Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 13th Mar 2015 21:56 UTC

From complaints about the Intel Core-M processor to the color choices to the decision to use USB-C, it seems that anyone with skin in the Mac game has found something to pick on regarding the new Macbook. I think it's all utter bullshit.

The thing that spec monkeys need to remember is that most people don't care about what they care about. Most people buying new computers aren't interest in how many cores a CPU has or how many GB of RAM or storage it has. Very few of the people I sell computers to have more than a passing interest. They want to know what the computer can do. What problems it solves for them.

While the gushing, endless praise for Apple/Mac/OS X in the article borders on the nauseating (hey it's iMore, what did you expect), I do agree with the main point. A similar reaction could be seen when Samsung announced the new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, where 'power users' started complaining about the non-removable back and lack of an SD card slot as if it these 'issues' matter one bit to the masses buying Galaxy phones (or any other brand, for that matter).

It's something I like to refer to as 'the bubble'. You can become so enveloped in the platforms and devices you use that you end up in a bubble. Your own specific use case becomes all that you can see, and because you read the same websites as other people inside your bubble do, it's easy to lose perspective of what lies beyond your bubble.

The end result is that you think stuff like removable batteries or SD card slots actually matter to more than 0.1% of the smartphone buying public, or that not having an USB port matters to the people buying this new MacBook. The same happened with the original iPhone, the first iMac, and god knows what else. A lot of people - vocal people - assume their own use case is the benchmark for everyone, and as such, if some new piece of kit does not fit that use case, it must, inevitably, fail.

I always try to make sure that I look beyond my own bubble - that's how I can lament the Apple Watch as a ugly, square, computery iPhone Wrist, while still acknowledging that it will most likely do quite well, because what I want in a smartwatch - watch first, computer fourth or fifth - is probably not what most other people want.

This new MacBook is going to be a huge success, and so will the new Galaxy S6. Nobody cares about removable backs, SD card slots, or ports.

Thread beginning with comment 606972
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Comment by p13.
by phoehne on Sat 14th Mar 2015 14:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by p13."
Member since:

In an effort to see if I can get past your furious blast of righteousness, I'm going to be a little mean. So you basically don't understand that Apple has the MacPro line for people who want lots of ports and i7 processors instead of M series processors and 1 port. So if you're a power use that needs to get your spec boner on, you can buy a MacPro.

Individual specs don't really matter at all. It's a matter of system performance and the business decisions a vendor makes. For example, Vendor A may make a laptop that allows you to choose between a variety of drives connected through the SATA port. That's not as fast as PCIe storage offered by Vendor B, but PCIe storage means it's harder to upgrade and more expensive. But PCIe storage is betweeen 3 and 9 times faster than SATA SSDs. Vendor A made the business decision to reduce cost and allow consumers to choose even though system performance is worse. Vendor B's laptop may have a slower processor at a higher price point but will probably outperform Vendor A's laptop, even though it comes with a faster processor and a whopping 13 USB 3 ports, 4 SD slots, and a parallel port.

So who's 'screwing' anyone in this situation? The vendor that provides a crappy storage interconnect but the fast processor? The vendor that uses only PCIe storage but has a slightly slower processor? The vendor that is selling you 'choice' is really playing on the fact spec nerds will go for the fast processor, even though overall performance is worse.

When I hear a lot of people crapping on Apple hardware, I think of the Stephen Colbert quote that goes something like "I don't like homosexuals - especially the ones that turn me on."

[Edited for clarity]

Edited 2015-03-14 14:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by p13.
by vault on Sat 14th Mar 2015 19:59 in reply to "RE: Comment by p13."
vault Member since:

So who's 'screwing' anyone in this situation? The vendor that provides a crappy storage interconnect but the fast processor? The vendor that uses only PCIe storage but has a slightly slower processor? The vendor that is selling you 'choice' is really playing on the fact spec nerds will go for the fast processor, even though overall performance is worse.

You mean the vendor that uses a proprietary storage port instead of the industry standard M.2, which accepts both SATA and pure PCI-e based devices? You do realise we could have both performance AND choice?

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by p13.
by phoehne on Sun 15th Mar 2015 01:44 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by p13."
phoehne Member since:

So I went to retailer sites looking for the "choice." In an effort to compare apples to apples (forgive the pun) I looked at their selection of ultraportable consume laptops. HP didn't seem to have any options for an M2 drive (although I didn't dig through every model exhaustively). Lenovo did have an option for a 16 gig M2 drive (probably used as a cache by Windows).

But it was still a tough comparison. In some cases there were no configurable options on some of the consumer models. In other cases the screen was stuck at 1366x768. So not always a lot of choice there, but at least they were cheap. Actually some of them weren't that cheap, either. I focused on consumer models because that's what this MacBook is targeting, Ma and Pa Kettle - not MEs that run SolidWorks on their laptops. Again, most people don't realize that individual specs don't matter but most of the PC vendors are just selling you a list of specs and giving you a false sense of choice. That's different from selling you a complete system where you have fewer choices. At least 80% of the PC market is shit and mediocrity. The bright spots are few and far between, and Apple is one of them.

Self styled power users often complain loudly and endlessly about the choices that real engineers and industrial designers make in designing products. Usually products that will work very well for their intended users. You don't just see it with Apple products, you see it with things like reviews of cameras, where people just count megapixels on cameras, or just compare cars on their favorite metrics. They don't look the whole performance profile. Just because your Subaru can chew up and spit out an M3 off the line, doesn't mean it's a better car. That's just one metric.

Most of the comments I read on the Apple MacBook announcement were just that, people who took apart one aspect like the choice of an M series processor and said 'it's underpowered' and therefore a ripoff. Usually they're ignorant loudmouths that don't understand that it's all about tradeoffs. A hotter processors mean you have to work harder to pull heat off the computer. In this case it also probably means a larger motherboard, and therefore less room for battery. Which then cuts into your battery life. Of course you can make it thicker, add more batteries and a faster processor, and a fan. Then you could add some more ports (why not, you've made it thicker?). Maybe add discrete graphics, but that requires more battery because you need more air flow to cool the GPU. Congratulations - you just made a MacBook Pro.

But wait, let's add the ability to put in a SATA or M2 drive because people need a choice. Do we need to make it thicker or take out some battery to accommodate the space for the SATA? How about a removable battery? Because 4% of our users have ever bought a second battery - because shit - we need to give them choices. Why not add a DVD drive and VGA 15 port for easier connectivity to projectors? Congratulations, dude, you're getting a Dell.

Edited 2015-03-15 01:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0