The beginning of the end: New MacBook Pro could be Apple's last traditional computer

Why Apple's new computer may mark a changing of the guard for the tech company

By Matthew Rozsa
November 3, 2016 12:30AM (UTC)
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Tim Cook speaks under a graphic of the new MacBook Pro at an Apple media event in Cupertino, California, October 27, 2016. (Reuters/Beck Diefenbach)

The new MacBook Pro isn't just the latest product to be launched by Apple. It may also mark the beginning of the end for the period in which desktop and notebook computers were a staple of Apple's product line.

The new MacBook Pro, however, seems to suggest a shift in the company's thinking.


As the first significant revision since 2012, the new notebooks have improved retina displays and up-to-date expansion ports. That said, aside from a new Touch Bar that makes it easier for consumers to apply shortcuts to repetitive tasks, the MacBook Pro doesn't contain as many features designed to appeal to professionals.

"That’s why it seems like there’s a little less pro in this year’s MacBook," writes Michael Simon, a contributor to MacWorld. "With the Air on life support, the MacBook Pro needs to pull double-duty, appealing to both its namesake professionals and millions of people who want a new Mac at home. Much like the iPad Pro kept the tablet’s central tenet intact but added simple tools to help users work faster and more efficiently, the MacBook Pro’s marquee feature isn’t the kind of input or I/O game-changer professionals are accustomed to getting."

Indeed, the MacBook Pro has already raised eyebrows for excluding an SD card slot in its latest model. Senior Vice President Phil Schiller explained that it was taken out for being a "bit of a cumbersome slot," although there weren't reports of customers complaining about it. It seems more likely that, consistent with the stripped-down design of the MacBook Pro in general, the SD card slot was removed because Apple is focusing more on iPads and other devices consumers are expected to use away from home.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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