I’m spoiled by my iPad Pro. Want better features for new MacBooks.

EugW

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So, I’m typing this on my new old 2017 iPad Pro 10.5”, which I bought cheap last month after Apple released the Air 10.5” to replace it.

In this 10.5” 4:3 screen I get a 2224x1688 Retina screen with wide colour gamut, True Tone, 600+ nits, touch screen with low lag stylus support, and 120 Hz refresh rate. The screen is an utter joy to look at. I also get quad speakers, Touch ID 2, an excellent Face Time camera, and a very good rear camera as well. All for CAD$619 (US$465) on the refurb store. I then bought an Apple Smart Keyboard for CAD$150 (US$113) off Amazon. Total CAD$769 (US$578).

And it benches 35% faster with A10X than my 12” 2017 Core m3 MacBook, and it appears it may have a more robust GPU and hardware video decoder/encoder as well.

Yes, there are significant limitations in iOS still, and of course software support is lacking in some regards, but I feel we are just on the cusp of the iPad Pro revolution, esp. after last year’s release of the monstrously fast 11” iPad Pro (which is 2.5X as fast as my MacBook), with USB-C.

Right now for a mobile “laptop” I use my iPad Pro about 85% of the time, and the MacBook about 15% of the time, since most of the time I don’t need the specific applications that only run on the Mac. For the Mac it’s really for specific applications I need for my workplace. Some of these do exist on the iPad Pro, but with the lack of mouse support, these traditional applications aren’t well suited for the iPad. OTOH, there are new applications out there that are being designed from the ground up to run on tablets, and sometimes these are superior to their macOS counterparts for less money. I think if Apple allows mouse/trackpad support and proper external storage support, they’d get a lot of converts to the iPad.

I’ll probably keep my 12” MacBook a long time (esp. since I got it with 16 GB, as opposed to the 4 GB in my iPad Pro), but now I’m thinking I’d want some feature upgrades before I get another MacBook again:

Wide colour gamut
True tone
Face ID
Better FaceTime camera
Higher performance
ProMotion 120 Hz would be nice too

Maybe that will come with the ARM MacBook?
 

Narcaz

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I think your display upgrade suggestions are very realistic. After i have seen a new Dell XPS 13 (2019) with infinity edge display, i would like to have something similar in the next Macbook. By now a second USB C (instead of 3,5mm) is a must have feature and it really needs to have Face ID. I am honestly annoyed by typing those passwords (even with a password manager) and i want the neat experience from my iPP 11 and iPhone XS.

From my limited consumer perspective i think Apple's mac product strategy is quiet unclear. Everything after the rMBP from 2012-2015 feels so halfbaked. And after playing with a Huawei Matebook 13 at my local electronic shop i think Apple lost their strong lead in terms of built quality. The competition is not using cheap plastic anymore and updates their hardware more frequently. Apple really needs to step up their game again.

I am not sure that an ARM version would be enough to save it. The complications with such a move would rather alienate a vocal part of their users (developers, etc.). But i reserve my final judgement until the marzipan projects comes to fruition. Maybe they surprise us with an ARM/AMD hybrid chip or whatever software emulation wizardry to make this work.
 
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EugW

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I think your display upgrade suggestions are very realistic. After i have seen a new Dell XPS 13 (2019) with infinity edge display, i would like to have something similar in the next Macbook. By now a second USB C (instead of 3,5mm) is a must have feature and it really needs to have Face ID. I am honestly annoyed by typing those passwords (even with a password manager) and i want the neat experience from my iPP 11 and iPhone XS.
Yes, a second USB-C port would be very welcome, even if it's not Thunderbolt (although I would expect Thunderbolt).

