The reviews on the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar are trickling in as the first customers who preordered the device from Apple have started receiving their laptop today. These reviews are essential in helping consumers decide whether they, too, should invest in Apple’s new laptop that boasts of an advanced touchscreen technology as part of its keyboard. Find out what tech reviewers are saying about the new MacBook Pro's Touch Bar below.
The Touch Bar or the OLED strip at the top of the physical keyboard is the main selling point of the new MacBook Pro. Some call it a gimmick, while others consider it an innovation. For The Verge’s Jacob Kastrenakes, the touchscreen strip is the realization of Apple’s dream to add a feature to its laptop that could allow the device to do more. Though the Cupertino giant’s goal may be genuine, Kastrenakes still has doubts regarding the application of the Touch Bar after using the new MacBook Pro for more than a week already. For him, the Touch Bar’s usefulness is a hit-and-miss. He even said in his review that the touchscreen feature could be “overly complicated or just plain unnecessary.”
Pointing out how having a touchscreen command bar is disadvantageous, Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern stated in her review that users will have to look up because the controls on the glowing touch strip change from time to time, and it does not help that people cannot rely on their sense of touch alone to trigger a function or a command. Stern also opined that performing shortcuts is quicker with the physical keyboard or trackpad and that the Touch Bar is most useful only when one is choosing emojis, skimming through videos and music and chaning font color.
The Touch Bar was introduced to be an advanced OLED strip that dynamically changes the commands and options it renders depending on the application or software that is running. USA Today’s Edward C. Baig said he quickly appreciated the potential of the new feature to make users more productive, but he admitted that using it takes some time to get used to. Plus, the usefulness of the touch strip is still limited to Apple’s own apps and tools as of this time, so Baig believes opening the Touch Bar to third-party developers could bring more functionality to more applications.
TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater appears to be liking the Touch Bar of the new MacBook Pro already. He even calls it an “interesting proposition” and a technology that provides users a new form of input. For Heater, the Touch Bar opens the door to “potentially innovative usage” because of the customizations it would bring to various apps. For now, Heater admires the functionality the Touch Bar brings to Finder, Media, Photo Galleries, Calendar, Text Formatting, Phone Calls and Emojis.
For Wired’s David Pierce, the Touch Bar is a remarkable addition to the MacBook Pro. However, he admits that instead of bringing new functionality to the table, the touchscreen strip only gives a quicker means of accessing common stuff and commands. At the farthest right of the Touch Bar is actually the Touch ID reader that works as a fingerprint scanner. According to Pierce, though Touch ID is already functioning, the implementation still feel feels “unfinished.”
Based on what reviewers are saying about the Touch Bar, it’s clear that the OLED strip shouldn’t be the sole reason why one is considering purchasing a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. At this point, the feature is nothing more than an add-on to an already competent Apple laptop. It still has limitations to conquer and third-party apps to deal with, for it to become a notable feature that would be enough reason to buy the new MacBook Pro.