TL:DR Opinion: Apple just took a wrong turn in their redesign of the workhorse MacBook Pro.
I remember the day perfectly. I was at a video shoot. We were doing an artsy thing with a shallow depth of field. I was shooting on manual with my Canon DSLR (a T2i at the time) and the client wanted to see how it all looked. I popped the SD card out and stuck it in a nearby PC. Opening up the video files, the video would start and stop. It was just too much of a file for it to render. We tried a few more PC’s in the office including one that was ‘set up’ for gaming – still a no go. Then someone offered up their MBP. We stuck in the card and the video played quickly, beautifully, and without any sort of buffering lag. That was the day I was sold on the Mac. I bought the one I use daily in mid 2011 and haven’t looked back!
The part that they left out in that gorgeous video was that they removed the SD card slot on the side, the charging slot, and the USB slot. I guess all those slots were confusing to people.
For me and people like me I need the power of a desktop with the portability of a laptop.
The MacBook Pro On My Desk
I of course need to keep it powered up. It’s no big deal that they changed the power slot to a lightening slot.
I always use a mouse. In particular, I use a Logitech wireless. I don’t require much from it other than a good scroll button and optical tracking for precision. It has a little USB nub that connects it to the computer. Suddenly, that port is gone and so is the use of my mouse. Apple will no doubt have a branded mouse that will work but I’ll bet you it’s not going to cost $12 – right?
I also use the SD card slot – a lot. Often times I’ll need a picture, reach over and grab my DSLR and shoot what I need then pop the card in and viola! I have a nice pic of what I needed. In this case that might be a picture of all those great ports I have on the left side of my MBP. 😉
You’ll also notice the white cable coming out. That’s an adapter that powers up a 2nd monitor on my desktop. It’s vital when I’m working on websites and changing CSS and things like that.
The MacBook Pro On The Road
The reason I have a laptop vs a desktop model (and I really like the 27″ iMac) is so that I can pickup and go where I need to. That might be to meet a website client in a local Starbucks, or it might be across the country while speaking at a conference. Or it might be that I take it on every video shoot. My DSLR is wonderful and has the latest in tilt out screens but when it comes to detail you MUST view the video you shot on a bigger, better screen. If you don’t it’ll be later that you find out your video is just a tad off and by then it’s too late.
As for the attachments I have on the desktop – the only one I need at a shoot is the ability to throw in that SD card.
I don’t need a mouse, I don’t need a 2nd monitor, I just need that SD card slot.
Now, the 1st thing you Apple Fan Boys will say is that there’s an adapter for that. That’s true. I already have 3 adapters sitting here for other things (like HDMI, VGA) so that I can connect to a projector if needed. They break all the time. What if I grab the wrong one? What if I grab the right one and it breaks? Why should I have to adapt at all?
There’s a healthy conversation happening right now on Facebook that started with my post.
I’m not the only one… There’s a huge backlash thread happening HERE including this one that I think got it spot on!
#MacBookPro “The laptop for creative professionals who don’t use SD cards or USB and haven’t realized all of Adobe’s stuff is also on PC”
— Ben Heckendorn (@benheck) October 27, 2016
or this guy!
The new slogan for the #MacBookPro should be “everything is a few adaptors away”
— Kenny Tsang (@thy4205) October 28, 2016
— iconwerk (@iconwerk)
Here’s the thing. The MBP is a workhorse of a computer. It’s made for people who are building and doing things. If you are just ingesting content (as opposed to creating) the MacBook Air is perfect for you.
I don’t care about the bump in prices. I don’t care about touch screens or touch bars. I do care about having a machine that does what I want.
I’m pretty sure my aging 2011 13″ MacBook Pro will be my last Apple product. I try not to be one of those fanatical brand users (Apple, PC or even Linux). I want to make smart, intelligent decisions based on my wants and needs and not the emotional side. My MBP is working fine for now but like anything with a bunch of miles on it, you never know what is going to break around the next corner.
I sincerely hope the backlash of the people against things like no headphone jack and now this with the lack of ports bites Apple hard enough that they rethink their design and go back to what works.
I don’t think that’ll be happening soon so I’m starting my search for a replacement. It needs to handle video well and it needs to be portable. Have an idea? I’m listening.