Extremely disappointed at the new Macbook Pros

Discussion in 'All Things Apple' started by senttoschool, Dec 11, 2016.

  1. senttoschool

    senttoschool Golden Member

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    For 10 years, I was using cheap $400 Dells and Acer laptops. When I switched to the Macbook Air in 2013, I was blown away by its thinness, weight, battery life, build quality, and operating system. I never knew a laptop could have 12 hours of battery life before and I carried that thing where ever I went.

    Naturally, I was very excited for the new Macbook Pros because it was time for an upgrade but boy, am I disappointed.

    I actually feel like the new Macbook Pros have taken a step back in portability, usefulness, and battery life. I can't charge my iPhone out of the box, can't plug in my old peripherals without a $50 dongle, and it has way worse battery life than my 4-year-old Macbook Air? WTF Apple!?

    I really really really wanted to upgrade but now I'm not sure if the new laptops are even better at what I need it to do than my Macbook Air.

    This is so frustrating. If they simply upgraded the hardware on the Air to make it faster, add Retina, improve battery life to 15 hours, I'd run out and buy one immediately.

    Jobs would have never let this happen. First the iPhone 7 dongle debacle, now this shit.
     
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  3. smackababy

    smackababy Lifer

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    I don't think you understand why the Air and Pro are completely different in terms of their purpose and what constitutes good performance of each.

    Perhaps, your disappointment is because you didn't understand what you needed from a computer and, thus, bought the wrong one?
     
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  4. senttoschool

    senttoschool Golden Member

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    Note that Apple thinks the Macbook Pro 13" without touch bar is the replacement for 13" Air.

    Maybe this will help explain my position:

    Profession: Web developer
    Work laptop: 2015 15" Macbook Pro, i7, 16GB of RAM
    Home laptop: 2013 Macbook Air 13", 8GB RAM

    My use case: I write company code on my 15" Macbook Pro. I write personal code on my 2013 Macbook Air. I travel a lot and build personal apps. My Macbook Air is getting old and I want to upgrade before I take a 3 month traveling trip. In particular, I want a Retina display, more powerful CPU, and better battery life, and a laptop that would make my life better than my Macbook Air.

    My choices:
    1. Macbook - Too small & too slow to be a good development machine, can't charge phone and laptop at same time, requires a different cable to charge my phone, worse battery life than Air, seems like it'd make traveling harder because I have to carry adapters, dongles, and different cables

    2. Macbook Pro 13" or 15" - Battery life reports say it lasts ~5 hours on normal use (I get 11hours on my Air), faster than my Air, requires a different cable to charge my phone, seems like it'd make traveling harder because I have to carry adapters, dongles, and different cables

    3. Macbook Air 13" - No retina, basically discontinued at this point, no notable changes since 2013 in processing power, battery life, and functionality. Not an option at this point.

    I'm disappointed because the new Pros aren't upgrades because they make my life harder where it matters the most and they're much more expensive. It took Apple 4.5 years to finally release a new Macbook Pro Retina line, and somehow they've made it worse.
     
    #3 senttoschool, Dec 12, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
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  5. nerp

    nerp Diamond Member

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    Considering there will be no more MBA, perhaps Apple has released a shitty laptop? Perhaps his disappointment is for that reason.
     
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  6. swanysto

    swanysto Golden Member

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    Sounds like a 2015 13" Macbook pro might be your best bet. Obviously not what you want to hear, but I think it is the only option that suits all your needs.

    I have watched a lot of reviews and the Macbook Pro is getting roasted in nearly all of them. I think the biggest factor is the battery life. Like yourself, most people who work on them love the fast that they last so long. But from what I have seen, 5 hours seems generous for anybody trying to render anything. It is interesting, cause most Apple products catch some flak when they are release, but all is usually forgotten fairly quickly. However, some of the gripes about the new Macbook pro are pretty bad.

    Time will tell I guess. Doesn't affect me, cause I can't afford that line anyways, but I would be frustrated like you if I used those primarily for work and stuff.
     
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  7. Spicedaddy

    Spicedaddy Platinum Member

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    Get a refurb 2015 MacBook Pro retina 13".

    Half a pound heavier but it saves you from having to carry two pounds of dongles! :D

    Seriously, first-gen Apple computers are a no-no for me. Wait a generation or two, by then battery life will be better and USB-C will be everywhere.
     
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  8. senttoschool

    senttoschool Golden Member

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    I consider the 2015 MacBook Pro model the 2012 model. Nothing has changed except a slightly smaller and more efficient CPU.

    It irks me that Apple took 4.5 years to release a new Mac and it makes life a bit harder.
     
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  9. TheStu

    TheStu Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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    The PowerBook design lasted from 2002/3 until the Unibody MacBook Pro in 2007/8. The Unibody lasted until 2012 when the Retina Unibody was released. Apple holds onto designs for a while. The iMac has been around in its current design for about 4 years IIRC. The Mac Pro (pre-trashcan), had a pretty similar exterior design to the PowerMac, so that's about 8-10 years of that design.

    For the 15" especially, the real question is how do the GPUs compare between the 2015 and 2016 models (and I don't know the answer because I don't care enough).
     
