MacBook Pro fails to earn Consumer Reports recommendation for first time

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  • Reply 81 of 164
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,272member
    dacloo said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    henryb said:

    In addition to battery issues, the latest MacBooks have the WORST keyboards of any laptops available today. There is hardly any key travel - it is like typing on a virtual screen on an iPad. Imagine, if Yamaha Pianos reduced the travel of their piano keys - there would be an outrage. Creative people - including writers using a keyboard - need to feel and touch the keys to connect with their work. Apple's obsession withy thin-ness is making their machines unusable. Don't get me started on their removal of the physical home button on the iPhone. Apple is waging war on tactility - and will lose millions of customers as a result. People love to touch, feel and experience things. It is core to being a human being.

    This has got to be the most hilarious comment of the day so far.

    If you don't the difference between typing on a keyboard and playing a piano then I can't help you.

    And I won't get you started on the removal of the physical home button on the iPhone because the button is still there, it just happens to be touch sensitive. 

    I'm always amazed at people who come here and insist that Apple will lose millions of customers if they don't do this or if they remove that. 

    The problem with people who spew this argument is that they are invariable talking about themselves, and making the mistake of assuming that everyone wants what they want. It's a very narrow point of view in my opinion. 

    Apple is not standing still and neither is its customer base. The youngsters starting to use computers professionally today have grown up with narrow travel keyboards and touch sensitive screens, so that is who Apple is catering for. You think that Apple should carry on making keyboards and screens and fitting ports for the middle-aged? 

    Will Apple lose millions of customers; doubtful. Most of Apple's customers live outside forums and are younger and more adaptable than the whiners who hang around here. They'll lose customers, but they'll gain more.

    And of course, in twenty years time, the new old faces will come here and complain how Apple has dumped Thunderbolt 5 ports and gone completely wireless, and now all their twenty-year-old thunderbolt drives, barely large enough to hold a million mega hi-def movies, are now obsolete.

    You know he was trying to prove a point. Of-course he knows the difference between playing the piano and typing on a keyboard.

    As a new owner of the Macbook Pro, I fully agree the new keyboard is absolutely horrible, even after 3 weeks of use. It's noisy, the lack of travel is super annoying and the Touch Bar is nothing more than a gimmick (because you type blindly and don't look at a keyboard, and now miss actual function keys). 
    I too have a new Macbook Pro 15" with touchbar. I don't think the touchbar is a gimmick at all. I use it often. To each is own I guess, I also like the keyboard. Just because you dont like something, doesn't mean its horrible. Well, except polka music is horrible. 
    I think every new advancement and innovation by Apple has been met by certain people saying it's a gimmick, it's useless, etc.
    GeorgeBMacpscooter63
  • Reply 82 of 164
    dacloo said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    henryb said:

    In addition to battery issues, the latest MacBooks have the WORST keyboards of any laptops available today. There is hardly any key travel - it is like typing on a virtual screen on an iPad. Imagine, if Yamaha Pianos reduced the travel of their piano keys - there would be an outrage. Creative people - including writers using a keyboard - need to feel and touch the keys to connect with their work. Apple's obsession withy thin-ness is making their machines unusable. Don't get me started on their removal of the physical home button on the iPhone. Apple is waging war on tactility - and will lose millions of customers as a result. People love to touch, feel and experience things. It is core to being a human being.

    This has got to be the most hilarious comment of the day so far.

    If you don't the difference between typing on a keyboard and playing a piano then I can't help you.

    And I won't get you started on the removal of the physical home button on the iPhone because the button is still there, it just happens to be touch sensitive. 

    I'm always amazed at people who come here and insist that Apple will lose millions of customers if they don't do this or if they remove that. 

    The problem with people who spew this argument is that they are invariable talking about themselves, and making the mistake of assuming that everyone wants what they want. It's a very narrow point of view in my opinion. 

    Apple is not standing still and neither is its customer base. The youngsters starting to use computers professionally today have grown up with narrow travel keyboards and touch sensitive screens, so that is who Apple is catering for. You think that Apple should carry on making keyboards and screens and fitting ports for the middle-aged? 

    Will Apple lose millions of customers; doubtful. Most of Apple's customers live outside forums and are younger and more adaptable than the whiners who hang around here. They'll lose customers, but they'll gain more.

