Jason Snell, writing on the Six Colors blog:

The trend in laptop design, since the very beginning, has been toward lighter and thinner laptops. In 2001 Steve Jobs boasted about the mind-blowing one-inch thickness of the Titanium PowerBook G4; 19 years later the average Mac laptop is half that thickness.

But it’s one thing to know that laptops trend toward thinness and lightness. It’s another to see a chart that lets you visualize it. So I dug through the specs of past Mac systems at EveryMac.comand averaged the weight and thickness of the Mac laptop product line for every year since the first Mac laptop, the hilariously heavy Mac Portable, hit the scene.

Fascinating graphs. The dive in 2008 in both the graphs is my favorite.

Apple Updates the 13-inch MacBook Pro, Kills the Butterfly Keyboard for Good

Apple today announced the release of an updated lineup of its 13-inch MacBook Pro that introduces the new Magic Keyboard, doubles the storage, and adds faster RAM and newer CPUs in the top-end models.

The biggest change, of course, is the replacement of the terrible Butterfly keyboard with the newer and better Magic Keyboard. The 13-inch MacBook Pro was the only notebook in Apple’s current lineup that featured the sucky keys, so good riddance.

The new lineup also offers Intel’s 10th-generation CPUs and 16GB of faster 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory, but only on the topend model that features the 2.0GHz Core i5 processor. While the lower model does get the option to upgrade to 16GB of RAM, you’re limited to the much slower 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM only.

Effectively, the base model of the “new” 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro that will go on sale in India late next month will come with:

  • Magic Keyboard
  • 1.4GHz quad‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i5
  • 8GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB‑C) ports

and cost a whopping INR 1,22,900 or $1625.

If you have to actually take advantage of the newer processor & RAM, you have to get the topend model with:

  • 2.0GHz quad‑core 10th‑generation Intel Core i5
  • 16GB of 3733MHz LPDDR4X RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • Four Thunderbolt 2 (USB-C) ports

and costs INR 1,74,900 or $2315.

If you need 1TB of SSD storage, i.e. +512GB in the above config, you have to shell out INR 20,000 extra, taking the total to INR 1,94,900.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at INR 1,99,900.

Shahid Kamal Ahmad has a Few Things to Say about his MacBook Pro

Shahid Kamal Ahmad — best known for his work at Sony’s PlayStation division, has a few words to say about his MacBook Pro in his post titled, “MacBook Pro? No“.

Let me count the way my latest MacBook Pro is not suitable for professional use, but before I do that, you should know that I’ve been buying and recommending Macs since 2001. I’ve spent a fortune on them. I love them, but I only like my latest MacBook Pro (a 2016 model with the Radeon Pro 460). I write this with a heavy heart and a malfunctioning keyboard.  This is a story about unrequited hardware love.

and

You know that a design has failed when you’re forced into using it. The Touch Bar is Apple’s Clippy. An embarrassment.

I currently use a Mid-2011 iMac as my desktop computer and a Mid-2013 MacBook Air as my notebook. Both these Macs are now old, slow and I’m looking to replace them with better & faster Macs. The iMac will probably be replaced by a 27-inch 5K iMac, largely because I cannot afford the iMac Pro at ₹4,15,000 here in India. The MacBook Air on the other hand, or just in general for that matter, won’t be replaced with another notebook — at least in the near future, for one very simple reason.

Apple does not currently make a better & faster notebook computer.

The current MacBook Pro lineup raises more questions than it solves, and Shahid outlines many of them perfectly. I’d have loved to replace both my Macs with a single MacBook Pro machine, but today’s lineup is anything but a “Pro”.

There are so many incredible things that Apple brought to the table in the past years, but decided to throw them away for no good reason.

  • I want a MacBook Pro that’s actually powerful.
  • I want a MacBook Pro with a keyboard keys that doesn’t stop working in a few months.
  • I want a MacBook Pro with a decent number of ports
  • I want a MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar — or at least one where the Touch Bar doesn’t take away functionality. Move it to the bottom of the screen if you want to.
  • I want a MacBook Pro where I can upgrade the default RAM. Apple doesn’t offer BTO options in India.
  • I want a charger with an indicator light at the end to tell me the charging status.
  • Heck, I want a charger that ships with a goddamn cable.