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  10. manly

    manly Diamond Member

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    At this point, I'm leaning towards a Dell Precision 5510 (rebadged XPS 15) once it gets a Kaby Lake HQ update (and Ubuntu LTS refresh). However, that platform seems to be significantly buggier than the award-winning XPS 13.

    It's just a confluence of factors dissuading me from staying in the Mac ecosystem. Non-repairability and insane price jumps are the most glaring cons. If they hadn't spiked the price by $400, maybe I'd stick with Apple.

    Chances are rev. B will pull the price back by $200 (and address some technical concerns such as RAM ceiling or battery life) but I'm not going to wait nearly 2 years to find out. Apple has had a distressing habit of releasing 15" rMBP updates late AND shortly before a meaningful Intel CPU update becomes available. It wouldn't surprise anybody if you finally get Kaby Lake on the 15" MBP in early 2018.

    I think it's also bad business to ignore the Mac business. Apple's financial performance is way too wed to the success of each year's iPhone release and we are clearly beginning to reach saturation (ignoring emerging markets where $650 flagships are a non-starter). If anything, a rejuvenated Mac business would be a small but not insignificant hedge against stalled iPhone sales growth.

    It isn't just about external design, but also feature set. Part of this is outside of Apple's control. Intel's processors have gotten more efficient over the past 4 years but have had very modest performance improvements. Nevertheless, the GPUs also barely evolved over several years and as mentioned above, the early 2015 rMBP was stuck on quite an old platform.

    It's fucking embarrassing.
     
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  11. Oyeve

    Oyeve Lifer

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    IMO apple doesnt give a rats ass if you like their laptops or not. Its not a huge $$$$ maker for them. For all the years and updates they still have the same market share they had 15 years ago, IE, not much.
     
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  12. manly

    manly Diamond Member

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    I mostly disagree. Over the years, they've certainly cared about making compelling laptops that have succeeded in the marketplace. It just seems like they allowed the competition in the past 2 years to catch up from a very deep deficit.

    Compared to the iPhone, the Mac is indeed a small business. But in absolute terms, it is a $$$ money maker. I don't have exact figures but I think it's about a $20B annual sales business, and IIRC gross margin is somewhere around 25%. So conservatively it's bringing in a couple billion dollars of net profit each year. It's easily in the top half of the U.S. Fortune 500.

    Finally, their market share has nearly tripled over 15 years (starting from a tiny baseline). Yet it's still small enough that share growth could continue over the long run, if Tim Cook & Co. actually gave a damn. If you look at portions of the laptop market, Apple does extremely well: developers and college students. Countries of particular strength are the U.S., Japan and the UK: advanced economies where consumers happily pay the Apple "tax".

    OTOH what you said would be pretty accurate IMO if applied to desktop Macs.
     
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  13. Tegeril

    Tegeril Platinum Member

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    So that claim on their marketshare is pretty wrong.

    Their only significant impact in market share was as you said 14 years ago until the past few years when they've had much greater share than ever before.
     
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  14. HiroThreading

    HiroThreading Member

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    I think what's most disappointing is how good this laptop could have been. It had great potential to continue to be the "go-to" professional laptop platform if Apple didn't make such boneheaded decisions.

    It shouldn't have been $400 more expensive than its predecessor, it should have featured a slightly bigger battery, it should have retained the SD card reader, it probably should have been bundled with at least one USBC -> USBA adapter, and it should have had a better keyboard.

    Completely agree.

    This is what has me scratching my head as to why Apple continues to neglect the Mac. I mean just look at the Mac Pro. It's absolutely ridiculous.
     
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  15. dclive

    dclive Elite Member

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    I bought the $1399 MBP13 at BestBuy the other day. I had a $500 MBP17" "upgrade" (trade-in) gift certificate - from a dying MBP17 2011; without it, I wouldn't have touched the MBP13, but with it, it made the machine much more reasonable, at about $1050 after taxes.

    I consider this the logical successor to the MBA13. Latest TB3 port (needed for the hookup to the LG Thunderbolt2 3440x1440 or somesuch 34" screen), reasonable graphics Intel 'GPU' (for a game or two, albeit not at high res/high detail), reasonable i5 CPU, 256GB SSD, great screen. Great portability.

    All set and working great with a $30 TB3->TB2 adapter.
     
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  16. Tegeril

    Tegeril Platinum Member

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    I picked up a 15" 2016, and I think it's important to realize that "new macbook pros" are really three different things.

    I'm actually quite pleased with the system, it's very fast, compiles faster than my work 2014 rMBP, the 460 outclasses the old 750 significantly, takes up less space, is lighter to carry around, and gets better battery life...all while giving me the option of a much brighter screen.

    USB-C has been great, I can connect it at my desk without dongles and it wasn't any more cabling changes than I've had in the past when switching from one computer to the next:
    - Power (came with it)
    - USB-C -> Displayport
    - USB-C -> USB-B 3.0 (to my monitor)
    - USB-C -> USB-C 10Gbps for an external SSD (came with the enclosure I needed to buy anyway to get 10Gbps)

    The fact that in not too much time there will be better 10Gbps USB-C hubs that I can connect most of this through and then only plug in 1-2 cables is exactly what I wanted. To me, USB-C is the ultimate flexibility for a little bit of initial compromise.

