Just over a year ago I started using a new 15″ Macbook Pro. The one with the controversial butterfly keyboard and touch bar. I wasn’t excited about those changes, but I figured I could adapt, even if it turned out to not be great.
It definitely wasn’t great.
Then, earlier this month, it died. Not sure what happened, but in the mean time I needed something to use. So I went back to my previous 2015 Macbook Pro ( 13″ ). Switching back to the previous generation really drove home for me the differences between the two. I was surprised how pleasant it was to be back on a regular keyboard again.
Besides the keys, I’m not a fan of the touch bar. Having real keys again is so much better. The track pad size is also more reasonable, the new track pad is just too large. A few times a week it would pick up on my palms and trigger a multi-touch action, usually the zoom level in my browser.
This is going to sound like a small thing, but I really like the magsafe power adapter. The power status light was something I really missed, even though it is just this tiny feature.
Really, there are only two things that I miss on the 2015 previous generation Mac that the current models have: touch id and USB-C. Having only USB-C isn’t great, but it would be nice to have one USB-C port along with magsafe, USB, audio, SD and HDMI. Basically swap out the Thunderbolt 2 ports for USB-C ( Thunderbolt 3 ).
I’ve been using Apple laptops for more than a dozen years ( before that a lot of FreeBSD on laptops ), and the touch bar generation is the only one that hasn’t been a joy to use.
Tim Cook, if you are listening, I’d love to be able to buy a 2015 style Macbook Pro with updated internals ( 32 GB of RAM, yes please! ), that kept the real keyboard ( no touch bar ) and various ports. If it needs a different name, call it the developer edition.