No, Mac notebook keyboards with the infamous butterfly keyboard designs don’t count as bleeding edge. Most Mac users in my semi-official survey of family members, co-workers, neighbors, and friends tell me that tried and true works well. Why?
Those Mac users I know who are comfortable with the status quo point to the infamous and notorious and flawed butterfly keyboard that made its way to all Mac notebook keyboards until this week as a reason to stick with tried and true.
I agree. I decided last year to skip the new Mac notebook cycle this year until Apple got rid of the problematic keyboard and decided to be more pragmatic since Sir Jonny Ive departed. Well, here we are. A new MacBook Pro has arrived and it has a new keyboard and I’m still not on board.
First, let’s see how this new hybrid keyboard design works first. The old fashioned scissor mechanism is back, the inverted-T arrow keys returned, and there is a physical Escape key.
Thank you, Apple.
Second, Apple still has not moved the Mac forward into the future– where iPhone and iPad Pro live– as there is no Face ID. Touch ID? Yes. Face ID? No.
Apple didn’t say. The new 16-inch MacBook Pro is a little bit iterative future and yesteryear familiar, but does not break new ground the way Face ID did on iPhone X. Since then, we have iPhone XS, iPhone 11 Pro, and even iPad Pro that come with Face ID.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro has better sound, a faster CPU (Intel’s 9th generation), improved graphics, yes, a display to die for, and, since Sir J. Ive is gone, it weighs a bit more and takes up a bit more space and is slightly thicker. It has two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports on each side and even a traditional 20th-century headphone jack.
But no Face ID.
That means Apple has something planned for another year or two down the road. This one starts at $2,399, but just for grins I pushed it to the max; faster CPU, 64GB RAM, 8GB GPUI, more SSD storage– tops at $TB– and managed to get the price tag to $6,099.
For a Mac notebook. Even a Retina 5K 27-inch iMac tops out at $4,849.
My preference is the 13-inch MacBook Pro; one which I consider the almost perfect form factor for Mac travel on the go, but I may have to wait until it ships with Face ID.