16" MacBook Pro announced, and it has a proper escape key

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/13/16-macbook-pro-announced-an.html

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John Gruber’s comment:

It’s hard not to speculate that all of these changes are, to some degree, a de-Jony-Ive-ification of the keyboard. For all we on the outside know, this exact same keyboard might have shipped today even if Jony Ive were still at Apple. I’m not sure I know anyone, though, who would disagree that over the last 5-6 years, Apple’s balance of how things work versus how things look has veered problematically toward making things look better — hardware and software — at the expense of how they function.

I’m not sure I agree but I’d like it to be true.

Obligatory Edit: I’m finding it hard to think of how someone can justify spending $2400 on a laptop nowindays?


IBM might:

“…In the study presented on Tuesday, IBM says that employees that used Mac machines were 22 percent more likely to exceed expectations in performance reviews compared to Windows users. Mac-using employees generating sales deals have 16% larger proceeds as well.”


If I had $2,400 lying around – heck, in my bank account – heck, anywhere – I’d be doing a happy dance.


Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been using macs my whole life and can’t imagine switching to PC or linux.

The cost question was moreso needing that much computing power on the go. I guess if I worked in video/photo editing or digital design it would make sense. Otherwise computers seem to last longer than ever now because we just don’t need that speed bump every 2 or 3 years anymore.


My current computer is getting on for five years old, and I was starting to worry that if I wanted to replace it there just wouldn’t be a satisfactory option, so my feeling about this is more relief than anything. I won’t rush out and buy one because I’d rather have an otherwise similar 13-inch model if that becomes an option.

I’d have liked an SD card slot but I never expected to get that.


And yes, there is a dedicated escape key.

great! twelve more updates and we’ll have all the function keys back.


I spent more than that about a year back to build a laptop machine that I will still be using in a decade. Apple has moved too far towards planned obsolescence and disposable e-waste for me to return to the brand.

The switch to Linux has been delightful. (Data point: I first got introduced to Macs before they were commercially available… perk of growing up in early Apple’s environs. I have been a long time Mac user.)


What distro and what desktop environment do you use? (Just looking for datapoints, I’m a die hard Linux user who still runs a bare window manager and predominantly uses the command line. But I am about to get to inflict it on :cow2: orkers, so…)

(Also, I bet this laptop has their locked nvme controller that you cannot use from Linux rendering it useless to me.)

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I see they’re still keeping with the unsustainable designs. Want to upgrade the memory in your MacBook Pro? Fuck you, buy a new one. Because fuck the environment! MONEY!!

P.S. I’m criticizing the Apple Inc., not the person who made this post.


The Mac Pro is at least $6000.

So, when my last MBP died earlier this year, I bought a like-new (low battery cycle) 2014 15.4" Retina 16GB from Swappa for $875. I then installed a 2TB SSD for $260. We’re talking $1135 for a 15.4" Retina quad-core i7 16GB 2TB machine with MagSafe, 2x Thunderbolt 2, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI and an SD card port… and a great trackpad and scissor-switch keyboard.

Now, in 2019, Apple claims they’ve fixed things after the butterfly switch debacle. Sure, the CPU/GPU may be twice as fast, but what do they want for a machine with twice the processing power, a 3% larger screen, and many fewer ports? The bargain price of… $3199.

Look, if I need pure processing power, I’ll buy some Threadripper powerhouse. At the end of the day, the performance of my $1135 used 2014 isn’t different for nearly all tasks than a brand new $3199 laptop, and I don’t even have to contend with the useless Touch Bar on the newer machines.

Apple, you tried but you’re still getting it wrong. There’s a difference between innovation and high price (a real thing) and unnecessary features and high price. This is foolish.


do you actually use those thunderbolt 2 ports?

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No, but I use the USB 3.0 “A” ports every week, the HDMI port many weeks, and the SD Card port every so often. I have a grand total of zero USB-C devices that aren’t adapters for “A” ports, HDMI or SD cards, and I’ve seen very few native USB-C devices other than phone chargers, which is something I don’t need my computer to be.


So, the thunderbolt 2 ports, which you don’t really need, largely prevent you from having 4 usb 3.0 ports, which you might, in fact, need.

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I’m with you. I’m sill rocking a 15" MBP from 2012. After 7 years this machine is starting to show its age a little, and I was getting increasingly worried about the viability of a future Apple laptop purchase.

After speccing out a machine that I’d expect to last me another 7 years (base CPU, 32 GB RAM, 8 GB GPU, 2 TB SSD), it looks like I’m staring down the barrel of a $3700 price tag. Definitely not something I’m equipped for right now, or even in the near future, but I’m breathing a sigh of relief that Apple seems to at least be paying a modicum of attention to the people they expect to actually use their products, rather than how visually nifty they can make them. I need a computer I can do work on, not [ A E S T H E T I C ].

Now just bring back the MagSafe adapter, FFS.

I’ve got a news flash for you: refurbished pre-owned computers are always cheaper than actual brand new machines. Apple’s own prices for new machines haven’t changed much in the past decade. My MBP cost me about $3K back in 2012. The machine you bought cost at least that much when it was released. If you wait 5 years, I’m sure you’ll be able to find used 2019 16" MBPs on used computer sites for drastic discounts.


Huh? I have Thunderbolt 2 to DisplayPort and Ethernet dongles. They’re still totally usable.

But my MBP 2014 15" also has 2 USB 3.0 ports, as well as a MagSafe charging port, an HDMI port, and an SD card port.

At the end of the day, the 2014 15" MBP has seven ports compared with four, all of which are still useful as modern ports today. How is it better to have four USB-C ports?

Just a (highly tweaked) Ubuntu Gnome 18 then 19, looking forward to 20 LTE next year.


Do you have you tweaks posted anywhere?

Nope! But they are a rambling collection of things like Gnome Tweaks settings, custom extensions like Plank, and personally-written scripts to do things that I do a lot (like encrypt/decrypt files with password protection, bound to keyboard shortcuts in the system which act on selected files).