I'm not enamoured by Touch ID on a MacBook or iPad Pro though. It's OK, but having Face ID would be better on a laptop/iPad. On my 2nd gen iPad Pro, I find it slightly annoying having to reach out to touch the Touch ID button to enter the OS. On the 3rd generation when you have a keyboard attached, you can simply quickly double-tap the space bar to enter the OS, since Face ID takes care of the rest. Double-tapping on the 2nd generation iPad Pro just takes you to the lock screen. Then you have to touch the Touch ID button.

In some ways though I prefer Touch ID on phones over Face ID, at least in certain circumstances. On a phone, having Touch ID can be faster as it takes you directly to the home screen.

I am not sure that an ARM version would be enough to save it. The complications with such a move would rather alienate a vocal part of their users (developers, etc.). But i reserve my final judgement until the marzipan projects comes to fruition. Maybe they surprise us with an ARM/AMD hybrid chip or whatever software emulation wizardry to make this work.
If you mean AMD for legacy support, I don't think that will happen. Apple will just use ARM and their own GPU natively. Apple will push very hard for native applications, but it's possible they will allow legacy support for existing software that runs on Intel, through a real-time emulator like Rosetta. This is actually possible, since the even through an emulator the performance would compete well against Intel's Y series.

A12X already scores 18400 in Geekbench 4 multi-core. Even if you cut that in half (9200) through emulation, it'd still compete well against the 2017 Core i7 MacBook, which scores 8700.
 
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fokmik

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i dont know if they have room into the lid for faceID, that flood illuminator alone is around 3-3.1mm thick
 

fokmik

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So you want to go back with a thicker lid? and no more 1 handed open ? the hinge must be also redesign :)
Let Apple come with faceID when they shrink down the faceID components...i heard in 2020 maybe
 

Narcaz

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If they have to make it slightly thicker at the top, so be it. The iPhone also gained weight and got thicker when a feature like wireless charging was implemented. Imo a design revision for the whole macbook lineup is overdue, especially for the keyboards. But with Apples current lack of focus on macs, this could take a little longer.
 

EugW

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So you want to go back with a thicker lid? and no more 1 handed open ? the hinge must be also redesign :)
Let Apple come with faceID when they shrink down the faceID components...i heard in 2020 maybe
They need to do something. Even if they don't add Face ID, they need a better FaceTime camera. It's utter garbage. It's basically unusable in low light.
 
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BODYBUILDERPAUL

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Hi EugW :)
I'm with you on this. Recently I bought the new 2018 iPad Pro to use as a portfolio and oh my! I'm in love with the round bezels just like my iPhone X. It's made the Mac screens look really old fashioned!
My MAIN love is the ProMotion display.
I'm holding out for the new MacBook Pro redesign - yep, i'm hoping that it's got the round screen edges and IT MUST have ProMotion. I buy film from iTunes and watching them on a ProMotion device is just buttery smooth unlike Macs which look jerky.
Remember the Christmas animated Apple ad? Well I saw it in the Covent Garden Apple Store and guess what it looked BLOODY AWFUL when panning - on the iMac Pro, iMac and LG display connects to the Mac Pro none had ProMotion. Not even the £5K iMac Pro. It was a disgrace. It pointed out the importance of correct frame rate matching and all devices cried out for ProMotion.

Sadly, I don't think that it will ever come to the MacBook.

Not bothered about FaceTime camera as I use my iPhone always for that but i'd love / require FaceI.D. on the next Mac.

Personally, i'm not sure what direction the Mac laptops are going in now but for me I really need a MacBook / Pro and an iPhone and then the iPad when visiting clients for portfolio use.
 

radiologyman

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I need to try promotion display but I would like a picture in picture option with smaller window for video, is it available?
 

EugW

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I need to try promotion display but I would like a picture in picture option with smaller window for video, is it available?
Picture-in-picture has been supported since iOS 9, on every iPad since the iPad Air.
 

radiologyman

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Picture-in-picture has been supported since iOS 9, on every iPad since the iPad Air.
Great, my wife's 2017(?) iPad Pro does it with youtube but I have not tried with vlc or air video that I typically use. Do colors look brighter in comparison to MB 12?
 

