This is the Mac Pro moment of the MacBook Pro.
For years, users complained that the Mac Pro was neglected and unsuitable for the needs of real professionals. Then in 2019 it was like Apple saying, “OK, you wanted a pro machine, we’re giving you a real pro machine.” And so the Mac Pro was born, an incredibly expensive and extremely powerful desktop PC that was overdone for all but the most demanding users.
the Macbook Pro has never been so neglected (remember, it took Apple seven years to update the second generation Mac Pro), but it was in a similar position. My MacBook Pro, which was still in use in 2011, is built like a tank, has all connections under the sun and its keyboard still works perfectly. But in 2016 Apple did the MacBook Pro revised, remove almost all connectors, make the keyboard thinner and replace the physical function keys with the touch bar.
The MacBook Pro got slimmer and more stylish, but professional users don’t care much about these things. They put a lot more emphasis on an integrated SD card reader and a keyboard that won’t break.
Fast forward to 2022 and the new MacBook Pro, whose feature list is basically Apple apologizing for all the things it screwed up over the years. The MagSafe power connector is back. The HDMI port is back. The SD card reader is back. Hell, even the function keys are back, replacing the beautiful but little-used Touch Bar. In all of my years reporting on Apple products, I can’t remember Apple stepping back on so many features during a single product launch is.
In all of my years reporting on Apple products, I can’t remember Apple stepping back on so many features in a single product launch.
It is a good thing. I work with my laptop for work and live with it from waking up until late afternoon (and sometimes longer). Not having to use dongles to connect the laptop to peripherals is a blessing, and having up to 64GB of RAM is a non-trivial benefit to me.
So it’s all good, right?
Well it is. But Apple seems to have decided once again that the MacBook Pro will truly be a laptop for professional users from now on. And while that sounds sexy if you’re an enthusiast, the reality is that most users probably don’t need – and can’t afford – that kind of performance.
Sure, it’s nice to dream of, with 64GB of RAM, 8TB of storage (eight terabytes!) Unused.
There is also a very literal cost to a professional laptop. The new MacBook Pro devices are significantly more expensive than the previous generation. Last year, the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro started at $ 1,299. The new, 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $ 1,999with only 16 GB of RAM. Upgrading to 32GB costs an additional $ 400, which gets you up to $ 2,399, which is a lot of money on a laptop even if you use it for work like me.
What remains is the hope that Apple will always keep a mid-range MacBook Pro in its range – a bit beefier than the MacBook Air, but affordable enough that you don’t have to take out a bank loan to finance it. At the moment, this position is held by the old 13-inch MacBook Pro that Apple kept in its product range. hopefully it will get an M1 Pro upgrade across the board too.
Oh wait a minute. There’s one exception to all of this, and it’s the notch. In all honesty, I’m not sure what Apple was thinking here. People who work in design and architecture will likely hate it as they are used to seeing the entire screen without a tiny part being covered by a tiny rectangle. To make matters worse, the notch was apparently unnecessary; It doesn’t house any advanced technology like Face ID, just an updated 1080p FaceTime camera. It made these 3.5mm bezels possible, but that’s Apple’s old way of thinking, and professional users don’t really care about things like that.
On the flip side, Apple and app developers will adapt and find ways to make the notch less of a problem – it could be completely obscured by Apple’s ubiquitous menu bar, for example – maybe we’ll forget about it over time, as we did on the iPhone.
Apart from that, Apple’s computer program is very different now than it was two years ago. With the Mac Pro and the new MacBook Pro (and hopefully also an iMac based on the M1 Pro), the company is now truly catering to the needs of professionals. Just make sure you aren’t spending a lot of money on features that you don’t really need.
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