But, for me, this is still a sub-par keyboard. I shouldn't have to "get used to" a keyboard on a multi-thousand-dollar computer, and it shouldn't make my hands hurt doing what it was designed to do.
13-inch Retina MacBook Pro review: The force is with Apple's workhorse laptop
The older keyboards were better, and Mac users deserve a better typing experience for what they're paying. Then there's the Touch Bar. Somewhere between a keyboard and a touchscreen, this tiny display sits atop the keyboard and offers up some alternative, touch-friendly controls. You can program it to display controls from third-party apps, like Adobe Photoshop, but I've found that the Touch Bar works best for me when it's set up to act like a normal assortment of buttons.
Y'know, that vivid, high-resolution screen where all the real work gets done?
My twitchy peepers see a sudden pop of color or motion down below and they lock onto the Bar every. The best part of the Touch Bar setup, however, is the inclusion of a fast, accurate fingerprint sensor for logins and for authorizing Apple Pay transactions. I think this is a nice-to-have for everyone but the pro users Apple hopes to win back. Like the Touch Bar, this is a feature the MacBook Pro's target audience might even disable as soon as they set up their new computer, making it a dubious value add.
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Especially to pros with mountains of accessories and a workflow to maintain, it was understandably disruptive coming off the prior MacBook Pros—y'know, the old ones with the regular USB ports and HDMI and an SD card reader? Since then, the state of USB-C accessories has improved quite a bit, and those who need to remain on a MacBook Pro have adapted heh and accepted their new one-port-to-rule-them-all lord-of-the-ports USB-C.
And things are trending towards Apple's precedent.
The ability to plug any device into any port, in any orientation is one thing. But diminished utility is another. I can only imagine what it's like for working professionals to have to juggle adapters for hard drives, external displays, SD card readers, and other requisite peripherals. But it can put the burden on the user, something a truly elegant solution should never do. When you spend a boatload of money on something, you expect it to satisfy your needs.
With the MacBook Pro, it'll depend—making it a hard decision. The price? For me, what you don't get is almost as staggering as the price: there are no USB-C adapters in the box, the power cord no longer comes with an extension cord, everything is soldered down, making the MacBook Pro impervious to upgrades or emergency component swaps. Did the guy in seat 23B spill his ginger ale onto your Mac? It used to be that when you bought a MacBook Pro, you got the best hardware around, along with the best operating system.
Increasingly, these MacBooks feel like they beat up on the Mac faithful for favoring that ecosystem. It's an exercise in maddening compromises: with the Pro, you'll get the fastest-ever mobile Intel chips, but that silicon is saddled to a laptop with a keyboard that's just not great.
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MacBook Pro 13in () review | Stuff
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