Say what you will about the Touch Bar, but...

What is your opinion of the Touch Bar?


  • Total voters
    82

Internet Enzyme

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 21, 2016
893
1,431
The touch bar has been getting loads of hate on this site as an "ergonomic nightmare" as some have put it. But every single person that I've shown it to has had the same reaction. They thought it was cool. And that is a difficult reaction to give the public, especially when it comes to computers. It has a genuinely futuristic and space age-y look to it that draws attention. I personally don't hate the Touch Bar, but I do think the removal of the Esc key is a huge mistake. From all the stuff I've seen it looks genuinely interesting. Why all the hate?
 

ssong

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2015
637
449
London, UK
I think it's mostly resentment of the ridiculous premium it brings, and the fact that for many users it may end up just being the 'cool' factor and not enough practical use.

I mean I personally find it cool too, initially ordered the 13" with the OLED bar, but then slept on it, thought a bit more, and changed my mind and got the 13" without the OLED instead. I'm sure many people could use it daily and find a pragmatic use case but for me, I think I'll just save my self a few hundred pounds and just use the keyboard shortcuts instead.

I hope developers run wild with it and that in my next MacBook (in how many years I don't know) I would genuinely find no doubts about it.
 
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deadworlds

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2007
1,026
752
Citrus Heights,CA
People sometimes hate because change is difficult for some people. Also I understand the importance of a physical escape key. I for one feel torn about the touch bar. I agree with you that it has a futuristic feel to it, but I'm also skeptical about the actual function it will provide. Will it actually boost my productivity or get in the way? I think it is the answers to these questions that is causing people to feel unsure about it.
 

Internet Enzyme

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 21, 2016
893
1,431
I think it's mostly resentment of the ridiculous premium it brings, and the fact that for many users it may end up just being the 'cool' factor and not enough practical use.

I mean I personally find it cool too, initially ordered the 13" with the OLED bar, but then slept on it, thought a bit more, and changed my mind and got the 13" without the OLED instead. I'm sure many people could use it daily and find a pragmatic use case but for me, I think I'll just save my self a few hundred pounds and just use the keyboard shortcuts instead.

I hope developers run wild with it and that in my next MacBook (in how many years I don't know) I would genuinely find no doubts about it.

The price is ridiculous, but the extra $300 over the one without the touch bar gives you more than just a touch bar. You get a processor that is 900 MHz faster, has slightly faster RAM, slightly better graphics, and this is the biggest difference (other than the touch bar) it has 4 USB C ports. Those two extra ports are a pretty big deal. I wish the one without the Touch Bar was $1299 and the one with the touch bar was $1599. Those prices would be far more reasonable.
 

ssong

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2015
637
449
London, UK
The price is ridiculous, but the extra $300 over the one without the touch bar gives you more than just a touch bar. You get a processor that is 900 MHz faster, has slightly faster RAM, slightly better graphics, and this is the biggest difference (other than the touch bar) it has 4 USB C ports. Those two extra ports are a pretty big deal. I wish the one without the Touch Bar was $1299 and the one with the touch bar was $1599. Those prices would be far more reasonable.
I guess we'd have to see the CPU difference and whether that makes that much of a difference, the RAM difference probably won't matter for most people to really feel it, and the graphics difference is small enough that it can be ignored. At the end of the day, the cheapest 2016 MBP is still better than the base 2015 MBP. So for me it felt that the extra cost was purely for the OLED bar.

RE: Ports, although I agree with you about the ports. I think most people would get a hub or a dock anyways so at most you'd need two ports (I'm sure some could even survive with one as long as they have the right dock). It's nice to have the 4 ports just in case, but I doubt most people would ever use all 4 of them together.
 

Internet Enzyme

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 21, 2016
893
1,431
I guess we'd have to see the CPU difference and whether that makes that much of a difference, the RAM difference probably won't matter for most people to really feel it, and the graphics difference is small enough that it can be ignored. At the end of the day, the cheapest 2016 MBP is still better than the base 2015 MBP. So for me it felt that the extra cost was purely for the OLED bar.

RE: Ports, although I agree with you about the ports. I think most people would get a hub or a dock anyways so at most you'd need two ports (I'm sure some could even survive with one as long as they have the right dock). It's nice to have the 4 ports just in case, but I doubt most people would ever use all 4 of them together.

The RAM and GPU differences are fairly minor. They probably wont be a big deal. 900 megahertz is a lot. Maybe it doesnt matter to you. But when I buy a computer I want it to last, and I wouldnt mind paying $300 for those extras. Seems worth it.
 
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terminator-jq

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2012
301
361
IMO the touchbar is very cool and it certainly set the MacBook Pro apart from other high end laptops. The only issue right now is that its unproven. They didn't show anything at the event that really wowed me. If I had it, I would definitely use it but at the end of the day its something I can easily live without.

