See my Mac wish list at B&H Photo and see all 2016 MacBook pro models at B&H Photo.
See all 15" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models or see all 13" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models. MPG gets credit if you buy through those links.
The new (“late 2016”) Apple MacBook Pro touchbar models have four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports (2 ports for the 13" non-touchbar model). These ports are incompatible with USB and Thunderbolt 2 and displays without adapters, rendering any and all prior peripherals unusable without the necessary adapters (USB hard drives, Thunderbolt 2 devices, displays, card readers, etc).
Prior MacBook Pro models included adapters, but never has such a severe incompatibility switchover happened as with the 2016 MacBook Pro. And yet we get ZERO adapters in the box.
Is it too much to ask that a $2399 to $4400 laptop (15" model) include a few common adapter cables, given the incompatible-with-everything ports?
This is as stripped-down as it gets. Apple could generate a lot of goodwill by including adapters for USB and Thunderbolt 2/Mini DisplayPort in the box. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. But WAIT, it’s even more 'cheap': Apple has removed the extension cable for the power adapter (now an extra $19.99) and even removed the little “wings’ on the power brick (convenient for travel).
But I probably have it all wrong: the genius Apple alludes to is in part raising profit margins by charging for basics, knowing that anyone upgrading *must* get at least a couple of adapters (if for nothing else than a USB backup drive or card reader or existing wired keyboard or mouse, etc).
As it stands, there is a hidden extra cost of $200 or more if you’re like me and want to attach a USB3 SSD, USB3 card reader, Thunderbolt device, external display, etc. That’s about a 5% to 7% hidden cost increase. OWC has USB-C to USB adapter cables for about $9.99 so at least there is a low cost option for that common use case. Which brings the point to it: why isn’t there at least one token USB-C to USB adapter in the Apple box?
Apple’s Phil Schiller:
To be fair it has been a bit of a surprise to me. But then, it shouldn’t be. I have never seen a great new Apple product that didn’t have its share of early criticism and debate — and that’s cool. We took a bold risk, and of course with every step forward there is also some change to deal with. Our customers are so passionate, which is amazing.
We care about what they love and what they are worried about. And it's our job to help people through these changes. We know we made good decisions about what to build into the new MacBook Pro and that the result is the best notebook ever made, but it might not be right for everyone on day one. That’s okay, some people felt that way about the first iMac and that turned out pretty good.
Presumably “help people through these changes” means helping lighten wallets by charging high prices for for all the adapters they will need, on top of the cost of the MacBook Pro itself. How supportive.
As for elegance, the idea that I must now carry (at the least) a very awkward (sticks out a couple of inches) external SD card reader is far from elegant. Elegance of design cannot be taken only in the context of a studio shot of a sleek item free of all the encumbrances actually required to use it appropriately. By the way, how does Phil Schiller “know” they made good decisions? Because Jony Ive told him so?
But to be fair, there are many outstanding aspects to the design of the 2016 MacBook Pro. Indeed, it is the best Apple laptop yet. But only someone whose thought processes intentionly or incometently omit usage considerations can have the hubris to call it a work of genius. It is not. When critical things like an SD card reader and a built-in cellular modem are omitted, there is no video compatibility or compatibility for anything without adapters, and too few ports, I don’t call that elegant in the proper context of a pro machine used by photographers, videographers and other professionals. This is not a email and web computer; a MacBook is far smaller and lighter and does just fine for that.
Stripped-down — no adapters supplied