As a bonafide Apple nerd and someone who spends no fewer than five hours a day tapping away at a computer, I’ve been surprisingly passive in upgrading computers over the last decade. My current MacBook Pro is from mid-2009, replacing a late-2004 Powerbook G4 that measured 15 inches, weighed nearly five pounds, and was the object of ridicule from an undergraduate student. In the course of a decade, I’ve had only two Mac portables. That really would have surprised the twenty-year–old version of me.1
The 2009 MacBook Pro was the first 13-inch notebook in the Unibody design, and it has aged well. It not only looks like a recent computer, it preforms reasonably well. It’s responsive, and I almost never get those dreaded spinning beachballs. Undoubtedly, upgrading the RAM to eight gigabytes and replacing the spinning-disk hard drive with a solid-state drive have forestalled its obsolesce.
As I’ve chronicled here, this computer has taken some lumps over the years, and I constantly dread its inevitable demise. I’ve not only spent quite a bit of time and money upgrading this computer, I’ve also sacrificed dollars and hours repairing it, including soldering the fan to the logic board and replacing the keyboard. I’ve stubbornly continued to do so because I knew someday Apple would release something fundamentally different to my six-year–old MacBook Pro.
Yesterday, along with a cheaper AppleTV and the new HBO Now streaming service, Apple announced the new MacBook. I am almost certain it will be my next computer. It has everything I would want in a portable. It is light and thin, it has a Retina display, and it promises all-day battery life.
Of course, there are some sacrifices to making something so light and thin.
- The display is an inch smaller than my current 13-inch MacBook Pro and, in 2x mode, will have fewer pixels than my current 1280 x 800 resolution,
- There is no SD card slot, which I regularly use to import photos from my DSLR and mirrorless camera,
- There is only one USB-C port,
- The only other connector is an audio port,
- The Intel Core M processor is not an i5 or i7,
- The maximum storage is 512 GB, and maximum RAM is 8 GB.
These are not deal breakers, though. I rarely work with anything connected to my Mac other than the power supply and maybe a pair of headphones. Aside from connecting my cameras or SD cards to import photos, I usually only plug-in a VGA adapter for work and my Garmin Edge GPS for play. I’m sure that in due time I will find a cheap USB 2.0–USB-C adpater to upload and import my bike ride data and photos. And as for presentations, I can go back to presenting from my iPhone or iPad until Monoprice releases the requisite VGA/HDMI adapters.
I look forward to getting my hands on a MacBook on April 10, because, unlike the Apple Watch that also ships next month, this new MacBook makes sense to me.
Or maybe I should see what they do with the MacBook Pros later this year…
Update: If you’re looking to sell your old MacBook Pro, Gazelle is offering a $20 bonus on any MacBook Pro valued at $50 or more. As an affiliate, I get a commission on your transaction.
- I also bought an iMac in 2009 that I sold in aftermath of my “divorce”. ↩