Some Mac Users are Underwhelmed with the 2016 MacBook Pro

In a recent article on his blog titled New MacBook Pros and the State of the MacMichael Tsai has rounded up what some underwhelmed Mac users are saying about the 2016 MacBook Pro, saying that while there’s nothing particularly wrong with the new model, it is just “not a true Pro notebook”. Tsai says he’s been wanting to upgrade his 4.5 years old Retina MacBook Pro but now, he’s no longer sure that he wants a MacBook Pro as his main computer.

Mac

He sums up his thoughts about the new MacBook Pro in these words:

The new MacBook Pro has a premium price for a Mac that’s still limited to 16 GB of RAM, has CPU performance that is likely lackluster because Apple didn’t talk about it in the keynote, and apparently doesn’t have such a great GPU, either. Apple prioritized thinness and lightness, which I care about hardly at all. I would rather have better performance, a good keyboard, more storage, a larger display, more ports so I don’t have to carry dongles, an SD card slot, etc. Double the weight and half the battery life would be fine with me. I’m not saying Apple shouldn’t make thin and light notebooks, but why do they all have to be that way?

Tsai then goes on to round up what some other disappointed Mac users are saying about the new MacBook Pro, citing Tweets and excerpts from articles by leading tech journalists and websites. Below are a select few:

Peter Kirn (via Michael Yacavone):

It was really hard for me to watch Apple’s “Hello Again” event today. Understanding history is important – to a point. But Apple’s obsessive naval gazing in the Mac event today speaks volumes. This is a company with no real vision for what its most creative users actually do with their most advanced machines. So, instead, they look into the past.

Owen Williams (Hacker News):

Apple spent the entire event comparing itself to its own past, rather than showing us the future, and even then painted a very clear picture: it has no idea who the Mac is for.

Adam Knight:

After watching yesterday’s Apple Event and reading around a bit at the reactions, I’ve become concerned for the future of the Mac, at least in the hands of the current leadership at Apple.

Yoni Heisler:

Apple’s new MacBook Pro has created quite a stir in the Mac community, with many developers and creative professionals expressing outrage and frustration that Apple has seemingly created a Pro machine that is decidedly underwhelming and watered down.

Do you also feel underwhelmed with the new MacBook Pro?

“Technology runs through my veins...” | Follow me: @DrUsmanQ usman@iPhoneinCanada.ca

  • Corey Beazer

    I feel like this would make a good MacBook…. they certainly lack the “Pro” in these models. Sure they run fast, but Pros use Pro ports…

  • Si2k78

    Not having an sd card slot is a deal breaker for photographers.

  • hlna55

    Shocker. Couldn’t have seen this coming…. oh, wait a minute….

  • RickysCV

    I’m going to repost what I wrote in another article. Sorry, but it applies here as well…I’ve had Apple products for over 30 years. This is the first time that I
    have doubts about the direction Apple is heading with their products. I
    am not recommending their products as I once did to family and friends.
    Upgrades where the main result is that we have to buy new dongles and
    adaptors, or apps that don’t work anymore because you downloaded an
    update that won’t work on your equipment. They are playing a game that I
    am unable to continue to buy into. So, like many others, I am for the
    first time, looking at what Microsoft and Windows has to offer and
    seeing if I could afford the money and re-learning it would take to get
    into a differnt system. Apple has lost it’s way. They aren’t that
    different any more but they are very expensive and yet they want
    more…just a little more money with every new offering, telling us what
    we need and should want. We need a new company that can provide basic
    equipment and software that actually ‘just works’ with a reasonable
    price tag. They’d be quite successful I’d predict.

  • Dario Sycco

    I don’t feel underwhelmed with the new Mac Book Pro.
    I feel underwhelmed with Apple in general.

  • Shameer Mulji

    The biggest issue remains the lack of upgrade to 32GB RAM. Unfortunately, that won’t happen for at least another couple years.

  • xxxJDxxx

    Couldn’t agree more. Was also hoping to upgrade my current 4 year old Macbook pro. I’ll pass. Minor performance gains and will require me to shell out even more than the ridiculous sales price to buy all the necessary dongles to do what my current Macbook does. Which means I’ll lose even more desk space because of the silly dongles hanging off the side.

