I’m holding out on giving a solid “yay or nay” about the updated MacBook Pro until I’ve actually had a chance to use it, but my initial reactions seem to be mirroring many of those in the industry. Many have already expressed that it feels like the suffix “Pro” has lost it’s meaning. At one point in time it boasted being the system used to edit Lord of the Rings while out shooting on set. Now professionals are being shown how quickly they can use emojis via the new and shiny Touch Bar.

I think the idea behind the Touch Bar is interesting and if executed correctly could feel useful, but I don’t know how useful when it comes to the professional side of things. In the keynote while Photoshop was being demo’ed, changing the brush size kept having the common “touch” problem of having the value changed from the momentum of your finger leaving the touch surface. This isn’t a new problem, Wacom has a “precision mode” to avoid situations exactly like that. What benefit is there in looking up and down to adjust the brush size, when designers can right click and adjust the size exactly where their mouse was? Where are the improvements in the Touch Bar’s functionality over developers and designers leveraging the muscle memory of hotkeys?

I believe it was an incredibly smart move on Microsoft’s part to release their Surface Studio right before Apple’s keynote. It placed expectations high by trying to solve a real problem a lot of professional designers have and even out-Apple’d Apple in their ad for it.