At its introduction, it was criticized only for ditching the optical drive and Ethernet port, but these were defensible, well-timed removals: neither could’ve even come close to physically fitting in the new design, very few MacBook Pro users were still using either on a regular basis, and almost none of us needed to buy external optical drives or Ethernet adapters to fit the new laptop into our lives. In exchange for those removals, we got substantial reductions in thickness and weight, and a huge new battery.
There were no other downsides. Everything else about this machine was an upgrade: thinner, lighter, faster, better battery life, quieter fans, better speakers, better microphones, a second Thunderbolt port, and a convenient new HDMI port.
This piece may be seen as short-sighted a decade from now when everything is wireless or USB-C and Apple has perfected the notebook further but right now, in 2017 I can’t agree more with Marco.
My late-2013 MacBook Pro is the most expensive and well equipped notebook Apple sold in February of 2014 when I purchased it. $3,000 is about $2,200 more than most people spend on a notebook and while I generally upgrade every 3 years, I haven’t yet. Why?
- The fastest MacBook Pro today is only 5-10% faster in GeekBench Scores (yes I/O is faster thanks to new SSD technology but the raw performance is the same)
- The Cost of a new Laptop + $299 for a Thunderbolt Dock + USB Dongles for (DisplayPort, USB-A, Ethernet) are going to make the cost about $400 higher than just the MSRP of a new laptop and yes, I still primarily compute using Ethernet.
- The new keyboard is truly a deal breaker in its current state both for reliability and for daily use
- TouchBar doesn’t offer anything at first glance. It may over time but it’s not a reason to upgrade
- I wasn’t in need of a larger trackpad
- Space Grey looks great but it’s painted so once it scratches, you see silver underneath so the color isn’t a draw, I’d go with Silver
- The FaceTime camera saw no improvements
- It doesn’t have MagSafe which has saved me thousands of dollars over 8 years in damage to laptops
- There is an overall price increase of the new notebooks
- Only 16GB of RAM
I think the next MacBook Pro revision will address 2-3 of my complaints. More RAM, more reliable keyboard design, better FaceTime w/ FaceID, faster with Coffee Lake Chips and a price-drop of $150 now that Apple’s R&D of the notebook is settled.
My MacBook Pro received an in-warranty logic board replacement 10 months ago so we’re good for a few more years. When I hav to edit 4K movies, I switch over to the 5K iMac which, aside from the awful screen ghosting that Apple says is “normal of IPS displays” despite never having this issue on a dozen IPS displays before it, it’s a fantastic computer. I do regret not getting an SSD on the iMac but other than that, it will last me another 3-5 years easily.
Hours in the week, the MacBook Pro gets far more use. The battery is at 92% health with 300 charge cycles (out of 1000 Apple claims the battery can take before needing servicing). It is treating me very well.