The first Mac I ever owned was a 15-inch PowerBook G4. OS X had just come out, and I wanted to use Final Cut Pro. I was in college, and, compared with the PC laptops I had previously owned, it was amazing. It was fast, it was sleek, and it was so simple to use.
Since that first Titanium-tank of a laptop, I've owned a lot of Apple computers. In addition to roughly a dozen different versions of PowerBooks and then MacBook Pros, I've also owned a few MacBook Airs, iMacs, and even a G5 Mac Pro (which is still one of my favorite Macs ever) with a 20-inch LCD Cinema Display (which I still use for color correction 15 years later).
I think we can all agree that Apple's laptops have come a long way in the past 20 or so years. That doesn't, however, mean that the category hasn't stumbled along the way. In fact, the past five years of Apple laptops have been a low point largely due to Jony Ive's obsession with form over function. As a result, we've had to live with the travesty that is the "butterfly keyboard."
The butterfly keyboard was bad from every perspective except one--it was beautiful. Which, if you're Ive, is the most important thing. It didn't matter that it was terrible to actually type on. That's nothing compared to having a thin and elegant design. Never mind that you'll probably have to replace it at some point if you actually use it to type.
To be fair, I haven't had nearly the trouble many people have with these keyboards. I also haven't had as much trouble typing on it--you get used to it after a while. But that's kind of like saying that you eventually go nose blind to the smell of your old running shoes. They still stink.
And so we've spent years--four of them to be exact--waiting for Apple to swallow this poor design decision and release a keyboard that works. Jony Ive left Apple last year, and with him went what was left of Apple's worst experiment and arguably its most controversial mistake.
I've been testing the new 13-inch and let me just say this: This is the best Mac laptop I've ever used. That said, it isn't perfect (still no dedicated graphic card), and it's not necessarily the best MacBook for everyone.
Look, I get it--it's hard to get really excited when the most interesting thing Apple has done is fix its most glaring and controversial mistake. But considering that even the iPad Pro got a Magic Keyboard before the 13-inch MacBook Pro, it's been long enough.
Should you pick up this laptop, there are other things besides a better keyboard. The 10th-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 quad-core configurations are powerful enough for editing 4K video with Final Cut Pro--even with integrated graphics. This means if you're like me, and you use your laptop for some heavy-duty work yet need something you can travel with, the 13-inch is still the sweet spot.
By the way, in response to those who have criticized the recent upgrade as underwhelming because the new MacBook Pro still basically looks like a MacBook Pro, I say "It's a MacBook Pro." That's like criticizing a new Porsche for looking too much like a Porsche.
Making something new for the sake of making it new doesn't make it better. The current form factor is about as perfect as it can get. Would it be nice to get the much-rumored 14-inch display, with its slim bezels? Sure.
But if "slimmer bezels" is your biggest beef with Apple's laptops, I feel like that's not the right metric by which to measure a laptop that's still better than just about everything else available. And now it's even better than ever.