Apple says the notch actually gives more space for content on the new MacBook Pros

Apple says the notch actually gives more space for content on the new MacBook Pros
Ah, the good old notch! Language gymnastics aside, the notch has been present on Apple devices for about four years now. Furthermore, even though the company has to deal with a lot of hate for persisting with the notch design, while the competitors are quickly moving toward under-display camera solutions, Apple is not only keeping the notch on its iPhone portfolio but also slapping it on other devices. Like the new MacBooks Pros.

Now, despite all the memes that this design decision has sprouted, Apple is really confident with the notch. During an episode of the Same Brain YouTube podcast, Shruti Haldea, a manager for the Mac product line and one of the presenters of last week's Apple event shared his thoughts about the notch on the new MacBooks Pro devices. Here’s an excerpt:

“What we've done is we've actually made the display taller. Like on the 16-inch notebook, you still have a 16.0 active area on the diagonal in that 16:10-inch window, and we just grew the display up from there and put the menu bar up there. We just kind of moved it up and out of the way. So it's a really smart way to give you more space for your content, and when you're in full-screen mode, you have that 16:10 window, and it looks great. It's seamless.”

That’s a fair point, given the bezels on the new MacBook Pros are around 24% thinner on the sides, and thanks to the “dreaded” notch, around 60% thinner on the top compared to the previous generation. This results in a uniform bezel around the screen of about 3.5mm.

And even though the notch actually gives users more screen estate, Apple kinda admits that it’s still an eyesore. There’s the dark mode, and also the black band that appears when you launch an app in full-screen mode, both making the notch less visible.

The new Apple MacBook Pro models

If we put the notch on the side for just one moment, we can focus on other probably more important features of the new MacBook Pros. For starters, both the 14 and 16-inch models can be fitted with the brand-new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, the fastest Apple silicon you can find in a laptop to date.

These are real powerhouses with 10-core CPUs, and up to 32-core GPUs, with the top model touted to be as fast as a dedicated PC graphics card, while requiring 40% less power. The new machines also feature an entirely redesigned chassis, additional HDMI ports, an SD card slot, MagSafe, a mini-LED display with ProMotion, and a premium price tag.

Our take

Do we find the notch ugly? Well, yes - it’s not the prettiest thing to see on a slim and sleek laptop, for sure. On the other hand, though - professionals and creators won’t be bothered too much about aesthetics. It’s all about productivity in the end.

Another point to consider is that MacBooks were lagging behind in the camera department for quite some time. The new 2021 MacBook Pro models feature one of the biggest upgrades in that department - swapping the old 720p web camera for a 1080p one with 2x better low-light performance and an all-new image signaling processor.

So, you get the notch, of course, but in return, you’re also getting a better video quality in meetings, which in these pandemic times, really counts. What’s your take on this? Do you like the notch?

Do you like the notch on the new MacBook Pros?

Yeah, it's kinda cool!
I don't mind it...
No, it's ugly!
Don't really care...

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