After almost nearly a year, Apple has finally updated its MacBook Pros to the latest eighth-generation processors. Although its design remains largely unchanged, save for the third generation butterfly keyboards, the interior of the 13 in. and 15 in. Macbook Pros with Touch Bar have gotten a huge performance jump. Apple has finally, finally thought of the professionals who prefer the Mac ecosystem.
The Upgrades (or rather, lack of)
Each 13 in. (with Touch Bar) comes standard with a quad-core processor, something I’ve personally been looking for since the introduction of the Retina MacBook Pro. The difference between a dual-core i5 and i7 have had no significant increase in power in order to justify several hundred dollars worth of upgrades. However, the jump to four cores will have a significant jump in power, one that consumers and prosumers alike will appreciate.
The 15 in. MacBook Pro now comes standard with 6 cores on each of its models, something Dave2D would appreciate, see his video here. Professionals, especially those who create media and content, have been looking for laptops with more power. As a result, the 15 in. line is also available to upgrade to 32 GB, an extremely welcome upgrade for video editors using RAM hungry programs such as Premier or FCPX.
Both lineups have been updated with True Tone displays. Like on iPhones, the screen will change color temperature and white balance changes in order to make viewing easier on the eyes. However, there remain no changes (other than the keyboard). The four USB-C ports remain the norm, a frustration to most creative professionals. Unlike the removal of the headphone jack, read about that here. this remains extremely exasperating to professionals who rely on multiple ports such as USB-A, SD-Card slots, or ethernet jacks.
An extremely controversial topic off Apple’s latest generation of MacBook Pro’s has been the butterfly keyboards. Criticized for its volume and lack of key travel, dust and other substances can make its way under the keys, creating sticky keys and rendering the keyboard useless. However, Apple has stated that they have improved on the keyboards in order to reduce sound; this was apparently accomplished by adding a thin, plastic film under the keyboards, as seen in iFixit’s teardown video. However, Apple has not directly commented on the issue of the keys getting stuck, a problem I’ve experienced with my 2017 13 in. MacBook Pro. I’ve had to resort to using pins and compressed air in order to use the keys, but even then, the keys remain inconsistent in travel and feel, something that a Pro machine, and a 1,000 dollar at the least, should not even have an issue with.
This brings up the issue of Apple’s line up. We finally have pro machines, but as consumers, we are left in some doubt and cannot trust Apple’s products enough to fully commit to spending thousands of dollars on their products. And what about the 13 in. MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar? It remains un-updated, stuck with a dual-core processor, only two USB-C ports, and too high of a price. Apple should keep the Touch Bar line up marked as “Pros” and downgrade the 13 in. MacBook pro without Touch Bar (preferably making it thinner) to a MacBook Air. There is no need for the original MacBook air with the introduction of the MacBook. Overall, we’re excited to see that there at least is some sort of innovation behind Apple’s curtains, but we’re also extremely frustrated with Apple’s inability and outright refusal to meet its consumers’ demands and wants.