Open letter from a Pro about the actual MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sjac, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. sjac macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2013
  2. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Decent read, and there are quite a few detailed comments from the creative user department.

    What I wouldn't do for a new, 17" retina MacBook Pro with a matte screen, 99.5 Watt-hour battery, and a healthy, modern appointment of ports (including MagSafe).
  3. brynsmith23 macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2007
    I miss the Matte screen option, more than anything.

    It'll be interesting to see if Apple ever goes down this path and reintroduce the 17"
  4. cerberusss macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2013
    The Netherlands
    He seems to find the glossy displays a big deal. Couldn't you create your own matte screen with a 3M screen protector, like those available for iPhone and iPad?
  5. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    I am still hanging on to my MBP Late 2011 17" because Apple hasn't release anything better.
  6. brynsmith23 macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2007
    Well unless they reintroduce a 17 inch, then you will find there isn't anything better from Apple.

    I believe it the 2016 to a be a better than my 15 inch mid 2010 MBP, i don't mind the TB3 ports, i see the possibilities of the USB-c format and the transfer speed increases.

    faster SSD than mine, faster CPU and Quad Core over my DuoCore, Faster RAM, mine is limited to 8gb, so 16gb is an upgrade for me and i use it as a laptop, not as a workstation.

    I've tried it, but you can't beat a desktop for intensive stuff..

    Im going to miss the Matte option on my 2010, ill be looking for a 3M matte screen as soon as they are out.

    But what i like is that in the article, he points out a RED camera and two screens and that no one would do that on a Laptop. It is misleading from Apple... it is a laptop not a workstation.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 11, 2016 ---
    Still wouldn't be good as a matte screen. editing is hard enough, without glare.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Does apple want to cater to a small minority of users or design a MBP that fits the needs of a much larger user base?

    Ultimately, we are hung up on the word pro and expected apple to produce a machine that is for a pro. What makes things even murkier is that we each individually have our own definition of what a pro is, and to a degree what a pro machine ought to be.

    I glossed over the article, but mostly, I think apple is not focusing solely on one small market demographic. Believe me, I was just as upset, about the MBP not being a "pro" machine but after seeing how the MBPs are seemingly hugely successful, I've done some introspection and I think for the most part Apple has made a great (wickedly expensive) laptop that fits the needs of its biggest customer base - the consumer.

    Will I get a MBP, no not likely, as it doesn't fit my needs any longer, but I think overall, apple seems to have a successful strategy - well at least it appears to be so initially.
  8. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    I'm sorry, but none of those people are relevant to my definition of "pro."
  9. ssong macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2015
    London, UK
    I think that this pretty much hits the point in the difficulty of neutrally assessing the new MBPs. What on earth is a 'pro' anymore?!

    The OP in the latter has a point that Apple qualifies its machines as 'pro' by showcasing use cases from the OPs field of 'pros'. So the criticism in the letter is totally fair as Apple is seemingly marketing it to people like him. However, I think there may be a small generational shift in the definition of 'pro' even within the industry in question. I'm not a 'pro' and I certainly don't work in that industry but from a general technologist perspective Apple has been marketing all of its devices as the new tools for the creative 'pro'. That includes using an iPhone to take footage (which we're seeing increasing amounts of), using the iPad and the Pencil to create art, and using the Macs to fine tune and publish the final product. Point is... in Apple's imagined world of 'pro's you don't need external drives or SD cards, just upgrade storage and use AirDrop! You don't need more RAM and power, just use our apps and programs since they're all optimised for performance! You don't need big bulky cameras and other devices, just use our lovely iPhones and iPads! etc.

    That being said, as per the above quote, there are many variants of 'pro' users that have adopted the Mac as their primary machine, regardless of whether Apple explicitly accommodated for them or not. That includes, educators, programmers, business owners, etc. For them, the new Mac will be 'the best [Mac] we've ever launched'. Because the new MBPs are still a great machine for most use cases. It may just complicate life for some, especially the ones Apple markets it to, but otherwise they're great. Besides, when the current teenagers who do all 'pro' things relying on Apple's devices start making their way into the industry, we surely won't have discussions about the greatness of macs... Which imo is a sad eventual fact of life.
  10. NickPhamUK macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2013
    Your definition of "pro" is irrelevant to others' and Apple's definition of "pro".