I absolutely loved my 2008-era 15-inch MacBook Pro and I’d love to use a MacBook Pro as my primary machine, but as it stands today, I just can’t.

[Updated] Apple Announces a New MacBook Pro Lineup with Touch Bar, Touch ID and USB Type-C Ports (India Pricing)

Apple MacBook Pro 2016

Apple today announced an all new MacBook Pro Lineup in an event at its campus in Cupertino. Poised as the “thinnest and lightest MacBook Pro ever“, the highlight of the new MacBook Pro is the new multitouch Retina Display that replaces the row of Function keys above the keyboard. Called a Touch Bar, this new interface displays app-specific buttons and options that the user can interact with — allowing app developers to offer custom features via this additional display. Apple demoed apps like the new Final Cut Pro 10.3, Adobe Photoshop, Algoriddim’s djay Pro and said that apps like Microsoft Office, Skype, Sketch, etc. will be adding support for the Touch ID very soon.

Along with the Touch Bar, Apple has also introduced a Touch ID into the new MacBook Pro. Featuring the 2nd generation sensor from the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, the new Touch ID allows users to log into their Macs or make payments via Apple Pay with just a simple touch. Additionally, different user accounts on the Mac can be tied to users’ own fingerprints — a feature I’m personally desperately waiting for on the iPads.

The new MacBook Pro all features a stunning new display that Apple says is the “brightest and most colorful Retina display yet“. The new display boasts 500 nits of brightness making it 67 percent brighter than its predecessors and also has 67 percent more contrast. Additionally, the display also features the ability to display a wider color gamut and consumes 30% less power compared to previous generations.

The MacBook Pro lineup also features a much larger Force Touch trackpad, coming in a twice the size of its predecessors. There are four Thunderbolt 3 ports using USB Type-C connectors and each of these connectors can be used for charging, video or data transfers.

Other features added to the MacBook Pro lineup include a new keyboard with second-generation butterfly mechanism and louder speakers with improved bass and twice the dynamic range.

MacBook Pro Specifications and India Pricing:

The new MacBook Pro lineup now consists of three different models with multiple versions:

  1. 13-inch MacBook Pro
  2. 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID
  3. 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

13-inch MacBook Pro

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is meant as a minor upgrade to the current generation 13-inch MacBook Air. Although Apple has discontinued the 11-inch MacBook Air model, the 13-inch model stays.

This new 13-inch MacBook Pro features the all-new design and sports a 2GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz), 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage.

India Pricing: ₹1,29,900

13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

This all new 13-inch MacBook Pro sports a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz), 8GB RAM and 256GB or 512GB of flash Storage. You also get Apple’s breakthrough new interface in the form of the Touch Bar, the all new Touch ID and four Thunderbolt 3 ports with USB Type-C connectors.

India Pricing: ₹1,55,900 (256GB model) and ₹1,72,900 (512GB model)

Exact pricing for the 512GB model will be available closer to availability.

15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro comes in two models for India — a base model with 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz), 16GB of RAM and 256GB of flash Storage and a higher model with 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz), 16GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage.

The Base model features Radeon Pro 450 Graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 memory while the higher model features Radeon Pro 455 Graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Both models feature automatic switching between the GPU and onboard Intel HD Graphics 530.

India Pricing: ₹2,05,900 (256GB model) and ₹2,41,900 (512GB model)

Exact pricing for the 512GB model will be available closer to availability.

The new lineup is up for pre-order today in the US and start shipping in 2-3 weeks. The availability in India will probably be somewhere in January 2017.

Update – October 28th, 2016, 12:11PM: Apple India has just sent out another email to media outlets, changing the availability to “Coming Soon” instead of the previously mentioned availability of 2-3 weeks. I suspect the new lineup will be available in India starting not before January 2017.