It was the debut of high-DPI Macs, starting down the long road (which we still haven’t finished) to an all-Retina lineup. And with all-SSD storage, quad-core i7 processors, and a healthy amount of RAM all standard, every configuration was fast, capable, and pleasant to use.
At its introduction, it was criticized only for ditching the optical drive and Ethernet port, but these were defensible, well-timed removals: neither could’ve even come close to physically fitting in the new design, very few MacBook Pro users were still using either on a regular basis, and almost none of us needed to buy external optical drives or Ethernet adapters to fit the new laptop into our lives. In exchange for those removals, we got substantial reductions in thickness and weight, and a huge new battery.
There were no other downsides. Everything else about this machine was an upgrade: thinner, lighter, faster, better battery life, quieter fans, better speakers, better microphones, a second Thunderbolt port, and a convenient new HDMI port.
First, this is a brilliant essay, and a year in to using my 13” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, I almost entirely agree.
The Touch Bar is a bad idea, poorly implemented. I’m almost certain it won’t make it to the desktop line.
The new keyboard feels wonderful to me, but I completely understand why many people say it’s a bad keyboard. It’s too opinionated. I’d be happier if it had a bit more travel, too.
I miss all the ports. Basically, I want the old machine with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports where the Thunderbolt 2 ones were before. That was a great port arrangement and layout.
I do, however, strongly disagree with him about the trackpad. Using the old models makes my fingers feel cramped. That was a good move, in retrospect.
Finally, my second thought: Marco’s post felt like something Stephen Hackett would write.