    And of course, in twenty years time, the new old faces will come here and complain how Apple has dumped Thunderbolt 5 ports and gone completely wireless, and now all their twenty-year-old thunderbolt drives, barely large enough to hold a million mega hi-def movies, are now obsolete.

    You know he was trying to prove a point. Of-course he knows the difference between playing the piano and typing on a keyboard.

    As a new owner of the Macbook Pro, I fully agree the new keyboard is absolutely horrible, even after 3 weeks of use. It's noisy, the lack of travel is super annoying and the Touch Bar is nothing more than a gimmick (because you type blindly and don't look at a keyboard, and now miss actual function keys). 
    I too have a new Macbook Pro 15" with touchbar. I don't think the touchbar is a gimmick at all. I use it often. To each is own I guess, I also like the keyboard. Just because you dont like something, doesn't mean its horrible. Well, except polka music is horrible. 
    I never said it's horrible. I said I think it's horrible. (so, I agree with you)

    Edit: Polka music stinks. 
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 83 of 164
    cgWerks said:

    Also, the thing about CR, is that when you're looking at ratings and reviews, you have to have YOUR values in mind, vs THEIR values, which might not always align. [...] Heck, they used to highly prefer Windows systems over Macs, back when Macs really were quite excellent.

    Yeah, the ratings can seem like they miss the mark sometimes, like the example you cite, but consider that they're intended for a mainstream audience. For the typical schmuck buying a computer for the family, there have undoubtedly been times when a Windows machine was a better choice when all the various considerations are taken into account.

    Like value per dollar. Sure, a BMW or Mercedes is a "better" car than, say, a Jeep. But maybe the BMW costs twice as much as the Jeep. Is it twice as good?  Maybe the Jeep has more room for groceries, is more fuel efficient, is cheaper to maintain, and offers usability features that matter to families, like seats that are easy to move out of the way. Which vehicle represents a better cost/benefit proposal and overall usability to the average buyer?

    They may also have factored in things like the availability of the most commonly used software, ease of access to and cost of support, relative cost of repairs, and any number of other things that may not influence an enthusiast but probably matter to the "average" buyer.

    In this particular case, their tests, which were not of the "how well a fish climbs a tree" variety that @@sdw2001 mentioned, demonstrated pretty clearly that some kind of power management problem exists. Under those circumstances I don't think they SHOULD have recommended the new MacBook Pro. Maybe Apple will identify and fix the problem, but as of today, the rating is reasonable.
  • Reply 84 of 164

    nht said:
    CR doesn't always get it right, unfortunately:

    https://www.cnet.com/news/consumer-reports-says-it-cant-recommend-the-iphone-4/

    We all know how the iPhone 4 turned out and what it achieved 
    This strikes me as another iPhone 4 moment.
    Is it? I don't know. I kinda thought so too until CR demonstrated pretty clearly that there's SOMETHING going on. I can't see any obvious flaw in the testing methodology, so I'm inclined to believe that at least some units have an actual defect, as opposed to "You're holding it wrong."
  • Reply 85 of 164
    nhtnht Posts: 4,496member
    nht said:
    CR doesn't always get it right, unfortunately:

    https://www.cnet.com/news/consumer-reports-says-it-cant-recommend-the-iphone-4/

    We all know how the iPhone 4 turned out and what it achieved 
    This strikes me as another iPhone 4 moment.
    You mean one where the tech press run hysterical but the actual carrier data showed no issue with dropped calls at all? Where Jobs got on stage and showed that any phone with an internal antenna also loss signal when surrounded by a water bag death grip? Where he provided the carrier dsta confirming it? Where they continued to sell the same exact model unchanged for years to come and somehow the issue went away by itself?
    Yes.  The MBP battery thing is likely the same non issue in real life usage.
  • Reply 86 of 164

    sdw2001 said:
    Consumer Reports sucks and ruined its reputation years ago.  They rate several superb products on tests that don't make sense.  It's like measuring how a fish climbs a tree with a lot of their stuff.  
    That's hardly what they did in this case. If anything the test was much less demanding than what many users will do with it.
    And yet it far out performed any PC laptop.  You Apple haters have no honor, you will just lie lie lie
    ??? What are you talking about? @sdw2001 said CR's testing criteria can be irrelevant to how the device is actually used. I said that's not the case with their testing of the new MacBook Pro. Are you saying that's a "lie?"

