Marco Arment really hates the new Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Rogifan, May 20, 2015.

  1. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    After 24 hours, hates the keyboard, hates the trackpad even more than the keyboard, hates the processor, hates the one port . Thinks the new trackpad on the rMPBs is a downgrade. Basically a big long whine because Apple didn't just stick a retina screen in the MBA and call it a day. I'm starting to wonder if this guy knows how to do anything but whine and complain.
  2. elithrar macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2007
    Instapaper was great, Overcast is great, but Marco has never been good at stepping back and recognizing that his use case is not that of others.
  3. No-Me macrumors 6502a

    Jul 3, 2011
    Ha, read it too and thought what an idiot, he just wants something else and luckily for him (except for his whining about the trackpad) he can buy a MacBook Pro. :)

    A friend of mine was here yesterday and he didn't get what the difference was with the trackpad, because it just clicked like the old MBA's and MBP's. He couldn't tell the difference at all. The only thing where I can tell the difference is because it sounds slightly different.

    Sure, it's slower than a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro, but everything I need to do works perfect and I absolutely don't have the feeling I'm working on a slow computer.
  4. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    And his article reflected that.

    It was basically talking his own experiences and his own alone. Nowhere did he say that nobody should buy the laptop. He simply said that he didn't like the Macbook.

    If anybody wants to base their purchasing decision off his article, it's their prerogative.

    It is unfortunate, though, that he seems to have learnt nothing from his last iOS 8 fiasco. I can see tons of news sites pouncing on his article and cherry-picking key parts to use as proof that Apple is somehow losing the plot.

    Marco may be entitled to his opinion, but he is considered somewhat of a celebrity in the Apple community, and his words to tend to carry a lot of weight.
  5. Mattymoocow macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2010
    never heard of the douchbag!

    surely if anyone was a serious buyer, they actually go to store and try one for themselves - who does or doesn't buy something due to one persons perspective?
  6. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    Yes. I get that not everyone will like this machine, but I think there's a subtle difference in saying "it's not for me" vs. "it sucks". His review was more the latter than the former. He says the new trackpad is a result of Apple's obsession with thinness. I think that's absurd. If it was a thinness compromise then why did both MBPs get updated with it? Clearly Apple thinks force touch technology is a big deal and is going all in on it across all their products. I read somewhere that Apple engineers started working on this in 2011. To suggest it's all about Apple's obsession with thin is nonsense.

    I've actually stopped listening to the ATP podcast because I can't stand basically 2 hours of whining about stuff every week. A waste of my time.


    Oh I'm sure Business Insider has a piece all ready to go if they haven't already published one. :) Probably BGR too. I liked Ben Thompson's tweet: 'Power user hates new Macbook. News at 11'.
  7. Blackstick macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2014
    Sunny South Florida
    A lot of geeks rip Apple for building machines that don't suit *THEIR* needs. Developers of Marco's level embody the reason that 13" and 15" Pros are made. When I look at Apple products, I think of normal people who use technology but don't *love* or live for technology. People like my wife... she likes her 13" Air a lot, but if I gave her a 13" Pro it wouldn't change much.... she might notice the improved display, she'd more likely just tell me it's heavier though.

    Fact is, there are a LOT more people who use technology do so as my wife does. Readers of this site, seasoned developers, engineers, electronic technicians... We're a vocal minority and our opinions don't keep Apple from building stuff that appeals to my mom. Know what my mom's comment was about the new MacBook? "Finally! I don't have to figure out what I plug into this one hole!" Nobody at Macrumors holds that viewpoint.
  8. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Everyone has a right to his own opinions and there is no need to attack this guy. The new MacBook is NOT for everyone.
  9. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    My problem is with the 'I wanted a retina MBA but Apple did this instead. FU Apole' rants from some in the tech press. Reading them you'd think Apple replaced all their computers with the new MacBook. :rolleyes: Seriously people, get a 13" rMBP and be done with it. Honestly I prefer reviews that review the machine for what it is, not for what it's not or for what someone had hoped it would be. A 'it's not a retina MBA and that's what I wanted' review is pointless IMO.


    But that's my point. It clearly is NOT for Marco and never was. So why did he even buy it? Apple never billed this as a machine for power users so why are power users so offended by it? They're not the target audience.
  10. uczmeg macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2015
    I really wanted a retina Air too and considered getting a 13" rMBP as the replacement to my current Air. But I just can't go there with the extra weight.

