My first Macbook was a 2011 Macbook Pro (MC700LL/A). It came with a 4GB of RAM and 320 GB HDD. After 1.5 years of use, I was able to upgrade the RAM to 8GB and swap out the HDD for a 512 GB SSD. The performance upgrade was life changing. The effort was minimal. Just unscrew the back panel using a precision philips screwdriver and with little knowledge, one can swap out the RAM and HDD/SSD.
I loved my first Macbook, until I bought my second Macbook Pro. This is my current Macbook. It is an Early 2015 Macbook Pro. When I bought it, I had it spec’d out to 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD.
Performance is good. The retina display is great. But now I want to upgrade the RAM to 16 GB, and I cannot. Turns out the RAM is soldered onto the motherboard. I would have to just go out and get a similar motherboard with 16 GB RAM, which I have no idea how to procure, and then replace the current motherboard with it - again, no clue how. Point is, the freedom of swapping out RAM and HDD I had on my 2011 Macbook Pro does not exist anymore and I long for it.
The current Macbook Pros are not consumer upgradable. If you want to add more RAM than you bought, sorry but you are SOL. You can sell your current laptop and buy a new one if you want. In my opinion the current Macbook Pros are worse than my current Macbook Pro.
If a laptop is marketed as a “Pro” laptop, consumers like myself should be able to upgrade certain parts. Sure, go ahead and charge a premium. Come out with custom pins etc, and sell it exclusively at the apple store or authorized resellers, but atleast give me an option for extending the life of my laptop. I am a person that built my own desktop by buying the internal parts and putting the whole tower together. I have some knowledge of how to swap out parts in a computer and I can follow instruction if things are complicated.
To give you an example of ease of changing a HDD - I recently swapped a HDD for a SSD in a Thinkpad X300. This was the fastest hard disk swap. All I had to do was pull out the hard disk from the side, take it out of the jacket, put the jacket on the new SSD and slide in the SSD in the slot. Easiest thing ever! I can only dream of such a thing on my Macbook Pro.
While there are rumors of a big upgrade for Macbooks in 2018, I am hoping that Apple comes out with a laptop that is made for the long term. A laptop that is upgradable and durable. Marco Arment talks about what the next Macbook Pro should and should not have, and I would like to add the long term usability to that list.
All of this does not mean that I do not like my current laptop. I do. I just wish it could be better.