    Also, CR's decision not to recommend it was based on battery issues, not performance. Are you saying that a defect doesn't matter as long as the machine is fast? If not, what ARE you saying?

    As for me being an "Apple hater," wanna compare your outlay for Apple devices in 2016 to mine? Maybe you should read some of my responses to those who argue that the new MacBook Pro should have retained USB-A ports and have more than 16GB of RAM.

    Once that's out of the way you can sit in on a few shows with me and see how some of the squirrely behaviours of this machine make you want to put your fist through it. Let's see if you consider yourself a "hater" when you spend $5000 and the thing doesn't work.
    Soliavon b7cgWerks
  • Reply 87 of 164
    I guess Apple just needs to take out more ads in Consumer Reports then. Worked for Toyota. 
    You must be thinking about some other publication. They don't allow advertising, that's the whole beauty of Consumer Reports. If you don't agree then provide a reference.
  • Reply 88 of 164
    Never buy first gen of any product, including Apple.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 89 of 164
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,272member
    Never buy first gen of any product, including Apple.
    I'll never understand this ridiculous statement. Have you looked at the teardowns of Apple products? Just because the casing is the same doesn't mean that the internal are redesigned which means that the next MBP will effectively be "first gen" as that set of HW will never have been tested in the market until it goes on sale.
  • Reply 90 of 164
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,765member
    avon b7 said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    appex said:
    Apple should focus more on Mac and release new products each year, as with iOS. Do not forget Mac Pro with Apple Thunderbolt Display.
    Not enough people are buying machines like this to make it worthwhile releasing them each year; otherwise, they'd do it.
    In 2015 Apple sold more Macs than at any other time in a pre-iOS period. That justifies updating them on the usual upgrade rate. If Apple were still only a Mac manufacturer it would be a very successful company and having millions ploughed into it in R&D. The 'problem' is that iDevices are more interesting for the company and that is where the focus is.

    Selling new Macs that are really late 2015 models is absolutely criminal from a purely business perspective. 

    If they can't keep the Mac business how it should be, perhaps it's time to make it  independent and give it some focus of its own, away from the iDevice division.
    Well if they're selling Macs in greater numbers then doesn't that mean that folk are happy with the machines they're buying? Otherwise, how are they selling the machines at such allegedly high prices?
  • Reply 91 of 164
    So I've been using the new MBP 15" since it first launched along side a new, previous generation 15" MBP. At first use I was skeptical on the keyboard and the touch bar as well. After having used it for a few weeks doing programming work, occasional, light Photoshop CS6 use, and heavy email, spreadsheet and word processing use here are my thoughts...

    Keyboard - This was one of my major concerns. I basically spend all day typing. If I am totally honest I've gotten a bit "sloppy" at typing after using an iPad so long and iPhone. I personally feel that in some ways the spell correction features have helped people but I also feel that for me personally I have become lazy in my typing skills. Anyhow, with that said, I'm somewhat conscious of my typing right now so I was really concerned with the keyboard itself. At first, I didn't like the keyboard. It felt "digital" to me. It has a more solid feel along with the shorter key stroke which is noticeable. However, after having used both laptops side-by-side for a weeks I know prefer the 2016 MBP keyboard over the previous generation. The previous generation's keyboard feels old and loose to me now. The old one feels "old-school."

    Size and weight - The new MBP feels much nicer. I've always valued performance over form factor. That's why I would prefer the 17" MBP years ago even though I traveled quite a bit. When I first unboxed the new laptop I do what most of us do. I put it on-top of my other laptop to compare the size. At first I didn't think the size difference was much of a difference but again, after having used it for a while I can confirm that it feels much smaller that the specifications would suggest, but in a good way. The screen and keyboard aren't smaller but there is less bloat with the new MBP. There is less wasted space around the screen and less wasted metal around the keyboard and trackpad.

    Trackpad - The trackpad is much larger. I first wondered if it would be harder to use than my other MBP with such a large trackpad. Again, after a few weeks I've gotten used to it and the trackpad on my other MBP now feels like a trackpad from my Powerbook 160 from years ago. Well, maybe not that old, but old.

    Performance - There isn't much to say here. It's fast as you would expect based on the specifications.

    Battery Life - I've been working away this morning for an hour now. I've been working on email, word processing, and web browsing. One hour of use, to be exact it's been 53 minutes of use, has drained my battery down to 95%. I guess 5% for 53, now 54 minutes, of time isn't too bad. I haven't experienced any significant battery drain. I'm running 10.12.2.

