A Pro's perspective

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Arsenikdote, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. Arsenikdote macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2013
    So to start out with, let me give you the setting. Small business owner. We run Mac because support is almost non-existent and that helps our small company. We do have a couple Surface tablets because of customized software that needs a touch screen. 95% Mac. 5% Windows. I say this to point out that I am VERY practical when it comes to picking devices.

    Rewind 4 years ago and our company picks up the MacBook Pro’s and a couple MacBook Airs. We spend good money on them, but they are all still running strong and work great for all of our business needs. We have updated them to the latest OS and they all still zip along and work great for:

    Email, Web (web apps and just regular browsing), Excel (large sheets), Photo Manipulation, PDF editing, Light Photoshop/Illustrator, Web Design.

    I also have a photography business that is separate from this one. I use Photoshop and Lightroom a lot as well as video software for the new drone side of the business.

    After 4 years I was looking for a newer machine. Not because I was burdened by a slow machine, but because….well I love tech and it felt past time. I agree with many who say that Apple took a LONG time with this update.

    But I guess to my main point. If I look at this release I have mixed feelings. It is great to have a release and it is also great to have some new cool things, but it does also feel a little flat. I also feel like people are freaking out over not really anything. It feels like when Apple pulled the DVD drive out of the MacBook Pro all over again. Let me try and be practical….

    MacBook Pro at my office:

    Dock. Plain and simple. One cable now charges AND provides ALL of the functionality I need. From a cable perspective this means I have a CLEANER and less cabled workspace because I can tidy up my cables and LEAVE them at my desk all clean and simply hook in one cable, two if I use my two monitor setup, which would require one dongle or conversion cable. But still, this is fewer connections every time I walk into my office. Right now I connect my power, monitor 1, monitor 2, USB dock, audio. And then when I leave I disconnect all those cables. All of them move around and it is hard to keep it clean and tidy. In the future, that will be more simple and clean thanks to the move by Apple. Also, I am not limited by which side of the laptop the ports are on. Whatever works better in my setup, great!

    Next, when I am not in the office. Well what do I really connect while “mobile”? I certainly don’t connect big displays, so that is out. While we do sometimes present to customers, this is by no means a multiple times a day occurrence. And yes, I recognize some people do this, but it is not a large percentage of the population that present many times a day. I have been in business a long time. If you present a couple times a week you are “more than average”. So sure, I have a dongle for that. But you know what? I already do! I have to have a pouch of dongles because of all of the legacy connections that I need to be prepared for. When you are at a customers site, you don’t know what you will need. So really I am just changing my dongles.

    What about being a photographer and now no SD slot? Well I already had a dongle because I need CF and SD and mini SD. Plus transfer speeds are better with an external device. So no change. I am pretty sure anyone who is semi-pro or pro into photography will be in the same boat. Who else is a major user of the SD slot? Someone who needs it daily and yet doesn’t already use an adapter? Maybe some people, but not a large segment.

    What about all of the USB devices that aren’t compatible with USB C yet? There you have it. Finally. We get to a REAL complaint. Well you know what? I feel it is acceptable to force me to use an adapter to push us to USB C. Apple has done it a lot in the past and doing it again here….I guess I am ok with it. It might require ONE extra dongle than I am already carrying AND only is a big deal when I am mobile and away from my desk AND when I need to use a USB device. Looking at it that way, probably less than 10% of my laptop use time. And again, I already had to have a pouch for dongles, so what is adding one more?

    I know people are making a big deal about the lighting cable vs USB C. It does seem odd. If the new anniversary iPhone next year doesn’t incorporate USB C I will be stumped. But I feel like this is sort of cart before the horse, but only by 10 months. After the next iPhone release I think it will all be good. Why not release this iPhone with USB C? I guess you get people screaming either way. If you did it now, people would bitch about all of the accessories that have purchased not working. At least next year if it is a dramatic redesign of the phone, it would make more sense to change the connector at that point. Sucks for connecting to a new laptop for 10 months. But I think Apple just picked the six of one instead of a half dozen of the other. Again, if the new design doesn’t incorporate USB C, I will be stumped and probably upset as well.

