16 inch MacBook ProThe Particle Debris article of the week comes from Dan Moren at Macworld.

“Apple listens strategically, but acts tactically.”

Author Moren opens by reminding us that Apple is mostly slow to change.

The old metaphor for something that’s slow to change is “turning a battleship,” but Apple is so big at this point that it’s more like turning a flotilla of aircraft carriers that have been lashed together as a floating city. In the middle of a glacier.

And yet.

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro shows definite signs of a company that has listened to its pro Mac customers in very important and specific ways. The art, of course, is to sift through the barrage of pleas and, often, self-centered requests and marry that with realistic engineering and cost choices. But just important is the balance and vision of the product manager, one that also resonates with the most senior Apple executives.

When all those elements converge, Apple is able to deliver a delightful computer. It may not please the most eccentric of pro users, but a balanced, smart design (devoid of serious irritants) combined with clever engineering and disciplined entry pricing can sway most critics.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro has some of the earmarks of a revamped, unleashed design team. It got a little bigger to accommodate better thermal design. (See below). It supports up tp 64 GB of RAM and 8 TB of storage. [Those will cost you.] The battery is actually bigger than the previous model. It has a hardware ESC key. (Hooray.) And yet, its base model starts at a realistic US$2,399. And that’s with 16 GB RAM. Price outrage has been dramatically reduced at the entry point.

There is joy in this computer.

Author Moren concludes.

But whoever is making the decisions, they’re clearly listening—at least to a specific segment of Apple’s market…. Hopefully this portends a trickle-down effect that bodes well for the company’s consumer Macs, because the Mac mini, iMac, and MacBook Air are all in need of some updates as well. All of which offer yet another chance for Apple to show it’s not just listening, but acting too.

The Week’s News Debris

• Continuing with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, Cult of Mac explains: “16-inch MacBook Pro beats predecessors by overcoming thermal throttling.

The just-released 16-inch MacBook Pro handles heat better, giving it faster performance than the 15-inch models introduced earlier this year, even though both laptops use exactly the same processor. [Coffee Lake.]

…the 16-inch MacBook Pro sports a redesigned fan that promises a 28% increase in airflow, and there’s a 35% larger heat sink.

Thermal design 16-inch MacBook Pro

Image credit: Apple

The previous, obsessive drive towards thinner and thinner never allowed this kind of design latitude.

• Still, not everyone is going to be completely satisfied with is new MBP. Here are some extra-curricular thoughts to intrigue you. “The New MacBook Pro Gets a Lot Right, But We Need Just a Little Bit More.” Do you agree?

• But not all is rosy in Cupertino. CNBC reports: “Apple News+ has struggled to add subscribers since first week of launch in March, sources say.

Like HomeKit, it seems some Apple products and service suffer periodic neglect, then a sudden, furious boost. That’s a symptom of lack of authority of VPs to solve problems while the executive team is preoccupied with other matters. This is not new with Apple, but it needs to end.

• Finally, here’s everything we know about Apple Watch 6 — along with a wishlist. The point here is not to jump the gun so early. Rather it’s to emphasize the incredible future this wearable has and its role in supporting Apple’s health and fitness initiatives. There is huge room for growth here.

Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

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The 16-inch MacBook Pro highlights another Magic Keyboard with a refined scissor component that conveys 1mm of key travel and a steady key feel, just as an Apple-structured elastic arch that stores progressively potential vitality for a responsive key press. You will get more information on my platform https://wikiconsultant.net/

Lee Dronick

Hehe. Yeah, they finally got the keyboard right. If only they could have done so before the previous update cycle, when I got my MBP. I have no idea how anyone at Apple could think that a virtual (and out of position) Esc key and arrow keys in two different sizes were good ideas.


John: Dan Moren makes a plausible argument in the Macworld piece about Apple listening strategically, but acting tactically, and I find little to disagree with most of his evidence. That said, as a longtime Apple client, I am more struck with my own response to the release of the new MBP. For the first time that I can recall post SJ2, I don’t really care about its release. This has nothing to do with arguments of ‘trust’, ‘betrayal’, ‘disrespect’, feature set, performance specs, butterfly keyboards (never had a problem with mine, BTW), or any of the many arguments that have… Read more »