Wired hands on with Apple’s New MacBook Pro: It’s a whole new kind of laptop

“Your MacBook Pro was overdue for an upgrade, and today it got one,” David Pierce writes for Wired. “Apple announced a new MacBook Pro this morning at an intimate event in Cupertino, along with small refreshes of a couple of its other laptops. The Air is the cheapest MacBook, and the MacBook is the thinnest MacBook, but the MacBook Pro is the best and most important MacBook.”

“Instead of function keys, the row of F1-F12s you don’t care about and media controls you do, the new MacBook Pro has a small touch-friendly strip that apps can use to display quick controls and information. It’s called the Touch Bar. There’s a Touch ID fingerprint reader on the right side of the strip, too right above the Delete key,” Pierce writes. “The whole idea is going to take some getting used to: each app does different things, in different ways, to different effect… One thing’s for sure, though: the tech is solid. The slightly raised platform is remarkably responsive, and the screen is so vibrant it almost looks like Apple slapped a sticker over it. There’s virtually no lag as you swipe or tap—it’s just a touchscreen, really, with support for up to 10 fingers. Why you would ever put all 10 of your digits on the tiny stripe, I don’t know, but it’s nice to know it’s possible. In general, the Touch Bar is a clever way to marry the tactility of a physical keyboard with the malleability of a touchscreen. You could argue that a full-on touchscreen would be better, but Apple sure doesn’t think so.”

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve been over this. Last decade.

To us longtime Apple watchers, Cupertino seems to be saying, “Multi-Touch on the screen only when trackpads are not part of the device.”MacDailyNews, November 19, 2008

Does it make more sense to be smearing your fingers around on your notebook’s screen or on a spacious trackpad that’s designed specifically and solely to be touched? Apple thinks things through more than other companies… The iPhone’s screen has to be touched; that’s all it has available. A MacBook’s screen does not have to be touched in order to offer Multi-Touch™. There is a better way: Apple’s way.MacDailyNews, March 26, 2009

Pierce continues, “You want a cheap laptop? Buy an iPad Pro. Super-portable laptop? MacBook. Beast Machine? MacBook Pro. It’s expensive, but at least at first glance it seems like you’re going to get what you pay for.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, “expensive” is not a universal concept and is therefore not the job of the reviewer. One man’s “expensive” is another’s “peanuts.” Just report the price and the reader can decide whether it’s affordable or not; the reviewer’s personal financial situation is meaningless when it comes to a product’s price.

Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers.

The MacBook Pro is not expensive for what you get and certainly is very cost effective when you factor in the 3+ years the average Mac user will get out of it. Mac users are perfectly able to recognize unmatched quality and features and are willing to pay for the privilege of ownership.

SEE ALSO:
CNET on the new MacBook Pro: Apple’s amazing strip show reinvents the notebook – October 27, 2016
Hands on with Apple’s new MacBook Pro: Looks and feels so good it’s unreal – 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

47 Comments

  1. The MacBook Pro with last season’s chips and 8GB ram are expensive for what you get. We will see how the market reacts – but I have bought MacBooks for 20 years and I consider that the prices for the kit are just too high.

    1. Hi Josh, I am sorry to hear that you have fallen on such hard times and can’t afford a new computer. By the way, Intel is having difficulties getting the rejection rate down on their newest and fastest processors. Do you really think that Apple should bet on those processors when they are in that state? Are you too used to the Samsung Galaxy Fire series of equipment?

      1. If you can’t realise that danger lies ahead when loyal Mac users are not happy, when Mac sales are down, iPhone sales are slow, profits are down then you are a very sorry Apple friend.

      2. Reality Check:

        Shut up.

        These new MacBooks are expensive. They increased the price in case you didn’t notice. Not everyone is a fanboy like you who lives in a basement and spends what little money he has on Apple toys.

    2. Nice product. For the price I wish it had a 7th generation i7 chip.

      Only time will tell if the new models are overpriced.

