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Don’t like the Touch Bar? Too bad. Apple’s new Macbooks make it almost mandatory

Apple surprised the world this morning by releasing the much-anticipated update to the MacBook Pros online. It’s a minor refresh that brings 8th-gen Intel Core processors and updated keyboards to some MacBook Pro models. It’s not a game-changer, but it addressed two common complaints with the current options for some MacBook Pros.

But there’s a problem. A big problem.

Rather than refreshing the entire lineup of MacBook Pros to 8th-gen processors like every other laptop manufacturer, Apple has decided to offer the six-core update for only its top-tier laptops. That means if you want an up-to-date MacBook Pro, you’ll be spending at least $1,800 on one. That also means you’ll be paying the premium for the Touch Bar, a feature that the average MacBook user will either actively dislike or completely ignore.

Our favorite version of the MacBook Pro — the $1,300 entry-level version without the Touch Bar — has been left in the dust. Any hope that Apple would pull back on its experiment with the Touch Bar (and possibly even sell a non-Touch Bar 15-inch version) is all but lost. Because it wasn’t included in the update, that version of the MacBook Pro will probably never get touched again. It will just be sold to hapless customers looking for an affordable way of buying into the Mac ecosystem. It’s the same sad position the MacBook Air has been in for years.

The problem worsens when you consider the keyboard issues surrounding the MacBook Pro. Apple finally admitted to the problem of sticking keys by offering replacements and repairs, but it also introduced a “3rd-generation” butterfly mechanism to the refreshed MacBook Pros. These new keyboards promise to be quieter, and we’re assuming they’re less prone to breaking. Unfortunately, the lower-end MacBooks Pros are again left out of the equation.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy Apple finally brought its MacBook Pros into the modern age of six-core CPUs. It was a bit late, but I’ll chalk that up to the keyboard replacement. I’m just annoyed that Apple is once again taking advantage of entry-level Apple fans who will undoubtedly buy outdated computers because they don’t know any better. The only real hope now is that Apple actually releases the rumored $1,000 MacBook Air redesign later this year. Until then, keep saving your pennies.

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Luke Larsen
Luke Larsen is the Senior editor of computing, managing all content covering laptops, monitors, PC hardware, Macs, and more.
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