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Emotions aside, what’s wrong with the new MacBookPro

by Alex Yumashev · Oct 28 2016

I like Apple. But I guess this is going to be the first time in 10 years I'm not buying a new MacBook Pro. Not because of the USB-C annoyance everyone's complaining about (after all, you have to lean into the future, quoting Jeff Bezos, and to be honest, Apple - is the only company that can actually force users into a new technology).

It's the new touch bar. Emotions aside, the problem with the new touch bar, like with any touch-screen for that matter, is that you have to look at the keyboard.

  1. You have to look to tell if you pressed it or not.
  2. You have to look to make sure you're pressing the right button.

#1 is a bigger problem than you think. You probably heard, that distracted driving accident statistics has been growing during the last decade, right? It's not because more people are texting while driving. But because texting with a touch screen is more risky than with a traditional physical keyboard. You have to look. Not just at the text you type, but at the buttons you press.

"3D touch" and similar technologies are aiming to solve the #1. But you still have to look.

And that is the problem. As a developer, I press the ESC button a hundred times a day. I press F5 to refresh web-apps I'm working on. I press F1 for help. I press F4 to edit in File Commanders etc. etc. Now I have to look to make sure I press the right one. Bye bye touch-typing.

Also, I'm used to the fact that "upper-left corner of the keyboard is Escape". Now its up to a developer what's there. It can be a "save". Or "edit". Or "done" (like on one of Apple's screenshots). Or "launch flying unicorns into the sky".

MacBook "Pro" stands for "Professional". It's a tool for developers, photographers, UI-designers, sound-producers/DJs, video-editors etc. People who's day-to-day workflow is going to be damaged.

Like I said, I like Apple. But my next laptop is not going to be MacBook Pro. With all the awesome things Microsoft has brought to Windows recently (Linux-subsystem, runs node.js/npm, package managers, heck, I can even build Cordova apps for iOS/Android in Visual Studio now!) I'm out of reasons. I'm buying a Surface Book.