky Hansmeyer:

Looks like I’m six for six! (except the key travel did change, but ehhh I’ll get used to it.) Also, one of my “dream big” requests was for a bigger trackpad with Pencil support, so I guess you could even say I got six and a half of my wishes.

Rene Ritchie:

When Apple made Mac Pro an appliance, like iPad and MacBook Air before it, Apple took on the responsibility for keeping it updated. If I can no longer upgrade the graphics, RAM, or drives, it’s their job to do it for me, consistently and reliably, or to over-communicate why the roadmap might be longer.


I didn’t buy the rev A modern Mac Pro, but I fully intended to buy the rev B. It just never came. Not a year later, not two years later, and now not three years later. It might come next spring but no one outside Apple really knows for sure. And that creates an incredible amount of stress and anxiety in the community. Stress and anxiety they don’t deserve.

Update (2016-11-09): Aaron L’Heureux:

I want to talk to some of the FUD that has led to a number of complaints, but first there are certainly a few areas where Apple could have done better and helped curb some of the unrest.


In order to prove that this future is the right future, Apple and third parties need to knock the functionality of the Touch Bar out of the park. I’m not worried about the decision for all USB-C. I think we will find in the coming years that the all USB-C lifestyle will reduce peripheral complexity and make life actually easier. But for now, we’re in that transition phase.

Colm Mulhall:

Macs were never cheap, but I think at this price point, Apple has raised the bar to a price point that just can’t be justified by many people, myself included.

Update (2016-11-10): Jason Snell:

It’s not quite a price hike, but it’s an elimination of the least expensive option. And combined with the price hikes internationally due to the stronger dollar, it’s got a lot of people crying foul.

This makes me wonder: To what degree are Retina Macs more expensive because the Retina display (and the increased graphics power required to drive them) adds to the cost of making the device, and to what degree is it a feature differentiator that Apple feels it can use as a way to get people to spend more money?

Update (2016-11-11): Benjamin Mayo:

Windows manufacturers don’t seem to have a problem selling laptops with ‘Retina’ resolution displays far below the Air’s $999 retail price. They may not be as good as the new MacBook Pro or iMac displays but they are leaps and beyonds ahead of what the Air has.

hot2 is unable to get the new MacBook Pro to work with Linux (via Hacker News).

Update (2016-11-12): John Gordon:

Retina is for the young.

Update (2016-11-13): See also: Accidental Tech Podcast.

Update (2016-11-14): John Gruber:

Most common question about Touch Bar: does the blank spot to the left of Esc work as a touch target. Answer: half of it does.

Jacob Kastrenakes:

There really is a lot of good stuff here. But for every smart use of the Touch Bar, there’s another that’s too complicated or entirely meaningless. Often they’re even within the same app, all present on the Touch Bar at once.


The difference between a menu opening left or right or up or down may seem slight, but the effect is very disorienting. There were times I felt lost in the Touch Bar, unable to return to the screen I wanted.


Having those menu options exposed so clearly can be helpful at times — I’m bad at finding formulas in Keynote, for instance, and the Touch Bar makes them easy to access — but mostly it’s not. These apps don’t need more menus; they need better context for people just starting out in them, and a streamlined way for experienced users to get stuff done.


“While editing in Final Cut, I used the Touch Bar exactly zero times,” Nielsen says. “When I tried to intentionally use the Touch Bar, I felt like a kid learning how to type again. I had to keep looking down at the bar instead of looking at the images I was actually trying to edit. That could get better with time, but it seems harder since there aren’t any actual keys for my fingers to find if I was just editing along not looking at my hands.”

Brian X. Chen:

The Touch Bar is a breeze to get the hang of, but I didn’t find it helpful in streamlining tasks. If you open the Photos app, for example, the Touch Bar displays thumbnails of photos in your library, and you can tap one to select a photo to edit. That’s neat, but why not just select the photo on your laptop screen? When using the Safari browser, you can use the Touch Bar to select a different browser tab — but using keyboard shortcuts (Command+1 to choose the first tab, for instance) is quicker.


In speed tests run with the app Geekbench 4, the 15-inch MacBook Pro’s computer processor was only 10 percent to 17 percent faster than the 15-inch model released in 2012. Yet the graphics processor, which is crucial for heavy computing tasks, in the new MacBook Pro is about twice as fast as the one in the older model, and the storage drives are much faster, too.

Jason Snell:

Every ten clicks or so, the MacBook Pro’s trackpad would simply “miss” one of my clicks. This is something I haven’t experienced on my desktop Magic Trackpad, which clicks reliably. At first I thought I was interfering with the trackpad somehow, perhaps inadvertently touching my shirt to the bottom edge or laying my palm onto the surface. But it wasn’t any of those, so far as I could tell. Whatever the reason, it’s not fun to have your laptop miss clicks. It slows everything down. I hope this is a bug in the software that Apple can address in an update, because it’s a real bummer. The old hinge-style trackpad on my MacBook Air might not be fancy, but it never let me down.

Rene Ritchie:

The potential unlocked by all of it is enormous.

But they’ve got graphics that, while they can run dual 5K displays at the high end, can’t run VR or the highest end games. They’ve got a 16 GB memory limit that, while mitigated by compression and SSD speed, won’t prove enough for the most demanding professionals. They’ve got Touch Bar and Touch ID but not a touch screen, and there’s no option for anything but Apple’s incredibly flat, incredibly divisive new keyboard. And they’re priced at a significant premium.

What this means to you will depend entirely on your personal preferences and professional requirements. For some, the new MacBook Pro will be absolute, heart-crushing deal breakers. For others, like me, they’ll be absolutely terrific and once again deliver on the future, right now, today.

Walt Mossberg:

The biggest surprise in my tests was just how inconsistent the Touch Bar Pro’s battery life was. I have tested hundreds of laptops over the years and Macs have almost always excelled at meeting or beating their promised battery lives, both in my longtime battery test regime, and in typical daily use. But the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar wasn’t as reliably consistent as previous Macs.


Alas, although I wrote this whole column on a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, I couldn’t use this predictive text feature because I was writing in Google Docs running in a Safari tab. That’s right: while text entry in any number of web pages works with the Touch Bar, it fails with one of the world’s most widely used web apps.

Jim Dalrymple:

I know that having 16GB RAM is a concern for some people, but you could never put more than 16GB RAM in a MacBook Pro, so I don’t get the problem. Pros and other customers have been successfully using these computers for years. Just because it takes more RAM to use a Windows machine effectively, that doesn’t mean the same thing for a Mac. You have to look at the entire picture, hardware, software, system software, and memory optimizations.

It’s simple: I’ve been hitting the limit for years, and I’m tired of not being able to do certain things at once, of having to keep rebooting my Mac when performance grinds to a halt. And if you look at what I do, I don’t even think I’m that much of a pro.

There are adapters that will allow you to plug in everything you need. […] I know that’s another source of frustration for users, but it will only be a frustration until the devices we use come with USB-C by default.

There is no adapter that can provide the internal secondary storage that the SD slot could.

Troy Gaul:

Was setting up my new MacBook Pro when I realized that its L key doesn’t work consistently. Pressing it doesn’t always produce a letter.

See also: 9to5Mac, MacRumors.

Update (2016-11-15): Joe Rossignol:

These are the first MacBook Pro models to ship with non-removable SSDs, following in the footsteps of the 12-inch MacBook.

Ruffin Bailey:

If that’s right, and I’m a little surprised to see it, the $2400 entry-level 15" MacBook Pro has exactly the same processor my $850 Lenovo Y700 has. […] Wow. I got 15" MacBook Pro internals over half a year earlier for a third of the price.

Andrew Cunningham:

Incidentally, this also helps explain why Apple went with AMD’s Polaris-based GPUs instead of Nvidia’s generally faster Pascal-based GPUs. Power consumption aside—the laptop version of the GTX 1060, Nvidia’s slowest Pascal-based laptop chip, has an 85W TDP where the MacBook Pro’s AMD GPUs are all 35W—Nvidia’s cards support a maximum of four displays. And while Nvidia’s GPUs support DisplayPort 1.3, the Thunderbolt 3 controller and most monitors only support 1.2.


Even if you’re upgrading from a 2013 model, the speed increases here aren’t amazing. The equivalent 2015 model had a CPU that was about 100MHz faster, which just about wipes out the modest architectural improvements that Skylake brings to the table. It’s better if you’re coming from a 2011 or 2012 model, though still not earth-shattering—if you’re desperate for a CPU upgrade, make sure the new Pro you buy has a faster-clocked CPU than your old one. That’s going to make more of a difference than the improved CPU architecture will.

John Gruber:

Here’s a video from Louis Rossman comparing his old MacBook Pro keyboard to the brand new one. I think the new one is definitely louder.

John Gruber (tweet):

I find less key travel to be less pleasant while typing. […] And here’s the mixed bag part: the new MacBook Pro key switches do have a premium feel to them. I now can’t stop noticing how much the key caps on my old MacBook Pro jiggle around when I’m just resting my fingers on the keys. The new keys don’t do that. It feels like a premium keyboard — just one with incredibly short key travel, alas. […] The keyboard change I’m having the most trouble with is the arrow key arrangement.


Even leaving aside the “trip over the cable accidentally scenario”, MagSafe is great on a daily basis just because it’s so effortless to connect. It feels like a cable that connects itself.


There’s much griping about these machines now, just like there was much griping about the original Air then, but these are exactly the MacBooks I want Apple to be making — ones that show that the company is putting very hard work into every aspect of them.

Of course, the original MacBook Air didn’t replace the other models, so you had a choice.

Chris Davies:

Apple has been pushing faster and faster solid-state storage in its notebooks for some generations now, and the new MacBook Pro line-up is no exception. Benchmark speeds were pretty consistent across all three models in QuickBench 4.0, hitting a hefty 2,909.2 MB/sec read and 1,571.2 MB/sec write at their fastest. Yes, Apple charges a fair amount to climb up through its SSD storage, but you can’t argue with the performance.

Update (2016-11-18): As I feared, the DYMO label printer doesn’t work with the new MacBook Pros because it requires a direct connection to a USB-A port.

Update (2016-11-22): Chuq Von Rospach:

If you are a photographer or someone for whom superior color is an important feature, the new screen on these laptops will blow you away. I’m so impressed and it hasn’t gotten a lot of chatter in the discussions since the event, but the results I’m seeing are just, um, eye opening.


On the negatives, I have to say the Caldigit USB-C dock is okay but not quite to good, much less great (but check back in in 3 months to see if that’s resolved or if I replace), and the loudness of the keyboard surprised me, in that it actually was so loud I cared about it. It’s not a keyboard I would ever use while recording any audio unless I had no alternatives.


We could argue for a while about price, but… I have no problem with it. I’m not surprised Apple couldn’t get a retina-enabled device under $1000, and I’m not surprised these cost a bit more given the technology being shoved in them. Yes, you can get windows PC boxes for less, but then you have a Windows PC box. If that’s okay for you, then you have my blessing. I’m a Mac user, no interest in changing. I think the days of exploding performance with retreating prices is over for the industry in general, but not something we’ve all come to grips with yet. Welcome to mature becoming declining markets.

Lloyd Chambers:

The 2016 MacBook Pro does not have the chops for larger Photoshop tasks. Moreover the performance of the fastest-possible 2016 MacBook Pro is scarcely faster than the 2013 model for in-memory work. This 2016 MacBook Pro is not an upgrade in terms of getting work done in Photoshop. It is a ‘dud’ upgrade. You are buying Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports (and incompatibility), a faster SSD and nicer screen.

Adam C. Engst:

Andy Ihnatko hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that despite the different names, the MacBook, the MacBook Air, and the MacBook Pro are all really just variants on the MacBook Air concept. They’re thin, light, and relatively expensive for what they offer in terms of performance and connectivity. That’s fine, but not everyone wants the smallest and lightest Mac laptop. For some, price is paramount, and for others, performance matters most.

A more compelling line of Mac laptops might look like this[…] The core problem is that Apple no longer seems to understand how Mac users choose their machines.


The prime directive of an engineering company is to provide products that solve users’ problems. It’s all about helping users achieve their goals with the least amount of wasted time and effort. That used to describe Apple to a T.

Nowadays, Apple is ignoring the desires of many Mac users and focusing on making gorgeous objects that are possible purely because of the company’s leadership in advanced manufacturing techniques.

Update (2016-11-27): David Owens II:

It seems clear that the future Apple wants is not the future that I want for it. That’s ok. But maybe that just means it’s time for me to move on too. If four of the five solutions above I need to satisfy in the near future simply cannot be an Apple product, it might finally make sense to go back to having my workstation not be one anymore too. After all, a Mac is really only needed for the code signing and App Store submission process these days anyway.

Chris Adamson:

It certainly looks like extensive tradeoffs have been made to fit the computer into the ever-smaller case, trading power for aesthetics as modern Apple is wont to do. The big point everyone’s been arguing is whether a 16GB RAM limit is sufficient for a “pro” machine? As I noted on Twitter the other day, I burn about half that with a typical iOS developer stack[…]


And will the performance hold up? Because the thing is, I don’t just develop. I also do video work. And video isn’t just about editing. […]It doesn’t inspire confidence that The Verge’s MacBook Pro review says that even the high-end model “starts lagging pretty seriously” when editing a non-trivial 4K project.


These choices suck, and I’m mad at Apple for leaving me in the lurch like this when I’m shopping for my fourteenth goddamn Mac.

Mark Alldritt:

Now, almost 5 years later, my machine fully utilizes that 16GB of RAM.

Given what these new machines cost, I expect to be using it for several years. I anticipate that 2-3 years from now, 16GB RAM is going to feel very cramped. At that point, the only option will be a new machine.

Adam Geitgey (Hacker News):

Yes, it’s probably too expensive and more RAM is better than less RAM. But everyone posting complaints without actually using a MBP for a few weeks is missing out on all the clever things you can do because it is built on USB-C. Over the past week or two with a new MacBook Pro (15in, 2.9ghz, TouchBar), I’ve been constantly surprised with how USB-C makes new things possible. It’s a kind of a hacker’s dream.


The new charging block that comes with the MBP looks exactly the same as any traditional MBP charger[…]

If only that were so. It’s missing the cord coiler and the wall extension.

Lloyd Chambers:

The Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter did NOT work to drive the display. Unplugging and replugging and rebooting several times failed to ever detect the display.

Update (2016-12-02): Lloyd Chambers on a Lightroom import test:

It is pathetic that the 2016 MacBook Pro runs at 2.9 GHz and with a 4.5X faster SSD, and the 2013 model runs at 2.6 GHz and yet the 2013 MacBook Pro wins.

Update (2016-12-05): Lloyd Chambers:

While testing the 2016 MacBook Pro, a consistent pattern of declining performance was observed. For example, with 10 iterations of of the Photoshop sharpening test, the 2016 MacBook Pro declined in performance by 23%. No such decline was seen on the iMac 5K or 2013 Mac Pro.

Joe Rossignol:

A subset of users who purchased a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar claim to be experiencing shorter than expected battery life.

Update (2016-12-12): Jean-Louis Gassée (Hacker News):

With both the RAM limitation and “donglegate” we see self-inflicted wounds, a puzzling lack of storytelling by a company that has a long history of controlling the narrative. Apple was forced to react with labored explanations and admission-of-guilt price cuts days after the late October launch. Experienced Apple executives violated a cardinal rule of selling: Don’t let the customer discover the problem. No product is perfect, so tell it all, tell it now, and tell it yourself. If you don’t, your customers — and your competition — will tell it for you.


And what of the delivery promise? The product you could “Order Now” was nowhere to be seen in the Apple Stores for at least two weeks. The two-to-three week delivery schedule soon stretched to four-to-five weeks. (my own order of a fully-loaded 13” MacBook Pro was scheduled for a January 4th store pickup). The MacBook Pros without a Touch Bar were immediately available, so the speculation, sensible for once, is that there have been manufacturing or supply chain difficulties with the new device. For a company that excels at Supply Chain Management this is a surprising glitch (and we’re witnessing it again with the constantly delayed AirPods).

He’s also seeing much worse battery life than on his 2015 MacBook Pro.


I don’t understand why the author thinks that people aren’t allowed to complain about RAM limitations at the launch, and instead expects them to wait the 2-3 weeks before the items ship and then use certain software on them long enough for usage patterns to come through. If 16GB ram isn’t enough for you now, it’s utter nonsense that “maybe Photoshop will run just fine on 16GB on the new hardware”.

I would also have made a bigger point of Apple not having enough USB dongles to supply their ‘new, modern’ laptops. It’s a pretty big complaint to level against the “so what, it’s one dongle” apologists, if you can’t get one in the first place.

Update (2016-12-13): Josh Ginter:

This doesn’t take into account palm rejection. I mean, it works when you’re typing. But, say your left hand is resting on the keyboard while you are interacting with the trackpad with your right hand. If you rest your palm on the corner of the trackpad, every click turns into a second click. Or scrolling actions turn into zooming actions. This isn’t prevalent, but it does happen. And when it happens, it’s annoying.


There’s no worse feeling than thinking you hit a button, but then realize you didn’t. Or, thinking you didn’t hit the button, but actually did.


In short, the new MacBook Pro is underwhelming in the performance department. To the extent that some users have found their year-old 15” MacBook Pros to outperform the newest generation.


Apple decided to shave 25% of the battery’s capacity in the new 15” MacBook Pro, allowing for a thinner and lighter chassis. It appears Apple’s thought process centered around more efficient processors making up for the drop in battery capacity. From what I’ve experienced, this just isn’t the case.

Update (2016-12-27): Pier Bover (via Hacker News):

After waiting for a few years to upgrade my MBP and being really disappointed with the 2016 models I ended up getting a 15" 2015 model.


I couldn’t care less about a thinner machine or a gigantic trackpad. Apple sacrificed too much to solve a problem that wasn’t there and introduced drastic changes that IMO don’t make much sense.

Charles Haine:

What we want is to have a powerful machine we can carry with us to different sets and offices (and even in transit on planes or trains), and plug in while we’re there. So, limiting to 16GB for battery life is very frustrating, since you can’t update these machines later; You’re stuck with a likely insufficient amount of memory.


The worst performance from the new MacBook Pro was surprisingly from the internal SSD. Working on a Premiere project off internal media, encoding to H.264 right back to that internal media, the export time for our sample project on both the 2013 and 2016 were identical at 2:35.


Resolve showed even better results, with a render that the 2013 machine took 4:48 to accomplish flying out of the 2016 machine in 2:28. Shots that would play at 2-3fps (full resolution) on the 2013 machine would play consistently at 6fps on the new machine.


There are countless times when, as a professional or a human being, you want to change your volume quickly. Muscle memory is a huge part of how we interact with machines, and instead of the muscle memory of just hitting the volume button, you now have to find it on a screen, which requires looking down. It takes extra time just when you don’t have it, and it worsens the experience. Especially since the Touch Bar often goes to sleep, so instead of just hitting the button once and getting instant feedback, you have to repeatedly touch it to wake it up before you get to adjust volume. […] This is a frustration not just with volume, but also with brightness.


The Trackpad is larger, and the feel of the touch is quite different. When first taken out of the box, the click and drag basically didn’t work, and while it has improved, we aren’t sure if it was a matter of breaking it in or learning to use it. The “click” itself feels like it takes more work (no matter how you set it in the preferences), but any kind of click and drag is so difficult as to be nearly impossible. Whenever switching back to the oMBP it was a tremendous relief to work on a functional trackpad again.


The P3 color space was part of it pitch to sell this upgrade, and they have even talked about how the tight integration with Final Cut X means that now FCP-X has wide gamut support enabled and a complete DCI-P3 workflow. Unfortunately, the results of our tests were that it’s just not accurate enough to be calling itself P3.

Fuji vs. Fuji (via Michael Yacavone):

Out of the box, the Power/Touch ID button felt fairly loose to me, and had some side to side play. It would almost stick to my finger when using Touch ID, and “click” back into place. It felt awful and cheap.


Moments after leaving the Apple Store, the Genius called to inform me of one more option. This issue is so common that Apple has an official “2016 MacBook Pro shim kit” for the Power button. The Genius said he’s never actually done it before, wasn’t sure of the success rate, and it would take 3-5 business days to complete. Again though, I don’t think I should be looking at having a repair done to a brand new expensive computer that would have meant cracking it open, especially not within the return policy.


This has got to be the one of the worst times for photographers and creative professionals to buy Apple computers. As a fan for so many years, it really just makes me kind of sad there’s no “right” option for me, as far as I’m concerned. Hopefully things will turn around.

Update (2017-01-02): Joel Spolsky:

Bought new MacBook Pro. One of the keys didn’t work unless you really whacked it. Spent 4 weeks waiting for a replacement from Apple

On the replacement, another key is broken... it sometimes presses itself. Basically impossible to type correctly on this machine

Also. After a few weeks with the “touchbar”, it is worse than the function keys it replaced in every respect. worst apple purchase ever

Jason O’Grady:

I simply couldn’t type accurately on the 13 MBP because of the over-sensitive trackpad and Touch Bar – which I constantly engaged with an errant palm graze or finger overshooting the keyboard. It’s distracting as hell to be typing away into a note, doc or email and suddenly “click” on the window of a background app and switching contexts. Then I’d have to figure out what I was doing, where my window went, switch back to it, and try to pick up where I left off.

Accidental and sudden context switches are productivity killers and at the end of the day, I need my MacBook to be a productivity machine, not a productivity killer.

Update (2017-01-05): Felix Schwarz (tweet):

I’ve since spent several weeks with the new MacBook Pro as my main work machine. Here’s what I learnt and observed — and why I eventually decided to return it.


The new MacBook Pro saves me only barely noticeable 1.6 seconds for the most frequently performed action (incremental builds) while full builds are too rare as that the 21.7% performance gain on those would be significant enough. I’d be surprised if it’d save me a minute per day.


The question if 16 GB of RAM leaves enough breathing room for the next four years must still be raised, though.

In my case, the answer turned out to be no: my typical usage today already saturates 16 GB to the point that macOS usually indicates a swap usage of 2 GB and more.


But in practice, the absence of any haptic confirmation was a major issue: more than a few times, I found myself immediately question if I had hit the right spot or if my touch was properly recognized whenever there was no immediate response from the currently used app (hello Xcode!).


It’s not about dongles, it’s not about function keys turning into buttons on a Touch Bar, it’s about this: for years, you could honestly say that the MacBook Pro kept up reasonably with, and sometimes defined, the high end of the market. It got a high-resolution display along with an OS that could competently support it, it had built-in, fast solid-state storage, competent discrete graphics, a workable complement of I/O and lots of memory.

In the absence of something that will let people do what they just can’t do on other platforms, it is now required to keep up just to stand still, to provide what alternatives do, lest you get left behind. In most aspects they still do, but they are clearly slipping. In category after category, Apple is making tradeoffs that a large part of its audience simply don’t agree with, and sooner or later, it will result in them leaving.

The capabilities of the hardware Apple puts out now does not advance the state of computing one bit. It merely packages it in a smaller package. I’m all for miniaturization, I’m all for progress, I’m even all for maintaining the current MacBook – what I’m not for is being told to stop solving the problems I still need to solve, because our priorities shifted. If you’re going to be selling “trucks”, they’d better still be trucks.


The ability to provide a platform that makes it possible to do things you did not even know you wanted has been replaced with not even being able to provide a platform that makes it possible to do the things you need to do, and it is entirely due to Apple’s infatuation with the role it has sometimes played; its recent obsession with trying to capture the elusive light in a bottle with every single thing it does, as if the mere belief that “only Apple can do that” made it so.

Duncan Davidson (tweet):

TouchID is the big deal about the new Touch Bar. I use huge passwords and every opprotunity to skip typing them is a bonus. Even if I hated the rest of the Touch Bar, I’d still be in for this.


The color gamut on the 15" display is gorgeous. The photographer in me loves it.


It’s a worthy laptop. If you need a new MacBook Pro, then get it. If you don’t — and you might not as even three and four year old MacBook Pros are still adequate performers—then don’t get it. Use the money on something else. Economics 101.

Update (2017-01-09): Daniel Singer:

How to upgrade your Mac in three easy steps!

Update (2017-01-11): Jeff Geerling (via Milen Dzhumerov):

After two weeks of use, I returned my 2016 13" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and bought one with Function Keys instead. Read on for detailed Battery stress tests, performance tests, and an exploration of how Apple’s botched this year’s Pro lineup.

Update (2017-01-13): Chris CIa:

Don’t know about the Consumer Reports testing issue. WHat I do know is that I returned not one but TWO MacBook Pro 2016’s because i could not get more than 3 1/2 hours of battery life from either. As a person on airplanes nearly every week that was unacceptable. Instead I keep using my MacBook Pro 2015 which provides nearly triple the battery power I experienced. I’ve owned about 20 MacBook Pro’s over the past 20+ years so I love them and am not an Apple basher. Something else must be a factor.

Update (2017-01-22): David Owens II:

So… it’s with great hesitation that I pulled the trigger and re-purchased the 15″ Mac Book Pro with Touch Bar. It is simply the best option given the choices, and I’m tired of waiting.

Update (2017-02-02): David Pogue:

Apple made its new trackpad huge, and I can’t figure out why. What does that get you?

What it gets me is accidental clicks, caused by my left thumb as it hovers while I type. My cursor or insertion point suddenly pops into the wrong place or the wrong window.


I’ve solved the problem by taping a piece of cardboard to the trackpad, in essence shrinking it. Real classy.

Update (2017-02-19): Joel Spolsky:

Sorry Apple. After 10 years loyalty, this latest MBPro with useless touchbar and unreliable keyboard was last straw. Switched to Dell XPS13

Update (2017-03-15): Marco Arment:

A few months in, and I still hate the new MBP keyboard.

