For better or worse, Apple continues to surprise customers, fans, market analysts and critics. Here we are in the dog days of summer and Apple surprises again with a new line of MacBook Pro models and the kiss of death for the much beloved 2015 MacBook Pro.
What’s new is a fleet of 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with faster CPUs, improved displays, more RAM options, improved graphics, and a new (and untested in public, but likely more durable) butterfly-design keyboard.
The 2018 15-inch model starts at $2,799 with a new 8th generation Intel Inside, but with more RAM, more storage, and an even faster i9 six-core CPU, the price tag hits $6,699. In one swell foop, Apple moved the MacBook Pro line into the present. Not the future. The present. Windows PC notebooks have had similar specifications for a year or so already.
What about the much beloved 2015 MacBook Pro?
You remember it, right? The MacBook sans Touch Bar. The thick model that launched in 2012 (probably with Steve Jobs blessings before he died in 2011. The Mac with all the ports anyone could use. MagSafe adapter. HDMI and Thunderbolt. A real keyboard without fragile butterflies inside.
Way back in late 2017, Marco Arment called it the best laptop ever made.
Apple has made many great laptops, but the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro (2012–2015) is the epitome of usefulness, elegance, practicality, and power for an overall package that still hasn’t been (and may never be) surpassed.
I have one and it’s likely I’ll keep it until it drops dead. Why? Thinner, lighter, faster just doesn’t mean what it used to mean. The 2012-2015 MacBook Pro models were the last to have Steve Jobs’ touch.
Arment is correct. That was the best laptop ever made.
Everything else about this machine was an upgrade: thinner, lighter, faster, better battery life, quieter fans, better speakers, better microphones, a second Thunderbolt port, and a convenient new HDMI port.
Don’t get me wrong. I would not cry if I had $6,699 to spare and needed a new, thinner, lighter, faster Mac notebook with an option for 4TB of storage and 32GB of RAM. Mac professional noisemakers need to hush. There is little question the new line is an awesome beast.
For professionals who need horsepower and are willing to pay the price.
The rest of us can get by with less and the best has been put to rest. No more SD-card slot. No more HDMI port. No more MagSafe adapter. Those are relics of Macs past. Yes, some of us cling to the past, and cling to older Macs even when we buy and use newer models which don’t have all the fancy accoutrements of yesteryear.
You know. Like a real keyboard.
Goodbye, 2015 MacBook Pro. We hardly knew ye.