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  • The Benefits of Putting “MacBook Pro” and “Lie” in a Title

    November 8th, 2016

    I’ll bet you didn’t know this, but Apple has been lying to you all along about the MacBook Pro. You see, according to a certain blogger that shall not be identified here, it’s not really a “Pro” machine. Besides, using the word “Pro” is just an old fashioned cliche, and maybe Apple should stop identifying its most expensive laptop that way.

    Why? Well, because Apple has allegedly given up building a notebook for serious professionals. This leaves the Late 2016 MacBook Pro as, I suppose, an overpriced niche computer. Or at least that’s one person’s opinion. But as the old saying goes, that blogger is not entitled to his own facts.

    So the MacBook Pro’s shortcomings are treated by repeating the usual complaints, ignoring Apple’s reasoning, or just plain ignoring facts.

    What about the lack of support for more than 16GB RAM? Now no previous Apple notebook supports more than 16GB, but some PC portables offer 32GB. Why was Apple left behind anyway? Well, according to VP Philip Schiller, if Apple used a memory controller — not standard issue on the Intel Skylake chips — to double memory, it would seriously reduce battery life. It’s a tradeoff, and if you want all-day battery life, there have to be compromises.

    It’s a little factoid that our ill-informed headline seeking blogger seems to overlook.

    Apple is also dinged for not providing support for Intel’s Kaby Lake chips, not realizing that the quad-core mobile processors don’t appear to be shipping yet. Besides, the performance differences will, typical of recent Intel releases, not be very significant. Apple is late enough getting a MacBook Pro refresh out the door, so what sense would it make to wait even longer hoping for Intel to deliver the goods?

    What about the Touch Bar?

    So we’re told that it’s not something that businesses will care about. He cites the presentation at Apple’s media event where a DJ app with Touch Bar support was demonstrated. So therefore it’s not a serious work tool.

    Only the blogger seems to have a poor memory, since a representative from Adobe was also present to show how this nifty tool worked with Photoshop to easily support more sophisticated photo processing workflows. Sure, Apple without doubt worked with Adobe to build in that support, which will arrive in an update later this year, but so what? What about the promised support for the Touch Bar in Microsoft Office for the Mac?

    If anything, that serves as a message to developers that they should be using the new Xcode API to build in support for Touch Bar in their apps too. Why would any large software publisher invest the time in supporting a feature available in only one notebook model if they didn’t see a future in it?

    Indeed, I very much suspect Apple will release a new Magic Keyboard with the Touch Bar.

    Now this won’t come cheap. This mythical Magic Keyboard 2 will probably sell for $199 at the start, although that price will come down over time. It’s also possible a future MacBook will offer Touch Bar too. If Apple can expand Touch Bar to most Macs within the year, that would justify a developer’s investment in supporting this feature. Apple always has a long-range plan with new hardware or new features, even if it’s not altogether obvious at the beginning of the process.

    Don’t forget that the Late 2016 MacBook Pro also contains two processors (Apple/ARM and Intel) and two operating systems. The Touch Bar is driven by an OS that’s derived from watchOS. That sort of capability may be expanded to include more system or hardware functions in the future, making it even more difficult for Windows PCs to keep up. How can anyone match what Apple can do with its own custom processors and operating systems?

    Also ignored by that blogger is the fact that the 15-inch MacBook Pro can drive two external 5K displays. How many Intel notebooks do that anyway? What’s more, Apple worked with one of its long-time manufacturing partners, LG, to develop a new line of 4K and 5K displays. They include full support for Apple’s new Thunderbolt 3 connection ports, and the wider color gamut spreading across Apple’s mobile and desktop gear. Obviously, extra displays are tools required by professional users, and so is improved color.

    Otherwise, why bother?

    Listen, I’ve done my research on the MacBook Pro. I do not have one, and might not buy one for a while — probably not till the price comes down — but the specs, preliminary performance ratings, and the unique hardware features are clearly designed to appeal to business users. It would nice if they were cheaper, and maybe the decision to cut the prices for USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 adapters and those LG displays will help. Indeed, if you buy the LG 5K display at the discount price, $974, you’ll save enough money to essentially make up for the MacBook Pro’s price increase.

    In any case, the blogger in question, or the site’s headline writer, are going to generate plenty of traffic from a sensational headline, and knowledgeable people will be filing the comments sections at the site that correct all the misstatements and omissions. That’s how it goes for many Apple critics who have no respect whatever for facts and logic.



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    14 Responses to “The Benefits of Putting “MacBook Pro” and “Lie” in a Title”

    1. DaveD says:

      Thanks for presenting this and exposing some misinformation from this blog. I haven’t been going to this site. I await for in-depth reviews on the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar from true technical sites.

    2. KiraK says:

      A Pro moniker doth not a professional MacBook make. I guess this term has been bastardized by marketing over the years to where it no longer signifies anything meaningful to professionals. Perhaps a new term should be devised to describe truly professional products.

