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 macbook pro

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 macbook pro ports

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.

thunderbolt 3 ports macbook pro
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 14 & 16"
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

joshwenke Avatar
84 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).
Score: 55 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rti92391 Avatar
84 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.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RedGala Avatar
84 months ago
Bought a 2015 model a few months ago, and I love it.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
radio893fm Avatar
84 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.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iPhone_X Avatar
84 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.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kulfon Avatar
84 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.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...
iGBA Feature

Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store Due to Spam and Copyright Violations

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:22 pm PDT by
Apple today said it removed Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store for violating the company's App Review Guidelines related to spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2), but it did not provide any specific details. iGBA was a copycat version of developer Riley Testut's open-source GBA4iOS app. The emulator rose to the top of the App Store charts following its release this weekend,...
Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...
iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate

All iPhone 16 Models to Feature Action Button, But Usefulness Debated

Tuesday April 16, 2024 6:54 am PDT by
Last September, Apple's iPhone 15 Pro models debuted with a new customizable Action button, offering faster access to a handful of functions, as well as the ability to assign Shortcuts. Apple is poised to include the feature on all upcoming iPhone 16 models, so we asked iPhone 15 Pro users what their experience has been with the additional button so far. The Action button replaces the switch ...