Position: 37°19’55″N 122°00’32″W

Here is a summary of the emotions you might feel when you’re buying a new MacBook Pro. It can be a gut-wrenching and financially draining experience. But at the end, there’s an Apple computer waiting to run only some of the software you’ve used all your life.

Let’s jump in:

  1. The Initial Shopping High – You’ve been biting your fingernails to the quick wondering when the optimum time to buy is. You’ve scoured Apple fan sites and taken their advice to heart. Then waited and waited until the release of the newest model. Now it’s here. Dangerously enhanced with Apple silicon. Shiny. New. And full of promise.
  2. Cold, Hard Reality Sets In – These new MacBooks cost 40% more than the ones they replace. Twice as much as a Windows laptop and upgrades are out of sight. Warning: at this stage your euphoria may give way to crushing depression.
  3. Steely Empowerment – Your delusions of endless creativity crushed, you dig deep and start to examine the entire product line. YouTube pundits recommend you save your money and buy a MacBook Air. Forget the M1 Ultra! You’ll never take advantage of it.
  4. Overwhelming Dread – But the Air? That’s a kid’s computer. You’re a serious creator. You need more power and more credibility. You gotta spec this baby up – up – up. But you don’t have that kind of money. Is it worse being seen using a MacBook Air or a powerful Windows computer at your local coffee shop?
  5. Mild Resignation – You wouldn’t be seen dead using a MacBook Air.
  6. Panic – There are just too many variables. Your most important apps run on Rosetta. But the power of the M1 Pro only works on native software. When will your favourite apps port over and finally become Metal compatible? Do you need 16GB of RAM, or 32, or 64? Can you trade in your iPhone for a discount? Can you write this off against tax? Why, Apple? Why?
  7. Swaggering Confidence – With all your newfound influencer knowledge you’re now in a position to slice through the Gordian Knot of Apple’s recommended configurations and pluck the ripest, most cost-effective model from their shopping basket of tricks.
  8. Abject Fear – What if it’s not in stock and you have to wait months for it to arrive? And what if the new M2 MacBooks are released and obsolete the M1 you just ordered? And what if you chose the one model that’s resale value collapses in a couple of years?
  9. Reversion To Type – Maybe you should just buy another PC. After all, it’s cheaper, faster, runs all your apps with no issues and you can play games on it.
  10. Aspirational Dreams – But then you’d still be outside the garden walls. You won’t have committed to the cult. Ahem, I mean family. You’ll still be a street punk, not a well-groomed hipster with 50,000 followers. Oh, foul ignominy! Is that to be your fate? No! No, you say! You want more from life. You want plaid shirts and woke friends on Facetime. And you want inside that gated community of wealthy iconoclasts. The ones that ‘Think Different.’ You want to be just like them.
  11. Hard Nosed Negotiation – “If you don’t have it in Space Grey, then only Silver will do.”
  12. Finally, Freedom! – You can hack away at your local coffee shop until the microbrewery opens without having to plug in. Wow! Your life is finally complete. There is nothing standing between you and the great American blog.
Update June 5, 2022

Three weeks ago, I bought a 14″ Macbook Pro with 1Tb of storage. It was on sale at MicroCenter with $250 off. It seemed like a good deal. Until I got it home. I kept it for 48 hours. The problem was the screen was constantly out of focus. It turns out that I’m not alone. A little digging on the internet turned up all kinds of complaints about the Macbook’s fuzzy display giving people eyestrain and headaches.

The culprit? Too many engineers with too much time on their hands. You see, Apple has been ‘perfecting’ font smoothing for years. They finally came up with something fiendish called temporal anti-aliasing. So proud were they, they did away with the option to disable all font smoothing unless you’re willing to code Unix. Well done chaps!

The display hurt my eyes. Worse, the off-axis viewing (looking at the screen from anywhere but directly in front of you) reminded me of experiences I’d had with early LCDs back in the 1990s. To further enhance the retro experience, the display’s response time averages 40ms, about 10X what’s currently available. Until Apple gets serious about computers again, I’ll keep my hand on my ha’pennies. Besides, my old HP laptop’s display is going through a good phase right now. It may well last several years longer. Long enough for a viable Linux distro, perhaps.


*With acknowledgement to the author of this: HuffPost

Share

4 Comments

  1. Ok Mike, what configuration did you get, and how’d it get to you? What ruled out doing your work on a high-end iPad Pro? I need to make your same decision too, and don’t know if I can wait for the M2s.
    Ron

    Ron Benton
    1. In truth I haven’t bought anything yet. I’ve been very happy with my HP Spectre 360, but our old employer isn’t keeping up, so I’m shopping. I’m sure the new MacBooks aren’t worth the price, so I’m 90% sticking with Windows. Unless I port to Linux. But, if I were buying Apple, a base model 16″ MBP with 1TB is what I’d get. Then sell it as soon as the M2s hit the market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.