Marco Arment Argues the 2012—2015 MacBook Pro is 'Best Laptop That Has Ever Existed'

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Jack Burton macrumors 6502a

    Jack Burton

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    #326
    I especially loved hearing Marco and John Gruber get together to talk about the new Mac Pro. It illustrates just how clueless both of them are to that market segment and high power users.

    They don't get it. At all.
     
  2. n-evo macrumors 65816

    n-evo

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    Amsterdam
    #327
    I'm honestly very happy with my 2017 Space Grey Touch Bar 13-inch MacBook Pro and haven't regretted selling off my similar 2015 model for one second. I just love how thin it is and how crisp the keyboard feels when typing. I also have no issue with the Touch Bar and set "fn" to expand the control strip so I get the old non-Touch Bar buttons back.

    I'm not a guy who's high on attaching countless peripherals to his MacBook Pro, so the USB-C issue is pretty non-existent for me. But I can see how it could be an issue for some.
     
  3. SteveW928 macrumors 65816

    SteveW928

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    #328
    Yes, as noted I'm primarily concerned with eGPU via TB3, but I suppose also storage (and since I'd probably do some kind of dock) Ethernet, etc.. All that stuff competes for limited bandwidth. I'm just not sure it's a great choice unless it's a relatively temporary move.

    I'm not sure if it was on ATP, but I remember a discussion on one show basically asking how inconvenienced should a pro be by a pro product, which is a good point. Lots of pros do use those various ports all the time, especially when portable. Should a product take the pro into consideration, or should the pro have to adapt to something more designed for the non-pro?

    They play off it on the show even, so I think his thing is kind of throwing money at stuff and having everything (toy) to play with, and then give feedback on.

    Yes, he's kind of a polarizing guy at times, with a strange attitude (especially re: business). Though I often agree with him as well. My main beef with him and Overcast is the lack of support and the fact that he actually seems proud about it. Otherwise, it's a great product (especially compared to Apple's offering!) At first, I thought that like many independent developers, it's hard to pull off or afford. But, I don't get the impression that affordability is the issue.
     
  4. daveman1010220 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 15, 2015
    #329
    --- Post Merged, Dec 1, 2017 ---
    I don't see Apple fixing the issues I have with their new Macbook Pro, so my 2015 MBP is likely my last Apple product. Ever. I am a long-time Apple consumer and I feel I have been left in a lurch. They need to get rid of the gimmick bar, give me back my ESC key, put a real keyboard back on it, un-solder the RAM and the hard drive, and give me a way to actually disable the camera and microphone. These new machines are just plain garbage. Every time I see that commercial with the little girl going, "What's a computer?" I just want to rip my hair out. Apple has lost their way.
     
  5. SteveW928 macrumors 65816

    SteveW928

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    #330
    No doubt. While I get the point of it, it's kind of salt in the wounds, no?

    I totally understand that Apple has *expanded* into a new, very lucrative market. And, I think they are correct that it is the future, in many ways, for the masses. Good on them. But, that's no reason disregard the rest of their traditional markets. And, I think leaving behind the creatives, content producers, and 'think different' crowd isn't going to occur without a substantial cost.
     
  6. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #331
    How are they leaving these people behind? The 2017 MacBook Pro is a very capable device for creatives. They coming out with the iMac Pro and admitted failure with their Mac Pro strategy and will come out with a new model. There is a lot of doom and gloom about how "Apple doesn't care about the Mac" when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

    I think what happens is people may not like what Apple has done (touchbar, keyboards, ports) and translates that to "Apple doesn't care." For instance, if someone uses the SD card every day they're probably upset it's gone, so "Apple doesn't care"

    For me, if the flexibility of using 4 identical ports any way I want is means I have more dongles sitting in a drawer, so be it.
     
  7. SteveW928 macrumors 65816

    SteveW928

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    #332
    So long as you don't need to type or use it out in the field? Yea, it's an OK machine for some people to move from desk to desk between docking stations.

    And, yes, the glimmer of hope is that they actually recognize the problem and will address it. We'll see. But, it will take more than an iMac Pro. Even if they get the hardware lineup whipped back into shape, then they need to address the software degradation and QC.

    Some have already jumped ship, and the rest seem to be waiting to see what they do with the promised Pro. But, if they blow that, it will probably be the final straw.
     
  8. Brammy macrumors 65816

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  9. smirking macrumors 65816

    smirking

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    #334
    I think the 10 hours use time is judged with the screen brightness turned to somewhere around 50%. That retina screen is seriously power hungry. I have a stacked dev server running in the background on my maxed 2016 and the thing that hits the power consumption the most is my screen. With the screen dimmed, I've seen numbers that suggest that I'd be able to hit 10 hours under a normal usage scenario.

    Some apps severely impact your run time. It might even be a single app. Try turning off some background apps and see if it makes a difference. When I first got mine, it was when a software bug was severely affecting battery life and rogue apps made it far far worse. I can't remember which one was the culprit, but I turned off a number and my battery life shot up.
     
