In late 2016, Microsoft and Apple seem to have swapped places. The Surface Studio and Surface Book with Performance Base continue to push the envelope in performance and design while Apple appears to be spinning its wheels. Ebbs and flows in technology and even within companies are expected. It happened to Microsoft, and it may be going on with Apple and their new MacBook Pro line right now.
For many people, the MacBook Pros set the bar for laptops. In fact, you could argue that everything Microsoft does in hardware is to outdo Apple regarding quality and design. It's not a coincidence that the Surface line is priced to match Apple's products. Even Microsoft's ads frequently call out Cupertino.
Our friends over at iMore have just reviewed all three of the new Pros including the 13" without Touch Bar, the 13" with Touch Bar, and the dream machine 15" with Touch Bar.
Unless you live under a rock, you likely know that Apple's announcement of these devices was met with mixed responses even from diehard Apple fans. That's what makes iMore's review interesting as our colleagues are knee deep in the Apple ecosystem.
It's certainly hard to gloss over some of the decisions Apple recently made. The advantage of the MacBooks seems to be waning. That's an odd thing too as I have little doubt they are solid, well-crafted machines that demonstrate what MacOS is all about. Heck, I wrote a guide on installing Windows 10 on the 2015 MacBook Pro back before Surface Book even existed because they were so popular.
Rene makes some fair points here, but you can tell the days of gushing about Apple being the standard bearer of laptop mobility and power may be at the end. There's a lot of hedging going on in that review. That's a shame because it's only through competition do consumers get better technology. Things like Touch Bar, no touch display, no SD card slot, and even just average battery life are not the things that will push mobile computing forward.
Nonetheless, take a gander at Rene's and iMore's deep dive into the new MacBook Pros to know what you are – and are not – getting when you drop between $1500 and $3300 on one of these metal beasts.
If you need ammo to counter the argument to Apple's new laptop line, you can always read my Surface Book with Performance Base review, or peek at our 'best alternatives' to the MacBook Pro for some Windows 10-based solutions.
Personally, I'll be real curious to see how sales go for Apple with the new MacBook Pros. While they are good machines, it's hard to ignore what Microsoft and even HP, Dell, and Lenovo are pulling off these days. All I know is Windows PC manufacturers are likely breathing a sigh of relief. Will the MacBook Pro be such a failure as to win over Apple converts? It's a tall order as OS switching is never trivial, but there has never been a better time than now.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.