Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cutting themselves on the cutting edge


My MacBook Pro laptop, which has been my faithful companion since 2009, has been under the weather for a while. So a couple of months ago, I popped into the Apple Store to see what was going on in the world of new MacBooks.

As it turned out, not much. The only significant difference I could ascertain was that the laptops were getting ever thinner and thinner. Which made them look cool, but mostly I noticed that the Airs lacked CD drives. I often play movies and TV shows in my laptop when I travel or clean my place, so I didn’t want to not have that. They also had only one USB port, which I could have lived with, but seemed low.

Then there was the non-Air MacBook Pro, the one exactly like mine, with multiple USB ports and other peripheral jacks, and a disc drive. It had an upgraded OS from mine, which I appreciated. But still, it seemed silly to me to buy that one and then have two fully functioning MacBook Pro laptops. On top of that, one of the store employees all but sneered at it, saying the OS hadn’t been upgraded in three years. He did say, however, that a new version was imminent.

I left empty-handed, apart from knowledge.

When my laptop’s keyboard shorted out in February, I went back to the Apple Store and bought — a new iMac. Yep, a desktop. The last time I had one of those was when my mom’s office threw an IBM away more than a decade ago. I used it almost exclusively for word processing and solitaire, and it was infected with the Melissa virus.

So why did I buy a desktop in the tablet age? Well, for one, it has most of what I need: USB ports, a fast (if not cutting-edge) OS, and a nice wireless keyboard and trackpad (still no CD drive, but nothing’s perfect). Also, it has a large screen and amazing speakers I still can’t get over. I can sit very straight and comfortably at this thing and create. And that’s all I ask for.

The latest MacBook announcement only confirms my decision. Do they look cool? Hell yeah, especially the gold one. But that’s about the only selling point. There is a single jack for everything now, which sucks. And supposedly, the OS is actually a downgrade. It’s basically Apple’s version of a netbook, or of an iPad with a keyboard. That might appeal to some people, but not to me.

(This has precedent for me: When I was shopping for my car in 2007, I knew that an all-new, as-yet-unveiled version would be introduced a few months later. Some suggested I should wait to buy until it did, because I might like the new one better. I really liked the one in front of me and had a feeling it wasn’t worth the wait. I didn't wait. Good move.)

Sleek is cool, but for me it’s always second to functionality. But sleek comes first on the new MacBook, which is why I won’t get the new MacBook. When its features once again jibe with my needs, I’ll be back on that train.

However, I will say this: Calling it a betrayal is a wild overstatement. It’s just another computer, guys. Many people will want it. That’s OK too.

If this is your worst problem, you’re doing pretty good.

1 comment:

KBliss said...

Don't you know it's the outside that counts, not the inside! ;) The CD drive deal is that everyone is streaming movies/tv now. Except Ian ;)