  10. SteveW928 macrumors 65816

    SteveW928

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    #335
    The screen is the big one, and I think Safari was involved in the whole Consumer Report thing (which I guess Apple fixed). But, the 2016 also has a kind of 'bolt-on' TB3/USB3 solution compared to the chipset 2017, which I've heard uses extra power (in comparison) when things are connected. So, that might be something to keep in mind too.
     
  11. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #336
    I miss the light for the Apple logo. That is one of the biggest things I miss. Given how flat we can make LED lights, not to mention the amount of energy an LED uses, come one Apple bring back the illuminated logo!
     
  12. bohdanz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    #337
    I picked a 2017 Space Grey 13 in too and wonder what kind of battery life you're noticing. Keep wondering if the NON touchbar version adds more time on the battery useage.

    Thanks
     
  13. tipoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2017
    #338
    I like how even in the 12" Mi Notebook Air, you can put in two m.2 slots, for all its tiny size. And then of course the 13 and 15 as well.

    Macbooks are still nicer in a lot of ways, but man, bulk storage costs without external drives are painful. If I could add a second, slower, cheaper SATA m.2 drive like the Mis, that would have been amazing.

    You can also set up a fusion drive between two SSDs just like a normal one, so it can always be caching to the fastest SSD.
     
  14. burgman macrumors 68000

    burgman

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    Sep 24, 2013
    #339
    Sales numbers seem to contradict this tired “lost their way” refrain. If it doesn’t work for someone fine vote with your money, declaring your decisions speak for the the rest of us, not so much.
     
  15. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040

    turbineseaplane

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    Mar 19, 2008
    #340
    Sales numbers are an incomplete and flawed way to analyze the changes to the MacBook Pros.

    If you want to run macOS you simply have no choice but to take what they give you especially if the updates aren't particularly frequent and it's time for you to get a new machine.
     
  16. SteveW928 macrumors 65816

    SteveW928

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    #341
    Sales numbers don't measure the longer-term success of the company if they are getting there in a damaging way. For example, if the iPhone keeps going like it is, Apple could feasibly cut every other product they offer and still have winning sales numbers.

    But, a competing tech could enter the market, Apple could continue to blunder on OS quality, or any number of other things that could easily upset that apple cart (pun intended).

    From my vantage point, Apple has done a couple of things. First, they have shifted focus from creative pros, content creators, etc. towards mass-market (high end) electronics, services, and fashion. This is fine as a new *segment* but not fine if it too negatively impacts the former. Apple's whole image and brand is based on 'creative pros' and 'think different' and style not fashion. If they lose that market, it can't help but impact the brand/image.

    Second, they have shifted their fundamental way of doing business from focus on UX and making the best stuff to serve... to market-segment #s prioritization and profitability. In essence, they've traded what got them to greatness, for business 101... being like any other tech company. This also, will severely impact their brand/image over the long term.

    As for voting with our money... yes, that might happen soon. The problem is that Apple is very much an eco-system of products and services. I can't just say... I'm unhappy with the MacBook Pro, so I'll buy a Dell instead this time. Switching to a Dell means a huge shift of nearly everything in my business workflows, software selection, etc. It's an all or nothing kind of thing.

    So, I'm much more likely to stick here, complain loudly, and hope things change. Until... it gets to some point where I just can't take it any longer and make the big jump. So, Apple isn't getting proper 'vote with your money' feedback, especially since they aren't giving their customers realistic choices to determine which they prefer.

    What is going to happen (with the way Apple is currently doing things) is they will lose core market segments with little financial feedback/impact, and by the time they get such feedback (especially since they've invested so heavily in one technology that is increasingly becoming more fashion driven), it's going to be too late.

    Apple has a ton of cash and brand clout to burn through, which will mask the symptoms well (from a bean-counter perspective). And since fashion is fickle, it can turn on a dime. A massive company like Apple no longer can. They have to be making sound decisions all along the way.
     
  17. turbineseaplane, Dec 6, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017

    turbineseaplane macrumors 68040

    turbineseaplane

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    Mar 19, 2008
    #342
    Spot on. And shamefully I think Apple is abusing the knowledge around costs for users to switch to justify doing the bare minimum, sometimes less, to meet the needs of the content pros and creatives that used to drive the entire company.

    They know we are stuck and they appear to care very little about us yet are happy to provide "something" just to take our money.

    It's an untenable situation longer term and really frustrating.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 6, 2017 ---
    Also spot on. Classic example. Offer 15" MacBook Pro's that are essentially identical save for one offering the Touch Bar and the other not...and just watch what would happen.

    They know...that's why they aren't giving us a choice other than to accept the $300 price jump and force that whole gimmick on everyone.

    Look, good for Bean Counter Tim, but is there ever enough market and financial domination? Will they just squeeze every last penny out of everyone at the expense of everything else?

    How much is enough Apple?

    Must you be the biggest and most profitable corporation ever, always, forever and have offshore tax avoided trillions stashed on the moon by private rocket?