    Game on.
  11. jackoatmon, Nov 12, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016

    jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    thank goodness the whiners don't have any sway with apple

    guy doesn't know what he's talking about

    he says it can't handle 4k footage because some old garbage Mac Pro can't. like dude this isn't the Mac Pro. it's a totally different machine, and a millon times faster

    the following year's iMac after that Mac Pro he cites can edit 4K like a breeze

    and if you don't like glossy screens, what the f%^& are you doing buying your computers from apple ?
    they literally have the best screens, hands down, of anything on the market
    they're always like 4 years, no exaggeration, ahead of everyone else's screens
    how can you complain about their screens ?! it's madness
  12. aevan macrumors 68030


    Feb 5, 2015
    A personal opinion. Once again, someone is confusing "me" with "every pro" and speaking for other people, giving what is their own, subjective view trying to pass it as objective.
  13. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    Oi vey, we are back on the glossy vs matte thing again?

    Some days the Mac world feels like a more excruciating version of Groundhog Day.
  14. aevan macrumors 68030


    Feb 5, 2015

    Hahhahah, true.
  15. idunn macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    "It’s akin to getting ready to have tacos on Tuesday but instead a swift kick to my groin happened."

    This quote from the referenced article about sums it up. If perhaps we should have been expecting it as Apple pointed to the rMB as their future direction in laptops—and meant it.

    Problem is the 'Pro' moniker is nothing now but marketing blather. The 2016 MBP is intended for a wide audience with relatively modest computing needs. If as well, perhaps, little common sense. Otherwise few will be impressed with the increased cost and subtraction of necessary ports and truly useful features like MagSafe. On what planet does that make any sense?

    Apple has clearly chosen to abandon the needs of its loyal professional base. Some pencil pusher at Apple noticed how relatively few of them there are; if they've been penny wise but perhaps pound foolish in this.

    The bet is they can make the most money selling a flash laptop with modest capability, and ignore the top end. Maybe.

    Maybe most of their customers will not mind paying more for less, overall.

    Maybe most will somehow overlook their status as ongoing guinea pigs in Apple's chosen conversion to USB-C, and dongle hell.

    Maybe they can maintain their standards in quality and craftsmanship while catering to a mass market.

    Maybe their software even now often dumbed down towards iOS standards will remain of any worth.

    Maybe most people are just idiots.

    Or maybe Apple will find itself with a problem.
  16. ixxx69, Nov 12, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016

    ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    The op-ed and the couple of “pros” he quoted are entitled to their opinions, but what they have to say is not much when broken down…

    Author’s main complaints:
    agree, they’ve gotten pretty embarassing. However, as pathetic and unintentionally funny as they've become, it has nothing to do with whether the actual product is great or not or fits your needs.

    No matte screen: yeah, this is personally a big deal to me as well, and a deal-breaker on desktop displays, but the reality is that Apple hasn’t offered matte screens on any of their laptops or desktop displays for, like, half a decade, so not really sure how this point is particularly relevant now, and, like 98% of the competition has followed suit on the glossy displays. At least Apple has made a concerted effort to reduce the reflections/glare on their screens, where most of the competition are like mirrors. There's, like, 5 widely available laptops on the market with matte screens, e.g. (some) Dell’s Precision laptops, almost all of which are relatively heavy “workstation” replacements, which Apple has NEVER offered. Ultimately the manufacturers followed the "market".

    Touch Bar: Personally, I’m skeptical as well, but considering they haven’t used it yet, kind of early and short-sighted to already be writing it off. Maybe it will be gimmick, maybe we’ll all be wondering how we lived without it. Regardless, it has nothing to do with whether the MBP is appropriate for “Pros”.

    Marketing Photo: He appears to be claiming that the setup is a fraud. Well, tons of people are editing RED footage on MBP’s… maybe it’s an “indie” movie or a documentary or tv commercial or a tv episode, and not the latest Marvel blockbuster, but again, if a laptop can’t handle his needs, then don’t buy a laptop. He continues on about how Apple doesn’t “understand” “Pros” because they’re marketing photo doesn’t actually look like “real life”. To quote him: "Had this photo not been this ridiculous then I wouldn’t be writing this letter." It’s a freaking marketing photo! ALL of Apple’s marketing photos show fantasyland setups with clean and tidy desks… again… absolutely nothing to do with whether a MBP is appropriate for a “Pro” (has this guy ever seen “advertising” or has he been living under a rock?)

    This is what his “Pro” friends have to say about it:

    Pratik of SR:
    A bunch of words about his feelings and how Apple doesn’t understand Pros, but his only actual example alludes to buying a few new cables and adapters is forcing “Pros” to abandon the entire Apple ecosystem. Yes, someone who’s really identified why “Pros” can’t use the new MBP… because “Pros” evidently don’t know how to buy a new $10 cable.

