Tag Archives: MacBook

I Need a New Mac and Apple Doesn’t Want to Sell Me One

My MacBook Pro is over 7 years old now. I’m a software engineer, and I like to do my own design work for small projects. I’m also a fan of photography, and need a machine powerful enough to process large images. I even occasionally make and edit videos. Basically, I desperately need a new, far more powerful, computer. Through upgrades, my 7 year old machine has gotten upgraded memory and a solid state drive, which is why it’s been able to stay relevant for so long. But now it’s too old to keep up, the processor has been pushed to its limits, and even with more memory and a faster drive, it’s finally starting to feel sluggish. Software demands have finally outpaced what I was able to do for this plucky little machine. What do I replace it with? What could last me 5-6 years and provide the power I need? Can it also be portable?

No, not if I want to buy any of Apple’s disappointing computers.

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Apple Plummets in LaptopMag’s Laptop Ratings

Apple stood at the top of LaptopMag’s annual laptop computer brand rankings for 6 years. However, instead of a seventh win, Apple plummeted to 5th* place, dropping in rating more than any other manufacturer in the top 10. Even Microsoft dropped only 3 places. Apple scored 78 out of 100 on LaptopMag’s ratings, causing the company’s ranking to drop. What hurt Apple? Discontinued inexpensive models, the new MacBook and MacBook Pro’s lack of ports (USB-C only, for bags packed with adapters), only decent performance, no touch screens on the Mac linup, and the inability of iOS on the iPad Pro to replace macOS for less expensive portable options when compared to Microsoft Windows. Basically, Apple’s inexpensive mobile computing options, iPads, have severe software limitations, and their more robust platform, macOS, is hindered by extreme hardware limitations. Apple has an amazing hardware platform in the iPad Pro, and wonderful software in the form of macOS, but doesn’t put the two together in a single package. 

*Apple tied with Acer for 5th, but LaptopMag placed it just below Acer on their chart here.

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Apple is Fighting ‘Right to Repair’ Laws

The inside of a 2016 MacBook Pro

Image credit: iFixit

When Donald Trump tried to ban Muslim immigrants from 7 countries from entering the United States, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, was quick to speak out against it. Apple was also there at Pride last year and the year before, holding their rainbow Apple banner high. Cook has stated that Apple will never become a place where discrimination is acceptable, no matter what the laws in the U.S. look like in a few years. However, there’s one place where they’re against consumers’ rights, and that’s the right to repair their equipment themselves or wherever they’d like. Apple wants to force users to come to them for repairs, and doesn’t want them upgrading their devices. Their extremely slim iOS devices, and Macs with soldered and glued parts are proof that, even if Apple doesn’t get to keep the right to force customers to come to them, they won’t easily or reasonably be able to do anything else with their devices anyway.
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The New MacBook Pro Keyboard is Glorious

I had a few reasons for going to the Apple Store last week. My iPad Pro Smart Keyboard was coming apart at the seams (the adhesive must have worn out… it was only 5 months old), my iPhone 6s has a bad battery (and still does), and, I had to find a replacement for my beloved Pebble smartwatch, as the company doesn’t exist anymore. Before I went and played with the Apple Watches that were on display, I went over to the MacBook Pro display. No one was standing in front of a 13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, so I decided to test the keyboard a bit. After a few minutes on the keyboard, I was incredibly surprised. The first generation butterfly mechanism and dome switches in the 12″ MacBook were awful. That computer was a nightmare to type on. However, the new MacBook Pro has a brand new switch type, and it makes an incredible difference. 

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MacBook Pro With Touch Bar Review Roundup

