Apple has been removing features from the MacBook Pro for six years in an apparent quest to be sleek. In 2015, Apple began to eliminate most ports and soon abandoned the cheerfully detachable MagSafe charging cable. The Touch Bar, an addition to the Mac in 2016, was a great addition but didn't make it thinner. However, it failed to win over customers and developers alike. Half a century has passed since the Mac became prettier, but less useful. Apple has reversed its course today.
The new MacBook Pro is available in two sizes and runs on an Apple processor. It has been redesigned to include some of the most useful features of a professional grade computer. The MacBook Pro is expensive and the performance claims are still subject to independent review. Apple's overhaul immediately demonstrates that they have remembered that laptop users, especially those with the Pro moniker, need to prioritise function over form.
Apple has not been forthcoming with admitting that Macs have experienced other issues over the last five years. The 2018 MacBook Pro's new version suffered from CPU throttling and overheating. This was fixed by a software update. Apple finally dropped its controversial butterfly keyboard and returned to a traditional scissor-switch design.
Apple's MacBook Pros today are the most complete admission that the line was heading in the wrong direction. Apple is closer to ending its separation with Intel by incorporating its latest desktop silicon efforts, the M1 Pro Max and M1 Pro Max chips. It may just have won back a lot of real pros. Apple's reinvention comes at a moment when PCs are in high demand, with the pandemic driving people back to laptops.
Although the all-aluminum enclosure for the new MacBook Pros may look familiar, Apple has replaced its 13-inch Pros and 15-inch Pros with 14-inch Pros and 16-inch Pros. These displays are higher resolution with smaller bezels around the edges and an iPhone-style camera notch. The 1080p HD sensor has also been added to the camera.
Apple has discarded the Touch Bar. The new MacBook Pros now have traditional function keys and not a light-up touch-sensitive strip. The actual keys are more responsive. Although we haven't tried it yet, it seems that the keyboard is easier to use.
The 14-inch and 16 inch models both have three Thunderbolt4 ports, an SD card slot, and an HDMI port to connect external displays. This is a welcome addition to the MacBook Pro port types from the mid-2010s, with the exception of USB-A. Apple tried for a while to convince consumers that two USB C ports were enough; that carrying around an iPad-sized MacBook was a fair tradeoff. But not so.