    Anyway, a lot of rambling, but I feel like using Mac as much as I do, in both the business and creative professional space, I had to chime in. It is a SLIGHT inconvenience, and really in most ways a great update. Certainly WAY more good than bad. Certainly not near as “APPLE IS ENDING” as people seem to think. I know emotions can get high, but from a practical perspective, the “dongle hell” just honestly isn’t there during 80-90% of use. I know everyone’s situation is different, but what percentage of the population actually will be hit hard by this? I see the non-professionals getting hit the hardest, and…well…MacBook Pro. Pro. Pro’s use it at their desk (docking station solves the issue). Pro’s use it mobile and already use dongles due to client factors and (at least in photography) speed issues. Pro’s look at a machine for how it helps them do their job and worry less about the minutia of an adapter or a couple extra dollars here or there for a cable. Professionals do professional work and this machine helps get that done better than the one I had 4 years ago. The rest is just noise.

    PS. This is of course not getting into the pricing topic. As a business and one that invests in technology every 3-4 years, cost is not a large factor. I know that not everyone can say that and it could be a real deal changer for them. But when you use these tools for your profession, typically cost is not really what you are worried about. Not just in computers, but with any profession. You don’t skimp on the tools of your trade. I don’t complain about the cost of the new Canon, I am thrilled there is a new tool. Same with my laptop.
  2. apfelmann macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2007
    even if one can afford the new prices, some people don't want to feel ripped off ...
  3. Davefevs macrumors member


    Dec 14, 2015
    Bristol, UK
    Great post by the OP.

    Maybe this isn't the right time for me to get my first Mac, but I'm going to anyway. Resigning from a job of 25+years on the morning of the Brexit wasn't the greatest idea either. But sometimes it feels right...plus a lot of analysis leads you to that decision.

    I've gradually become more in favour of Apple, starting with iPod touch, through iPad, through iPhone....although always a bit behind the curve. Never intended to go this way, but it's happened.

    Got the iPad Pro fairly soon after announcement, although the base model, and its been excellent. Was convinced I'd get a Surface Pro 4, but using it in the shop completely put me off. Followed that up last week with an iPhone 7....and my new business needs a 'pc'. MBP is my answer, and I'm looking forward to joining up the devices metaphorically. It's a lot of money, but £9 for a dongle isn't material cost-wise and if you're using a laptop case is it going to take up much space?

    I can completely see why many are upset with this and the price, but the answer is simple....don't buy it. Express your views on a forum, but don't slate those of us who are buying....it seems plenty of us are. I've spent years not being able to afford both new and high-spec tech, compromising what I've bought, and then not being able to run things a year later or sooner.
  4. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2010
    I come from a land down-under...
    This is a very balanced assessment, IMO.

    As for what "Pro" means, I use the term it's literal sense: used for one's principle paid activity, i.e. for work. I'll accept that it can also mean "advanced user". What you actually use your machine for is highly individual, however.

    I, like many here, was initially shocked by the "bold" move to go all-in for USB-C, thinking that it would require an unacceptable change to my current practices, but then I started to analyse my actual usage:

    I use a late 2013 rMBP 15 at the moment, and also owned an MBA, 2007 MBP and Mac Mini. I take to rMBP to either my base office or to customer premises, every day. My laptop bag contains the following (my current dongles are kept in a zip up bag that *always* goes with the computer):

    1) Power supply with extension
    (sockets are often behind desks where the non-extended power brick won't fit, so the extension is critical, so I would need this with the new MBP. However, if there really is 10-12 hrs battery life, it is possible I could get away with it for a day's work, but risky to assume this. USB-C charging will be an advantage if this becomes widely used by all computer vendors, because I'd be far more likely to find a charging point)

    2) DVI to Mini-DP cable
    (I leave one of these in the base office, but for customer visits, I like to use an external monitor if available - it helps with showing one or two people something on the screen, and is ergonomically much better to work with)

    3) Mini-DP to VGA dongle - there are still *lots* of VGA projectors in use
    (There are more HDMI monitors these days, and of course the rMBP has an HDMI port, so I would need to add a USB-C to HDMI dongle with the MBP)

    4) USB-A to Gigabit Ethernet, or Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet dongle
    (There are plenty of offices that either don't have wi-fi (for security) or have really slow wi-fi. Ethernet generally gives better results. I would need a new Ethernet dongle, or a USB-A to C dongle to re-use my existing dongles.)