    So I'm going to give the 1.3 MB a go and see how that goes. I'm hopeful, but not expecting the world and I won't blame the product if it doesn't work for me. I'm sure next years version will cope with what I want, but I couldn't wait!
  11. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    I won't be surprised if the truth was somewhere in the middle.

    If you ask me, I would like to think that Apple started working on the Force Touch trackpad because the current trackpad was too thick for a laptop of the Macbook's dimensions. Then somewhere along the way, Apple's R&D team discovered that there were practical use cases for a trackpad that didn't have any moving parts, and it was deemed useful enough to roll out to the other laptops.

    I can't say I agree with his assessment of the Macbook's keyboard and trackpad though. I played around with it a few times at an Apple Store, and while I initially was taken aback at how little travel the keyboard had, I felt I got used to it quickly enough and was soon typing quickly on pages. It doesn't revolutionise the typing experience, but it's not bad. I am indifferent towards it at the end of the day.

    The trackpad felt every bit like a normal trackpad. Force click took a while to figure out though (best I can describe is click, then click again). Again, it's something that will be useful only when apps start integrating it properly, so I guess the benefit won't be felt until much later. Again, even if I don't use the force click properties, it's no inferior.

    Which is odd, because I follow ATP podcast as well, and he usually isn't that vocal when it comes to criticising Apple products. So either there's really something about the Macbook which just rubs him the wrong way, or he is fishing for clicks again (which is highly unlikely).
  12. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    He says straight up that it was an impulse buy.
  13. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    The ATP guys have been whining about the MacBook ever since it came out. I don't get all the angst though because Apple does sell other laptops with more power, ports and a different keyboard. People have options.


    But why would be my question. He knew what he was getting. What exactly was he expecting?
  14. jcmeyer5 macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2008
    Which, IMHO, is what they should have done. Sure, tweak a few other things, but at the end of the day, what the market wanted was a retina screen in a MBA. Apple, in typical Apple fashion, basically said "You don't know what you want, we do! So we will tell you, and you will like it and praise us." And at the end of the day, the masses bowed and worshipped (okay, that might be overly dramatic).

    In the end, this machine was about one thing... the amount of compromise the customer will tolerate for essentially a premium price. They got their answer with (most) people falling all over themselves to praise it while looking down their noses at us who scratch our heads in disbelief/bewilderment at how a glorified (and well built) netbook can command such accolades.

    That said, if you like your machine, enjoy it!
  15. jcmeyer5, May 20, 2015
    Last edited: May 20, 2015

    jcmeyer5 macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2008
    So you want a review class ALL its own for this new machine because... people compare it to other offerings and find it lacking? So if I were a reviewer, I should forget that there are other laptops out there and review this thing as if it were what... a piece of art?

    Again with the isolationism? Only people for which this laptop was "intended" are allowed to purchase and/or evaluate it? Even after that, where is the "intended" audience defined? Let's check the Apple website and see if there is any clue to who the "intended" are.

    So it seems that even Apple is not putting this new machine in the "limited use for people who only do light duty stuff" category. They intend it to be compared to other "full-size" laptops. The only way that you can argue differently is if, when Apple set out to "engineer a full-size experience," they failed. But at that point you would have to admit it is a flawed product (one that failed to meet the goals laid out for it by its creator).

    Of course, this is all based on reason and logic and not emotion and brand-preference.
  16. c.s. macrumors regular


    Nov 11, 2007
    I'm also confused why he bought a 2014 rMBP after complaining that the current gen processor is only 11% faster than his 2012. It's like he has money burning a hole in his pocket and can't find a shiny new Mac to spend it on. If you love the 2012, just keep using it and save $2000 for Skylake.
  17. conifer macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2014
    I'm thrilled he wrote this. Maybe it will help Apple make the second version of the One better as they seem to want it to be a full laptop experience and not special use case.
    I am impatient as my Mac is 6 1/2 years old -- it's time for a new one --but I guess I can wait another half year.

