Sad state of the prosumer laptops

Just want to vent here. Apple’s pro laptop options are terrible. We need to get something with more horses than a 12” Macbook to handle some computational science development for my wife and there are no good options. Even if today’s Apple event had a new Air, I might still lean towards the pro lines, depending on the specs.

Here are the options we’d consider:

  • 2015 13” MBP: mostly refurbish available. A little old but reasonably priced returbs can be had under $1000 for 8 GB RAM and an i5
  • ~2018~ 2017 13” MBP Escape. $1300 from Apple, but with the gen 2 keyboard. Why? Why would I spend money on a computer with a known hardware issue?
  • 2018 13” MBP w/ TouchBar. 3rd gen, hopefully fixed keyboard. TouchBar is not ideal, but not a dealbreaker. But starting at $1800? From a computation perspective, this is totally not worth the extra $500 for the minor processor bump and to double the storage.

Honestly the 2017 MBP Escape is a no-go because the keyboard. And I can’t justify the price on the 13” 2018 when I paid $1900 for a refurb i7 16 GB RAM 15” 2015 MBP in 2016 (for myself)!

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The only reason why they haven’t updated the MacBook 12" and the nTB Pro I can imagine is that a new customer laptop is on its way. I am pretty sure we will get an October event with iPads and consumer MacBooks

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New Macs are being announced in a month, but almost certainly not on the pro end. (Apple never has been interested in ‘prosumer,’ making it consumer or pro for the most part, with ‘pro’ handling a wide range of definitions.)

Seems that the right machines are there, but you dislike the pricing. Welcome to the world of Apple. Products you want at a price you don’t like.

I’d suggest that the hardware pricing is actually commensurate with the hardware offered with equivalent top-end Windows machines. Although there are cheaper Windows machines available they don’t have the same parts and specs. If the machine is needed primarily for computational science development and your wife doesn’t need to live in the Mac app universe, perhaps a cheaper, processor-oriented Windows box is a more affordable, acceptable choice - but it wouldn’t match on fit, finish, apps, support, etc.

Is this a computer specifically for your wife’s work? Is the kind of work that a business or school would pay for or subsidize? Or is this a family computer your wife wants to do some work on at home as well?

I think the keyboard’s fine, especially with the latest manufacturing. Then again, I always do my sit-down, long-form work with an external keyboard, a habit I started in 1993 when the keybed of my Powerbook Duo 230 caved in.

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You want horsepower, ports and total control get this:

Stop whining about the keyboard. Its a problem limited to just a few computers. And even then not sure what caused it. I have more than 50 recent generation MB pro’s in my pool and not a single one of them has a keyboard problem. These are great computers.

Just bought a 15" latest model MB Pro myself and loving it more then my Retina iMac.


Wait a month… then we’ll talk

Wow, that’s really horsepower! :-o

The keyboard is fine - the only time I’ve had issues with mine is when a toddler poured a handful of sand on it. As long as you don’t eat in front of it (which I never do anymore - used to in the pre-iPhone days…) or work in a sawmill you should be fine.

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Hate the keyboard. Loved EVERY apple keyboard before the touchbar macbook pro. And I owned them all. Original macbook air, 15” pro, air 13”, air 11”, retina 15” pro. This keyboard on the touchbar has ruined it for me. 3 replacements and I just still hate it 2 years later.

I recently switched to using K811 external. I put it directly on top of the keys. It has really made for such a better experience for me.