By Dan Moren
July 31, 2018 9:04 PM PT
The Back Page: Apple, put the “Pro” Back in MacBook Pro
Apple is doomed.
And it’s all because of the decisions the company has made around its laptop line which, as it stands these days, is ridiculous.
I mean, who needs a paper-thin laptop that’s light and easy to carry around? Really. Who? Nobody wants that. No, we connoisseurs of computing want one thing and one thing only.
Sheer, raw, unabashed power. Eight-core 4.1GHz processors with Turbo Boost up to 4.2_GHz. 128GB of RAM. A Radeon graphics card that makes you wonder whether you’re looking into a computer screen or it’s looking into you. And ports, sweet mother of mercy, _ports. None of this “one USB-C” port for a whole machine nonsense: we need at bare minimum four USB-C connectors with Thunderbolt 3, a sprinkling of USB 3.1 ports, a headphone jack, Gigabit Ethernet, modem/fax, and, oh, what the hell, throw in a SCSI connector for good measure.
There are tradeoffs. I get it. I’m willing to sacrifice some things. Weight? Pfft. The Macintosh Portable was 16 lbs. so I’m hardly going to complain about a measly 10 lbs. I’ve been going to the gym! A 10 lbs set of free weights is nothing! The thing sits on a desk most of the time anyway, right?
Size? What’s the big deal with size? If you want a tiny device that fits on an airplane tray table, go get an iPad mini, if Apple’s even still making them. I say that if your laptop isn’t big enough to land an F-14 on then you are making compromises, my friend. Give me a couple extra inches in depth or width, or even height or, heck, all three! I’ll need at least a 19-inch 5K Retina display, too. I mean, you’re not going to make me buy a desktop, right?
I know, I know what you’re going to say. Even with all of that the issue is heat. Heat? Come on, we’ve got thousands of years of human evolution and civilization behind us and we can’t conquer a pesky little thing like temperature? Don’t talk to me about heat unless the aluminum on the bottom of your MacBook Pro has sublimated. What’s a little molten metal in the lap between friends? Seems like a fair trade-off to get an extra ten frames per second in Unreal Tournament 2004.
There are plenty of options for cooling these things down. Slap some big vents on the side, or heck, maybe some cooling fins. 1960s Cadillacs were pretty cool, what’s wrong with bringing that back? Just don’t bother me with loud fans, because seriously, if this thing is anywhere over 30 decibels, then I’m going to return it and demand a refund.
While we’re on the topic, let’s talk money. We all know what’s reasonable in a laptop these days, and we’re Mac users, so we’re ready to pay a little bit of a premium. What do you say to $1500? I mean, we can probably get three Windows gaming laptops and strap them to each other for that much, so Apple definitely needs to be competing at that price point for a professional level computer.
I know it might be off-putting, but I think if you just read through these requests you’ll see that they’re perfectly reasonable and the fact that you’ll sell upwards of a dozen of these computers will surely make it worth of your while. And, at the end of the day, you ought to remember that we’re the customers here, and we are always right.
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The latest novel in his Galactic Cold War series of sci-fi space adventures, The Nova Incident, is available now.]