And as much work as I’m sure it was, I think I hate the Touch Bar, too.

Hardware buttons for the things in the top row. Esc, volume, media, brightness, etc. And no accidental input when my finger brushes them.

Update (2017-03-17): Trey Ratcliff (via Michael Yacavone):

I converted to Apple over 5 years ago when it was clear to me Apple made the best products for creative professionals. I loved Apple and became a hardcore fanboy. I was all-in. Now, I’m switching back to PCs. The new line of MacBook Pros are not-that-awesome. Apple has always been a company that makes beautiful, well-designed products (and still does), but they’ve started to put an emphasis on sleek design form over professional function.

Jack Nutting:

But I’m here to tell you that there is a solution that can give you an actual escape key, in nearly the position you expect to have it. It’s called the International English keyboard. If you make sure to order your new MacBook Pro with the International English keyboard option, you will get an extra key which will make all the difference.

Update (2017-03-21): David Owens II:

I still regret buying this MacBook Pro TB Edition... TB is still both useless and buggy, keyboard stinks, and screen rez too low.

Update (2017-03-22): Brad Frost (tweet):

The Touchbar is atrocious. It hasn’t provided any real value for me, and it’s extremely glitchy.


The battery life is really bad. They say “Up to 10 hours of battery life” but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten anywhere near half that.

So so so many bugs. This is the glitchiest computer I’ve ever owned. I don’t know if it’s hardware related, software related, or some combination of the two. As I’m writing this, my audio won’t work. “Internal speakers” doesn’t show up at all as an available Output Device option. Fun! Last night when visiting my family I tried to play my mom an MP4 video from vacation. QuickTime wouldn’t play it. I downloaded VLC and it played just fine. I attended a workshop, and my computer simply wouldn’t start up (!). It just sat there with a black screen and showed no sign of life (they did away with the MagSafe power cord that has a little power charging indicator).

Bob Stoss:

My robovac recently pulled the MacBook off the table and broke the dongle off in the usb-c port. I miss Magsafe.

Update (2017-03-28): Steve Streeting (via Roustem Karimov):

I’m sure there are those who say the Touch Bar is useful but truth is, removing a key I use all the time and charging me hundreds of pounds extra for the ‘privilege’ of a mini Apple Watch to replace it feels like a “F*** You”.


Unfortunately in the last couple of weeks my 2013 MacBook Pro has started occasionally kernel panicking with a RAM failure, and the “T” key has phases where it decides to either not work, or randomly generate keystrokes. […] Given how robust Apple hardware used to feel, this sucks pretty hard. Almost nothing is fixable in these machines any more; both the RAM and the keyboard are incorporated into the logic board, making it uneconomical to repair. 😭


Ultimately though, I can’t afford to blow a vastly inflated sum of money on something that I don’t like much (MBP 2016), is out of date (iMac 2015), which will become unfixable after 3 years (having lost my previous faith in its longevity), and which is no longer fits my changing work environment best. It’s really sad, but I cannot ignore the logical argument any longer, even if emotionally I’d love to carry on with macOS.

Update (2017-04-03): Michael Lopp (via Marco Arment):

The Touch Bar buttons fail my definition in a couple of ways. I’m going to give it partial credit for the perceptible boundary because, yes, you can look at the bar and see the buttons. However, try the close your eyes test and turn up the volume on your MacBook Pro. How’s your brightness looking? Did Siri say hi?


In the history of keyboards, I have never been as inept as I’ve been with the Touch Bar keyboard. I’ve been finishing this piece for the last hour and I’ve been keeping track of the number of times I’ve accidentally hit a Touch Bar button, and that number is nine. The total number for this article is likely 5x the number.


After multiple weeks of usage, I can’t see how a developer or a writer would choose the Mac Book Pro.

Todd Ditchendorf:

Wish we could swap one of those “Thousand No’s” they used on the Mac Pro update for the Touch Bar.

Steven Troughton-Smith (via John Gruber):

Just out of interest, with @marcoarment in mind, does anybody actually like the Touch Bar of the new MacBook Pro?

Samantha Demi:

tbh i was on the fence about it until mine shut off in the middle of my work day; cannot say my function keys ever did that

Update (2017-04-05): M.G. Siegler:

I’ve had the machine for months at this point and I almost never use the Touch Bar for anything beyond what I would use the old function keys for — tweaking the brightness and volume, etc — and the default settings on the Touch Bar actually make that harder to do (though you can change them).

The customized Touch Bar bits are completely underwhelming. This is true both in first-party Apple apps like Safari and for third-party apps that did the work to integrate functionality. I almost never use any of these things.

Update (2017-04-06): Thom Holwerda (via Marco Arment):

Well, after the announcement of the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, orders for refurbished “old” MacBook Pros supposedly went through the roof, and after the initial batch of reviews came out, they shot up even higher. This response to the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar took Apple completely by surprise.


As Apple announced, we’ll be getting a new Mac Pro and an iMac Pro as a result. In addition, Apple is said to be exploring additional Retina MacBook Pro models without the Touch Bar[…]

Update (2017-04-12): Zac Hall (via Dan Masters, Hacker News):

Apple has fallen to fifth place in a Laptop Mag survey of the best and worst current laptop brands after previously taking the top spot for several years. Factors like premium price points and limited port options contribute to Apple’s overall drop in the results, although Apple’s quality tech support is a redeeming factor, the survey says.


While the survey considers Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models introduced last fall, it also channels common complaints that some had about the new machines.

Update (2017-04-20): Michael Anderson:

A fortnight with the MBP Touch Bar and I think I’m going to send it back. Touch Bar much worse than actual buttons for me.

Update (2017-04-23): See also: The Talk Show.

Update (2017-05-03): Jackson:

The lack of reliable Thunderbolt 3/USB-C docks means that I can’t use my 13” full time with only 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Update (2017-05-06): Joe Rossignol:

Kuo also mentioned a “15-inch MacBook” that would include 32GB of RAM and enter mass production in the early fourth quarter, which starts in September. He said the model would be “the most significantly redesigned product this year,” and he believes it will adopt desktop-class RAM to satisfy high-end users.

Update (2017-05-19): Marco Arment calls attention to the problem of unresponsive keys with the 2016 MacBook Pro and MacBook keyboards, and is echoed by Sylvain Rogelet, Jan Rychter, Francisco Franco, Tom Harvey, Dan Masters, Kyle, Joel Spolsky, Avinash Vora, Steven Peterson, Brian, John Poole, Matthew, Nigel Smith, JP Simard, Jason Snell, and Thomas Brand.

Update (2017-06-04): Rui Carmo:

I’ve been using the late 2016 MacBook Pro (13” Touch Bar) for around five months now, so I think it’s about time I gave it a review of sorts. I like to think of it as my mid-life-crisis laptop: it’s hideously expensive for what it does, comes with flashy, useless trimmings, and is more than a statement than practical because I can’t actually use it as my primary machine – and yet it is nice and oddly fulfilling.

Update (2017-07-27): Kent C. Dodds:

90% of the developers I know who have the new MBP really don’t like it. I just hope my 2015 edition lasts until @Apple gets it together.

Update (2017-09-01): Peter Steinberger:

Apple finally acknowledged the hardware bug after 3 months fighting and replaces logic boards 🤞

Update (2017-09-13): See also: Accidental Tech Podcast.

Update (2017-10-09): Marco Arment:

A year in, and I still hate every minute of using this MacBook Pro keyboard.

If you’re putting the same keyboard into all of your laptops, the right choice is the one nobody hates, not the polarizing, unreliable one.

Serenity Caldwell:

I liked the keyboard until something got stuck under my spacebar for two days and I was stuck slamming on it like a caveman to make it work.

Update (2017-10-27): Felix Schwarz:

Just stumbled over this Twitter Moment on the #MacBookPro 2016 - and it’s depressing.

Update (2017-10-30): Katie Floyd:

After about a year of use, I still find the larger size trackpad on the MacBook Pro not only necessary but annoying. I’ve discovered the increased size of the trackpad affords me no real benefit. Because the trackpad is so wide, I find my wrist and palms naturally rest on it which can make clicking and moving the cursor more cumbersome than on the smaller trackpad of the 13" Air. While I’ve adapted somewhat, I am still finding it less comfortable to use and more missed clicks as I contort my hand.


Over the course of the last several months, I’ve spent a few hundred dollars on various adapters and still find that I don’t have a single native USB-C device to use with my computer.


When I wrote my first impressions of the Touch Bar back in November of 2016, I called it “gimmicky.” A year later, while the Touch Bar has been more widely adopted by Apple and Third Party developers, I’m not regularly using it.

Update (2017-11-08): Jonathan Wight:

Just that USB-C cables have a strong tendency to fall out.

Update (2017-11-10): See also: Hacker News.

Update (2018-01-11): Shahid Kamal (Hacker News):

I write this with a heavy heart and a malfunctioning keyboard. This is a story about unrequited hardware love.

Update (2018-02-22): Marco Arment:

Long-standing headphone convention: if the wire only goes into one side, it’s the left earcup.

That’s why well-designed laptops put the headphone jack on the left side.

2016 MBPs moved it to the right for no apparent reason.

Update (2018-03-01): Maciej Cegłowski:

I’ve owned a MacBook Pro for about a year now and still have no idea what the Touch Bar is for, except to make it unnecessarily hard to change screen brightness and volume when it gets stuck.

Update (2018-06-02): Owen Williams (via Wojtek Pietrusiewicz):

I’ve spent a year explaining to people that while the current MacBook Pro is a design triumph, it’s a disaster of a product that you shouldn’t spend money you’re afraid to lose on — but it’s been difficult to articulate why, particularly when the sample set is small.

Instead, I’ve decided to maintain this post, which is an ever-growing collection of public complaints about the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro so I can just send it back in response to anyone who says they’re considering buying it.

Update (2018-06-09): Danny Guo (via Hacker News):

I’ve been using Macs for almost nine years. I got a 15” MacBook Pro the summer before my freshman year of college through my school’s computer store. I used it for six years before getting a 13” model in 2015. I’m considering getting a new one in the next year or two, but the latest MacBook Pros have become worse in many ways that are important to me.

Update (2018-07-11): See also: Joe Rogan (via James Atkinson).

Update (2020-07-29): Raphael Sebbe:

Apple’s silent mechanical design flaw (USB-C ports getting loose on all 2016 and 2017 MBP) is a problem with no workaround. Even more so as the only port on « pro-grade » computers.

354 Comments RSS · Twitter

I actually e-mailed Phil Schiller about the RAM, and he replied saying that to "put more than 16GB of fast RAM into a notebook design at this time would require a memory system that consumes much more power and wouldn’t be efficient enough for a notebook."

I generally agree that more RAM would be appropriate for a "Pro" machine: at least 32, if not 64 GB. Lenovo's P-series can reach 64GB with the P50. MacBook Pros have had a maximum of 16 GB for a few years now, and it's getting silly IMHO:


@David Yeah, I really don’t care about the power. My MacBook Pro is plugged in most of the time, and there are also external battery packs. (Sidenote: Since I use an external keyboard, the Touch Bar would be wasted.) I’ve been hitting limits (e.g. 10+ GB of swap and the dialog about running out of memory) with 16 GB for a few years now. If the next Mac lasts as long as this one, that would mean I’d still have 16 GB in 2020.

Thanks for summarizing my thoughts and concerns. I came to the table today ready to eat and I'm leaving hungry. Being on a 3-4 year cycle and willing to invest in my tools, I just can't spend "pro" money on a machine with 16GB of RAM with the expectation of it carrying me into 2020.

- Typed on my 2013 MBP -

"would require a memory system that consumes much more power and wouldn’t be efficient enough for a notebook..."

The unstated part of this: "... that is thinner and lighter than anyone really wanted it to be".

There wouldn't be a problem with more than 16GB if Apple would chill out on prioritizing thinness and lightness over everything else across the product line.

The only reduction that would even remotely interest me is to remove the screen and keyboard and create a mini-like device I could easily carry from place to place, plugging into a desktop keyboard and monitor. Because while the Apple trackpad is easily the best, the keyboard is far from it, and even the 15" screen is far too small when you get used to working at 2560x1440 or even higher. Today's announcement is nothing I am interested in - especially not a flat gimmicky area for apps to show me their special controls, that costs me a key that should always be available, ESC. 16GB RAM is ridiculous and the power consumption argument does not ring true. I'll be building an i7 desktop in the next month or so, probably still installing OS X - too bad Apple won't sell me a machine up to 2016 standards or they would get my money, but I have waited too long for this update to compromise as far as they demand.

As for not being able to plug this year's iPhone into this year's MacBook Pro without buying an extra dongle, that's just insulting. Look out for purpose-built MacBook Pro bags with space for the sixteen dongles you'll need to carry at all times...

Aside from not mentioning desktop Macs (where I spend most of my time due to ergonomic needs), two major things bothered me about the updated MBPs:

1) Apple is keeping the 2015 base models around, but at the same price as they were before. At least when older iPhone models are kept around, the price drops year-over-year.

2) The carried-over $1299 13" MBP has a 2.7GHz Broadwell chip. To get a Skylake MBP with a similar CPU spec (2.9GHz), you now have to pay $1799... since the $1499 MBP is now only 2.0GHz. Put another way, the CPU for the $1499 MBP has gone down from 2.7GHz to 2.0 GHz year-over-year.

I just noticed that the Mac Pro link goes to a tweet by someone using a Hackintosh. I ran a Hackintosh from 2012-2015. It was by far the most enjoyable macOS experience I've had: more stable than any of the real Macs I've had. Even though it was a desktop tower, the system was quieter than my Mac mini.

I ended up replacing it with a used 2010 Mac Pro once El Capitan was released because installing the OS required new utilities that weren't code-signed like the old utilities were. Since I intend to make software for others, I thought it was appropriate to make my build system as 'clean' as possible by getting a real Mac and not relying on unsigned utilities to install the OS. I'm not sure if the situation has changed with Sierra, but I thought it was something worth mentioning for developers who might consider a Hackintosh.

And just for comparison, I have the sides of my Mac Pro wrapped in blankets and pillows to attenuate the noise... and it's still not as quiet as my Hackintosh was. Even still, it's the last Mac Apple made which makes sense for how I use a computer.

First thing I did after the keynote was download Elementary OS and install it on my old Toshiba C720 chromebook to get a feel for how far it's come in the past year. On this decrepit hardware, it flies.

I'm now looking for a XHIDPI laptop what can run Linux and that isn't an eyesore (I already have a Lenovo X1 from work, but thoroughly dislike it), but on the short term (I.e., Christmas) will be deciding whether to build a Hackintosh or just buy a decent, quiet desktop PC that can drive dual 4K and run Elementary on it as well.

It's going to be painful to wean myself off the fifteen years of miscellaneous software licenses I have for brilliant third-party software, but my focus these days is on cloud arch and systems development plus the occasional web/mobile app, and for that I only need vim (yeah, I'm one of those guys), a browser, and the occasional dip into an IDE (which I can always run inside a VM).

Yeah, it's going to be rough, and frustrating, and I see myself having to put up with Android too eventually. But at least I won't have to put up with my six-year-old Mac mini anymore, be able to upgrade without waiting years, and have an acceptable cost/performance ratio.

Full disclosure: I've been a Microsoft employee for a year now. I am not, however, interested in running Windows at home because my personal commitment to computing is to do it on UNIX (if only because I need to take in a different viewpoint and keep work separate from my own projects). Apple is making it hard to do so on decent hardware.

Apple once said, "customers want what we don't have".

It was about the iPhone, you can now apply this to the Mac.

Touch Bar is ergonomic catastrophe. Tiny flat screen hidden behind the keys -- at the event all the people demonstrating Touch Bar had to stand, lean over keyboard and crouch in order to use it. Doing that while sitting and doing some serious work is usability nightmare.

@Michael: E-mail Phil Schiller and the other suits at Apple; make a commotion. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

@Roy "Put another way, the CPU for the $1499 MBP has gone down from 2.7GHz to 2.0 GHz year-over-year."

That's really on the money. This is not a truck, to borrow from Jobs. Or, if this is a truck, Apple built the wrong one.

The 2016 MacBook Pros are more Chevy SSR than Ford F-150.

I’ve been a Mac user for over 25 years and I’ve always felt that the over-negative knee jerk reaction after announcements are from people who don’t know what they’re talking about, the don’t understand Apple nor their customers. (Sometimes they didn’t even understand or accept basic physical laws of reality, like when some people argued that Apple just had to put a G5 in the PowerBook.)

But this time, I’m disappointed too. It’s been a growing feeling ever since the started to weld RAM and SSD, ending a long-time tradition of upgrading Mac laptops to give them new life. It used to be the case that if you didn’t have the money to buy the maxed-out version of a new laptop you could at least buy the budget version and upgrade yourself when prices had fallen enough.

It so frustrating that you either have to pay those ridiculous upgrade prices up front or buy the budget version and suffer from it, for the entire lifetime of the product. Some of use just can’t afford the upgrades, and after yesterdays announcement with the price hike, hardly afford a MacBook Pro at all.

It’s a bit of a stretch, but the new MacBook Pro is almost like a fancier version of the MacBook, rather than a functional tool for the professional user.

(And don’t even get me started on what happened to the by far best software Apple has ever made aside for the OS, that was in limbo for years and then discontinued… no, Photos is not a good replacement.)

It's funny how Apple loves its iOS line but forgets what builds the apps that run on it. Most iOS apps are built on Macs. They are effectively limiting iOS developer efficiency by not producing professional grade Macs. I can't believe 16GB is still the max on the new MBPs. Keep them a little thicker and allow up to 64GB along with a much faster i7 and a keyboard with proper key travel. Perhaps the rumor of a tech bump to the desktop Macs happening at the end of November is true but if it does happen, it will probably be just as disappointing.

"Even Cook questioned why anyone would buy a personal computer instead of an iPad Pro, saying in an interview last year, “Why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?” Cook didn’t answer our question about that."

Look, the man understands supply chains. He's good at supply chains. You want him to understand everything?

(Also, where's the gratitude for not ditching the screen and keyboard. Give thanks for the little details.)


More seriously, the part I find fascinating are the professional non-tech writers and reporters who just can't stop lambasting this whole thing. The exact same kind of folks who disparaged Microsoft 10 to 15 years ago are disparaging Apple today. I dunno if Apple cares, but, maybe they should?

They killed the Pro-line. Pro is only a marketing differentiator for the bigger MacBooks. All slim tiny light no connectors and basic features (16 and 256). Upgrade prices are way to high. But the pro models should start with at least 512. Seems they are 2 years late spec wise like with the 32 iPhones.

Developers attending Lab sessions at WWDC 2017 and 2018 should try to take a non-Apple Hackbook running OS X to the session.

Maybe that would get their attention.

[…] announced. It’s still going strong and one of my favorite Macs ever. Nothing that Apple makes today has close to that combination of price, power, ports, and […]

This computer actually nails what I wanted pretty well. I'm a developer who works in coffee shops a lot, and I appreciate the battery life, the weight, and especially the brighter screen. I think people really underestimate the value of a good screen for working. With a better screen, text can be smaller AND more readable. Also, I think the touch bar will be very convenient because I don't really use the function keys much. Have access to common functions within finger reach is handy. Another benefit is the faster SSD storage. This makes a difference in app responsiveness and helps to lessen the effect of less RAM. Even the loss of magsafe is compensated for by being able to plug in on either side.

I am mystified that they didn't include a lightning port instead of the headphone jack. It's really odd that my new iPhone 7 headphones won't plug into my new MBP, especially after the talk of courage and all.

The more I think about it, Apple should Open Source macOS. Too many developers have taken the path of building a Hackintosh, anyway, so let's admit this is the new reality if you want a real Mac desktop system.

When Apple announced the iPad Pro, Tim Cook called it a ”desktop-class“ device more than a couple times. It’s clear now that is the future of the Mac in their eyes, but to the rest of us, an iPad Pro just isn't capable enough to do all of thing things that the majority of us Mac users need to do.

Actions need to agree with words. If you stand up and say how much the Mac is part of your soul but your actions so far declare that the Mac is just a iPad with an attached keyboard, your actions and words are inconsistent.

I was poised to consider a new Mac but instead it looks like I'll go for a Dell with Ubuntu and Enlightenment. I blogged a while back about a roomful of devs at a conference all using Macs where once they would have been PCs; now it seems we may be on the way back.

Cognitive load imposed by the new Apple laptops line-up is enormous. Having to navigate through high prices, dongle planning, keyboard setups differences, and outdated guts on basic models is very anti usual Apple's philosophy. Additionally, there's a suspicion that the only right moment to buy is now, since specs will not be updated for a long time.

For people with multimedia servers based on Mac minis due for an upgrade, there are even more headaches. Why not just s***** it, and go Microsoft, then.

The future of macOS on laptops is to figure out the most compatible hardware to do a Hackintosh.

I can always count on you to find the whiniest posts online about any Apple story. Thanks.

There's always hackintosh

Benjamin Kang

It seems like Apple trying to mass-produce "innovation" by following a checklist with the mandatory thinner, lighter, and new experience checkboxes.
This may work for consumer grade devices like iPhone's and iPads, but I don't think it is the right way for the MacBook Pro.

What pro users want is a adequately portable powerhouse laptop that can transform into a full-fledged, high-compute workstation when plugged in to power.

The existing MacBook Pros are already portable enough, so why not just:
- Make quad core i7's available to even the 13" form factor
- Make the latest Nvidia mobile GPUs available to even the 13" form factor.
- Make 32Gb and 64Gb of RAM an option

For the issue of battery life, they can use some aggressive undervolting and underclocking when not plugged into power.

I am truly appalled that even the best 13" MacBook Pro processor option, which is a dual core i7,
is just 37% faster than the dual core i7 in my 2012 11" MacBook Air.
Even with such a meagre increase, the MacBook Pro will cost nearly 4k, while the MacBook Air was around 2k.

Bjørn Remseth

Steve Jobs needs to be resurrected, or at the very least summoned to a design workshop in the near future. Corporate necromancers should send their resumes to Mr. Cook.

Apple would do well to remember to see what the "alpha geeks" are doing and saying. Tim O'Reilly spoke at the 2002 WWDC conference on the topic:


Seems that they're saying not good things about the Mac ecosystem. Perhaps Apple has lost focus on it, which would not be surprising given where its revenues now come from.

The computer you want: It's called the Mac Pro, the cylinder-shaped super-Mac? Yeah, that was released a decade ago with exactly for what you said you're looking. Not only that, they even updated it to the super-cool super-silent version in 2013-- a great design that is easy on the ears as well as easy on the eyes. You can literally program the next Pixar movie on it.

People who want what you're waxing-about, don't sit on the couch with a laptop. So you wasted your own time writing this, you just need a friend who understands tech to help you understand WTF is going on.

Larry Tate wrote: "You can literally program the next Pixar movie on it."

Pixar wants more modern, up-to-date hardware, not Mac Pros that were only fast three years ago.

The Mac Pro of a decade ago doesn't stand up very well compared to today's desktop PCs.

Wanting to replace my 2008 MacBook Pro for the past year, Friday I bought a new 2015 MacBook Pro from B&H Photo. Thanks Apple.

"Even Cook questioned why anyone would buy a personal computer instead of an iPad Pro, saying in an interview last year, “Why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?” There you go. Tim Cook doesn't think we should buy laptops anymore. Since he's having a hard time convincing us, he's making them so bad we won't buy them. He's such a genius, seriously.

OK, if he really believes the bulls**t about nobody needed a PC any more, take away the laptops of all Apple employees in Cupertino and force them to only use iPad Pros. After one week the company would be ready to collapse. No production of graphics, web coding, no Objective C written, or Swift, no hardware designs. Does Tim Cook think his guys can build and manage iTunes, Apple Music, iCloud etc. from an iPad, really?

Apple should release a licensed version of MacOS to OEMs for machines with 'n' cores or more. That way we can all enjoy the OS without having to build hackintoshes

"Even Cook questioned why anyone would buy a personal computer instead of an iPad Pro, saying in an interview last year, “Why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?” Cook didn’t answer our question about that."

I think he just did.

"Oh, that's why you want to buy a PC! I can fix that."

"Steve Jobs needs to be resurrected, or at the very least summoned to a design workshop in the near future. Corporate necromancers should send their resumes to Mr. Cook."

Be careful at what stage you resurrect Steve-o. Even before his death, in the last several years of his illness, his judgment seemed to become more and more unreliable. The top example of this is naming Tim Cook to be his successor. After all, who was Tim Cook? A supply chain genius who most definitely wasn't a product guy.

As the famous Steve-o quote goes:

"I have my own theory about why the decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The product starts valuing the great salesmen, because they're the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the salespeople end up running the company."

We just need to change that quote to replace "salesmen" to "supply chain guys", and we can see the later stage ill Steve-o disregarding his own correct insights.

So, resurrect the mid-90's to mid-00's Steve, and not the one who had lost the thread due to illness. Then, not only could he re-prioritize, but he could also name a product guy as his successor...

I work in the EDA industry, designing computer chips. Most of the real work is done with tools that run in Linux. That means I spend a lot of time running a Linux VM or connecting to a remote Linux server, often full screen. I actually use the function keys, and use the fn key for when I want brightness or volume control. I can touch type the function keys and the Escape key, which should properly be directly in the upper left corner. So I would actively prefer real function keys over the Touch Bar.

When running a VM, it is useful to have lots of memory, lots of hard drive space, and a beefy CPU. None of the MacBook Pros support 32GB of memory, purportedly because Apple felt that thinness and battery life was a higher priority. Only the low-end MacBook Pro comes with the real function keys.

I use an external clicky keyboard when I can. I would prefer a thicker laptop with a keyboard with lots of key travel and responsiveness over the new thin design.

