New Macbook Pro with Touch Bar

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vivalarevolución
formerly prdlm2009

22 Dec 2016, 01:49

I must admit that Microsoft is indeed kicking Apple's ass at the moment when it comes to innovation. Putting aside prices, Surface Studio is pretty fricking cool, Surface Book is a one-of-a-kind device (in my view), and the Surface Pro packs an impressive amount of quality and power into such a small form factor and basically pushed the tablet-as-a-laptop-replacement to where it is now. Think about it, all of the Surface Pro's competition are called Surface clones or Surface killers.

Not that I would buy any of these devices because I like to be able to upgrade my devices at the user end, but they are impressive.

Menuhin

29 Dec 2016, 14:09

So during the time of "between the years", I visited a store to try out the much discussed new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Here's my thought:
  • The new Touch Bar is actually quite pleasant to use and to have it in a device despite the idea that a keyboard without the F-key row is a bad or worrisome idea to some.
    I'm not saying that the Touch Bar has good key feel but imagine an "Optimus Keypad" added to your computer, the difference is there is just a touch panel with no physical key. There are lots of HCI effort to make the Touch Bar usable, e.g. short cut keys with relevant icons will pop up there according to the current active application.
    I hope there can be a "Optimus Keypad" (with real physical keys) or "Optimus Touchpad" with programmable keys available for every major OS.
  • The key switches of the new Apple MacBook Pro and MacBook Air... to put it bluntly, feel definitely among the worst of the bad switches.
    The new metal leaf switches feel weaker and less distinct in its tactility than the rubber-dome chiclet switches of the previous generation MBP sitting next to it. And a bigger problem is, there is almost no key travel in the new metal leaf switches. I feel like pressing the keys on the keypad of a Motorola RAZR when I was typing on the new MBP / new MBA.
    Image
    Of course, it's a cult (to a lesser degree in recent years), some people will still like it.

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vivalarevolución
formerly prdlm2009

29 Dec 2016, 16:29

My brother summed up the cult mentality the best when I was asking him about his MacBook Pro with touchbar. I asked if he needed 32GB for some of the stuff he does for his business. He said yeah, some of the tasks require more than 16GB of RAM. Then I asked what are you going to do if you can't do everything you need to do with this device. He said you can't always get everything you want.

So he'll buy the device even if it will not do what he needs it to do, which makes no sense. That's brainwashing for you.

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Muirium
µ

29 Dec 2016, 16:38

Or the fact that Windows is not MacOS. For me, any laptop or desktop that's not a Mac is no use. I'd have to start buying and learning software to rebuild my workflow all over again. And much of it is Mac exclusive, like my favourite developers.

Platforms are real!

Menuhin

29 Dec 2016, 16:56

It makes sense to get a Mac for users that need OSX exclusive applications, e.g. Apps developers for iOS - there are tons of them. Otherwise, if it is just workflow, that can be unlearnt and relearnt when necessary, as Apple computer products are definitely not the best bang for the buck.
Other justifiable reason is Apple products' design - not every design they have is nice, but some of them are (design-related) award-winning despite not necessarily super user-friendly. For those who are willing to sacrifice a bit of usability (plus money) for having Apple's design, they're right in the market.

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vivalarevolución
formerly prdlm2009

29 Dec 2016, 17:11

Muirium wrote: Or the fact that Windows is not MacOS. For me, any laptop or desktop that's not a Mac is no use. I'd have to start buying and learning software to rebuild my workflow all over again. And much of it is Mac exclusive, like my favourite developers.

Platforms are real!
I agree with you on this point. I recently bought a Windows 10 laptop and am using Windows for the first time in years. After a short time, the only logical thing to do was dual boot with Linux to avoid Windows.

As a well supported, largely capable consumer-level OS, Mac OS can't be beat (in my view, at least). I would like to seem Chrome OS gain traction and become more capable, but that ultimately lies in the hands of Google.

Menuhin

29 Dec 2016, 17:50

I always want to preach that Windows is not that bad, especially after Windows 7 and then now with Windows 10, even with the Ubuntu-based Bash shell Add-on made officially available. It runs with acceptable performance in even older hardware.

End-users always forget Windows are playing a very different game: to collaborate with various hardware developers and to make windows run in all of these hardware. The approach to hardware driver development in such a scale is quite different from the BSD-based OSX, especially when Apple's model is to deal with a very narrow selection of streamlined hardware in every release.

