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The New Macbook Pros: Trading Practicality for Innovation

by | Oct 28, 2016 | Articles, Reviews | 7 comments

I’ve Always Been an Apple Fan…But not for the New Macbook Pros

I have been an avid Apple supporter for a couple of decades. I’ve owned PCs and they seemingly fell apart under my workload. There were always compatibility issues and you needed a driver for everything. However, the newest line of Macbook Pros has me questioning whether I should upgrade in the near future… or at all. It may be a long time before I pick up any of the new Macbook pros, and here’s why.

the new macbooks pros -ssd

The Biggest Reason: Where the hell is the storage!?

There, I said it. The new Macbook Pro is totally unpractical. A majority of people who use Macbook Pros need storage. We need lots of storage! Why? Because our design and video software is huge! It takes up a lot of space. If you create anything, good luck storing it on your Mac! The new Macbook Pros come with 256GB and 512GB of solid state storage. Solid state drives are great! I have one in the Mac Pro I am writing on now, but sacrificing storage for speed is a massive inconvenience.

Right now, I have a 1 TB drive on my current Macbook Pro, which I take everywhere. I have a lot of files and guides and templates I use as starting points for my projects. Don’t get me wrong, I have a Dropbox Business account, which gives me plenty of online storage for all of my working files, but my Creative Suite software takes up a lot of space. Every update sees each program getting bigger and bigger. I can’t run Photoshop from Dropbox that I know of).

This doesn’t have the average consumer in mind either. A lot of people put all of their music on their computer, which can be gigabytes of space. What about photos? What about home movies? To me, cutting the storage is a terrible idea for any user.

You can get more storage for your Macbook Pro, up to 1TB, but you have to order it custom through Apple’s website, which tacks on another $400 to the price tag. I can buy a 1TB solid state drive from OWC for that price.

the new macbook pros and their 4 thunderbolt 3 ports

Thunderbolt 3… And Nothing Else?

Who’s bright idea was this? This is another feature that ticks me off to no end. So, you’re going to stick 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports on the new Macbook Pro, and no others? So you’re telling me that I am going to shell out $2800 for a new Macbook Pro, I’ll have very little storage, and now I have to buy some adapters to make it work with some of my existing stuff? What about a USB Mouse. I don’t know of many or any that are Thunderbolt 3 ready. SO now I am only stuck with a trackpad? I might be able to get by with a Bluetooth mouse, or I can use any of Apple’s mice (which I detest). What about printers? What about plugging my older iphone in to sync with my music library?

I don’t see PC users having to buy adapters to use normal equipment, like USB mics, speakers, mice, printers, or anything else. They plugin it in, and go. As a laptop user, who wants to lug around extra cables? I am willing to bet that any Apple-made adapters are going to be like their lightning cables. They will be easily fray-able, and the coating will be weak. Why? So you are forced to buy more adapters to have the ability to use your own stuff with their “industry standard” thunderbolt 3 ports.

Innovation comes at a hefty price

So Apple wants to be innovative. I get it. The only problem with this is that your innovation with the new touch strip, should not come at the price of practicality. Your new Macbook Pro, which is used by a lot of design and video industry professionals, is no longer practical to us. I don’t want to have to buy adapters, extra or external storage – all just to have the storage I should have. No “pro” line of computers should come with storage any less than 1TB, period. I don’t think Apple thought things through.

Thanks for the added features… that no one really cares about.

Great, so the laptop is thinner. I am fine with that, as long as you don’t sacrifice usability to make that happen. However, the reduction is only slight.

You have 4x more key stability? That’s wonderful! … I guess. I didn’t have a problem with the keyboard to begin with.

The speakers are louder? Hooray! The truth of the matter is that anyone that listens to music or videos on the go (with a laptop) usually does so with headphones. If they’re listening to music out loud, they are usually plugging into external speakers to do so anyway, especially DJs.

A brighter, more colorful display? That’s great, as long as you don’t perversely distort colors in my designer work. If you display colors accurately, I will actually find that useful in my design work. My concern is that they boast a wider range of reds and greens which may look pretty, but may not produce the results you want when doing design work or Photography.

And Finally… This Touch Bar

I acknowledge that Apple wanted to do something different. However, this really isn’t that great. Yes, you can have a few options at your fingertips. The problem is, I see this being more clunky than helpful. I see this getting in the way of my work, because I’ll be trying to figure out what is on the touch strip. It’s small, and I’d be more likely to ignore it. This doesn’t help me in my workflow at all. What are you doing Apple?

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m not only not impressed by the new Macbook Pro, I am very disappointed. I have been waiting a while for them to upgrade their Macbook Pro line, and after evaluating everything, I think I’ll wait a little bit longer. It seems like Apple is running in the opposite direction of functionality and versatility, and they are getting back to the days of isolating themselves with unique technology that just complicates things instead of making them easier. The one thing I don’t want to do while I am working is battle my technology in order to get my job done. I can easily imagine not being able to do something important in a busy client meeting, because I forgot my Thunderbolt 3 adapter. No thanks. Apple could have easily had 2 thunderbolt 3 ports and 2 normal USB ports. Whoever is running the show at Apple product development should be fired. Product design and true innovation is about the user, and making their life easier and better, not just slapping a bunch of “bells and whistles” onto a machine.

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