The State of Mac Hardware — Early 2019

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Macs, like many other computers, have always had their share of problems. These past few years feel particularly bad though, so here’s my quick take on the current state of the Mac lineup.

MacBook (12″)

  • bad keyboard design
  • too expensive for what it offers
  • screen resolution could be a bit higher

MacBook Air (13″)

  • bad keyboard design
  • CPU should be from the 15W TDP family, with quad-core options
  • max screen brightness isn’t high enough
  • wish it had P3
  • price should start at $999
  • this used to be the go-to MacBook because it offered both power and portability; sure, it wasn’t as fast as a 28W 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it could get the job done when needed; the new version has a weak 7W dual-core CPU, making it slightly faster than the 12-inch MacBook
  • should be called 13-inch MacBook

MacBook Pro (13″ without Touch Bar)

  • screen is set to 1440×900 pt by default while the screen resolution is 2560×1600 px (1280×800 pt) — this means it’s not at 2x Retina, though this is probably due to battery life concerns
  • bad keyboard design
  • not updated for 2018 with quad-core 15W TDP CPUs, which I was waiting for; I don’t want the Touch Bar (had it, hated it) but I do want a bit more power since it’s available in competing laptops
  • since the new MacBook Air didn’t get the 15W TDP CPUs (which it once had), there is a gap in the MacBook lineup, where you can only choose a 7W or 28W CPU, unless you feel comfortable buying old tech for the same high price

MacBook Pro (13″ with Touch Bar)

  • screen is set to 1440×900 pt by default while the screen resolution is 2560×1600 px (1280×800 pt) — this means it’s not at 2x Retina, though this is probably due to battery life concerns
  • bad keyboard design
  • Touch Bar should be an option (I tried to live with it for a month but I hated it)
  • too expensive

MacBook Pro (15″)

  • screen is set to 1680×1050 pt by default while the screen resolution is 2880×1800 px (1440×900 pt) — this means it’s not at 2x Retina, though this is probably due to battery life concerns
  • bad keyboard design
  • the Touch Bar should be an option (I tried to live with it for a month but I hated it)
  • too expensive

iMac

  • still available with 5400 rpm HDD
  • screen still accumulates dust from the cooling system, which is not officially recognised by Apple as a design flaw, despite it being a problem for more than a decade now
  • impossible to get inside easily, which leads to scratched/damaged iMacs even when serviced by Apple
  • gets hot inside, leading to premature death of GPUs and other problems

iMac Pro

  • looking decent so far, though I still fail to understand why they couldn’t have given the case behind the screen more volume, to make everything run cooler
  • too expensive

Mac Pro

  • simply embarrassing

Mac Mini

  • while expensive, this is the only Mac in Apple’s portfolio that I would even consider buying

RAM and SSD Prices

  • Apple’s current margins on RAM and SSDs are absurd

Repairs

  • if anything breaks on your Mac, you will most probably have to send it in for at least a 5-7 day repair which is completely unacceptable, especially if it’s something as simple to replace as RAM, an HDD or SSD, etc.

I jumped on the 2016 MacBook Pro (settling on the non-Touch Bar version after trying to live with the more expensive model for a month) due to its superior display (P3 was an important factor) as soon as it came out but that turned out to be a mistake. I have had the keyboard replaced once already and it feels more flaky with every typed word. I was hoping it would be fixed in the 2018 update with a nice additional bump in power thanks to the new quad-core CPUs. Sadly, Apple decided to instead introduce a 7W MacBook Air and not update the non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro. The former is too slow while the latter is missing new CPUs. I really don’t require much of my computers but Apple’s current lineup caters to such niche markets that I can’t help but wonder how many more they would sell if they didn’t artificially limit what these machines could do. Sadly, the only Mac that I would even consider buying, despite its high price, is the new Mac Mini. But I already have a desktop…

Curious to see what 2019 will bring but at this point, I’m slowly accepting the fact that I will need to start looking for alternatives.

Chcesz zwrócić mi na coś uwagę lub skomentować? Zapraszam na @morid1n.

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