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Macbook Pro Touchbar Ergonomics

 |  review

I have to rant.

I got one of the Macbook Pro 15” 2016s that were on sale recently at B&H Photo; it was hard to pass up $700 off the standard price for the MBP and my 2013 was a little long in the tooth (plus, I could set it up as a build server!)

So, the machine is fast, the new SSDs are much faster, the screen is nice, the keyboard is… acceptable (only acceptable – I hear the 2017s are better), all that, but the touchbar is an unmitigated disaster.

In no particular order:

It can be made better, but it can’t be made good.

I use BetterTouchTool to rebind the touchbar – my default is now something like this:

Default Touchbar

Note that everything on the right side is informative only and doesn’t do anything when tapped. For some reason, I seemed to be accidentally tapping the touchbar on the right side. It’s nice having the current sound / time / battery indicator.

When the command key is pressed, it switches to some sliders for easy changing of brightness / volumee:

Alternate Touchbar

This is about as good as I can get it, but it still stinks. It’s an okay idea, and I would have put up with it if they had left the standard function keys in place, but as a replacement instead of a supplement for the top row of keys, it just does not work that well. I just do not understand how this got past any developer that was testing the prototype.


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