New MacBook Pro is not a Laptop for Developers Anymore

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Running — AI-enhanced software development service.
15 hrs ago

New MacBook Pro is not a Laptop for Developers Anymore

New MacBook Pro isn’t a laptop for developers anymore. They’ve deleted Esc and function keys

Here’s why:

#1. No Escape and function keys

Today’s Apple Event confirmed many of the rumors surrounding the long-awaited refresh of the Macbook Pro line. The Escape and Function keys on the laptops have been abandoned in favor of a touch bar that changed depending on the application that is being used. The last the Macbook Pro got a major update was a shocking 4 years ago and many publications are celebrating the new design. However, the lack of physical Escape and Function keys is a disaster for one major set of Apple’s customers — Developers.

Let’s take a look at numbers:

There are ~ 19 million developers in the world. And Apple has managed to sell ~19 million Macs over the past 4 quarters. What a coincidence!

Yes, developers are drawn towards Apple products primarily for software reasons: the Unix-like operating system and the proprietary development ecosystem. But developers need to have a functional keyboard to make use of that software and now they don’t. Why Tim Cook, why?

This isn’t to say that the touch bar is an inherently bad idea. You could locate it on top of the Esc and function keys instead of eliminating them entirely! Something like this:

MacBook Pro 2016 collage — with Esc and function keys

#2 Power. Almost no improvement for RAM and a processor

The 2016 MacBook Pro ships with RAM and processor specs that are nearly identical to the 2010 model. Deja vu?

Deja vu from Matrix

At least it feels like that, because the MacBook Pro has had options of up to 16 GB of RAM since 2010. The only difference now is that you pay for the update.

The MacBook Pro had options with 2.4 gigahertz dual-core processors back in 2010. Anything new in 2016? Not really, well… nope.

That feels strange too, especially if you compare the price and the hardware quality to Apple’s competitors. These days it’s easy to find a Windows or Linux machine comparable to the Macbook Pro for $1,000 — $1,500. You don’t need to go far to find them, notable brands like Lenovo, HP, Asus, Samsung, and Dell all offer them. And for those who aren’t fans of Windows, Linux is always an option.

With more resources poured into Microsoft developers ecosystem and Linux distributions, developers may soon have a wide range of great operating systems that can run on pretty cheap laptops.

And to nail it:

#3. What people are saying about MacBook Pro 2016

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