When I'm not doing work on the machine, I like to process the photos from my DLSR camera with an SD card. I have headphones on most of the time; if I had to choose between a laptop with a headphone port or a SDXC slot I would choose the latter.

I'm looking to replace a 4.5 pound 23" MacBook Pro from 2009 (heavier than normal because I replaced the DVD drive with an extra hard drive for more space). If I had to choose today it would be the 2015 form-factor Retina 13” for the SDXC slot, better keyboard, real function keys, and faster CPU. Sadly, that is the machine Apple appears to be trying to phase out.

Based on this feedback, I can't wait to see the "Hitler Responds to the new MacBook Pros!" video! 😀

Apple has just launched Windows Vista!

Thanks for this great roundup. I want to push back on an assumption made often in this context, and made in several of the blurbs above, that there are two types of computer users: serious professionals (who need tons of memory, expandability, etc.) and coffee shop weenies (who need nothing, but like pretty logos). Maybe this was true of the Mac user base 15 years ago, but it is not true of the broader PC user base, and no longer true of the Mac subset of that user base. In fact, there are many many "professionals" who use their computers as critical tools for important work, and who do place serious demands on those computers, but do not require leading edge processing power and will never install an aftermarket component. These are lawyers, doctors, sales people, managers, journalists, small business owners, and the rest of the white collar world who are neither engineers or creatives. These people require portability, reliability, access to enterprise applications, and other considerations. And I would wager they are the largest segment of the Mac user base.

The new (as of last year) MacBook is a brilliant computer for these people (I am one, I own a MacBook, it is perfect) as the Air was in its time. Many in the tech crowd grossly misunderstands this market, as witnessed by the screaming about the lack of ports. These customers don't care about ports, believe me.

All that said, I am in complete agreement with the criticisms of the new MacBook Pro, because it seem like an overpowered version of the MacBook for the same audience that the MacBook already serves. As a shareholder and long time fan of Apple, I am pretty disappointed, because I think there are important business reasons to continue to serve the engineering and design markets, and I think the refusal to address that market with an updated Mac Pro, updated pro apps, etc, is misguided. But the criticism that Apple is selling "toys" for "children" is at least as misguided.

Kendall Gelner

I see what people are saying but I think a lot of the dislike is misplaced. People are just quicker and quicker with negative hot takes on everything year after year...

For one thing even the GPU link you posted is wrong. People are comparing an older GPU design against what Apple is actually shipping, the specs of which are unknown.

The only thing I'm a bit unhappy about is the 16GB memory limitation, but even there did everyone suddenly forget that Mavericks introduced memory compression?

I have a late 2013 MacBook Pro, and frankly I am looking forward to the update (I usually update every three years or so). I think everyone should calm down and do takes based on what is shipping, not what people THINK is shipping (just look at hoe much misinformation around the ESC key has spread). Maybe some of that is on Apple for not being crystal clear on how things would work, but a lot of it rests on the Hot Take culture of today...

Sadly, I noticed Apple's missed vision when they released the last Mac Mini. I so wanted this to be mid range powerhouse something quad-core with an i7, but it didn't come close to that. Then what seemed so odd, so off track was when the ram was soldered to the motherboard. This was absurd to me. Never in the history of my Mac life did a desktop have this. It was the first nail in the coffin. At that point I knew something wasn't right and so far it appears that the poweruser is being squeezed out of the equation, and we were those who cared most about Apple.

I'm left wondering "How much can you polish a diamond before it turns into dust?"

For a press conference that was supposed to be all about the Mac, why did Apple completely ignore the Mac's we need? Mac Pro, iMac, Mac Mini. We are waiting to buy all three. We do not need or want laptops. We need desktop power.

@Kendall Yes, everyone who has been running into memory limitations for the last few years has been doing so in spite of memory compression.

I really like the new MacBook Pros and I've been using my 2012 rMBP professionally every day since I got it. Doing 2D and 3D graphics, development, and video editing.

I don't need more CPU speed and I don't need more GPU power. I want a machine that's easier to carry and has far better battery life — and is at least as fast as my current one. (Also the wide-gamut display, it was the only thing tempting me towards the iMac 5K.) I drain my newly replaced MBP battery in ~1.5 hours of work, I hope this new one will give me at least 4 hours of work before I have to find power.

I don't get the hate for these machines.

I've used my 2012 MBP professionally every day since I got it. For Xcode, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Affinity Designer, and so on. It's more than fast enough to build the projects I need to build, and it does it in a form factor that I can carry around. I've built several products start-to-finish on this machine and they've been creative, fun, and have generated serious income. Speed has not been an issue.

The new machine is attractive because it might let me work longer (I drain my newly-replace-battery 2012 MBP in 1.5 hours of taxing work), with a lighter thing to carry around, and a better (wide gamut) screen. Seems like a great upgrade.

After 20 years of using a Mac my new computer of this year is a Hackintosh. It made me appreciate the incredible engineering effort that goes into a Mac. But I didn't want to spent 4000$ on 3 year old hardware for a MacPro.

I'm very disappointed as well, but I absolutely hate windows. Looks like a few weekends building a couple of hackintoshes for me.

David Puranen

Back in 2011 I was able to get the best 13 inch MacBook Pro with an i7 for $1600 Canadian. Today getting a MacBook Pro with an i7 (that won't have to clock itself down quickly) with 16 gigs of RAM will cost me over $3000. That's kind of insane.

I really hope that Apple can quickly begin moving their laptops over to their own ARM chips. I imagine they'll still price them insanely high, Tim Cook seems really focused on making people think their products are good because they're expensive, not just because they're good. (The state of their Pro, now prosumer software makes that clear.)

I honestly am at a loss for why Apple is doing things the way they are. The MacBook should already be on the A10 Fusion Developers should already be tweaking their code for the new instruction set. I imagine Apple could shave off a thousand dollars from the cost of the current MacBooks and still maintain awesome margins by using their A series chips. I've already moved away from Adobe and towards Affinity's products for most of my graphic work. I'd readily buy a MacBook that was thin, light and had a good sized SSD that still allowed for things like torrenting. Intel's chips are at a stand still, and Apple seriously needs to get the ball moving on their own chips for their Macs. (They also need to either drop the pro name or start putting in options that pros actually care about.)

The MacBook announcements, the emphasis on the "no touchscreen" and Jony Ive cult of design over function (thinner and thinner) all have the feel of a corporate cargo cult in lieu of innovation and vision.
My two cents on Why Tim Cook is Steve Ballmer and Why He Still Has His Job at Apple

[…] heavy graphics, virtual reality, or 3D work” that in the past Macs were famous for. Actually, many leading Mac observers have written similar things since the last week’s release of the new Touch Bar MacBook Pros, […]

The touchbar is to the MBP, what the ribbon was to Microsoft Office.


After 10 years of touch, the users have changed. If Apple were still starting at the user and designing outward, then the Mac hardware should have dramatically changed too. But instead the 2017 lineup is just the 2007 lineup with speed bumps and all the components glued down. The 2017 MacBook Pro just teleported in from an alternate universe with no iPads and iPhones.

Making MacBook Pro thinner never helped me because it is a portable desktop. I have to plug in a giant graphics tablet just to begin to work. What I need is a MacPad that would enable me to drop the notebook entirely — 100% thinner! — and just carry the MacPad instead of the graphics tablet. Yes, iPad Pro is great, but it only runs half my tools, and not the half that I specifically get paid to use, with a pen, for 20 years now. The biggest trend in pro graphics is not iPad Pro — it is that your Wacom tablet now comes with a Windows PC in it so you just login to Creative Cloud and start working without a notebook or desktop hanging off the tablet like a dongle.

For me, the Mac lineup should look more like this:

- MacBook — world’s thinnest and lightest PC notebook (for writers, business people, others)
- MacBook Pro — world’s most powerful and configurable PC notebook (for coders, scientists, others)
- MacPad — world’s best PC tablet with Apple Pencil (for creative pros)
- iMac — the world’s best PC display, works standalone via multitouch, or add optional keyboard, mouse, trackpad, Apple Pencil, or all of the above (for everyone)
- Mac Pro — a desktop dock that plugs into any Mac via Thunderbolt to exponentially increase your available CPU and GPU at the cost of being stuck on AC power (for super high-performance users)

I would literally go tomorrow and buy a MacPad and an iMac if the above were the lineup, but as it is, my hot-rodded Classic MacBook Pro with gigantic SSD cannot be beat by any Mac at Apple Store right now.

[…] Excerpted from Michael Tsai’s master list of grievances… […]

I was saying that Apple lost it's way with it's users when they released an iPhone sans audio jack. Nobody every thought of removing that before Apple did it. Now 1/2 or more of their user base is at a disadvantage. A true premium device should not have "work arounds", and both the iPhone and now the new Macbooks have work arounds that make using them less of a thrill and more of a chore.

[…] New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac […]

[…] Tsai também questionou a potência do notebook em seu blog, e sugere que talvez a Apple não veja mais desenvolvedores e pessoas ligadas às áreas de […]

Cannibal King

“Why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?” - Tim Cook

Now it is looking like...

"Why would you buy a Mac anymore. No really, why would you buy one?" - Those that were buying Macs

Besides being underpowered, the most annoying feature of the new macbook pros is that now there's an extra step to adjust the volume. Arghhh!

I transport a Mid 2011 21” iMac w/24GB RAM because it is luggable and capable: no replacement in sight.

[…] a long list of transgressions, the lack of the familiar startup chime in the new MacBook Pros barely registers on my priorities. […]

Kendall Gelner

The other point of note here is that people are saying the macs are not systems meant for creative professionals, but the new MacBook Pros are in fact perfect for one group of professionals - photographers. Everything about them is perfect for a photographer on the go - wider gamut and brighter screen, lighter body, longer battery life.

Come to think of it, what filed of "creative professionals" are these really not good for? The only group of people I see who could really use increased specs over what is offered are programmers - and indeed they seem to be the ones whining most vociferously. But even there, I am a full-time developer and I see this as a a decent update - I would have liked more RAM but 16GB has been fine for the last three years for the most part, and going forward I'm pretty sure I will appreciate the battery life more than I will miss extra RAM.


"Everything about them is perfect for a photographer"

So photographers don't use SD cards anymore? And their cameras all have USB Type C cables? I don't think so.

[…] O meglio, sembra che non abbia capito quale può essere il pubblico di questi nuovi MacBook Pro. In moltissimi si stanno lamentando delle nuove macchine, per motivi diversi: Dj, fotografi, sviluppatori e creativi, che dovranno […]

This level of backlash is completely baffling to me. As a longtime IT professional (system admin and developer), I’ve been extremely happy with the performance and reliability of my Macs (Mac Pro (2013 cylinder), 15” MBP (mid-2012)). I’m due for replacements for both, so I’m a little disappointed that there isn’t a newer option for the Mac Pro yet. But the new MBP seems like it will be a great upgrade for me. The 16 GB memory limit on the current MBP hasn’t been an issue, even with large Xcode projects, large databases, or the admittedly-too-many web pages that I like to keep open in Safari. And how much faster is the Skylake i7 going to be over the Ivy Bridge i7 that I have now, even at the same 2.7 GHz clock speed?

From what I’ve seen, the Touch Bar is going to be great. Custom interface elements for different apps? Yes, please. Escape and traditional F keys are going to be mapped there when it makes sense, so worrying that those have somehow been “taken away” is silly. You could argue that you really prefer the physical keys, but that’s more of a personal preference, ranked right up there with the clickety-clack of traditional, full-travel keyboard keys. I use escape in Terminal (sys admin -> vi), and some other F keys when I happen to run a Windows VM, but I’ll bet they’ll still be there in Terminal and Fusion when I need them.

The big takeaway right now is that most people haven’t even seen or tried the new models yet, nor have they seen what app developers are going to do with the Touch Bar in their apps. I think I want to wait and see before calling for a “nuke and pave” on the whole Mac line.

Terrible! I've been working with Mac for more than 25 years.
This is not a PC. This is NOT for professionals.
Impossible even to think buying one, regardless of the price, which anyway is to high
for such a toy.

As a longtime Mac user (since a 1991 LC II) who is NOT a video editor, programmer, graphic artist, etc even I am super disappointed by the new MacBook "Pro". I'm typing this on the last Mac I bought, a mid-2009 15" MBP 2.53 Ghz. If I recall correctly, this configuration was the 2nd best speed offered at the time and I paid $1700 for it shortly after the 2010 models were released. Now even the lowest config of the 15" MBP is $2400 yet it comes with LESS, except for the Retina screen. No optical drive. No Ethernet. No SD Card reader. No regular USB. No FireWire. No video out. No matte screen option. I've used the Ethernet, SD reader, USB, and FireWire all in the past couple weeks and I'm not even a "Pro" user. I'll admit FireWire is old and I rarely use CD/DVD anymore, but Ethernet, USB, and SD are all still valid ports that many many people use frequently at home and at work.

Thankfully this machine still runs great, especially after I replaced the hard drive with an SSD 4 years ago. I'd like to upgrade it, but not to a machine that is more expensive (aren't technological things supposed to get cheaper or at least stay the same price over time?) and would require that I either invest in a lot of dongles or dump all the other devices that I use like my backup FireWire drives. What would it cost for Apple to keep some of these ports? $15 per MBP? Maybe make it 1 mm thicker?

Could you imagine the CPU - RAM - Battery powerhouse MBP they could build now in 2016 if they kept the dimensions of a 2009 MBP? I've never once thought "this machine is too big / heavy, I wish I didn't buy it". I bought it because it had everything I needed and the price was right.

Now my only choice is to buy something that doesn't have what I need, plus a glossy screen that reflects everything, and a mushy keyboard, with a thinness factor that doesn't matter to me at all, for $2400 + $$$ dongles at the low end. That's getting close to 1990s Mac pricing.

Yeah, no thanks. I'm keeping this 7 year old MBP until it dies, and Apple can keep wondering why their Mac sales are in a slump. They used to innovate Macs year after year. Now we're lucky just to get minor speed bumps every year on some of the Mac line. There was a time when every year or two I would think I would "need" a new Mac because the innovation and speed upgrades and everything else was so strong compared to previous models. Now Mac has become so stagnant it's sad (?) to realize that I'm trucking along just fine on a 7 year old machine with no real desire to upgrade.

[…] causing a significant uproar in the tech community. Michael Tsai sums it up pretty comprehensively here so I won’t go into detail, but I did want to put out one use-case that I couldn’t sum […]

[…] a recent article on his blog titled New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac, Michael Tsai has rounded up what some underwhelmed Mac users are saying about the 2016 MacBook […]

@steve blank That's a good take that pretty much mirrors mine.

The irony is that Steve Jobs was very aware of this problem, as you can from his famous quote I posted upthread.

This post started out quite interesting but further down I found quotes from a couple of posts that I read already. And the quote would always be the part that expressed the most disdain for the MBP and Apples direction, even if the quoted article as a whole had a different tone.

That makes me question why this should be the go to article for "the state of the Mac". Clearly you are not satisfied with the new MBP and that is understandable, but you often seem to cut and paste to make your point rather than to represent the different takes some authors offer.

Obviously I will have to read more of your sources, though this post itself have probably shaped a not insignificant part of the later discussion.

As an Apple ][ and ][+ user who has had many Macs since the 128k Mac, I too am disappointed by these "updates."

Our 2011 17" MBP is working fine. It is now upgraded with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. Our 2012 Mac Mini has 16GB RAM, and (now) a 1TB SSD.

Pre-announcement, we were seriously considering replacing the 17" and the 2012 Mac Mini (16GB RAM too) with new 2016 Skylake MBPs. We were going to get a large new thunderbolt 4K or 5K monitor (to replace the 2004 30 inch Cinema Display). Not any more. The new machines may be marginally faster, but don't offer more RAM. We keep the computers for 6-8 years since we take good care of them and they usually are quite reliable (shoot, we have a Powerbook 520c that still boots fine, as does the "Fat Mac"). A few features such as handoff or continuity might be nice to have, but aren't must-have features.

The problems with the 2016 MacBook Pros, IMHO:
1. Soldered RAM.
2. RAM limited to 16GB (same as my 2011 MBP!) - the 2010 MBP could handle 16GB. So 6+ years later, the MacBook *PRO* is still limited to 16GB?
3. No 17" model....(ever again?)

Who cares about thinness? Who cares about a lower battery life? Sure they are nice, but they have to remain functional and have to be improvements over a 6.5 year old model. Most of these pro models are plugged in a lot or can be replaced by a different model if battery life is key.

So, what is the plan now?
Probably pull the 512GB SSD on the 17" and replace it with a 4TB SSD (e.g. Samsung 850 EVO) sometime in the next 6 months. Consider updating the bluetooth card in the 17".
Keep the Mac Mini as is.

Then, see in 2017 or 2018 what is available from Apple. If Apple again becomes Pro user focused on the MacBook PRO, hopefully the issues will be addressed. Or the with a Mini update. Or a long-verde Mac Pro update. By all means go for thinness on the Airs or MBs. Keep the Pros Pro and the others whatever.

The thing I take from all this is that people think that Apple miss Steve jobs because he was a mastery visionary.
Yes he was good at that, but I think the most important part of Jobs was that he was master salesman!
And that's what's missing here. Someone on stage to explain to people why they need this product, why your fears are unfounded, and why you can trust in Apples judgement that what they make is what you want now, and for the future.

Jobs managed to do that time and time again with several controversial products. Some of which were quietly discontinued later on, but when he wasn't on stage you believed in the dream. Even when sometimes, you knew it was bullshit (underpowered Power PC's based macs that couldn't compete with windows machines a third of the price etc.)

Apple lack a charismatic salesman to drive these products home. It's the missing link. For example all the noise is about the dongles for the 4 USB c ports but on stage no one really made that a feature. No one really showed you WHY this was good. No real examples of the power of this setup. They just through it out there and hooked up some ugly monitors to it. No real showmen ship from Apple. That's why their having problems in the mac community.


> Come to think of it, what filed of "creative professionals" are these really not good for?

I work in graphics/animation and in music/audio.

In graphics, the essential hardware feature of this decade is built-in pen support like Surface Pro and iPad Pro but not MacBook Pro. Built-in pen means you can work away from a desk, because external pen means two devices on a desk. External pen means you have to have AC power. External pen requires USB-A and DVI ports, which this MacBook Pro also doesn’t have. My backups are on a USB-A 3.0 4TB hard disk that cannot connect to this MacBook Pro.

In music, you want FireWire because that is the most popular pro digital audio connector in music studios. Not on this MacBook Pro. Second choice is USB-A which is also missing. Third choice is Thunderbolt 2, which is also not there. You also want a USB-A for MIDI and that is not there. None of these can be replaced by wireless because wireless has latency that is too slow for the musical part of the human brain. In music, you also want a multitouch screen today because music is all about multiple actions happening simultaneously at precise moments. It is not about one action happening whenever the mouse happens to get over to it. This MacBook Pro is almost the only device in its class with no touch. No touch means even more wired MIDI devices like mixer controllers or DJ controllers, all coming in USB-A. That is a bunch of expensive and Kruger stuff on a desk instead of just touching the screen.

Now, even if all the adapter dongles I would need actually exist, and even if I have unlimited budget and patience and don’t mind all these dongles, I HAVE ALREADY RUN OUT OF PORTS. I had to use three of the four just to workaround the lack of touch and pen. The fourth is switching between my backup disk and my iPad, which has huge storage and often I have to transfer huge files over a wire to get them there with any kind of efficiency.

And notice that I got nothing out of Thunderbolt. I am just putting 4 dongles on there to turn them into DVI and USB-A. All that money, new Mac, dongles, cables, figuring out how to hook stuff up — I get NOTHING for that. My work is not faster or better or easier or cheaper.

So for me, I don’t see an application of this MacBook Pro — or any current Mac — to my creative work. It is actually easier and cheaper to just wholesale switch to a PC that has built-in pen, touch, and 4–5 standard ports that just plugin to the gear I encounter in the many studios where I work.

In 2016 Apple killed: The headphone jack, Glowing Apple logo on laptop, Chime startup song, MagSafe, USB1/2/3, Thunderbold1/2, HDMI, MiniDisplay, ESC Key, Functions Keys, SD Card reader. Thanks Apple. Now I for the 1st time I'm considering a PC/Hackingtosh and an Android Phone. Shame on Cook, Ive and Federighi, I blame them.

[…] If Apple had introduced a new MacBook Air last week, the company wouldn’t be facing down a mob of angry creative professionals. It might not have Apple software developers questioning whether the company has lost its way. […]

Kendall Gelner

@Sumit REAL photographers scoff at a single SD slot anyway, most even semi-serious photographers buy multi-slot units that are faster than the built in SD reader... consumers are just downloading photos wirelessly anymore so they will not miss it. Not one photographer I know connects the camera to a computer via cable unless they are tethering - which will still work via a simple adaptor cable, and does not need an SD card. Even though I shoot mostly on SD (and there are still other card formats being used and in use from before SD), I mostly use an external card reader because it's faster to transfer files.

@Hamranhansenhansen: You are missing the point of the USB-C - any ONE of the ports can be Firewire + Thunderbolt 2 + USB + HDMI + Audio + laptop charging and other things - all at the same time. That is why they have such a fast transfer rate, so they can do many things over the same for USB-C breakout box. You can even attach external video cards for increased GPU power! The 15" has four full-speed ports so that means you can choose the mixture of direct cables vs. hubs that works for you. The Hubs BTW will not need separate power like good USB hubs all did, because the USB-C spec allows for lots of power to be transmitted (which is why you can charge the whole laptop over any of the ports also).

What I see out of the complaints is mostly people either stuck in the past or really not understanding technically what Apple is shipping.

"What I see out of the complaints is mostly people either stuck in the past or really not understanding technically what Apple is shipping."

What I see is that Kendall Gelner doesn't have the slightest clue of the concept of different use-case-scenarios. What I see is that Kendall thinks equipment that best suits Kendall is best suited for all. Kendall wants a MacBook Air, is thus quite pleased with the new MBP, and thinks anyone with different priorities than Kendall is an idiot.

Not having the slightest clue of what other users might want, and dismissing them as idiots based on that ignorance, is a pretty nescient position to hold.

(But at least Kendall's websites all 404, so we know he's technically proficient.)

[…] upgrade for a product line that had gone four years without a significant redesign, but the move to smaller, thinner, sleeker has sacrificed customizability, repairability, and […]

[…] this may be welcome news to some Mac devotees who were disappointed with what Apple announced — and didn’t announce — last […]

At the core of the dissatisfaction expressed here, and all over the web in both tech and non-tech circles, is that the new MBP is a quite fine MacBook Air. But...

...but it has come with the discontinuation of the MacBook Pro line. That is the missed headline here.

One size fits all. Your complaints? Just don't hold it that way.


Or to put it in old terms, as modified by present management: not everyone needs a truck. But anyone who does needs a truck can make do with a very light SUV.

Was looking forward to upgrading my mid-2012 15" MPBr, but I guess I'll be getting a Dell XPS 15" this time around. Maybe I'll make it into a Hackintosh, because I much prefer OS X (I still call it this instead of bowing to the iOS-like moniker) over Windows 10.

No 32GB option, expensive storage, no MagSafe and no SD slot are killers for me, along with USB-C for all zero devices I own that use it. I'm a photographer and apparently I don't use my machine like Apple or some others think -- I transfer using an SD slot **because when I'm remote the last thing I want to carry around are MORE adapters and readers and cables and dongles.**. I have enough lenses, cameras, batteries, and filters already to carry around.

Incredibly disappointing. Unfortunate, too, because I really like the idea of the Touchbar and improved screen (though Dell's is higher yeah).

Apple used to be a company that built sublimely elegant tools. Now, they're a fashion company that makes overpriced, disposable items (if you can afford to upgrade every year). No-one at the senior level has true vision or sensitivity (sadly, even Jobs lost it at the end). They have an absurdly large war chest so their death will be slow and protracted but they will be destroyed by some company who has an understanding of the importance of beautiful tools that really work. They've dressed up a butterknife to look like a fine Japanese saw and expect their customers to cut wood and appreciate the effort.

[…] Michael Tsai – Blog – New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac – […]

[…] New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac. […]

Professional freelance web developer... have to agree with the sentiments here, use an external keyboard, laptop is usually plugged in. wanted the new machine to have more ram and more cpu power not lightness and gadgets. I would normally buy a new macbook pro on launch but feel i might as well hold onto my 2012 model and see if they deliver a proper pro machine next year

The Apple announcement is the first I have watched live and I was keenly looking forward to this event as I have been waiting a long time to hear news of updated Mac Pro and others in the Mac line up. This was the most boring lack lustre presentation I have ever seen. It was a pitiful performance by Apple and indicates they really don't care any more about their users. Apple are becoming increasingly arrogant towards their users (like Microsoft was in the late 90's early 2000's). And like other corporations that forget they are there because of customers, customers will leave them. No mention of the Mac pro, no mention of iMacs or mac mini. Limited or misleading information about the Macbook Pros (e.g. only half the USB c ports are full speed). In total, the event was a fizzer of massive proportions, an embarrassment to all concerned.

Apple's become a bunch of Fashionistas. Bling!

I have no idea what have we done to deerve this.
What apple is doing, in my opinion, is preparing us for their market approach where everyone wll be carring a computer that will be "macbook pro branded" but that pro will just mean it's a hybrid between iPad, Macbook and Macbook Air. It will be "great"; pretty, lightweight, compact, easy to carry and to most of us not meeting our requirements.
I am or I was macbook pro user - now I am looking for alternatives.

I think Apple is behaving like a rational business.

The potential market for power users like developers, animators, video editors, etc. is very small. Why cater to the 1%?

Instead, Apple is catering to the 99%: people surfing the net in coffee shops.

For these folks, the new MBP is fine. It's overkill, actually. In truth, 99% of this 99% could probably do everything they're doing now on a $300 Chromebook.

