Apple says adding a notch to the MacBook Pro is a "smart" move

midian182

Posts: 7,289   +65
Staff member
A hot potato: While we’re still waiting for the new MacBook Pros with the M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs to arrive, what Apple showed off at its Unleashed even made the laptops look very compelling. There was, however, one element that hasn’t received as much love from the public: the iPhone-style notch built into the machines. Apple, of course, has defended the design decision, noting that it’s actually pretty “smart.”

The notch has undoubtedly proved to be the most contentious part of the new MacBook Pros. As noted by David Pogue, it houses the new 1080p webcam along with the TrueTone sensor that ensures colors are consistent in all lighting conditions, a light sensor that adjusts the brightness and keyboard illumination, and the “camera on” LED.

But the inclusion of a notch hasn’t been welcomed by many consumers. Defending the design decision was Shruti Haldea, Apple’s Pro Mac Product Line Manager, who was discussing the new laptops on the Same Brain podcast (around 10:20 in the video below).

Speaking about the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which can cost over $6,000, Haldea said it still retains a 16-inch diagonal screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio (in full-screen mode) even with the notch. This is because Apple has grown the display and moved the menu bar up into where the notch sits, which is a “really smart way to give you more space for your content.”

Haldea also notes that when users go into full-screen mode, black bars appear at the side of the notch that make it almost invisible. And Apple is expecting some OS features, including dark mode, will make it less prominent. The company has also been emphasizing how the new design shaves 60% of the thickness of the bezels.

All this is unlikely to appease the notch’s detractors, though. While the cutout does have some useful functionality, it feels like adding the distinctive notch in the MacBook Pros was as much about Apple brand recognition as anything else. And calling it a “smart” move brings to mind the company’s infamous claim that removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from iPhones took “courage.”

Apple received plenty of flak for doing away with the headphone port, and few people were fans of the iPhone X’s notch—though the Essential Phone PH-1 was the first handset with such a feature. Yet most phone companies followed suit in both cases, dropping the 3.5mm port and adding their versions of notches to handsets. Could screen cutouts become a common sight on future laptops? Don’t rule it out.

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derncricket

Posts: 28   +18
Of all the stories I have seen about this, still no one will explain to me what the notch is. You just say they added a notch. What kind of notch? You mean like a notch in the plastic? A notch for what? You just say notch but don't say what you are talking about.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,334   +2,607
And here I thought the "Is not a bug, is a feature" thing was just a meme but nope, Apple doubles down and basically calls all people willing to pay them like 1 to 2k premium for a laptop in so many words, dumb for not liking their stupid design.

Not that they're wrong if they keep supporting them and paying for the laptops after seeing comments like these.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,808   +3,043
Of all the stories I have seen about this, still no one will explain to me what the notch is. You just say they added a notch. What kind of notch? You mean like a notch in the plastic? A notch for what? You just say notch but don't say what you are talking about.
A notch in the actual screen.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 571   +919
A notch in the actual screen.
Considering he hasn't understood what the notch is to date, I suspect he'll need even more clarification than that.
Of all the stories I have seen about this, still no one will explain to me what the notch is. You just say they added a notch. What kind of notch? You mean like a notch in the plastic? A notch for what? You just say notch but don't say what you are talking about.
It's an intentional notch at the top of the visible area of the LCD display. For decades, every display had a rectangular shape. With the iPhone X, the "notch" was introduced to remove screen bezels and increase the maximum visible area of the display while retaining the sensors on the front of the device where the notch exists. Many people do not find the change in shape of the backlit screen appealing considering it is now a concave polygon shape. The new aesthetic makes me feel a little uneasy too, but I'm pretty flexible so I would rather go for a slightly cheaper notched device than one without a notch.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,043   +870
I mean would people rather have thicker bezels? Or would they rather the webcam to be on the bottom of the screen so it shows off all your wobbly chins in all their glory?

It’s a stupid thing to talk about anyway, people aren’t going to base their purchasing decision on this little notch..
 

TheWatcher

Posts: 11   +10
I mean would people rather have thicker bezels? Or would they rather the webcam to be on the bottom of the screen so it shows off all your wobbly chins in all their glory?

It’s a stupid thing to talk about anyway, people aren’t going to base their purchasing decision on this little notch..

