Macbook Pro 2016 - 2018 are anxiety inducing machines

senttoschool

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 2, 2017
88
152
Ways the newer Macbook Pros induce anxiety for me:

  • Palm detection is imperfect so when you type, the cursor might move ever so slightly, messing up everything.
  • Much slower to change volume because you must now look at the touchbar to find the volume slider. It also takes two presses to change the volume. Volume slider is also not as intuitive as the old way. This gives me anxiety because when you use headphones, you sometimes accidentally unplug the headphone or forget to plug it in and need to turn your volume down quickly so you're not bothering the people around you. Also with the way MacOS handles volume, you're never quite sure what the volume level is at when you plug/unplug headphones so you need to be quick to change the volume.
  • You need to look at the touchbar to change screen brightness
  • You need to look at the touchbar to play, skip music
  • Low key travel means it doesn't always feel like you've pressed the key enough
  • Poor key reliability means individual keys break often. By my second day of ownership, I had to smash my space bar just to get the press to register.
  • My finger rests just slightly below the touchbar ESC key and sometimes I trigger it by touching it accidentally. Imagine losing your work because you touched the ESC key accidentally.
  • Always worrying about losing your dongle and cables
  • Always worrying about not having the right cables when you need to go somewhere
All of these things make it stressful to use the new machines. It shouldn't be that way if I'm paying $2500. I went back to the 2015 Macbook Pro.

As a product designer in Silicon Valley, I feel like the new Macbook Pro was designed by a committee of "Yes man" engineers and marketing people. I didn't think it would happen at Apple. No one had the balls to say "no, this doesn't feel right".

Just what the hell was Apple thinking?
 
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pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
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955
New Hampshire
Ways the newer Macbook Pros induce anxiety for me:

  • Palm detection is imperfect so when you type, the cursor might move ever so slightly, messing up everything.
  • Much slower to change volume because you must now look at the touchbar to find the volume slider. It also takes two presses to change the volume. Volume slider is also not as intuitive as the old way. This gives me anxiety because when you use headphones, you sometimes accidentally unplug the headphone or forget to plug it in and need to turn your volume down quickly so you're not bothering the people around you. Also with the way MacOS handles volume, you're never quite sure what the volume level is at when you plug/unplug headphones so you need to be quick to change the volume.
  • You need to look at the touchbar to change screen brightness
  • You need to look at the touchbar to play, skip music
  • Low key travel means it doesn't always feel like you've pressed the key enough
  • Poor key reliability means individual keys break often. By my second day of ownership, I had to smash my space bar just to get the press to register.
  • My finger rests just slightly below the touchbar ESC key and sometimes I trigger it by touching it accidentally. Imagine losing your work because you touched the ESC key accidentally.
  • Always worrying about losing your dongle and cables
  • Always worrying about not having the right cables when you need to go somewhere
All of these things make it stressful to use the new machines. It shouldn't be that way if I'm paying $2500. I went back to the 2015 Macbook Pro.

As a product designer in Silicon Valley, I feel like the new Macbook Pro was designed by a committee of "Yes man" engineers and marketing people. I didn't think it would happen at Apple. No one had the balls to say "no, this doesn't feel right".

Just what the hell was Apple thinking?
I'm happily on 2014/2015 MBPs but there's a lot of performance stuff to like in the 2018. I'm surprised that someone hasn't built a Non-Touchbar Bluetooth Keyboard strip. It would just sit over the touchbar and have all of the old keys. Maybe Apple would buy out the company that makes them or sell them in the Apple Store.
 

