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[Discussion] Don’t Panic Over the MacBook Notch

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The latest Apple Event has turned some heads with some radical changes to the MacBook Pro lineup and an impressive M1 Pro/Max chip performance.  You can check out the entire event HERE and I would suggest watching it if you are a fan of the Pro series as the changes were overall excellent and well appreciated!  The performance of the new M1 Pro chip was shown with impressive performance and the higher tier M1 Max chip looks insane in both power and efficiency.

The MacBook Pro also features improved IO in the form of Thunderbolt USB, multiple USB C ports, HDMI, 3.5mm audio, and even an SD card slot!  These features are a huge welcome for many users struggling with dongles to perform simple tasks.  The show went into detail to show off the device having an impressive audio amp for that 3.5mm port and the keyboard is back to a standard keyboard with function keys! 

Although speaking of features, we cannot skip the newest feature of the device, the notch.  Yes, you read that correctly, the MacBook Pro comes with a notch in the screen for its webcam.  Now, we are going to say to not panic about this notch as it is not as bad as it looks. The notch fits in the top taskbar of apps, and on iOS, this is a rarely used space.  It also features a “compatibility” mode that will fill in the top with a black bar and users can avoid the notch interfering with the menus or other functions.  Thankfully, the 16:10 aspect ratio of the screen is measured WITHOUT the notch area factored in.  So in theory you are still getting the same screen, but if you want to deal with the notch, you get some extra space.

So for usability, the notch may be a strange design choice that no one was asking for, but it won’t affect your daily tasks.  However, we do have to call out Apple on one aspect of the notch.  It was reported that Apple planned to hide the notch as much as they could via dark backgrounds and such, and that appears to be true.  So not cool at all Apple, but things should be fine if you plan on picking up one of these new devices!


Image: Farknot Architect - stock.adobe.com

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