Apple’s gorgeous new MacBook Pro finally fixes a gaggle of issues that fans have been complaining about for years

Two sizes of Apple's 2021 MacBook Pro with screens partially closed in silver and space gray
  • Apple just introduced the latest MacBook Pro, and it walks back years of changes that fans hated.
  • The new design removes the much-maligned touch bar and reintroduces the beloved MagSafe wire.
  • Apple reversed “very questionable to bad hardware decisions,” tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee said.

On Monday afternoon, Apple did something it almost never does: It admitted fault on years of bad decisions around its laptops, and made major changes to the latest MacBook Pro design.

“They basically went backwards on three years in a row of very questionable to bad hardware decisions,” tech YouTuber Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee said in a response video to Monday’s presentation, “And just said, ‘Oh, we’ve been listening. You guys didn’t like that. So we fixed it.'”

The list of changes – or, some might say, fixes – that Apple made to its latest Pro laptops would’ve been unbelievable if it were a rumor ahead of the announcement.

  • The newest MacBook Pro laptops feature a swath of ports, including an HDMI port, which Apple had previously removed;
  • They’ve lost the much-maligned touch bar, once a key selling point touted by Apple, and it was replaced with actual keyboard keys;
  • They’ve regained an SD card reader slot, beloved by media professionals who still rely on SD and micro SD cards;
  • And the charging port is once again the delightfully simple and brilliant MagSafe style, which magnetizes to the laptop and easily breaks away for safety.

And that’s before we start talking about more basic stuff, like Apple continuing to address user complaints about its laptop keyboards, or the introduction of Apple’s own silicon into its MacBook Pro line.

Apple 2021 MacBook Pros with ports
The new MacBook Pro models, in 14 and 16-inch (41cm) options, both have the same ports: HDMI, several USB-c Lightning ports, an SD card reader, a headphone jack, and a MagSafe charging port. Apple

As Apple has moved to streamline its laptops in recent years, it has faced repeated criticism for cutting out features that users loved.

The MagSafe charger, for instance, was swapped with a USB-C Lightning port for charging in 2018.

Instead of using a USB-C cable to charge your laptop, MagSafe was a magnetized plug so that if you ever happened to catch the wire while walking by, it would break away from the laptop without causing your expensive computer to come crashing to the floor.

It magnetized to connect, then easily broke away without issue. Better still, it did what Apple’s Lightning port and USB-C ports do: no matter which way you plugged it in, you were doing it right. The design guided you into doing it correctly.

The reason for replacing the port, ostensibly, was to get more out of the port: USB-C Lightning ports can be used for charging the laptop as well as connecting devices to your laptop and/or charging them from the laptop. They also support data transfer, unlike MagSafe cables.

While that’s all accurate, fans criticized the loss of safety that the MagSafe connector enabled. And a lack of other ports – like the reintroduced HDMI and SD card reader – created a mess of dongles for MacBook users to attach any variety of devices to the laptops.

With the new MacBook Pro line, Apple appears to have heard that criticism (among others) and addressed it head on – a rare reversal for Apple, but clearly a welcome one.

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