Porkchop Sandwich

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2017
243
133
Ways the newer Macbook Pros induce anxiety for me:

  • Palm detection is imperfect so when you type, the cursor might move ever so slightly, messing up everything.
  • Much slower to change volume because you must now look at the touchbar to find the volume slider. It also takes two presses to change the volume. Volume slider is also not as intuitive as the old way. This gives me anxiety because when you use headphones, you sometimes accidentally unplug the headphone or forget to plug it in and need to turn your volume down quickly so you're not bothering the people around you. Also with the way MacOS handles volume, you're never quite sure what the volume level is at when you plug/unplug headphones so you need to be quick to change the volume.
  • You need to look at the touchbar to change screen brightness
  • You need to look at the touchbar to play, skip music
  • Low key travel means it doesn't always feel like you've pressed the key enough
  • Poor key reliability means individual keys break often. By my second day of ownership, I had to smash my space bar just to get the press to register.
  • My finger rests just slightly below the touchbar ESC key and sometimes I trigger it by touching it accidentally. Imagine losing your work because you touched the ESC key accidentally.
  • Always worrying about losing your dongle and cables
  • Always worrying about not having the right cables when you need to go somewhere
All of these things make it stressful to use the new machines. It shouldn't be that way if I'm paying $2500. I went back to the 2015 Macbook Pro.

As a product designer in Silicon Valley, I feel like the new Macbook Pro was designed by a committee of "Yes man" engineers and marketing people. I didn't think it would happen at Apple. No one had the balls to say "no, this doesn't feel right".

Just what the hell was Apple thinking?
This sort of thing causes a great deal of distress for you? LOL ..that damn evil Apple company!!!! lol
 
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senttoschool

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 2, 2017
88
152
I'm happily on 2014/2015 MBPs but there's a lot of performance stuff to like in the 2018. I'm surprised that someone hasn't built a Non-Touchbar Bluetooth Keyboard strip. It would just sit over the touchbar and have all of the old keys. Maybe Apple would buy out the company that makes them or sell them in the Apple Store.
MacBook Pro (15-inch Retina Mid 2014): 4408 single core
MacBook Pro (15-inch Retina Mid 2014): 14515 multi-core
MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2018): 5348 single core
MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2018): 22621 multi-core

21% single core increase in 4 years
56% multi-core increase in 4 years

Intel really dropped the balls on performance increases for their CPUs over the last 7 years. It took Intel 4 years to increase their performance at a rate that the iPhone increases in 1 year.

When configuring the best processor in 2014 and the best processor in 2018, the price is about 50% higher for the 2018 version. This means you're paying 50% more for a 21% increase in single thread performance and 56% increase in multi-core performance.

In terms of CPU performance, the $/value has been really really bad for the Macbook Pro.


[doublepost=1552740795][/doublepost]
This sort of thing causes a great deal of distress for you? LOL ..that damn evil Apple company!!!! lol
Absolutely! Yes, I have first world problems!
 
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pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
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21% single core increase in 4 years
56% multi-core increase in 4 years

Intel really dropped the balls on performance increases for their CPUs over the last 7 years. It took Intel 4 years to increase their performance at a rate that the iPhone increases in 1 year.
Intel has had a bunch of problems at the Corporate and other levels - so they were in the wilderness for a while. I hope that they can get back on track. I notice a nice pop in performance between the 2014 2.2 Ghz and the 2015 2.5 Ghz with Discrete graphics. I could get another bump by getting the 2015 2.8 Ghz model - and I'm shopping around for one but I'm not in a hurry. The old 2.2 Ghz is more than what I need. But I'd certainly love better performance. The faster SSD in the 2015 might have something to do with it.

I'm sure that there are folks here that really need the computing horsepower but there are alternatives for that like having a Mac server at home for heavy compute tasks.
 

Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
1,082
759
Austin, TX
Ways the newer Macbook Pros induce anxiety
Not to come across as condescending, but as a person in the Silicone Valley (and I am assuming in the tech industry), did you not already read about all of these issues when you bought your machine? I mean a lot of these topics have been thoroughly (and I seriously mean really thoroughly) documented on youtube reviews, forum sites and even mainstream tech media news, so all of this is old news.

