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Apple Macbook 2016: Very expensive children's toy

Dale Davies ▼ | October 28, 2016
Apple launced the thinnest and lightest MacBook Pro ever, along with a "breakthrough" interface. Well, "breakthrough" is a shameless overstatement.
Apple Macbook 2016
Laptop   The new generation of Macbook is disappointing
Apple Macbook 2016The 2016 MacBook Pro features a new interface that replaces the traditional row of function keys with a Retina Multi-Touch display called the Touch Bar. There is also a new Retina display, a more responsive keyboard, a larger Force Touch trackpad. The device comes with sixth-generation quad-core and dual-core processors, better graphics performance over the previous generation, fast SSDs memory and up to four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Apple Macbook 2016At just 14.9 mm thin, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is 17 percent thinner and 23 percent less volume than the previous generation, and nearly half a pound lighter at just three pounds. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro, at just 15.5 mm thin, is 14 percent thinner and 20 percent less volume than before, and weighing just four pounds, is nearly half a pound lighter. Sixth-generation dual-core Core i5 with eDRAM, dual-core Core i7 with eDRAM and quad-core Core i7 Intel processors deliver pro-level processing performance while conserving energy.

Apple Macbook 2016As you can see, specs are good but nothing spectacular and that's disappointing: they are not so spectacular, groundbreaking and excited as Apple would want us to think they are. It's just an evolution like it happens in the computer industry. But the big story here is the Touch Bar. In line with their "Out with the old" philosophy, Apple engineers and designers tried to replace good old function keys with a touch screen. With small icons. In colors. Very small icons.

Apple Macbook 2016You see, if you are a pro, the ESC key and function keys are your second nature. The problem with the Touch Bar is that it's too small, pictures are way too small, you can't hold your finger on them as you would on function keys, and the usability is very limited so far. And their changing nature is something more appropriate to a toy than to a productivity computer with your eyes shifting constantly from the big screen to the small screen and trying to press the right picture.

Add to that all kind of dongles and cables - yes, there's no USB - and an insane price, and what you get? You get a pressure from investors and Apple's wish to innovate at any price, and because of that it will be very interesting to follow the company's next earnings release. And, of course, you get a disappointing new Macbook at a very high price.