With the release of Surface series hardware, Microsoft is trying to join the game that Apple has been playing for years.

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Ratfink

29 Dec 2016, 18:26

I always want to preach that Windows is extremely bad, especially now with Windows 10 and its built-in keylogger, disk encryption that gives Microsoft access to your data, and more. Such a shame that they have a near-monopoly on desktop operating systems.

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vivalarevolución
formerly prdlm2009

29 Dec 2016, 21:45

Menuhin wrote: I always want to preach that Windows is not that bad, especially after Windows 7 and then now with Windows 10, even with the Ubuntu-based Bash shell Add-on made officially available. It runs with acceptable performance in even older hardware.

End-users always forget Windows are playing a very different game: to collaborate with various hardware developers and to make windows run in all of these hardware. The approach to hardware driver development in such a scale is quite different from the BSD-based OSX, especially when Apple's model is to deal with a very narrow selection of streamlined hardware in every release.
Good points, the different operating systems are trying to do very different things. I often forget the when using them.

Menuhin

29 Dec 2016, 22:14

Ratfink wrote: I always want to preach that Windows is extremely bad, especially now with Windows 10 and its built-in keylogger, disk encryption that gives Microsoft access to your data, and more. Such a shame that they have a near-monopoly on desktop operating systems.
It reminds me of the decision process of a friend in Berlin when he considered which smartphone to get. He wants no cloud storage of any of his data, and full backup to only his local computer with capability of full restoration. After some investigation, he got, to my surprise, an iPhone 6, and he told me that the trend of cloud storage of personal data is in all Android phones and Windows phones.

These moves just make the job of 'big brother' easier, as Internet censorship and public cybernetic surveillance is the direction current technology is leading to. I do hope there will be an open-source Linux phone in the future though.

Everyone has their own reasons sticking to a certain OS. As much as I want to totally follow the church of free software and internet freedom, I still need to develop some (stupid) Windows exclusive applications in Windows from time to time for the reason that all *nix are the children of time-sharing framework and can't have a good way to run events and detect user-reaction at time accuracy < 5ms. And as much as I want to write text just in LaTeX, I need to use Microsoft Word with some collaborators, for their editing convenience as well as for easy commenting and change-tracking, which is still more advanced and less buggy than LibreOffice. Another killer app is Microsoft OneNote: imagine you write a quick hand-written note and then the *hand-written* content of the note automatically becomes indexed and searchable with the app's keyword search function.

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Ace
§

09 Aug 2017, 17:54

Findecanor wrote: It is not as if the "butterfly mechanism" keys of the MacBook and MacBook Pro are very prominent as physical keys. It could almost be a touch keyboard with "taptic" feedback - that is already pretty much how it feels like.

I wonder if younger people that are using mostly chiclets and touch keyboards are ever going to develop proper muscle memory for keyboards like we have.
LOL! As a younger person, it never ceases to amaze me just how many things older generations think we won't experience or won't learn.

And honestly, I don't know why, but I absolutely love Apple's butterfly switches. I loved typing on my father's work 15 inch MacBook Pro 2016, and it's one of many reasons why I got a 13 inch version for my upcoming first year of college. Of course, my opinions towards keyboards have a tendency to be unorthodox. For example, after trying an IBM Model F, I still preferred to use my Model M. Most people are the opposite way around and tend to fall in love with the F after trying it.

So, I guess my point is that although I like it, I understand that others don't.

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Ace
§

09 Aug 2017, 18:21

jacobolus wrote:
andrewjoy wrote: But in a corporate and professional environment we still need other stuff.

We need ethernet for reliability
We need legacy USB ports for kit like audio interfaces etc.
We need normal USB ports so anyone can rock up with that 1gb USB stick they have had for 10 years and have it work.
We need real video out ( HDMI or DVI, ideally SDI but thats never going to happen) to go to projectors cameras etc.
We need DB9 RS232 for control of external devices.
This is all nonsense. You can get a little Thunderbolt 3 dock which includes all of this legacy bullshit and then some – heck, stick a floppy drive and a SCSI port on there – and plugs into your laptop via a single Type C jack.

