Is the MacBook Pro Apples greatest design achievement?

dba415

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 18, 2011
419
67
The longevity of its current design is quite an amazing feat. It's been the same for 6 years and it still looks better than all other laptops IMO. The glass trackpad still has not been matched. Battery is still top notch.

I love using my MacBook Pro.

Apple has released many iPhones/iPads since then, but basically only MacBook Pro.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors 604
May 28, 2005
7,980
531
Pennsylvania
The longevity of its current design is quite an amazing feat. It's been the same for 6 years and it still looks better than all other laptops IMO. The glass trackpad still has not been matched. Battery is still top notch.

I love using my MacBook Pro.

Apple has released many iPhones/iPads since then, but basically only MacBook Pro.
Apple has had at least 4 different Macbook Pro designs since 2005. There's the Aluminum MBP that looked just like the PowerBook, then there's the Unibody MBP, Unibody MBP with internal battery, and then Retina Macbook Pro.

And no, IMO they're the worst designed products that Apple makes. They're increasingly non-upgradable, short on external ports, and look ugly. I can't stand the black border and glassy screen. Oh well, that's why I haven't purchased a Macbook Pro since 2007.
 

simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
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And no, IMO they're the worst designed products that Apple makes. They're increasingly non-upgradable, short on external ports, and look ugly. I can't stand the black border and glassy screen. Oh well, that's why I haven't purchased a Macbook Pro since 2007.
How it looks is your personal preference, by the way they're being used in movies and people love them you are in the minority. Not being able to upgrade is being something that's slowly being phased out, good or bad, it's true for most of their products.

What do you consider the best designed product they make? Just about everything you said applies to all their products. If you think the rMBPs are ugly I'd think you dislike the looks of all their products. Other Apple products have black borders and glossy screens and are often criticized for their lack of ports.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors 604
May 28, 2005
7,980
531
Pennsylvania
f you think the rMBPs are ugly I'd think you dislike the looks of all their products. Other Apple products have black borders and glossy screens and are often criticized for their lack of ports.
Quite right! Around 2004 was when they had the best designed products, IMO. The first gen iPods with tactile buttons and a wheel that spun was fantastic to use. Likewise, the G4 Cube and PowerBook were very nice machines, and unlike the slab of drab aluminum used today, those computers had lines and personality.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,963
4,550
In purely visual terms, white polycarbonate iMacs are as good as it gets...

Image
Quite right! Around 2004 was when they had the best designed products, IMO. The first gen iPods with tactile buttons and a wheel that spun was fantastic to use. Likewise, the G4 Cube and PowerBook were very nice machines, and unlike the slab of drab aluminum used today, those computers had lines and personality.
I guess the design has always been and will stay a matter of individual preference :D Personally, I like the design of the Cube, but the PoweBook is a no-go for me. So far, the unibody designs is the best I have ever seen/used in computers.
 

Dovahkiing

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2013
200
77
Apple has had at least 4 different Macbook Pro designs since 2005. There's the Aluminum MBP that looked just like the PowerBook, then there's the Unibody MBP, Unibody MBP with internal battery, and then Retina Macbook Pro.
OP said they hadn't changed in 6 years, so I think he's referring to the introduction of the Unibody design.

And he's right, the basic ID of Apple's notebooks hasn't changed since then. If you want to split hairs and call the "Unibody MBP" and the "Unibody MBP with internal battery" different things, then I think you're not taking his point.

Even the rMBPs and MBA's all share the same basid ID. Sure, whether you like it or not is all subjective, but he's right they they haven't changed their ID in the last 6 years.

