The New MacBook Pro: The Good, The Bad, And The Debatable

Much ink has already been spilled over Apple’s latest MacBook Pro. Some love it (sort of). Some hate it.

So, where do we, as your trusted technology partner, fall on the spectrum? Somewhere in the middle. Read on to find out why.

The Good: Performance, Size, and Trackpad

Despite the fact that much of the reaction to the MacBook Pro has been negative, there is still plenty to love about this computer. Its performance is great. It’s a fast and responsive, top of the line computer. If you want a fast laptop that you know you can rely on, it’s not a bad choice at all.

Physically, there’s a lot to like about it as well. It’s thin and light, which is great if portability is key for you. The new, larger trackpad is also a plus, making navigation on the computer much easier.

The Debatable: Touch Bar and Keyboard

Some of the new features included with the new MacBook Pro are debatable—some users will love them, and others won’t.

One of these is the highly-touted Touch Bar, a thin, rectangular touchscreen that replaces the function keys at the top of the keyboard. What’s great about the Touch Bar is that it provides opportunity for customization; different applications can create their own unique touch-enabled functionalities. The downside is that it replaces the function keys, which some users have incorporated into their workflows, and some might find that that it is overly sensitive and easy to hit by accident. Furthermore, while the opportunity for customization is there, not many applications are using the Touch Bar to its full potential yet.

Another debatable item is the new keyboard. To add room for improved internal hardware, while maintaining thinness and lightness, Apple created a new laptop keyboard. The keys are not raised nearly as high off the board, which drastically changes the typing experience. Typing can feel like jamming one’s fingers into hard surface, as the reduced key height doesn’t allow for as much shock absorption.

The Bad: Ports and Inability to Upgrade or Recycle

And, of course, there are negative things that can be said about the new MacBook Pro. Apple has limited the ports available on the MacBook Pro to Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports. These are great, powerful ports—if the devices you'd like to connect to are compatible with them. Unfortunately, a large number these devices—including your iPhone—will require the use of a dongle, which many users—especially the professional users for whom the Pro line is ostensibly designed—may find annoying.  

Perhaps more importantly, the new MacBook Pro is constructed in a way that prevents customization, much like an iPhone or iPad. The battery, storage drive, and RAM are all soldered into the computer, meaning that they cannot be replaced. Not only does this make these laptops much harder to repair in the event of a malfunction, but also that upgrades are not possible.

Furthermore, these laptops are much harder to recycle when it comes time to dispose of them, as it is expensive to remove the battery and other non-recyclable components.

Conclusion

The MacBook Pro is still a top of the line laptop—especially when it comes to performance. Furthermore, the Touch Bar does seem promising, depending on what developers decide to do with it.

At the same time, there are more downsides to this MacBook Pro than there have been with its recent predecessors. That means that, even for some Apple fans, it may be time to at least consider other options for high-performing laptops, such as Dell’s XPS line (especially the XPS 13), or Microsoft’s Surface Book.

If you live in the Nashville area, we actually recommend that you go to the Mall at Green Hills, where you can try out all of these laptops in both the Apple Store and the new Microsoft Store. Spend some time typing and browsing on several different laptops before making a decision about what you’d like to buy.

And, of course, if you’d like advice on whether the new MacBook Pro or one of these other machines is best for you and your business needs, feel free to contact us.