My opinion will change when:

1. More software developers come on board (especially AutoDesk)

2. Either Apple or some other company makes a way to create your own touchbar buttons based on hotkeys. This would be really useful if software companies are slow to support the touchbar.
 

moderniste

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2005
250
103
I barely use the function keys except for escape, so I'm interested in seeing what can be done with the touch bar. I like the idea of one-click screen capture and it would be nice if it could replace some of the more awkward keyboard shortcuts in software like Photoshop. It has a lot of potential and seems like it could be one of those things you never knew you needed til you have it. I'm optimistic, but I'd be more enthusiastic if it were cheaper.
 

jwpoof

macrumors member
Jan 11, 2006
94
114
As others have said, the issue with the touch bar right now is that it seems like a gimmicky add-on designed to sell laptops, as opposed to being truly functional. The demo during the keynote did nothing to change my opinion. I felt sorry for the poor woman trying to demo FCPX timeline scrolling with the touch bar. A two finger swipe on the trackpad works better and doesn't require that the user look down. The problem with the touch bar is that it doesn't yet demonstrate better efficiency than the existing alternatives. Most of us who do things like edit video for a living are keyboard people. Once you learn the shortcuts, it's hard to beat the keyboard. If apple wants to demonstrate the benefits of the touch bar, it needs to involve customized, multi-step buttons for complex tasks. Select a clip in the timeline, copy all attributes to it, switch the audio channel layout from stereo to mono, disable tracks 3 & 4, etc., all in one programmable touch bar button. And even then, I can still do most of that quickly using the keyboard.

I also found it really strange that the first demos of the touch bar in action featured basic apps like email, and Messages. These are obviously standard apps but who buys a $3000 laptop for messages? Predictive type in a word processor requires that I look down at the keyboard while typing. Most people don't do that.

I think the touch bar cn legitimately be useful, when developers get a hold of it and figure it out. But right now it feels like the watch, in that apple doesn't really understand how to put it to good use yet. Apple used to be masters of I/O design. This feels like something other parties will have to make useful.

But again, touch bar will only be on my laptop, and my desktop will be my main computer. So it's not going to dramatically change my workflow because I will be editing on a desktop 85% of the time. If the new macbook pro is somebody's only computer, I could see that person developing some good habits that improve their workflow. But for me, I see it as something I'm unlikely to incorporate well until they offer a standalone keyboard version.
 

Internet Enzyme

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 21, 2016
893
1,431
As others have said, the issue with the touch bar right now is that it seems like a gimmicky add-on designed to sell laptops, as opposed to being truly functional. The demo during the keynote did nothing to change my opinion. I felt sorry for the poor woman trying to demo FCPX timeline scrolling with the touch bar. A two finger swipe on the trackpad works better and doesn't require that the user look down. The problem with the touch bar is that it doesn't yet demonstrate better efficiency than the existing alternatives. Most of us who do things like edit video for a living are keyboard people. Once you learn the shortcuts, it's hard to beat the keyboard. If apple wants to demonstrate the benefits of the touch bar, it needs to involve customized, multi-step buttons for complex tasks. Select a clip in the timeline, copy all attributes to it, switch the audio channel layout from stereo to mono, disable tracks 3 & 4, etc., all in one programmable touch bar button. And even then, I can still do most of that quickly using the keyboard.

I also found it really strange that the first demos of the touch bar in action featured basic apps like email, and Messages. These are obviously standard apps but who buys a $3000 laptop for messages? Predictive type in a word processor requires that I look down at the keyboard while typing. Most people don't do that.

I think the touch bar cn legitimately be useful, when developers get a hold of it and figure it out. But right now it feels like the watch, in that apple doesn't really understand how to put it to good use yet. Apple used to be masters of I/O design. This feels like something other parties will have to make useful.

But again, touch bar will only be on my laptop, and my desktop will be my main computer. So it's not going to dramatically change my workflow because I will be editing on a desktop 85% of the time. If the new macbook pro is somebody's only computer, I could see that person developing some good habits that improve their workflow. But for me, I see it as something I'm unlikely to incorporate well until they offer a standalone keyboard version.

I completely agree. There is no current compelling reason for it. It could have some cool uses, but right now nothing is really that appealing. But it is super cool. Call it superficiality, but that sells computers.
 

dgdosen

macrumors 68000
Dec 13, 2003
1,758
454
Seattle
I don't like even using a mouse (or trackpad) - and am most happy when I can drive everything with keyboard shortcuts.
What happens when Apples goes touch screen - you'll have screen/touchbar/trackpad-mouse/keyboard - It'll be like Apple wants to make you less productive.
 
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