      Other Mac users around me at work today thought they were overpriced. However, the cost of switching platforms also needs to be considered. In that light they may not be overpriced.

      1. The fact that it is 6th generation would be fine if there were more standard memory to offset that issue. However, Apple is determined to make their usual obscene profits off of memory upgrades.

        Also, given how Apple does make so much money off of memory, it is really strange that they don’t even offer a 32 GB memory option for those that need it and are willing to pay.

        1. And I think that you are mistaking repetition of your opinion as establishing fact. People tend to be trending towards the extremes, which is seldom a reasonable position to defend, and your posts often lean towards the extreme.

          As far as implying that I somehow support a “cult of Mac,” you are so far off base that it surpasses the ridiculous. I choose to use Macs when offered the option/opportunity. But I have spent many years working on other platforms, too. I started working with computers in the mid-1970s, as a matter of fact, years before Macs existed or became mainstream products.

          I have a problem with anonymous posters on this forum blowing stuff out of proportion.

          I have a problem with the general lack of knowledge, understanding, and respect regarding Apple and Mac history – even on *this* forum – that too often leads to the perpetuation of FUD.

          I have a problem with this forum being hijacked by political rants.

          And I have a problem with you, because you appear to believe that your use of “fancy” Latin terms like “ad hominem” elevates your opinion to the status of fact.

          Why don’t you at least register and show some commitment as a forum participant? Anyone can post anonymously under any name, and far too many people are using that weakness to spam this forum and give the appearance that fringe opinions are more widely accepted.

    3. Josh, how right you are. Sometimes stuff, for what it is, cost too much. Yes Microsoft Surface cost too much as well. It seems that once these tech companies build the gigantic building, or show place campus, they start losing money.

      Tim Cook is better suited for some political office thing. I don’t think he will be good at it, but his vision at apple will cost people their jobs. When there is a downturn in profits questions start to be amplified, “what have you done for me lately”, fair or not. The answers are usually, “we are still making big profits, we expected this to happen, we have great products in the pipeline”, “our debt to cash ratio is great”, then the layoffs occur. Debt kills! “It’s the stress that kills you”, and that stress is over the debt. The D_UMP (donald trump) of the tech world. Good Grief!

      1. You have a flawed understanding of Apple and its history. What happened during the recent Great Recession? Apple maintained and expanded its workforce. You are speculating for effect.

        Sure the new MacBook Pros are expensive in terms of the initial purchase at first glance. But TCO and many other factors make the Mac a good value in the opinions of millions. If you feel that the new MacBook Pros are too expensive, then you have the opportunity to vote with your dollar. Don’t buy one.

        But I believe that they are well worth the price – the superb design and engineering, the benefits of MacOS, the Apple customer support, Apple’s commitment to security and privacy, the longevity that I have experienced with my Macs – all of these factors and more are part of the value discussion.

        Picking nits about gen 6 or gen 7 of the Intel i7 is a bit ridiculous in my opinion. Have you noted the flattening of the performance trends for recent Intel processors? It really does not matter that much. You are stretching for information to support your stated position.

        One of the only valid complaints that I have seen is the RAM issue, especially for devices with non-upgradable memory. Apple has always been a bit stingy with the memory and slow to transition to a new higher base level. Given the incredible volume of chips that Apple consumes and the pricing advantages that entails, Apple should see this as an opportunity to be proactive in ramping up RAM specs on its computers.

  2. Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers

    hey mdn – been drinking the kool aid much?

    whatever happened to ” the computer for the rest of us”

    elitism does not wear well on anyone

    and yes, even though i can afford one of these new units, they are kinda spendy.

    1. MDN is correct. If I buy a comparable computer from a different vendor the price will be just as expensive. I *really* like the new Razor Blade Pro, it comes with Kabbylake and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 and it is as thin as the previous MacBook Pro.

      All the keys are programmable. Not just the function keys. And it comes in black, like all computers should.

