Until last week, Apple has not released an upgrade to the Macbook Pro for about a year an a half.
This year’s upgrade was a mix of good things and not so good ones as well. You’ve got the usual hardware upgrades which is expected and a significant re-design.
The 2016 Macbook Pro took a lot of inspiration from the 12-inch Macbook, their slimmest and lightest laptop. It’s now thinner, lighter and have fewer ports.
The biggest new feature among all the new ones that were introduced would have to be the Touch Bar. This secondary screen just on top of the keyboard provides contextual on-screen shortcut keys for any window or application you are actively on. This move replaces the old physical function keys (Esc, F1 to F12). While the Touch Bar is an interesting idea, I don’t think it is that much of a significant step.
What is really frustrating for this year’s release of the Macbook Pro is the removal of really good features and even the more practical ones.
Here are 5 features missing on the new Apple Macbook Pro.
No Regular USB ports. Good thing there are a lot of Thunderbolt ports (4 of them top be exact, all in the shape of a USB Type-C port) but why did Apple had to remove the regular USB-A ports where we can connect an external mouse, printer, camera, including the iPhone’s Lightning cable. You’ll be really forced to buy those expensive adapters after all. Hello, octopus dongles!
No MagSafe Port. Yes, you can now charge the Macbook Pro to any of the 4 Thunderbolt ports (which is nice, yeah) but the proprietary Apple MagSafe 2 is still better and more practical. Perhaps they could have reserved one of the 4 ports and just use the old MagSafe port while continue to support charging on the other 3 ports. Bets of both world, right?
No SD Card reader. Having an SD card reader on a laptop should still be a standard and we think the size of the Macbook Pro should still be able to accommodate it. This should be a bummer for a lot of pro photographers out there looking to upgrade.
No Touchscreen. Still no touchscreen. And it’s already 2016. Instead, Apple decided to remove the physical function keys and replace it with a contextual Touch Bar. It’s a nice approach but we think a touchscreen display would have been nicer.
Switch to Butterfly mechanism on the Keys. The thin butterfly keys on the Macbook are now also on the Macbook Pro. Having used the Macbook Air and Macbook, I think the original keyboard mechanism is still better. But, yes, I agree that the move helped shave off a few millimeters to make it thinner.
What’s also puzzling is that Apple decided to keep the 3.5mm audio jack. This is the same exact port they recently removed from the iPhone 7. If Apple justifies its removal in the iPhone 7 as “courage”, does that mean they didn’t have the same “courage” to remove it from the Macbook Pro?
Makes you wonder if Apple is really innovating or just being guided by wild hunches.
And, oh, the Apple logo does not light up anymore.