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Things I don’t like about the 2017 MBP

See previous, and previous, for other thoughts. It’s not an overall out-of-the-park win. Or maybe a win at all. On the whole, meh. No better than the old one.

You might think that’s ok then, but up until now, every new version of the MBP that I’ve had has been a solid joy over the last version. A “yep, glad I bought that.

This one? I would have been just as happy to keep the old one had I not spilled coffee on the keyboard [1]. No worse than the last one isn’t a win.


  • Battery life seems fine.
  • It’s noticeably thinner and lighter than the previous version which is ok with me.
  • I don’t care about the dongles.
  • TouchID is good.
  • Touchbar is meh. For lots of things I’d still rather have the keys. Escape, changing the volume, and brightness are two keystrokes (is that the right word?) now instead of one. But it’s early days.

Some of those aren’t pros as much as not as bad as expected.

On the downside:

  • Where is the cellular radio? Why can’t I have always-on access like my phone has had since 2008? Why can I have this in a $600 iPad but not a $4000 laptop? Fucking work-mandated ATT doesn’t allow tethering, dammit. Sheesh. I’m happy to pay if it runs over – I just want to connect. There are lots of hotels where the roaming overseas LTE is better than their user-hostile sign-in-five-times-a-day-VPN-blocking-slow-as-shit WiFi. Why do hotels do this? Ohmigod, the pain should someone actually sit in the bar, buy an overpriced drink and steal some wifi.

    To be fair, no one solves this complaint I’ve had for years. And it’s not just overseas – Motel 6, great pet policy, lousy fucking wifi.

  • The bigger trackpad is just stupid. It doesn’t help as a trackpad, and it’s always picking up signals from my palms. It’s Linux-level bad in terms of use. This isn’t some old guy with tremor fingers complaining (well, I am, but…) – I can use the previous version trackpad just fine. This one sucks. It is so painful that I make sure I have a Magic Mouse available at all times (the old version, with batteries. Not the stupid new version). I never used to do that.
  • The new keyboard is terrible. It’s really loud, and the keyfeel is worse than the old one. s/Mighty Mouse/Apple Keyboard/g

    So much for it being smaller, if I have to carry around a keyboard and a mouse…


[1] And why hasn’t that problem been solved yet? Liquids and keyboards seems like something that shouldn’t result in any worse than a replaced keyboard. If that. My phone is now waterproof and I’ve got all the obsolete headphones to prove it, but the age-old problem of coffee/keyboard still completely fries a $4k laptop?