30 minutes with the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar


30-minutes-with-the-2016-MacBook-Pro-with-Touch-BarApple often finds itself in uncomfortable positions where it has the unholy task of improving some of the best gadgets in the world; most of which have been made so good by the company itself. It is a task that wouldn’t be the envy of anyone, but that’s the difficulty being Apple. It is often tasked with releasing and developing some of the best products in the world and improving them. This time around, it is the product that made the company, the soul of the company, a product that doesn’t make it the richest in the world, but something that defines the modern era of computing. It is the new 2016 MacBook Pro which comes with the unique Touch Bar. Since launching a couple of months ago, this new notebook has polarised opinion. Now that it has finally landed in India, I have been using it for the last 30 odd minutes, so I wanted to share some initial thoughts on it.

Firstly, there is not even an iota of a doubt in my head that this is one of the sexiest laptops ever conceived. It may not be the slimmest around, it may not have a touch screen and may not look as outlandish as the Dell XPS 13, but this machine screams class. And class is something that is at the heart of what Apple does with its products. This is the classiest notebook that has been launched in 2016 and there have been some really nice ones.

Gone is the familiar whitish metal chassis and the glowing Apple logo, now there is something more modern. A darker greyish shade and a machined Apple logo which exists because Apple made the screen assembly so slim that they couldn’t add the glowing iconic Apple logo. But all this is okay because this machine just looks so damned tasty.

What stood out was also the fact that this machine was thin and light, considering the type of firepower it packs inside.

Besides this, the new butterfly keyboard is something you need to get used to but it certainly feels better than the first generation of the butterfly switch that was in the MacBook with Retina display. It feels clicky but coming from a 2015 MacBook Pro it will be a little problematic, but that’s something I guess will be a thing of the past in a few days. The larger trackpad also felt very nice.

The touch bar has already proven its worth, helping out with a number of shortcuts on Safari and also for word suggestions while I wrote this piece in the Mac text editor. I also managed to set up Touch ID which was a breeze and I am suspecting that it will be something that many people are going to use.

It doesn’t have the usual array of USB and HDMI ports but instead, only 4 ports lighting ports with USB Type-C connectors. At the time of writing I believe this will be a big hassle and I’d need to use adaptors, but Apple probably thinks that in a year or so it will be the other way round especially for people who’re using machines with standard USB as they will need to invest in adaptors for their older IO as the entire industry is moving towards USB Type C.

It is a new argument, but one with merit as I’ve already started noticing how people grapple for microUSB chargers as most new smartphones have started shipping with USB Type C. Overall, the new MacBook looks very nice, and it comes with most bells and whistles that one would want in their high-end machine.