TMO Daily Observations 2016-04-20: Why People are Bagging on the New MacBook

| Daily Observations Podcast

It seems not everyone is happy with the updated MacBook Apple announced yesterday. John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to look at the complaints about the MacBook refresh, why some people aren't happy, who this model is good for, where the MacBook Air fits into Apple's computer line up, and more.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-04-20: Why People are Bagging on the New MacBook

Apr. 20, 2016 — Download: MP3 Version (AAC Version Coming Soon)

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Kira Kinski

I am a long time Apple computer user, going back to the Apple II. I have purchased and used countless Macs over the years, thus it pains me to watch Apple move further into the disposable consumer space. I get it though. I see a new generation of users that care little for raw horsepower, expandability, and flexibility. They mainly care for mobility. But Apple has moved so far into this space that it no longer builds any Mac, either mobile or desktop, that I will buy. I don’t understand why Apple will not manufacture a professional/prosumer Mac that is upgradable and expandable like those in previous generations. (Both a mobile and desktop version would be ideal.) For me, it’s not a question of money, but rather a question of utility and value. Apple satisfies neither today. And I am not alone. I hear the same thing all the time. The Hackintosh is looking more and more promising; and I never thought those words would come to my mind.

Jeff Gamet

I totally get that, Kira. I really miss my favorite Mac of all time, the Pismo PowerBook. It was so expandable and flexible. What an awesome machine.


I think the new MacBook is a great option for those who need portability and long battery life over high performance.  I know I would loved to have had a MacBook back when I was running around a college campus; considering the MacBook’s 10 hours of battery power, retina screen, and silent operation.

I also imagine that business executives would choose MacBooks as well, since their main tasks are communicating and going to one meeting after another and not high performance machines for content creation.  When those inside photos of Apple’s executives were published a little while ago, I think I remember most of them using MacBooks, and only the guy in charge of hardware design had a MacBook Pro.


I am retired and travel alot, both in Canada and overseas in SE Asia. Because of poor internet connections in SE Asia, use of the cloud is not much of an option, but wi-fi is widely available with frequent drop-outs. For this reason, one’s computer has to be fully featured…almost a travelling office, or entertainment center! Kira’s comments about the shortcomings of the Macbook certainly resonate with me, and I agree that the new MacBook’s eviscerated connectors make it useless.

I have a MBP 13” mid-2012 model and I use the USB ports, phone jack, and Thunderbolt ports all the time…often concurrently. This allows me to hook up my external drives containing an aperture database, iTunes database, movies database, and periodic carbon copy cloner backups. Also, I need a wired connection to a portable canon iP100 printer that I use. Of course, the same ports are needed when downloading weekly digital images from my cameras. The headphone port is essential as I usually hook up a portable speaker to it, nothwithstanding the option of a bluetooth connection which I have found to be somewhat unreliable. Also, the MBP is commonly used to show movies (from my external drive) cabled to a 24” HD display. Even the DVD drive is utilitized when copying my old music cds and dvd movie to take with me on my travels. The only port that is never used is the SDXC card slot, the function of which is baffling.

The Macbook stresses compactness and lightweight which is an attribute that is way over promoted in my experience. Because I use a backpack for transporting my laptop with accessories, there is virtually no diffference in perceived weight—or energy required—to between carrying a 4 lb, 8 lb or 12 lb load. [My weekly backpack of groceries @  30 lbs IS significant, at least to my aged frame]. Finally, the ‘attribute’ of 8, or 9 hours of running time is largely irrelevant, except overseas in the 3rd world where blackouts of 3 to 5 hours are non uncommon. But electrical outlets are everywhere. When was the last time North Americans had to work through an 8-hr sustained blackout? In sum, the ‘attributes’ of the new MacBook are meaningless in my world.

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