12.5 C
New York
Friday, October 30, 2020
Home News Here’s why 2019 turned out to be a glorious year for the...

Here’s why 2019 turned out to be a glorious year for the Mac

As 2019 draws to a close and I start to get excited about spending money I don’t have on Apple products I don’t need in 2020, now is a good time to look back at the past year in the world of the Mac. Did Apple do right by its loyal computer fans, or were we treated to another year of disappointment and heartache (one day Tim Cook will reply to my emails…)?

When taken together, the changes Apple made in 2019 point towards a year of fixing things. Whether that meant showing it still cared about pro users or putting right wrongs of the past, 2019 was a good year for the Mac because Apple actually listened.

Let’s dig into the details and see what exactly went right — and wrong — for the Mac in 2019.

MacBook Pro 16: The laptop we always wanted

Photos by Riley Young

Ever since the 2016 redesign, buying a MacBook Pro has always felt like something of a compromise. Yes, you got first-class build quality, but you also got the failure-prone butterfly keyboard. Yes, you got powerful i9 processors, but they could easily get thermally throttled. Even worse, Apple seemed determined to merely tweak and adjust the MacBook Pro rather than tackle these problems head-on.

That all changed in 2019 with the release of the MacBook Pro 16. As we said in our review, there was nothing revolutionary or innovative about this MacBook, but that’s not what we wanted. We wanted a proper, comfortable keyboard — and we got it. We wanted better thermal performance so our components didn’t get throttled — and we got it. And we wanted a more modern design with thinner bezels — and we got that too.

If that had been that, we could have gone home happy. But Apple gave us even more: the best speakers you’ll find on any laptop, period; vastly improved performance in pro apps; and a larger battery that, while not anywhere near the best in the industry, still gives you plenty of juice when you stack the device with high-end components. Apple even added in a physical Esc key as the cherry on the cake.

Given the rough few years the MacBook Pro has gone through, the MacBook Pro 16 was a huge relief, and by far the best MacBook Apple has released in years. Apple listened to its customers, and we think most of them will be very pleased with the outcome.

The Mac Pro lives (again)

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

There’s an old adage that no one hates Apple as much as Apple fans, and that’s doubly true for pro-level Mac users. For years, Mac forums and comment sections have been filled with people complaining that Apple has been “dumbing down” or has forgotten its pro users. Well, the new Mac Pro proves that’s no longer the case.

Apple’s high-end desktop Mac is back with a vengeance after the middling, aging “trashcan” Mac Pro of 2013. This year’s model is everything a pro-level Mac should be — and more, in fact, because it’s actually surprisingly good value if you consider what it offers.

In a perverse kind of way, what’s most exciting about the Mac Pro is its eye-watering cost. Arm it to the gills with high-end components and you’ll be spending over $50,000. But that’s okay! Making that kind of maxed-out beast of a machine available shows Apple understands pro-level workloads. If you’re Steven Spielberg or Calvin Harris, you want the most powerful components available to do your demanding work, and you know that price is no barrier. The fact that Apple is cramming these components into a Mac for the first time in years shows it still wants to please its professional users.

Throw in a few unique factors you won’t find on any other computer — such as the custom MPX Modules and the tight integration with professional Mac apps — and you have a computer that was designed to address users’ concerns. Once again, we see Apple listening to its customers and doing what they know they want, rather than what Apple thinks they want. If this signifies a new direction for the company, then that can only be a good thing.

MacBook Air: small but meaningful changes

Riley Young/Digital Trends

At first glance, 2019 looks like a somewhat average year for the MacBook Air. Sure, it got a nice little addition in the form of a True Tone display, which adjusts the color temperature according to your surroundings, but that wasn’t exactly earth-shattering. But look a little closer and there was something else that actually made 2019 a pretty good year for Apple’s thinnest and lightest laptop.

