Under The Microscope

On The Much Improved State of Macintosh Hardware

Back in mid-2018, there wasn’t a single Macintosh computer that was free of major drawbacks or otherwise ridiculously out of date. After yet another disappointing WWDC, I took to my keyboard to air some grievances, with a lengthy complaint entitled “On The Sad State of Macintosh Hardware“. That post was written out of a deeper frustration with Apple’s failure to keep the Mac product line current.

A little over three years later, it’s time to do the opposite. With Apple’s announcement of new M1 Pro- and M1 Max-based MacBook Pros, they are more than halfway through their transition from Intel to their own Apple Silicon chips. The state of Macintosh hardware is now much closer to “Jubilant” than “Sad”.

Beyond the spectacularly powerful new CPUs, I want to make note of the more pragmatic improvements that have happened. Apple in 2018 was at the height of their quest to remove every port, selling a MacBook that offered a pitiful single USB-C port (which was also needed for charging). Other laptops were besmirched by TouchBars and faulty butterfly keyboards. Apple is not a company to change its mind lightly, but nevertheless they’ve corrected every single one of these missteps.

I’m not sure who exactly deserves the credit at Apple for all these improvements, but my hat is off to you, whoever you are.1 In 2018, we couldn’t recommend buying a single current Macintosh model. Now? You almost can’t go wrong. That turnaround deserves a round of applause.


  1. Whoever it is, I’m guessing their name doesn’t rhyme with “Ronnie Five”.

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