You hear " Apple " - you think "iPhone". The smartphone with a stylish apple on the back has become not only a symbol of a California company - but a symbol of an entire era. And synonymous with prosperity: according to analysts, more than 90 percent of all smartphone sales in the world come from Apple. The figure is crazy.
But Apple was not always "mobile" company - more than 30 years of corporate name sounded like Apple Computer, Inc. Having once changed the computer business, Apple in recent years, if not abandoned it, then, let's say, let it go. The Air hasn't been updated since 2012, the Pros mostly get extra megahertz. New computers - the iMac with a 5K display and the twelve-inch MacBook are excellent, but too limited for many.
This makes the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar important - it's proof that Apple can still create brilliant, innovative computers. Brilliant - but terribly contradictory.
Here is a fantastic screen - perhaps the best I've ever seen on a laptop: really contrasting and bright. The image is as if it were alive, but at the same time the colors are reproduced accurately, without significant deviations in yellow or blue. In my opinion, the display is generally the main unconditional advantage of the new MacBook Pro, especially for owners of old Apple laptops. Looking at the screen of the same Air after ten minutes of working with a new "firmware" is almost physically painful.
There's a reason I'm comparing the MacBook Pro to the Air for a reason, despite the fact that the target audience for these laptops was once completely different. Surprising fact number one - the new Pros are lighter and thinner than the latest MacBook Airs. At the same time, the difference in performance between Air and Pro is significant: both in graphics and in processing power. One of the versions of the MacBook Pro (the most affordable, by the way), the one without the Touch Bar and with two ports, is essentially the new Air. If you've been looking for a replacement for your old Apple Ultrabook for a long time, you're welcome.
After the presentation of the new laptops, I called the new MacBook Pro the most “Jobs” products Apple has released in recent years. The iPhone was fully touch-sensitive because Steve wanted to solve the main problem of all communicators of the time in this way: their keyboard was always in front of your eyes, no matter whether you use it or not. Jobs’s solution was elegant: keys and interface buttons appeared directly on the screen, depending on the context, without unnecessarily taking up extra space.
The Touch Bar, the main feature of the new laptop, works on the same principle. Above the MacBook Pro keyboard, where previously a row of function keys were located, there is now a narrow and long touchscreen. Its content changes depending on the running program. We are in Safari - we see a list of tabs, we look at a photo - we can apply various filters to images by touching them, and so on. The idea is brilliant. Realization is not in everything.
Firstly, only the central part of the Touch Bar is almost always "changeable". On the left in 90% of cases, you will see the "Esc" key (yes, it is now also touch-sensitive), and on the right - vital buttons such as dimming or sound. Of course, the Touch Bar is customizable, but I'm sure you will leave these elements on the bar anyway.
Secondly, paradoxically, but often doing a certain action using the trackpad faster than using the Touch Bar. I still haven't been able to train myself to switch tabs in Safari in a new way, and was it necessary? When you scroll the page, your fingers are already located on the trackpad, and it is intuitively more convenient to just move the cursor to the desired window and tap with your finger than to tear off your hand, pull it to the panel, lower your eyes, look for a tab …
Third, there are not many third-party programs that support Touch Bar yet. However, this is only a matter of time. Since the Touch Bar API is open, developers can freely add touch bar support to their apps. I have no doubt that applications for the Touch Bar will soon be found not only in the “stock” Final Cut, but also in some Adobe Premier. And it will be interesting to see it.
But when the Touch Bar works as it should, it gives a lot of incomparable sensations. It is simply created for working with video: rewinding videos by sliding your finger across the panel is terribly convenient. Editing videos on the new Mac is more pleasant than on all the previous ones. The same applies to the basic functions of a laptop: moving the volume and brightness sliders is much more pleasant than constantly hammering on the keys. The mute button has not gone anywhere either, so personally, as a person who uses a laptop mainly for working with text, the Internet, sound and - sometimes - video, I did not miss the function keys at all.
But I can imagine people who will be bored - and this is not to mention the not very happy situation with the ports.
The MacBook Pro has lost (in the usual sense) three important ports at once: a regular USB, a slot for memory cards and MagSafe. Instead, there are four unified Thunderbolt 3 with a Type-C connector. This means that you can still connect both a flash drive and an external monitor to your laptop and insert a card from your DSLR into it, but for this you need adapters. They do not take up much space on the table or in your bag, but they cost money. The situation is somewhat similar to what happened this year with the iPhone - only worse. It includes an adapter and corresponding headphones, and listening to music is far from the main function of a smartphone. The MacBook Pro, on the other hand, is used as a content processing machine by millions of photographers and operators, and they simply have to buy an adapter. An adapter that can break, get lost,which may be inconvenient to use.
Personally, I have not had any cases when I even needed an additional cord - all data is stored on the network, but if you are used to transferring large amounts of data to your laptop via wires - throw about ten thousand more on adapters. But nobody touched the headphone jack - hurray.
Along with the Touch Bar, Touch ID, a fingerprint scanner, debuts on the MacBook. You will use it all the time - it is extremely convenient to unlock the laptop with one touch. No more fiddling with passwords. Its speed is comparable to the first generation Touch ID found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S.
In terms of performance, according to synthetic tests, it is not far from the previous iteration of the MacBook Pro - 15 percent higher. It may not be the most powerful laptop on the planet, but it is still good in this regard. The only thing is that for an additional 8 gigabytes of memory you will have to pay 18 thousand rubles, and my friend, a designer, has already complained about this.
One of the most talked about aspects of the new MacBook was battery life. For some journalists and users, the laptop has a shorter battery life than previous Pros. I did not notice much difference: I did not receive the promised ten hours even once, but 7-8 hours are stable. The device was always enough for me for a whole working day, and I didn't ask for more. However, if you plan to load the processor and video core of the laptop to the fullest, you still have to take a charger with you.
Other innovations: the keyboard is now similar to the one installed in the twelve-inch MacBook - the same "Butterfly" mechanism, only modified. The button travel is slightly longer than that of the Apple Ultrabook, which is good news. If there it was necessary to get used to the “almost touch” buttons, in the new Pro the adaptation process takes place almost instantly. As with the new trackpad, it's now just gigantic. During testing, I have never had false positives.
The speakers also deserve praise - they are very loud and juicy. The words "improved sound quality" were not marketing tinsel.
The MacBook Pro is criticized, in many ways deservedly, but it should be understood that none of the shortcomings of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar can be called critical and not recommended for purchase. This is an outstanding laptop - thin, light and powerful. With a painstakingly built ecosystem, with a thoughtful design. The Touch Bar has incredible potential in the professional niche, and we have yet to see where it all will play out.
All that's left is to wait.>