Hands on with Apple’s new MacBook Pro: Looks and feels so good it’s unreal

“The new MacBook Pro is here — literally available for preorder today — and I’ve just tried it,” Dieter Bohn writes for The Verge. “The best thing I can say about is simple: everything about it looks and feels so good I almost didn’t believe it.”

“We’ll start with the marquee feature, the Touch Bar. What you might not have gathered from the keynote is that it has a matte finish, which makes the buttons on it somehow feel a little more physical,” Bohn writes. “It’s bright, but not so bright that it distracts — it seems to be about on par with the brightness of the backlit keyboard.”

“There’s no haptic feedback on them, unfortunately, but obviously they all worked perfectly. That included quickly applying filters in Photos and sorting emails in Mail,” Bohn writes. “What’s neat about dragging buttons down from the screen to the Touch Bar is that you can keep moving them with the mouse on the second screen.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The new MacBook Pro is a winner! The world’s best notebook by a large margin. To call the Touch Bar models groundbreaking and revolutionary are not hyperbole.

SEE ALSO:
Wired hands on with Apple’s New MacBook Pro: It’s a whole new kind of laptop – October 27, 2016
CNET on the new MacBook Pro: Apple’s amazing strip show reinvents the notebook – October 27, 2016
Apple debuts three new TV ads for all-new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar – October 27, 2016
Apple unveils groundbreaking new MacBook Pro with revolutionary Touch Bar and huge Force Touch trackpad – October 27, 2016

27 Comments

  1. Well I guess I won’t be using WordPerfect anymore, since WordPerfect requires the traditional function keys. Thanks Apple for screwing up a great thing like WordPerfect.

      1. Can the touchbar be set by the user? I thought it was application based changes. Perhaps the default for the bar is function keys if the application doesn’t preempt it itself.

        1. No standard ports? These are the standard USB ports for future laptops. If this thing had regular USB there would be a total s**t-storm of complaints about no USB-C. No optical drive… Really? For the few times a year I need one, I use my external Blueray burner drive. For the other 99.9% of times, I appreciate the extra-battery. No mag-safe? well I admit i’m bummed about that but we do gain the ability to plug in on either side and also to use any USB-c external battery. Maybe there will be a third party mag-safe USB dongle. As far as price is concerned, I will spend more time on this thing than I do with any machine in my life for the next three or so years. Worth every penny. This is a workhorse- you get what you pay for…

          1. The Macbooks are all solid-state now—no rotating hard drives that hate a bump. Go ahead and yank this one off your coffee table onto the floor. Probably will be fine. More seriously, I am also guessing that the USB-C connectors probably slip out of a port with far less resistance than the old power connectors (which made Mag-Safe such a lifesaver).

        2. Well, FlapJack makes an interesting point about an anti-glare option. I sure would like to see that one return.

          That being said, the current retina displays are still too dark so this new “brightness” that Apple has announced, is very welcome.

          Good point about MagSafe too, but I think if Apple was just able to make a longer lasting AC adapter, regular users would applaud.

    1. As shown in today’s presentation, you still have full access to the function keys. They’re available on the touchBar.

      The default touchbar configuration can bring them up with one touch.

      However the touchbar is fully customizable and you should be able to have them always present (without so much as an extra touch) whenever wordperfect is running.

      I’ll bet that wordperfect will let you keep just the F-keys you want, while adding a whole lot more very useful functionality to that touchbar.

    2. Um, you really shouldn’t be using Word Perfect anymore. And if you are, you don’t line up as someone who wants the very latest technology? Perhaps a PowerBook? 😉

  2. I have to say that I was surprised I didn’t feel any pain when they indirectly announced the end of the MacBook Air line. That was pretty clever how Phil did that without really saying that. They actually made it make sense. I guess they’ll continue to sell a low end MacBook Pro for those clients without the Magic Touch Bar. Not sure what this says about the colored MacBook, but I’d be happy for that to just fade away.

    That being said, there weren’t a lot of sexy upgrades to announce today. The MBP shrinking and lightening of the line is nice, but not revolutionary. As a tech, I liked the 3D graphic tours of the inside of it, but I’m not sure how compelling that was to others. It will be interesting over time to see if people can change their workflow and use the Magic Bar or not. Good point about the F keys not really being used too much for Function keys by most people.

    I liked the demo with all of the power and monitors moving through one thunderbolt port and being able to use any, on either side, is a nice improvement.

    I was surprised that this “revolutionary” AppleTV app is not available till December. Still seems to me, for people who don’t want to watch commercials, that if AppleTV could become a DVR, or completely take over your DVR, that it would be a more seamless experience. Rather than having an AppleTV app that leaps from app to app over the networks and forces you to watch commercials without mercy, why not have a super-smart DVR (We like TiVo) that doest this across everything, but stores it in recorded form. I’m still not entirely clear what Jobs meant when he said “we finally cracked it.” I’ve yet to see a really cool amazingly improved TV experience and with the AppleTV remote being such a pain, I love being able to watch stuff on TiVo when I can. There’s even a green button to skip commercials on it.

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing one of the MBPs in person when they’re finally here. It wasn’t a magic press conference for me, but at least Cook said they liked Macs just before the new MBP line was explained. 😉

    1. Well, you know a laptop is a laptop. As this form factor matures it gets harder to make exciting new advancements. I think the Touch Bar offers a great UI improvement; especially for apps I use occasionally and do have keyboard shortcuts memorized.

  3. I liked how that gal demoing either PS or FCP said that using the Touch Bar with the Touch Pad was like playing a musical instrument. I could see that. I’m looking forward to making some beautiful music with this new MB pro.

  4. The MacBook Air will still be around, and I bet will replace the MacBook Pro 13″ with the optical drive, priced right around $888/$999… This is for education, keep in mind. Currently you could still get the MB Pro 13″ with optical drive, last introduced, in 2012… I can keep you all posted, as I routinely get the price list for EDU…

    What you won’t see anymore is Quad Core i7 Mac Mini. At least, from what I can tell. I feel a little sad for the desktop arena. But maybe that is another event, all to itself….

    I still think a touch bar on a full sized keyboard for the desktop line with a secure enclave and Touch ID, would be a boon for all current and future models… It will be another 6 to 12 months before we see it.

  5. Reminds me of Nintendo’s dual screen game boy. It always was obviously a kludge and doomed to the design dustbin. Yes it’s cute, yes it does useful things, but having 2 screens one of which is a tiny strip.. there’s no way this is the future in 10 years time.

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