Marco Arment Argues the 2012—2015 MacBook Pro is 'Best Laptop That Has Ever Existed'

Marco Arment, a developer best known for co-founding Tumblr and creating apps Instapaper and Overcast, believes the 2012 to 2015 era 15-inch MacBook Pro is "the best laptop that has ever existed."

2015 15-inch MacBook Pro

"Introduced in 2012, less than a year after Steve Jobs died, I see it as the peak of Jobs' vision for the Mac," said Arment in a blog post this week.

The 2012 model was the first MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and had a much slimmer design compared to previous models after Apple removed the built-in Ethernet port and optical disc drive for CDs/DVDs.

Apple refreshed the 2012 model in each of the following three years, but kept the external design largely the same.

Arment sees value in the 2012 to 2015 model's array of connectivity options, including a pair of Thunderbolt and USB-A ports, an HDMI port, a SD card slot, and a MagSafe power adapter that breaks away safely if it's tripped over.

2015 15-inch MacBook Pro

By comparison, the 2016 and later MacBook Pro has two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports that handle power, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA, resulting in Apple removing dedicated USB-A, HDMI, SD card, and MagSafe connectivity from the notebook.

He added that the 2012-2015 keyboard has a "crowd-pleasing design" and that the trackpad strikes a "great balance between size and usability."

2016 and later MacBook Pro models have a slimmer keyboard with a second-generation butterfly mechanism that has less key travel than 2012-2015 models, and a larger trackpad that is closer to the keyboard.


Apple packed a smaller 76 watt-hour battery pack into the latest MacBook Pro models, and while the notebooks are rated for up to 10 hours of battery life between charges, there were several early complaints in real-world usage.

All of these changes generated some controversy within the Apple community, particularly among professionals, so Arment's opinion is sure to resonate with some users, including among customers who refuse to upgrade.

Despite some early complaints, however, the MacBook Pro appears to be selling very well for Apple. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Mac set a new all-time revenue record of $25.8 billion in the 2017 fiscal year, with sales fueled primarily by "great demand" for the MacBook Pro in particular.
We sold 5.4 million Macs during the September quarter, up 10 percent over last year, and gained significant market share as the global market contracted by one percent, according to IDC's latest estimate. This performance was fueled primarily by great demand for MacBook Pro, and Mac revenue grew 25 percent to a new September quarter record.
For now, Apple continues to sell the 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and integrated Intel Iris Pro graphics for $1,999 in the United States.

Full Article: "The best laptop ever made" by Marco Arment

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro


Top Rated Comments

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8 months ago
I definitely agree with him, the lack of ports, the excessively high price, and the gimmick-y touch bar make the newer MBP models less appealing.

Crossing my fingers that Apple will release something like the good 'ol 2015 15" again, but I can only hope.

(I recommend the refurbished 2015 15" to pretty much everyone that asks me which Mac to buy).
Rating: 52 Votes
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8 months ago
He’s an idiot...I’ve listened to their ATP podcast and it’s just non-stop complaining.

Sure, some people don’t like the new MacBook Pro models for various reasons and that’s fine. My advise would be, move on. Either buy a $1700-2000 computer or not. Feel lucky you have the ability to do so. We’re living in the greatest era in humankind and he’s complaining about a keyboard, ports and minutiae.
Rating: 36 Votes
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8 months ago
Agreed 100% and that's why I have not upgraded since 2012. Solid machine all around with all the ports I need. Not to hate on the new models, but there is nothing there right now that would really make me upgrade.
Rating: 28 Votes
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8 months ago

I'll take my current MBP any day.

USB-C means a single port to connect every device. No need for a different cable for networking, different for monitor, different for power, different for external hard drive, different for RAID.......

You may have a single port, but you need an adapter for the iPhone, an adapter for the networking, an adapter for the monitor, a power port that will send your mac flying if you trip over it, an adapter for your external hard drive, an adapter for RAID, etc.

I'm glad that I'm using the "best laptop that has ever existed," lol.
Rating: 27 Votes
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8 months ago
Bought a 2015 model a few months ago, and I love it.
Rating: 26 Votes
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8 months ago
I have both:
1. Mid 2015 MBP
2. 2017 MPB

Without a shadow of a doubt the 2015 version is a better version. There is no performance difference between the two, however the comfort of using the 2015 is so much greater: keyboard is better, there all the important ports. Totally agree, it is an amazing laptop. I
am so happy I purchased a maxed out version of it. 2017 is a step backwards.
Rating: 23 Votes
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8 months ago

so in 2019 he will say the same thing about 2016-2019

Not if he tries the keyboard first...
Rating: 19 Votes
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8 months ago
Bought a 2015 rMBP in 2017 for precisely every reason he listed.
Rating: 16 Votes
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8 months ago
I’m partial to my 17” 2011 matte screen MacBook Pro — THAT was the best laptop ever produced.
Rating: 15 Votes
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8 months ago
Would love a 2015 edition (thicker → more battery) with updated internals and with the same ports except for the TB2 ports exchanged for TB3.

Yeah that screen is nice too, the ports, keyboard, lesser battery life are not.

Oh and don’t increase the price without any good reason?
Rating: 15 Votes
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