MacBook Pro With Touch Bar: Still Not A Success One Year After Release [Opinion]

Apple really missed the mark with their latest MacBook Pro notebooks.

2017 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
Daryl Deino

Apple really missed the mark with their latest MacBook Pro notebooks.

On October 27, 2016, the new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops were announced. Not only were they thinner and lighter, but they added something that Apple said would revolutionize the computer industry — the Touch Bar. It was an OLED strip that allowed you to pretty much do anything that function keys did.

When the late-2016 MacBook Pro computers were finally released in November, many debated how useful the Touch Bar really was. One year later, most feel that the Touch Bar is nothing more than a gimmick. CNET’s Stephen Shankland finds the touch-sensitive strip has become a major disability for Apple’s device.

“Bring me back to the dark ages. Because for me, the Touch Bar is slower when I need to use it and causes serious problems when I don’t.”

Shankland, like others, thought the Touch Bar seemed clever and groundbreaking at the time. But he now believes it has become a major obstacle. But the Touch Bar hasn’t been the only obstacle for the new MacBook Pro. Many, including this author, aren’t keen on the new butterfly keys. They are okay once you get used to them, but when you type on the Surface Book 2 or another device that has keys with normal travel, you realize what you have been missing.

MacBook Pro Surface Book 2
The 2017 Surface Book 2 is a better device than the 2017 MacBook Pro. Daryl Deino

Perhaps the biggest problem with the new MacBook Pro is that it really doesn’t feel like an upgrade to the MacBook Pro line. Instead, it feels like Apple should have considered all the new units an upgrade to the MacBook Air. Last year, the Verge called the new MacBook Pro a lie.

“Apple’s new MacBook Pro laptops are not designed for professional use. This should come as no surprise to those who’ve long perceived the Mac platform as inward-looking, limited in compatibility, and generally worse value for money than comparable Windows alternatives.”

The article added that the new MacBook Pros were not only less compatible than before, but aren’t even huge upgrades from previous MacBook Pros. A lot of people share this view. However, nobody can deny that the new MacBook Pros are extremely well-built and offer solid battery life.

Dell XPS 13
The 2017 Dell XPS 13 is also a better buy than the 2017 MacBook Pro. Daryl Deino

But unless you are tied into the Apple ecosystem, why would you buy a 13-inch MacBook Pro over the Surface Pro, Dell XPS 13, or, especially, the Surface Book 2? The Windows devices are, for the most part, at least $200 cheaper and offer not only better specs but the latest processors as well.

If you are in the market for a 15-inch notebook, the 15-inch Surface Book 2 or Dell XPS 15 are far better options that give you every bit of bang for your buck. Apple seems to think they can still get away with charging a lot extra just because of their brand. But with their new MacBook Pro, Apple is destroying their brand more than maintaining it.