The Touchbar MacBook Pro is a Disposable Embarrassment

A woman using Touch Bar on MacBook Pro

It’s a joke that the new MacBook Pro with a Touchbar is called a “Pro” machine. Perhaps Apple should call it the MacBook Exec or Edition. I won’t bother rehashing the many quibbles that others have already covered. Yet, once again, the punditry has failed to notice the biggest and most obvious flaw and are ranting about the wrong things. Let me rant about the right things for you. You’re welcome.

The Touchbar MacBook Pro is a failure because you cannot upgrade its storage capacity. Ever. Why? Because the SSD is a soldered-in and non-upgradable boat anchor.

Using Touch Bar on MacBook Pro
A woman using Touch Bar on MacBook Pro

While some may quibble with the 16GB RAM limit, at least there were technical limitations to that. Namely it was limited by the particular Intel chipset. Furthermore, nothing stops you from maxing out the RAM when you order the machine. Generally speaking, Apple lets you buy a Pro laptop with the maximum addressable RAM for its given chipset.

However, that argument does not hold water with storage. The Touchbar MacBook Pro is limited to a paltry 2TB SSD. I have an old 2011 17” MacBook Pro with a 2TB SSD, and I can easily put in a 4TB SSD today, and 15TB in the not so distant future.

Storage Size Matters for Pros

The reality is, professional users need and use lots of storage, and those storage needs change with time. A pro machine needs to be adaptable. By limiting and freezing the machine to 2TB, Apple ensures that professionals who need more storage space need to look elsewhere. Further, it totally makes the machine a ‘disposable’ device for those that buy it today. Once they run out of space, for example, a year later, the only option is to get rid of the machine, and hope there is a new machine with more storage available. That’s nuts!

There is no excuse for Apple making storage non-upgradable (other than greed or gross incompetence). They put an upgradeable SSD slot in the non-Touchbar, entry-level MacBook Pro. So whatever marginal idiot reason they trot out for not including it on Touchbar models is total BS. Talk to the hand; I don’t give a $#*%. The machine’s battery or thinness would not have been compromised in any serious way with the inclusion of the slot, again, as evinced by the entry level model.

This storage lock-in has no business on any machine with a “Pro” moniker. It just further shows how heinously out of touch Apple has become with its core professional and creative user base. Let’s pray that Apple has woken up, and the next revision of its MacBook Pro will avoid this critical mistake. Otherwise, Apple will continue to bleed its pro users to companies that are not tone deaf to their needs.

41 thoughts on “The Touchbar MacBook Pro is a Disposable Embarrassment

  • How can someone run out of 2TB of storage in a “single year” I have a 256 GB macbook 2016 and I haven’t run out of storage. I HAVE 226 GBS LEFT! I don’t think we should be using notebooks for our everyday “pro” users. If you want to be able to get to upgrade storage and RAM, GET A DESKTOP!.

  • I’m glad 2TB is enough for you, but not for me. I just ran out of space on my 2TB SSD, and now this 2016 machine is a boat anchor. I now have to get a 4tb drive for my ancient 2011 MBP which can easily accommodate a 4tb SSD.

    That external drives work for your work case, doesn’t mean it works for all other pros.

  • Gentlemen, i think this MBP 2016/2017 is made with bunch of flaws…
    1. Many users are experiencing graphic failures
    2. Many are also experiencing SSD failures

    Sadly a friend who lives in West Africa bought one and within two months, the SSD failed.
    Now being non-replaceable, only option is to send back to the store he bought it from in Carlifornia, USA. bummer.
    Apple behave like witch-crafts taking away the HDMI, USB A, or Ethernet Port. How do you call a PC without the above port? (Tablet) How can you call a PC without these ports a PRO? I’m never changing from the 2015 MBP anytime soon.

    And for the above topic, i believe 2TB of storage is more than enough for a PC. duh, why are external drives made for? I’m using 512GB and i’m happy and never complained but I have 8TB backup and my life is great.