That came in the form of a price cut. Savor it well, because Apple rarely cuts the price of any of its devices. But cut the price it did, shaving $100 off the price of both MacBook Air models in July 2019. That brought the price of the entry-level model down to $1,099, making it Apple’s cheapest laptop by a solid $200.

That makes it a tantalizing prospect once more. Before the price cut, the entry-level MacBook Pro was only $100 more but came with a quad-core processor (to the Air’s dual-core chip) and the Touch Bar, giving you a noticeable performance jump for only a modest price increase. But with the gap now widened to $200, Apple’s pitch on the entry-level MacBook Air is much more persuasive.

While we wouldn’t go so far as to say 2019 was a brilliant year for the MacBook Air (the redesign in 2018 was far more significant), the price cut undoubtedly helped make it a positive year for fans of the device.

The 12-inch MacBook dies (and we’re glad)

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Things weren’t so great for the 12-inch MacBook in 2019, though, which got killed off completely. It seems like the cheaper price of the redesigned MacBook Air meant the 12-inch MacBook simply wasn’t viable anymore. With the new MacBook Air being plenty thin and light and a good deal more powerful than the 12-inch MacBook, there was nowhere else for Apple to turn.

Still, that’s no bad thing in our eyes. Apple is known for keeping its laptop lineups focused and concise (especially compared to a company like Dell), but in recent years its MacBook line had become bloated and confusing.

First there was the 12-inch MacBook in 2015. Despite being Apple’s smallest MacBook, it was actually mid-range in terms of price, making the Air the entry-level device (exacerbated by the Air’s lack of updates in recent years). Then when Apple updated the Air in 2018, the two devices suddenly switched places, with the aging 12-inch MacBook looking like the outdated model.

It seems that in 2019, Apple had had enough of the confusion, and yanked the 12-inch MacBook off the shelves. While we’re not back to the heady days of Steve Jobs’ famous “product quadrant,” the Mac lineup is now much simpler and easier to navigate, which can only be a good thing.

2020 could be a revolution

Overall, then, 2019 has been a very good year from the Mac, especially on the high-end, professional side of things. The changes Apple has brought about — both large and small — have been positive, and show a company willing to listen to its customers’ concerns and give them the products they want.

The only notable exception, really, is the iMac. While we love its classic all-in-one design, its large bezels and non-adjustable stand are starting to look a bit dated in 2019 (although it did get a good performance bump in March to bring it up to speed). The iMac Pro, meanwhile, didn’t get updated at all in 2019 and is easily outclassed by the new Mac Pro (although it is cheaper).

Yet, it could be that 2019 was the calm before the storm. With Apple widely rumored to be adding ARM chips to its Macs as soon as 2020, it may be that this year was all about resetting the Mac lineup and getting the company’s ducks in a row before the huge ARM shakeup next year. Whether or not that comes to fruition is yet to be seen, but it’s certainly a possibility.

But on balance, 2019 can only be seen as a great year for the Mac. It was a return to form for one of the most popular and well-loved computers on the market, and bodes well for the future for Mac fans.

