When the latest iteration of the MacBook Pro emerged, I was underwhelmed. It didn’t offer what I wanted from a high end Mac laptop. The biggest omission was the lack of a touch screen and for the money they were asking I would not be rushing out to buy one soon. After all, my five-year-old MacBook Pro was still holding its own for all my photo editing and graphic design needs.
As the weeks and months rolled past, I started my refresh program. My focus shifted from buying a high end laptop to Apple’s excellent iPad Pro. This has become what I wanted from a portable computer. Yet it can only go so far and while I can get to a certain level on it, there comes a time when I have to switch to the MacBook.
Finally, I relented. I had to re-register my business for VAT, which takes about 16 percent off the price of computer hardware. With the move to Japan looming large and the probability I would take just one laptop there (not the four I own – don’t ask) I took the leap. It was time to research what the best option would be.
Research, research, research
I spent many weeks looking at what I did and how I did it. I considered the fact I don’t rely on much “Apple Only” software other than Pages on the iPad and occasionally Sketch. My main image editing software – the awesome Affinity range – was available for both Mac and PC. The cloud services I use to run my business and life meant I wasn’t wedded to a single platform.
Eventually I decided to stick with Apple. I discounted buying a desktop machine, preferring the flexibility of the laptop. I would live without the touchscreen too as my iPad Pro continues to be the best drafting tool I’ve used. The gimmicky “touch bar” was not a selling point for me and I accepted I’d have to live with gradually buying a set of USB-C devices over the coming years.
Research done, I walked into my local Apple Store and about 20 minutes later walked out with a shiny new MacBook Pro.
5 years of happy MacBooking
My old MacBook Pro has lasted nearly 5 years and there’s nothing wrong with it. This is now being re-tasked to replace a MacBook Air and will sit in my rucksack as I wander from office to office. The new machine will remain at home, beavering away on my design and coding projects, waiting for the day it sits on a desk in a house in Japan with a monitor or two connected to it.
The oft-touted issue with the USB-C ports was solved with a thirty quid adapter off Amazon, while the MagSafe power supply of old has been recreated with a tenner’s worth of cable and magnet. It sits in a slightly oversized neoprene sleeve and gets brought out when needed.
This new machine should last the five years of my old. It may last longer. The first MacBook Pro I owned, a 13 inch model with a hard disk and optical drive, is still doing sterling service as my Father’s main computer. He might only browse the Internet and send grumpy emails to The Telegraph, but that is with a machine that’s nearly ten years old and still going strong.
Not spending, investing
So while many may complain about the cost of Apple hardware and its inflexibility it’s worth remembering it tends to last a long time. Rather than spending a lot of money on a top-notch Apple product, I see it as an investment in years of trouble free computing.