  • I returned mine. I have two Retinas 15″ pre crap-bar. Not having a physical escape key and the loss of magsafe and the destruction of all ports in favor of the useless and too-few USB C was too much. Tim Cook is a crook and a loser compared to Steve Jobs.

  • @Lee. I do not know of any studies, and I don’t think Apple breaks out numbers on individual models much less groups of buyers. As far as I know I’m the only one that’s done some investigation on this. I have been in the MacRumors Mac Pro forums for years and years and noticed that many of the die-hard mac pros were leaving. In 2 of my articles I cite to the threads where mac pros were leaving and you can see some excerpts in those articles from the threads or read through the threads yourself:

    There was also a poll about how successful or not the trashcan Mac Pro was to such pro users, and it was quite ugly a result considering how ‘pro’ the users were towards apple in years past:

    Then there was this poll if pro users though apple was abandoning the pro market, also with an ugly result:

    Worse yet, since then I did a little more investigation and found pro users leaving in even higher numbers, and that the mac ecosystem really breaks down quite fast for pros. We discussed it on the pop.0 podcast here:

    There were numerous other threads I’ve seen there over time, and I don’t remember them all, but the vibe has been growing from a small murmur as early as 2010/11 to a roar around 2015…

  • Agreed John! And a sincere Thank You Mr. Kheit for having the courage to point it out and defend your position! The unexpectedly large number of complaints about the new models seem like background noise by comparison. Why? Tho not ideal, you can workaround most with a few dongles or extra power supply. But the soldered-in SSD is the only one that truly limits the usefulness & useful life of the machine!

    Cloud Storage isn’t a cure-all: I’m an engineer & programmer. Most of my customer sites are government, pharmaceutical, military, & health care. These generally aren’t supportive of Cloud Storage. It may be viable for other professions. But it assumes:
    1- Cloud access is always available.
    2- Cloud file transfer speeds are always fast enough to be practical.
    3- You’re permitted to store customer database files in the cloud.
    4- You’re allowed to use a USB stick from a computer with cloud access.
    5- Your cloud solution is safe from hackers at HIPAA or gov’t levels.
    6- The time needed to upload local files, delete local files to free space, download needed cloud files, etc is fast enough to justify the smaller storage. Yes I could’ve said “file management” but think about what that actually means with multiple sites, large databases, & downtime.

    Go PC as a post suggested: I’ve been a huge Mac fan since Steve Jobs triumphant return to Apple in the late 90s. I bought my 1st Mac in 2000 and have owned many since. Many of my customers (schools, universities) use both Mac & PC. So it helps to be familiar with our products on both platforms. I use Parallels Desktop on my 2012 15” MacBook Pro Retina to run several Windows VMs. If I wanted to use a PC notebook I certainly could. But only if I have no recourse.

    Budget concerns: I have a limited budget & can’t buy top of the line. Add to that management & IT Dept pushing for less expensive PC notebooks with the same or higher specs. The way I convinced them with my 2012 15” Retina MacBook Pro was to request the entry model; knowing I could upgrade storage later if needed. It still cost a bit more than a similar spec PC notebook of its day. But not terribly so.

    Entry models: My 2012 15” Retina entry model vs the latest:
    2012: 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, 1GB Nvidia, 2.3GHz i7, $2000
    2016: 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM, 2GB Radeon, 2.6GHz i7, $2400
    5 years on and the 15″ entry model is still 256GB SSD storage?! No, I don’t have fewer customers, I have more. Their jobsites & databases have grown, not shrunk. 512GB would be more appropriate given the other increases. The 2012 entry model storage can be upgraded both internally and via slower, flush mount, SD card storage. But the 2016 15” entry model does away with both solutions.

    Bottom line: I’m holding out hope that Apple will offer a 15” entry model with a larger, upgradeable (non-soldered in) SSD. If it means giving up the Touchbar as with the 13” entry model, that seems a fair trade.