    Touch Bar - I too was wondering if it was a gimmick. One thing I did do is that I modified the Control Strip part of the touch bar. The Control Strip is the three inch or so section on the right side of the touch bar. My one modification was the addition of Launchpad. I use Launchpad constantly and I wanted it easily accessible. After having used Touch Bar extensively I wouldn't want a laptop without it. It's the little things like being able to quickly file emails in the appropriate folder with a single touch. Touch Bar can make you more efficient like shortcut keys do.

    Bottom line is that I would certainly buy the new MBP over the previous generation and I would not criticize it until you spend a decent amount of time using one.
    pscooter63cgWerks
  • Reply 92 of 164
    So this is dead simple. The 2015 got way over the estimated life and they never revised the PR up. The new model does not get close and thus it is a failure.  The delta between the two models is to large to just white wash away.  They could have revised the PR and said up to 8 hours and charges faster than any laptop in its class. This would have been the truth and made people think before  buying. The fact that I can charge this thing so fast is amazing. The fact it only last about 8 hours is ok if it was the designed life. The issue is we are told designed life under X conditions is 10 hours. There is not a single publication that can replicate these facts and figures. 

    So it is not apple ENG or lack of focus it is a design change going more towards the droid turbo fast charge less life.  That is a fine trade off for me. But that is not the PR stated ideals. 

    The fact is apple ENG team built a fast charging light laptop with killer power.  They made it last for about 8 hours.  They shrank it down and made it easier to carry and charge so fast your hair is on fire compared to old. 

    The PR team just slide the new picture and specs in of this one over the old promises.  That was a huge mistake.  This shows ENG does not talk enough to marketing to go look in our test we hit 10 hours in the sub 15% region that is not strong enough to make a promise on.  Apple PR heard ok it can hit 10 hours some where some how check leaving the old copy in thanks. 


    farjamed
  • Reply 93 of 164
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,202member
    Soli said:
    Never buy first gen of any product, including Apple.
    I'll never understand this ridiculous statement. Have you looked at the teardowns of Apple products? Just because the casing is the same doesn't mean that the internal are redesigned which means that the next MBP will effectively be "first gen" as that set of HW will never have been tested in the market until it goes on sale.
    It is far from a ridiculous statement. It is sound advice. The first generations of Apple products have not been tested in the wild. You are far better off with subsequent 'revisions' which include tweaks to correct issues and often pay less and get a spec bump too. There may be other changes in a revision but normally they are to improve issues discovered in the first generation.

    If you want to be an early adopter, the best advice is to wait a few months while they iron out production issues.

    The first generation MacBook Air was expensive, underpowered and prone to overheating. Later generations were much better.

    The second generation MacBook had its keyboard improved etc.

    The downside is that if everyone followed this advice, things wouldn't get better.
    aussiepaul
  • Reply 94 of 164
    Rayz2016 said:
    henryb said:

    In addition to battery issues, the latest MacBooks have the WORST keyboards of any laptops available today. There is hardly any key travel - it is like typing on a virtual screen on an iPad. Imagine, if Yamaha Pianos reduced the travel of their piano keys - there would be an outrage. Creative people - including writers using a keyboard - need to feel and touch the keys to connect with their work. Apple's obsession withy thin-ness is making their machines unusable. Don't get me started on their removal of the physical home button on the iPhone. Apple is waging war on tactility - and will lose millions of customers as a result. People love to touch, feel and experience things. It is core to being a human being.

    This has got to be the most hilarious comment of the day so far.

    If you don't the difference between typing on a keyboard and playing a piano then I can't help you.

    And I won't get you started on the removal of the physical home button on the iPhone because the button is still there, it just happens to be touch sensitive. 

    I'm always amazed at people who come here and insist that Apple will lose millions of customers if they don't do this or if they remove that. 

    The problem with people who spew this argument is that they are invariable talking about themselves, and making the mistake of assuming that everyone wants what they want. It's a very narrow point of view in my opinion. 

    Apple is not standing still and neither is its customer base. The youngsters starting to use computers professionally today have grown up with narrow travel keyboards and touch sensitive screens, so that is who Apple is catering for. You think that Apple should carry on making keyboards and screens and fitting ports for the middle-aged? 

