Just yesterday, Apple introduced their much-anticipated refreshed MacBook Pro lineup which includes models with a Touch Bar (for extensive interaction with applications) and Touch ID (for security reasons, obviously). Sure, there was plenty added to the machines like a thinner but better display, a much slimmer design and form factor, and all-new internals for 2016. However, what Apple didn’t tell you was what’s now missing from their laptops feature wise. Yes, the four USB-C ports on the computers make up for most of the missing elements, but they provide a rather clunky and inconvenient way of doing so. In other words, you have to basically use dongles for everything now.
Let’s jump into exactly what Apple took away from users in their new MacBook Pros. (Spoiler: the headphone jack isn’t on this list.)
SD card reader
For those of you who prefer taking pictures or videos with a device that requires a removable SD card (for instance any photographer ever), you’re really gonna be out of luck with Apple’s latest MacBook Pros. With older models of the laptops, the company included a built-in SD card reader even up to the very last generation that’s now just made it off the market. However, with these newly-refreshed variants, thanks to their slim form factor, the company has opted to rid the machines of this IO and instead expect the public to either upload their photos and videos to the cloud where they can lose their quality or buy a USB-C male to SD card female adapter for $50 which, by the way, they didn’t even make. Overall, I don’t think this was a very good move for Apple since a lot of MacBook Pro users depend on the SD card reader and would rather not have to carry around a dongle constantly.
Remember the rectangular USB ports from back in the day? Of course you do, you probably have them on the computer you’re reading this article on. Well, they’ve got a name (USB-A), and they’re completely absent from the new MacBook Pros.
Yes folks, following the footsteps Apple’s 12-inch MacBook left behind, the latest MacBook Pros don’t have any USB Type-A ports anywhere. Instead, users are restricted to using the four USB-C ports built into the computers. This is by no means a good thing to do at this time. Since the entire world hasn’t made the switch to USB-C yet, it’s not good to restrict users to one type of IO on such a powerful machine as the MacBook Pro. In a year or two when USB-A is the distant past, sure. Load us up with all the USB-C you can give us. But now? It still seems a bit too early. Well, at least to me.Look, what the entire thing comes down to is whether you’re willing to use an adapter or not. I’m sure you’ve got plenty of USB-A chargers, connectors, and accessories you constantly plug in and out of your laptop. But if you pick up one of the new MacBook Pros, you’re gonna have to buy an adapter.
Look, what the entire thing comes down to is whether you’re willing to use an adapter or not. I’m sure you’ve got plenty of USB-A chargers, connectors, and accessories you constantly plug in and out of your laptop. But if you pick up one of the new MacBook Pros, you’re gonna have to buy an adapter. That’s the way it is. Wanna know why? Because it’s Apple.
(Note: Now I could go on saying that the HDMI jack and dedicated DisplayPorts are also absent from the new MacBook Pros, but it’ll be the same story as the USB-A ports and SD card reader. Therefore, I’ll save you some time and move on with what else is missing from the latest laptops out of Cupertino.)
MagSafe charging solution
If you’ve owned a MacBook in the past 7 years or so, you’ve charged it over a connection Apple calls MagSafe. This connector allowed users to place their charger over the appropriate port on their Mac and begin charging their laptop over a series of pins and magnets. If someone tripped over the cord or if you pulled your computer away suddenly, your computer wouldn’t fly across the room or get damaged in the charging port section since the connection was easy to unplug. However, with the introduction of the new MacBook Pros, no longer will users be able to enjoy the safety and elegance of MagSafe. Only buyers of the 13-inch MacBook Air, in fact, can now use this charging method.
So how do you charge your new MacBook Pro anyway? Well, we’ve gotta result back to those USB-C ports. Apple said that any of the four can be used for charging as well as all other connections like Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI, but this makes the laptops a lot less pleasurable while powering. If someone trips over that cord, you’re screwed. Your computer will fly across the room, the port will likely get damaged – yeah, you’re screwed. Of course, there’re some solutions on the market for a MagSafe-like USB-C charger for your Mac, but they’re not as clean and elegant as Apple’s previous MagSafe solution.
Raise one for MagSafe, friends. It’s days are numbered.
Glowing Apple logo
As a final tidbit, I thought I’d bring up the fact that the logo on the back of the MacBook Pro no longer glows while you’re using it. The logo’s now an ultra-reflective Apple that resembles the one found on the iPad or iPhone. We first saw this change in the 12-inch MacBook at the beginning of 2015. It’s cause of absence then was due to the MacBook’s ultra-thin display. Now that the new MacBook Pros have the same ultra-thin screen, it only makes sense for Apple to rid their fastest laptops to date of the eluminating branding. Sure, you won’t look as cool or as rich anymore while sitting at Starbucks, but it’s really not a big deal since it’s not like you look at it often yourself.
That’s our list of features missing from Apple’s new MacBook Pros. If you’ve got an item to add, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll publish it!
Will any of these removals affect your decision about whether to buy a new MacBook Pro?