2016 MacBook Pro misses the mark

I digest a lot of tech commentary and try products hands on in order to provide you with the best advice. I am not a rubber stamp for particular brands or products.  The teams over at websites like iMore and Mac Observer butter their bread by praising Apple.  If they were too objective they would lose access to Apple’s special events.  I have used many Apple products since 2004.  I have helped clients get acquainted with Apple gear for the first time and the X-teenth time.  When they come out with a flop, I will call it a flop.

The 2016 MacBook Pro offerings, released just a few months ago, came to market with great expectations.   Apple had been coasting for about 4 years with the Pro line, offering just minor performance bumps each year.    This year they had to make them thinner and lighter, as well as offer Intel Sky Lake processors.  They offered industry standard ports:   2 or 4 USB C / Lightning 3 ports depending on the model ordered.    These ports will soon be found on most of our portable devices.  Apple was thinking forward here.  We cannot forget that this is the MacBook PRO device.

Some users will be doing heavy photo, video, and sound editing.  However, MacBook Pros have also appealed to people to write a lot for a living.  Mac laptop owners who wholeheartedly appreciated the keyboard design of the MacBooks of the past 10 years, which include the MacBook Airs, will be thoroughly disappointed.   Apple decided to take the 2016 MacBook Pros in the direction of their super slim new Mac Book (a 12 inch laptop that came to market in 2015) in terms of the keyboard.  People who type a lot just can’t deal with this style of keyboard.

On the issue of typing alone, the Lenovo Thinkpad T series laptops are the cream of the crop.   Dell’s higher end Latitude laptops, along with Apple’s Mac Books from 2006-early 2016 were right there in the conversation.   The new models have shallow keys and will require a major adjustment, if not an adjustment from a hand specialist down the road.   To paraphrase the hosts of “What the Tech,” Paul Thurrott and Andrew Zarian, why couldn’t Apple have just made the new Pro models a bit thicker and included the same keyboard?

The “all day” keyboard was one of the hallmarks of Mac laptop design from the past 10 years?   Why, Apple?  Why?  So I have some good news.  Apple is still selling the 13 inch MacBook Air.  Stores like Best Buy and the refurbished section of Apple.com still offer the 2015 Mac Book Pros, contingent on availability.  These have the keyboards that your fingers and hands will thank you for.  If you have to get a Mac laptop, go with the Air or the previous generation Pros.  We can only hope Apple will see the error of its ways and reverse course.