    Will Apple lose millions of customers; doubtful. Most of Apple's customers live outside forums and are younger and more adaptable than the whiners who hang around here. They'll lose customers, but they'll gain more.

    And of course, in twenty years time, the new old faces will come here and complain how Apple has dumped Thunderbolt 5 ports and gone completely wireless, and now all their twenty-year-old thunderbolt drives, barely large enough to hold a million mega hi-def movies, are now obsolete.

    Dear Rayz2016,

    I play both the piano and type on a keyboard - I can assure you I appreciate the differences and similarities of these two devices. I also know many writers and journalists who produce thousands of published words a year (not just short blogs and comments on forums). Almost without exception, they complain about the lack of travel on the new Apple keyboards.

    This is not, as you suggest, a generational issue - it is a matter of evolutionary ergonometrics. The human hand and fingers are designed to seek a physical response in the objects they touch - especially their tools. The new Apple keyboards are so flat, and unresponsive that they offer an unsatisfying experience. Indeed, if you study the recent reviews, most reviewers will say something like, 'once you get used to the new keyboard, it is not so bad, and starts to feel almost OK.' Hardly a glowing endorsement. 

    In our house we have lots of Apple laptops, some of which are defunct from spilled juice from the children. But here's the thing, when my 14 year old son has to write a long essay for school - he much prefers to borrow my older 11inch MacBook Air than his mum's brand new MacBook Pro. Because in his own words, 'It doesn't feel like typing on an iPad.'

    This preference for a more physical experience should not be a surprise. Consider what has happened to sales of eBook readers in recent years - sales have flatted out, whereas sales of physical books have actually increased - across ALL demographics. Why? People people like to touch and feel the book in their hands, and flick through the pages. Recent research suggests that kids learn more through using a physical book than a e-reader because it requires more complicated and dexterous hand movements, which activate a wider range of neural learning networks.

    The point is, Apple's obsession with thinn-ness is seriously undermining its products' battery life and keyboard quality. Most consumers would rather have a slightly thicker machine if it gave them more battery life, more ports and a better keyboard.

    There comes a point when a human tool reaches 'peak form factor (PFS)'. So, for example, there is no need to make knives and forks any thinner or lighter because they work best within certain weight, size and structural limits, which are defined by the shape and strength of our human hands.

    Most late generation computers and phones are now close to the PFS - the iPhone 7 certainly is. It is counterproductive for Apple to push beyond these limits simply because they can. It will backfire - and is already starting to.

    I say all this as an Apple fan - not a hater - who is a great admirer of the company. But this obsession with thin-ness has got to stop. Someone has to point out that the Emperor has no clothes.  
    aussiepaul
  • Reply 95 of 164
    I have mostly normal business use.  Spreadsheets, Email and such.  The battery life is an issue to me on the 15" I can't even plug my iPhone in right now as it tells me to unplug the device that is using too much power.  I do believe it is all software related as none of these issues existed prior to the first update.
  • Reply 96 of 164
    renaldorenaldo Posts: 4unconfirmed, member

    After consistently getting around 4 hours I decided to return my 15" MBP with TouchBar after a couple of weeks of use, the poor battery life was just too problematic for me to be stuck with such a computer for the next few years. My usage during this period was not high-performance related, I was basically using the iWork apps, Apple Mail, and Safari. I do use iCloud Drive heavily, though, and I'm storing about 500GB in the cloud. My suspicion is that with all this cloud stuff going on in the background, the processing of this to the SSD is quickly draining the battery. What's weird is that it doesn't seem to be having such an effect on my older 13" MBP, which still consistently gets over 8 hours.

    I generally don't take Consumer Reports all that seriously, and I don't like to bash my favorite company, but Apple definitely has a serious problem here with its new MacBook Pros. Until they acknowledge or solve this (hopefully software-based) problem, I've been telling all my friends to stay away from the new MBPs.

  • Reply 97 of 164
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,518member
    henryb said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    henryb said:

    In addition to battery issues, the latest MacBooks have the WORST keyboards of any laptops available today. There is hardly any key travel - it is like typing on a virtual screen on an iPad. Imagine, if Yamaha Pianos reduced the travel of their piano keys - there would be an outrage. Creative people - including writers using a keyboard - need to feel and touch the keys to connect with their work. Apple's obsession withy thin-ness is making their machines unusable. Don't get me started on their removal of the physical home button on the iPhone. Apple is waging war on tactility - and will lose millions of customers as a result. People love to touch, feel and experience things. It is core to being a human being.

