Apple just announced the new MacBook Pro in all its sexiness. It looks nice. It has features no other laptop has, like a touch screen interface just above the keyboard. It has the word “Pro”. It let’s you flaunt your high-income lifestyle while you sip your latte at your local coffee shop, because Starbucks stopped being cool once everyone started going there.
But let’s be honest. Something’s wrong here. The MacBook Pro just doesn’t seem worth it. Now, I’ve never used it – so I won’t comment on performance, but I will note some very striking cons that may help you save $1500, or spend it somewhere more worthwhile. So here it is, my list of everything wrong with the new Macbook Pro.
No Standard USB Ports
This might be the most minor of issues I have with this release. USB is the most common interface between your devices. Your iPhone charges and can connect to other devices via USB, your favorite mouse probably connects via USB – if it’s not an Apple branded mouse, that is.Sure, you have USB-C…but…good luck actually plugging anything in. At $1500, I’d expect a laptop to be able to handle the most basic of peripherals without spending $50-$100 for an adapter.
But hey, at least you still have a headphone jack…
The Gigantic Trackpad is TOO CLOSE to the keyboard
Do you have giant thumbs? Or even NORMAL thumbs? If so, beware. This may quickly become a usability issue for you. Hear me out…
I use the previous gen Macbook pro, which has a 3/4″ gap between the trackpad and is maybe 3″ wide. My palms touch my trackpad as I type, and my thumbs occasionally do as well. This gets tedious sometimes when I’m resting my hand to the side of the trackpad and attempting to scroll at the same time – not realizing my resting hand is ever so slightly touching the trackpad.
Mishaps like this will probably be virtually unavoidable without first messing with the trackpad settings. I’d love to be proven wrong here, I just don’t see how the positioning and size of the trackpad is practical.
No Function keys
Someone said “Man, I think it would be great to put all that volume control in a touchscreen above the keyboard.” Someone replied “Yeah, I’d like to get rid of a row of keys so many people use for productivity.” Those two individuals had a brain-baby, which is the new “Function bar,” and, sorry to say, it’s such a stupid idea.
I get the thinking behind multitouch for performing functions like volume control, launching apps, stroking something other than your ego. But – the function keys, or f-keys, serve a multitude of purposes. Many of us, especially those of us who use complex productivity or programming tools, use the keys every day. Many of us also use a VM or dualboot between Windows and OSX on our Macs. The F-keys are crucial here.
While the F-keys are a swipe away on OSX, there’s no physical response – for one, they’re not the default state and may not be able to be permanently left as the default option. Further, there’s no telling whether or not there will be Windows compatibility issues.
Now, you COULD buy the lower-end 13″ model that doesn’t have the touch screen and get your F-keys back, but only at the expense of, you know, more RAM, better drive space, a better processor, more screen real estate, etc. So, basically, if you’re a so-called power-user, you might be f’d.
No 17″ model?
Do you build websites, design high-end graphics, edit videos, or do anything that requires multiple windows to be open at the same time, at home or on the go? Then you probably value screen real estate. Well you’re in luck – Apple does not! In fact, they seem to think you should be more of a one-thing-at-a-time kinda person.
That’s why they’ve done away with the 17″ model. If you really want that screen realestate, you could just buy a larger high-res display that plugs directly into your macbook pro — oh wait, Apple discontinued those, too. So now you have to buy a 3rd party monitor AND the adapter for every monitor you want to use.
This may be the most minor of things I take issue with, but Apple seems to note care about productivity. Removing your standard USB ports that charge your other Apple devices and connect external storage without purchasing a dongle, removing the function keys for those who use them for efficiency in their productivity applications, and now less screen real-estate. Instead buy a larger high-res display — oh wait, Apple discontinued those, too.
It really feels like Apple has just stopped caring. They don’t seem to care about productivity, usability, or the needs of the end user. They just seem to care about doing what no one else is doing. “Hey let’s add a touch bar!” “Hey, let’s make a huge trackpad!” “Hey let’s make a darker one!”
All these things are cool, I suppose, but at what expense? I really feel like switching from a Macbook Pro from one or two generations ago to the new Macbook Pro would be more of a downgrade.
But hey…at least they kept the headphone jack.