I’m typing this on my brand-new, ultra-slick, ultra-light Apple MacBook. Some folks have complained that it is woefully underpowered, that the keyboard doesn’t have the same, easy action as the previous models, that there is only one port, which is used both to charge the computer and connect to devices.
I can live with all that. This computer isn’t my primary machine (and it still vastly outpowers my 2010 MacBook Air), so I’m not bothered by compromises in speed. I love the crisp “retina” display, the amazing taptic trackpad, and the gorgeous, individually backlit keys. It’s even got better speakers than my 11-inch MacBook Air, and double the battery life, in a device that is thinner and lighter.
But there’s one place that Apple screwed up on this one. For years, all the way back to my 2001 titanium PowerBook G4, I’ve enjoyed one of the best-designed power supplies of any computer, ever. The plug flips conveniently out of the way, and two little clips flip out to allow you to wrap the cord neatly around the brick itself. No muss, no fuss. For nearly 15 years, Apple has maintained this elegant design for all its laptops. Now, inexplicably, for the new MacBook, they’ve abandoned it. Instead of providing handy folding tabs that must add all of 30 cents to the manufacturing cost of the power supply, they leave them out completely. This photo shows you the difference:
Which power supply would you prefer? I’d take the “old” one on the left even though it’s considerably larger.
I’m not going to return the computer, which is beautiful in every other way, but every time I look at that power supply, I will think about how it could have been. What were you thinking, Jony Ive?