----------

As for personal taste, I have got to disagree with most of you here. The white plastic 2004-2005 era ID looked good back then, but it looks so dated to me now. I don't think it's aged well. I quite like the aluminum chassis, and black bordered glass screens they have now.
 

egy195

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2014
113
1
for a laptop absolutely no, if anything goes wrong with the current design tough luck, nothing you can do but send the machine for repair, i'm not comparing apple to microsoft here just the hardware but if my battery dies i can easily buy a new one, if in the future i need more ram i can easily add them my self, same thing with hdd if i want to put an ssd i can myself, you can't do that with the current design.

as for their best design i think the current retina ipad mini is the best, totally planing to get one :)
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,218
1,584
for a laptop absolutely no, if anything goes wrong with the current design tough luck, nothing you can do but send the machine for repair, i'm not comparing apple to microsoft here just the hardware but if my battery dies i can easily buy a new one, if in the future i need more ram i can easily add them my self, same thing with hdd if i want to put an ssd i can myself, you can't do that with the current design.

as for their best design i think the current retina ipad mini is the best, totally planing to get one :)
All manufacturers have a laptop in there range that not upgradeable like the MBA and rmbp. It's just the way things are going.
 

egy195

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2014
113
1
All manufacturers have a laptop in there range that not upgradeable like the MBA and rmbp. It's just the way things are going.
yes but they also have ones that you can do the things i mentioned too :D
 

Barney63

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
799
1
Bolton, UK.
When people complain about the products not being upgradable they seem to forget that most consumer electronic aren't.
You can't upgrade your TV, DVD player, etc...

Barney
 

deluxeshredder

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2013
558
9
I'd say many of Apple's designs have stood the test of time extremely well.

The greatest one is probably the 2013 Mac Pro.
 

egy195

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2014
113
1
When people complain about the products not being upgradable they seem to forget that most consumer electronic aren't.
You can't upgrade your TV, DVD player, etc...

Barney
yes i know that but the computer has always been upgradable like the tv has never been upgradable, maybe apple is trying to change the way we think about computers and in my case i'm not ready for that, just me :)
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
50 years from now, this will be the one that is remembered:

Image
Yes, finally. This is one of my all time favourites.

On the laptop side, the unibody are very good, but not outstanding. I think I still have a small preference for the non-unibody aluminium.

In terms of progress, I think the rMBP is the future. Not so much happened from non-unibody to unibody - the case is somewhat different, but the overall form factor and weight didn't change. The retina is a big step forward in terms of size & weight, and very much challenges the existence of the Air.
 

827538

macrumors 65816
Jul 3, 2013
1,233
1,074
Apple has had at least 4 different Macbook Pro designs since 2005. There's the Aluminum MBP that looked just like the PowerBook, then there's the Unibody MBP, Unibody MBP with internal battery, and then Retina Macbook Pro.

And no, IMO they're the worst designed products that Apple makes. They're increasingly non-upgradable, short on external ports, and look ugly. I can't stand the black border and glassy screen. Oh well, that's why I haven't purchased a Macbook Pro since 2007.
Fair enough but that's your opinion and I, along with many others completely disagree.
They don't decide to make their systems non-upgradable just to annoy people like you. They do it as a compromise for a smaller/slimmer form factor and more robust build quality. Plus I believe the SSD's (yes they are proprietary) and RAM are upgradable, CPU's and GPU's are almost always soldered on and the battery is replaceable by Apple. The display is fused but can be replaced as a whole unit. Fair compromises in my opinion for the best laptop in existence. It's so good it convinced me to jump ship to Apple and I'm extremely pleased with it.
 

5to1

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2008
302
48
yes but they also have ones that you can do the things i mentioned too :D
The difference is those other manufacturers have a wider product range allowing them to cover more bases. Ones requirements will generally dictate which approach one prefers.

I don't like to visit restaurants with large menus, trying to encompass every taste, as I'm often concerned they'll never perfect any of them. But equally it can be very disappointing when I find myself at restaurant with a small menu if I don't like the items on it, regardless of if they do those dishes to perfection :/

With their small product range they have to make a choice and I suspect they have made the right one. I'm pretty sure the "upgraders" are vastly out numbered by people like my Mrs who simply see it as a technologically (in terms of hardware) static product like our TV.

I don't think the vast majority of their users ever upgrade their machines (other then perhaps the HDD/SSD). I also doubt many would ever use more then one battery (as a road warrior for several years, I often purchased extra batteries, but forgot to take them with me or charge them, or found leaving the one I didn't use often fully charged caused it to fail more quickly). And yes paying Apple £109 to replace the sealed battery is probably double the price of OEM batteries for laptops with user replaceable ones. But in the grand scheme of things £50 extra every couple of years is not going to make someone paying a premium already flinch.