However, they like the Apple logo and are willing to pay for it. So Apple is giving them what they want!

[…] in response to Apple’s latest announcements. In a blog post on his site titled “New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac“, developer Michael Tsai collated and linked to the most commonly aired grievances. The post […]

I need a new laptop to replace my old and beloved 17" late 2008 and I ordered a new 15" the same day of the keynote. But next day I felt cheated and I cancelled the order: it's easy to make slimer computers by removing capabilities but selling them even more expensive is too much...

Why would you buy a PC any more Mr. Cook? Your question is dis-ingenuous and offensive. Does Tim have a PC on his desk at work? Why wouldn't he just use an iPad Pro? Is Apple's design department designing and programming all of the new lines of Apples, iPads, Apple Watches, etc. on an iPad? I don't think so. Its this new fantasy post-PC world more of the population is involved in media, content, and code production than ever before. All of this is and will continue to be done on a desktop PC or a laptop connected to a very large monitor.

The PC is not going anywhere. You still need a serious device with an actual file-system and a screen larger than 9" to get work done. That's not going away any time soon. If Tim Cook really thinks that's "the past" as he seems to be implying, just kill the Mac already, so that the tens of millions of people buying Macs every year know that they need to switch over to the Microsoft ecosystem ASAP. It would pain me to switch over to Windows, but I would and I'd know that with a dozen competing OEMS churning new models, I'd have to wait 5 years for an upgrade.

[…] from the 2014 and 2013 models—have been birthed into this era of frustration. As a result, the initial reaction has been harsher than it would have been if Apple refreshed the Mac with the same regularity that it managed back in 2012 or […]

Now I'm actually glad Adobe made me go subscription for CC so i'm not tied in to mac due to software outlay. I've actually started using the PC (which was previously for 3d only) for a lot of other work while i was waiting for the mac updates, but now thinking i'll just treat the PC to some upgrades (which i can actually make! too!)

I agree with EVERYTHING posted above. Apple, you have lost your mind.

Igor Stravinsky

For the last two years I am finding so much more pleasure in using even a tiny Raspberry Pi as my main computer!

It is just one or two apps that keep me from completely go Linux. I will never bay any new computer from Apple

Very disappointed

Pro user got trashed..... I work in the film industry, and I am very frustrated to start working on a pc.... first time after my 28+years mac user experience. can't believe.
take care apple, you are pissing on the users that stick with you in that critic 95'.

I've seen the new 2016 MacBook Pro without touch bar in person. It's a very nice machine with a better keyboard feel than the 12" MacBook. The touch bar adds a lot of expense without clear purpose to me. The iPad is better at touch - is there no app for that (touch bar).

I don't understand all the tech details if it will benchmark better or worse than PCs. My programs run with my current MacBook. People are saying it's not a Pro, but it's far too thick to replace the Air. The Air has a tapered design that is much more elegant.

It feels like Apple was trying to merge the Air and Pro lines, but was too afraid or missed the big picture in the keynote. They missed the chance for a bold new unified design that would signify a new epoch. And this is Apple's problem lately- failing to articulate a vision of next generation computing.

Mike Jarjoura

So it seems I'll be keeping my Mac Pro (ala 2010) for much longer. Apple's business model of software and hardware seems to be chasing the consumer, telling us they are for the Pros, barely making it reach the Prosumer, all while watching a wonderful 26yrs of my Mac music studio going to 'thinner and lighter'. Yikes.

Tim Cook should hire a real industry pro for audio/video and let's get back to building computers that are upgrade-able, expandable, and capable of leading the industry. Keep Phil Schiller for the consumer hardware, and find some real experts in the field to help guide them back to the front of what made Apple so great, audio/video industry leading tools.

I'm sorry but my iPad can't touch what my Mac Pro does, and never will.

I'm Mike Jarjoura, musician, and I approve this message.

I have watched the internet religiously for two years waiting for the new MacBook Pro. The day finally came and... I didn't buy. It's a great machine but just not great enough.
I need all the obvious stuff (especially >16Gb Memory) but they're just not there. For the first time in years I'm seriously considering whether to continue with Mac. Other vendors won't have the quality, but they have learned about style and most importantly they can provide what Apple won't. It's not just the MacBook Pro either so much of their other products, hard and soft, have lost their way. It's as if the people who design, test and approve their stuff live in a little microcosm that is oblivious to real world requirements.

Apple has always overcharged. But I've always been willing to pay the extra for a superior experience.

Once you chop away enough at the experience, as has happened with these new MacBook Pros, then you're just being ripped off.

I watched the introduction of the new MBP and was, as many professionals, sorely disappointed. I planned to replace my slightly-over-3-year-old MBP this year and anticipated a new MBP, but I'm just not sure anymore. The TouchBar is 'cool' but *really* I don't see it as a revolutionary bit of kit. It's a gewgaw. Since, mostly I use my MBP in clamshell mode connected to what appears to be the last Apple monitor I'll ever own I don't see me developing a taste for a shiny bit that is tucked away 99% of the time. (Remember when Apple monitors were a bargaining chip to hire new talent?)

Yes, the damn thing is lighter and thinner, but when you add the dongles and adapters needed to connect peripherals and get the machine back to fighting weight I'll have more weight *and bulk* in my case than before. WTF guys?

Given that my laptop seldom leaves the office I considered buying a MacPro as my primary work device (and pull the MBP out when I travel) - but the MP design is over 3 years old and wholly ignored so I'm not sure they'll be around much longer.

A sticking point for me a few years ago was Final Cut but after the debacle that is the current version I moved to Adobe's editing suite (as did most of my peers), so for the first time in two decades I'm considering buying a PC since most of the software I use daily (Adobe CC) is now *truly* cross-platform.

I just feel sad that after so long LOVING my Macs and soft-selling them to friends and family I may have to carry a shoddy plastic POS and worry about BSOD and viruses.

And, once I exit the Mac-verse, do I really need an iPhone anymore? The primary draw for an iPhone was syncing contacts and calendar.

This is beginning to feel like the Sculley years.

I'm actually just sad about how the MacBook "Pro" has taken a turn towards the consumer rather than prosumer.
The best machine I ever bought is my current 2009 17" MBP, matte screen, nice keys, tons of useful ports, replaceable drives, etc.
I use it every evening, all evening. If I have to render something big I just send it up to my windows machine (but I would rather not).
Unfortunately I have patiently waited for a true replacement but nothing has happened.
Don't get me wrong I'm not an old-fashioned guy, I have an iPad Pro, iPhone 6s plus and three new apple TVs.
However, my Macbook Pro still works great with two new big SSDs. but soon I'll have to get a replacement 17" and it is looking less and less like it will be an Apple.
Before reading this thread I had just told my wife that I would pay 5 grand if Apple could just cram everything new into this chassis. Imagine that, 17" screen, tons of ports, ~18-24 hr battery life?
Anyway, Apple, not everyone is jet setting around all the time looking to shave another two ounces off their laptop again.
Do me a favor, take a step back from your quarterly sales numbers and don't confuse momentum selling with current success. I think the momentum selling from such great machines from ~2008 to ~2012 is masking your current failure.
Good luck Apple...really.
The sad thing is that the happiest part for me has been to get this dissatisfaction off my chest. hmmm

[…] little from the 2014 and 2013 models—have been birthed into this era of frustration. As a result, the initial reaction has been harsher than it would have been if Apple refreshed the Mac with the same regularity that it managed back in 2012 or […]

Like everyone else so disappointed in apples new MacBook line up, bought a top of the line macpro back in 2012 and was waiting for this refresh before I updated, top of the range will now cost me £4K With the 4gb gfx option and still only 16gb memory option for the same price could get a mammoth gaming laptop with 64gb of ram & sli 1080 nvidia gfx and a 4K screen, as much as I love Mac I think they have lost touch with a majority of the users. They don't need to make gaming rigs but the latest rendition leaves Mac users so far behind the curve gaming isn't really an option unless you want to play retro gaming. Apple need to start listening to there customers, building computers for designers and artist fine do that but give the rest of us some options !!!!

Apple is getting rotten! Their lack of really new ideas and love to their computers line is sad. Apple, please don't call it pro any more if you can't deliver something worth of that name.

I am for the first time since ... well forever in computer terms thinking of jumping ship. There seems to be no real NEW pazazz or innovation that keeps pace with the others. I am used to being able to brag and hold my head high as a mac user. After my co-workers rubbed my face in the new Windows Studio product and other laptops such as the Razor Blade I am very worried about my alliance and allegiance to MAC. I will wait for one more round of new products to decide. But from what I am reading... sighs.

I'm starting to feel like I did when I was a Windows power user. I didn't want to leave PC, but the choices the company made left me no choice. We (mac users) have sacrificed upgradability for years, but when you can't update basic things like ram & storage I question your design language & intelligence. I thought it was "form follows function?"
One easy choice Apple could make......manufacture an upgradable mac Pro (desktop). This may be the last stand for a chunk of loudest supporters!

It's nice to know that I am not the only one thinking Apple has lost their way. Tim Cook is killing the Apple that I have invested 32 years of my life in. It is sad to see that Apple could careless about the users that helped them get to where they are today. I never thought I would say this but I might have to learn how to use a PC!

Professional for the Cinema and TV for 20 years, Mac users for 8 years, and probable not for another time. Sorry Apple, i start feeling a lack off respect and care about our customers, with who you start with from the botton. I feel almost offended by hoe pretentious your words are, and the final specs on this highly priced notebook, you define as your top of line professional station.

I say this with pleasure, but which choice are you offering us? we were already quite patient....

Cameron, Australia

Apple has had wonderful success with enabling generally computer and tech shy people via iPads and iPhones. These consumers are into social media and connection, movies and news, sharing photos or listening to music. Its consumer tech. Well done. Great technology achievement. I see many happy people that previously would not go near a computer, and Apple has done well in getting these things right for this segment of the human population.

Like so many MBP users, I buy an expensive, top of the range MBP because the above is not my interest. I want to push boundaries, do serious research and powerful data analysis, video editing, programming, experimental works - and connect with colleagues while I am doing it if need be. I put out the money, including the extended warranty, for sound reliability and maximum up time, ease of portability so I can work at home or on the go, computational power that enables me to push boundaries and be ahead of the crowd, run big projects, and multiple tasking, as well as quality of OS and work flow design so I can focus on what I want to do, not how to go about being able to do it. All this so I can just get on with serious productive endeavours.

In short, I like creating the new world, not playing in the current one.

Not everyone wants the lightest most compact streamlined multimedia device to slip in their handbag. Seriously! Applying that design ethos, so successful for ipads and iphones, to serious computing hardware like Macbook Pro's is a major error of thinking and dangerously monocular vision. At this point you seem to be trying the turn the MBP into the form fit of an ipad, with the cost of a car for doing so.

Let this minimalist size design attempt go (and I mean completely), and came back with something serious tailored to the innovators and boundary pushers and surprise us. I don't mean a 5 kg brick, but I do mean replacable battery, choice and upgradable ram, graphics cards, SSD's, and multiple ports so can plug what ever I have and might want into it without fiddling around with multiple connectors and leads and dongles.

Handbags are out, backpacks are in. Lets feel the gravity of the device!

Serious gear, plenty of tolerance, adaptability, robustness, reliability, leading edge performance, with meaningful tech savvy extra's not eye candy strips.

After reading all the responses and reactions to the underwhelming event, I am glad to see that I am not the "cranky, cynical, greybeard". Apple is truly disconnected from its core customers and on the downward slide. If I were a competitor, I would exploit this gap: make a product upgradeable, make a product last but not so much that it kills the bottom end, make a product the customers ask for not what you think they need.

Been an Apple fan for many years. Still am. But yes, this new "update" is hardly that. The Touch Bar is certainly creative and potentially quite useful; however, the actual specs are not worth what they are charging.

[…] release of the new Touch Bar MacBook Pro has made a lot of news. There’s good reason: it’s a signal to us longer-term fans of Macintosh computers that […]

The MacBook Air is dead model, the new MacBook is really its replacement. Then, the new MacBook Pro’s are the new MacBooks, with a newer more powerful and useful Pro model still to come (hopefully).

What I see here is the lack of spark to be bold not always safe. The new Mac Pro system was a glimmer of hope, the lack of a followup systems in the line is disappointing! While the new 'Thin Series' iMac's have been a success in the marketplace they are not a substitute for a Pro system. Apple's failure of making a repairable system is also very worrisome! For a company that prides its self on being ecology minded the focusing of people to always buy anew to gain a small step of upgrade is not logical! Memory & storage needs to be a serviceable option not major surgery as seen in the newer 21.5" models!

Yes, Intel's inability to offer Apple the needed CPU's is likely part of it for sure, but theres more here than the processor issue. It's the manic vision of thinner & lighter, just jettisoning stuff to get us there philosophy which is driving things here that needs to be held in check.

Yes! We all want thinner & lighter systems but not at the cost of being useful a device. Basically, Apple is failing us real Pro’s! Which is were the 'Pro' implies in the name here. We need more storage and RAM than these models offer. We also need to have interchangeable RAM & Storage.

So here is what I want, use the older non retina 15" MacBook Pro cases add in the retina display, add in the new touch bar and now this is were we go a very different direction! Two high performance memory modules using a ZIF connector system (8, 16, 32 or 64 GB memory options). Two SSD slots allowing either one or two SSD’s (1, 2, 4 & 8 TB modules). I would also offer RAID support so they are still faster. I would even offer a 17" model again and the 13" model would offer only one memory & SSD module support do it is size limitations.

As for ports, I would go back to the MagSafe for power, USB-C is not the best option for AC power input sorry. What made the Mac laptop a seller was not having to worry you'll trip on the cord.

I would also add back in two older USB 3.1 connections plus the three USB-C ports and an SD slot (three ports per side). The focus here is to remove the need for adapters as much as possible. With the bigger box you can offer a bigger battery as well! To add even more power,

Yes, it will weigh more I can live with it, maybe in a few years technology will advance so it can be trimmed down. Lastly, I would allow an auxiliary battery option to plug in via the USB-C like a Morphie battery pack we use today with an iOS device.

Apple seems to forget we are not always connected to the internet (or have a very slow connection) or have access to AC power sources in the real world, so local storage and lots of battery life is still critical to us.

I've had a Mac since it first came out and throughout its many generations. Sadly, I’ll be sticking to my old MacBook Pro for a few more years and when I can’t use it anymore hopefully Apple comes though with a real Pro's model.

Another sad point is I seriously doubt Apple will truly hear the despair or get the message and do anything about it because all they'll look at is how well they're selling. Expect loads of press about it to offset us pundits as Phil and Tim and company convince themselves and others of what a great job they did. Of course they'll sell a lot... they haven't had a meaningful update in over 4 years - the pent up demand is overwhelming! Those figures are a false positive though.

Like so many others here, I was SUPER excited at the prospect of getting a substantial laptop upgrade from Apple and I'm left DEEPLY disappointed. We bought the most killer MacBook Pros over 4 years ago and Apple has provided NO reason to upgrade ever since (a machine that lives up to it's name as "Pro" back then). They’re too focused on iPhone and we see it now with this shiny new dog. I agree it's impressive engineering, but they dumped MagSafe, have a barely improved CPU, lousy ports that require us to dongle ourselves to death for extra $$$, and shockingly still 16mb RAM. Absolutely ridiculous.

They really have taken the "Pro" out of MacBook and forsaken this core group of deeply devoted and pioneering fans. Apple is making Windows compelling with their lack of hardware innovation and performance. If/when I go Windows, then I’ll be more free to consider Android too. At least I won’t be considered a sycophant always promoting Apple for the first time in my life.

I find myself extremely reluctant to upgrade and reward Apple with sales when they ignore the needs of their most ardent customers and developers. They're just aiming for volume and money with these consumer oriented machines at this point so they're products are dumbed down to the masses. That's why they've neglected meaningful updates to the entire line of Macs for sooo long now. Very, very sad and I agree that Apple has lost it's way with Macs and this incredibly valuable group of users here. No way in the world Steve would have stood for this - his mission was more about insanely great products and less about volume and money. Miss him.

Here is my view as a company director of a UK software studio,

We own a bunch of Macs at our company and I was one waiting to upgrade my MBP while watching the event in disbelieve... Worse it was when you had just watched the MS event the day before. That was ALL that Apple didn't do, they really nailed and appreciated the fact that EVERYONE in a way or another buys machines that they see real PROs using, it is all about the "aspirational" thing Apple was so good about!

The popularity of the Macs (and therefore all other products from Apple) was mostly due to the fact that key creators, artists, authors, videographers, scientists, programmers and innovators where always seen to be using a Mac, so everyone else aspiring to be one or that just want to look like one, would start by simply buying the same machines or BRAND!

In my case (writing from the UK) no only the new machines are honestly "mediocre" if compared to the mid-range alternatives around, but it is also a lot more expensive! Making us to believe that Apple is really being run by an accountant looking only at the margins and quarterly results but with no vision or sense for the leading edge this products line had to maintain to justify its price-tag, the "Pro" category title and the carrying effect into the other products and lines below.

Apple need to keep a central focus into the PRO consumer to sell everything else to the general public,

I was one expecting some kinda gimmick like the keyboard screen they just released and tediously presented over and over again during all presentation, but also and most importantly, I was expecting as a minimum some REAL dedicated graphics options (for both machine sizes), counting on having more memory like everyone else this days, and it being a PRO machine, at least some of the ports every PRO people actually use on the daily basis and the SD card anyone on image & video editing NEED all the time. Pro people don't need thinner machines nor the battery life is the key issue here, and given the extensive delay in releasing anything at all, some sort of real design changes wouldn't hurt too... (have you seen the new MBP15 massive spaces between keyboard and screen? Ohh man that's ugly!).

What did Apple offered instead?

A set of expensive mediocre machines, with NO innovation other then a gimmick strip screen on the keyboard, no real processing power update and a 5 year old memory limit, then unbelievable low grade video option as standard, absolutely no useful ports (or adapters for their lack of), no magnetic power cable connection or anything else that gives these machines any right to be called a PRO in any way shape or form.

Apple please, learn (re-learn) ONE thing..... We are loyal to a point! Even people that wouldn't own the PRO lineup, buy all the other stuff you do because it is from the same BRAND.... SIMPLE!

If you banalise the PRO tag, you basically make all other products look even worse,


The no sdcard port and the need to bring dongles everywhere pissed me off. Better fix it Apple or maybe it is a time for changing my faith to another brand

We are so disappointed at the state of the Mac... It's looking like a long drawn out painful death, first the removal of the Xserve and pro level rack mount devices then the stealthy removal of the Server orientated Mac Pro and Mac Mini. We are heavy FCP and DVD Studio Pro users as well as web designers, media specialists and education advisors and at the moment our ageing fleet of tower Mac Pro's and 'real' MacBook Pros have no replacements available. Short of an iMac 5k what way is there to turn apart from towards Widnows or Linux. The Apple of old could see the value in chasing the creative pro markets, the new one is all about iOS everywhere. Such a waste. Such a shame. How they can even dream of selling Mac Pros that are pushing 3 year old tech and then increasing the price substantially here in the UK, it's set up to fail.

[…] Entwickler Michael Tsai zeigt sich enttäuscht von dem, was Apple am vergangenen Donnerstag auf der Keynote vorgestellt hat. Seiner Meinung nach […]

Heftige Kritik am neuen MacBook Pro - Phil Schiller reagiert im Interview

Apples hat für das am vergangenen Donnerstag vorgestellte neue MacBook Pro überraschend viel Kritik einstecken müssen. Auch wenn die Geräte von einem technischen Standpunkt her durchaus einige bemerkenswerte Features bieten, ist es häufig so, dass die…

I just have to chime in on these new MBPs. I am a creative user (music production and performance), and am completely letdown by the new machines.


-Only configurable to 16GB RAM (Should be at least to 32GB in 2016)
-Deletion of SD card slot (this form of media transfer, or storage expansion isn't going anywhere)
-Quad Core CPU STILL not engineered into the 13"
-Unnecessary deletion of ports during USB-C transition
-No MagSafe!!!

All of these things could have been accomplished by not making them so thin!! If it wasn't so thin, Apple could have engineered the machines to accommodate more RAM and bigger batteries to support it, at least one USB 3 port for our existing USB peripherals, and larger processor options (especially quads in the 13" chassis). Thin is not what I care about in a Pro machine. I care about functionality and utility. These new machines are only pro in their pricing structure. Ridiculous, insulting "update" to the "pro" line.

[…] adverse reactions that followed last week’s new MacBook Pro announcement are […]

I would have to agree with much of the sentiment here. The new macbook pro seems to have the same problem the trash can mac had when it came out (and still does). Design over function. Not expandable and you have to use a plethora of adaptors to allow it to be useful for pro level work. Ends up looking like an Octopus mess on your desk. Give me the ability to neatly expand the machines ability over the look of it. Of course I know Apple could do both as they designed the G5 (and last gen Mac Pro) chassis that is a fabulous and even today a viable machine. Kudos to that! Now update it so I can give you my money and make money faster.

[…] MacBook Pro looks as though it’ll be a powerful notebook for most people, it has generated massive amounts of skepticism within the professional crowd at which it’s ostensibly […]

I have two major issues with the new macbook pro. The removal of magsafe, will render all of the existing chargers we have useless. They should have done a power supple recycle trade in program. Additionally the new USB-C type chargers are only 60 watts, vs. the existing 85 watt power supply. Apple did not announce a new battery design, so I suspect it will take longer to charge the new macbook pros.

Second, they changed the wifi from a 3 radio 802.11ac design to a two radio design. This effictively throttles the top range of network throughput of the wifi from 1.2Gb/ps to 825Mb/ps.

I am buying a few for the office, so we will see how they perform once they arrive.

Just went shopping for a new MacBook Pro. I have a great model circa 2013. I decided to stick with the one I have which is still working perfectly.


1. As the article points out--I want a desktop oriented machine--power, accessibility, speed and memory are critical--not weight and thickness.

2. The cost: with memory the new machines are +$3K.

Nothing wrong with "portable laptops", but there is a place for a "Pro" and the new models do not represent that kind of machine.

Nice to have this all summed up in one place. I was waiting to buy before the announcement but now am shopping around for other solutions. I am a pro user and need a pro machine. What exactly did i gain by losing compatibility with most common port on all other computers?

I didn't need my MacBook pro thinner or lighter - I needed it make my life easier. This computer does less for a lot more money...

[…] from the 2014 and 2013 models—have been birthed into this era of frustration. As a result, the initial reaction has been harsher than it would have been if Apple refreshed the Mac with the same regularity that it managed back in 2012 or […]

I checked out at the iPhone 7 unveiling when people stood up and cheered for an adapter.

I'm out.

An Apple customer who waited too long for:

1.a new and proper professional Mac Pro (Samsung copied the old one)
2.the return of a 17” MacBook Pro with or without a Touch Bar. Real professionals and consumers want a 17” MacBook Pro
3.a 24”, 27”, 30” and 34’’ iMac for everyone
4.User upgradeable memory up to 512Gb on Mac Pros, upgradeable processors and graphics cards on Mac Pros, 128Gb memory on iMacs and 64Gb on portables. User upgradeable storage for SSDs/HDs. Standard user upgradeable modern memory of 32Gb on all Macs
5.a new Mac mini
6.a new Apple TV - 4K now and 8K in 2020 Apple Displays ie 4K or 5K; 30”, 34”, and 38”
8.a new iWorks app (we don’t want MS Office. We all want something better than MS Office)
9. a price reduction of 15% or more is needed, and 3 year warranty as standard, you can afford both

Tim, Apple customers don’t want an Apple car, there are plenty of car manufacturers making battery cars already. We want proper computers and updates on a regular basis, not just phones! When will you listen to customers and make computers that we want, and not what you think we want? Why not ask our opinion and then make what we have suggested? Where is all that R&D money going? Stop the obsession with thinness all the time. Make batteries bigger, be obsessed with putting in the latest memory, the latest processors, the latest graphics cards instead and not hundreds of stupid emojis, and the gimmicky Touch Bar.

MacMan: a Mac User for over 20 years. I was not impressed with 27th Oct 2016 or any other event since 2012.
“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” SJ

The bottom line for me, and others, is if they lose me as a Mac user they lose me as an iPhone/iPad user as well because the integrated ecosystem becomes worthless to me.

In the vain of "it's the economy..."! For me, all we are seeing out of Apple these days, this hardware release is just a symptom of a greater problem for professional and hardcore users alike.

IT'S THE SOFTWARE STUPID!!! The current versions of OS's that Apple are releasing are barely just a shadow of the amazing operating environments developers and pro users came to know.

For some reason Apple lost the basic underpinnings of what Apple was - It just worked! That was because there were standards for everything, including (and IMHO most importantly) the human interface. Does anyone remember "The Human Interface Guidelines"? We, as developers, had rules we had to follow to write to the hardware or how we protected the OS, but most importantly interacted with the user. None of that seems to be even considered anymore.

I switched to back to a desktop with the last round of laptop offerings from Apple. I am now thinking that for my next box I will just run a VM, that way I can run any and all the different OS's I need or want. The thing that kept Apple alive all threw the lean years was the dedication of it's "Pro" users; what's going to happen now that even the old school "fanboys" like me are thinking why bother?

Thanks so much for this post. I've been on the Mac straight since 1987. I've alternately rolled with and been thrilled by the changes. But the hobbling of storage and power for the sake of thinness, and the dongles, dongles, dongles these machines will require, is frustrating and even strangely saddening. The company I've seen as one, two, three steps ahead of things for so long seems now to be choosing priorities at random and at the expense of what so many people really need in a machine. Yes, thinness and low weight are good, but only to a point. I need to be able to carry the thing around; I don't need it to float off my desk. Give me power, give me storage, give me ports.