  • Apple should release new Mac models every year, as done with iOS gadgets. Macs should have standard connectors allowing upgradable components, including SSD, RAM, CPU and GPU. And last but not least, Apple should not charge two to three times more for the very same component when compared to resellers like Amazon.

  • @Mick, I need more than 1TB because I do more than work with GIFs. I did give you one. Video professionals, when they composite video they work on while traveling will frequently need well over 1TB of video, and the more storage they have, the better. Non local storage tends to be too slow, or counter to the purpose of a small svelte laptop. Again, your arguments of 1TB should be enough for anyone not only fly in the fact of reality for many creative professionals, they go down in the pantheon of super great ideologies like ‘640k should be enough for anyone’—bill gates. The cloud doesn’t cut it for applications where you need super fast local access, and those are many for professionals, and video work is one such creative field. And being attached to a san while you travel is not a realistic luggable option.

    The reality is that professionals are leaving the mac in significant numbers precisely due to it’s lack of expandability with regard to the mac pro. Now apple is making that same mistake with the MacBook pro.

  • Apple has taken the closed system to a perverted level. Hard drives, ram and video cards should be expandable. By forcing one to only be able to upgrade at the time of purchase with only Apple making the upgrade is not just greedy it will prove fatal for Apple. Cook has damaged Apple’s integrity with some decisions that Jobs would have had nothing but contempt for. El Captain and Sierra show that Apple is ending it’s relationship with the customer base that has been loyal from day one. Cook’s team has degraded the hardware, can’t release any OS on any platform that isn’t half assed at best. For profits sake only the hardware prices stay high while the technology used lags far behind. Apple will soon burst their own bubble as they condition us to move away to competitive offerings even if it means giving up the “at present” edge it has with the App store and developers. Developers will migrate with the customer. When your computing needs are not based on current trends then Linux opens all of the doors Apple is shutting. Sorry Apple but you have become the definition of hypocrisy as you mix business with politics, play both sides of the field and gouge the masses with products that no longer pass the Jobs Test. Mac pro / Newton Apple Watch / newton MacBook Pro / Newton ……..

  • I am genuinely interested in what kind of work you do that requires you to keep that much with you when you are disconnected.

    Mick that was the basis for my comment about identifying ourselves as what professional field. Someone writing literature is going to have different portable computing needs than someone working in video. Even then I would rather do extensive work at a desktop than at “portable location” even if I had a portable hooked to an external monitor and keyboard.

    I used to work in graphic arts, these days I mostly yell at the kids on my lawn and turn off lights in empty rooms (HUE and HomeKit help with that). I want a new MacBook, be it a pro model or less, to get out of the house and play around. I have a 2011 MBP, but it is getting slow and I very much like the Touchbar

    It has been quite a while since I have seen this many comments on a MacObserver story which is a good thing. We used to get email notifications when there was a comment and that helped keep the conversation going, but that seems to no longer work. Do I need to change a setting or something?

  • Then scurry off to buy your big professional Windows laptops with lots of local storage then. You never answered why you need so much storage on a portable device. I’m all ears. What special projects are you working on that you need to store more than 1Tb LOCALLY? Do you not have a corporate SAN? Can you not afford a NAS box? Is your broadband slow and flakey? Do you do your remote work in a McDonalds? I am genuinely interested in what kind of work you do that requires you to keep that much with you when you are disconnected. This has nothing to do with the Bill Gates quote concerning 640K. We all work with large datasets and massive media files – we just do it while connected where the files are secure and backed up. The world has moved on. You might have heard of cloud computing? Maybe not

    I suspect it has nothing to do with reality. You all just love to pretend that apple used to be this or that and you were there when it was cool to be a rebel. Sorry those days are over. Apple are dead mainstream these days. Professionals choose the tools they need for the job – primarily MacBooks and azure cloud solutions in our case. We don’t care who the vendor is. We are reasonably new to mac and our staff are happy with the choice.