    Michael, a “professional” photographer:
    : A bunch more words about feelings and how Apple doesn’t understand Pros, but then launches into how they have “mountains of legacy drives and devices that we can’t switch over...” This guy knows so much about technology and Apple products that he implies he has to replace all those USB and TB devices because the port on the new MBP has a different shape. Then he admits that he understands you can buy adapters, but complains about them as an inconvenience (hey Michael, buy a $10 USB-C replacement cable to connect to your camera if you don’t want to use an adapter). Again, this USB-C port “issue” is so mind-boggling ridiculous… but that’s the internet age for you, where everyone makes the biggest mountains out of the smallest molehills.

    16GB limit: There are a bunch of “Pros” that would like to see higher RAM options (including me), but as has been explained ad-nauseum in thread after thread, Apple had to make a choice: serve the 95% of the market that would rather have thinner and lighter, or serve the 5% of the entire laptop market that wants/needs 32GB or more. It’s a drag at the moment for a small subset of usages that really do require more than 16GB on a laptop, but the reality is that even most “Pros” clammering for more than 16GB do not need more than 16GB. I can guarantee you that Michael, the “professional” photographer, doesn’t need more than 16GB of RAM even though he's complaining about it. Because he doesn’t really know much about technology, he takes at face value all the other “Pros” who don’t know much about technology, and they create a nice little feedback loop.

    Touch Bar: Same deal as before… his points are valid on why it might not make as much sense as Apple is suggesting, but again, he hasn’t used it. And again, the Touch Bar doesn’t make the MBP any less “Pro”.

    Mark, Filmmaker and RED user:
    USB-C & SD drive
    : Yet another “Pro” who’s supposedly on the go, never knowing what he might be handed or what he might have to hook his MBP up to, yet somehow has never needed to carry an adapter or cable, because everywhere he goes, they all have the proper cable to fit his MBP ports when he needs them. Is only specific example is being handed a USB flash drive… and losing the job because he doesn’t have an adapter. roll eyes.

    So, to summarize from the article why the new MBP is suddenly an epic failure for “Pros” and a laptop only school kids and facebook posters can use:
    • Keynote address' are sucky.
    • Doesn’t offer a matte screen (just like it hasn’t for the last half decade).
    • Has a Touch Bar that might turn out to be a gimmick, but might not be - they haven’t used it yet.
    • Apple creates glitzy marketing photos that don’t always reflect reality.
    • USB-C ports because they have to buy some new cables and/or adapters.
    • 16GB: Yeah, it’s a drag, and if you’re in that 5% of the laptop market that actually would benefit from more, you’ll have to go elsewhere (there’s about five widely available laptops on the market with 32GB, most of which are relatively heavy or meant to be plugged in most of the time… that’s not a market that Apple has ever served and probably never will serve). Hopefully next year this can be addressed.

    That’s it. That’s literally a summary of all their points.

    Two points on my own 20+ years of “professional” experience working with other "Pros" and using the fastest workstations available:
    Just like most people, most “Pros” (i.e. 95% of them) have very little clue about hardware. Just because they’re film makers, engineers, software developers, etc. doesn’t mean they understand the technology or even the best use of it.

    I can’t tell you how many (but it’s a lot!) of “Pros” have come into our office with their laptops and asked us if we have an adapter to hook their laptop to our conference room TV… it’s like all these “Pros” coming out of the wood-work have suddenly somehow never needed a specific cable or adapter on the go.

    (edit: i further anonymized those people quoted - my intention was not to publicly embarrass anyone)
  17. aevan macrumors 68030


    Feb 5, 2015

    That would make sense if the MacBook Pro had modest capability. It has the fastest laptop CPU currently, literaly the fastest disk speed anywhere, the fastest I/O with largest number of Thunderbolt 3 ports.
  18. spacebro macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2015
    I came to apple as a hardware/firmware/app developer knowing that they built machines for the audio/video professionals. These people need more performance than an engineer typically needs so I felt safe I would always be able to get a performance laptop that runs macos to use as a mobile desktop. Unless they bring in some unexpected new CEO, I don't see apple coming back to professionals. The new macbook pro is nothing more than playing catchup to the surface book. We are beginning the transition from keyboard/mouse to touch inputs and apple has given us a klugey touch interface that will split your attention between looking at the keyboard and looking at the screen. Maybe there is some good stuff in the apple r&d lab but these executives went in there and picked the dumbest stuff to bring out.
  19. aevan macrumors 68030


    Feb 5, 2015
    It's becoming more and more clear that people are complaining just for the sake of complaining - your (and mine) mistake is trying to counter that with facts, instead of pure emotional outbursts.

