Colin Devroe

Senior Vice President Condron Media

Reverse engineer. Blogger. Investor. Photographer Hiker. Kayaker.

The new MacBook Pro with Touchbar

Sarah Parmenter:

By the time 2016 rolled around, I was overdue an upgrade and I thought the new MacBook Pro’s were enough of an upgrade to warrant a new purchase. After all, it had been 4 years. A lifetime in hardware you use every day.

I was in the exact same boat as Sarah. I had been using a mid-2012 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display every day for 4 years. (There was about a month where I tried a Surface Book with Performance Base and Windows 10 that I still have yet to write up. Short version: Apple should be very worried about losing their creative and developer community though it does not seem like they are.) Unlike Sarah I loved my computer up until the day I swapped it out for this new computer. It was easily the best laptop I had ever owned from Apple. I simply needed to upgrade for hard drive space and processor speed.

This new MacBook Pro with Touchbar is an OK machine. I would echo many of her thoughts. I’d also add:

  • USB-C seems both frustrating and clearly the future. This time in the middle is annoying but I’ll wait 12 more months before I complain.
  • The Touchbar is very cool in my experience so far but I almost never use the laptop keyboard for long periods.
  • Battery life for me is a non-issue. I’m connected to power most of the time and when I travel I don’t bring my laptop anymore. My phone suffices.
  • Having the extra hard drive space is crucial for me at this point. In fact, if Apple would make a 13″ laptop with multiple terabytes in it I’d buy it.

Reading this you’ll likely think I should have just purchased an iMac. And while I could likely get away with an iMac I like having a portable workstation to attend events, take on client meetings occasionally, and take home to work when it is snowing.

I’m happy I upgraded and I likely won’t have to think about a new computer until another 3 or 4 years pass. But, again like Sarah, I’m not incredibly impressed with this machine as I was with the 13″ MBP.

A few asides:

  • Innovation in the laptop market is likely over. The Touchbar is cool but I think the iPad is more the future of mobile computing. As components shrink and the cloud plays a larger part in both processing and storage I believe that true portables will be iPads. Which means that iPads should start docking to displays soon and run macOS. Apple and the community disagree with me on this but clearly Microsoft does not.
  • If Microsoft shipped an AR-based platform wherein I have a phone in my pocket and glasses on my phase (driven by the phone and Windows 10) I’d be the first in line for something like that to replace my laptop. Sounds insane but let me remind you that two people will be orbiting the moon next year and Stephen Hawking will likely be in orbit of the Earth.

 

 

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