EugW

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The other factor to consider is that the 12.9" iPad is actually the exact same width as the 12" MacBook. Both are 11.04" wide. So in terms of width, the almost 13" iPad is not actually so annoyingly large.

The 12.9" iPad is 2732 pixels wide at 264 ppi = 10.35" wide.
The 12" iPad is 2304 pixels wide at 226 ppi = 10.19" wide.

This means the 12.9" iPad Pro screen is both physically wider and higher density than the MacBook screen.

The main problem for some people though may be the height. The 12.9" iPad is significantly taller at 8.46", whereas the 12" MacBook is only 7.74", which often fits better on the fold-down tray on the plane, esp. if the passenger in front of you has the seat tilted back.

The 12.9" iPad is 2048 pixels tall at 264 ppi = 7.76" tall.
The 12" MacBook is 1440 tall at 226 ppi = 6.37" tall (a difference of 1.39" which is quite a lot).

In terms of weight we all know the MacBook weighs 2.03 lbs.
The iPad Pro 12.9" is 1.39 lbs, and with the Smart Keyboard (which does cover the back in the 3rd gen) is 340 g.
That brings the total iPad Pro 12.9" weight to 2.14 lbs, which is quite reasonable for weight.

The other problem is that most can't really use the 12.9" as a handheld iPad comfortably for extended periods. To me it's more a desk iPad. I like having an iPad that I can sometimes hold in my hand, as necessary. That's more possible with a 10.5" (or smaller) iPad.

---

Basically what I'm saying here is that if the 11" iPad Pro is too small for some people vs. the 12" MacBook, the 12.9" iPad Pro then becomes a viable option as well, since it is the same width and has a similar weight. The main difference is the height, with the 12.9" iPad Pro being considerably taller.

Great, my wife's 2017(?) iPad Pro does it with youtube but I have not tried with vlc or air video that I typically use. Do colors look brighter in comparison to MB 12?
I don't use vlc. PiP does work with Netflix though.

I'm not sure what you mean about brighter colours, but at least with wide colour gamut photos, it definitely looks better on the iPad Pro (and new Air) than it does on the MacBook. I don't think Netflix supports this for video on the iPads, but I could be wrong.

The iPad Pro does get to 625ish nits though, which is considerably brighter than the MacBook.
 

radiologyman

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Jul 23, 2011
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Basically what I'm saying here is that if the 11" iPad Pro is too small for some people vs. the 12" MacBook, the 12.9" iPad Pro then becomes a viable option as well, since it is the same width and has a similar weight. The main difference is the height, with the 12.9" iPad Pro being considerably taller.


I don't use vlc. PiP does work with Netflix though.

I'm not sure what you mean about brighter colours, but at least with wide colour gamut photos, it definitely looks better on the iPad Pro (and new Air) than it does on the MacBook. I don't think Netflix supports this for video on the iPads, but I could be wrong.

The iPad Pro does get to 625ish nits though, which is considerably brighter than the MacBook.
I am very happy with 2017 MB 12 that I got to upgrade from 2015 model, thanks to your advise! My primary use is reading from computer screen while videos are playing in small window, which I do for several hours daily. As you may tell from my forum handle, I am always on the lookout for best possible screen for this. I like ultraportable laptop form factor so MB 12 is perfect for me. I did like Sony Z line for wide color gamut with ability to make colors pop/look neon bright, which IMO increased perceived contrast.
 
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radiologyman

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Jul 23, 2011
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Look EugW, one of our hopes may come true, lets hope its for all the macs with displays, macbook, macbook pro/air/imac
Probably the first product in mac world will be the next Apple display. I think they will announce it at WWDC with faceID, what do you think?
https://9to5mac.com/2019/04/12/face-id-on-macs/?pushup=1
Patently Apple also published more Apple patents with Mini/Micro LED which I hope will also eventually show up in MacBooks