The changing face of travelling fascinates me. On my first trip to Taiwan, I didn’t have a cell phone, digital camera or laptop computer.
Oh how things have changed!
On this trip, we’re kitted out for every eventuality. Irene and I both have our MacBooks, our iPhones and my iPad.
Linking it altogether, I brought my Airport Express for wireless access for everyone.
You know what? 75% of everything I do is on the iPad. About %15 is on the iPhone and the remaining 10% on the MacBook. If it weren’t for Photoshop and tweaking photos beyond what I can do with Photogene on the iPad (wonderful app!), and recording the Skyped podcasts, I wouldn’t need the MacBook at all.
I really need to catch up on my writing!
After my initial analysis of my MacBook Pro, I thought I should point out a few things after using it for a few weeks.
In no particular order:
- The edges on this thing are sharp. I’m not quite ready to take a file to it, but really! Did your ergonomic testers have bionic arms?
- The battery life is phenomenal – most of the time. For the first week, I was regularly getting 7 or more hours from the battery every day. Then one day, I started to only get 4-5. Nothing was running, and I couldn’t hear the fans (although, they are so whisper quiet, you can barely hear them when they are running.) This went on for a week, then I happened to reboot. Suddenly, I’m back to 7 hours. This has happened twice since then and reboots always solve the problem. I can’t find anything running, but I think it may be tied to Xcode or Eclipse.
- Despite the sharp edge, the laptop keyboard is still easier to type on when on your lap than the old MacBook was. Perhaps it’s just roomier.
- The speakers have a really long delay when switching from internal to external, sometimes 3-4 seconds after the plug is in before it shifts to the external speakers.
Still… I love it.
By now you all know the sad tale of my home being burglarized last month and the villains getting both my wife’s laptop and her iMac. Luckily, my old laptop was with me, or it I have no doubt would be gone, too. My wife decided she didn’t need a desktop and a laptop and opted to get just a replacement laptop. And so, as a consequence, I’ve decided to sell my MacBook, which was getting a bit long in the tooth and replacing it with a newer, bigger model. Effectively, we’ve been reduced by one computer.
My new laptop is a MacBook Pro 15″ model, with the 2.66 GHz processor. (Shown in the picture with a phantom in the screen).
Like many people, I had to play the “should I buy or should I wait?” game. Rumors have been flying for weeks that a refresh to the MacBook Pros are due and while I doubt the prices would go down, certainly specs would go up, but in the end, I decided I’d rather have a nice, stable model, which already has plenty of horsepower.
So far, I think it’s pretty fantastic. I was put off by the unibody, sealed battery design, but in my first test, I got five full hours of near continuous use. Not quite Apple’s estimated seven hours, but by far the longest I’ve ever seen a laptop run on a single charge. There is a noticeable difference in the battery drain when using the high-energy consumption video subsystem, and after the first hour, I switched that off.
In comparison to my old MacBook (first generation) here are the things that really stand out:
- The LED backlit screen really pops.
- It’s obviously much faster
- The backlit keyboard is really nice in a darkened room, but at an angle, makes the whole computer look like a xmas tree because of light spilling out from under the keys.
- The light sensitive display takes some getting used to. The brightness will adjust if someone walks in front of your light source. It’s very quick and distracting.
- The larger speakers make for better sound
- The SD card reader… I haven’t used. The bastards stole our camera, too.
- The no-button trackpad is great – once you get used to it. After only one day, it’s hard to use the old MacBook’s pad because I forget I have to click the button. It’s cool to be able to write Chinese by just drawing the character on the pad, too.
- I’m not sure I like the feel of the aluminum. I almost feel like it’s always going to slip out of my hands.
So after one day, it’s thumbs up all the way. For now.