There is always a huge letdown when buying a new computer or new phone. You expect the technology refresh to give your entire life a lift. And in the case of my 2012 MacBook Pro, this is my 2nd run at the upgrade rationalization. Unfortunately, the wickedly fast MBP with 32 gigs of ram and a ultra-fast 1T SSD drive and an 8-core i9 processor is just not worth the gap between what my 2012 would sell for on the open market and what I paid for the nice space grey rocketship Mac.
The biggest ‘ah-ha’ moment while I was using the new MBP a few days ago, was the same lesson I’ve often known about buying a new piece of tech. It’s just not that much faster. It just doesn’t do that much more. And, ultimately, it’s not magic. This newer 2019 MacBook Pro is fast, loaded, and still…
- Facebook still sucks.
- Performance is mostly limited by our anemic internet connection options here in the US
- Word, email, Google Chrome, and WordPress do not benefit from the added cores or added ram
- The form factor is not that different from my 7-year-old MBP
- The TouchBar is a non-starter for me (I love my physical buttons, and I ALWAYS know where MUTE and PAUSE are
- The $3,600 pricetag is justified (look how long I’ve been happily computing with my 2012 MBP) but simply doesn’t do anything radically different than my “free” or “fully-depreciated” older machine
- The tasks I perform on my computer do not benefit from the raw horsepower of this new machine
And my three gripes with the new MacBook Pro:
- The deep-clicking of the new trackpad (for left-click or option-click) is too sensitive.
- The TouchBar is a novelty feature.
- The loss of the light-up Apple on the back of the main screen signals the end of an era
As far as I know, Apple solved the overheating problems that killed my upgrade adventure last year. And, this MacBook Pro is lighter and thinner than my current “classic silver” machine. BUT… It’s not that much lighter. It’s not that much thinner. And, as explained earlier, it does not do any magic tricks.
When I go for my next upgrade I want the computer to make me breakfast in the morning. I mean, what’s the point of spending two-months rent on a computer when all it does is look cool, have a bit better battery life, and is no longer sporting the light-up Apple logo, I love so much? The answer is: Nothing.
Apple’s problem, in this case, is their MacBook line is too good. The die-cut aluminum case lasts forever. My 2009 MBP is still in use by my mother, and it’s only required a battery and hd replacement once each. Sure, it’s heavy. But it still cranks along for all the tasks my mom is interested in. So, even my upgrade to this 2012 Retina MBP was a vanity upgrade. Okay, maybe the Retina display and SSD speed were worth the cost back in 2012.
Today in 2019, MacBook Pros have got to sit up and bark. The same thing holds true for Apple’s flagship product, the iPhone. Do we really need new phones? Faster? Nope. Better battery life? YES, but… the newer iPhones battery life still requires more frequent charging than I recall. Who does NOT have a charging cable in their car? I might be in the market for the new iPhone 11, expected to be released in early September, but I don’t NEED IT. I’m using a loaded iPhone X that was bequeathed to me by my brother. And yes, the red iPhone XR was a nice phone, but it was too big.
What I’d really like to see is an iPhone mini. Pickup the form of the newer iPods and tell me that those would not make killer phones. Apple could surprise the industry with a smaller, less expensive, and less capable iPhone mini in 2019. But, I expect the new 2019 iPhones to be (faster, better, bigger) clones of the current models. And, BTW, I hate the new 3-camera look that has been leaked on the internet the entire summer.
Apple does have a big challenge ahead of them. What’s going to replace the revenue of the iPhone line? How will they continue to interest us power-user in MBP upgrades when our current computers are still rockin along and lighting up the darkened bar scene with glowing Apple logos? The departure of Ive is a blow, but I suspect the design roadmaps for the iPhone, MacBook Pro, and Apple Watch are at least 2-years ahead of the models we are seeing this year. Still, Apple needs to find an innovative inspiration to power them into the 2020 year ahead. And clashing with our current president over tariffs is not going to do much to improve the public image of a company that keeps Billions in overseas accounts to avoid paying US taxes.
Okay Apple, your move. Hey, here’s a HUGE idea: Make Apple Music the FIRST STREAMING SERVICE TO PAY ARTISTS REAL ROYALTIES. You could slow the crushing dominance of Spotify without resorting to Siri-freezeout tactics.
John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
[Disclaimer: John works for Apple Computer at the present moment. He was not compensated for this post nor his exclusive use of Apple MacOS and iOS products. This post was crafted on a 2012 MacBook Pro with 16 gigs of ram, a Retina display and a 500mb SSD drive — Not for sale.]
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