I Recently Returned My New, Beautiful Macbook Pro with Touch Bar to Apple. Here’s Why.
Ever since getting a bulky iPod with a colour screen and enormously oversized storage capacity, I’ve LOVED Apple products. I haven’t had a computer nor a phone from any other manufacturer for years and years.
I live stream all their launch events. When they announced new Macbook Pro (MBP) with Touch Bar, I was one happy camper. My 13 inch MBP from 2012 was starting to slow down. The weight of editing massive photo files was squeezing it to the limit every day. I quickly convinced myself I needed a new one in the name of productivity.
I bought a 13″ MBP with Touch Bar on launch day. I waited and waited for weeks. Then I changed my mind, cancelled it, ordered a 15 inch model instead. I entered the back of the line again. More waiting ensued.
It finally arrived. It was GORGEOUS. So smooth, so well built, and holy moly what an incredible screen!
However, I quickly realised something was wrong.
A few somethings, in fact.
I’ve never returned an Apple product before. But I packed down my shiny new Macbook Pro and shipped right back where it came from. Here’s why.
Terrible Battery Life
This was the biggest surprise for me, and also the most pressing issue I had with the new Macbook Pro. I’m on the road a lot, so battery life is super important to me. I was obviously looking forwards to a great battery boost compared to my old MBP from 2012.
The battery life of my new Macbook Pro was ridiculously bad. When doing what I typically do, editing huge photos in Adobe Lightroom while having a bunch of Chrome tabs open, the battery lasted a mere 2-3 hours!
My old Macbook Pro – which is over 4 YEARS old, mind you – still performs better than that. Dealbreaker!
“Donglelife” – Lack of Vital Ports
I give Apple massive credits for pushing for faster adoption of new, USB-C ports. It’s a bold move, it’s timely and it drives better technology forward faster. So far, so good.
The obvious problem is that the rest of the world lags behind for the time being. Nobody else has adopted USB-C on a massive scale yet. To put it bluntly, nothing fits in the fresh new ports on the new Macbook Pros.
New Macbook Pro owners are signing up for a massive headache until the rest of the world catches up: #donglelife.
- Want to use a ANYTHING that connects with a “normal” USB plug? Get a dongle.
- Want to use a HDMI cable? Get a dongle.
- Want to import photos from an SD card? Get a dongle.
Technological Adoption’s Classic Catch-22
There’s an obvious elephant in the room here – a technological Catch-22. Nobody wants to adopt technology that’s not yet universally accepted nor perfectly convenient to use.
Nobody wants to adopt technology that’s not yet universally accepted nor perfectly convenient to use.
On the other hand, technology will never become universally accepted if nobody starts and pushes the adoption process.
If no early adopters offer to pave the way, technological progress will slow down to a halt.
I’m an early adopter in many instances, but this time around I changed my mind. Dongle life sucks. I’m waiting it out a bit longer.
Super Slow Wake-Up Time
When waking up after being idle for a while, my new, shiny, lovely Macbook Pro would be unresponsive for ages before anything happened at all. Like an excessively shy kid at a birthday feast, it would just sit there, not making a move. This went on for hours! OK, actually only for 3-4 minutes, but it seemed like hours when I sat around looking into a black screen.
This might have been a bug on my machine, but still totally uncool. My old Macbook Pro is always ready to rumble when I open the lid – it wakes faster than a caffeinated cat.
The Potential to Become an Amazing Machine
Despite its troubles, the new Macbook Pro line can become amazingly great machines. I’ll probably own a new one soon enough, when a few things fall into place.
I’ll Buy a New Macbook Pro When These 3 Things Happen
- Boost battery life: Seriously, Apple, fix this. Give me a machine that’s a few millimetres thicker if that’s what it takes.
- Bug fix bonanza: I buy Apple products because they just work, because they’re amazing out of the box. I don’t want a Macbook that freezes on wake-up and goes blank at random times. Fix the bugs and I’ll be back for a new MBP.
- Wider adoption of USB-C: This one’s not up to Apple to fix alone, but all of us. The new USB-C standard is great, but I can’t be bothered with dongles for EVERYTHING. I’ll let the early adopters push this technology a bit closer to the masses before jumping on board again.
For now, I’m sticking with my old workhorse – the ever loyal 13 inch Macbook Pro Retina from 2012.