      1. Yeah… that product isn’t shipping yet. In fact you can’t even order it, because it’s not ready or even in production. Their website says “notify me” which is code for “we don’t know when this is going to be available”. Imagine if Apple announced a new MacBook Pro and then said “notify me”…. it would be a shit storm. As I said in another post, you won’t see mass adoption of many lake and 1080/Polaris 490 chipsets en masse until next year.

    2. The MDN elitism does get old. I have cautioned MDN against it many times. Disparaging Android users, for instance, is not a good way to encourage switchers and tends to taint general public opinion regarding users of Apple products. But it caters to a subset of people and probably inflates the MDN bottom line.

      I maintain my stuff – cars, house, phones, computers, etc. – and tend to get a very long, useful life from my purchases. So I am willing to spend a bit more for quality. Do I wish that the new Apple MacBook Pros were a couple of hundred less? Sure! Who doesn’t? But if I need a new MacBook Pro, then that will not stop me from buying the best.

  3. i love the new mac book pro….. cool solid product imo..

    as to “Why you would ever put all 10 of your digits on the tiny stripe, I don’t know,….. ”
    how about a virtual keyboard for music input or something along those lines… given software support.

  4. I’m not going to talk about the new MB Pro (I have an older MBP so I’m not dissing it) but I’ll like to just say…

    WHERE’s the

    — Mac Pro?
    three years old , no drop in price
    Hackintosh machines built by hobbyists in basements with new GPUs can have speeds 2-3 times faster, so it’s not HARD to build (not like creating a new car… )
    (with tens of billions Apple can’t get a few intern engineers to build a Tower?)

    — iMacs?

    — Mac Mini?
    (note the mini when it first came out was a bestseller – was on Amazon’s bestseller list for years. I think it’s dwindled as Apple crippled it… )

    — some kind of Mid Tower priced between the mini and the Pro. (one workstation class processor, new subsystem, upgradable components like GPU ) Loads of people say they WANT this

    — some kind of answer to Chromebooks in schools?
    Apple has dropped from a great position in education to about 10% (this includes iPads) while Chromebooks have gone up to 50% plus…

    (I was thinking some kind of A chip iBook. Educators have said over and over again what they WANT : 1) low cost 2) administrative control 3) KEYBOARDS (many assignments require considerable typing) and 4) easy maintenance i.e loose parts like keyboards, stands etc for iPads are hard to maintain etc. so why doesn’t Apple work on this ASAP? the education market for various reasons (like training NEW customers) is vital. A stripped down A chip Cloud book can be cheap and NOT cannibalize Macs.

    etc.

    MEANWHILE WE HAVE ARTICLES SAYING JONY IVE IS SPENDING HIS TIME ATTENDING FASHION SHOWS AND DESIGNING CHRISTMAS TREES.

    I love MacOS, all Mac now with two cheese grater Mac Pros (you can call me a ‘fanatical’ mac user) , an an aapl investor but seriously I’m beyond frustrated.

    So much of the above like I said is relatively EASY to do (not like building that car) and there are millions $$ to be made and with stock below the S&P AVERAGE and frustrated consumers WHO WANT TO SPEND Apple Management does not want to build or SELL ?

    1. please note people who one star me:

      Macs MAKE MONEY.

      for years it was the second money maker to iPhone.
      (of course we can’t compare it to iPhone as iPhone makes more money than any product on the planet, more than all the cars put out by Ford. People saying Apple should ignore macs as they make less than iPhone are stupid. )

      for the last three quarters (that I’ve keep track of) Macs have made more money than iPads
      They make a lot more than Apple Watch (other products category of which Watch is part is less than HALF mac revenues)

      this in SPITE of upgrade slowness or no upgrades at all among the Macs AND ZERO advertising. compare the zero macs ads to the plentitude of Apple Watch ads.

      (NOTE Best Buy , Amazon etc are NOT going to push macs if Apple doesn’t push them as these companies y are not going to bad mouth Windows as they sell loads of PCs … ) Imagine the sales if they had kept updated products and advertised.

