If you quickly glance at Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro, you might mistake it for the previous model (and the model before that and the model before that). Sure, there's a new keyboard and the handy touchbar is there, but Apple is stubbornly sticking with its stale MacBook design, complete with a metal body, black bezel around the screen, and black keys.
Ordinarily, that wouldn't be a problem. After all, Apple's MacBook Pro is still nice looking and hasn't been easily outpaced on the design side by any of its competitors. But this is Apple. And for a company that prides itself on innovation, there's little to be found in this year's new 13-inch MacBook Pro.
All we really got in this model were a few upgrades you could have expected. We still have Intel processors, but they're newer models. And if you're looking for storage, there's twice as much in this version (starting with 256GB) than the previous one.
Of course, the biggest update this time around is an actually workable keyboard. The butterfly keyboard is gone, and we're finally back to the scissor keyboard design. It's a smart move by Apple and will make the MacBook Pro far more usable.
Indeed, I can't go further without acknowledging that reality. For as little as Apple did with this MacBook Pro, it's still an exceedingly usable and worthwhile purchase for most companies or individual users. And whether your company is already using Macs or switching to the platform in the future, you'll find the 13-inch MacBook Pro will get the job done.
But that doesn't mean I can't lament the fact that Apple has once again released hardware that fails to significantly improve upon its design or concept from the previous year. This is the same MacBook Pro we've seen for years with only a few improvements under the hood.
There are reasons for that, of course. Apple can keep the same design to keep its costs down and boost profitability. And that makes perfect sense. But this is a company that has built its brand on innovation, constant growth, and unique product designs. I'm not asking Apple for a dramatic overhaul to the MacBook Pro, but even a slight upgrade would be nice.
Truth be told, we've heard rumors about Apple planning a new MacBook Pro design in recent months. But it's unclear if and when that might happen. And based on how things are playing out, I don't expect a new MacBook Pro redesign anytime soon.
Apple undoubtedly makes outstanding products that most consumers and companies should consider when making a new machine purchase. But there's nothing wrong with holding Apple to a higher standard as the market's leader. And the MacBook Pro is getting stale. It's time for Apple to do something about it and showcase a new design. The time has come.