    This has got to be the most hilarious comment of the day so far.

    If you don't the difference between typing on a keyboard and playing a piano then I can't help you.

    And I won't get you started on the removal of the physical home button on the iPhone because the button is still there, it just happens to be touch sensitive. 

    I'm always amazed at people who come here and insist that Apple will lose millions of customers if they don't do this or if they remove that. 

    The problem with people who spew this argument is that they are invariable talking about themselves, and making the mistake of assuming that everyone wants what they want. It's a very narrow point of view in my opinion. 

    Apple is not standing still and neither is its customer base. The youngsters starting to use computers professionally today have grown up with narrow travel keyboards and touch sensitive screens, so that is who Apple is catering for. You think that Apple should carry on making keyboards and screens and fitting ports for the middle-aged? 

    Will Apple lose millions of customers; doubtful. Most of Apple's customers live outside forums and are younger and more adaptable than the whiners who hang around here. They'll lose customers, but they'll gain more.

    And of course, in twenty years time, the new old faces will come here and complain how Apple has dumped Thunderbolt 5 ports and gone completely wireless, and now all their twenty-year-old thunderbolt drives, barely large enough to hold a million mega hi-def movies, are now obsolete.

    Dear Rayz2016,

    I play both the piano and type on a keyboard - I can assure you I appreciate the differences and similarities of these two devices. I also know many writers and journalists who produce thousands of published words a year (not just short blogs and comments on forums). Almost without exception, they complain about the lack of travel on the new Apple keyboards.

    This is not, as you suggest, a generational issue - it is a matter of evolutionary ergonometrics. The human hand and fingers are designed to seek a physical response in the objects they touch - especially their tools. The new Apple keyboards are so flat, and unresponsive that they offer an unsatisfying experience. Indeed, if you study the recent reviews, most reviewers will say something like, 'once you get used to the new keyboard, it is not so bad, and starts to feel almost OK.' Hardly a glowing endorsement. 

    In our house we have lots of Apple laptops, some of which are defunct from spilled juice from the children. But here's the thing, when my 14 year old son has to write a long essay for school - he much prefers to borrow my older 11inch MacBook Air than his mum's brand new MacBook Pro. Because in his own words, 'It doesn't feel like typing on an iPad.'

    This preference for a more physical experience should not be a surprise. Consider what has happened to sales of eBook readers in recent years - sales have flatted out, whereas sales of physical books have actually increased - across ALL demographics. Why? People people like to touch and feel the book in their hands, and flick through the pages. Recent research suggests that kids learn more through using a physical book than a e-reader because it requires more complicated and dexterous hand movements, which activate a wider range of neural learning networks.

    The point is, Apple's obsession with thinn-ness is seriously undermining its products' battery life and keyboard quality. Most consumers would rather have a slightly thicker machine if it gave them more battery life, more ports and a better keyboard.

    There comes a point when a human tool reaches 'peak form factor (PFS)'. So, for example, there is no need to make knives and forks any thinner or lighter because they work best within certain weight, size and structural limits, which are defined by the shape and strength of our human hands.

    Most late generation computers and phones are now close to the PFS - the iPhone 7 certainly is. It is counterproductive for Apple to push beyond these limits simply because they can. It will backfire - and is already starting to.

    I say all this as an Apple fan - not a hater - who is a great admirer of the company. But this obsession with thin-ness has got to stop. Someone has to point out that the Emperor has no clothes.  
    But it seems that more users reporting here like the keyboard. I don't have one yet, so I can only report my impression from trying it in the store. It seems to me to be a vast improvement over both the previous MBPs and the new MacBook. Less travel, more precision, careful aural and tactile feedback, all combine to impress my typing sensibilities. 

    My reference frame goes back to upright mechanical Underwood typewriters in the 1950s, so I'm biased in favor of efforts made by engineers who think hard about improving the inherently difficult typing experience. I think they've made a quantum leap in this case, but not so much with the first-gen butterfly mechanism in the MacBook — though I can see how someone could get used to using even this one and even get good at it enough to like it.

    My point would be that it's all relative to individual preference and experience. 

