When we heard about the 2016 Macbook Pro features we gasped – but not in a good way. It seems that the trend Apple has been taking towards more consumer products and less professional focus (even in their “pro” lineup) has finally reached the Macbook Pro. What’s the big deal?

  • They got rid of the F-keys on the top of the keyboard – which if you’re a designer or other creative – you might use those for short cuts in Adobe products like Photoshop or Lightroom to simplify your workflow.
  • They removed the SD card slot so you can’t use cards from your camera quickly in your laptop.
  • They got rid of the ports, so connecting to monitors is a matter of a bunch of adapters.
  • They even got rid of the 32 GB ram option.

It’s a big signal from the company that the very people that made Macs popular, the creative and design professionals, are no longer their main market. Which is fine. Things change. But for us, it meant one thing. Big Gulp. Looking into switching to a PC with our next upgrade.

As lifelong Macbook Pro users it’s hard to admit this, but the options are actually not that bad.

For those who love a sleek laptop – Dell XPS 13

If you’re looking for small, light and professional performance this is a good place to start. It’s one of the best reviewed PCs out there, smaller than the Macbook Air 13 inch and has all the missing ports, USB, SD card slots that the MBP has lost. It still only does 16 GB for memory options, just like the Macbook Pro, but it’s actually better performing with newer Intel Core processors and a super fast video card.

Best part, the prices start at $1,050 on Dell’s website.

For those who are visual creators – Microsoft Surface Book

If you’re a visual creative, you might just fall in love with the Microsoft Surface Book. Imagine combining your laptop with an iPad. It has all the touch features you want, a special stylus that turns your screen into a drawing pad and lock-on keyboard for traditional typing. It’s combining the best of all worlds, and if the idea of being able to flip between a more touch screen experience and still being able to use a real keyboard appeals to you, then there isn’t anyone offering touch screen that works as beautifully. One note: if you type on your lap, because you’re often on the go (or in bed – ha!) the detachable keyboard might drive you crazy. This device is really designed for placing it on a solid surface.

The Surface Book starts at $1,500 on Microsoft’s website and goes up from there.

For those who need power, but not heft – Razer Blade Pro

Okay so what if you need a beast of a machine? Just pure power, all the way? Take a look at the 17 inch Razer Blade Pro when it comes out (it has been announced but no date set). It’s being marketed as a gaming laptop and that just means they’ve cranked up the hardware on everything. You can get 32 GB RAM, Intel Core i7 with a boost up to 3.5 GHz, 2 TB of storage space, awesome graphics, backlit keyboard, full port options and relatively sleek design considering the heavy weight hardware inside.

Swoon.

Of course this kind of power – enough to render a feature length film or to process a million photos – doesn’t come cheap. Prices start at $3,700.

 

Moving On From the Macbook Pro

This isn’t the first time that Apple has shrugged off its creative roots in favor of a broader product. Many filmmakers were shocked when Final Cut Pro lost most of its core professional tools in favor of simplifying the workflow. What happened? Everyone yelled at Apple but then quietly we all just moved over to Adobe Premiere and we’ve been happy ever since. So if you’re considering moving off the Macbook Pro because of this latest overhaul, just know, you won’t be alone, and you’ll probably be happier in the long run.