    Thousands of dollars for something that will look uglier and take up more space with only small performance gains? No thanks.

  • Just get the $50 adapter… throwing money at the problem is Apple’s solution for you.

  • Si2k78

    Only if we all were as financially secure as the Apple execs that approve of these designs,

  • Si2k78

    I doubt that’s the biggest issue. All this negative press and hits to apples forward thinking reputation could not be going well for cook and company.

  • Larry

    I bought my first Mac (iMac 24″) 10 years ago last month. I have been a Mac fan ever since and have sold numerous friends on converting to a Mac. I currently use an iMac 27″ and a 13″ MacBook Pro (Late 2013). Looking at the MacBook lineup that now exists, there is nothing that I want to buy (way overpriced and too many dongles) and nothing I would recommend to a friend with possible exception of a MacBook Air or a refurbished Pro.
    I have to agree that Apple has lost it’s way. I hope they come to their senses once MacBook sales start to tank. I hate the thought of going back to Windows.
    I also think it was a huge marketing mistake to drop the illuminated logo. If you’ve ever seen a shot of the press gallery at a major event and seen that almost all press are using MacBooks, this free advertising will now go dark.

  • Yeah, I don’t think that the biggest issue for most people. I’d say it’s the new ports. Forcing everyone to use new adapters for pretty much anything they want to connect really sucks.

    Don’t get me wrong, I get that Thunderbolt 3/USB-C is superior to USB-A and all the other connectors, but let’s take things a little more gradually. I wish they’d introduce a USB-C port or two and let us slowly collect new cables and devices, until older connectors are a little less popular a few years from now. Then maybe kill it.

    Still, I really like the SDXC card slot and the MagSafe power cord, which aren’t really being replaced by Thunderbolt 3 like the other ports, but instead just being killed altogether.

  • Si2k78

    We can’t even connect our iPhones to it! Who thought that was a great idea!?!?

  • Shameer Mulji

    If you’re a Pro user who needs / wants to upgrade their system, not being able to upgrade to 32GB is big issue. That’s not to discount the ports issue which has temporary workarounds but RAM cannot be expanded.

  • Shameer Mulji

    As far as I can remember, Apple’s always had negative press when it comes to their forward thinking reputation. That’s nothing new. They’ve weathered it before.

  • makeittalk

    Yup. Huge Meh. Was hoping to see something dramatic but for my needs, the new ones means I will hold on to my existing Macs for another year. Not happy about the price increases either – definitely not justified for what Apple delivered.

  • Shameer Mulji

    “Minor performance gains”

    If you’re talking about CPU sure, I agree. But when it comes to GPU, SSD, and throughput on the TB3 ports, the performance gains are huge. They more than make up for any lack of gains on the CPU side of things.

  • Shameer Mulji

    I look at that as a minor temporary paint point. Using an adapter is an acceptable compromise in order to be able to use ANY port for anything I want, rather than being stuck with unused ports dedicated to something I don’t need at any given moment while possibly running out of something I do. Now what used to be a dedicated HDMI port can be HDMI or Thunderbolt or USB or Ethernet, etc..

  • Salinger

    I pre-ordered the MB Pro on launch day. But the more I thought about it, the less sure I was that I’d made the right decision. Along with a year old processor and an excessive price tag, one of the biggest question marks for me is the keyboard.

    I’ve tried the keyboard on the 12″ MacBook many times, and just cannot get used to it. It’s horrific. I know they say this one’s a little better, but I’m not so sure. I also, for the first time in many years, started doing some research on Windows laptops. The Dell XPS 13, with an i7-7500 Kaby Lake, a quad HD touchscreen, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD (not to mention an awesome keyboard), is about $1k less.

    For now, I cancelled my pre-order. I’m going to take my time, try out the keyboard when they get them at the Apple Store, and seriously consider if I might actually not get a MacBook for the first time in ages.

  • xxxJDxxx

    You’re right, I shouldn’t discount the performance gains they have made. I suppose I seem them as minor relative to their price tag.