When making this a purchase on something this pricey, I always make sure to review what I am getting into, so I can't whine and complain about issues that were already documented. Now if you didn't know about keyboard failures and the "flexgate" issues, I'd give that, but complaints about dongles, keyboard feel, touchbar annoyances and so on kind of are pointless if you had done the research before purchasing the machine.
 

senttoschool

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 2, 2017
88
152
Not to come across as condescending, but as a person in the Silicone Valley (and I am assuming in the tech industry), did you not already read about all of these issues when you bought your machine? I mean a lot of these topics have been thoroughly (and I seriously mean really thoroughly) documented on youtube reviews, forum sites and even mainstream tech media news, so all of this is old news.

When making this a purchase on something this pricey, I always make sure to review what I am getting into, so I can't whine and complain about issues that were already documented. Now if you didn't know about keyboard failures and the "flexgate" issues, I'd give that, but complaints about dongles, keyboard feel, touchbar annoyances and so on kind of are pointless if you had done the research before purchasing the machine.
My tech company recently issued me a 2018 top of line 15" Macbook Pro after my 2015 died.

After a few days of use, I asked them to purchase a used 2015 for me instead.

Note: I also purchased the 2016 13" Macbook Pro as soon as it came out to replace a Macbook Air. I ran into the exact same issues back then as well. Three years later, I still get anxiety from the newer machines.
 

buran-energia

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2017
238
76
Palm detection is imperfect so when you type, the cursor might move ever so slightly, messing up everything.
Never had an issue with a 13 model, so maybe it's a 15 thing, but haven't seen that many complaints.

Much slower to change volume because you must now look at the touchbar to find the volume slider. It also takes two presses to change the volume.
I prefer the new way, because you can set the volume and brightness more precisely. But most importantly, you can just press on the volume, not release and instantly slide left or right. It doesn't take two presses.

You need to look at the touchbar to change screen brightness
How often do you change brightness?

You need to look at the touchbar to play, skip music
I would need to look at the keyboard anyway when doing that on previous models. Touch bar gives additional options like scrolling through the song, picture in picture mode when it's hard to do manually on certain sites, etc. So I prefer it.

Low key travel means it doesn't always feel like you've pressed the key enough
Old keyboards feel mushy after using the new one. They feel retro to me.

Poor key reliability means individual keys break often.
Yes. The number issue and a major concern is the keyboard reliability. And the new models' keyboard doesn't seem as reliable as previous.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
64,093
30,690
Boston
Ways the newer Macbook Pros induce anxiety for me:
Well, then if you're not at peace with your decision then get rid of the laptop. Life is too short not to enjoy your machine.

Palm detection is imperfect so when you type, the cursor might move ever so slightly, messing up everything.
I have to disagree on this one, after using various PCs over the years, Apple is the market leader with its touchpad. IT is by far the best with features, quality and palm rejection. I've really had no issues with palm rejection at all.


you must now look at the touchbar
Most of your other complaints center around how live has changed with the touchbar and I don't disagree with you. Its a solution in search of a problem, but the issue I have is that it took really useful keys and replaced them with something that is much less efficient.
 

senttoschool

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 2, 2017
88
152
Never had an issue with a 13 model, so maybe it's a 15 thing, but haven't seen that many complaints.
https://www.google.com/search?q=macbook+pro+palm+rejection&oq=macbook+pro+palm+rejec&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0l4.3759j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

I prefer the new way, because you can set the volume and brightness more precisely. But most importantly, you can just press on the volume, not release and instantly slide left or right. It doesn't take two presses.
The old style had enough granularity for me that there's no need to be more precise. Even if you press and slide, you still have to look at the keyboard to do it.

How often do you change brightness?
Quite often. When the battery is low, I manually set to lower. When I turn off the lights at home, I manually adjust the brightness because it's faster than the sensor. I also often want higher brightness to see the colors better when I'm doing product design at a coffee shop, for example.

I would need to look at the keyboard anyway when doing that on previous models. Touch bar gives additional options like scrolling through the song, picture in picture mode when it's hard to do manually on certain sites, etc. So I prefer it.
Interesting. I just feel my way around the keys with my fingers to change songs. I never have to look.

Not sure what you're referring to in your last sentence.