    When can we have at least a small regression from "squeeze every last cent out of every corner of every customer"?
     
  18. SteveW928 macrumors 65816

    SteveW928

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    Victoria, B.C. Canada
    #343
    Yes, or even bigger, they don't offer an actual pro (in the way many define pro, or have their needs met) laptop to see what percentages of each people would buy. And, ultimately it isn't about percentages if a case can be made for supporting an important market segment. (The example I always use is like Ford, cars, and GT40. Ford sells more trucks than anything. Should they put like 80% focus on trucks, 12% on cars, and 2% on the GT40? Or, maybe Chevy and the Corvette is an even better example. Not necessarily, as cars are incredibly important to their business, and w/o the GT40/Corvette and their racing programs - money losers! - it would have a huge negative impact on everything from R&D to brand image.)

    Another classic example is iPhone screen sizes. First, they argued that something close to the SE was the ideal size (and I agree). Then, when it became clear they needed a bigger model, they responded (a good thing, as while less ideal in some ways, it was more ideal in others... a good UX tradeoff for some). But, then they dropped the original 'ideal' size, until there was enough outcry.

    But, when they brought it back, they did so as a 'budget' model. I'm not sure how much of that was to save-face vs trying to kill two birds with one stone. But, in how they have positioned it, we'll never really know whether people are buying so many SEs due to the price, or the preference for the 'ideal' size phone.

    Yea, the problem here is that within much of business thinking, they are doing exactly the right thing. I'm sure you've heard that 'companies have a duty to maximize profits' baloney. They absolutely don't, but it's pretty popular thinking.

    Apple got to where they are by being the best, both in terms of product and UX. The iPhone wouldn't even exist if that hadn't been Apple's drive. Profits are, of course, incredibly important. The question is which drives which. If you focus on UX and the best products, profits follow if you aren't insanely business inept. If you focus on profits and your products/UX suffer - either accidentally or driven that way by marketing and margins - then you'll ultimately lose the profits too.

    This is actually foundational real-business 101 stuff that is unfortunately not common enough in an economy too driven by gambling (stock market) and short-term thought. And, from everything I can see, Apple has fallen into the trap.

    It isn't because Jobs absolutely wasn't somewhat replaceable, or their fall was inevitable after his death (as huge of a loss as it was), but because Jobs forced their priority to be other than typical (stupid) Business 101™ practices.
     
  19. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #344
    Yep!
    The whole problem is that "maximize profits" over what time period exactly?
    They can torpedo this whole thing if they keep going down the road the have apparently chosen here..
     
  20. dotnet macrumors 65816

    dotnet

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    Sydney, Australia
    #345
    Except that's not what's happening here. The iPhone's success isn't making up for the Mac's failure, Mac sales are file all by themselves. From the Q4 results:



    Not sure that follows, necessarily. After all, blundering on OS quality for 30+ years hasn't upset the Microsoft cart too badly.
     
  21. SteveW928 macrumors 65816

    SteveW928

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    #346
    I was talking more broadly, as it seems Apple's long-term plan is to move everything to mobile/iOS.

    Microsoft is a whole other story, as until the last decade, their OS was artificially propped up.
     
  22. Bacillus macrumors 68020

    Bacillus

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    Jun 25, 2009
    #347
    After reading your comment I now understand there is an even bigger market for Lada, Fiat Multipla and other mediocre stuff if they price it up. Chrome should go premium !
     
  23. Saturn007 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 18, 2010
    #348
    "I have never seen a successful company blame it's customers for product shortcomings... "

    Ahem! Steve Jobs, "You're holding it wrong!"


    "The best laptop that has ever existed is the MacBook Air 2013."

    Except that the keyboard is like typing on a brick; the lettering on the key caps wears off; and the battery life, while good, isn't as good as more recent MBA models!
     
  24. scoobydoo99 macrumors 6502a

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    so cal
    #349
    While the paraphrase you quote may not be 100% accurate, it is accurate in a practical sense. Corporations have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the company and the shareholders. "Best interests" includes maximizing revenue and profit. They can spend money to make money (e.g. on R & D, employee benefits to attract top talent, even charitable giving if the PR boost will drive higher revenues), but ultimately they are legally bound to make decisions that will continue to make more and more money. So, no, it's not baloney.

    And the principle applies to Apple in the sense that producing the highest quality, best hardware and software for a core group of devoted creative professionals and enthusiasts does not lead to the maximum profit potential. Producing mass-market consumer products for non-discerning mall dwellers DOES deliver a huge market and huge profits. These customers will love whatever they are told to love - "if it's thinner, it's better", and probably don't know or care what processor is in their phone or what ports are best for their laptop. Pursuit of this market means Apple has changed as it continue to focus (correctly, for the shareholders) on growing profits. I don't see a return to quality design or engineering ever happening for Apple - they simply can't turn away from the market expectations they've created.
     
  25. Naimfan, Dec 8, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017

    Naimfan Suspended

    Naimfan

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    #350

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