  • BigCat

    You have to choose what overall works best for you! The list of pros and cons for each person is different.

    For me, I simply could not order the 13″ Pro fast enough. It is smaller and lighter and has more than enough power. When I travel every pound counts, so this along with size is big for me. Choosing an Apple computer or device is also so much more than just that one piece of hardware.

    In my view, Apple has not lost its way. Apple is hitting a wall. Their limitation for the entire portable product line can be described in one word, “battery”. Either the products will have to get thicker and heavier or they will have to give up features.

    All manufactures are constrained by the same limitation. It’s just that some place the priority in a different order. A breakthrough in battery technology has to make its way to the production line before you will see big changes.

  • Stefan

    I agree with you to the point. Most of the people above and below are making valid point by saying that these new MacBooks are just NOT Pro anymore. There is almost nothing Pro about them.
    For example, I am a game developer and I need a high-end GPU and apple is just not delivering. I bet other creative professionals, such as photographers, would benefit from high end GPU too when they are editing their content.

    Pro does not mean SHIT anymore. It is just a marketing trick Apple uses to make regular non-professional users feel special and justify a higher price tag, and it leaves professionals wondering if Apple is the right platform they should use to do their work.

    Lately, I have been thinking of ordering the new Razer Blade Pro that has a desktop grade GPU, GTX 1080, and just making it a Hackintosh.

  • Stefan

    Hhahah I did not even think about that.

  • Salinger

    I agree somewhat. I too couldn’t wait to order. It’s the afterthought that got to me and how much I was spending for what I was getting compared to what else was out there.

    As for thin & light, the XPS is thinner and lighter yet has more useful ports, including an SD card slot which is huge for me. Apple seems to have forgotten the name of this machine. The MacBook “PRO”. As great a machine as this is, there is nothing Pro about it. It is merely a high end portable.

    Again, one of the biggest concerns for me, aside from them using last year’s processor yet still charging so much, is the keyboard. I type a lot on my laptop and as I said, no matter how much I’ve tried, I simply cannot get used to that horrible MacBook butterfly switch. If after I try the new MBP, and the keyboard is really improved (though with .5mm key travel I’m doubtful) then my decision will be extremely difficult because, as you say, when you buy a Mac, it’s not just the hardware. I have an almost completely Apple ecosystem at home not to mention the second to none service.

  • Dehop

    Had thought about replacing my 13″ 2012 MBP, too.

    I will instead simply replace the HDD with a 1 TB SSD and save myself almost $1600**, not including cost of extra dongles for DVI/HDMI, USB, and SD cards

    ** non-touchbar 13″ MBP with a mere 256 GB drive is $1900, a Crucial 1 TB SSD is $324

  • Dave M

    Couldn’t say it better. ” Huge Meh”
    As most people are saying, these aren’t really pro machines. I have 12 GB of ram in my almost 5 yr old 15″ MacBook Pro.

  • W G Barker

    Have been using MAC’s since 1985. Purchased early “laptops” and currently use 13″ MacBook Pro – late 2013. Also, have iMac, iPhone and iPad.
    Was eagerly awaiting release of 2016 MacBook Pro. Read all the speculative literature and placed pre-order. Result: I cancelled my pre-order!
    Why? Ho-hum Touch Bar (zillions of emojis???), fingerprint ID, bigger trackpad (big deal?); BUT no USB ports, no real performance upgrade, too pricey, etc., etc. How about creative features? Clearly, the 2016 MacBook is not a Pro! Apple is creating products that tie users into their “product world”. Not interested in paying for dongle cords for $19.00 or $50.00 or being “told” what music can have in iTunes, etc. How about catering to us loyal customers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BigCat

    Well, I guess it all comes back to the user and what that user wants.

    For me and only for me. I am willing to pay Apple more just so I never have to consider the options you guys are considering. The options are not bad. It’s just that they hold no appeal to me whatsoever.

    The product name and specs actually are not that important for me. The new MacBook is going to look great, be thinner, lighter, and faster. When I open it up everything is just going to work so nice.

    Companies like Microsoft and Dell just have not been able to create that experience for me.