PC User Reacts to New Macbook Pros

I've been one of the loudest critics of Apple's current Thunderbolt-only laptops, but they've quietly admitted their mistakes and brought back HDMI, SDXC, and MagSafe in the new Macbook Pros. I'm going to give them another chance. 

I use Windows computers not because I love Windows, but because I hate the way macOS locks everything down, and I despise Thunderbolt ports. Even my Windows desktop has a Thunderbolt port that only works a fraction of the time. My Dell laptops have Thunderbolt as well, and they also only work with some dongles, with some accessories, some of the time. 

The biggest issue I've had is with Thunderbolt display adapters. Most of the time, they don't work at all, but sometimes, they won't transmit 4K. Other times, they won't display 60 Hz. Read the reviews of any Thunderbolt dongle on Amazon, even the highest-rated ones, and you'll see just how unreliable this system is. 

Don't misunderstand me, I hate the variety of cables that I have to use on a daily basis. I wish there was one cable that worked for everything, but this isn't currently a reality. Fstoppers owns around 20 televisions, projectors, and monitors, and not a single one has a Thunderbolt port on it. 

I wish Apple had given us at least one USB-A jack on the new MacBooks, but I've given up on that ever happening, and most USB C-to-A dongles have been fairly reliable for me in the past. 

Apple is making it sound like their new laptops can outperform the most powerful Windows laptops currently on the market, and Thunderbolt proponents make it sound like with a simple dock, I can get all the ports I need and much more. For this reason, I'm going to give Apple computers one more shot. I've purchased a new 14-inch MacBook Pro, and I'm going to unplug my desktop PC and try to use the laptop with all of my regular peripherals (dual monitors, speakers, microphones, card readers, keyboard and mouse, etc.) 

Will this little laptop be able to replace my monster desktop PC? Subscribe to our Youtube channel to find out. 

This video was sponsored by the new Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8

Lee Morris's picture

Lee Morris is a professional photographer based in Charleston SC, and is the co-owner of Fstoppers.com

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as a very long term PC user the new mbp's are looking very tempting. The performance per watt is outstanding

The dongle section of the video is embarrassing... you can buy a Satechi (or any other brand) multi port USB hub that plugs into one of your USB-C slots and allows everything to be connected. Im using the one below, so much bed wetting about lack of ports on Macs the last couple of years.


This looks identical to the second one that mike held up on the video that didn’t work.

Although I am an Apple user I understand where you are coming from. I "burned" through a lot of USB-C hubs (port powered) and my favorite is still the Caldgit TS3 Plus (mains powered).

I am happy that you are coming to the "dark side" :) and you will try it out for us. ;)
2 of my friends just ordered the 16" and 14" fully maxed out and I am curious what they will say.
Then the 14" is definitely interesting for traveling and putting it in hotel room safes which sometimes difficult with my old 15".

The CalDigit TS3+ is an OUTSTANDING dock, and one of the reasons is it actually used an Intel TB3 controller, whereas most of the other ones on the market are RealTek, VIA, MediaTek, etc., and they’re unreliable garbage, cause all those brands cut too many corners on implementing their chipsets.

Yeah. Although my first one had some faulty ports but Amazon exchanged and it works for a few years now.
Just bought a 2nd one few weeks ago for my iMac and I am loving it.

I hope they still work well with my (future) 14" MBP M1 Max. ;)
Powerwise it should work.

I’ve had mine several months and it’s still working Lee… I’ll report back in more time but all good so far.

I use a powered USB-C hub with my 2017 Macbook Pro and it works like a charm with all my USB-A devices. I can connect 6 USB-A devices to 1 USB-C/Thunderbolt port.

I think the point is more about why systematically removing USB A ports on new models when most of us still have a need for USB-A on regular basis. On the newish Air book, they have left the headphone jack... Logic? none and for Apple specifically absolutely no logic there. They don't understand how people use these machines in the real world.

"PC User reacts to a product announcement for a product he has not used yet."