    2. Davewrite,

      Well written and excellent points. Apple should hire you!

      Apple seems to work like this – everyone to this side of the boat – everyone to that side of the boat.

      Instead, Apple needs teams that stay focused on particular products so they are improved and released in a timely matter.

      In fact, Apple should have a team to collect user comments from the web on each and everyone of their products. At times it seems like Apple Management is disconnected from the wants and needs of their customer base.

      1. Probably wouldn’t matter. Apple has been flying high, spending all it’s attention on dealing with the success of iPhone and iOS. Trying to get enough made and develop the next generations.

        Meanwhile….. in the silence of the market for the others, i.e. Microsoft (and others) were looking through the lense of stark reality, and from that darkness emerged chisled plans for the future beyond iPhones. I’m impressed with Microsoft’s approach to cloud computing. They are a real force, something Apple should be as it’s right in the wheelhouse of where wireless devices will need to store and access information. They are innovating on the hardware and software side like never before. I think Apple is going to eat some humble pie in the near future, and some of the old guard are going to be stepping back and reassessing the situation. Not sure they are the right folks going forward.

  5. Apple is right about not wanting folks to touch a MacBook screen with fingers; HOWEVER, using a stylus to annotate on the screen is desirable. I am jealous Windows users can do this…makes sense.

  6. I know this comment will get bashed given the usual audience and MDN themselves. All I ask is keep an open mind. I have been a HUGE Apple fan for years and have pretty much at least one of every product.

    Out of curiosity, I picked up a Surface Pro 4, several months back just see what I thought. Competition and different approaches are good as they drive competition and innovation.

    Yes, there are people that do not want fingerprints on their screens nor do they want to have to life their hands up to touch the screen. At the same time, there are people that DO want to touch their screens. In fact, in the Apple world, look at the iPad Pro alone. The screen is large enough to be a full laptop with a touch screen.

    Personal opinion here (shared by many but maybe not you and that is okay)… I keep hoping for Apple to, one day, release a device that is like the Surface Pro 4. I want one device that operates as a tablet and a full laptop. For my job, iOS is not enough. Yes, I get it, the combination may not be 100% perfect and there may be some trade-offs; however, sometimes ‘good enough’, for lack of a better term, is okay.

    I am not saying ditch what Apple has released today, I say keep it. I just keep hoping they someday add that device for which I am looking.

    I HATE the thought of switching to a Surface Pro 4. Not because of the hardware, but, because of going to Windows. Even through Windows 10, is the best Windows, I’ve used, I still MUCH prefer macOS.

    I am not a biggot; I give credit where and when credit is due. I like to keep an open mind. I have to say the new Microsoft Surface Studio, is pretty darn cool. In fact, when I watched the video, it almost felt like I was watching something from Apple when Steve, still was around.

    My point is Apple, is a great company and they make some of the best, if not the best, devices in the industry. That said, I think they are failing to innovate as much as in the past, and, are ignoring a large ask from their customers that other manufacturers are happy to address.

    I will continue to be an Apple fan and continue to be an Apple customer. I just hope for some change at some point.

    Okay, now, let the bashing of this post begin! LOL!

    1. If the people posting here were honest with themselves, they would have to admit that if Microsoft introduced high-priced notebooks with a tiny touch strip (like the much-hated Ribbon) there would be nothing but derision.

      Apple has gone to extraordinary lengths to make a convoluted OS addition for a single product just so people DON’T touch the screen.

      Look at the Apple lineup – a 13″ iPad Pro that doesn’t do anything remotely pro because of the limitations they place on iOS. It uses literally exactly the same OS as a 4″ iPhone. And now pro laptops without proper USB connections. Or a SD card slot. And no more MagSafe, which has saved many thousands of Macs from unfortunate encounters with the floor.

      The Surface Studio has given me gadget lust I haven’t had in years. Apples lineup is fragmented between two OS’s and what was introduced today barely raises the bar. I won’t even get into the sorry state of the Mac desktop since others have done that so well.

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