[…] say that Apple’s announcement of the new MacBook Pros was given a less-than-enthusiastic reception by the creative community is something of an understatement. Of particular ire is the […]

[…] MacBook Pro looks as though it’ll be a powerful notebook for most people, it has generated massive amounts of skepticism within the professional crowd at which it’s ostensibly […]

How is this PRO...?!?!

When your 2016 MacBook has the same 16gb ram limit as your 2010 MacBook.
When your 2016 MacBook has the same 720p camera as your 2010 iPhone.
When your 2016 MacBook has no powerful quad core CPU option (13").
When your 2016 MacBook has no powerful discrete GPU option (13").
When your 2016 MacBook can't connect to charge your 2016 iPhone7.
When your 2016 MacBook can't connect to your 2016 iPhone7 Headphones (courage).

How is this BETTER...?!?!


It feels like the 2016 election. We waited 4 years for less capable, less qualified, less competent options. Take it or leave it. :/

I was going to replace my 2009 MacBook Pro with a new macbook. Not anymore. >2k GBP for a laptop which needs an adapter for almost all peripherals? "touchbar" is pretty much useless. I prefer physical keys.

[…] MacBook Pro looks as though it’ll be a powerful notebook for most people, it has generated massive amounts of skepticism within the professional crowd at which it’s ostensibly […]

[…] Developer Michael Tsai worries about the state of the Mac, too, noting that you can’t even plug an iPhone into the new MacBook Pros. […]

[…] These are some of the big ones – for a round up of thoughts on the new MacBook Pro see here  […]

"The same computer I bought 3-years ago is somehow the same price 3-years later, and they took more features away than they added."

[…] new MacBook Pro looks as though it'll be a powerful notebook for most people, it has generated massive amounts of skepticism within the professional crowd at which it's ostensibly […]

I am seriously considering a powerful Razer laptop. Runing a VM macOS for Xcode. Keeping a mac around for real mac experience with Xcode if needed.

This crap about lighter thinner and the touchbar is beyond my comprehension. No, I don't need any of this, I need to carry my work around and be efficient at it. These gimmicks (and price tags) are not worth the value. OSX is nice, but "not by that huge margin" anymore. I have invested in years and years of software licenses and hardware and peripherals that work with Mac OS. I've dealt with the less powerful GPUs (and CPUs) for years. I've always maxed RAM since it started being permanent, and 16gb is ok "today" for Xcode/Android development, but that number won't be OK very soon.

I'm getting tired of the OS X ecosystem… the focus on more basic consumers is ok, but dragging "power" users into that seems like a step too far.

What a disappointment!
I waited a long time to judge Tim Cook and his friends, remembering how difficult is to wear someone else shoes
after Steve Jobs premature departure. I remember reading several articles comparing him to Walt Disney and what the company did to succeed after he was gone. I held my judgement because it needs time for a new CEO to get the company in the right direction.

Nail on the head!

This is exactly how our entire office of graphics designers felt.

- Last-gen Intel processors and a price hike? What is this?
- Thinner laptop, less features? We didn't ask for it to become a Macbook, we want a fully featured professional laptop.
- No SDHC card slot?
- No Magsafe?
- I have to buy dongles for everything now?

I completely agree with you, Apple is losing track of what it means to make a product for "Professionals".
- 16GB of ram is not enough for video editing purposes.
- A Fire Pro card is a massive downgrade over previous Nvidia GPU's that use CUDA speed up encoding times drastically.
- The touchbar is a gimmick. I don't want to lean forward to poke around on a tiny screen.
- That offset "ESC" key that isn't tactile is less than desirable.
- Butterfly keys are horrible to use. A version 2.0 won't save them.

The 2012 Macbook pro was the peak and it's been downhill ever since.

Wouahhh, so much for me, I've tried to read all your delicious comments... God save the Apple!
I own a MacBook Pro retina 15" mid-2012 for my developer work ; and I 'will' replace it by the new 'awesome', 'gorgeous' MacBook 'Pro' 15" Touch Bar 2.9GHz 1TB PCIe before Christmas !
And sorry about the USB-C even if I have to buy a 40$ SD card and USB extension it's a piece of cake. I did start with a Classic II and SCSI ; and then FireWire... and lost the 3" floppy disks, too bad...
Time to grow up, I love 'Apple'.

I have been using a Retina MBP for over 3 years and would have loved to replace it with one that comes with at least 32 GB RAM, is faster yet as silent as the current one (which is one of its best features!) and retained the beautiful screen and MagSafe charger (I have 2 of those). I would even have bought other adapters.
Now I will hang on to my current machine for another year, hoping Apple will crank out a true new pro machine with ditto specs, that allows me to run Docker images, IntelliJ and a bunch of other tools and various build processes.
Apple, do not make it thinner and lighter (it is light enough as it is): give your pro users serious pro power that keeps up with the competition!

Hi all
I share your great disappointment. Apple has totally lost it
They are taking away all the good stuff piece by piece! Not getting a new MacBook Pro 15" to replace my 4 year old one.
Maybe I'll buy the 2015 at a discount if I'm quick. Or get a nice Razer that packs what I need
No more MagSafe is a joke. No more softly glowing Apple logo is bad PR
Having to get (BUY!) a dongle for anything and everything you'd want to hook up to it is a joke.
Can't even hookup your new iPhone to this Gollum of a laptop without a dongle
Then the price: an insult, not a joke!
Worst of all : this Macbook anorexia is getting totally out of hand. WE DON'T CARE ABOUT AN EVEN THINNER LAPTOP PHIL. GET IT INTO YOUR THICK SK*LL!
I don't want a FASHION ACCESORY. I want a BIGGER laptop that hase more functionality and better BATTERY LIFE!!
BAH BAH Bad Apple

[…] the new MacBook Pro looks great, the backlash against Apple has been really strong for the past few days. People have been complaining about the lack of the Escape key, the fact that […]

I had a new 15" pro on order to replace my 2012 but after some thought I have cancelled it. I agree with all the disappointed people and feel that the updated machine has too much focus on battery power and weight. I used to buy a new 15" MBP every year until 2012 because it is my goto laptop. The weight or battery was never an issue. I have my iPad pro for movies, books and magazines. Most planes have plug ins now days and USB power as a minimum. The MBP was the desktop equivalent that I would carry around on my bike, motorcycle, and travel home to office or out of town with enough power to get the job done wherever I was. At home and office i have a 34" LG 3440x1440 widescreen monitor that the 2012 MBP drives just fine.

If i wanted light weight and great battery power, I would buy an MB air. While we are not coding or AV professionals, I would guess that the medical profession is one of the biggest user groups for MBP's, and for years I have personally recommended it as the best blend of power and portability.

I like some of the features of the new machine for sure. Better screen, the OLED strip, etc. But I use my SD card reader regularly and I actually wish my current model still had a DVD drive. I really do not care to drive two 5K monitors so how about a regular USB 3.0 port. The build in HDMI port is great when I have to give a talk while on the road as you can connect easily to most data projectors.

Apple is 2 years ahead of the game in dropping features, but they are no longer 2 years ahead in adding features to compensate. It is frankly sad to watch. I love apple design but I feel they really have lost their way on what features matter to us. Almost every comment in this thread touched something in me, and I do not think I have been this disappointed since my first Mac (Plus - and definitely not disappointed with that initial model - it was a religious moment every time you played around with macpaint or word).

I also have bought every annual iPhone model from the beginning but passed on the 7. I am sure the 8 will be amazing though. I also tried iCloud but find it cumbersome and unpredictable. The whole file/photo/music storage and sync thing is a mess. Thank god for dropbox. Lets face it, Apple has put out a lot of bad software over the years or cancelled things many of us liked on short notice We have systematicaly tolerated this because they compensated in other ways with brilliant hardware or amazing operating systems. But something in me is breaking this year and I find myself more attracted to Microsoft products recently. What the hell is going on?

This to me is a real turning point in apple history and I really hope my current level of skepticism is unwarranted.

I waited for Skylake and Apple rewarded me with higher prices on a machine that has features I don't need while at the same time removing features I use all the time. On top of that, they didn't lower prices on their older models, and eliminated one model all together because it was conspicuously better than their new models.

That's the real slap in the face: Those recalcitrant users who want superior design and function over thinness will have to overpay for outdated hardware if they don't like our new baby.

Did the idea that a Magsafe port might detract from the perfect symmetry of the MBP give some designer at Apple the nervous diarrhea?

[…] from the 2014 and 2013 models—have been birthed into this era of frustration. As a result, the initial reaction has been harsher than it would have been if Apple refreshed the Mac with the same regularity that it managed back in 2012 or […]

I've been an Apple user for 12 years.
Seriously reconsidering my platform choices for the very first time. I am horrified that I am. But Apple does not have any pride in their Mac products anymore.
I cannot shake the feeling the decision makers at Apple either does not care or does not know what their professional users want.

Instead they are trying too hard to appear cool by hanging out with hip-hop artists and selling ridiculously expensive watches & headphones.

I bought my first Mac 3 years ago, a MacBook Pro 13". I planned to replace it 3 years later, after the warranty ran out. So I was waiting for this for a while, and am very disappointed. Even if I can swallow the price, even if I can swallow the fact that not one of my devices will plug in to it, even if I can swallow the meager 256GB base storage, the one thing I can't allow is the substandard keyboard. My sent mail folder shows that I have sent over 33,000 emails so far this year alone for work. I want a best-in-class keyboard. The previous Mac Pro keyboard was reviewed as one of the best in the industry, but you can tell that reviewers are "settling" for this one. Where is the new Apple laptop with a best-in-class keyboard, the one that reviewers rave about? There isn't one anymore. Apple no longer makes a laptop for me, and so I'm afraid I must get off of this bus at the next stop. The problem with relying on one company that makes a very limited number of models is that something like this could happen. I can't stick around because now I'm afraid of what this trend means for the next models in a few years.

[…] a new MacBook Pro looks great, a recoil opposite Apple has been really strong for a past few days. People have been angry about a miss of a Escape key, a fact that we have to […]

[…] MacBook Pro 看起来很不错,但过去几天针对苹果的批评声音 十分激烈 。人们抱怨的内容包括:Escape […]

[…] Developer Michael Tsai worries about the state of the Mac, too, noting that you can’t even plug an iPhone into the new MacBook Pros. […]

is there someplace where we can seriously expone to apple these misfacts....??? they need to hear real mac users.... not apple user from the "iphone era" or "yeah now I can edit my pro photos and surf the web with my 2500k apple computer"....

I've owned nothing but Apple product for 8 years, but I am done with Apple. No touch screen sealed the deal. My next machine will be the Surface Studio. Remain arrogant, Apple, and you will be right back to where you were the day before you begged Steve Jobs to return.

So, I'm not the typical Mac user who's complaints I read here. I haven't been using Macs for 100 years and I'm not responsible for keeping Apple alive during the dark years (when I was in kindergarten). I graduated film school and lucked into doing freelance commercial work. When I graduated I could afford a 13" MacBook Air i7 and upgraded the SSD to 512GB when I could afford.

I've been doing freelance commercials and short vids since graduating (for about 4 years) and it's been lucrative enough that I can afford to upgrade my primary machine. The MBA works fine, and since there are almost no moving parts I'm not worried about it, but I figure a faster machine may help me make more $$. So I was excited about the new MBP.

But, natch, ya'll! I'd have to bog my already-loaded travel bag with dongles and doodads to keep my work process. I keep each client project on discrete SD cards and modified a Pelican case to accommodate the little card sticking out. A wallet of SD cards, cameras and my lappy and I'm pretty weighted down as it is. Opening my laptop on the train with the SD stuck in the side is pretty easy now. If I have to pull a dongle out of my bag, fish through the SD wallet before I get running that's inconvenient. And then there's the SD card dongle hanging off somewhere: how long before that falls out mid-edit or the connection wears out?

So, I just ordered a refurb MBP from Apple: the most maxed out processor and SSD in the refurb store and it still comes in $150 less than the new weirdness and I don't have to buy another $200 worth of adapters. I figure it will get me through the next few years.

I get pushing technology forward but perhaps Apple could allow a transition that mirrors the marketplace instead of pushing us off a cliff and letting it's users force the market forward; making us their f*cking guinea pigs and market drivers! The same thing happened when they abandoned FireWire for Thunderbolt and STILL there are no *affordable* TB options. That sh*ts still expensive!

Hopefully USB-C does better or I might not stay with Apple next time around. Razer makes some pretty cool windows machines (I would have gone that route but the newest one isn't available yet) and I'm guessing this bullsh*t gives them some new customers and the incentive to ratchet things up. I wonder if you can Hackintosh a Razer?

Apple's been going off at a questionable direction for years now, sadly it continues with the MBP updates. While it's clearly "good business" to repaint, rename, resell slightly bumped specs, it's sadly bad engineering and product design. Frankly I can't remember the last time I was "WOW!" after an Apple event announcing new products. On the hardware department we have:

- A glorified trash can that went more or less obsolete within a couple of years (considering the available ports on the device)
- A succession of ultra-mobile notebooks: Macbook -> Macbook Air -> Macbook
- Thinner, lighter "pro" grade laptops that have little new than shinier better screens
- A fat and expansive (compared to alternatives) watch that has a battery life of 1 day (yes, 1 day!!!!) Don't know about you but unlocking my computer with my watch has never been a "need", on the contrary if security is a serious concern it's a potential pitfall since anyone with that particular device can now unlock your computer and access your embarrassing selfies :)
- Tablets becoming first smaller (because obviously smaller and lighter is better) than bigger (because obviously more power and better battery life, as well as more working surface), it's as if the product designers are bi-polar
- iMacs have stagnated in size (I can't imagine why 21" is still an option, I think they should have gone to 24" and 30" like 3 years ago). What's the point of making a 27" desktop computer half a cm slimmer? Or have a tapered design, it's facing towards the wall for heaven's sake!! How's that called innovation?
- iPhones have gotten on board with the standard hype of "bigger brighter screen", more MP cameras, thinner body.. Maybe I'm a weird mobile user but i'd much rather have a better antenna so that I don't lose reception that easily, more efficient components so that I don't have to charge my phone everyday. While we are at it, maybe some better real life solutions so that the phone doesn't slip off your hand easily?

On the software side:

- there's now system-wide integration with facebook and twitter, yay! *rolls eyes*
- However, I still see the damn beachball on a daily basis (running on a 15" mid-2015 i7 MBP with 16 GB). Opening a 200MB Excel file is still slow, and task switching is slow. Plugging and unplugging external hdds can slow the system from time to time,
- Network manager doesn't play well all networks all the time (yes, I am looking at you eduroam),
- Time Machine is still not very quick or space efficient and gives you little control over what you are doing,
- There's still no official package manager for command-line tools, default coreutils is ages old...
- You still need the horrendous PoS software that is iTunes in order to interact with an iPhone.. No drag'n drop support with the phone is just insulting! (I am not considering jailbreaking as a viable option)

As I said earlier, a lot of these decision might be "good business" (e.g. locking in people to iTunes environment) but they can be major pain in the back from a user's point of view. A lot of people mention the lack of MagSafe, I believe it serves as a good example of Apple's previous innovative spirit. They had identified a potential problem many faced, thus an unmet need and designed a aesthetically appealing solution which addressed problem. Now by removing various I/O ports (headphone jack, HDMI, thunderbolt, SD, USB...) they are actively creating problems that require new solutions, some of which are less than adequate compared to how it used to be.

Don't believe me, let's give some examples:

- I can take my MBP anywhere and just plug-in to a larger screen, TV or projector thru built-in HDMI port. Sadly no more...
- When wifi is unstable, e.g. certificate issues, or when the hotel decides to charge you for wifi (because it's apparently 1998 in that city) or if you are concerned about the wifi traffic, worry not, you can just plug in the cable! oh wait....
- You quickly pass around a couple of files, or maybe get a document on a USB stick... wait, where do i plug this again?
- Pretty much everyone on the face of the planet that have a smart phone has at least a pair of headphones. These deliver anywhere from crap to great sound quality. On the contrary bluetooth headphones are still occasionally spaz out, sound quality is not as good/reliable as wired connection (I don't care about $400 headphones, it's ridiculous to pay that much money for headphones! Go cut your beard and get a job, you hippie! :D ) Did I mention that wireless headphones need charging? So what happens when you are on 10h flight? or out on a hike? How about battery life retention, say you have headphone that give 8h of playing time. Will you still get 8h after a years of daily use? Can't replace the batteries on earbuds either..

All in all, Apple seems prioritize shareholders interests rather than users interests. Perfectly understandable for a company, but than Apple used to be more than just a tech company. Steve Blank's analysis is very interesting ( and appears to hit the nail right on. Would be interesting to see if Apple execs take in any of the critique that has been amassing after series of less-than-satisfactory "innovations". I somehow doubt anyone's gonna mind it, as long as they rake in the money

Just read this from Phil $hiller:

"so far our online store has had more orders for the new MacBook Pro than any other pro notebook before"


"privileged teens LOVE this so f*ck you pro bastards! Sales are king."

[…] Um compilado de várias reações de desenvolvedores e jornalistas sobre o novo MacBook Pro. Não me lembro de uma revolta tão grande entre os usuários mais emotivos da marca. […]

The new stuff like the touchbar and the better screen as well as 1-2 TB3 ports are great. But I think most of us in this thread would want regular usb, SD card reader, ethernet port, HDMI, high quality keyboard, magsafe (and even a DVD drive frankly) and also the option to switch out ram and the SSD as capacities increase. Apple might call me backward but I think myself realistic and practical. I really don't think most MBP users really care about battery life or weight. We also get that Intel has been slow with acceptable CPU releases but CPU speed is really no longer a bottleneck and the days of doubling every 18 months are done. Some of us do like to game when we are not working and acceptable frame rates on medium settings would be nice. GPU tech has advanced substantially and in a Pro model I expect better. Cutting ports and forcing dongle use is not progressive thinking and Apple is no longer the big dog that can force the world to shift to its view of how things should be. Don't get me wrong - I think they moved things forward for years but times are a changing.

Battery life does matter in my iPads and phone. Also perhaps in the lighter Air models. But MBP has always been IMO the desktop equivalent that you carried around and generally used while plugged in.

The only reason I would upgrade at this point to the MBP is if my current 2012 model fails. I think I will spend 1000$ from my cancelled 4300$ order and get a new 850 EVO pro 2T SSD for my current machine.

The razor line??? it's 7 pounds heavy!!!

Well, it looks like the Mac died with Steve Jobs. It seems like no other person in that company knows what the Mac should be, how it should work, perform, etc.

Now we hear that optical digital output is gone from the MBP's headphone jack. Unbelievable. That part cost them what, 50 cents? And took up 0.0000001% of the space inside the chassis? If you're going to leave the headphone jack for "Pro" users, why they hell not leave the optical transmitter inside it? I mean really, it's practically an invisible part. But now it's not there for those who need it... for what reason?!?

I mean this is like the new mushy keyboard... what problem did it solve? Being able to make the MBP 1 mm thinner? Does anyone care about that invisible amount of thinness? Doubtful. But MANY people care that the keyboard sucks. Note that nobody anywhere is saying how the keyboard is easier and more comfortable to type on... just that it's thinner... again, for what reason?!? 1 mm of thickness and 1 oz of weight saved?

It used to be that Apple products solved problems, not created them.

Of course, they look at sales numbers and think everything is OK. But pro and creative users are the tastemakers in the industry now. If regular people stop seeing industry professionals using Macs, they're going to think twice too.

It's like how Tim Cook brags that Apple Maps is the most used maps app on the iPhone, as if that also means it's the best. Of course it's the most used, because it's the one installed by default and most users don't know or don't care that you can download Google Maps separately which is still a FAR superior app. I still can't believe that we've come this far since the Apple Maps debacle and, even though I give it a shot again every 2-3 months, it STILL SUCKS.

Steve Jobs' "Reality Distortion Field" was one thing, he shot for the moon with some Apple products and made some crazy bets. Tim Cook, though I greatly respect him in many ways, has an entirely different kind of RDF that is not leading us in the right direction. It's incredible not only how bad Apple Maps still is, but also how many obvious and repeatable bugs I find in Apple software these days (especially on iOS) that go many many updates without being fixed, despite me reporting them to Apple in a half dozen different ways (Bug Reporter, Feedback site, Feedback app, Genius Bar, Apple phone support, email directly to Craig Federighi... etc). I used to very rarely if ever find major bugs in Apple software (I'm a regular user, not a developer) and now I tend to find at least 6 major ones every year... and I report them, they're always marked as Duplicates, and if I'm lucky half of them will be fixed. It makes me wonder if Apple execs even use some of the features of their products.

I'm not thinking about switching to Windows or Android, but at the same time, in some ways it's very frustrating to be an Apple / Mac user right now... especially when I see how much $$$ they are spending on making (or not making...) a car, yet they can't even find the time and resources to update the Mac Pro, or Mini, or iMac... then when they update the MBP, if you take away the TouchBar, the whole thing was a big "That's it?!?" and "Where the hell did all my ports go?"

This isn't like the iMac where Macs were using ADB for mouse and keyboard (which no other PC maker used) to USB which was an emerging standard on both sides, and the iMac came with a USB keyboard and mouse, not something that needed a dongle to make it work. Now they are taking away our ports which are current (not outdated) INDUSTRY STANDARDS and replacing it with USB-C / TB3 which has yet to get any traction and who knows if it will become a standard (remember how FireWire was supposed to become an industry standard?)

They should have waited a year or two until USB-C is standard and cheap, and come out NOW with some sort of dock to plug into the side of the MBP (perhaps into one of the ports for the data, with a "lock" into the other port to hold it securely) that matches the MBP perfectly and provides USB3, Ethernet, FireWire 800, HDMI, SDXC, etc to ease the transition. I could imagine Apple designing something really slick that was only the depth needed to plug in USB3 (the deepest of the ports provided), instead of something on a cable that dangles off to the side. Include one in every box and there would be near-zero complaints.

Sorry I realized my last paragraph might be confusing. It should say "... a year or two until USB-C is standard and cheap, OR come out..." (not AND)

Those that say they are buying never meontion whether they are using their own money (personal), own money (but counted as deductible business expense), company account or parent's money. Those that say they cancelled are obviously in the first category.

[…] Každý den se objevují nové a nové zprávy, týkající se týden starého představení nového notebooku MacBook Pro. Jako první se objevily ohlasy uživatelů, sledující samotnou keynote. Většina z nich byla z toho, co Apple představil, naprosto rozčarovaná, ale nemělo příliš smysl brát tyto výtky nějak vážněji, jelikož si nikdo z těchto lidí nové MacBooky nevyzkoušel (jakkoliv smysluplné jejich postřehy byly). Následovala reakce médií a jejich zástupců, kteří si nový MacBook Pro vyzkoušeli přímo po keynote. Jejich reakce byly veskrze pozitivní. Nyní ovšem sílí druhá vlna kritiky od uživatelů, tentokrát je vedena profesionály a koncentruje se kolem jednoho, velice dobře napsaného, blogu.  […]

Barry N Noide

Been with Apple since the ][, and I can’t even count the units I’ve bought over the years. I’ve seen my kids ditch their iMacs, OS X, and iPhones. I’m holding on to my 2nd-hand 5,1 (bought when the Trash Can appeared) for a couple of months, then I’m dropping the thousand$ saved over the years due to Apple’s product line misses on non-Apple hardware. I’m tired of waiting for a decent Pro machine. Goodbye Mac, iPhone, and maybe OS too.

There is nothing to add, Apple disappointed me a lot and I think that Jobs is turning in his grave. I'll leave you while I and Apple could not get a penny. I do not have one bag for MacBook and the other on the reduction ...........

Translated by Google

Apple does not care and they do not listen, nor do they see the benefit in throwing their customers a bone. The only thing that they notice is the numbers and profits, so don't buy Apple and force them to listen. I do not care how cool my Mac Looks, I need it to be powerful...

10.6.8 was peak Apple.

Since then, they've slowly stripped usability their products, turning them into giant iPhones.

I'm done. 2 more machines to go and then all my Apple gear will be running Debian Linux.

Matej Lupták

"Backlit Apple Logo Removed." Thats the biggest loss for all hipsters. How sad. Although I will be missing backlit logo too. Its like the hallmark of apple laptops. RIP.

[…] Kritische Stimmen zum MacBook Pro (engl.) […]

Preorder Victim?

With the controversy, I've been comparing the Geekbench 4 benchmarks for other (non-Apple) i7-6920HQ based systems with with the fastest Mid-201*5* MacBook Pro 15" and found that the DELL Precision 7510 is roughly the same speed or slightly slower in many regards. (One would expect the unreleased (but announced) i7-6920HQ based Apple 201*6* MacBook Pro 15" would benchmark about the same as the DELL in areas excluding discrete graphics or other I/O.) I also note that the DELL device has the same size battery as the 201*6* MacBook Pro 15" and, despite using the i7-6920HQ, can be ordered with 32GB of DDR4 memory, whereas there are posts everywhere in the Mac-centric blogs indicating that the CPU chip is entirely incompatible with DDR4 and therefore cannot exceed 16GB.

32GB (2x16GB) 2133MHz DDR4 SDRAM, Non-ECC [pasted from]

The good news is that the price variance between the DELL and Apple models using that chip is only a couple of hundred bucks and while the DELL offers more in the way of port variety (thus reducing the need for annoying dongles), it does not offer as many Thunderbolt 3 ports nor does it have Mac OS X. [source ]
So value-for-money seems okay.

That said, there are many more options available on the DELL for just a few hundred dollars more --such as a Xeon processor and ECC memory and a full touch screen that works well with Windows 10 (not a single-line iPod Touch embedded in the keyboard masquerading as a row of function keys).

[…] New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac […]

It occurred to me that the new MacBook Pro is built like an iPad Pro, if the iPad Pro had four lightning ports and a keyboard.