Why not? Mac users often react to Windows ecosystem products they've not used :-)

As if I care what a Yugo driver thinks of my BMW!

Your click and comment says otherwise

Fstoppers needs to add a Downvote button directly to articles, cause this one needs it for a MULTITUDE of reasons!

What for? If you have a counter argument/reasoning/opinion, then just say it.

I agree, anything thumb down or downvote says nothing. This is definitely not a place where you get penalized for voicing an opinion.

Clearly an article written by someone who hasn’t used a Mac for any long term, ever. I had the previous 15” touchbar mbp, and currently have the 16” i9 model. I run dual 4K 60hz displays and have literally never had an issue with the USB c ports. I do use usb c to display port connections though, as the hdmi never seems to be able to do both 4K and 60hz. Maybe it’s just the usb c ports on lower end windows machines that the author is having issues with, but I’ve never had an issue with the ports in my macs. Also, I get the bashing on macs for not being able to run games, but who games at a serious level on a laptop anyway? Fact is, the new apple chips are the best on the market right now in almost every way. I’m sure Intel and the pc world will catch up or surpass them shortly, but let’s at least give credit where it’s due.

I never understood the difficulty of using external hubs and adapters on a laptop. I owned a 2013 MBP since 2013 and didn't change it till 2019. I had two external monitors, four external drives, a powered USB hub, a Wacom, a Bluray disc writer, remember ZIP drives, and an SD card reader because the one the MBP had was slow. Oh, I forgot about the keyboard and mouse, well, till Bluetooth alternatives were reliable enough to use. I also had similar setups with older Mac laptops, going back to the Powerbook.

I know I wasn't the only person to extend their MBP with so many extensions. I worked in agencies, pre-press shops, and studios with similar setups. So when in Apple history has an MBP ever been dongle-free? Oh hell, I forgot about the HDMI port. I had three different cables, one VGA, DVI, and HDMI. Yep, nothing has really changed.

So I don't buy the "dongle" life complaint. I am not saying that the MBP between 2016 and early 2018 was not crap. Oh they were. But the port thing, not a big deal.

Why people are always so settled in one ecosystem?! (not aimed at the author of this article). I always buy a machine which is faster to do my job. In the last years, it was always a PC and now it looks like the new M1 CPU generation gives more performance, so I switch to a mac. Maybe in some years, a new XPS is the fastest, then I will use this as the working machine.

The OS is so unimportant for me that it doesn't matter if it's Windows or MacOS, I start my applications and work there 99% of the time. The 1% is only copying things, or organizing some data and for this, both systems are very well capable.

It is a computer.

M1-based Macs do not support 10-bit color. Is it right?

Where have you heard that?

I don't see any information about it. I don't care about macbook display, I wish I can use new mackbook with Eizo monitors for stills. I know AMD Radeon Pro and even gamer video chips like NVIDIA RTX 3060 provide 10-bit color, so what about M1 chip?

They supported 10-bit for a while. At least it did on my 2013 MBP. It does on my 2018. So I don't see why it would not on the new 2021 MBPs. When using external monitors, you need to make sure you have a monitor and cable that supports 10-bit.

What a Mac guy thinks about when a PC guy complains about Apple products.


Lee's approach to using his new MacBook Pro Max and the latest OS sure makes for good YouTube. There is no way he is not just stoking the fire. Lee can't really expect the operating system to do everything he wants, in the way he wants on day one.

A Mac won't mimic everything a PC will do and vice versa. You'll simply have to learn how the tool works and bend it to your uses.

Lee, Welcome to the world of Mac. I'm glad you are giving it a chance. The more you use it the more you'll understand why Mac users don't worry as much as PC users. Generally, Macs just work. I'm not saying that they are perfect. They sure have their idiosyncrasies and the more you learn about them you'll find the pros outperform the cons.

And BTW: A Mac user having to go use a PC OS would be even more entertaining.

Best of luck,