Old keyboards feel mushy after using the new one. They feel retro to me.
That's good. I've heard that most people prefer the feeling of the old keyboards. Also, have you typed on the new Magic Keyboard? It's like the new Macbook Pro keyboard but with more travel and it feels amazing.

Yes. The number issue and a major concern is the keyboard reliability. And the new models' keyboard doesn't seem as reliable as previous.
Yea agreed on this one.
[doublepost=1552749887][/doublepost]
Well, then if you're not at peace with your decision then get rid of the laptop. Life is too short not to enjoy your machine.
Definitely! I already returned the 2016 version when it first came out.

This time, my company issued the 2018 version to me but I couldn't stand it for more than a few days and asked for a 2015 version instead.

I have to disagree on this one, after using various PCs over the years, Apple is the market leader with its touchpad. IT is by far the best with features, quality and palm rejection. I've really had no issues with palm rejection at all.
Oh yea, the touchpad is far better than the rest. However, I happen to have palm rejection issues and it makes typing on the new laptop unbearable.

Most of your other complaints center around how live has changed with the touchbar and I don't disagree with you. Its a solution in search of a problem, but the issue I have is that it took really useful keys and replaced them with something that is much less efficient.
Yea, I don't disagree with you either.

The touchbar is definitely a gimmick. What's worse is that Apple is forcing you to buy it if you want the 15" or if you want a higher spec'd 13".
 

PROFESS0R

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2017
245
216
I feel a touch bit of anxiety about 3 seconds before I jump out of a plane at 13,000 ft, and maybe a bit more when I find myself being squeezed diving inside a wreck at 110ft, and much more when I am on final approach and I deploy my flaps only to hear an odd bang, but using a 2018 MacBook Pro computer...

Not so much. Actually... not at all.

Honestly OP, while I have lived all of the experiences I post above, and they did cause a flash of anxiety (except for landing my Cessna 170B, which caused serious anxiety), I would hate to live in a world where my notebook computer causes me anxiety.

I guess I should be happy to be wired the way I am.

Joe
 
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senttoschool

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 2, 2017
88
152
I feel a touch bit of anxiety about 3 seconds before I jump out of a plane at 13,000 ft, and maybe a bit more when I find myself being squeezed diving inside a wreck at 110ft, and much more when I am on final approach and I deploy my flaps only to hear an odd bang, but using a 2018 MacBook Pro computer...

Not so much. Actually... not at all.

Honestly OP, while I have lived all of the experiences I post above, and they did cause a flash of anxiety (except for landing my Cessna 170B, which caused serious anxiety), I would hate to live in a world where my notebook computer causes me anxiety.

I guess I should be happy to be wired the way I am.

Joe
Somehow Apple has managed to create a laptop that gives me anxiety. Luckily, there's still the 2015 laptop but it's feeling a bit old in 2019.
 

PROFESS0R

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2017
245
216
Maybe the next generation will be better for you. I have not had a single issue with my 2018 MacBook Pro (that I have noticed anyway). I can tell you one thing; I am about ready to pitch my iPhone X out the window because I am so unhappy with how buggy the software (hardware?) has been. Really... for the first time since the very first iPhone, I am ready to try another cell phone.

In my opinion... things have changed for the worse under Tim Cook. While Steve Jobs was quite an unlikeable prick according to many people, he knew how to produce the best customer experience with respect to apple products.

Joe

Somehow Apple has managed to create a laptop that gives me anxiety. Luckily, there's still the 2015 laptop but it's feeling a bit old in 2019.
 

SDColorado

Contributor
Nov 6, 2011
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Highlands Ranch, CO
Maybe the next generation will be better for you. I have not had a single issue with my 2018 MacBook Pro (that I have noticed anyway). I can tell you one thing; I am about ready to pitch my iPhone X out the window because I am so unhappy with how buggy the software (hardware?) has been. Really... for the first time since the very first iPhone, I am ready to try another cell phone.

In my opinion... things have changed for the worse under Tim Cook. While Steve Jobs was quite an unlikeable prick according to many people, he knew how to produce the best customer experience with respect to apple products.