    ---

    As for the Non-Touch Bar model, it appears to me to be what everyone asked for from the Air but with a price increase. Faster (CPU, SSD, Graphics), Retina Screen, thinner. I've heard good and bad tales of the battery life but heard the same things about the 13" Air. I also don't know that "15 hours of battery life" fits the necessary mass appeal that one single model can have without making compromises that the greater audience wouldn't appreciate.

    Interestingly enough, most people with a multi-year old Air likely didn't have anything that needed Mini DisplayPort when the Air came out or Thunderbolt 1/2 yet that's somehow significantly different than this. The transition is certainly a little tougher without the benefit that those systems had of the port for USB 3.0 being type A and backwards compatible physically, but otherwise...
     
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  17. Tyranicus

    Tyranicus Senior member

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    I like the idea of a single port that can be anything, but I think if the iPhone 7 can ship with a lightning to headphone adapter, than the MacBook Pro can ship with a C to A adapter.
     
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  18. dclive

    dclive Elite Member

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    Some though just don't need it - I don't, for example, because my LG 34" includes USB3 on it already (for the mouse and keyboard that's switched between the TB2 and DisplayPort and dual HDMI ports...) - I'd rather not pay for it in this case. That said (sigh!) I did buy one for $10 because I thought I might need it one day. It still sits untouched, a week or so later.

    Anyway, I accept that we're in a transitional phase now, but I think the TB3/USB3.1v2 is likely to be vastly more successful than the previous TB1/TB2 efforts since TB3 shares the same physical configuration as USB3.1v2 and because it is getting more (other than Apple) industry usage. My recollection is we didn't see much TB1 / TB2 on PCs outside of a few HP workstations and the odd Asus (Xeon-targetted, usually) motherboard setup.
     
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  19. HaukSwe

    HaukSwe Member

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    I upgraded from 2011 13" Air to 2016 MBP 15".

    I don't get complaining about USB-C. It's the most versatile port you can get and an open standard. It's definitely what i want to use for the next 5 years.

    It's the nicest 15" form factor laptop you can get.

    Sadly the GPU does suck and the massive trackpad is unnecessary.
     
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  20. Tweak155

    Tweak155 Lifer

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    I don't think anyone has an issue with USB-C. It's the issue of ONLY having USB-C. In a transition period it makes more sense to offer more options, not 1.

    The number of people that only want USB-C or are willing to put up with adapters is a tiny portion of possible customers.
     
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  21. dawks

    dawks Diamond Member

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    Exactly.. USB-C is great, but theres no reason not to include 2-3 standard USB-A ports other than maybe issues around thickness of the laptop.
    I wish apple would get over this obsession with thinness. I'm tired of sacrificing features just so they can get that advertising slogan "X percentage thinner!!!!1111"
    I had my credit card out and ready to order a new laptop back at the announcement, but once I saw that there were ONLY USB-C ports, it went right back in the wallet. I'll stick with my 6.5year-old macbook pro for now i guess.
    I really, really prefer macOS to Windows, so I'll keep looking for an alternative. I just want flexible and fast hardware. An iMac might be a good option so I'm waiting for the next bump.
     
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  22. manly

    manly Diamond Member

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    https://www.cnet.com/news/apples-not-very-good-really-quite-poor-2016/

    USB-C isn't one of my gripes.

    But I agree with everyone else that Apple should have packed in the C to A cable. And IMHO, also a C to Lightning cable. We're talking $2 (COGS) cables on ~ $2k transactions. It's truly a low-cost way of making loyal customers happy.
     
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  23. Tegeril

    Tegeril Platinum Member

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    Did you opt for the 450? I've found the 460 so far to be pretty solid all things considered (its power envelope, its ability to not melt the computer as quickly as prior generation GPUs did at full load, and its overall performance in games and in applications for OpenCL acceleration).

    Personally, I don't really want a faster GPU inside if it means even faster battery drain and even hotter operation.
     
  24. HiroThreading

    HiroThreading Member

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    The 460 is definitely a "must-have" upgrade over the stock 450.

    Actually, for the prices Apple charges, the 460 should be standard across all SKUs.
     
  25. Harley Ben

    Harley Ben Junior Member

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    Apple has taken a few steps back in technology and innovation when it comes to MAC laptop. I had MAC air book in 2013 and yeah I can agree with you it had the best features and battery life time but the newer the apple laptops more are the complications! I am too disappointed. and yeah this dongle part for every thing is disappointing yet funny! they're selling dongles for literally everything now!
     
  26. Ancalagon44

    Ancalagon44 Platinum Member

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    Good article. There are also rumours that the Mac teams get a lot less attention and resources than before, which is why the latest Macbooks have such underwhelming battery life.

    Thinking back to this year, I can't think of a single product that Apple announced this year, that made people go "WOW". There was the iPhone7 with its lack of a headphone port, there was the Macbook Pro with its Touch Bar that nobody really wanted. I can't think of a single Apple product that was universally well received.