The first reviews of the new MacBook Pro are in. Note that this only concerns the base 13″model, which does not come with the new Touch Bar.
While the display, build quality, and looks of the new MacBook Pro are beyond reproach, they’re no longer beyond the competition. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Yoga has a spectacular OLED display. Dell’s XPS 13 has great battery life and design. HP’s EliteBook Folio has a hinge that folds out to a full 180 degrees, whereas Apple s laptops have always been limited to opening to a little bit beyond vertical. Razer’s Blade Stealth has a 4K touchscreen, Thunderbolt 3, and the latest seventh-gen Intel processors, whereas Apple is still using sixth-gen chips. Why does any of that matter? It matters because this new MacBook Pro’s compromises are large enough to make me, a loyal and satisfied MacBook user for seven years, look outside the cozy confines of Apple’s ecosystem. Apple has built a beautiful computer with all the upgrades I wanted, but it’s taken away things that I actually need, and now I’m looking elsewhere.
Putting aside larger concerns about Apple’s stewardship of the Mac as a hardware and software platform, the new MacBook Pro is a very solid design that should serve Apple well over the next few years. Some pros will claim that it isn’t “pro” enough, but the 13-inch models have always served as more of a bridge between the consumer MacBooks and MacBook Airs on the low end and the 15-inch Pros and the desktop lineup on the high end. They’ve never been particularly “pro.”