General discussion

What do you all think about the new MacBook Pro Touch Bar?

Oct 27, 2016 11:02AM PDT

Latest Apple MacBook Pro swaps outdated function keys for Touch Bar:

Just saw the Touch Bar being demo'd from the Apple event. It's pretty slick! I like how it adapts to the app that you are using. Looks intuitive enough. I like the Touch ID, they should build that into all laptops, faster logins and you can setup multiple user accounts for Touch ID, nice!

Anyone excited about this new Touch Bar? Why or why not? Do you think the PC industry will follow along with this innovation? And will this Touch Bar drain the battery faster?

Chime in with your thoughts.

Post was last edited on October 27, 2016 11:18 AM PDT

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What was Apple thinking?
Oct 27, 2016 12:02PM PDT

they've had 5 years and this all they come up with??
2 or 4 ports (USB-C that nothing works with) and 1 is used for power??

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They were vague in their answers when asked about that...
Oct 27, 2016 12:57PM PDT
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I can't recall the last time I saw that feature.
Oct 27, 2016 12:13PM PDT

The last I saw this was the old Optimus Maximus OLED keyboard (old? 2010!)

It's a nice way to cram functions into that space.

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Not for the blind or users of certain applications
Oct 28, 2016 5:52PM PDT

Most people don't make a lot of use of the function keys, and many modern laptops have deprecated their use by requiring the use of the Fn key to use them with software (rather than for doing things like changing the screen brightness or the audio volume).

But there are people who use them regularly, and some applications are designed around heavy use of those keys. (The small number of people still using WordPerfect, for example, will be really unhappy.) Replacing the function keys with a touch bar won't work for those users. The touch bar won't be as suitable for blind touching, and the location of relevant spots isn't predictable because it may change with context.

Speaking of blind, it's utterly useless for users who can't see the bar.

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If this is the new Mac ...
Oct 28, 2016 9:14PM PDT

... is it still relevant?

What I see is something that on the surface looks sleek and stylish and has a few impressive human interface features. But a dual core I5 with 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD for $1500? That sounds like $500 for the computer, $500 for the sleek external features and another $500 for the brand name - and budget another $200 or so for adapters (okay, including the carrying case for them.) So, I am not so sure it is a good deal. Obviously, there are always customers that can and want to spend the extra buck for an item that signals "I can afford it without cutting back on anything else."

It reminds me of stereos by Bang & Olufsen, the way we saw them when I grew up to being a high end hifi enthusiast - the greatest for the eye (if you like the Scandinavian look) but only a touch above middle of the road in sound quality. I wonder where they are in this day and age where decent sound quality is no longer a leading edge experience?

And this funny touch bar looks like another example of Apple desparately trying to be different - much less, though, by adding interesting new features than by leaving out tried and tested old ones. The trouble with that is that it doesn't work for people that need a "real" computer. I just recently chatted with a colleague whose ThinkPad had been replaced with a sleek new MacBook (not sure what model.) Now, she said, she could take her computer everywhere and wouldn't need her iPad at all anymore. The MacBook not a PC but an iPad "on steroids?" - Go figure ...

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