Changing Habits

Monday night we wound up in the mall and my son and I decided to explore the local Apple Store. My MacBook is a couple of years old, so I’ve been pondering if it was time to explore an upgrade. The MacBook platform has undergone a significant transformation since I purchased my retina MacBook which had me wondering if my device wasn’t about to get left behind. USB-C plugs are now the only port, the device is thinner 1, and many models have removed the venerable function keys in favor of a changeable touch bar. I find none of these changes give me a desire to upgrade my device on their own but the value of an upgraded processor, higher base storage amounts, and an upgrade to the default amount of RAM may managed to get me pondering. It’s unfortunate, then, that the storage options haven’t changed all that much, the processor differences wouldn’t feel all that much better than what I have now, and the base memory for Apple MagBooks remains 8GB. For me to get a machine which I feel would be a significant upgrade from what I have now I spec’d out a machine around $2000, and at that price my present MacBook is more than “good enough.” At this point, as the majority of my data is on the cloud somewhere, so I might even consider getting an iMac over a new laptop – sure ABCNJ would have to also purchase me a machine, but that’s what workplaces are supposed to do. This would make the MacBook a companion device, used for my more technical tasks as a portable productivity tool.

It is more likely, however, I’ll decide to upgrade my iPad Pro instead.

For the vast majority of my work, my 12.9 inch iPad Pro is my ideal device. The more technical tasks I do – such as presentation design, page layout, translating, tracking comments on a Scrivener project, and video editing – work better on my MacBook. But the productivity gap which exists at those points is shrinking. iOS keynote and Pages have been updated to the point there is very little I cannot accomplish in their apps on that platform, LumaFusion is an amazing video editor I have come to prefer over Final Cut 2, and both Accordance and Scrivener’s iOS Apps are more than capable to fulfill my needs. Though I take an efficiency hit in those last two apps, as there’s a lot of tapping needed to reveal information which either pops up on mouse over or is always visible on the Mac.

In the end it comes down to my personal habits and preferences. I like working on my MacBook, it’s a solid machine and I find MacOS to be an elegant interface. On the other hand, I love using my iPad Pro for work. Add in Apple’s pencil support and it’s no wonder my MacBook can remain in my bag for days while I complete tasks on that stunning 12.9 display. My habits are changing.

  1. And the keyboard is… just OK. 
  2. Though there are some real limitations. I can’t auto sync external audio or do multi angle tracks, for example.