For context, I have more or less stopped watching Apple keynotes because in my day-to-day life, I just don’t have the time to watch live and I usually have few motivation for watching the recording.
Whatever, I did watch the “Hello Again” event, primarily because I was sitting in a hotel room with plenty of time to kill. This time, I was even pretty interested in what was about to be introduced. That’s because I’m totally in the market for a new Mac, and my hope was that my new computer would be unveiled in the event.
After all, if Apple takes the trouble to organize a press event you can expect around 90 minutes of presentation. There’s got to be something to talk about1, it couldn’t be all about the rumored touch-sensitive function key replacement, right?
In the first segment of the keynote, however, Tim Cook went through a lengthy introduction of the TV app for tvOs and iOS, that is ironically not going to be available on the platform that this event was dedicated to. Off to a good start, I guess. No matter how often the line about “the Mac being in Apple’s DNA” is repeated, this was already starting to look bad.
And, frankly, it didn’t get better. It was all about the touch-sensitive function key replacement. Look, we have a demo. And then, another demo. And if you still didn’t get it, here’s another one. And then, a Jony Ive vide. Got it?
It was so much about this one feature that the low-end model that does not have a TouchBar was not even mentioned until it could no longer be hidden.
I went through all of this because I wanted to see the price points Apple was going to shoot for. That’s where my jaw finally dropped. These computers have gotten really expensive with this new generation.
Five years ago, I was able to purchase a mid-tier configuration 15″ MacBook Pro for less than the underpowered, bottom of the line 13″ configuration that is available from now on.
I did a calculation of what would be the lowest spec-ed configuration of the non-touch-bar model that I could call decent and came out north of EUR 2500. And this is not even taking into account the EUR 200 worth of dongles required to make the stupid thing usable. No way, Apple, no way.
Long story short, effective the day after the event, I’m officially out of the market for new MacBooks.
I will still use a Mac, but it will either be a years-old MacBook Pro, or I will switch to an iMac. You can get2 an SSD-equipped 5K iMac for pretty much the same money as a halfway decent configuration of the bottom of the line late 2016 13″, no TouchBar MacBook Pro.
All I wanted from the event was a decent, affordable laptop that I can run macOS on.
The worst thing about this is that it is not only me. I watched other people respond to the event, and I talked to some. And what what I took from it was that many others pretty much reflected my frustration about the situation.