Joe
I am a little the opposite I suppose. I have had no problems with my iPhone X and like it so much that I don't plan to replace it in the foreseeable future. But I have had several issues with the 2018 MBP's for sure and can appreciate much of what the OP was saying. Obviously, the devices we have had the most issues with are the ones we tend to be most frustrated with.

Some of the stuff I am not so concerned with. I have gotten used to the dongles, cables, etc. and have have multiple versions of a lot of them, some I keep in the office, some at home, some in my bag.

But I have had issues with keys not working on a couple of units including this current one and the touchpad drives me nuts if I have "tap to click" enabled, so I have to keep it disabled. Otherwise, I will be typing along and suddenly the cursor will jump to somewhere else in the paragraph and continue there.

I can't say I disagree with the sentiment that things have changed for the worse under Tim Cook, but hopefully, the next major redesign turns a few things around :)
 

Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
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Austin, TX
My tech company recently issued me a 2018 top of line 15" Macbook Pro after my 2015 died.

After a few days of use, I asked them to purchase a used 2015 for me instead.

Note: I also purchased the 2016 13" Macbook Pro as soon as it came out to replace a Macbook Air. I ran into the exact same issues back then as well. Three years later, I still get anxiety from the newer machines.
Ah, that detail was left out in the original comment and adds much more context to your post. I can understand now your reasoning for the post now, however I will say that unfortunately this is still pretty well covered topic here on Macrumors forums.

We are all hoping that Apples next redesign in 2020 or 2021 is a homer in, if not I think there are a lot of Mac fans that could potentially jump ship. I personally love my current 2017 MBP, but I will say the reliability concerns are the greatest issue for me. Thankfully (knock on wood), I haven’t had any hardware issues with mine.
 

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
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New Hampshire
I am a little the opposite I suppose. I have had no problems with my iPhone X and like it so much that I don't plan to replace it in the foreseeable future. But I have had several issues with the 2018 MBP's for sure and can appreciate much of what the OP was saying. Obviously, the devices we have had the most issues with are the ones we tend to be most frustrated with.

Some of the stuff I am not so concerned with. I have gotten used to the dongles, cables, etc. and have have multiple versions of a lot of them, some I keep in the office, some at home, some in my bag.

But I have had issues with keys not working on a couple of units including this current one and the touchpad drives me nuts if I have "tap to click" enabled, so I have to keep it disabled. Otherwise, I will be typing along and suddenly the cursor will jump to somewhere else in the paragraph and continue there.

I can't say I disagree with the sentiment that things have changed for the worse under Tim Cook, but hopefully, the next major redesign turns a few things around :)
We bought iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 models in 2017 and are very happy with them. I didn't want to lose Touch ID and do hope that Apple returns Touch ID at some point in the future.
 
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SDColorado

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We bought iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 models in 2017 and are very happy with them. I didn't want to lose Touch ID and do hope that Apple returns Touch ID at some point in the future.
That seems to be one of those polarizing issues like the TouchBar I suppose. I don't like the touchbar and would have definitely ordered my MBP without it, had Apple given me the option. But I don't miss touch ID at all. But others like the TouchBar and prefer TouchID.

I suppose it is a little harder to offer the option to either TouchID or FaceID on the phone, but including both would have been nice. I do wish they would have offered the option of either Fn keys or TouchBar on the MBP though.

Reality though is likely the TouchBar is here to stay and TouchID on the phone maybe not coming back?
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,334
1,709
Ways the newer Macbook Pros induce anxiety for me:

  • Palm detection is imperfect so when you type, the cursor might move ever so slightly, messing up everything.
  • Much slower to change volume because you must now look at the touchbar to find the volume slider. It also takes two presses to change the volume. Volume slider is also not as intuitive as the old way. This gives me anxiety because when you use headphones, you sometimes accidentally unplug the headphone or forget to plug it in and need to turn your volume down quickly so you're not bothering the people around you. Also with the way MacOS handles volume, you're never quite sure what the volume level is at when you plug/unplug headphones so you need to be quick to change the volume.
  • You need to look at the touchbar to change screen brightness
  • You need to look at the touchbar to play, skip music
  • Low key travel means it doesn't always feel like you've pressed the key enough
  • Poor key reliability means individual keys break often. By my second day of ownership, I had to smash my space bar just to get the press to register.
  • My finger rests just slightly below the touchbar ESC key and sometimes I trigger it by touching it accidentally. Imagine losing your work because you touched the ESC key accidentally.
  • Always worrying about losing your dongle and cables
  • Always worrying about not having the right cables when you need to go somewhere
All of these things make it stressful to use the new machines. It shouldn't be that way if I'm paying $2500. I went back to the 2015 Macbook Pro.

As a product designer in Silicon Valley, I feel like the new Macbook Pro was designed by a committee of "Yes man" engineers and marketing people. I didn't think it would happen at Apple. No one had the balls to say "no, this doesn't feel right".

Just what the hell was Apple thinking?
Settings > Keyboard > Touch Bar Shows > Expanded Control Strip. This can at least get you back to a similar layout that you were used too. With a week or 2 I can find the keys based off muscle memory, I imagine anyone can.

You can make you own keyboard shortcut keys.

Use Siri.

I don't think you should pay for stress either however to me it seems (and I could be wrong) you are strictly focusing on the negative and being very resistant to change. But its your money, don't like it stick with the 2015.
 

jeyf

macrumors 65816
Jan 20, 2009
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548
i own a late 2016 MBP, the very first one off the boat. Apple had me mess with a faulty keyboard for over a year before they offered a repair replace path

i will NOT forget that.
 

Porkchop Sandwich

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2017
243
133
i own a late 2016 MBP, the very first one off the boat. Apple had me mess with a faulty keyboard for over a year before they offered a repair replace path

i will NOT forget that.
Yes, that would be frustrating & although I’ve never had any kb trouble, enough peeps have, which warrants attention from Apple. I personally don’t mind the feel of the current kb’s, but, they could tap a bit softer. If they were, I’d go so far as to say they’re a pleasure to type on b/c they do have a nice tactile feel to them..just not soft enough.

Although I had a little fun w/op, (who was a good sport btw), I do have to concede that I, too have had my days when a piece of kit caused me a great deal of distress. Those were the Windows days which speaks more to the OS. The days in which I was persistently ready to throw my computer(s) and laptops (Sony vaio’s) up against the wall or out the window (no pun intended).

Hence, my migration over to Mac. I don’t see myself ever going back!
 

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,436
955
New Hampshire
That seems to be one of those polarizing issues like the TouchBar I suppose. I don't like the touchbar and would have definitely ordered my MBP without it, had Apple given me the option. But I don't miss touch ID at all. But others like the TouchBar and prefer TouchID.

I suppose it is a little harder to offer the option to either TouchID or FaceID on the phone, but including both would have been nice. I do wish they would have offered the option of either Fn keys or TouchBar on the MBP though.

Reality though is likely the TouchBar is here to stay and TouchID on the phone maybe not coming back?
I think that the iPhone 8 still has Touch ID so that may be an option though not really a great one. Samsung has Touch ID integrated into the screen now so the technology is certainly there. I was looking at a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 or A and it only has Touch ID. Did they really have to copy Face ID?

So there's nothing stopping Apple from doing both technologically - but I don't know if they'll ever do Touch ID again. That's okay - I think that the iPhone 7 should be good for another three to four years.

I do seriously think that someone could make a Bluetooth Touchbar replacement that sits over the Touchbar. Maybe OWC could make something like that. It would probably sell well. I use an external keyboard 90% of the time so the TouchBar probably wouldn't bother me that much. Just when I am mobile.
 
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jeyf

macrumors 65816
Jan 20, 2009
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Yes, that would be frustrating... Hence, my migration over to Mac. I don’t see myself ever going back!
owning a mac; your the point of office jokes. I don't have any connections to a third party don't work for apple, just saying what i see.
 
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