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Mac event 2021

Posted in Apple

Apple had their final event of the year last night and it was especially exciting as I’m in the market for a new Mac, and this promised to be a Mac-centric event. Here are my thoughts on proceedings:

  • I’m not sad at all about the death of the Touch Bar, which felt like a nice idea but it never really took off; I always felt it needed 3D touch to prevent accidental presses, and haptic feedback to let you know you’d interacted with it, but it was probably doomed from the start as it meant taking your eyes off the screen and looking at the keyboard
  • Replacing the Touch Bar with function keys is fine, although I wonder why they’re full height keys; every pre-Touch Bar MacBook I’ve owned has had half-height function keys, although the my Magic Keyboard has full height keys so maybe they’re matching that?
  • They’ve (rightly) gone with the inverted T arrow key formation, but the new Magic Keyboard has full-height left and right arrow keys; bit of a weird mismatch
  • The function key has the same globe symbol that’s on the iPad Magic Keyboard; I wonder what the plans are there
  • Re-introducing MagSafe is a bit underwhelming; I like that I can plug in from either side of the laptop using USB-C (Thunderbolt), so I’ll probably keep doing that
  • Adding the SD card and HDMI slots back is odd now that everyone will have bought dongles anyway
  • Finally: a decent (1080p) built-in webcam!
  • No mention of the webcam (FaceTime Camera) using Center Stage
  • I love the extra screen size (14 inches) on the smaller MacBook
  • The notch doesn’t bother me at all; I don’t notice it on my iPhone, so I doubt I will on the Mac either
  • No Face ID, of course
  • It feels like there are too many processor combinations; I’m a ‘Pro’ and I think the entry level will be fine for what I do, especially at those speeds!
  • The higher pixel density will look great; I always felt the roughtly 1.5x pixel density on the Mac was a bit low compared to iPad and iPhone (although I do sit further away from my Mac than those other devices, so it’s not as noticeable)
  • ProMotion is exciting, both for how slick it’ll feel and because the self-adjusting screen refresh rate will preserve battery
  • Still only Silver and Space Grey; I want colours! Or at least a proper black colour

The only non-Mac announcement that caught my eye was that the 3rd generation AirPods are now rain/sweat-proof. Very much a ‘finally!

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