    Sorry to interrupt your circle jerk. Please continue to use Apple forums to bag out the company you used to love so much

  • Aside from their apparel, Steve Jobs and Tim Cook couldn’t be less polar opposites of each other. From what I’ve heard about Steve Jobs, he was a major jerk towards his employees, but man, was he a visionary! Tim Cook I have heard is super nice to his employees, but boy howdy, does he stink as a businessman! The only reason that could possibly explain why he hasn’t been ousted yet by the shareholders is because he *is* the majority shareholder. Between the removal of the SD card port on the latest MBP iterations, the non-removable SSDs on the higher tier MBP models, the decision to go with all USB-C ports on the MBP just after the most recent iPhone refresh was released with lightning port and not USB-C, the removal of the 3.5 mm headphone jack on the latest iPhone, and the lack of touchscreen capabilities on any of their MacOS-based computers, if Tim Cook’s Apple is trying to be pioneers like Steve Jobs’ Apple, they’ve clearly strayed far away from the trail as of right now.

  • Lee. True, financially they are doing great. And if the Pros left, I think it would affect probably less than 1% of their revenue, if that…at least initially.

    However, I think it’s good to remember that John Scully had record revenues in the years after firing Steve Jobs. Scully was coasting off Steve Job’s work before the bottom fell out and the company almost went under. Just because the financials today are good, doesn’t mean they will be good in another 5-10 years. And I guarantee you, if a sizable number of creative/pro’s leave, they will have an outsized impact on others, over time. Pros affect way more sales and influence in far greater numbers than direct sales to that segment would suggest, IMO.

  • It isn’t like Apple is struggling financially with the products that they are offering. if the “professionals” left how much would hurt Apple’s bottom line.

  • “Go buy a PC or keep your outdated gripes to yourself.”

    And that is exactly what many long term mac users have done or are considering doing and many of them are speaking out in the hope Apple will hear them somehow from with their arrogance vacuum!

    You and Apple can spin it however you like, modular offers more options than a closed design, more options will suit the needs of more people which means more sales. Apple has forgotten their own mantra ‘form follows function’ and now its ‘form over function’.

    Or rather ‘Profits over function’ which given Tim (bean counter) Cook is trying to fill visionary shoes is not in the least surprising!

    I predict a new player will enter the market to serve the users Apple once did and that will make Apple and this conversation irrelevant!

  • Professionals come in a number of models and configurations. It would help if when referring to yourself if you would say writer, illustrator, video editor, journalist, photographer, or whatever.

  • I’m sure you and your “colleagues” are busy making very very high quality and sassy gifs, but those creative that work with more than that, might need a bit more storage for say their video needs.

    You know mick, if Apple had read this article:

    They might have avoided the embarrassment of this:

    Enjoy your 1TB drive, who could ever want more than that, or 640K 🙄 Bill Gates approves.

  • I can’t believe all of those dinosaurs on here, including the author, complaining about a lack of storage on their portable devices. Seriously? What kind of professional user works permanently disconnected? All of those creative content pros that sit in the park working on 15Tb project files – those ones? What a load of rubbish. Just because you joined the industry long before cloud storage, wireless networks, or even wired networks were around, doesn’t mean that vendors should support your old habits. Keeping all your files on a portable device is the most ridiculous concept in 2017 – not to mention a security and productivity risk to your organisation. Lose the laptop and lose all your work.

    My colleagues and I all use the current 15″ MBP with 1Tb SSD. None of us come anywhere near using all of that and many of them are working on large media files. I’m sure there are professionals working on much larger projects, but why they would require storing all their work on a single device which can be stolen or damaged is a mystery. Secure your work on the server. Invest in decent broadband.

    I can’t believe the number of articles I read on on Mac sites that complain about the direction Apple is going in. Go buy a PC or keep your outdated gripes to yourself.