    Your point is a generalization that the engineers have gone too far and crossed an ergonomic line, all for the sake of an "obsession" with thinness. I disagree on both points. 1) The shorter travel and precision will benefit and appeal to many users (but not all because it's all relative) and 2) what you call an "obsession" is really the working of an engineering IMPERATIVE when designing technology — if you can do the same with less, you must do it with less. This has been recognized since the Bauhaus movement, since Ferdinand Porsche did the Volkswagen, since Bucky Fuller came up with his "tensegrity" designs based on Nature.
    edited December 2016 trydpscooter63lorin schultz
  • Reply 98 of 164
    henryb said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    henryb said:

    In addition to battery issues, the latest MacBooks have the WORST keyboards of any laptops available today. There is hardly any key travel - it is like typing on a virtual screen on an iPad. Imagine, if Yamaha Pianos reduced the travel of their piano keys - there would be an outrage. Creative people - including writers using a keyboard - need to feel and touch the keys to connect with their work. Apple's obsession withy thin-ness is making their machines unusable. Don't get me started on their removal of the physical home button on the iPhone. Apple is waging war on tactility - and will lose millions of customers as a result. People love to touch, feel and experience things. It is core to being a human being.

    This has got to be the most hilarious comment of the day so far.

    If you don't the difference between typing on a keyboard and playing a piano then I can't help you.

    And I won't get you started on the removal of the physical home button on the iPhone because the button is still there, it just happens to be touch sensitive. 

    I'm always amazed at people who come here and insist that Apple will lose millions of customers if they don't do this or if they remove that. 

    The problem with people who spew this argument is that they are invariable talking about themselves, and making the mistake of assuming that everyone wants what they want. It's a very narrow point of view in my opinion. 

    Apple is not standing still and neither is its customer base. The youngsters starting to use computers professionally today have grown up with narrow travel keyboards and touch sensitive screens, so that is who Apple is catering for. You think that Apple should carry on making keyboards and screens and fitting ports for the middle-aged? 

    Will Apple lose millions of customers; doubtful. Most of Apple's customers live outside forums and are younger and more adaptable than the whiners who hang around here. They'll lose customers, but they'll gain more.

    And of course, in twenty years time, the new old faces will come here and complain how Apple has dumped Thunderbolt 5 ports and gone completely wireless, and now all their twenty-year-old thunderbolt drives, barely large enough to hold a million mega hi-def movies, are now obsolete.

    Dear Rayz2016,

    I play both the piano and type on a keyboard - I can assure you I appreciate the differences and similarities of these two devices. I also know many writers and journalists who produce thousands of published words a year (not just short blogs and comments on forums). Almost without exception, they complain about the lack of travel on the new Apple keyboards.

    This is not, as you suggest, a generational issue - it is a matter of evolutionary ergonometrics. The human hand and fingers are designed to seek a physical response in the objects they touch - especially their tools. The new Apple keyboards are so flat, and unresponsive that they offer an unsatisfying experience. Indeed, if you study the recent reviews, most reviewers will say something like, 'once you get used to the new keyboard, it is not so bad, and starts to feel almost OK.' Hardly a glowing endorsement. 

    In our house we have lots of Apple laptops, some of which are defunct from spilled juice from the children. But here's the thing, when my 14 year old son has to write a long essay for school - he much prefers to borrow my older 11inch MacBook Air than his mum's brand new MacBook Pro. Because in his own words, 'It doesn't feel like typing on an iPad.'

    This preference for a more physical experience should not be a surprise. Consider what has happened to sales of eBook readers in recent years - sales have flatted out, whereas sales of physical books have actually increased - across ALL demographics. Why? People people like to touch and feel the book in their hands, and flick through the pages. Recent research suggests that kids learn more through using a physical book than a e-reader because it requires more complicated and dexterous hand movements, which activate a wider range of neural learning networks.

    The point is, Apple's obsession with thinn-ness is seriously undermining its products' battery life and keyboard quality. Most consumers would rather have a slightly thicker machine if it gave them more battery life, more ports and a better keyboard.

    There comes a point when a human tool reaches 'peak form factor (PFS)'. So, for example, there is no need to make knives and forks any thinner or lighter because they work best within certain weight, size and structural limits, which are defined by the shape and strength of our human hands.

    Most late generation computers and phones are now close to the PFS - the iPhone 7 certainly is. It is counterproductive for Apple to push beyond these limits simply because they can. It will backfire - and is already starting to.

