I’ve long been an Apple defender, even during the wandering-in-the-desert, post-Steve-Jobs-return era, but I have to side with those who are saying that Apple has gotten greedy. And, yes, I’m talking about the new MacBook Pros introduced at last week’s “hello, again” event.
The laptops are more expensive (about $200) than their predecessors. I’ll be generous (something Apple apparently no longer is) and chalk that up to the innovative Touch Bar (which does look cool). And I understand that Apple used Skylake processors instead of the newer Kaby Lake chips as the latter aren’t widely available yet. But these things I can’t ignore:
- Apple doesn’t include a Power Extension Cable, something that’s included with laptops for as long as I can remember. You can buy one (of course) for $19.
- Apple includes no dongle for connecting an iPhone. Want to plug in your new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus to a MacBook Pro? It’s going to cost you another $19 for that.
These two things should be included in the box, not extra purchases. You’ll also need a $49.95 dongle for connecting an SD card, $34.95 for an Ethernet adapter and $49 for a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter.
Oh well, at least you can plug in your headphones. Although why it took courage to remove an 3.5mm audio jack from the iPhone 7/7 Plus and it’s still there on new Mac laptops is a question I’d love to have answered.
And don’t get me started on the lack of a MagSafe connector.
Then there’s the argument (which I agree with) that the MacBook Pros aren’t “pro” enough for many professionals. There’s that limit of 16GB of RAM. Really? Apple says that adding more “would require a memory system that consumes much more power and wouldn’t be efficient enough for a notebook.” But, y’know, I have a feeling that many pro users would settle for a little less battery life and more memory potential.
Could we have had the best of both worlds if Apple weren’t so obsessed with making its products ever-more thinner? Perhaps. Even if that’s not feasible, someone needs to tell Apple (and especially Jony Ive) that there’s a line between svelte design and needed features in products— and Apple’s dangerously close to crossing it.