Apple has finally updated its MacBook Pros after a long time without changes. But as attractive as some of the new features are — like faster processors, more RAM and storage configurations, a quieter keyboard — none of them really makes me dump my windows laptop and run to the apple store to yell “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”
The updated 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with Intel 8th-generation Core i5 or i7 chips, a maximum configuration of up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of SSD storage. This is a great speed upgrade from the last models, but the price for the high end model is almost ridiculous. We will see why in a second.
So yes, the updated MacBook Pro now tops out at a whopping $6,699 for the top configuration. That’s $2,400 more than the best 2017 MacBook Pro you could buy.
That may sound a lot at first, but Apple hasn’t really changed the prices on anything from last year to this year: the top-spec MacBook Pro is priced higher than ever because Apple is offering way more options than it has in the past.
But is the price fair ? Well lets see
Both the 2017 and 2018 models have the same starting prices: $2,799 for the “high-end” version of the 15-inch computer, with a faster processor, better GPU, and twice the SSD storage as the $2,399 “base” 15-inch model. Like last year, Apple offers a $300 upgrade to an even better Intel i9 processor and this time also a really sick storage update to 4TB which costs 3200$.
But why is this so expensive ? Now the 2015 macbook pro had replaceable ssd’s which are similar to m.2 ssds but are still apple propietary, that means you can only put in ssds which are especially made for the macbook like the ones
which OWC is selling. But the problem with them is that they do not come 100% close to the original apple SSD’s
Sadly since last year both 13″ & 15″ Touch Bar models are soldered, that means you can’t uprade the ssd. I mean technically it’s possible, you can even upgrade the memory on your iphone if you have some mad soldering skills or live in the city of tech, in shenzhen in china.
Soldering the ssd to the board has 2 reasons. First of all it’s cheaper than modules and you can eliminate errors and have faster bandwith.
With the drive physically on the motherboard, if it should fail and you’re beyond the warranty/AppleCare period, any repair would likely cost as much as a new machine, or be atlease would be, very expensive. If a drive were to fail on the second year of usage, telling the customer they need to buy a new computer would leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth – especially if that computer was a $6,700 15-inch MacBook Pro. Nice try apple, why not do it like Huawei and find a way to bring the same fast ssds in a exchangeable format so users can upgrade or remove their ssd for data protection ? Well like always – MONEY
Now, I’m aware MacBook Pros have always been premium, especially with the upgraded configurations. But like damn, even the entry-level model is too much. For that I can buy an i7 version of the new matebook x Pro and even get a dedicated GPU on top. Apple’s site shows the 13-inch MacBook Pro still starts at $1,300 for the non-Touch Bar model, but that’s for the old model with slower processor. The new $1,800 model isn’t replacing the 2017 models at all.
Now same goes for the RAM. On the new models also the ram is not upgradeable.
When you buy millions of chips you tend to get pretty much the same price as the memory module manufacturers get. So then the module is extra PCB and an extra connector that you don’t need.
Also a big connector like a RAM connector is a liability. Also inserting the RAM module takes a human several seconds and requires a human that sleeps, takes holidays and gets sick, a chip ‘pick and place machine’ rarely takes a break except for maintenance and can be refilled in moments. Also with a module you lose alot of space, and space is everything in such tiny laptops.
And for sure its also be about product segmentation and money. If someone cannot upgrade then they need to buy a new laptop.
So beside all that beefy high tech hardware, there is something why apple users buy apple and its MAC OS. I’m not a fan of MAC OS, even though I shout atleast 10 times a week at my pc doing some weird stuff. But I do get why people like it and in fact, there will never be an alternative. There is windows, there is linux and there is MAC OS – Pick your choice. I’ve even asked Mr Wang fei Austrian Country manager from Huawei and Mr. Yanming WANG president of CEE and nordig region , from one of the biggest smartphone companies who are coming into the pc market, if they are looking for an windows alternative.
When I had a macbook back in 2015, I was really not happy that I had no gpu for 4K editing. But apple has now a inhouse solution for that and developed an E-GPU together with the company blackmagic for their new macbooks. Running for $699.00, the Blackmagic eGPU provides desktop-class graphics performance on a MacBook Pro, through a Radeon Pro 580 graphics processor with 8GB of GDDR5 memory. 700$ sounds quite alot when you already bought a macbookb for several thousand USD. And another point, the gpu is non upgradeable again..
I’ve talked with edgar eliseo from exklim who has developed his own epgu and asked him about his opinion on the new E-GPU.
In the end, these new MacBook Pro models are super fast, with their display connectivity options rivaling that of even the Mac Pro. These laptops are very capable of being used for both desktop and laptop duty. The new MacBook Pro models are something to be excited about, but now with the SSD non-replaceable, we enthusiasts need to take more factors into account as we upgrade to these new Macs. I actually planned to give a macbook a try but with these prices, from a hardware enthusiats point of view, I’m going with a matebook and my own personal built E-GPU solution.