New MacBook Pros showcase why Apple fans suck - Macenstein

New MacBook Pros showcase why Apple fans suck

As much as one can feel bad for a company with the 2nd-highest market capitalization in the world, I must say I really felt for Apple during this week’s MacBook Pro launch. No sooner had the MacBooks hit the online store then the apathetic headlines and forum posts began flooding the interwebs. The terms “underwhelming” and “modest upgrades” were thrown around more often than when the new Snuggie was unveiled (now with pockets!).

Once again, the Mac rumor community had whipped the masses into a frothing, foaming buying frenzy, dying to lay down their cold hard cash for a mythical black carbon-fiber MacBook Pro with a giant glass trackpad, two SSD drives, and an ultra high-res display wrapped up neatly in a MacBook Air-like shell for $100 less than the current models. What they got instead was a device that looks almost identical to the MacBook Pro of 4 years ago with a faster processor and something called “Thuderbolt” which none of them needed, or could use even if they did.

And while on the surface one could understand feeling let down by the reality of the upgrades after having been sold a bag of magic beans by the rumor sites, let’s take a step back and really think about what happened here. First, Apple never claimed they were reinventing the MacBook. In fact, they made NO mention at all about new MacBooks until they hit the online store, and even then, it was simply done via a press release. There was no tantalizing, enigmatic invitation sent out two weeks in advance to invite speculation. In fact, if it weren’t for partners like Best Buy revealing (apparently false) new MacBook SKU’s in their systems three weeks early, we would have had no real reason to expect new MacBooks at all. This was not an Apple special event, this was simply Apple bumping the specs of their pro laptop line.

But let’s take a look at what we DID get, starting with a review from someone WHO ACTUALLY TOUCHED THE THING BEFORE COMMENTING โ€“ one-time Apple enemy PC Magazine, raves that “The 15-inch MacBook Pro is the fastest, most technologically advanced laptop to grace our Labs benches.” Hmmm… that doesn’t sound like a crappy laptop to me.

In fact, according to recent benchmarks, the new MacBook Pros are posting GeekBench scores roughly 80% higher than last year’s models, and besting the Mac Pro desktops of last year in some cases. Sure, SSD drives aren’t standard, but they’re there for the buying if you need them, and there’s always 3rd party solutions as well. We got the first notebook (or computer in general) with the Thunderbolt interface, and while this doesn’t matter yet, it should in a year or so, so it’s nice to know you are buying a somewhat future-proof Mac if you buy now. In addition, the new MacBook Pros come with an HD camera and FaceTime HD, a 99ยข value, FREE.

It’s no longer what’s INSIDE that counts

If there’s one thing this week’s MacBook Pro updates has taught me, it’s that laptops are, for most people, fast enough. Nearly doubling in speed is no longer worth getting excited over when all you do is update your FaceBook page. I honestly think a large portion of Mac users would have been happier if Apple had changed the outside for the MacBook Pro and left the insides unchanged. It seems to me that most new MacBook Pro users are not “pro” anythings – they’re high school and college kids who have convinced their parents they need the “pro” in order to send e-mail and write a paper or two. For Apple’s original core base – the artists, photographers, and video professionals, the new MacBook Pros are a no-brainer upgrade, even over last year’s model, as the speed increases will translate into real money. Knocking a two hour Compressor job down to 45 minutes is nothing to sneeze at, and just saving 10-12 hours of time can actually pay for the machine for a TRUE pro user. And as for the small but very vocal group of Mac gamers who are out-right angry over the graphics options in the new low end MacBooks โ€“ย  at this point it’s fairly clear Apple is looking to its iOS devices to handle gaming duties, and if you are buying a Mac for games, you’re wasting your money.


So here’s what we can all take away from the MacBook Pro update this week โ€“ย if you don’t want one, then you aren’t a MacBook Pro user. You are in fact a MacBook Air user, and while you may want the Air to be cheaper than it is, THAT’S your Mac. Start saving for one and leave the MacBook Pro to the pros.

12 Responses to “New MacBook Pros showcase why Apple fans suck”
  1. Michael says:

    ZOMG I had no idea Snuggies now came with pockets !!! WOOT !!

  2. Yes, it was pretty much the nail in the coffin for the Slanket. How could they compete with pockets?
    – The Doc

  3. Top Tip; if you’re just gonna check your facebook page, send an email write a report every now and then; Buy a 5 year old MacBook and save yourself ยฃ600 ($966) (hey you guys get them way cheaper than us) better still, buy mine!

  4. Chris Leither says:

    Mhh… I wholeheartedly agree with you, Doc. Except for ONE single thing.
    If you take a look at the low-end 15″ MBP… yes… the GPU sucks.
    But look at the high-end 15″ or the 17″ and this thing is a gaming beast!

    Of course… others will claim that there are better GAMING notebooks out there. True. But these are nowhere near as portable or have decent battery life for anything else.
    I can glue a Cinema Display to a MacPro and call it a day… and those ‘other’ gaming notebooks are no different, with batteries that last 2hrs in ideal conditions and that are 2-3 inches thick.