Latest

Insider.Games: Your opportunity to learn all about games

Gaming TodayModern gaming is a vast and complex hobby, which is full of different directions, genres, and tendencies. For fifty years, video games grew up from a niche entertainment for the close circle of people to one of the most profitable industries. The interactive media evolved from simple arcade automats to blockbusters and arthouse examples. The industry is actual and widely spread like never before to the point that it may be a bit confusing to navigate this world and to find games, which will suit you the most. Even with the great choice of free titles, there is a space for making a choice, left alone paid video games on different platforms. Choices seem endless and even frustrating sometimes. Fear no more because you have found a perfect place where you can learn everything about gaming and even a bit more. Insider.Games portal is your ticket to the fascinating world of interactive media. Hold tight.Game ReviewsOn the Insider.Games website, you will find reviews for the latest novelties of the industry as well on the time-proven classic of video games. The idea of the portal’s reviews is not to sell a game for a potential gamer but to show different sides of projects, their strong and weak points. It may seem odd to squeeze another portal with video game reviews in the crowded informational space. Besides, there are such giants as IGN or Rock, Paper, Shotgun, that already enlighten a lot of gaming news. Still, the more information about games appears, the lesser quality of this information is. Besides, modern video games journalists` reviews are more of praise and advertisement than objective evaluation.Insider.Games portal aims to provide a new perspective on video games review and create qualitative content for its users. The first and main audience of the portal is people who join the world of gaming recently but who want to learn more. You will find consumer advice in our reviews, as well as thorough critics of recent titles. Seasoned gamers are welcome on the website as well. Here you will find news about upcoming releases and gaming world events. Besides, you may share your opinion concerning reviewed titles and expand the portal’s thoughts. Video game reviews are not the only format featured on the website.Game RankingsThe amount of video games released in the last five years is more than one person can comprehend even in a decade. The choice may be overwhelming. Naturally, there are such things as overrated items as well as hidden gems of the video games industry. The ultimate goal of playing video games is to have fun (whatever perfect form this fun might be for you) and do not waste time on games, which do not belong to your league. Of course, diving into the depth of forgotten classics may be tiresome, but we already did it for you. Here, ranking of video games by Insider.Games may come in handy. The titles are divided into genres, themes, and platforms. You will find tops of best medieval, sci-fi, or horror games. Best RPGs, horrors, and actions are present as well. You will even find such tops as the best anime and porn games.The most resonating games are not always the best choice to apply, and even recognized masterpieces may be just an average odd job for a single gamer. Still, the mass of single gamers shall know what they may enjoy, remember the old classics, or discover something new.Gaming NewsThe new generation of video game consoles is upcoming. It means an avalanche of announcements, loud scandals, the rivalry between major players on the market, and fierce competition for the audience. Modern news about video games is not merely announcing of new releases or loud advertisements but a full-fledged part of the media sphere informational field. More and more companies enroll in the industry, try to debut with their gaming projects, or adapt famous gaming franchises to another form of media. All this news is a part of the video games industry, which Insider.Games portal illuminate. Gaming enthusiast or an average gamer – you will find something interesting on the Insider.Games portal.Gaming StoriesFinally, interactive media is not only entertainment and fun for end gamers but the endless creative energy of people who work in game development. The old saying about the irrelevance of video game plots became irrelevant itself. The complexity of storytelling, the visual and interactive representation of familiar art tropes may play with new colors in masterful hands. Insider.Games want to share with you the stories of people, who create video games, decisions, which they make during the development process, hardships, and limitations, which they have overcome to create fine-tuned pieces of interactive art.The stories of video game creation itself may be interesting. There are upcoming video series about video game developers or separate offices of creative minds who dared to create something extraordinary. While we are waiting for major releases, you may check out such stories on the Insider.Games portal. Interesting facts, easter eggs, and much more unusual content await.Final WordsThe world of gaming is massive. There are numerous releases and even more platforms to choose from. The possibilities are endless, and it is easy to get lost among them. Still, modern gaming is something more than videogames and their developers, loud announcements, and breathtaking achievements. Modern gaming is people who enjoy interactive media all over the world. Young and adult audiences; hardcore fans and casual gamers; Pc, consoles, or mobile users – everyone is united by their passion for gaming. To join the rank of gamers is to join a wide and expressive community, to learn something new, and to make new friends. Insider.Games portal is more than a place on the Internet where you can find the specifications for the newest game release or information about some obscure, old game. It is a place where people want to share their love and passion for the common hobby and where you will always find something for you.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 review: An easy choice for most people

Competition in the $300 space is fierce, but the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is scrappy enough to hold its own.

Score the best price yet on Sony XM4 Wireless Headphones at over $70 off

There's no use in waiting for November to start your holiday shopping this year. Retailers are running Black Friday a

Best VPN Deals 2020: Black Friday discounts, coupons & more

sTrying to find the best VPN can be a struggle on its own, but when you then mix in trying