Sorry Apple fans: The notch is here to stay

Though I’ve dabbled with macOS and iOS here and there, I’m partial to Windows and Android. I like choices, and I like flexibility. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned reporting on Apple and observing it from the other side of the fence, it’s that Apple likes to stand out — occasionally at the expense of its users.

Hence, the notch on the new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

When Apple introduced the notch with the iPhone X, most of us assumed it was a temporary compromise while the company figured out how to shrink the selfie camera and Face ID.

But when other companies with fewer resources than Apple could get rid of the notch in favor of a much smaller cutout — or more recently, none at all — it became apparent that Apple wasn’t in all that much of a hurry to get rid of it.

On a phone, the notch at least makes some sense. Face ID is a cool feature, and fitting a decent camera alongside it takes some space. But on something the size of 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro… without even implementing Face ID? We heard the rumors but could hardly believe them to be true.

The only logical explanation is that Apple wants people to see the notch and think ‘hey, that’s a MacBook Pro.’ Apple might as well trademark it.

It seems like half the laptops on the market right now have a design inspired by older MacBooks, with some bordering on straight-up clones. And though MacBooks have a big Apple logo on the back — sometimes covered up — from the front, it’s become increasingly difficult to tell devices apart.

You know what will make a laptop stand out in a sea of imitators? A big ol’ Notch™️.

You might be thinking that the notch is just a compromise to fit in a higher-quality camera. Please. Windows laptops have been fitting webcams cameras in tiny bezels for years now, and even if the MacBook’s camera end up being better than most of its Windows counterparts, I find it hard to believe Apple couldn’t have managed to make it work in a thin, notch-less bezel if that had been a major design goal.

Besides, the bottom bezel is still plenty chunky, and Apple could have shifted the display down a few millimeters if it really needed the extra space for the camera. The SurfaceLaptop Studio and HP Spectre x36016 manage to fit high-quality cameras in bezels that are just slightly larger. I’m willing to bet that’s a compromise many users would have taken.

By comparison, when the notch is hidden for full-screen content, the Mac Pro’s top bezel looks as chunky as ever.

MacBook Pro 2021

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