It stopped being made in 2015
I have a Mid-2014 MacBook Pro. The speakers crackle and the screen is permanently grotty, but besides that it’s rock solid. This thing is like the AK-47 of laptops. An elegantly simple 4.5 pound amalgamation of forged aluminum and silicon, it doesn’t break, jam, or overheat¹.
By many accounts, the 2012–2015 MacBook Pro is best laptop ever made². This was peak laptop. Since then, if anything, laptops have gotten worse.
In terms of raw specs, well, have a look.
| MBP | 2014 | 2019 | +-------+--------+--------+ | Speed | 2.2GHz | 2.6GHz | | Boost | Wut? | 4.8GHz | | RAM | 16 GB | 16 GB | | Space | 250 GB | 512 GB |
In terms of performance you could say that the new MacBooks are 2x faster, but 2x fine is still… fine.
The performance is good enough, but what makes the difference is the connections. The Obama-era MacBook is the last MacBook with ports. The new MacBooks only have port. Singular.
Behold the old:
And in with the new:
The new MacBook is obviously simpler and sexier, but I don’t want to have sex with my laptop. If I did, my penis definitely isn’t USB-C. For everything you have to use a dongle.
Even the power cable isn’t MagSafe, so my kids can’t trip over it, and the headphone jack doesn’t have optical audio, so I can’t send separate channels to surround speakers.
You can’t natively connect anything on the new MacBooks, not until the whole ecosystem catches up. And even Apple hasn’t caught up. The iPhone doesn’t even use USB-C.
Nothing just works here. You have to make it work. And I don’t want to. What I have already works fine. I won’t even discuss the Touch Bar, which is a solution in search of a problem. Or the fatally unreliable butterfly keyboard.
In terms of pure user experience, the 2012–2015 MacBook Pro has never been bested. This is the aluminum AK-47, a weapon all writers love. I won’t get into Windows laptops, or innovative but compromised tablets. There are better features, there are more ports, but there’s still something about this laptop that it remains close to the Platonic ideal, even five years later.
But honestly, I really hope the next generation somehow improves on it. This laptop is dirty as hell.
¹ Lord Of War (film, 2005)
² The best laptop ever made (Marco Arment)