The pros and cons of Apple's new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, this week on The CultCast | Cult of Mac

The pros and cons of Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, this week on The CultCast


The reviews are in on Apple's new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar...
The reviews are in on Apple's new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar...
Photo: @YSR50

This week on The CultCast: Happy? Disappointed? Downright pissed off? Don’t miss our “Hello Again” Mac event reactions! Plus: Pros and cons of Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar; and the two big omissions in Apple TV’s new TV app.

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The CultCast episode info

CultCast #254 – Hello, indeed! Subscribe on iTunes

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@bst3r / @erfon / @lkahney

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On the show this week

@erfon / @bst3r / @lkahney

MacBook Pro pros

  • The new MacBook Pro won’t ship for another two to three weeks, but members of the media who got their fingers on the new Touch Bar came away from Apple’s event with rave reviews.
    • TechCrunch: “The Touch Bar is, in a word, neat…. The strip itself is glossy. Not quite slick, but frictionless enough so as to run a finger across with little effort. It’s quick and responsive, reacting to multi-touch and the amount of pressure the user applies. It also adapts quite quickly as you toggle between different apps.”
  • Versatile: You now get Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1, DisplayPort, and charging abilities on every port.
  • Brighter screen with better color.
    • Engadget came away particularly impressed by the screen on the new MacBook Pro models, calling it “stunning” when in person and “a noticeable upgrade” from the previous generation of MacBook Pros.
  • Massive new trackpad.
  • Headphone jack!
  • Upgraded GPU and processor.
  • 60hz refresh rates on 4K and 5K displays.
  • Second-generation “fine-tuned” butterfly mechanism keyboard.
  • Now available in space gray and silver.

MacBook Pro nos

  • Previous MacBook Pros started at $1,299 (13-inch) and $1,999 (15-inch). New MacBook Pros (with the Touch Bar) start at a whopping $1,799 (13-inch) and $2,399 (15-inch).
  • USB-C ports mean dongles for everything, including regular USB peripherals.
  • No SD card slot.
  • No HDMI out.
  • Your current iPhone cable won’t work.
  • Your Thunderbolt cables and peripherals won’t work without Apple’s new $50 adapter.
  • No MagSafe.
  • Dongles for literally everything:
    • iPhone
    • AirPods
    • SD card readers
    • Ethernet
    • Thunderbolt 2 peripherals
    • DisplayPort monitors
  • No other Macs announced or updated
  • AirPods delayed
  • 13-inch Macbook Air not updated but will continue to be sold for time being. 11-inch Macbook Air retired.
  • So long, non-retina MacBook Pro.
  • Previous gen MacBook Pro with Intel graphics still for sale but at the same price.

About Apple’s new TV app

Apple’s TV app doesn’t work with the two best streaming services

  • Apple revealed its plan to own your TV screen today with a new app called TV. The new service aims to unify your TV experience on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV by taking you straight to content, but the two best streaming services won’t be available.
  • Neither Amazon Prime Video nor Netflix will participate in Apple’s new feature.
  • Netflix confirmed “we are not participating and evaluating the opportunity…”


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