Or if you don’t want a full dock with tons of jacks, here’s a single-purpose Thunderbolt 3 to Ethernet adapter: http://ezq.com/usb-to-ethernet-adapter-details.html (Found in 20 seconds in a google search; or do your own search and buy one of the dozen other similar adapters. I’m sure you can find a similar adapter for USB Type A, HDMI, DVI, serial, or whatever other silly thing you need). Also note that Apple hasn’t included Ethernet or DVI on laptops for years. I’m frankly not sure why they ever had HDMI on there, it’s a stupid port to waste valuable real estate on.

If what you mean by “corporate and professional” is basically “we’re too lazy to ever upgrade anything and adapters make us cry”, then you might as well just stick with an old Windows 98 or whatever box. I’m sure it’ll have your beloved serial port on there.
I've never agreed with a post more.

And I'm surprised that no one is seeing the docking potential for Thunderbolt 3. The bandwidth is INSANE. I've never been able to hook on an external graphic processor until now, after all. And having four Thunderbolt 3 ports lets me have different things on different ports. One for an eGPU (and by extension, monitors), one for a general dock that can be used for USB type A devices and accessories (like mics and keyboards), one for a DAC/AMP (to power external speakers), and one for a RAID drive array (which I admittedly don't own or have any real need for).

Of course, all this is to my particular need, but I don't see much reason to hate it. It seems so modular, so flexible, as if it could be manipulated to fit anyone's needs.

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Ace
§

09 Aug 2017, 19:11

face wrote: First: no, I actually need my laptop when I am on the road. Alright, there are times where I am sitting at a coffeeshop finishing a paper because it's nice and then you would be right, but I am also doing serious research with it at my university. And nothing there has USB Type C, that's what I meant above. I need multiple standard USB ports, I need the SD-card reader to read out telemetrics of our stuff which is written on SD cards and I need HDMI to do presentations (which already is in the need of one adapter, since most stuff doesn't even have HDMI!).
I highly doubt you still care (understandably), but in case you do, the Hyper-drive adapter is perfect for you. It has 2 standard USB type A ports, a full sized SD, a micro-SD, an HDMI, a USB type C, and a Thunderbolt 3 port. Unfortunately, it does occupy 2 of the MacBook's Thunderbolt ports. But considering the fact that you do get one of those Thunderbolts back on the adapter, combined with the fact that you have 2 other ports on the laptop itself, it's a decent trade-off.

Menuhin

22 Mar 2018, 20:39

Sorry for the necro, it is just a warning to look closer to the new metal-spring-leaf keyboard of these new MacBook Pro.
They don't feel right to me but it works for some people; however, we don't know the other aspects such as durability and maintenance.
I am still very conservative about laptop keyboards - still using my pre 7-row-to-6-row keyboard design change ThinkPads.

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Dingster

22 Mar 2018, 20:43

Menuhin wrote: Sorry for the necro, it is just a warning to look closer to the new metal-spring-leaf keyboard of these new MacBook Pro.
They don't feel right to me but it works for some people; however, we don't know the other aspects such as durability and maintenance.
I am still very conservative about laptop keyboards - still using my pre 7-row-to-6-row keyboard design change ThinkPads.
Yea imagine having to remove all those rivets.... And then the threading :?

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stratokaster

22 Sep 2018, 22:24

Sorry for necro-ing this thread.

I have been using the 2016 MacBook Pro (non-touchbar) as my daily driver for almost two years. Its keyboard reliability issues are very real. I'm currently on my 3rd keyboard (or on my 3rd top case, to be more precise).

The first keyboard failed (stuck spacebar) when the laptop was still under warranty, and Apple swapped the complete top case no questions asked.

About 3 months after that, my keyboard failed again, this time the F4 key simply stopped responding and I found it out accidentally. Since I never use this key anyway (it launches Launchpad which is utterly useless), I simply continued to use my laptop as I would otherwise.

This spring Apple announced the extended service program for 2016 and 2017 MBPs because their batteries were defective. Since the battery is glued to the top case, they swapped the complete top case (together with battery and logic board) yet again, effectively giving me a free upgrade to 2017 MBP (yay to great customer service). The 2017 keyboard seems to be a little more springy and overall more pleasant than the 2016 keyboard, but I'm afraid it may develop a failure again.

2018 MBP keyboards are reportedly more reliable, but what's more important, they redesigned the clips that hold the keycaps in place. Now you can actually remove keycaps without completely destroying switches underneath them, and if any key fails, they would simply repair this individual key instead of replacing 2/3 of the laptop.

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