    5) USB-A thumb drives
    (I still have a lot of these, so would need one or more USB-A to C dongle - definitely something MBP users will be living with for years to come)

    6) Logitech Anywhere MX mouse + USB receiver.
    (For Visio/Powerpoint diagrams, the mouse is easier to use than the trackpad. However, I'd need a USB-A to C adapter for the receiver)

    7) Lightning to USB-A cable.
    (I want to keep weight to a minimum, so the laptop is used to charge my iPhone. So I'd need a new cable or a USB-A to C dongle.

    8) My rMBP also uses a 128GB SD card as additional storage, but I don't swap this out for work, and have never used SD cards as a data exchange medium. However, without the extra "slow storage", I would need to either get another thumb drive, or an external USB drive (with/without dongle) or upgrade the SSD storage in the laptop ($$$).

    So, excluding the power supply, I currently carry 2 cables, 2 dongles & USB mouse receiver + a USB thumb drive or sometimes a USB external drive.

    With the new MBP, to do exactly the same things, I would need:

    New USB-C to DVI cable (or mini-DP socket to USB-C dongle)
    New Lightning to USB-C cable (or USB-A to C dongle)
    New USB-C to VGA dongle (or mini-DP socket to USB-C dongle)
    New USB-C to HDMI dongle
    New USB-C to Ethernet dongle (or USB-A to C dongle / TB 2 to USB 2 dongle)
    USB-A to C dongle(s) for other USB-A devices

    Rationalising the above, I could get away with:

    1 x DVI to USB-C cable (could use current cable + USB-C to mini-DP)
    1 x iPhone cable (either USB-C to Lightning, or USB-A to Lighting + adapter)
    1 x mini-DP/Thunderbolt 2 to USB-C dongle (for existing VGA, DVI, Ethernet adapters)
    1 x USB/TB2 Ethernet dongle (currently used)
    1 x Mini-DP VGA dongle (currently used)
    1 x USB-C to HDMI dongle
    2 x USB-C to A adapters (for iPhone cable, flash drive, external drive, mouse receiver)

    So I would end up with 2 cables (at least one new one) and 5 or 6 dongles (depending on whether I bought new USB-C Ethernet/VGA dongles).

    So there's definitely some increase in "dongle count", but 2 of these are small (& cheap) USB-C to A adapters.

    I could of course just get a multi-port adapter to reduce the count, but would still need a separate VGA adapter.

    From a practical point of view, a transition to the new MBP would cost me a minimum of $100 for new adapters & cables (possibly double this, or more), and require me to carry at least 3 additional dongles (2 x USB-C to A, 1 x USB-C to HDMI).

    In time we will (almost certainly) transition most devices & connectors to USB-C, but I think this will take a minimum of 5-10 years to be ubiquitous. Apple has always "pushed" users into the new standards, whether they like it or not, and in general, I think they have been justified in doing so, but the current move to USB-C will mean most of us will use at least some dongles for years to come, until our current devices either fail or become obsolete due to performance advantages in newer devices.

    So in conclusion, it's not great, but it's far from catastrophic and I expect only amounts to about 50-100g in extra weight to carry. In practice it won't affect my day to day life very much.

    (IT Consultant)
  5. Arsenikdote thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2013
    apfelmann, I can certainly understand that. But I don't feel like Apple has ever been the company where they just give away stuff. There stuff has always come at a premium and with extras you have to purchase, at least on the hardware side. For the 15+ years I have been buying them, it has always just been that way. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't feel ripped off, everyone should have their own feelings and opinions, I just think that Apple hasn't changed it stripes much with this release.

    One other thing I was thinking about is I am REALLY bummed with the loss of MagSafe. Not making some USB-C version of this is crazy to me. THAT would be innovating. Maybe after I get mine and use it for a while, the USB-C charging thing won't feel like it will cause my laptop to go crashing to the floor, but for now this is really the biggest "bummer" of the release. It has saved my laptop on multiple occasions over the years!

    Bring back MagSafe!! LOL

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