Nobody complained that the iPad Pro didn't have a USB port, or a large and configurable amount of RAM, or an SD card slot, or an HDMI port.

We're conditioned to expect iOS devices, "Pro" or not, to have very limited configuration options, and limited connectivity options.

I think Apple wants to sell their Macs the same way.

So the Mac and iPhone/iPad have merged after all, in a way. It just isn't in the software, it's in the hardware design.

Note: I'm not saying this is a good thing.

Panos wrote: "The razor line??? it's 7 pounds heavy!!!"

The 17" Macbook Pro was about 7 pounds. Heavy, yes, but not that bad.

When people talk about "Razor" do they really mean "Razer"?

I'm sorry, but 16GB being too small indicates some other problem besides anemic hardware. How many library of congresses do you need to hold in RAM at one time? There's a real software problem if gargantuan spaces that would be the size of your hard drive just a few years ago aren't sufficient to do something. Maybe 100-tabbed Safari usage just isn't going to work with the horribly extreme memory consumption that webkit uses? Or maybe macOS's virtual memory management is in need of serious overhall?

Now not using the best graphics cards is a more legitimate beef, but sadly this has been an Apple problem for a very long time and I don't see any change there.

The port carousel IS annoying, but the industry as a whole is largely to blame. Let's hope USB-C can last for more than the couple of years that seems to be the standard life of a connection technology nowadays. No excuse for the lack of ethernet or HDMI though.

But worst of all is the keyboard / touchpad. Talk about form over function. I mean hey Apple, you already are making the iPad for touching, see? The laptop is for when you need to type and you don't need a square foot of mouse pad to do the rest. Don't keep saying you want the devices to remain separate while trying to make them the same in ways that don't really work.

[…] insistence on this being a “pro” device has led a lot of actual pros—developers, photographers, designers, and video editors—to point out that this new laptop […]

Max 16GB is not state of the art at all for "pro" in the scientific / data science / machine learning community.
All data for high speed data science analysis it nowdays kept in InMemory databases. Apache, R, HANA, ... wherever you look they need huge amounts of RAM. Data science / analytics with the full data model will probably not be run on the Macbook pro but on a real workstation ob big servers. But for development and proof of concept you need capable enough machines.
An nVidia CUDA capable graphics card would help also for machine learning. The former model had a nVidia 750m that was okay for development.

So for me there is not any "pro" in the new Macbook pro. Much bling, bling but nothing of relevance.

I had reported this 32GB plus for the scientific community to the Apple Macbook pro feedback site early this year, probably many other did the same. Apple did not respond at all.

After nearly 15 years of OSX loyalty based on a good user experience i am testing already whether a Linux notebook like the XPS15 / Precision 5510 with 32GB is my/the future.

This just in: The shiny new MBPs won't work with some of the TB3 certified devices. One more reason I'm glad I bought one of the crappy last-gen devices. It's scheduled for delivery today!

Everyone make mistakes. Even Mighty Apple could fall or St. Jobs decisions failed him. Remember Lisa or clones etc
The major question here has (mighty Apple) become the new Xerox with huge ideas she was unable to implement herself due to corporate regidity?
I am sure we will see soon. Or Will it become the new GE or Toshiba? And by the way apple stock is not undervalued in any way.
It is a history in making... Fascinating.

[…] (Michael Tsai did an admirable job collecting the most varied contributions on the matter in his New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac), I’m pretty sure such a MacBook Pro could easily sell for $4,000-4,500 and this intended […]

Stop complaining everybody. I'm gonna follow Cook's advise and do my crossplatform app development on an iPad Pro... hmm, wait a minute

[…] more important to Apple than any individual MacBook Pro review has been the mass of complaints on Twitter and various blogs from the very professionals who are supposed to buy these computers, […]

Unbelievably Disappointed

I share the same dismayed and disappointed sentiments, I was hoping time would pass and ease the initial shock of this mess, but it hasn't. Recognizing a "backlash" today Apple reduces the price of dongles by 20%, wow, how generous, who cares? You'll still need to have 5+ dongles just to connect your hard drives, brand new iPhone 7, external display, and input devices. Dongles are a huge nuisance and certainly one thing, but the ill powered and inadequate hardware at an outrageous premium is the real problem. $4000 and you get old CPU, old GPU, and you're stuck with a tiny amount of RAM with a continuously bloated OS that eats 2GB of RAM for kernel_task alone?

I hope Apple quickly course corrects quickly by middle of 2017 with 32GB (better yet, 64GB) max RAM limits, and 512GB standard SSD sizes, especially at the crazily new high prices. If that doesn't happen, we know this is it and this is the end. No professional can wait another 4+ years for a new redesign with more memory and functional hardware. Earlier today my maxed out 2015 MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM was busy paging out 28GB of swap files, grinding to a halt with an endless beachball, so don't let anyone tell you that "16GB of RAM is enough" because it hasn't been for years.

Really, the writing was on the wall the moment Apple rebranded the generic, boring, and woefully inept "iPad Air" as an "iPad Pro" and upped the price to accommodate the new name, which is easily the least professional device ever to carry a "Pro" monicker. iPad Pro? Give me a break, maybe for a toddler. MacBook Pro? Pro for who exactly??

The Mac is now nothing but an iPad with a keyboard and a more capable OS that is being run into the ground as well, the platform is toast. It's time to find a Linux or Windows machine if you are a serious computer user.

Christopher Irion

Back in the predigital photography days of Kodak transparency film, I once complain to a Kodak sales rep that I had moved to Fujifilm because using the Kodak product meant adding several additional color correction filters just to make the image color accurate. His reply was "we don't really care that much about professionals, they are a very small part of our market. "

Over the next few years I watched the banks of refrigerators that kept the film cool at my local supplier slowly change from Kodak Yellow to Fuji green. And every time I was on a shoot some non-professionals would see all those green film boxes in my case and ask why I wasn't using Kodak. Fuji continued to innovate and Kodak continued to lose market share to the point where probably some of you don't even recognize that name anymore. It was at one time in the top 10 of the Fortune Five Hunderd companies.

If Apple thinks that we are too small of a market to worry about, creative taste makers and trendsetters that we are, I fear Apple is on its way to being another Kodak , or maybe just a slick consumer product company aping other better products. I've been using Apple products for more than 30 years. Sadly, my next MacBook Pro equivalent will most likely be a PC.

Preorder Victim?

Clarifying that while the i7-6920HQ processor will support DDR4, it doesn't support LPDDR4 ("Low Power" DDR4) memory. Rather than put desktop class memory into their laptops, Apple chose older LPDDR3 ("Low Power DDR3") that maxes out at 16GB. This "low power" memory draws less current (allowing for longer runtime while on batteries) and generates less heat (allowing for fewer "ugly" holes in their cases lol).

So if the definition of "pro" users are lawyers, doctors, academics and creatives that USUALLY work where the power outlets aren't handy, then this decision by Apple is sound and these users are more likely to complain about the "dongles" (being able to use thumb drives, etc) But if the definition of "pro" users includes finance, engineering and creative people that typically work next to power outlets, then I suspect Apple would recommend they go with iMac 5K (which supports 64GB) or a MacPro (which supports Xeon processors and ECC) and pair it to a 12" MacBook for remote access (which should be FREE with the purchase of a MacPro at this point lol).

That still leaves IT pros, software and "field" engineers (huge users of Apple's prior generation of laptops) "constrained" with 16GB or being forced to be tethered to a power-cord most of the day (which won't happen) or choosing a non-Apple solution.

Recouping on dongle hardware for lost sales?

I was really waiting to upgrade. 10 years of macbooks. OK, In 2011, I purchased my first dongle DVI to VGA. I wasn't happy, but I did it. Upgraded in 2013... they removed a Cat5 and I purchased my second dongle. OK, DVI and I could use my dongle and now HDMI. cool. WTH - now you have to have a dongle for everything! I am upgrading to a Microsoft Surface.

Way to go Apple... you've lost us.

[…] insistence on this being a “pro” device has led a lot of actual pros—developers, photographers, designers, and video editors—to point out that this new laptop […]

[…] The MacBook Pro is actually not a “pro” machine, I hear them say. I read that just about over 100 times in 100 slightly different ways — which is striking, to say the least. And bear in mind that all those complaints come from […]

[…] Professioneller Gegenwind nach MacBook Pro-Launch. Phil überrascht. […]

[…] Excellent summary of others reviews: […]

[…] però ho visto che l’hanno già fatto lui, lui e un sacco di altre persone, e hanno scritto le stesse cose che avrei scritto io, ma […]

[…] ports. Some positive, some negative, and some merely informational. Micheal Tsai has compiled a list of many of these […]

I have to use both Macs and PCs for my work. My machines going back 5-6 years have 48GB or more of RAM. And now 16 is still the max on new ones going into 2017? I have a 2012 Win laptop that is as fast as the new Macbook? This current update should have been a couple of years ago.

Steve was good with a go your own way attitude that worked. That doesn't mean that others can do the same, even if they did work with him years ago. It's like a fake imitation of know it all that is starting to go wrong.

If creatives shift from Mac, schools shift from Mac, kids shift from Mac, no one decides to spend a premium just to try something different. You can't even plug in other Apple things like your iPhone without a dongle. The whole future foundation starts to shake.

I used to jokingly say that I might not be able to get a Mac that can build the apps and programs for Apple. It's kind of looking more and more that way already. I will need a bunch of dongles for everything. I don't get how thinner and lighter works if you have to then add a bunch of other stuff anyway. Disappointed and concerned about the future.

[…] insistence on this being a “pro” device has led a lot of actual pros—developers, photographers, designers, and video editors—to point out that this new laptop […]

[…] backlash from among pro Mac users that’s arisen in a arise of this new product launch is unprecedented, […]

[…] a pocket book that is not highly effective sufficient for a lot of professional customers. Many see the latest MacBook Pro as evidence that Apple has forgotten who the MacBook Professional is meant for — specifically, creatives […]

[…] loss of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 just a month prior. Just take a look at this studious blog post from Michael Tsai, which gathers together the broad negative consensus from among Apple’s most passionate […]

I've found the comments on this site extremely illuminating. When Apple came out with the "new" (trash can) Mac Pro I complained on several Apple centric sites about the fact it wasn't upgradeable and required users to have cables running all over the place to connect their existing peripherals. Most of the responses to my complaints were to just "get over it and learn to deal with the 'future' as Apple sees it". I also commented that Apple was placing form over function when it came to the Mac Pro. Reading this thread reassures me that I wasn't living on an isolated island in my own little world.

I currently own three Macs, two MacBook Pros and a Mac Pro (Early 2009 that I've upgraded with 2- 2.95GHz Xeons and 32GB RAM and a new Nvidia graphics card). The MacBooks are a 2007 model I still use to pay bills (and only to pay bills) and a 2012 model that I bought on eBay last year (the last MacBook Pro model that was user upgradeable, which was the sole reason I bought it). I've installed a 512GB Samsung SSD in the 2012 MacBook Pro and I've added a Samsung 512GB XP941 to the Mac Pro. Last year I bought a new HP Z820 that I've upgraded to 64GB RAM, a 512GB HP Z-Turbo card and an Nvidia Quadro M4000 graphics card. I also have two NEC 27" professional monitors (one for the Mac Pro and one for the HP).

To be honest, I use the Mac Pro more than the HP, but for high power requirements the HP can't be beat and it's incredibly upgradeable (my HP currently has 6 internal hard drives installed with room for another Xeon processor and the ability to upgrade the RAM to 512GB if need be) and it's a heck of a lot easier to upgrade than any Mac Pro - no tools whatsoever needed.

The bottom line is I would NEVER consider the trash can Mac Pro or any of the "new" Mac Pros. As many have said in this thread, I could care less about a "sleek/thin" design - it's all about function.

[…] For me, it comes down to the ports, price and power. They’re too few, too high, and too low, respectively. I’m hardly alone. […]

Yeah, disappointed, high cost, lack of performance, not a significant weight reduction...$1200 for 2tb drive, sheesh. Probably going to get an XPS15 now.

[…] to criticizing Apple — not an apologetic fan. That’s why I’m a bit surprised by the recent backlash against the new MacBook Pro notebook computers. I don’t share the dissent. Sure, the choice […]

Why does the MacBook Pro only have USB-C ports? Spanish ‘Apple engineer’ explains

Remember all the hype around the Mac Pro being the first Mac made in the USA?

I wonder how that factory is doing now...

[…] the bigger problem in creating a notebook that isn’t powerful enough for many pro users. Many see the latest MacBook Pro as evidence that Apple has forgotten who the MacBook Pro is intended for — namely, creatives and […]

As a Apple developer I need a large 17" screen, connectivity, long battery life, memory and cpu power in a laptop.

** I don't care how thin and light the thing is!!! ***

I'd hoped to get a new laptop, now I'm staying with my late 2011 MacBook *Pro* 17".

Apple has forgotten the professional user with the new *consumer oriented laptops*.

[…] a barrage of criticism about adopting the new USB standard in favor of the old one that is still widely in use, Apple has […]

[…] products. They are also being embraced by some of their fiercest critics and haters. At a time when Apple’s losing touch their the creative professionals, Microsoft is embracing them and building the company around […]

I've been a loyal Apple fan / evangelist since back around 2002 when I bought a 12" powerbook. I knew trouble was brewing when they changed the name of the company from "Apple Computer" to just "Apple"; this was a clear shift to a consumer products company. We now get your yearly updated iPad and iPhones but the pro computer lines suffer. Now, Apple releases a MBP geared to the "pro-sumer", not actual professionals.

Last year I really wanted an updated laptop and found a great deal on a decked out XPS 13. I put Ubuntu on it, use it every day and love the thing. I was surprised by how "pro" these machines are; Dell even gives instructions on how to take apart the laptop to work on it / change components yourself, and it doesn't void the warranty!

I was looking forward to the MBP announcement because traditionally Apple has made excellent computers, so figured they'd always be in the running for my next machine. This generations is a non-starter for me because the touch panel likely will not work in linux, and the non-touch panel models are gimped to lower specs than my year old XPS 13.

I'm surprised about how big the backlash is for these computers and am curious if Apple will change things up going forward.

Without having seen them (natch!) I highly suspect any productivity improvement with the Touchbar. The Touchbar means the user will have to take their eyes off the screen, focus on a thin strip running the width of the keyboard, find the spot that conducts the function they want and THEN refocus their eyes and attention back to the screen so they can manipulate something they could MUCH MORE EASILY do with a mouse since you don't need to look away from your actual work to play with a touch panel.

I have earned my living editing video for 14 years - exclusively using the Adobe Suite since the Final Cut X fiasco - so the hardware is less important to me now. And I have used Apple hardware since 2004 when, like Jeff, I replaced my IBM ThinkPad with the rock solid 12" PowerBook (this machine is still in my office) and a long-gone Cinema Display. The hardware was so far superior to the competition it convinced me to change operating systems. But the sh*t they just released is not designed for professionals. It's just glitzy and shiny and I'm confident a bevy of 14 years olds will love it. But I won't. (And, apparently, professional DJs won't either: the function keys are crucial to the software they use and they rely on touch to find them in dimly lit spaces so that touch bar crap is useless.)

I just ordered a Lenovo ThinkPad P50; 1TB PCIe SSD, 64GB RAM, XEON E3 @ 3.7GHz to replace my much-loved, but bruised and battered 4 year old MBP. The hardware is less sexy, but also less expensive and it comes with the full complement of ports. After 12 years I decided to get off the Apple train and don't know enough about the Razer brand (though their hardware certainly looks sexy).

Next month when my phone is is up for replacement I have a conundrum: why pay more for an iPhone? There are tons of sexy and solid non-Apple phones with headphone ports (that probably won't nag me 3X a day to update the software).

And why upgrade my ATV3 to the next app-centric model? My son swears by his Roku and (since I don't watch much TV and am not 4K) it's only $50.

The 2011 Mac Mini media server will probably soldier on for a few more years.

And the 3 Airport Extreme towers will probably be fine until someone figures out how to make WiFi software that lets me create a bridged network as easily as Airport Utility.

This downright boneheaded move by Tim and company is actually an opportunity for companies to capitalize on the migration. I wish I knew who would fill the gap so I could buy stock...

As to Jeff's comment "am curious if Apple will change things...". I don't see a viable way for Apple to renege on this move and save face. How do they do that?

The MacBook Pro Pro? The MacBook Pro Extreme? The MacBook ProS?

I think it will require brighter minds to get out of this mess (if they even want to) than the ones that got them into it. I honestly believe Apple is happy to woo the consumer market rather than the community that *absolutely created the Apple brand* and have been their diehard supporters even in their darkest days. There's more money in the 14-25 year old market: we just need to accept this and move on. I have and you should, too.

When we moved from our 2800 square foot home in Austin to our 1100 square foot apartment in NYC every single thing we owned had to be evaluated. Do we really need 3 boxes of holiday ornaments? No. Weed eater? Bwa-ha-ha! Emptying the attic I was struck with the number of beautiful Apple product boxes stored there. We're not hoarders but for some reason these boxes were kept: multiple boxes for iPods, iPhones, iPads, Mac Minis, iMacs, MacPros, MacBook Pros, MacBook Air (only 1), Airports, Apple TVs, and even software (remember when software came in a little square box). I sat down on the garage floor and calculated how much we had spent on Apple hardware (and software) since we moved to Austin in 2004. I had to use but after about 20 minutes I was stunned: $37,632 (plus tax) in 12 years. I had no idea we were spending $3,000/year at Apple. Needless to say the boxes went in the garage sale (a guy gave me $100 for all of them).

What surprised me even more were the number of Apple adapters and cables I had collected. It was a big plastic storage bin organized in gallon storage bags by type: FW-400, FW-800, Video, USB, etc. What was more sad were how many Apple Adapters *I absolutely had to move to Manhattan*. I have an army of Apple Adapters either in use or taking up valuable space on a shelf in my office.

I just can't get on board the absolute adapter horror that is the new MBPr. I won't. I refuse to allow Apple to force yet one more not-ready-for-primetime technology down my throat. I have Thunderbolt adapters that are still like new. And now there's another effing version? Not here there won't be.

$38,000 of Apple products is enough. I'm fucking done! I'm looking forward to seeing the Microsoft Surface products in person.

Was looking forward to upgrade my 2010 MBP but 16GB in the new laptop is a deal breaker for me. Running 2 Windows VMs at the same time on my old MBP is a struggle. Instead I went with a maxed out Dell Precision 7510 with fastest Xeon processor and ECC memory. Sorry Apple, I have been a loyal customer for over 10 years but your new creation is a joke. Give us a powerful mobile machine with some head room to grow in to, not a one size fits all gadget we need to upgrade on annual basis.

I have been working with macs since my first quark xpress grafics experience on the quadra -
Now I am on a SSD souped up 2010 MBpr - which is obviously becoming problematic for 4K video work / DaVinci Resolve
I never asked for the iphonisation of the macbook pro -
I don't understand the laptop anorexia - i was secrectly always hoping for a military grade toughbook type of macbook pro
that would take any abuse and be as waterproof as possible -
i do regularly work with and thus need USB A/B / SD Card / Hdmi / magsafe
I expect proper grafics card decisions (Nvidia) and top of the line cpu
I don't want to be the laughing stock of my peers because i just paid an $ 800 extra for a candy stripe bar that i don't even reach ergonomically

Also I have better things to do than to surf for PC Alternatives - I probably will not love my next lenovo p 50 - but i will be able to upgrade and change everything
and i can actually edit and color grade a 4K film in a reasonable time when i am on a residency or travelling ...

And maybe I come back to my first love when she shows be that she is also a bit interested in my needs...


I think that Steve Jobs would have taken a sharper but more logical turn : all the products would have switch to usb c, including iMac, iPhone cables...etc. The current range of product is such a mess :-/

[…] câmeras e dispositivos de armazenamento, ainda usam as portas excluídas pela Apple. Muita gente ficou insatisfeita. A mudança é tão ruim que nem o novíssimo iPhone 7 é compatível com o computador sem precisar […]

Fearing that I would suddenly be unable to buy a new MacBook Pro with features I need - SD slot, USB-A ports for flash drives and MagSafe (Apple's greatest innovation of all time), I just ordered a late 2015 model from B&H photo. Luckily I was still able to get one with 1TB. Apple has always strived for simple and uncluttered, but now you need a bag of dongles to do anything useful. I like that my MBP is useful with no adapters required.

Photographers make up a substantial chunk of the pro user community. No SD card? Really?

I do find it interesting how many only notice it now that something finally impacts on them.

Apple has been downgrading its efforts everywhere for years because it has found an extremely lucrative, because they are clueless, consumer market.

They have eradicated virtually every one of their professional applications and the Mac Pro was an obvious under performing vanity piece right from the beginning and predictably has gone nowhere. They are just following through with the Macbook Pro on the same downward spiral.

Apple has developed a huge middle age spread and its executives are in an incestuous conversation with themselves, living off the glory of their predecessors.

Given how much money and how many staff Apple has now, it is astounding how little they actually produce, and how badly. I think they have the IBM disease.


The only use for touchbar will be to play PONG and it's derivatives

Totally agree with Alex L.

I was looking to upgrade my 2009 MacBook Pro, the third Apple Laptop I've owned and loved using since 2003.

I work in IT and need the memory to run VMs and also want a product that is flexible in terms of hardware configuration, not just when I buy it, but in the near future.
I don't care how much it weighs, how thin it is, or what the battery life is like, if it has the capacity to do the job.
And why would I spend £4000.00 on something, when I then need to screw/glue something to it to be able to tether it to whatever desk I end up on ?

Game over.

I know it won't seem relevant to the MBP thing, but the crappy new MBP pushed me to hunt for an alternative. I ended up at the 5th Avenue Microsoft Store. I thought the Surface Book with Performance base would be what I was looking for. Until I saw and played with the Studio. Holy crap! This is what Apple should have done to the iMac years ago. And the Surface Book is so much cooler than my current MBPr. I figured out where Apple's genius went.

After doing about 10 minutes of Premiere Pro editing I was sold.

So, I bought my first Windows machine since 1999. I just plunked down almost $5k for a Microsoft Studio. Maxed it out with 2TB storage, 32GB RAM. Comes with a 4GB video card and a quad-core i7. Of course, it won't be here until next year, but it's the first computer I've been excited about in a long damn time.

If you haven't seen the Surface products go look. They're worth the switch.

[…] seeing the new MacBook Pros, I’m considering switching from a single MacBook Pro setup to a (future) desktop Mac combined […]

I would get the MS Surface if it wasn't for the lack of security. We still download and patch like crazy tons of MS updates every month. Plus we have third-party software to add another (necessary) layer of security. Macs still are the best option when it comes to this. But I totally understand the drive to move to the Surface. I think Peter Breis' comment is right on. But how long will it be before Apple moves from having IBM disease to having Xerox disease?

[…] was really disappointed with today's Apple event," wrote Tsai on his blog. "It seems like Apple has either lost its way, that it has lost touch with what (some of) its […]

[…] since 2012. So this time, when Apple introduced some fairly radical changes, emotions among some longtime Mac customers ran […]

[…] now the reactions to the new MacBook Pros have been well documented and analyzed by those within and outside the Apple userbase. Many feel that these Pro laptops are […]

With the new MBPs (and Apple's lack of imagination lately) I've moved to a Lenovo for my portable machine (it's surprisingly fast and solid).

And, after reading @Marc's note about the Surface Studio, I'll replace the iMac with a Studio in June (let them work out the first round of bugs).

And, with that, I will no longer give a rat's a$$ about lackluster twice-yearly non-product announcements from Cupertino. It feels strangely liberating.

[…] When the fourth-generation Pro offering was announced in October, the first major redesign for the premium laptop line in four years, the Maclash was very strong. […]

[…] pro users—the sort whose work involves industrial-strength tasks such as advanced video editing—are disappointed with the direction of these new MacBook Pros. They say they’d prefer newer Intel processors than the ones Apple chose and higher maximum RAM […]

[…] think there’s been enough rant about the new MBP. For me personally, I’ve been waiting patiently, and am always open to be […]

[…] may have garnered the most attention, it’s what Apple removed from their top-of-the-line laptop that has people talking. Namely: […]

[…] may have garnered the most attention, it’s what Apple removed from their top-of-the-line laptop that has people talking. Namely: […]

[…] first reviews and shipments of the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar have started to hit. As usual, Michael Tsai has the best roundup with some choice […]

[…] may have garnered the most attention, it’s what Apple removed from their top-of-the-line laptop that has people talking. Namely: […]

[…] presentazione dei nuovi MacBook Pro ha suscitato opinioni fortemente contrastanti. Tanti utenti professionali (e io fra questi) sono rimasti fortemente delusi dalle caratteristiche delle nuove macchine, altri […]

[…] worse. The question now is: what are Apple’s plans for automation? Is this another sign of Apple neglecting pros? At best, the company has lost a key user advocate and link to the Mac […]

It seems to me these "Pro" machines are what the consumer models last announced *should* have been. They are definitely NOT Pro machines. This is why they used to have two separate laptop lines - MB and MBP. They reached light/thin enough with MBP years ago - professionals know their needs have a weight cost and are generally ok with that. We might wish for a little lighter but aren't willing enough to lose ports/features for weight savings.

I am a professional. I *need* more than 16GB RAM, USB2/3 ports(yes, need), wired ethernet, fast charging, as much screen real estate as possible while still being portable, as much battery capacity as possible while still being portable (minimum 4-6 hours, preferably closer to 8+).

I want: 17" 4k screen, 32-64GB RAM, wired ethernet, separate power port (magsafe) with no dongle required to charge as fast as possible, 2+ USB 2/3 ports (I don't care about USB-C), card reader, headphone jack, HDMI (for projectors/TVs etc for presentations), reasonable to high capacity SSD decently priced, and 1-2 TB port for expansion/external storage/etc.