From what Apple showed me on stage, I was unimpressed. If anything, the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar got me thinking about the next iMac, the Microsoft Surface Studio, or perhaps building my own PC (maybe even making it a hackintosh). It doesn’t have the latest Intel processors, the graphics cards are more suited for rendering than general purpose and gaming, the Touch Bar removes the function keys, things I, a programmer, use often, and the Touch Bar didn’t look like something that would really add utility to the device, especially since it would require using Apple’s keyboard. Let’s not forget it only has 4 ports, and none of them are your standard USB, used by mice, keyboards, cameras, and even your Apple iPhone. Want to upgrade it? Literally nothing internal is upgradable, not even the storage, and the MacBook Pro maxes out at an unimpressive 16GB of memory. Plus, it’s more expensive than the computer it’s supposed to be replacing. It seemed as though Apple made a laptop without even looking at the competition, let along the rest of their products. My coworkers are also mostly software developers, with interests that include gaming and photography. We all develop on Macs, with most of us using the 15″ Retina MacBook Pro, hooked up to an Apple Thunderbolt display. Out of all of us, only one wanted to order the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and even that person was only doing it to replace an aging Mac, they weren’t overly enthused. In fact, I haven’t spoken to anyone who was enthusiastic about the new MacBook Pro, and that’s not something I’m not used to seeing for Apple products. However, it’s the second time I’ve seen it in the past two months. No one was enthusiastic about the iPhone 7 either. 

Has Apple lost its luster? I’ve been too stressed and busy lately to go grocery shopping, let alone heading to my local Apple Store, but I hope to go this week to get my own impression of the MacBook Pro. Until then, I’ve compiled a few reviews, which are a mixed bag. The MacBook Pro is the fastest laptop Apple’s ever made, and it’s thin and light, so there’s still a lot to love, even if it wasn’t exactly what we hoped for. In fact, I was surprised to hear so many positive things about these new MacBook Pro computers. Below you’ll find reviews from some of my most trusted review sites, with a wide range of opinions and Apple love or indifference. 

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Everything You Want to Know About the New MacBook Pro

Apple held an event on Thursday, where they announced a few cool new things. First, the big news: the Nike+ Edition of the Apple Watch is on sale now! Also, the Apple TV will be getting a new TV app that acts like a digital guide to the shows and movies you’re watching. Oh, what’s that thing up there? That’s just the new MacBook Pro. Anyway, the Apple TV 4 will be getting an update soon with a new TV app that brings all of your favorite TV shows into one easy to search and navigate app… except for your shows that are on Netflix or Amazon Prime TV (for now). The app makes following all your shows across a variety of services a breeze, and helps you jump into any show right where you left off. It can even help you watch live sports, and sports games come with Twitter commentary (you know, if you’re into watching sports and talking about them).  

Ok, ok, I get it, you want to know more about the MacBook Pro up there. As you can see, it’s still fundamentally the same thing. There isn’t a complete innovation here. Apple hasn’t completely rewritten the mobile market with their new MacBook Pro, as I had hoped they would. It’s still basically the same thing they’ve been selling since the 90’s with their first Powerbook. But there are some big differences. It’s thinner, faster, lighter, has a trackpad that’s twice as large as the previous model’s, has Touch ID fingerprint scanning built into the power buttons, and it has a dynamic multitouch screen in place of function keys called the Touch Bar.

Ok, so maybe those changes are pretty big after all, but for me, the Apple event still ended in disappointment, not because of what was released, but because of what could have been released. Apple revealed an incredible notebook computer, but I was hoping to see the future of computing.
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New Macs Still On Track for October Reveal

Apple hasn’t made an official announcement yet, but Macotakara claims a “reliable Chinese supplier” has spoken to them, telling them that the MacBook Pro would be updated this month, something we’ve heard before. The report claims the 11 inch MacBook Air will be abandoned, which makes sense, as a 12.9″ iPad Pro with a larger screen and more storage space can be purchased for around the same price. The MacBook Pro is exected top receive a long overdue update as well, though it may not be everything professionals want. The device will apparently get rid of all current ports, including the MagSafe charging port, in favor of four USB-C ports, two of which are ThunderBolt 3 ports, which will enable tools like external graphics cards. We could also see new iMacs, Mac Pros, and external Thunderbolt displays. Don’t expect a dynamic keyboard though, Apple has only recently begun working with the company that makes them, so they likely won’t have anything with a dynamic keyboard until 2018. However, the MacBook Pro is still expected to have a dynamic OLED function bar above the keyboard. 

This could put new MacBook in the hands of customers as early as November. After neglecting Mac users and professionals for years now, I think I can speak for everyone when I say “About damn time.” Apple has yet to announce anything, but they usually do send out invites a week in advance, so we could hear from Apple tomorrow. 

Source: CultOfMac