    I say all this as an Apple fan - not a hater - who is a great admirer of the company. But this obsession with thin-ness has got to stop. Someone has to point out that the Emperor has no clothes.  
    I have to agree...
    It finally dawned on me what the root of my ambivalence about Apple laptops was:   90% of the laptop owners I know use them almost entirely at their desks.   They occasionally get carted off to another room or office or to a coffee shop or presentation.   But most just stay on the desk.

    But, Apple has designed ALL of their laptops to prioritize high mobility -- by prioritizing thinness and lightness at the expense of functionality & practicality for MOST users.  

    Why would one of the 90% who use their laptop mostly at their desk pay premium dollars to get a machine primarily designed for portability?
    The MacBooks are expensive but underpowered when compared to typical I5 Windows machines.
    The MBPs have exorbitantly expensive but  but lack functionality due to an absence of ports & DVDs, high movement keyboards, and upgradability.

    For myself, I've been wanting a Mac but have not found one that actually meets my needs without paying between 2 to 5 times more than a WIndows laptops for the same functionality.

    As for this so called "battery problem".   That is obviously not a hardware issue -- unless that hardware is very seriously unstable.   It is either a fault of the testing or of software -- either of which are easily fixed by any respectable engineer.
  • Reply 99 of 164
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,202member


    foggyhill said:
    sdw2001 said:
    Consumer Reports sucks and ruined its reputation years ago.  They rate several superb products on tests that don't make sense.  It's like measuring how a fish climbs a tree with a lot of their stuff.  
    That's hardly what they did in this case. If anything the test was much less demanding than what many users will do with it.
    If you want a massively fast GPU in a small machine your battery life will go down fast, that's it. Everything is just fracking whining.
    Maybe they should trigger the GPU rarely and then people can whine about performance sucking.

    I simply find this kind of thing utterly devoid of common sense.
    The users were never asked what they 'wanted'. I am constantly receiving questionnaires from companies on product improvement, asking me if I prefer this or that option, how.much I am willing to pay, what I don't like about current designs etc.

    Perhaps Apple should just send out a questionnaire to its registered users and actively ask them what they want and then put a public questionnaire on its website to see if people who haven't bought Mac hardware would be tempted by changes in product offering.

    I know this is already done in house and through third parties but only using small samples. The only surefire way to balance the results out is through direct consultation (in addition to the other methods).

    So, do we want 'massively fast GPUs' or smaller laptops, both with great battery life? If we can't have it all, let's apply some of that common sense. The small form factor is already there with the MacBook and 13" MacBook Pro. Battery life (all other factors being equal) is just a question of increasing the size of the battery. The larger format is also there and could possibly include better graphics with the same solution to the battery problem. Make It bigger.

    The trade-off between size and weight, GPU speed and battery life would be determined by the survey results. 

    The current reality is that these new MBPs are not performing in line with expectations on battery life for many people whereas I don't see many people saying the previous generations are not meeting expectations. We will see if this issue is design related or not. Time will tell.

    With the previous generation the keyboard was universally liked. I don't remember seeing people complain about it. The current keyboard is receiving complaints. It is not universally liked. That in itself is a problem and a step back. Some people say they prefer the new one. That does nothing to resolve the issue in itself so we need to look back at how we got here in the first place and the reasons for the keyboard change. It obviously wasn't because people didn't like the old one. It was a result of size restrictions. To fit everything in the new form factor, the battery and the keyboard, the port spread and upgradeability were compromised.

    I wonder how many people would have been willing to accept these compromises if they had had a say beforehand on which direction the line would take?

    Perhaps we should be doing things the other way around and deciding what is more important for users - based on real data -before taking decisions that negatively impact the battery life and usability of the machine itself. 

    Personally, I think the combination of discrete and non discrete gpus is a win/win situation as long as battery life can get you through the day with everyday use. If it can't, then make it bigger.

    Now,.It isn't bigger simply because someone thought the number one factors for the new line were size and weight. Everything else played second fiddle to that decision and purchasers of the new machines will have to accommodate that reality as  best they can.
    edited December 2016 singularity
  • Reply 100 of 164
    As "cool" as the new MacBook Pro may be, with it's modern Touch Bar and sleek design — bottom line is that Apple skimped on battery life. A "Pro" machine should have pro batteries.
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