It’s no news pro developers use MacBooks for years now, but the way Apple is approaching innovation may bring a change.

Having tested the MacBook with Touch Bar, Vim-based developers like me have lost some crucial convenience.

In Vim, Esc key is essential, e.g. to exit Insert mode. Apple has moved it to configurable Touch Bar, but:

  • its location is a fair bit off the left edge
  • it has no feedback unlike the other keys (mixed UX)
  • it’s a blind typing challenge

Although a very nice polished device otherwise, it lacks quality as a professional developer tool. Apple could have gone with a full Touch Keyboard instead of killing keys over the Touch Bar. And by doing so it aims to solve a problem that was not there.


Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pro M1 looks like a developer machine as it didn’t only move from Intel to Apple Silicon for better performance, it also updated the keyboard and brought the Esc key back.