Apple definitely weren't the first to do this, I can recall Toshiba and Asus machines with Soldered RAM from a decade back. Where this approach falls down is when the SKU's aren't equipped with enough overhead to cover the useful life of the machine. If the RAM is sufficient to keep the machine ticking along nicely for 4 or 5 years, do most people really care?

Of course others may be right and Apple could be wrong. Perhaps they have taken a wrong turn and will fall flat on their face. They've done it before :) Perhaps MS will stop floundering or maybe Google, or some new entrant who they don't think could be a threat will knock them of their perch. But right now they're sitting pretty and I (along with many others) don't find the lack of upgradeability a major issue.
 
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Prof.

macrumors 601
Aug 17, 2007
4,817
556
Chicago
I love the design of my 2012 non-retina MacBook Pro. In my opinion there isn't a portable computer on the market which looks better. I'll probably have this computer for at least another 5 years. Last MBP that can be upgraded. :(
 

egy195

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2014
113
1
The difference is those other manufacturers have a wider product range allowing them to cover more bases. Ones requirements will generally dictate which approach one prefers.

I don't like to visit restaurants with large menus, trying to encompass every taste, as I'm often concerned they'll never perfect any of them. But equally it can be very disappointing when I find myself at restaurant with a small menu if I don't like the items on it, regardless of if they do those dishes to perfection :/

With their small product range they have to make a choice and I suspect they have made the right one. I'm pretty sure the "upgraders" are vastly out numbered by people like my Mrs who simply see it as a technologically (in terms of hardware) static product like our TV.

I don't think the vast majority of their users ever upgrade their machines (other then perhaps the HDD/SSD). I also doubt many would ever use more then one battery (as a road warrior for several years, I often purchased extra batteries, but forgot to take them with me or charge them, or found leaving the one I didn't use often fully charged caused it to fail more quickly). And yes paying Apple £109 to replace the sealed battery is probably double the price of OEM batteries for laptops with user replaceable ones. But in the grand scheme of things £50 extra every couple of years is not going to make someone paying a premium already flinch.

Apple definitely weren't the first to do this, I can recall Toshiba and Asus machines with Soldered RAM from a decade back. Where this approach falls down is when the SKU's aren't equipped with enough overhead to cover the useful life of the machine. If the RAM is sufficient to keep the machine ticking along nicely for 4 or 5 years, do most people really care?

Of course others may be right and Apple could be wrong. Perhaps they have taken a wrong turn and will fall flat on their face. They've done it before :) Perhaps MS will stop floundering or maybe Google, or some new entrant who they don't think could be a threat will knock them of their perch. But right now they're sitting pretty and I (along with many others) don't find the lack of upgradeability a major issue.
i really really envy those people like your Mrs who just want a laptop to work to get to youtube or check some websites, you're right in every point you've made and the thing about apple is they take chances whatever the outcome may be, i respect them for that, even if i'm not an apple user(yet).
i remember owning a pc for maybe 8 years and replacing everything in it with shiny new parts but haven't done that for 4 years except a few months ago on my sister's computer, i'm slowly but surely going the same route as apple:)
 

Cloudsurfer

macrumors 65816
Apr 12, 2007
1,295
330
Netherlands
The Unibody design with the black border screen was inspired by the original iPhone design.

Either two things can happen. Either a new category product will inspire a new design direction (like iWatch) or Apple has established this theme as the final design direction and it will never change again (or at least any time soon).
 

alec6542

macrumors regular
Jan 16, 2012
111
2
The unibody and retina MBP models are in my opinion one of the most beautiful notebook hardware designs ever. There's no doubt Jony Ive is a very talented hardware (and only hardware) designer.
 

bniu

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2010
985
179
If the 12" retina macbook comes out, I'm looking at going forward buying a basic retina macbook with maxed out ram and storage. For any heavy computer usage, I've got my custom built desktop PC around for that!

As great as Macs are, you just can't beat a custom built desktop that has everything you want, and with only five components, (CPU/MB/RAM/GPU/SSD), desktop PCs are actually quite simple to build these days.