Thanks to our company’s policy of being an early adopter for the staff of tech hounds, I had an opportunity to put a new MacBook Pro through a little workout. I want to say that these new models have generated more than the ordinary amount of negative response, but some online Googling revealed that every new MacBook Pro in recent memory received similar criticisms.
My first look is both positive and negative. The positive should be obvious. The fully loaded 16GB RAM i7 model is a screamer, easily the fastest Mac I have ever used ever (our company has a Mac Pro from a few years ago but few applications take advantage of all that hardware power). Everything is fast. What about the negative?
Side note: macOS Sierra knows that both the different spellings of upgradeability and upgradability are in common use, so neither is marked with red squiggly underlines. OK, back to the Mac. The negative is obvious, too. No upgradeability. Mac notebooks of the past had relatively easy options to open up the back, remove and replace batter, RAM, and SSDs.
Goodbye, upgradeable Macs. No upgrades for you, technology lover. In fact, if there is any way to upgrade anything in the MacBook Pro it seems best relegated to a member of the nearby Apple Store Genius Bar. You can’t even upgrade the SSD, let alone the RAM, and not even the battery. The old PC purchasing adage of “Buy the most RAM and largest storage you can afford” applies here.
That got me to thinking. What else does Apple sell that cannot be upgraded? Answer? Almost everything.
iPhone and iPad? No upgradeability. MacBook? Nope. Watch? Uh uh. What you buy is what you get; you’re stuck with peripherals and that’s about it. Other than software upgrades, of course. Apple TV? Nope. Mac mini? Maybe. But not without some trepidation, a little sweating around the brow, and Steve Jobs’ ghost hovering over you.
What about the iMac?
I just checked the latest versions– the 27-inch Retina 5k model has user accessible RAM through a door behind the screen, but those sealed screens mean no easy upgrade path for storage options, and certainly not graphic card options. The 21-inch models do not have user accessible RAM or other options.
When you order a new iMac, order carefully.
What about the Mac Pro, that strange little beast that replaced the cheese grater Mac Pro which could double up as an entry on Tiny House Nation and may have been the most easily remodeled Mac ever? The Mac Pro still, three years after launch, can handle upgrades in RAM and Storage and… insert drum roll here… not much else. MacSales has options to get the Mac Pro up to 128GB of RAM. Is that enough to be called professional? How about this? The Mac Pro can also be equipped with up to 4TB of SSD storage. All that RAM and SSD storage could double the price tag of an entry-level Mac Pro.
With the new MacBook Pro models it should be obvious that Apple is moving customers into a new era where upgradability will become a footnote in the technology history books. To paraphrase the Soup Nazi, “No upgrades for you!”
Steve Jobs’ ghost is smiling.