Apparently Apple has no interest in providing me what I want. So, I have no interest in purchasing an Apple product for work. If they don't change the path soon, when I'm due for a new machine I will be looking elsewhere. I have no interest in carrying around a bunch of dongles. It was bad enough to have to *buy* an ethernet adapter for additional cost/revenue to Apple, now I would need an unknown number of additional dongles with unknown additional cost (after forking out for one of the most expensive laptops in the market), and their extra weight, lose/theftability, ease of damage, lesser warranty, and as yet indeterminate quality.

As a longtime customer and shareholder, I've emailed senior management to express my discontent with this year's no-longer-really-Pro update.

I'm in need of a new laptop, but these new MacBooks are underwhelming and expensive. I'm leaning toward buying a maxed-out 2015 13" machine, if only to send a message to Apple that this thin-and-light nonsense at the expense of real performance and versatility has got to stop. If nothing changes in the next couple of years, this will be my last Mac purchase.

Here's an update for you, regarding their decision to discontinue any form of 'AirPort' networking devices:

As per MacRumors:
Apple has dissolved its division which develops wireless routers and is now sending engineers who worked on the AirPort lineup into other product teams, including one currently working on Apple TV. The news comes from a report by Bloomberg, who said Apple has been slowly shutting down the division over the past year and made the decision "to try to sharpen the company’s focus on consumer products that generate the bulk of its revenue."

THAT, colleagues, right there, tells us everything we've been fearing - "sharpen the company's focus on consumer products"...

'nuff said. They are done with 'Pro' and they are done with anything thats not running iOS.

Such a sad sad shame, a total waste :(

Phillip Kershaw

Bought one of the new 13" MacBook pros. Setting it up, very happy, great lightweight machine.
Then tried to connect my Acer 28" 4k display port monitor. Didn't work, spent 2 hours on phone with Apple support. No joy, they blamed 3rd party USB-c to DP cable, yet same cable works with a 12" MacBook.
Took my MacBook and cable to local Computer shop, tried plugging it in to 5 different monitors, same result non would work.
Now decided to take a hit and sell my new MacBook for a loss.

Robin Alexander

I see that many people are talking about switching platforms. I'm a switcher but from the other direction. Windows was used in the job I had for 20 years and I continued to use Windows machines for 10 years after I went on my own. I noticed my sister using a MacBook Air and I loved it. Not long after that I bought one and am still using it. By that time I was disillusioned with Dell and with Microsoft for constantly diddling with Windows - they never could get user interface right.

I am still very happy with my Air and have found that with relatively modest specs I can still run Photoshop and Lightroom and a few other apps with no problem (though I wouldn't object to more speed). I, too, was thinking of upgrading when the new MacBook Pros came out and was dismayed by the high prices, but before you think about migrating platforms consider this: if you're considering a Windows setup, you need a computer with twice the power of the Mac just to achieve the same performance experience. I have a Lenovo Windows 10 laptop with SSD and more power than my Air, but it runs like a dog compared to the Air and I have to put up with Windows annoyances. Then, as others have pointed out, the quality of non-Apple laptops is very variable. Customer service is also poor, as I have found out. Dell used to have decent CS but now it's hit or miss - usually miss. Check out Consumer Reports.

What I plan to do given the issues surrounding the new MacBook Pros release is to wait a year (if I can exercise enough restraint) and see what happens. Since my MacBook Air is still adequate for what I do, I can afford to wait and see what Apple does of the next year. The Air is my go-to machine and I only use my Windows computers when I have to. Going from Windows to Mac was delightful; I would recommend extreme caution going the other way.

[…] Previously: Apple Abandons Development of Wireless Routers, Thank You, Sal, New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac. […]

[…] laptop company System76 saw a huge jump in traffic, much of it anecdotally coming from disgruntled developers seeking satisfaction elsewhere. Simply put: The new MacBook Pro is anything […]

[…] nuovi MacBook Pro presentati a fine ottobre. Non sono l’unico, anzi sono in compagnia di un folto gruppo di utenti professionali che condividono questa […]

[…] on to what’s already been said about the state of the Mac — @mjtsai is doing a bang-up job of that — but when even long-time Mac fans like @flargh say that the message is “Apple […]

So, I was showing folks around NYC last week and ended up in the Apple store. Tried the Touchbar with several apps. Pretty lackluster & underwhelming. If I bought one of them (I won't) I would not be able to start/stop music with the keyboard which I use all the time. Or easily adjust volume. Or change key or screen brightness. Or jump to Launchpad with a single keystroke. Too much was removed.

Oddly, despite a PACKED store with people sitting in the corners waiting for their 'genius' the display table with the Touchbar MBPs was virtually deserted. No one blogging or checking email on them. The iMacs were swamped. The iPads were buried in a sea of people. The phones were surrounded.

I wonder how honest the happy sales numbers from Apple really are? I can shine any turd with the right data.

I stopped in the Apple Store a couple of days ago to pick up a new iPhone 7. While I waited my turn, I got to try a new 15” MBP with the Touch Bar. It really is cool how the layout of the bar changes as you change applications. It felt a little different than “real” buttons, but even in the few minutes I had, I was starting to get used to it. I ended up giving a couple of short demos to some other customers, and they seemed impressed as well. They especially liked how the bar shows the names of tabs in Safari.

So I really don’t get all this “doom and gloom” about the new MBP. I’ll be buying one in the near future.

@DJ I thought everyone was complaining that the Touch Bar doesn’t show the names of the Safari tabs. Instead, it shows a bunch of possibly indistinguishable mini previews.

And now, this:

"I really hope Apple is working on a new iPad without a Home button" -- said nobody ever

"I really hope Apple is working on a new iPhone with a curved screen" -- said like 5 people ever

It seems like the RDF is even stronger than when Steve was at the helm. Apple is starting to remind me of Hewlett-Packard. Remember when they created and made world-class scientific and professional tools? Then they chased all the money in the consumer market, became "HP", quit making their non-PC products, and could only differentiate themselves based on the design of the PC casing (and not what's inside) and the rest was downhill. Now Apple seems more concerned about how their products look than what they can do. Even on iOS they needlessly hobble it.

I like my iPad for certain things, like software synthesizers with on-screen controls. That's a perfect use for it and much more intuitive than trying to do the same on a desktop with a mouse. And it's nice to take on a plane to watch movies. But to get any actual work done on it, hahaha. I've tried and tried and tried and I just get frustrated, because I know that whatever I'm trying to do on my iPad would take 5x fewer steps and / or time to do on my Mac (or it's just ONLY possible on the Mac). It's worrisome that we have a whole generation of people growing up on these limited devices who have no idea of all the things you can do much more efficiently on a real desktop OS.

I've been using MacOS X since it was called "NeXTStep 0.8". And I'm writing this on my Dell Precision running Linux. Because Apple simply isn't willing to make computers that come even *close* to meeting my needs anymore.

It's not just the hardware, though. Aperture was awesome. Photos is horrible, but they killed Aperture for Photos. OS X Server was really good; is garbage.

Apple keeps cutting off the top 5% of the user population, and then they look at what's left, and kick out the top 5% of that. ("Top 5%" by "functionality or hardware requirements".)

My ultimate summary: Apple does not realize that Steve Jobs becoming thinner and thinner until he couldn't do his job anymore was a fatal illness, not a visionary design decision to emulate.

I know I mentioned it earlier, but this is the first time in my 30+ years of being an Apple user (25 years on Mac) that I'm starting to look elsewhere. The advantages just aren't really there anymore with so much stuff being online and truly cross platform now. For my most recent foray to the other side, I bought a Google Chromecast to hook up to my 4k TV. $25 and it functions fabulously. It was delightful to set up and totally intuitive. No problems at all. It "just works".

Between the built in apps available on the TV (Netflix, Amazon, HBO Go) and being able to stream the other missing ones from my iPhone to the Chromecast (MUBI and Fandor) the ONLY thing I'm missing is iTunes Video... and I don't actually miss it. What compelling reason is there to buy an Apple TV for $150 when I can get a $25 device that does the same thing?

If the Google Pixel phone is as nice as it seems to be, it might be my next phone instead of the iPhone 7. Now that the camera is just as good (if not better) as the iPhone, and 95% of the apps I use are available on the Google Play store, and I already use Google for mail, calendar, and contacts... what compelling reason is Apple offering me to stay in their ecosystem?

There was a time when Mac was clearly better than Windows. Maybe arguably it still is. And Chromebooks are interesting. But since I do most of my work in a web browser and word processor with occasional semi-pro image editing (Lightroom on Windows would be fine)... would I even notice that I'm not on a Mac, really? And there was a time when iPhone was clearly better than Android, but it's starting to look like that's maybe not true anymore either.

And hell, one more rant: How is Apple Maps STILL so bad? It still doesn't have transit for my city, and Google has for years. It still can't reroute you automatically around traffic or give you different route alternatives or route updates while you're actively driving. Every time I've tried to use it, it blows my mind how many essential features it lacks compared to Google Maps. One time I tried to use Apple Maps to get from the west side of San Francisco to Oakland, thinking it must be the best experience if I was in Apple's home turf. It ended up routing me through hell and took 2.5 hours to get to Oakland. Lesson learned.

Now the latest news is that they are developing drones to help update their maps data. Is that where the Mac team went? To work on drones? Can you imagine how fast cities are going to ban this? Who the hell wants drones flying down the street? They must be doing some good LSD down there in Cupertino.

My 15" MacBook Pro Retina has 2 Thunderbolt ports, 2 USB3 ports, SD card slot, HDMI out, and upgradable SSD, a MagSafe with LED that shows the status of a charge at a glance, and that protects the machine in the in evitable event that you or someone trips over the power cord. Apple went backwards in usability just to make the new MacBook (not pro) thinner.
If Apple sold an upgraded MacBook Pro Retina "classic" with the wide color display, TouchBar (which is optional for me) and same processor upgrade of the 2016 MacBook, it would sell like hotcakes. They would even persuade me to part with another $3,000 to own one.

[…] spinti e con un rapporto troppo basso fra prestazioni e prezzo, in sintonia con quanto sostengono tanti altri critici […]

I was going to buy a new MacBook Pro in 2016. Ditto the sentiments of all the comments left here. Apple is going for the general audience / mass appeal... As someone said earlier-
Steve Jobs would've fired the lot of 'em for what they've done to the MacBook Pro.

I was on the verge of selling my MacBook Pro Retina from 2012 when the new MacBook 'Pro' came out. I've had a tenuous relationship with it as there were plenty of issues I had initially from screen ghosting to replacement logic board from screen blackouts. So not the best experience for my first Mac, but the support was excellent and thankfully exchanged without question. Later on when out of warranty and a foot came off and I was looking at $400 for a new foot?!!... because they couldn't just put a foot on, but had to replace the entire bottom panel. Thankfully since I'd had the numerous previous issues they store manager let me have it for free.

Fast forward to the new MacBook 'Pro'. Any problem you have and you will likely have to replace the entire logic board including your entire OS, Programs & Files. This would be alright if they were still supporting timeMachine backup, but they have walked away from wifi backup and discontinued airport development. Good luck if you have issues with their fancy new keyboard as you will likely have to replace the whole computer as it is so deeply enmeshed in the device thanks to a Fetishism towards thinner and thinner design.

I used to think Apple had a reasonable balance of aesthetics and functionality (except for their mice and iPhone cables). Now I find myself wondering if Jonny Ive's has lost his way, or simply now values style well over substance.

Thankfully the Hackintosh is still a reality. It looks like it will be my next machine won't be Apple, but still use MacOS. Hopefully they continue developing MacOS.

I have gained an appreciation of OS X when I bought my first Mac, the MacBook Pro Retina Mid 2012. Involved in the web design and development field I found it's unix like base worked well with many dev tools and OS X had garnered quite a design following with decent apps not available on Windows.

I now find myself uncertain. Hardware supporting windows has certainly gained, and in some cases exceeded that of Apple design. Windows has come out of Win 8 teething problems and Microsoft as a whole has taken a new direction in terms of openness and support of various platform. Microsoft also has some interesting new relationship in the Linux and Arm worlds. Google Assist, although a late starter in the voice assistant realm has comparable or more functionality then the long lived Siri.

If Apple don't want to see the position they have gain fall again into oblivion they would do well to create a true 'Pro' option. Unless they want to pursue the style and little substance of their mobile platforms. This is not necessarily a bad direction, but they should own up that they are no longer supporting working Professionals.

[…] may not be totally out of line, though. Shortly after the Pro launched, a number of would-be users expressed disappointment in what they saw as a notebook that sacrificed too many high-level features for design […]

[…] I would have expected to see more people using it. There are already 1.49% using the new MacBook Pros with Touch Bar, despite shipping delays. It’s frustrating that Apple sees the MacBook One as a worthwhile […]

Glad they have people working on new emoji and not fixing longstanding bugs:

Really?!? A press release for fucking emoji??? They've lost their minds.

Had coffee with a friend today...

Her: "What kind of iPhone do you have?"

Me: "6s Plus"

Her: "Don't upgrade to the 7 Plus! It's the worst. It's slower than my 6 Plus was and takes 3 or 4 seconds just to get ready to take a picture. I hate it."

(and yes I know this isn't a typical experience — as far as I can tell — but it is telling...)

[…] That comment seemingly stems from Apple customers who aren’t impressed with the new MacBook Pro models, even though critics’ reviews are mostly positive. Many have complained about the AMD graphics chip, the inability to upgrade the storage at a later date, Apple’s inability to address the needs of the professional market, and more. The new MacBook Pros have even been described as “watered down” and “incredibly underwhelming.” […]

[…] would this have even become an issue if Apple hadn’t made the new MacBook Pro’s battery smaller? This smells like a software bandaid for a hardware problem, like when they […]

I think it’s more likely that they just need to improve their algorithm for calculating time remaining, and all of the new design elements have kept them from doing that in a timely manner (pun completely intended :-). It’s not a very good excuse, but better to take time reporting out than to continue showing erroneous numbers. I’ve never really liked the time estimates anyway, including the ones they give during software installations/updates. I don’t know how many times I’ve had an install tell me that it had 5 minutes to go, only to sit there for 20 minutes or more. :-)

Btw, why would anyone think that they’d get the rated 10-hour battery life while also powering an external HD display?

[…] New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac, Understanding Apple’s Marginalization of the […]

[…] Pro have proved to be — as with any major change in product direction — controversial, with reviewers questioning its performance, lack of upgradability, battery life, and […]

[…] – The MacBook Pro. Battery life isn’t as long as advertised in the newest model. Apple promised 10 hours, but many people are only getting 7 or 8 hours of battery life. Also, the new model has no SD card slot, no MagSafe (so your power cord doesn’t safely disconnect if someone trips over it), and it costs much more than previous models. Customers and fans are not happy. […]

[…] are generally unspectacular, the Apple Watch isn’t the next big thing some had hoped, and it’s aggravated many longtime Mac and iPhone users with the dongle madness of its newest […]

[…] Previously: macOS 10.12.2 Removes Battery Time Remaining Estimate, New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac. […]

I've read every comment on this page (yes, this was my christmas eve and christmas fun ha ha).
It has been apparent for a few years to me, a non professional user, that Apple has been going in a direction that does not keep lovers of computing excellence in sight as an important group to win respect from. Apple store service was the first to decline, then they started to refuse servicing machines that were older than 5 years, and some of the priceyness (yes, they've always been pricey) went way beyond what you were getting in return. I used to say that iPhone was the "windows of phones" in terms of its restrictive and monopolistic tendencies when it first came out. I only got one for the first time a year or so ago, because it was $50. The seamless syncing was fun, and I realized it would be nice to stay in the "ecosystem."

But last year, I realized that the only useful and worth-it machine from apple was the imac (again, I'm not a developer). No need to explain the ins and outs, the laptop simply did not do it for me at the price point. I bought a late 2013 iMac, upgraded the memory to 16GB from 8 (just because), and kept away from the wireless keyboard. The new trackpad is too expensive for me, and the old one still works but its clicking rubbers at the bottom fell out. No problem, no big deal.

I write, I write a lot. For a change of pace, I was thinking of getting a laptop again, and as soon as I saw the butterfly keys, I knew that it might be over for me and macs. They are absolutely crap. I don't want to "get used to" crap.
I've been here since OS9, and respected the company's focus on design excellence. Never bought an ipod but was happy that they could do well with it (song downloads net them a clean revenue of $2.0bn in one of the early years). Always disliked iTunes.

Windows (and the manufacturers that use it) still does a bunch of virus and bloatware stuff that is not attractive, but I've been told it is much better than before (Windows XP was my last regular use OS from them, worked in an office). I'm on the fence as far as switching over goes, but I am not on the fence vis a vis these new macbook pros. They suck, and I won't waste money on them.

Never was a fanboy, but I really liked Apple as a company. Now, I am finally quite completely disenchanted with these shareholder value driven - tweenie fools buy shiny things obsessed quartet at the top. And I don't want to spend money on dongles.

It does not make business sense though - everyone knew that apple was the computer for creative and high end work, that people who created films and interesting programs used it, that you got more bang out of the same buck compared to windows in terms of processing and smoothness, and that things "just worked." This was a niche that always stood as a core group that did not make too much money for Apple in sales, but added strength to the brand and attracted more people to Apple. Just give them a good laptop and keep them on board! And this disaffection that I am seeing on this page and on many others, isn't it eventually going to affect the app store and what developers do in there? Maybe not. But it sucks nonetheless.
That microsoft studio desktop looks beautiful (there, another statement that was reserved for apples computers).

Thinking about a macbook air from a few years back. $949.0. Maybe. Maybe something else.
A question - what do you think of microsoft office and scrivener on an iPad pro with a logitech Create keyboard and apple pen? Makes any sense? I don't know what to do about my mobile writing needs anymore.

Really - laptop battery time should be measured DAYS not hours! All this talk of this many hours or that, Apple PLEASE just put a hugh battery in the *PRO*.

I REALLY would like to see a 17" MacBook *PRO*, the best processor, 64G of memory for VMs, full connectivity, MagSafe PLEASE, great GPU and a huge battery. I don't get the thin thin thinner thing on the Pro model, save that for the Air. I do software development.

[…] reliability and integration of Mac OS X and the excellent quality hardware it runs on. However the current state of the Mac has me considering whether it’s still the right platform for […]

[…] Previously: How Apple Alienated Mac Loyalists, New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac. […]

Apple today is drowning in its own philosophy. The irrelevance of Phil Schiller is obvious, as is the lack of authority of Jony Ive and Craig F. Their relentless race to eliminate everything that its useful while embracing thinner and thinner designs is leading them to end their era of relevance. That's a shame.

My MBP 2013 was damaged during the flight. I watched at the new MBP in London: thin to the point of anemia. Small idiot bar at top of keyboard. No ports. Not safe charge port. What do they think?

I bought the new SurfaceBook in London. Beautiful, powerful, perfect.

Stupid Apple.

(Pardon if not good English: Luxembourgish >> Google Translate.)

[…] Previously: New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac. […]

[…] Previously: New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac. […]

I feel so liberated. The anaemic MBP announcement was truly a wake-up call for me. I realised I had become one of the sheeple: mindlessly upgrading laptops, desktops and even the media server every few years. Simply because Apple's devices were shiny. And in the past few months, I've taken a hard look at the technology in my life and asked myself if it 'worked'. Is this the best it could be? And frankly, except for the go-everywhere MacBook Air they simply aren't. The MacMini used for a media server is no better than the one that replaced it so it still does it's very limited job. But after that...

The wireless keyboards don't have number pads. The wireless mice are annoying and fidgety. The iMacs are significantly less upgradeable than their predecessors. The 4 MacBook Pros in the house are acceptable, but compared to their competition, the technology is dated and the machines are basically impossible to upgrade. I long touted the longevity of Apple laptops but the truth today is that they are engineered to be useful for about 3 years: and you can't upgrade them. You just have to buy new. A $500 Windows laptop lasts the same 3 years before it needs replacing.

The iPhones are fragile, flimsy and stupidly thin. The Cupertino crew shaved a few millimetres off MOST of the devices but there's still the unsightly camera bumps -- so they're not really thinner than other phones. And b/c they're so damn fragile you MUST use a case with them bulking the devices up larger than comparable non-Apple devices.

The headphones don't fit well and their sound quality is subpar. And now we're supposed to want a pair of ill-fitting earbuds that will fall out of our ears 4 times on a tube ride? I don't think so.

I realise I'm done with Apple. I no longer care what they manufacture and I refuse to engage in the reality distortion field.

I encourage you to consider whether you are really using the best possible devices. Really think about it. Don't blindly say 'it's the best operating system' or 'the hardware is so damn sturdy'. I bought into that for 15 years and during that time the computing world has changed. Just not so much at Apple.

[…] della sorte o forse contrappasso dantesco — dimostra ulteriormente che il MacBook Pro 2016 non è proprio un modello adatto agli sviluppatori, uno dei target naturali della linea di notebook professionali di […]

[…] Michael Tsai, a software developer, writes in his blog, “Apple has either lost its way” or “it simply doesn’t care about” developers. For Tsai (and many others), the MacBook Pro’s focus on convenience, looks, and complex interface enhancements, has made it clear Apple doesn’t view the jobs developers have to get done as a core focus. […]

Función de inicio diferido le permite controlar cuando comienzan y terminan cada ciclo, mientras la pantalla muestra el tiempo restante para la finalización. Mi cuñado me dijo que a él se le había averiado el portatil y que lo llevó a El Corte Inglés, al servicio de Asistencia Técnica, porque todavía estaba en garantía. Ahora vivo en UK y el aparato se ha averiado (según servicio técnico en Edimburgo, fallo de fabricación). No realizamos intervenciones en Electrodomésticos Bluesky en Garantía de Fábrica.

I needed more power to export video but didn't want the butt-hurt of the tradeoffs from the new systems. What is that little screen really doing for us?

I talked with another local videographer and learned he's been using an external GPU with his MBP and it really helps. So I bought one, been using for about 1 month and cut export times for videos with lots of effects by much more than half. Best upgrade for my MBPr ever. Probably extends system usefulness by 5 years.

Look at for options if you don't want the new machines either.

Let Apple wallow in their greed.

[…] effectively, has ceded the “pro” space, the people who need all the things on their systems. Michael Tsai’s excellent evisceration of the new Macbook Pro says that better than I could. Whereas the Surface Studio is explicitly […]

On The Hp Zbook Studio G3 156 Inplane Switching Ips Technology Mobile Workstation Intel Core I5 6th Gen I56300hq Quadcore 4 Core 230 Ghz Space Silver

[...] far this year alone for work. I want a best-in-class keyboard. The previous Mac [...]

I was so, so looking forward to these devices..months of dribbling. I was horrified when I got my hands on one (akin to the first time I saw Microsoft's own Windows 8 Metro brain fart) - the response from the Pro keyboard, well there wasn't any! What were they thinking; no doubt the mantra was simply 'thinner is better'. A lot could be learnt from the excellent keyboards from the ThinkPad top-end line. Pro battery life was also shocking! Ascetics, yeah sure A+ - gimme, gimme! But this is a Pro, don't treat me as a simple multi-media-mail consumer intent on sending Emoji icons and charge me like a Pro Forex trader.

I've always preferred Apple's Pro line for a serious portable development machine - that looks beautiful to boot, now I'm back on Windows - thankfully Windows 10 Anniversary and Creative Updates are awesome with Bash shell from Canonical - well and truly coming along. Microsoft is again getting it right after screwing things up. I hope Apple wakes up soon and does not remain drunk on its own hubris for too long, but it's going to take them a least a year to sort this mess out.

[…] loss of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 just a month prior. Just take a look at this studious blog post from Michael Tsai, which gathers together the broad negative consensus from among Apple’s most passionate […]

[…] Überblick auf die Stimmung in der Community liefert zudem Michael Tsai ab. Dieser fasst in seinem Blog-Eintrag „New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac“ über 100 Wortmeldungen mehr oder weniger […]

[…] it seems like most Mac models are not as competitively priced right now, Apple is focusing on the high end of the tablet market, and it sounds like iPhone prices will […]

[…] developer Michael Tsai has kept up an extensive and long-running list of complaints about the new MacBook Pros and the state of pro Macs, which includes more than three […]

[…] room for a Mac Pro in the 20% of desktops, there’s got to be room in the 80% for a true MacBook Pro: a large display, lots of RAM and storage, a real keyboard and trackpad, and physical escape and […]

Dave Bosconi

I started using a Mac in 1986 (Macintosh SE-30), and later used Mac's integrated with Media 100 Editing Hardware - I loved the Mac - still cling to a 17" MacBook Pro. I produced over 50 films for outlets like PBS and The Discovery Channel on Macs. My son, who is now going to college to major in Film finally got tired of me telling him "how great Mac's are" and switched to Sony Vegas on a PC. He is now looking to get a Surface Pro for photo editing. I don't know if anyone from Cupertino reads this blog, but I have to say that essentially abandoning the 17" MacBook Pro's and not updating the Mac Pro is driving young filmmakers and creative professionals away from the Apple ecosystem. Maybe they don't sell as many "Professional Grade" Mac's as they do iPhones, but that is one of the reasons for having "loss leaders" in a business - it gets people into using your products across the entire line. My son has also had an iPhone for the last 5 years (since I'm still a die-hard Apple fanboy), but he is now looking to go with a Samsung. I'm not a marketing genius like the guys at Apple, but I can't help but feel that they are going to lose more and more market share by overlooking the Professional Users.

First they came for the Xserve, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Enterprise Sys Admin.

Then they came for Rosetta, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a PowerPC user.

Then they came for the Mac Pro, and I did not speak out—
Because I could not afford a Mac Pro.

