I like my current MacBook Pro. It's been a great and problem-free workhorse, but it's getting a bit long in the tooth, and I'm in the market for an upgrade.
Problem is, I don't like the new MacBook Pro.
See also: Apple has been outsmarted by Microsoft
Apple's not a democracy, and I don't get a say in what goes into the MacBook Pro. But I do get a say in whether I exchange my hard-earned cash for one, and I'm not convinced any more that it's the right machine for me.
Here's what I don't like:
#1: I'm not sold on USB-C
The thing that I connect the most often to my MacBook Pro is a flash drive. The next is my Compact Flash card reader. These connect to a regular USB port, so this means either upgrading my hardware, or get a one-way ticket to Dongleville.
You can't even connect the Lightning cable that comes with the iPhone to the new MacBook Pro without a dongle. Let that sink in.
It might be cheaper for Apple to go with a single port (or maybe Jony Ive thinks it looks better or something), but it just doesn't fit in with my workflow (at least yet).
#2: I'm not thrilled about the removal of the MagSafe connector
One of the features that drew me to the MacBook Pro in the first place was the MagSafe connector. I always saw the power ports on laptops as a weak point, and combined with my "more bull than ballerina" approach to handling my gear, the idea of a port that would allow the cable to detach before breaking something was compelling.
But the MagSafe is no more. You charge the new MacBook Pro using one of the four USB-C ports. And these ports are affixed directly to the mainboard, which means you break one, you're in an expensive world of hurt. Sure, there are dongles that go some way to helping, but this feels like a really clumsy solution.
MagSafe was a great solution, and it's now gone.
#3: The Touch Bar feels like a big gimmick
I've got as much information as any other potential buyer about the Touch Bar, and to me, it feels like a big gimmick. I'm not convinced that a small touchscreen display above the keyboard is an improvement over on-screen UI, especially given its placement and size.
Nice try, Apple, but this is no substitute for a true touchscreen MacBook Pro. I would have been happier with a touchscreen trackpad that the Touch Bar.
#4: I'm bored with Apple's pursuit of "thinner and lighter"
My existing MacBook Pro is thin enough and light enough already. It's gone far enough.
I'd much rather Apple focus on better battery life, or kit out the MacBook Pro with more ports than put effort into eliminating a few millimeters here and there.
The new MacBook Pro is a top dollar item. A tool aimed at professionals who want to get work done. And yet Apple considers 256 gigabytes of storage to be a good starting point.
If you want more you can get it, but it's going to cost you. Not only do you have to pay for a higher-spec version, you also pay big bucks for the storage. A $2,400 MacBook Pro with 256 gigabytes of storage jumps to an eye-watering $3,800 once you upgrade that to two terabytes. Even a more modest upgrade to one terabyte kicks the price to $3,000.
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