Everyone loves to review new technology, but Apple has made some bold changes over the last several years that has unexpectedly made older technology more useful to some people.
The MacBook Pro has been an Apple favorite for years, but as the new MacBooks keep coming, we’re seeing fewer ports and more need for adapters. While Apple says the ports are disappearing for convenience, many people find it not so convenient.
If you’re in the market for a MacBook Pro, you should consider getting a pre-2016 model for the following reasons:
- The absence of an SD card slot
In 2016, Apple decided that having an SD card slot on a MacBook Pro is cumbersome and unnecessary. Instead, Apple says it’s easier for consumers to use wireless transfer methods directly from the camera. If users want, they can use an adapter to transfer data through a wire.
While wireless transfers certainly are fast, they’re not always the easiest. Sometimes it’s easier to stick a card in your laptop and browse the files. This is especially true when you need to use someone else’s computer to access the files.
With an SD card, you can bring the card with you anywhere to edit your files. If all you have is wireless transfer capabilities, you have to bring your camera wherever the transfer is going to take place.
There are also times when the wireless transfer technology won’t work for various reasons. In this case, you need an adapter, which means spending more money. However, if you rely on wireless transfers and one day everything stops working, you’re stuck until you can purchase an adapter. It could be several days to a week before you can get going on your editing.
If you’re a photographer, nothing can slow you down more than a break in your routine. If you prefer being able to pop an SD card in and out of your computer, hang onto your pre-2016 MacBook Pro laptops – even if you decide to upgrade to a new machine.
- The absence of a 3.5mm headphone jack
This elimination is a doozy for many people. The absence of a headphone jack means everyone has to buy new, wireless headphones, earbuds, or speakers. You can’t just plug your computer into your existing wired surround sound system, either.
Not everyone can afford wireless headphones and not everyone wants wireless headphones. Furthermore, a number of people get headaches from the radiation emitted by wireless headphones and rely on airtube headphones that plug into a 3.5mm jack. Airtube headphones use air to push the sound to the ear rather than wires.
Another problem is that users who have studio monitors, amps, and other sound equipment rely on 3.5mm jacks to do their work. Many of these setups can’t function as a wireless system.
The effects of this decision even affect businesses that spend a lot of money on marketing. For example, those who don’t have wireless headphones or speakers won’t be able to hear the audio on important videos placed next to lead capture forms. All the time, money, and effort that goes into creating marketing videos to support lead capture is lost on this segment of the population.
Of course, people don’t expect their new MacBook to be missing the audio jack, so when their new computer arrives without one, it can be a huge disappointment.
If you’re set in your ways or don’t want to spend more money on wireless headphones, stick with a MacBook Pro from 2015 or earlier to keep using that headphone jack.
- The keyboard is hard to type on
Typing on a 2016+ MacBook Pro is difficult. In fact, people are really upset about the flaws in the new keyboard. About 20,000 people signed a petition to recall all the MacBook Pros using Apple’s new butterfly-style key switch. In a nutshell, the new key switch is a terrible design that makes typing hard and causes people to skip letters while typing.
If you need to type fast, frequently, and accurately, you’re better off sticking with a MacBook Pro from 2015 or earlier.
- The Touch Bar makes you less productive
Many reviewers have said Apple’s new Touch Bar is not efficient and actually slows you down. You can no longer just hit function keys – now you have to hit the FN key to get the function keys to show up. Then you can hit the function combinations you need. This is an unnecessary step.
One reviewer said his pinky hits the Escape key on the Touch Bar and it does unpredictable things when he’s typing. He had to retrain himself how to type in order to avoid accidentally hitting that key.
Retro Apple wins
You don’t have to go back to an Apple IISE, but if you stick to pre-2016 MacBook Pro models, you’ll be more efficient. For now, Retro Apple wins.