  • Semantics aside. There is no excuse for the hubris of Apple offering disposable machines to Pro users. I still have a 2010 Mac Pro (My second one as I made mistake of selling first one). This is the best machine Apple ever made. I have upgraded it many times and am going to keep upgrading it. I have PCI/E SSD boot drive, Modern AC networking, USB 3 card and a modern NVidia GPU. The real failing of the “Pro” line of Mac computers is the anathema of Apple to use standard or even custom parts that can be swapped out and upgraded. I want a workhorse machine that has enough upgradability and longevity to make it last for years. I don’t want the new anorexic MacBook Pro with keyboard that has many failures. They tried to get too cute and artsy with that machine and it does not have battery life, a keyboard prone to failure and no upgrade path.

    I have a 2012 I7 maxed out MacBook pro and I won’t buy another one if this is what Apple is going to put out.

  • @RG, sure, i made the case for “all” professionals. I might find your comments reasonable if they just weren’t so provably lame. Apple tried to limit Pro users with the Cube and the trashcan mac, both met with disaster. Particularly the trashcan mac, which was plagued with needing a rats nest of external storage (and heck, that wasn’t even a portable machine), and so lame that Apple had to have a press conference basically to acknowledge what a disaster that design is. So since you’re sure that closed approach will definitely work for sure this time, you know, trying the same thing over and over and expecting results different than pros abandoning the mac, we can leave it at we disagree.

    @skywatcher, Thanks for demonstrating with rare clarity, just how much you missed the point.

    As always, YMMV. Cheers! 😀

  • Vr8ce is right! Much of the critique is old news and the market has gone way past it!

    Yet, it would be good to have upgradable drives, RAM, and replaceable batteries– and keyboards. One spill and you’re in deep trouble.

    In any case,, one thing we found offensive was the caption

    “A woman using Touch Bar on MacBook Pro”

    Weird! Just plain irrelevant.

    Just curious. Have you all ever run a caption for a photo:

    “A man using Touch Bar on MacBook Pro”


    “A man using an iPad”

    or anything else?!



  • With all due respect, Russell, we are hardly a ‘small minority’ of pro users. The specs and limitations on this particular machine are just not appropriate for users whose needs will likely vacillate multiple times within the space of a *single* year, no one is going to shell out for multiple machines multiple times within that short of a time frame. We aren’t talking about programmers or people making spreadsheets, here. Though if you feel your needs are met, more power to you, your view really just comes off as sounding insular.

    It’s understandable that something as micro-engineered as a phone or small wearable would require specialized servicing. That logic doesn’t hold for something like this. To a professional a work machine is more than a pretty ‘appliance’. The Macbook Pro doesn’t make any more sense than the Trash Can Pro did in these terms. Apple can and should do better.

  • Trying to make a case that all “professional” users need replaceable disks is absurd. There is a small sub-set of users who will run out of space but they are a tiny fraction of all “professional” users. This is ridiculous (and quite offensive) self-importance by a tiny minority. Most “professional” users, who rely on their laptop to earn their living, are not going to run out of space. More likely that many “amateur” users who want to download and/or rip movies for fun will run out of space. I have been a “professional” user for well over 20 years and will never run out of space before I need to replace a laptop for other reasons, even though I totally depend on my MBP for my work. Every day.

    But wait there’s more. The argument is basically “we used to be able to do this so we are going to fight for it at any cost” I am old enough to remember the launch of the first PCs in the 1970s, and the incredible robust metal chassis and keyboard designed for 20 years use. And the matching unaffordable price. They were for “professional” users only and totally out of budget for anyone else.

    No-one would seriously expect a laptop or a phone to use a chassis and wiring that is totally replaceable and designed for a 20 year life any more. But we did, 40 years ago.