    On the other hand , Apple has a history of making important improvements in 2nd gen products so this is pushing me either to buy the cheapest Apple watch or skip first gen entirely.
  18. jcmeyer5 macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2008
    Are you serious? Did you read the article, or just skim it? He was explicit and clear about why he bought the 2014, and his comments on the processor were not complaints, they were observations. Here, I will copy and paste the relevant passage for you:

    In case that wasn't enough I will summarize it for you. He bought the 2014 because a) he wanted better battery life, b) it has double the RAM of his current machine, c) it doesn't have the Force Touch trackpad which he doesn't like, and d) he got a good deal on it. The processor wasn't a concern to him (other than providing better battery life), he just noted that it was only 11% faster than his 3 year old laptop, and that his laptop from 3 years ago was still plenty powerful.
  19. sfwalter macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    Folks I think Marco is a stand up guy. He's also super nice. He did his review for his use case. Don't go hate on him you need to judge for yourself if the Macbook is the machine for you.
  20. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    There's not enough product differentiation between a rMBA and rMBP. The rMB will come down in price, the rMBP will get lighter and the MBA will go away.
  21. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    No I don't think people who have no interest in a specific product should be reviewing it. Unless it's something they have to do for their job (like if you're writing for Macworld or iMore). And it's pretty clear the ATP guys have little interest in the MacBook. Marco himself said it was an impulse buy. He didn't need to write a review for me to know he would hate the keyboard, hate the processor and hate that it only has one port.

    Apple's use of the phrase "full sized experience" doesn't mean they expect this machine to handle everything a rMBP does. That's why Apple has options - if ports and power are most important get a rMBP; if price is your number one consideration get a MBA; if you want to be on the bleeding edge - thin and light but a full size keyboard and running OS X, fanless and beautiful screen and price isn't an issue get the new rMB. What's wrong with options?


    This isn't anything personal. I'm just not sure why he felt compelled to buy and review the MacBook when I think it's pretty clear he was never going to like it. Maybe his extreme dislike for the trackpad was a bit of a surprise but the rest of it wasn't.
  22. Asthmatic Kitty macrumors member

    Asthmatic Kitty

    Sep 29, 2014
    Was also pretty surprised that he said the screen looked noticeably blurry at scaled resolutions :-/
  23. RUGGLES99 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2015
    He's like everyone else -- many of whom bought it sight unseen -- who hoped it would work for them, and found out that it didn't, and returned it. When gets around to it there will be a ton of rmb refurbs for sale, and, at BB, a ton of open box units. No, don't ask me for a link, but I'm sure I'm correct in my prediction. It happened with the fist MBA that was overpriced, underpowered and basically, a mess. From my playing at the apple store (now twice) with the rmb i Love the form factor, the keyboard is my kind of keyboard, the track pad is meh, the screen is brilliant, but it's WAAAAY over=priced. Actually, I don't even care too much about the one port as all my Macs mostly use a wireless printer and every so often I need to attach a little pen drive. My big complaint at this point is PRICE for what it is. Since this is the rMB chorus, the reviewer would naturally be attacked.

  24. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I don't get his comments on the trackpad at all. If I didn't know it was a Force Touch trackpad, I'd have guessed it actually clicks. It feels no different from the trackpad on my past MacBook Airs and Retina MacBook Pros.

    As for the keyboard, it takes some getting used to, but now I find that I'm starting to prefer it over the old chiklet-style keyboards that require more force to type.


    I think it's actually a much better first attempt than the first MacBook Air (which I liked, but dumped immediately for the second MacBook Air). The first MacBook Air throttled so badly that it often ran on a single core. I haven't noticed that at all with the MacBook, even when running Windows 8.1 in Parallels Desktop. There were issues with the original MacBook Air hinge that didn't get fixed until the complete redesign in October 2010. I don't think that will be a problem with the MacBook.

    Price will be addressed in time. For starters, Intel overcharges for the Core M. As more companies use it, it should come down in price.

    The trackpad is fine. I don't really use the Force Touch features, but as far as regular use goes I'd never know from using it that it doesn't actually click.
  25. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    It's fine for him not to like it. But he extends his not liking to a flawed product. He then further extends this to "Apple is lost". He says that the keyboard and trackpad sucks therefore Apple doesn't know how to make things better, only thinner and they are sacrificing everything to that end.

    Probably the most egocentric review out there, "Apple is not serving me so they are doomed". :roll eyes:

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