Apple MacBook Pro Touch Bar – My Opinion
So Apple has unveiled it new Macbook Pro for 2016 and as always Apple has built on its past success. It really is a powerful piece of hardware.
I’m not going to talk about its under the hood power because it’s expected that every new device (no matter the manufacturer) should come with some level of improvements, whether in its processing power, software, build quality or user experience.
I’m going to be sharing my opinion on the Macbook Pro Touch Bar.
Of all the live demo, the most impressive to me was the Touch ID. The ability to switch between user profiles with the touch of a finger. I think that’s a game changer. Also the ability to make secure payment with the touch of a finger.
The retina display, multi-touch strip adapts to whatever app you’re using. Touch Bar recognizes up to ten finger inputs simultaneously. It has replaced the function keys from the previous keyboard setup. Although the familiar key can be accessed by holding down the function key. Just in case.
We have seen similar setup from HP on their Pavilion series. On the HP Notebook, it was more of a static extra touch function for media rather than a mini screen. Unlike on the HP Notebook, the MacBook Pro Touch Bar is neither limited in its display or functionality. The full extent of Touch Bar’s capability will be down to the innovative minds of developers.
My only concern will be speed in productivity. Transitioning between, Touch Bar, keyboard and touch pad could be a bit of a challenge considering the distance between the Touch Bar and the Touch Pad.
It might take a lot of getting used to as it’s not everyone that can split concentration between the left hand on the touch bar, the right hand on the touch pad and the eyes on the screen. For some people, it’s like separation while playing a piano piece from sheet music.
I’m reminded of Microsoft Windows 8, when Microsoft chose to get rid of the Start Menu (I personally like the idea). That brought a lot of negative feedback from Windows users all over the world. The idea was to unify one Operating System across all platforms, but it didn’t go down well with users that relied on speed to be productive. I guess a great majority of users don’t want to learn to use a computer all over again.
For fear of this, Apple has also retained a MacBook Pro with the regular function keys without the touch bar. I think this version of the notebook should be retained no matter what they do with the touch bar in the future.
For me, I think I would have preferred the touch bar in between the keyboard and the touch pad, or a mini display beside the touch pad. This is because, obviously, you almost can’t type and use the touch pad at the same time, but since people are used to two hand gestures on other devices like tablets, you can easily get used to using both hands on inputs that are very close to each other. Or better still, make the touch pad a wider retina display.
Making the touch pad a wider display will create more room for more button, displays and option, while still doing its primary function.
For now, personally, I will still go for the MacBook Pro without the touch bar as I still believe it’s still in its experimental phase. Although I’d love to have a feel of touch bar, but not for serious work.
Overall, I think the new MacBook Pro is one of that best notebook you can get in the market. Like they said, it is the gold standard.
Let me know what you think