    Perhaps a different strategy. Let's just state our opinions as obvious truth and repeat them until someone gets bored.

    Here's mine:
    It is clear that Apple made a new MacBook Pro exactly with professionals in mind. Not only did they make one of the best professional laptops on the market, they went a step further, adding the Touch Bar. As demonstrated in the Photoshop section of the Keynote, the ability to quickly access tools will be an innovative addition for the Pros. There is no doubt that they have doubled-down on making a professional, fast laptop for those demanding powerful capabilities on the go. Every professional that has actually tried one agrees with this.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 12, 2016 ---
    Whoa, whoa, whoa. You do know that Surface Book has way lower performance, right? Since you mentioned that professionals need "more performance". And Surface Book has only a dual-core CPU, it has a slower hard drive, it doesn't have a way to attach professional Thunderbolt 3 devices. It also comes with 16Gb maximum RAM and it's GPU is comparable to the one on MacBook Pro. So, all in all, the MacBook Pro is a lot faster computer.

    You probably didn't know. Now you do, so you see, it's not catchup. It's more "leaving Surface Book in the dust." Which is good, Microsoft will try harder with Surface Book 2 and we will all be better for it.
  20. spacebro macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2015
    Nope. The top end skylake laptop cpu is the i7-6970HQ and the newest macbook pro only goes up to the i7-6920HQ.
  21. aevan, Nov 12, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016

    aevan macrumors 68030


    Feb 5, 2015
    Not true. The main difference is the integrated GPU - the 6970HQ comes with Iris Pro 580 and the 6920HQ comes with HD 530. Since the new Radeons are actually more power efficient than the Iris Pro and every MBP comes with them, the i7 6920HQ was the obvious, better choice.

    In fact, the 6920HQ is faster. It goes up to 2.9Ghz, while 6970HQ goes to 2.8Ghz. And yes, you can configure the MBP to 2.9 - the fastest laptop cpu.

    In other words - they have literally the fastest CPUs available at the moment. Faaaaar from "modest capability". It is *the best* capability available, when it comes to processors. And hard drive speed. And I/O speed. And number of fast ports. Etc. etc. Quod erat demonstrandum.

    Now you know.
  22. rick3000 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    West Coast
    I agree with the professionals in the article, and will be holding on to my rMBP for as long as possible now in the hope USB-C become ubiquitous by the time I need to upgrade. But I think Apple has a larger issue that filters into the complaints of the pros in the article:

    Apple has lost their 'Why?' The last few keynotes and their advertising have been all about features, thinness, cameras and specs. They are focusing on the wrong things, Apple used to be about helping people do more, be more, create more. And that fed directly into the creative markets, which bolstered their cool factor with the masses.

    The new MBP will be successful, but losing the creative market will be a long term issue for them in my opinion.

    This explains what I am referring to:
  23. Nde macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I personally wouldn't consider Gary a pro. Looking at his resume, he has been doing photograph for a few years. Look, I have been driving and teaching my children driving for over 40 years, I don't consider myself a "pro" for driving.

    I do appreciate Gary serving the military and I truly thank him for his time and commitment. But being a pro as a MacBook Pro user, I would have to disagree.

    Solution to his problem, get a Dell.

    Gary has to understand that MacBook Pro its not only for Art/Photography users. My business hands out over 1000+ MacBook Pro as a desktop replacement. Cutting a 1/4 pound in weight and having the extra 10 minutes of battery life means a lot to us. Ports don't mean much to us.

    Its not about me me me, its about other people that appreciate the extra battery life for their business needs as well.
  24. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    So, you're just another "pro" who can't buy a $10 cable and feels the MBP isn't for pros because you don't like their marketing. Okay... got it! :rolleyes:
  25. dingobiatch macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2009
    I totally get how people are disagreeing on 'pro' (FWIW, I would have liked more than 16GB RAM for large orchestral sample library usage), but what I don't understand is why Apple wouldn't have changed the lineup to be a MacBook (very thin, cheaper model and more expensive 'moderate' model.. as in, the current offering), and then a MacBook Pro (not as thin, less compromise vs. the new offering)... I think that's the disconnect for the "pro" people who genuinely wished for better options. Yes, 95% of people buying these things don't need more than what it offers, but why couldn't the 95% be the target for the normal "MacBook".

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