It's right there on the touch bar.
Thoughts on the new MacBook Pro (2016).
First things first: I’m getting one. More specifically, the 15", with an upgrade on the graphics card to a 460. It’s happening, and unless you can convert me to get a PC(more on that later), it’s happening.
First off, the new MacBook Pro finally did what I’ve been aching for for awhile now; reclaim the Pro name. There used to be a time when Macs were either Power, or not. There was the iMac, which was aimed at the general consumer. Pricey, yes, but not really packing that much of a punch. Then you had the PowerMac, which was a pro machine, aimed at pro customers, such as graphics design, video production and/or audio production. Same with their notebook lineup. You had the iBooks, and the Powerbooks. The iBooks were basic notebooks, aimed at every guy/girl out there just wanting a laptop with great battery life, and OS X. The Powerbooks were the same thing, better built and with much higher performance.
This continued for a little while after Apple discontinued the PowerPC CPU’s, and adopted Intel. The name changed to Pro instead of Power, and for a couple of years, it had a point to it. Then, suddenly, the basic line MacBook simply disappeared, and the MacBook Pro took its place. it used the same unibody design, but was in reality basically the same machines, albeit with the word «pro» added to them. It was about that time the pro name started dying.
The desktop computers saw the same thing happen. The good old PowerMac G5 was replaced by a Mac Pro, borrowing the same design, because, you know, if it ain’t broke; don’t fix it.
It wasn’t until 2013 the Mac Pro was redesign, and while I like the bucket, it’s lacking in ways of expandability, which was fairly easy back in the day. I owned a Power Mac G4 MDD, which was a breeze to upgrade. The bucket is nigh-impossible to upgrade after purchase, and although it’s a fairly powerful computer, the only reason I’d get one over a PC, is size. If I want a PC of that caliber, I’m probably looking at a fairly large tower, that simply would take too much space.
The new MacBook Pro is kinda neat. It may be playing a bit too much on the 2009 Unibody design, but again; If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s slimmer, which means nothing, and it’s about 20% smaller in volume, which again, means nothing.
The reasons I’m getting one are many. I’ll elaborate:
Dedicated graphics card.
This one is about fucking time. My current laptop, a 1" MacBook Pro (2014), is lacking exactly that, which is too obvious when working inside AE, Premiere, or even FCPX and Nuke. The lack of hardware acceleration is very apparent when rendering effects for real time playback, and for a $2000+ laptop, it’s pretty insane that it comes with Intel Iris Pro graphics. Which isn’t pro at all. The new model starts off with a Radeon 450, which isn’t bad at all. I’ll await reviews to tell whether or not it’s a Mobile version of it, as it’s not cited anywhere on Apple’s websites. Radeon’s current flagship is the 460, which is available on the 15" model.
Gone are the days of HDD’s, and thank the maker. Granted, my three previous computers have been SSD machines already, but Apple is currently using PCI-e SSD’s, which are super fast, which is nice for having quick access to files and apps. We all know what the hell these things are already.
The goddamn Touch Bar.
Say what you will. It’s a gimmick, it can’t work, etc, I’m not seeing it. Today, my workstation uses a MacBook Pro, and a Logitech mouse. I also have a Magic Mouse in handy, should the need ever rise. The good thing about the Magic Mouse, is that is has a smooth sideway scroll. It’s great while working in NLE’s, to scrub timelines. It’s also a fucking piece of shit, when it comes to working in Photoshop/AE, as it’s a fucking touch panel that A) uses way too much battery(we’re talking 1 month battery time here), and b) when palms are resting, the damn thing will randomly zoom all over the place.
This is why I prefer a standard issue Logitech, but it lacks sideways scrolling, which is a sore loss. The Touch bar is adaptive. It reacts to whatever software/app you’re running, which means in Photoshop, you can have it be a color switcher, and in NLE’s, it displays the timeline, for some uber-smooth scrubbing.
Yes. I actually don’t mind the fact that the machines lack virtually every port thinkable. It’s got 4 thunderbolt 3 ports, all working with USB3.1(USB C) peripherals. This is a good thing. It’s thinking ahead. Do I hate the fact that I have to replace every add-on I’ve ever bought, or add adaptors? Yes. But to be fair, some of my stuff is USB2 already, which means it’s slowing me down already, and my Mini DisplayPort to DVI probably needs a replacement for a better monitor anyway. The lack of basically every port except the 3.5mm Audio jack isn’t *really* a problem, and you probably already know that. All your USB peripherals will still work, they just need an adaptor. And if you’re like me, you have a lot of stuff connected to your laptop already, essentially making it a desktop anyway, so the dongles probably won’t be in the way.
The bottom line is this; Yes it’s expensive. It’s ridiculously expensive, and if I put together a windows based desktop for the same price, I’d have a much more powerful machine, but then there’s the issue of the OS. I prefer Unix over windows. And while there’s an argument that I could just install Linux, and still be on the cheap side, there’s a bit of an issue with software. I use Adobe products on a daily basis. These all work with Windows. I also use Logic Pro X, GarageBand and FCPX very often, which means I’m pretty much stuck with macOS. Of course, I *could* stop using FCPX, and stick with premiere. But clients often use FCPX libraries, which makes it hard. I could also switch to Reaper, Reason or Pro Tools instead, but I’ve tried Reaper, and while it’s good, I also like the creativity I can get going in GarageBand with automatic drum beats and other instruments, that actually help me a lot. There’s always MixCraft, you could say, but anyone who’ve tried both, know that MixCraft sucks sweaty donkey-scrotum.
Of course, it should also be noted that I happen to like Apple’s ecosystem with Apple TV and iOS as well, both products I own and use daily.
Now feel free to try and convert me to Windows. If you can do it, I’ll even give you a hug. I own a gaming computer which arguably is more powerful than the MacBook I’m writing this from, but I can’t stand Windows 10, and it’s only used to power on, and start Steam/Origin.