Newsletter Issue #885: The MacBook Pro Outcry Persists

November 14th, 2016

I dare say that Apple didn’t expect the outcry over the MacBook Pro refresh. It may have, in part, been about pent-up demand for the computer, but it’s also a symptom that’s peculiarly Apple. Right or wrong, Apple did things in designing the new model that were either misunderstood, or went against what customers wanted. Or at least that’s what it seemed.

Now on the surface, the new lineup seemed to be a blessing. Both models were thinner and lighter and more powerful. Maybe not a lot more powerful, but Apple’s implementation of the NVM Express (NVMe) interface meant much faster SSDs, more than twice as fast as previous notebooks. Since so much of the performance of a personal computer depends on the speed of the storage device, that can make a huge difference in a way that’s not completely reflected in the benchmarks.

All right, the new keyboard, derived from the design used on the MacBook, is controversial. Larger keys, less keyboard travel, and it takes some getting used to. It’s also polarizing, as some prefer it and some don’t. Or maybe the fact of being different puts some people off. Regardless, Apple’s changed direction should already have been obvious, since a similar design is used for the Magic Keyboard, which comes free with your new iMac.

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