New Macbook Pro has a questionable pro

by Goh De No
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I may not be a fan of Apple’s iOS products, but I actually like OS X. The Macbook Pro was the first laptop that I bought, and the “pro” in Macbook Pro (MBP) really made sense at that time (circa 2006).

Owning an MBP at that time meant business. I was in university, and I was doing a lot of film and audio editing along with some graphics. Those days, Apple didn’t even have a right click, and I constantly mocked Apple devices that couldn’t right click. Of course, those days are over, but my Macbook Pro back then lasted me six whole years. That’s an amazing return of investment for my $2,500 laptop. I bought a Macbook Air in 2012 to replace the Macbook Pro, and was solely disappointed with the built quality as it failed on me after 12 months of use, which Apple had replaced with a refurbished one that I immediately sold off.

Of course, now I don’t need an MBP anymore because my needs are solely Excel, Word and PDF files, which is why I bought the Macbook Air and got let down.

My MBP is still lying around in my room somewhere and it still works perfectly fine except my display has completely gone haywire, which I’ve made peace with considering it lasted me six years and it is now almost 10 years old.

But my point is, an MBP is what it is because there’s supposed to be nothing that can match it in terms of brute work force.

Fast forward to last week, Apple released a set of new MBPs, which have been extremely miscommunicated as a “pro” machine.

First of is the entry-level 13-inch MBP, which doesn’t get the latest stand-out feature, being the Touch Bar above the keyboard which changes with each application used. So you get a standard laptop, with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an Intel i5 2.0 GHz Processor and Intel Iris 540 with a 256GB solid state drive for $2,188.

You get zero USB 3.0 ports, and you get a headphone jack, because the wireless head- phones aren’t the future after all. I’m pretty sure now that the team that works on the iPhone 7 is completely different from the Macbook Pro, because one set believes that headphone jacks are too primitive to exist, whilst another set thinks that it should have a headphone jack.

The most obvious part about this is that the iPhone 7 cannot connect directly to the new Macbook Pro because there’s no port for that.

But you have an iPhone 7 and a Macbook Pro, and need to transfer data between each other? Well, you’ll need to spend another $30-$40 to get that to happen. So in this MBP, you also lose every other port available. Those are literally the only ports available.

Step up to the more expensive 13-inch MBPs at $2,588 and $2,788 respectively, you now get the first ever Touch Bar and Touch ID (fingerprint) on Apple laptops. You also get four Thunderbolt 3 ports and graphics upgraded to Iris 550. RAM stays at 8GB (similar to entry- level MBP), but processing power comes with a 2.9GHz Core i5. Nothing groundbreaking with these specifications, especially for $2,788 where you can get a fully loaded i7 Windows device.

The touch bar on the new Macbook Pro. Image courtesy of Apple.

The 15-inch device prices shoots up to $3,388 which is an i7 2.6 GHz, with 16GB of RAM and an on-board Radeon 450 with four Thunderbolt 3 ports. At $4,000, you get a 2.7Ghz i7, with 512GB of SSD and a Radeon 455 dedicated graphics card. These of course also come with the Touch Bar and Touch ID.

In terms of design, yes, they are thinner, lighter, the screens are good, and the trackpad is now oversized which is a nice addition. Bear in mind, with $3,000 you can get a Surface Book which detaches as a tablet, and docks to a keyboard which has a built-in graphics card if you need it to be powerful. Granted the hardware/software integration isn’t anywhere near Apple and OS X, but it’s something to look forward to.

It’s an innovative step forward. Removing MagSafe, one of the best things about Apple laptops, slapping on four Thunderbolt 3’s and adding a strip of touch keys is just a minor step forward, if you want to call it that.

These MBPs don’t even have a touch screen and it’s 2016. Whilst the Surface Pros are busy letting people get creative with the Surface Pen plus the new wheel and Surface Studio, the MBPs are busy being normal laptops. How has the MBP not included any Pencil integration that lets you write or draw anything on the screen?

Well, if you want a really expensive laptop that is only good at being a normal laptop, this has got to be it. One more thing, you can connect your expensive 5K Monitor and external drives (two each) to the Macbook Pro by using Thunderbolt 3 only — a setup which will cost you easily north of $15,000.

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