    3. dbsmith says:

      Everyone has an opinion but I make up my own mind when I spend money on a computer. I was all set to buy a new MBP and I will NOT buy what Apple is selling this time around:
      1. I don’t need 4 usb-c ports. I DO need at least one USB port to connect several devices I use regularly.
      2. I don’t need a thinner MBP if it means compromising on the keyboard “feel”. I have a 2016 MacBook and the keyboard is lousy for any extended use.
      3. If I’m going to spend $3000 for a new Mac, I want a tangible increase in speed, not 5% from a last generation CPU and second-choice GPU.
      4. The loss of MagSafe is, to me, difficult to comprehend. The geniuses at Apple couldn’t figure out how to make a MagSafe USB-C connector?!
      Sorry, too many compromises. I don’t mind paying more if I’m getting what I WANT. But what Apple delivered is so far away from what I want — NOT BUYING IT.

      • gene says:

        1. Get an adaptor.
        2. Point taken.
        3. It’s $2,399 for the 15-inch model. It’s not a second choice CPU. The quad-core Kaby Lake isn’t shipping as the article made clear. Besides, only the entry-level model has been benchmarked officially. So you don’t know.
        4. A minor issue.

        Please try to be a little more accurate in your conclusions.

        Peace,
        Gene

        • dbsmith says:

          1. Yeah. I have an adapter for my 2016 MacBook. Somehow, it always seems to be on the device that I’m not trying to use at the moment — in another room. I shouldn’t HAVE to ‘get an adapter’.
          3. “only the entry-level model has been benchmarked..” “so you don’t know”. I guess that means that YOU don’t know, either?
          4. Really?!
          Your view (really???) that ditching MagSafe is “a minor issue” pretty much sums up, for me, your attitude — you’re a fan-boy and aren’t capable of being objective about Apple’s mis-steps.
          I stand by my statement: I was ready to buy a new MBP but I’m NOT buying this one.

          • gene says:

            1. The need for adapters is temporary. As usual. As more and more USB-C/Thunderbolt accessories become available — as they will — the problem will begin to lessen.

            3. You complained about performance of the new MacBook Pro without the actual tests of anything but the entry-level model. It’s not about me, since I made no comment one way or the other.

            4. Do you feel you suffered from the loss of MagSafe on the MacBook?

            Peace,
            Gene

            • dbsmith says:

              MagSafe:

              As a matter of fact, yes, I DO miss MagSafe on my MacBook. The USB-C connector is nowhere near as easy to use. I could plug MagSafe in without having to look; can’t do that with USB-C.

              You didn’t answer my question before: why didn’t Apple engineer a MagSafe USB-C connector?!

              You are old enough to remember what a big deal Apple made when MagSafe was introduced (and they were right). Now, on their best/most expensive machines, it’s not important??? What’s that all about?

              I was/am comfortable with owning a MacBook because I also have a late 2013 MBPr (with MagSafe, 3 USB ports and a real keyboard). The MacBook is small, ultra-light and very pretty. But I would never be happy with it as my only laptop. I was eagerly awaiting the new MBP but, for all the reasons I’ve stated, I won’t buy what Apple delivered.

            • BAP says:

              Just bought a discounted 2015

              I think that the chances that the businesses that I frequent are going to replace their printers and other equipment with USB-C is about the same as Jill Stein winning a recount.
              At work I only have access to 2 wifi/airport printers.
              The other 30 or so on my list are direct usb
              I also use usb drives over 10 times a day

              I’ll let Tim Cook play with his dongles

              I came close to swithing to a surface
              it has a better touchstrip
              unfortunately I don’t have time to port my code to windows until the summer

              The only reason to have 4 of the new port is hubris.
              having a dedicated charging port is reasonable, though the positive is lower replacement costs in the future. Apple cables were always too expensive.

              I would have bought the new one if they had a single usb-3.

              How can anyone say the word pro with apple these days

              I have a friend who runs a graphic design / printing company
              and he had to switch to windows

              how can they justify selling 3 year old mac pros at nearly the price of new ones

              by the way a portable computer is less portable when you need a bag of dongles

              • 30 devices? Are you serious?

                In any case, Apple occasionally changes ports, and you have to live with adapters for a while. More Macs will go all or mostly USB-C next year.

                As to your friend who had to switch to Windows, I don’t believe you.

                Peace,
                Gene

    4. BDK says:

      Not putting in a RAM controller that supports 32GB of RAM because it affects battery life may be true. It’s also bullsh*t. Most people doing “Pro” work have their laptops plugged in most of the time.

    5. gene says:

      Apple advertises its notebooks as offering all-day battery life. And there are different classes of professional users, not all of which plugin their laptops most of the time .It’s a matter of supporting a cross-section of users. Besides, Apple has never offered 16GB, so there is no reason to do so now if it entails a compromise that impacts a lot of users. With a much faster SSD — confirmed by preliminary tests — virtual memory will compensate in many cases.

      Peace,
      Gene

    6. Nicolas Cage says:

      Not putting in a RAM controller that supports 32GB of RAM because it affects battery life may be true. It’s also bullsh*t. Most people doing “Pro” work have their laptops plugged in most of the time. — 100% agree.

      • It’s not. This is a portable computer, with the promise of all-day battery life. If someone wants to plug in a computer all the time, an iMac is a more cost-effective alternative with more power.

        Peace,
        Gene

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