It’s fairly easy to write about Apple’s new products. Just follow this template: ‘The same product as last time plus this one amazingly cool feature they’ve added’. The iPhone had it’s dual camera and the Macbook Pro just got its ‘once-in-a-year cool feature upgrade’ in its new touch panel.
Apple’s second event in as many months revealed the new Macbook Pro and as expected, it was surrounded with much hoopla.
Just a little earlier, Microsoft revealed its own new product – the Surface Studio. And writing about Microsoft isn’t difficult either. Only that the template here is – ‘It’s pretty cool, but it’s still no Apple’.
But a lot’s changed this year. And maybe, just maybe, it’s time we throw the templates away. Fans and loyalists of Apple have long been expecting something revolutionary from the company’s product launches year after year. And it’s not that the touch bar isn’t revolutionary – it certainly marks a first for laptops in that it can be customised to do exactly what you want it to and even comes with Apple’s Touch ID. However, it is too little at too much. In fact, only the top end version of the new Macbook Pro, priced at $2,399 gets the touch bar. The other two – at $1499 and $1799 – don’t even get the ‘amazingly cool feature upgrade’.
On the other hand, this has allowed Microsoft – which has remained the home-user’s machine (as opposed to Apple’s professional-user appeal) – to break into Apple’s home turf. The Surface Studio is not a laptop, so it isn’t in the same segment as the Macbook. But with this product, Microsoft has done everything that Macbook loyalists expected out of Apple.
WHAT THE MACBOOK PRO GETS
A display that Apple calls ‘its brightest and most colourful yet’, which means the resolution remains the same. Either a quad core or dual core processor (depending on the variant) and twice the graphics capacity of the older Macbook Pro. It’s also incredibly thin and a great looker.It’s not a laptop, although it’s not exactly a regular PC either. In fact, the Surface Studio, which is aimed at professional users, can’t even be called just an all-in-one PC. The Surface, for all intents and purposes, requires a new classification. The Studio gets a host of cool features – according to Microsoft, it’s the thinnest LCD screen ever at 12.5mm. It also gets a full touchscreen, in spite of being of comparable size to your iMac. But the two standout features are that the screen can be set at a 20-degree angle (particularly for designers and artists) and a whole new input device, which Microsoft calls the Surface Dial. Placing it on the screen gives you a number of new options related to specific tasks. Artists could get a colour palate, while designers could use it for alignment of items. And surprisingly, Microsoft has already managed to beat Apple in something that it’s famous for – pricing. The Surface Studio’s base model comes at $2,999, while the top-end goes upto $4,199.