My Thought On The Design Of The MacBook Pro 14/16 Pro

Nice try but try again.

Edited By: The Tasty Cookie (Original Photo by Aleksander Vlad on Unsplash)

The Outsides

From the outside the new MacBook Pro looks quite boxy. As a result the new MacBook Pro looks dated. I don’t like the new design language. The old design looks so much better. The old design gives the MacBook Pro a sleek feel. It just feels more modern to me. There are many people that just want a thicker MacBook with presumably better performance but I think that for $2000 we deserve both high performance and a cool looking MacBook.

I don’t believe that the boxy shape of the MacBook Pro is the result of Apple putting more ports and a better cooling system in the MacBook Pro. The cooling system in the older MacBook Pro 16” should be more than sufficient. If that cooling system works for the Intel CPUs it will work for the M1 Pro/Max chips. So why would Apple design a boxy looking MacBook?

I believe the answer lies in the new screens.

If you look closely at the new MacBook Pro, the screen is actually significantly thicker. This is to accommodate the mini-LED displays that Apple is using in the new MacBooks. These are good displays but they come at the cost of more weight. If the screen is heavier you won’t be able to open the MacBook Pro with one hand and the MacBook Pro won’t be as stable when it is on your lap. So I believe Apple had to increase the weight of the MacBook Pro’s base to act as a counter-balance. I believe this is done by giving the base a boxy shape. Afterall, more volume equals more weight.

The Insides

On the inside of the new MacBook Pro there are 2 things of particular interest to me. The keyboard well and the notched screen.

Keyboard Well

The keyboard well of the new MacBook Pro is black. Not space grey, it is just black. This is a significant departure from earlier MacBook Pros. When I saw this, the first thing that came to mind was why didn’t Apple just make a black MacBook Pro. Apple made the keyboard well black so they should be able to make the entire MacBook black as well. That would be so cool.

I believe Apple didn’t make a black MacBook Pro because it won’t age as nicely. If Apple did make a black MacBook Pro the black coating will wear over time revealing the silver aluminum underneath. This is especially true on the edges as people stuff their laptops into their backpacks repeatedly.

Having said that, I can still dream can’t I.

Notched Screen

The notched screen is the most controversial aspect of the new MacBook Pro. I believe this is the first time I have ever seen a notched screen on any laptop, no I mean any computer ever. And I hate it.

Apple did a good job in controlling the narrative here. Instead of saying, they put a notch in the screen, they say that they are giving you screen real estate that you wouldn’t have otherwise. There is some amount of truth to this.

To keep the webcam while making the bezels smaller, there are 3 ways Apple could have gone about it.

  1. Use a lousy webcam;
  2. Put the webcam at the bottom of the display;
  3. Put a notch in the screen.

The first solution would have resulted in poor webcam videos. The second solution would produce a clear image of your nose hairs. So I believe the third solution, which is what Apple chose, is the right one given the importance of the webcam today. But the thing is, when I look at the fullscreen mode which is not actually using the entire screen, which is not showing an additional line or 2 of content it could have, I just let out a huge sigh of disappointment.

Disclaimer

As usual, these are my 2 cents so take all of this with a huge grain of salt. Thanks for reading.

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“Cookie” as in “Web,” not as in “Milk”.

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