    I have to say, though, I had wished myself that they removed the SuperDrive in order to maybe double battery life, gain a second HDD/SSD or have enough room for a decent Quad Core CPU and GPU.
    Apple, however, have done exactly THAT, without losing the SuperDrive.
    We got fucking QUAD CORE !!! And 7 (realistic) hrs of battery life… instead of 2-3 (looking at Sony… HP… etc) and without a buldging battery that sticks out two feet.
    And aside from that… if you really wanted more storage… buy an optibay / chinabay ๐Ÿ˜€

    A move I am considering myself.

    Aside from that… the only thing I have left to say… Goodbye early 2008 15″ MBP
    Welcome early 2011 17″ MBP!


  5. Dood says:

    Well said..

  6. Imagine Engine says:

    I do like the improvements with the new CPU, GPU and Thunderbolt. As an Artist who travels outside the studio I would of liked to have seen a few more changes:

    1. Remove the Superdrive. I can’t recall the last time I used it or would even have need of it.
    2. Replace the 2.5″ HDD/SSD with on board flash storage like the MacBook Air.
    3. Increase battery life.
    4. Reduce the number of ports. I like Thunderbolt and having redundancy but there are to many ports.
    5. Make it thin but strong. Liquidmetal would help with this as well implementing 1 through 4.

    My hope is that Apple will implement these design changes before the end of 2011. Having a powerful laptop is great but having one that is also extremely lite and has a long battery life is even better.

  7. quinton says:

    really, its like putting a turbo on your car without adding any body modifications; effective, just not flashy as would be expected,

  8. sine.nomine says:

    The CPU upgrades are really nice, so I don’t know why people complain there. We finally have quad-core in a MacBook, for god’s sake! What’s not to be happy about?

    My only complaints are that they should have made 1440×900 the default in the 13″ and 1680×1050 the default in the 15″, and they really should have discrete graphics in the low-end 15″ – that or lower the price a bit.

    I kind of expected them to put the Thunderbolt port in the MagSafe for eventual one-cord hookup to the ACD.

    As good as the updates are, I’m glad I’m not in the market for a new laptop yet, though. This way, I can wait to see how well Thunderbolt takes off.

  9. David Frantz says:

    I’m of mixed feelings about this release. It isn’t that bad of a bump but beyond Thunderbolt it doesn’t represent much in the way of innovation. This is why we see a lot of disappointment expressed. You can say people where expecting to much but I’d offer up that the release of the AIRs elevated expectations and did so reasonably.

    As to speed of the new machines well let’s be honest here we are comparing against previous generation machines that in some cases where running on hardware two generations old. A 50% increase in speed is nice in one sense but let’s face it Apple just brought up performance to parity with run of the mill machines. As to user need; well every time I see a beachball on my current Mac Book Pro or suffer from laggy menus it isn’t fast enough. Some of that is the result of slow disk drives that SSDs would have fixed. In any event I have to reject the idea that PCs are fast enough today. As the recent Lion preview has demonstrated, things like Safari are being rewritten to better use all of those CPU resources to deliver a better user experience. The key here though is far better hardware for that improved software to run on. In the end to leverage these new software technologies and others, you need modern multicore hardware.

    I look at the new MBP as Apple playing safe to introduce new tech, in this case Thunderbolt. If TB isn’t your cup of tea then yeah the machines underwhelm. However if TB is your cup of tea then you would see the new machines as a smart move on Apples part, they represent a stable non tweaky upgrade to build upon.

  10. imajoebob says:

    First, except for the high-end models, these upgrades are not worthy of any special event or announcement. They’re just routine upgrades that they should have sent out with a standard press release. Second, they destroyed the aesthetic of the MacBook with that horrid beveled edge. It used to be a block of machined aluminum, but without the overall sleekness of the Air, it’s now just another (pretty) computer. Finally, they’re almost committing fraud keeping the Pro label on the 13″ model. With the (now) second-rate graphics and no Thunderbolt, it’s not even close to a “professional” model.

    Apple used to make upgrades to the iBook and PowerBook semi-annually, and without much fanfare (processor bumps, memory, better video). With the MacBook line they let them wither on the vine until they fall almost generation behind PCs, and then generate these mini frenzies over the slightest change. While the 13″ model may not be a generation behind, it’s barely caught up to current PC technology.

  11. erdiux mondi says:

    Exactly. Well said.
    If you are a pro you definitely know these new MBP are the machines you were expecting. Future proof.

  12. Tom says:

    Well said.
    The outlook has to be changed more than the inside.
    I am a production artist, still using 2007 plain silver model with silver keybroad everything silver!, its not I am saying myself.
    But most latest Mac users saw my old model, first thing they said, “it looks better.”
    Due core and Quad core, honestly I don’t feel the big difference even I do video commercial.
    As long as I upgrade my RAM to maximum as possible.
    After 5 years using it, only change my logic broad once, fan once, battery twice.

    The biggest thing is for Pro Artist, no 17inch. Very Shock. Photoshop users have to zoom and pen around with a 15 inch, very sad.
    For gamers more sad, they introduce DIABLO 3 in the conference, big embarrassment! high quality graphics showing in 15 inch screen? Pro gamers don’t even bother to buy it if it is under 19 inch.

    Specifically speaking, Apple is loosing the identify that Steve Jobs told them. Although 17 inch probably just 1% people buying, but it the creative people making Apple overall more beautiful, which they tend to go with the statistic of reality. Oh well… is more similar to Microsoft day by day. Poor Steve crying in Heaven.

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