My Third Apple Laptop

Apple definitely polarises people. There are many reasons why – which have been discussed ad nauseam elsewhere. Needless to say most people come down pretty heavily for or against – fanboy or hater are the rather distasteful terms often used.

I don’t come down heavily on one side or the other. There are a lot of things I do like about Apple products and services and a lot of things I don’t like.

I’m more than happy to rave about Apple product design and build quality, and their excellent customer service, and I’m equally happy to moan about their cheesy advertising, sometimes dodgy software design decisions, dreadful earbuds, lack of ugradeability, and outrageously high prices.

Saying that, for the last seven years I’ve worked exclusively, and happily (most of the time), on a MacBook Pro!

In a few weeks time a rare moment will occur in my life – the planets will align and I will have enough money to buy a new Apple laptop. I’ve previously only owned two – over the last 13 years.

I bought my first in 2003, a white iBook for “testing my websites on a Mac”. At the time I worked at a web design agency, all our computers were Windows PCs, I used a Windows PC (that I’d built myself) as my main computer at home, and had done for ten years. I’d always used and built Windows computers for everything.

I only bought the iBook for testing, it was the “cheapest” way to get a Mac and I didn’t really use it for a lot else. I liked it’s design but I found OS X hard to use, as you would expect if you were used to Windows. But having the iBook around meant I slowly got more and more used to it.

In 2008 I bought my second Apple computer, a MacBook Pro. This was an altogether different experience. I had put my back out quite badly and I needed to move around more while working and not sit in the same chair all day. So I needed a reliable laptop, my iBook was ageing, under-powered, and not up to the job, so I decided to buy a MacBook Pro. I had a few friends that worked on MacBooks and the design and build was so much better than anything I could find in the Windows world that I decided to give it a go.

It was a bit of a leap of faith but after a few weeks I was up to speed and never looked back. In fact I am writing these words on that very same 2008 MacBook Pro – seven years later!

This computer has far exceded my expectations, it’s been my main work computer for over seven years. I’ve upgraded it many times as I’ve gone along, it now has four times the RAM it started with, I’ve swapped out the optical drive for a second hard drive, I’ve replaced the spinning disk with an SSD and it still runs the latest version of OS X – it doesn’t give me any trouble. And that’s one of the main things I’ve found about Apple products, for me, they tend to have a really good life time. I haven’t bought many Apple products over the years but apart from the iBook which I sold when I got the MBP, they are all still in daily use in the family one way or another.

But an upgrade is now due. My MBP has reached the end of it’s upgradeability and is starting to slow. The screen is both non-retina and badly cracked (I dropped it!).

So I’m hoping the MacBook Pros will be updated at the rumoured March 2016 event so that I can buy one at the right time in the upgrade cycle. If new MacBook Pros aren’t announced in March I’m not sure what I’ll do. Waiting until June for WWDC seems like a long time but I probably will.

Either way, when I do get my next laptop it will be a thinner, more powerful, retina machine that will hopefully last me for a while, but unfortunately as it will no longer be user upgradeable in any way it’s unlikely I’ll get seven years this time which is a real shame, and it will still cost a small fortune to the point where I actually spent some time looking around to see if there were any comparable Windows laptops, but I couldn’t find any, yet…

Update: No new MacBooks at the March 2016 event or at WWDC16 (June) so the wait continues until the Autumn…