There are people who don't need camera at all, but no one wants to release a phone or laptop without them.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,742   +5,187
crApple should have said that owners won't feel left out when their friends brag about having a "notch" on their devices. 🤣 🤣🤣🤣
 

Irata

Posts: 1,808   +3,043
Considering he hasn't understood what the notch is to date, I suspect he'll need even more clarification than that.

It's an intentional notch at the top of the visible area of the LCD display. For decades, every display had a rectangular shape. With the iPhone X, the "notch" was introduced to remove screen bezels and increase the maximum visible area of the display while retaining the sensors on the front of the device where the notch exists. Many people do not find the change in shape of the backlit screen appealing considering it is now a concave polygon shape. The new aesthetic makes me feel a little uneasy too, but I'm pretty flexible so I would rather go for a slightly cheaper notched device than one without a notch.
Wouldn‘t the notch make a display more expensive ?
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,043   +870
There are people who don't need camera at all, but no one wants to release a phone or laptop without them.
Fair enough. But personally I wouldn’t buy a laptop without a camera. Actually if this MacBook has the same Center stage thing that my iPad Pro has then it’s better than the cameras you have on most laptops.
 

Beerfloat

Posts: 325   +576
Of all the stories I have seen about this, still no one will explain to me what the notch is. You just say they added a notch. What kind of notch? You mean like a notch in the plastic? A notch for what? You just say notch but don't say what you are talking about.

is a smart notch
 

ypsylon

Posts: 420   +357
People are really weird. Me personally I like the design. It created the product uniformity across multiple platforms. In 99% of cases a notch is invisible so what's the all pitchforks for? Like end of the World it is not...

I would prefer a laptop without a camera, but I know it'll never happen.

My only annoyance is the 3.5mm mini-jack. Why the heck they put it next to 2TB ports? Now all adapters (port multiplicators) which plug into those two simultaneously render 3.5mm jack useless.
 

dangh

Posts: 326   +464
I mean would people rather have thicker bezels? Or would they rather the webcam to be on the bottom of the screen so it shows off all your wobbly chins in all their glory?

It’s a stupid thing to talk about anyway, people aren’t going to base their purchasing decision on this little notch..
Camera is a 2mm dot. It does not require a notch at all, 2mm bezel is not an issue, and do not justify the size of the notch anyway.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,059   +3,921
TechSpot Elite
I mean would people rather have thicker bezels? Or would they rather the webcam to be on the bottom of the screen so it shows off all your wobbly chins in all their glory?

It’s a stupid thing to talk about anyway, people aren’t going to base their purchasing decision on this little notch..
It's weird to consider an extra 3mm on the top as "thicker". The notch is not a small one, it's huge. We should have moved past this a long time ago.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,843   +4,503
This is deal-breaker for almost anyone in the graphic arts, which is one of Apple's biggest customer bases. Incredibly stupid move.
Apple has been dead set on alienating their own userbase for mac products since jobs died. Abandoning upgradeability, limiting keyboards, now this.

There is a reason windows versions of adobe products got so much investment in the 2010s.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,043   +870
People are really weird. Me personally I like the design. It created the product uniformity across multiple platforms. In 99% of cases a notch is invisible so what's the all pitchforks for? Like end of the World it is not...
Its cool to hate Apple. In the same way that its cool to be a punky kid when you're 19.

Nobody who was considering buying a Macbook Pro is going to change their mind because of this notch. It is a non issue. But its also an oppurtunity for the haters to let everyone know they are haters or that they think people who buy Apple products are sheep/stupid etc.

Sometimes I wonder if Apple does this on purpose to get everyone talking about them. They are expert at that. For example the $999 monitor stand probably didnt sell many units but every news outlet wrote an article about Apple and its extravagant pricing. More free indirect marketing than they could have ever paid for.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,043   +870
This is deal-breaker for almost anyone in the graphic arts, which is one of Apple's biggest customer bases. Incredibly stupid move.
Lmao. No it definitely wont put people in "the graphic arts" off. Funniest thing ive read all day...
 

Soulburn74

Posts: 105   +49
I would say, IF the notch contained a really good cam, then it would have went over much better. But with most laptops' built in cam being just so-so, it is not worthy, as I would probably replace that cam with a better one.....