    I’m old enough to remember the kicking and screaming when for the first time each individual integrated circuit was direct soldered to the motherboard instead of in its own socket. Every time a company pushes the envelope we are told why it is a bad idea. Upgradeability and even repairability are not unlimited benefits – they have significant costs too. Far more cost than the price of the little socket. Unity design, without individual item focus, is a whole new design envelope that most people don’t understand because they only look backwards – the argument is a 1980’s argument.

    There is no problem about upgrading – never has been – but the way to do it is different and you have to learn to think in new ways. For some people new thinking simply isn’t going to be possible. The new way to upgrade is to change the hardware, and then transfer across all the software. All the hardware. If you are a “professional” user then when you run out of disk space you will also be wanting to replace the keyboard, perhaps upgrade ports, video capability etc. First thing to fail for me is usually the keyboard. If your old machine is still in good shape you sell it on Gazelle or a similar service.

    And finally – if you are indeed a “professional” earning your living with your tools then (a) you will value your tools and (b) the cost of a new laptop is simply not relevant. Equivalent to just a few minutes saved per day – a $2000 tool used daily for two years is costing you about $5 per working day – even before the tax breaks. If you can’t do even the basic cost-benefit calculation then do you really have the skills and attitude of a “professional” ?

    I don’t expect my devices to be upgradeable or repairable beyond common issues like a cracked screen on the phone. It simply is not a universally good use of resources – including design cost, manufacturing cost, total environmental impact, etc. Welcome to the future.

    Sell your old hardware and move on. The computer is the software and data, the hardware that surrounds them is replaceable.


    1. yeah i don’t think I need 2TB of storage. and it wont run out in two days. If you want to be able to replace the RAM and upgrade storage, GET A DESKTOP! Notebooks aren’t meant to be upgraded, and also who’s a “pro” user here

  • You said you could drop a 4TB SSD drive in MBP right now, and you linked to an SSD drive. You can’t put that drive in a MBP. When called out on your inaccurate reporting, you link to OWC, whose chips on that page max out at 1 TB, or in other words half the capacity of the Touch, not double it. So, again, bad reporting.

    Um, I said you can put in a 4tb in the 2011 MBP and linked to the drive. And that’s in the article. And my rejoinder to you said that so what that the 2.5″ format isn’t usable because you can adapt an SSD stick to have that 4TB and showed you that OWC has done so with the Mac Pro, a machine that Apple never provided upgraded storage space. So bad reading.

    If you’re going to claim Apple could have put 4 TB of space in the MBP last year when they introduced it, then by all means provide a link to an actual shipping product that can actually be used in the MBP. Otherwise, you’re just a noise-maker.

    Way to move the goal posts. I didn’t make such claim. I pointed out that 4TB drives are currently available for the 2011 MBP and the point here is you can never upgrade the Touchbar MBP, so again, nice sophistry, not.

    And you know even less than you appear to if you think hanging a “brick” off a MBP is necessary to get extra storage. Several companies make barely over thumb-sized SSD drives these days, including Samsung (one of which I have) and Sandisk (which I do not).,

    Lol, yea, a small brick/wart. If you think that’s winning an argument, I’m happy you’re pleasing yourself in your own mind. But it’s errata.

    The memory limit on the Touch is every bit as bad as the storage requirement, for all the same reasons. I have 16GB on a four-year old MBP; it’s unconscionable to still have that limit four years later. It may not be a big deal to you, but it is to others. Just as storage appears to be to you and isn’t to others.

    Well at least this limit seems to be one dictated by Intel’s chipset’s inability to address more than that. And as long as Apple allows you to max addressable memory from the get-go, it’s better than nothing. Meaning, even if Apple put in a slot, and the chipset simply couldn’t address more than 16GB, it’s somewhat moot. That said, I too would prefer upgradeable RAM.

    I agreed with the premise from the first — the non upgradability of memory and storage in the Touch is absolutely a failing of the product line, and of Apple to not recognize it as such. But outside that, the article is a bunch of noise and non-facts and a full year too late..