Then they came for my MacBook Pro—and there was no one left to speak for me, because Apple makes only 10% of it's profit on Pro Users.

[…] and it doesn’t go out of its way to prove it still loves its most ardent users. But after the tepid reaction to the latest MacBook Pros from hardcore fans, it seems to have felt the need to declare, months in […]

My family was one of the proud owners of one of the earliest Macs. I have bought them since. Thirty years is it? Now with a MacBook Pro Retina, I am
fed up. Almost to the day after the warranty expired, there are heating and fan issues. I'll suck it up like everyone ( how's that Class Action Lawsuit going for the 2013 version?) but want
to take this opportunity to join in and register my frustration and disappointment. New MBP's coming out? After all this time? hmmm. You lost trust guys. Not impressed.

Every time they released onother overpriced, useless consumer-toy I grew more and more disgusted with their sole focus of increased profits to fatten up their shareholders instead of delivering some piece of hardware their customers could actually work with.

No matte screen option for the macbook, no spill resistent keyboard either, soldering ram to the bleeding logic board, failing graphic cards, no expandability so you got the even crappier new stuff forced down your throat, bluetooth audio still sucks, all the other epic failures in their hardware design over the last years which have been complained about by customers ad nauseaum without avail and that pathetic Jobs-lookalike imitation of Tim Cook, shrouded in a cloud of smugness.

I’ve !#$&!%§ had it, so I finally sold all that junk from Cupertino and jumped back to Windows, wasn’t that bad actually and great to get some choice in buying some decent piece of kit, yay :)

When the new MBP came out I thought I might try a Windows machine: my design software (Adobe CC) is cross-platform, right? And I found a decent text editor for HTML/CSS/JS. So why not? After 31 days on a Windows 10 laptop that cost almost 4500USD I gave up and sent it back. Adobe CC is not the same on Windows as Mac. And everything I can do easily on Mac requires a new piece of software on Windows.

I can kvetch all I want about the machines but MAC OS is head-and-shoulders above the competition. So, after returning the Razer laptop I ordered a new MBP with the Touchbar. At 4998USD (with adapters & AppleCare) the machine shipped.

The Touchbar is stupid. It makes no sense to add a little display to a keyboard. I have to look at the keyboard to find the scrubbing area then hover my finger to find the point to scrub (while looking at the screen and making sure my finger doesn't move off the scrubbing area) then press to scrub? Instead, I just hover my mouse and I can see clearly where the cursor is and scrub video. No looking back and forth between the two screens.

I ended up closing the MBP and using an external keyboard. And after using it for 3 weeks - alongside by 4-year-old MBP - and running comparison tests for video and image processing, etc. I realized it's no faster than my 4-year-old MBP. And my work is slower if I use the Touchbar. But I need reliability and a machine with a what to do?

I returned the $5000 MBP and all its little dongles and bought a refurbished 2015 model with AppleCare. Now I have a slightly faster MBP with a warranty.

After reading that Apple has realized the trash can MP is dead in the water I wonder if they will similarly realize the same for the stupid little keyboard screen.

As a Mac Pro user, I can assert that Apple lost me with the release of the Trash Can.

I have always purchased Mac Pro Towers for EXPANDABILITY.
I never cared how pretty or portable it was.

The new Mac Pro should be a big powerful box like the previous versions with plenty of room for expansion and upgrades.
If Apple tries to pass off their next Mac Pro as a pretty little, proprietary shell, I'll switch to PCs for good.

[…] non fa di tutto per dimostrare che ama ancora i suoi utenti più ardenti. Ma dopo la tiepida reazione agli ultimi MacBook Pro da parte dei fan irriducibili, sembra abbia sentito il bisogno di […]

Apple has lost its way. Badly. I wanted a new machine, a powerful one that could do all I want it to do. A 17" MBP with 32G of RAM, a big battery and full port selection would have done it for me. I really don't care how light and thin it is. So after 15+ years of buying their highest spec laptop every year or two... I'm out. Looking at Razer + Linux now (see Not because I want to, but because I have to if I want the functionality I need and aesthetics I desire. I still hope the Apple wakes up and recognizes that the demographic that they appear to abandoning will cost them in the long run. I personally brought about 50 people over from PC to Mac many years ago. I'll do the same now if I leave Apple.

[…] it has been relevant to the latest MacBook Pros, widely panned by the developer community for being overpriced, having somewhat outdated and underwhelming specs, and requiring the separate […]

The last time I bought an Apple device that I hated was a Newton in 1994.
My prediction is the MacBook pro w/Touch bar is going to end the same way - for me and for many.

It has so hindered my productivity, that I really want to return the MacBook. I would do it sooner, but I am away for work until Middle of June when I return to USA.
Downside - What will I replace it with? I dont speak PC, having been a Mac devotee for decades!
Shall I Go back to my 2013 MacBook which Already gave to one of my employees?

Retina Display and Space grey body is nice. Big deal.
My keyboard is malfunctioning already, which doesn't help my disappointment.

But mainly - What were they thinking when they added the touch bar? Was it some millennial developers idea of cool? Sorry but the battery life is dying and I had to fisnih off my comments in a hurry so Im not holding my tongue.

Fred Hamranhansenhansen

Somebody needs to explain to me why Apple Maps was a firing offense, but the 2013 Mac Pro and 2016 MacBook Pro are not.

The big problem for me is not just the products, because product roadmaps can go awry, mistakes can be made, and companies can recover from those mistakes. The big problem for me is that Apple executives have been going around shooting off their mouths about what pros need and want for sometime now without ever saying anything true or relevant or insightful or informed. That tells me that no help is coming from Apple for pro workstation users. They don’t even know what the problems are. They are not thinking in those terms. They are thinking of their *own* problems such as how do we make this smaller or cheaper or make sure it does not compete with iOS. They are not thinking of solving the problems that users have.

For example, Phil Schiller recently said that pros don’t need pen or touch on the Mac, what they need is expandability and power. Putting aside for a moment that Apple does not offer any systems with expandability or power, and putting aside the empty platitudinal nature of the comment, it was very disheartening to realize that Phil Schiller somehow does not know that pro graphics is pen-based, and pro audio and video is touch-based and they always have been.

These are pen apps: Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Motion. The way we get a pen is we have to spend $1000 or more on something like this which turns the notebook into a desktop:

These are touch apps: Logic, Pro tools, Ableton Live. The way we get touch is to spend $1000 or more on something like this that turns the notebook into a desktop:

Premiere and Final Cut are also touch apps. The way we get touch is to spend $1000 or more on something like this that turns a notebook into a desktop:

There are also about 10,000 iPad apps that are virtualized versions of the above hardware. Apple themselves publishes Logic Remote and Final Cut Remote.

So why do all of the above product categories exist if a $4000 MacBook Pro with a dead screen and two kinds of touch computer built into the keyboard is all you need? And if MacBook Pro is not all I need, then why would I buy it? The whole idea there is a self-contained computer. If Apple stops building in new technologies and they always have to be hanging off the side, then why even have notebooks? And why when I already have to spend $1000 or more to add pen or touch to that MacBook Pro would I want to spend $500 on a Touch Bar that I cannot possibly use because my eyes are on the fucking Wacom screen Apple still forces me to buy and only my left hand ever touches the keyboard?

And the dongles — how the fuck do Apple’s designers not realize that the MacBook Pro *is* the dongle? It’s a fucking Wi-Fi dongle combined with a Bluetooth dongle combined with a screen dongle, keyboard dongle, and of course a bunch of cable dongles. It’s supposed to be self-contained for portability. In my view, it is the responsibility of Apple’s designers to solve our fucking problems before we have them by building in the right collection of female ports to match the collection of male cables that notebook will see during its working life, not to lecture us about USB-C being the future of computing and tell us to do our own research and pick out a selection of dongles. What the fuck do we pay Apple for if we have to fucking assemble our own systems?

The irony of Apple telling us that we shouldn’t be putting cards or RAM chips or replacement storage into a computer while simultaneously vowing never to put in pen and touch and also removing all the useful ports so we can’t plug stuff in is incredible. The harder it is to put stuff inside, the easier it needs to be to plug things in. The harder it is to plug things in, the more you need to build into the computer. But Apple is taking stuff out of the computer, making them too small to put stuff inside, *and* making it harder to plug stuff in.

What is even worse is I am carrying a MacBook Pro and Wacom to client locations and I’m using whatever ad hoc extra displays are there at that location. Not only has Apple failed to relieve me of my Wacom burden by building a pen Mac, they have now made it even harder to connect to external displays. Things had only just settled down into mini DisplayPort and HDMI recently. It will probably be a year before I even see a USB-C display.

Also, as yet there are no Wacom tablets that hook up reliably via USB-C. There is one that has a USB-C, but it is really some kind of hacky mini DisplayPort in there and you have to buy a $70 Wacom adapter to make it work with a USB-C Mac. So that is yet another complication, yet another expense for something bullshit, yet another thing to misplace or use, yet another point of failure when I show up to work somewhere and can’t find the Wacom adapter or the Apple dongle or some other bullshit because Macs are no longer even attempting to be self-contained, and we are in an era where Apple for some reason promises that the hottest new technologies will never come to the Mac.

Anyway, I am going to buy a Surface Pro 5 when it ships because even if Windows is every bit as terrible as it is said to be, the Surface Pro is still a much simpler, easier, better-functioning option than a 2016 MacBook Pro that literally requires me to spend over $1000 in accessories and sit at a desk before I can do a moment of work. I’ll have to fight with Windows, but literally every other thing will be right. On the Mac, I would have the comfort of Mac OS, but literally every other thing would be wrong.

BTW, I love the iPad and have 2 iPads, plus an iPhone. Bought them all on day 1 of each product’s availability. The idea that they can replace a workstation is what I would call criminally stupid. It is stupid on its face, but when people repeat it, it becomes mendacious. iPad can replace a Windows PC or consumer Mac, but not a workstation. iPad does not even have its own App Store, it just runs iPhone apps. iPad Pro tops out at 256GB of storage and 4GB of RAM and does not have virtual memory. How am I going to work on a 40 GB Photoshop file in that case? Even if the full Photoshop was there. If Mac App Store had been iPad App Store and there was a Carbon-like method to get Mac apps over within a few weeks, and there were iPads with 16 cores right now, then that would have been Apple backing up their bluster. But they did not. Apple failed the iPad maybe even more than they failed the Mac over the past 5 years. I don’t know what magic Apple thought would somehow make a bunch of great apps appear on there, but it did not work. Even Apple has only ported a couple of their Mac apps to iPad, and they are still very stripped-down and they have to give them away for free because nobody pays for iOS software. Panic is the most ideal kind of loyal small all-Mac developer and they just recently said again that they have made no money from iOS software and they continue to only see profits from the Mac. My recommendation to Panic is to start shipping Windows versions of your apps because you can’t build your business on Apple anymore. They are just too unreliable and flighty and self-focused. Possibly they are also too rich to understand that Panic and the rest of us all have to earn our way. We might like USB-C a lot, but we can’t afford to lose 10 minutes a day or to be without a dongle for a common port even once. You are expected to just hookup to GigE and HDMI and mini DisplayPort and USB-A without any kind of trouble at all because anything else would be totally unprofessional. Some Nerd BS about USB-C doesn’t fix that.

@Fred I think Apple Maps was more like the stated last straw than a firing offense itself. Depending on who you believe, the underlying issue was some combination of other top execs not being able to work with Forstall, without Jobs there to mediate, and Cook wanting to get rid of a potential challenger.

If Apple had been keeping their other hardware up to date, their choice of a connector wouldn't have been such an issue. One natural question: It's been 6 months since Apple released the MacBook Pro, do any of their other computers, iPads, or iPhones use this connector yet?

[…] been updated in 785 days, the $899 MacBook Air was discontinued, and the current 13-inch MacBook Pro (sans Touch Bar) starts at […]

[…] reported Mac Pro overhaul—Apple mitigates that risk. It may not have addressed the entire litany of gripes creatives have had about Apple’s recent treatment, but it took an important first […]

I am amazed that, given the price tag, the new Mac Book Pro does not include:

1) A USB-A port or even a dongle that would allow by brand new iPhone 7 to connect to my new Mac Book Pro. Solution: spend $20 on a dongle in addition to the $3000+ for the laptop.
2) An actual power cord for the power brick. This used to be included with previous Mac Book Pro models. Solution spend $20+ on the cord.
3) An adapter to connect an external monitor from my previous Mac Book Pro (HDMI, DVI, Displayport, ...) to my new Mac Book Pro. Solution spend $20+ on dongles.

Why is Apple making me spend, spend, spend on a bunch of dongles that are clearly necessary to use their new $3000 - $4000 laptop? I feel ripped off.

Did I mention that you have to buy three pieces if you want an additional power supply for your laptop (USB-C cable, Power Brick, and Power Cord)? Really?

Finally, The new keyboard and track pad are unusable. The new keyboard has a horrible feel and is very loud. The new trackpad is so big that my palm gets in the way of using the trackpad as a pointing device. I can no longer rest my left palm on the laptop when using the trackpad without interfering with normal functionality.

Did people like the Dell?

[…] reported Mac Pro overhaul—Apple mitigates that risk. It may not have addressed the entire litany of gripes creatives have had about Apple’s recent treatment, but it took an important first […]

Have been Mac user for 25 years but for the first time looking into switching to windows.
This latest MacBook Pro was not only scandalously expensive (passing 5.000€ as I always upgrade to the max).
But it is also unreliable and causing a lot of lost time. Certainly the worst Mac ever.
-trackpad that sometimes refuses service
-keyboard malfunctioning (and it is loud indeed)
-the dongle thing: annoying in itself but sometimes it takes minutes to have the machine recognize the dongle without knowing what is happening. The dongle needs updating (?)
-not compatible with HP scan (have to use work around in PDF)
-not always compatible with click share (sometimes it works, sometimes not: an unpredictability you really not need when you have to present in front of many people)
-lot's of freezes when using Microsoft Office, in word, excel and powerpoint
-the impractical placement of the Siri button (often launch it by accident)

Of course I have had many problems to pump over the data from my previous Mac and Time Machine is still not functioning properly. But these things, Apple going from best to worst in class in easiness of use, we got already used to.

And the change of the power cord or lack of 17", is also a good symbol that Apple is only thinking about its own profit margin and has forgotten that you should always think clients before profits.

[…] reported Mac Pro overhaul—Apple mitigates that risk. It may not have addressed the entire litany of gripes creatives have had about Apple’s recent treatment, but it took an important first […]

[…] Previously: New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac. […]

[…] continues to work, not least because I think I’d be less happy with any of the models in the current lineup, despite advances in some […]

[…] only a subset of complaints with Apple’s newest laptops. Seriously, check out the list of issues compiled by Mac developer Michael […]

Based on the number of comments and feedback I've read ... I can conclude the following and I think I won't be too far off ... C levels at Apple just cashed in, HUGE, at blind (err naive) loyalty of their customers.

MBP was, kw==was, the hands-down best laptop I ever used. Timr will tell if that was will turn to is.

I just got a 15' 2017 MBP for work this week and I must agree with your complaints.
I think I figured it out though. I thinks its that none of the Apple management team are actual geeks. They may be 'computer people' but they're not geeks. So they have zero understanding of what geeks want. Could it be they have developed a 'sort feeling' for what 'those folk' want. But have just been riding a wave of good will for the last few years, and maybe that wave is all gone. If we look at it as they are just not geeks: Of course they wouldn't want it to have more than 16G of RAM, nothing they do needs it. Likewise for upgradeable things like the hard drive and RAM, why? They would never upgrade the hard drive, you can almost hear "I have a 200G drive in my computer and its lasted me for 3 years, what do these people want!?". And what if the reason they obsess about it being thinner and lighter is because that's the prime use case for them, they carry it around all day from meeting to meeting. They need to use texedit, and Execel and MacMail, and don't want to plug in till they leave the office. There's almost a hint of disdain for our class of user, "Who still uses function keys, they've gone the way of the dodo". It for some reasons reminds me of that cultural thing in the fashion world where once in a while a designer speaking candidly says, "I didn't design those for _them to wear".

After using the machine for a week its clear that 'professional', or even 'power user' is not the demographic they are satisfying. Its almost laughable: a 8" trackpad, no usb-b ports, no magsafe, no status leds anywhere, no function keys, one size hd for life. It seems they think they are making a piece of usable art in the same way MB&F or Cartier think about their watches. With an air of 'Isn't it beautiful' followed by 'Oh, yes! It actually still turns on'.


Triva: did you know if you search "email" in Spotlight on the desktop or the phone, (mac) Mail is never suggested. Can we think about the logic behind that for a second? Who does that benefit? The user, sure as hell no. It was more work to make sure that _didn't_ work. Who would push for that?

I've been using a MBP 2011 and although I feel the need to upgrade to a recent one, I can't convince myself to do so, because the new MBPs don't have the features they should for a pro user!

The problems I see in the new MBPs that stops me from upgrading are:

1. A pro laptop should have a proper keyboard! Including a physical ESC key! That touch bar crap is for children.
2. A pro laptop at Apple's price range should have the latest CPU and at least the possibility of 32GB of ram.
3. A pro laptop needs a good GPU for god's sake. Why not have an Nvidia option too?
4. Ports! I can't carry shit loads of adapters with me all the time!

What I still like about MBP:

1. Great screen.
2. MacOS
3. Solid build quality

If making a laptop thinner and lighter or adding more battery life compromises any of the above mentioned specifications, then it shouldn't happen! At least not for the pro laptops!

I am looking for alternative brands and Linux Mint but I feel betrayed by Apple!


Brian D,
Yeah, I use the function keys all the time, Esc too. I'm hardly an hardcore user, but I do work in the Terminal occasionally.

Reza Ghobadinic,
I hear you, I went Linux on non Mac, x86 hardware. Works great for me. There are things I miss about Mac OS, but I can approximate my simple workflow well enough. SSH, rsync, terminals, browser, text editor, and photos, music, videos on occasion. On the media side, I might tweak a scanned image or transcode some video every now and then.

What I keep hearing/reading, is the lack of choice. We don't need a bajillion different SKUs, but one size fits all clearly isn't working. Being able to upgrade RAM or drives down the line is nice. Shoot, sometimes I just wanted to bump 8011.n WiFi and older Bluetooth to 802.11ac and newer Bluetooth standards. I don't want proprietary drives and proprietary networking hardware (or soldered RAM generally). Being able to grab a $35 WiFi card, $100 drive, or bump RAM instead of buying another $1000 computer is user friendly.

Sane defaults on software for average users and reasonable specs for base hardware? Sure! That makes sense, but I like the option to upgrade later for hardware, not overbuy up front and I want to take off the training wheels on the software too. Please don't keep locking down the OS until it's hard to run for "power users".

In a way, I kind of appreciate the weird Microsoft Windows 10 S builds. Regular people can have an almost ChromeOS type of environment with management and security and then people who need to harness the power of the system are one $50 upgrade away. That's interesting to me. Even if I don't think Microsoft's current plan works out in practice.

I can't say enough about how much I love my 15" Mid 2012 MacBook Pro. I can't justify any upgrade since. It is the perfect MacBook ever made. I have all the ports I need as a professional videographer / photographer. The keyboard is what I like to click on. I have the keys in the right place and an esc key. It's fast. I can (and have) upgrade the ram and hard drives. I have an optical drive if I want it (sadly, no matter how much you try and move clients over to a cloud or digital storage space media format) for CD/DVD creation/sharing media i.e. musicians, weddings, select group of old school clients, etc. it's there. When I'm not using it, I slap in an SSD drive and go. I can hear my audio from it and it's pretty loud and clear. I have an SD card slot that I use for all my content from cameras (still and video).

I have never understood why Apple thinks I need to have a slimmer, lighter laptop. I get it. No one wants to carry around a brick, but for all the features I need, I can accept those additional weight and size additions. I mean, battery life alone isn't any better for the things I use. Sure, if you are just using Word, the internet and email, great, but if you are a "PRO" user, using those things still drain the battery the same. Again, I'm ok with that.

If I want to use a touch screen or my finger to do things, I'll use my iPad. For the real pro stuff, I need a full keyboard, mouse (full trackpad at least) and large enough screen. I need power AND storage space to do thing. Especially when traveling on job to a client or gig. I don't want to carry around a bag of dongles, extra power, external storage etc. I want it easy. One thing that does all the PRO stuff I need.

I'm really amazed on how many people are disappointed with the development of the MacBook Pro line. I hope Jony Ive and his amazing team listen. We don't need a ridiculously thin laptop that can't withstand a little pressure on it without bending. We don't need a bunch of gimmicky things to look modern or updated. Just give us a quality, professional line that fills our needs. If there are any changes to be made, work on the battery life and let us be able to upgrade (RAM and Storage) as we have for years. That's about it. I don't want a disposable machine. Again, from what I'm reading, think about the 2012 mid MacBook Pro line. There are reasons people loved it so much. There is a core group of Professionals that you are loosing daily. Once my 2012 dies, I don't know what I'm going to do. Especially since it has officially become "Vintage" in Apple's eyes.

[…] but you were also getting a lot in return. The weight dropped from 5 lbs. to 3 lbs. (67%). The 2016 MacBook Pro made similar compromises but for diminishing returns. It reduced the weight by less than half a […]

Traveling Dev

I'm a tech enthusiast. And by that I mean that I started coding at 12 and by the age of 20 I was a self-employed online freelancer traveling the world, touching every kind of code, marketing or technology gimmick. I never had an Apple product frankly because they were too expensive compared to other brands that required a bit of tuning, but I knew what I was doing.

Still, in 2014, when the Macbook Air with the first i7 came out, there was simply nothing like it. The battery life and the performance was unbeatable. The aluminium unibody was great, the webcam was good, heck even the audio output was better than probably any other laptop (I spend multiple hundreds on headphones).
So I made the switch without thinking about it. Unfortunately this year my 4 years old MBA got stolen. It didn't bother me much because I was already shopping around ready to upgrade. But then I realized the current MBA still has the same ridiculously low resolution as years ago. That the bezel around the screen didnt change at all. That ram and ssd options were not much better and the CPU was barely last gen. I then had a look at the Macbook Pro, really hoping to stay in the Apple ecosystem, but the result was even worst. Overpriced, with almost no ports (I was using the SD port on MBA a lot), and traditional things like mag-safe and even the glowing logo were removed. I never was an Apple fanboy but everything I thought the Macs were doing good was basically changed.

I even looked at the new Macbook 12" but the keyboard was impossible to work with. Small details like a 480p camera instead of 720p were also simply putting me off. I was looking at a completely different Apple than 4-5 years ago when those same small details were paid the utter most importance..

So I got myself a X1 carbon. It's light, the keyboard is great, battery and cpu too, it got TONS of ports, and its cheaper. Yes I would have liked to stay on Mac but it was simply not possible with the current gen. Windows 10 is very usable and stable. I am running native linux cmd too.

I hope Apple will get there things together and come back where they used to excel. But I think a new CEO and team is needed.

Yeah....the MacBook Air just didn't stay relevant. At the very least, Apple could have used better panels for the display, IPS at least, even if the resolution isn't "retina". Perhaps bumped the processor, storage, and RAM. The easy stuff. Oh well, a whole lot of fish in the sea if you don't need Mac OS specifically. Then there's running Mac OS on non Mac hardware which is supposed to be even easier than when I did the same five years ago.

I am a professor who works in computational methods and so do a lot of coding. I have been with apple for more than 10 years and every time a new product was released, I felt like I should get it because it was better than the last one. But not this time. And this seems to be a widespread feeling among the pro users. Cook has famously said most people can make do with an ipad, and what we are seeing with macbooks is an ipadification, large trackpad, touch keyboard, touchbar, thinner at expense of lost functionality. Clearly apple does not have real pro users in sight when they designed this. Will apple correct its course and come out with a real pro laptop in 2018 ? I am not so hopeful. After all, they recently came out with a stupid ad where a kid says "what is a computer".

[…] port isn’t so much that you have to buy and carry a dongle as that the dongle/hub is never as reliable as having the port […]

MacBooks aren't as sturdy as other laptops and get easily damaged.
MacBook Pros are really underpowered and way overpriced for laptops that can't handle 3D and creative softwares. Moreover it has considerable lack of ports, and the internals can't be updated.
The MacBook Pros only have 16 GB of RAM and and a maximum of 4GB of Graphics.
How are MacBooks Pros -'Pro''- in anyway?

[…] what business users wanted and by including lots of things they didn’t. This led to a backlash from professional users, though I’m not sure it affected […]

[…] what business users wanted and by including lots of things they didn’t. This led to a backlash from professional users, though I’m not sure it affected […]

[…] Apple Comments on AirPort’s Future, New MacBook Pros and the State of the Mac, An Important Part of Our Product Line Going […]

Well, at least Apple is putting 32 GB of RAM and 4TB SSDs in now. And the new i9s is a nice touch. But the price is a tear-jerking 7 grand.

[…] this is what Apple had announced in 2016, I would have immediately upgraded my MacBook Pro, even though I’m not happy about the Touch […]

[…] loss of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 just a month prior. Just take a look at this studious blog post from Michael Tsai, which gathers together the broad negative consensus from among Apple’s most passionate […]

[…] providing what business users wanted and by including lots of things they didn’t. This led to a backlash from professional users, though I’m not sure it affected […]

Well, at least Apple is putting 32 GB of RAM and 4TB SSDs in now. And the new i9s is a nice touch. But the price is a tear-jerking 7 grand.

[…] developer Michael Tsai has kept up an extensive and long-running list of complaints about the new MacBook Pros and the state of pro Macs, which includes more than three […]

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[…] After six long months of waiting in anxious anticipation of what innovation Apple would bring to its flagship laptop series, like many, I found the new MacBook Pro a massive let down. If you’re wondering what others are thinking, Michael Tsai, has compiled an excellent list of reactions. […]

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