New MacBook Pro 13″ – First Look

The headline is this:  wow!  I’m much more impressed with this new MacBook Pro than others seem to be.

I won’t belabor all the improvements, but do want to touch on a few.

One, perhaps a killer feature for me, is how much better the keyboard is than on previous MacBooks.  Using what Apple calls “a second generation butterfly mechanism” you get a lot more responsive keyboard, the mushiness is gone, and I find I’m typing far faster on this than my old MacBook.

The trackpad is bigger and it is a force touch that is more responsive than my old one was.

I loaded this one up with 16GB of memory and a 1TB incredibly fast drive, so this is a very realistic development machine, and at 3 pounds and 14.9mm, it is tiny.  Pretty good for a machine with a full keyboard.

The ports are either great or terrible, depending on your perspective.  It has 4 USB C ports. One is taken up by your power cord.  All of this could be a drag, but I bought this little beauty   It is much smaller than it looks, and it has two USB 3.0 ports and a USB C pass through (so it doesn’t take up a port!)  It also has HDMI, which is great.    It pretty much solves the port issue and it is small and light enough to just toss into your computer bag.

The jury is still out on the touch bar.  If you use Apple’s software it is very convenient, but I don’t use Apple Mail, Safari or Apple Calendar, so I get a bit less out of it.  That said, the fingerprint touch is instantaneous and I’ve taken to locking my MacBook when I close it or walk away, which is probably all to the good.

Oh, the screen is incredible.  It is faster, brighter and thinner.

If I need a Windows Box I turn to Parallels, which just keeps getting better.  And as we know, Macs make terrific Windows machines.

There is no denying that the MacBook is expensive, but pound for pound, feature for feature, it is competitive with high-end PC laptops.

Finally, we turn to the battery.  Apple says 10 hours.  Consumer reports says the battery life is uneven, and worse if you use Safari.  Since I don’t use Safari, and so far have been getting about 11 hours, I’m more than content.

All in all, at least so far, I’m a very happy puppy.

About Jesse Liberty

Jesse Liberty has three decades of experience writing and delivering software projects and is the author of 2 dozen books and a couple dozen Pluralsight & LinkedIn Learning courses. He was a Senior Technical Evangelist for Microsoft, a Distinguished Software Engineer for AT&T, a VP for Information Services for Citibank and a Software Architect for PBS. He is a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer and a Xamarin MVP and a Microsoft MVP.
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