    I feel your comments earn even fewer stars. So enjoy that noise. 😀

  • You said you could drop a 4TB SSD drive in MBP right now, and you linked to an SSD drive. You can’t put that drive in a MBP. When called out on your inaccurate reporting, you link to OWC, whose chips on that page max out at 1 TB, or in other words half the capacity of the Touch, not double it. So, again, bad reporting.

    If you’re going to claim Apple could have put 4 TB of space in the MBP last year when they introduced it, then by all means provide a link to an actual shipping product that can actually be used in the MBP. Otherwise, you’re just a noise-maker.

    And you know even less than you appear to if you think hanging a “brick” off a MBP is necessary to get extra storage. Several companies make barely over thumb-sized SSD drives these days, including Samsung (one of which I have) and Sandisk (which I do not).

    The memory limit on the Touch is every bit as bad as the storage requirement, for all the same reasons. I have 16GB on a four-year old MBP; it’s unconscionable to still have that limit four years later. It may not be a big deal to you, but it is to others. Just as storage appears to be to you and isn’t to others.

    I agreed with the premise from the first — the non upgradability of memory and storage in the Touch is absolutely a failing of the product line, and of Apple to not recognize it as such. But outside that, the article is a bunch of noise and non-facts and a full year too late.

  • I’m with you Mr Kheit

    And the other thing about the “fixed” SSD ?
    Repairability: If either the SSD or the Logic Board fails ?
    Dead SSD ? Just hope you have a backup !
    Dead Logic Board ? Just hope you have a backup !

    In either case ? Be prepared to buy a new laptop…… 🙁

  • I’m sure Apple would would tell you a Thunderbolt 3 connected external SSD or array of SSDs would be fast enough to handle data storage needs exceeding the internal capacity.

  • There is talk of an update and perhaps they will greatly increase the RAM and storage.

    I was all set to buy one, my reward for meeting a weight loss goal. Instead I decided to put the money into some home improvements and limp along with my 2011 MacBook Pro. That was the basis for my luggable statement, my MBP is a beast compared to the newer models and I almost never use the built in optical drive. A thin and trim MBP to go with my thin and trim body.

  • Ok belmikey, but you can imagine a creative professional, say video user needing more, right? Or are you subscribing to the old bill gates schoo,, of why would anyone ever need more than 640k of memory?

    And you’re changing the goal post playing semantics, by that token, your home is disposable. The point is many professionals need or will need more storage a year or two after buying the laptop, and won’t be able to upgrade a “professional” machine. That’s a problem. Not for you? Ok, the person that uses on their iPad thinks that’s plenty machine for their “professional writing/editing” and therefor, programmers like you should get with their program and be fine with iPad power.

    The professional tarp is broader than just programmers or any one sector, and as such, those machines need to be more, not less adaptable. Storage adaptability goes hand and hand with that. Apple ignored this in their disaster its trashcan Mac and had to do an embarrassing mea culpa because so many pros are abandoning the platform. Being tone deaf to their needs just because it works for some, is exactly how they got lead into the dead end thermal corner with the Mac Pro. I posit, they should avoid repeating the G4 cube/trashcan Mac Pro debacle with their pro laptops, and limiting primary mass storage options is doing just that.

    As always, ymmv

  • I am a professional — a software engineer, in fact.

    Maybe it’s a failure of imagination, but I cannot actually envision ever needing more than ONE TB of actual, on-board storage, on a portable device. The reason for this is really very simple: no matter how well built it is (and sadly build-quality is not what it used to be, but that’s a different rant, because as I say here, it wouldn’t matter), a portable device is, by its very nature, much more liable than a stationary one to take damage.

    As such, I am not going to keep anything on its internal drive that I don’t actually need RIGHT NOW for my work. And then, I’m going to back it up at least two different ways to the cloud, and then also to some external drive. And anything I don’t actually need for my work is going to live in cloud storage or on an external drive.

    Because no matter how well built it is, ALL portable devices ought to be treated as disposable.

    Let me say that again: all portable devices are disposable.

    Your phone, your laptop, your tablet? Disposable.

    It’s your data that’s not disposable. And if you’re keeping it all on one large drive on a portable device? You’re pretty much asking for it to eventually suffer an unrecoverable catastrophe.

  • Lee. I suspect the touch at does have a bit of circuitry, but I don’t buy that the delta in size is that vast because the entry level MacBook Pro fits in the slot just fine. Any marginal difference in thickness could easily have been accommodated on the chassis being a touch thicker. Probably less than a millimeter difference.

    Don’t get me started on the cloud , but for creative pros with big heavy files, they need super fast SSD speed (e.g. For videos etc), so the cloud won’t cut it for real pros. For executives and “edition” fashion conscious, that might be more predictable an option.

    As always, ymmv

  • John, would the circuitry for the touchbar take up too much space? I wouldn’t think so, not these days, but I suppose that it is possible.

    With faster WiFi and cellular data then the storage for big files could be in the cloud or on a server via FTP.

  • Maybe Lee. But the lower end non-touchbar MacBook Pro has a slot for upgrading the SSD, so it really wouldn’t be difficult or cause any extra thickness to put it into the Touchbar model. And I think you may be right and why I think maybe call the Touchbar MacBook the MacBook Executive, or MacBook Edition, and come out with a MacBook Pro that has a bit more expansion and interoperability in mind. Still, it’s wacky that the would put the upgrade slot in the entry level MacBook Pro, but not in the Touchbar model. Weird.

  • Perhpas what Apple needs a is portable MacBook Pro which is pretty much the current form factor and then a luggable MacBook Pro+ that is thick enough for user replacable hard drives and has more ports than the Hanseatic League

  • @vr8ce So what that the MBP doesn’t use a 2.5″ ‘drive’ the same SSD chips in those drives can and are easily adapted to the stick format used by apple. OWC provides a 3rd party SSD adapted to use with such a slot in the trashcan mac pro, see here:

    Or OWC’s upgrade options for even your 2013 MBP via stick:

    Agreed, it is old news. However, as much bitching as I heard about the 16GB limit, which is a bunch of noise IMO, I really haven’t heard complaints about how this renders the machine disposable. Your comments actually support my pointing attention to this.

    Now I’m glad for you working on a machine stiffed at it’s storage limit is something you can live with, but for many professionals, this isn’t a ‘fine’ situation at all. And frankly is an unacceptable set of circumstances. And for those that need the expanded storage now or in the future, this is a problem, because for their needs, it will require a machine swap rather than just getting because for many, dangling a brick SSD off their ULTRA LIGHT TINY LIGHT LAPTOP is a bit of an anathema.

    As always, YMMV

  • I completely agree with the premise — memory and storage should be upgradeable on any pro machine, because they both drop in price dramatically over a relatively short period of time.

    However, there are several problems with the article:
    1. This is old news. Really, really old news.
    2. No, you couldn’t put a 4TB SSD in a MBP right now. MBP’s don’t use SSD “drives,” and haven’t for quite some time. The 9-to-5 article you linked to even shows you a nice picture of the SSD chips. Which means there may, in fact, have been (and still be) “technical limitations” to the 2TB limit. I doubt it, but it’s possible. Regardless, what kind of SSD drives exist is immaterial for the MBP’s, because they don’t use them.
    3. The idea that we would a) run out of room in a year, and b) throw out the machine when we did, is facile. I’m using a late 2013 MBP with only a half-terabyte SSD, and although I don’t have as much free space as I would like, it’s fine. And even if it wasn’t fine, I’d use my 1 TB SSD external drive for whatever I needed to do. (And if I didn’t have one, I’d buy one instead of throwing out a 2K+ machine.)

    If you want to make a stink about non-upgradable storage, do it when it’s actually news, and don’t make up nonsense in a sad attempt to bolster your case. The case doesn’t need any bolstering, it stands on its own.

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