A post-laptop laptop?

So I’m considering a new computer. I’ve had my current laptop the longest of any computer ever (A 2011 i7 13″ Macbook Pro) and partly just fancy some new gadgetry, but also would like something with faster disk (so a bigger SSD) and a “retina” display. Also my personal computing needs have changed since I bought it, maybe a different device is a better fit? It’s still a good laptop, but what’s next?


My Current MBP

It’s a unibody non-retina 13″, it’s got a 2.7Ghz i7, 8Gb of RAM , a 128Gb SSD and the optical drive swapped out for a 500Gb HDD. Compared to modern equipment it’s bulky, low res and the bulk of the storage is slow – though most things are on the SSD.

What’s Changed?

In 2011:

  • My devices were this MBP, a Galaxy S2 and a first gen iPad.
  • I used my own laptop for work to some extent, mostly document prep and conference use etc. some coding work.
  • Mostly used the laptop hooked to a 24″ display at a desk, or hand luggage travelling.
  • Aperture for photos, shooting a Panasonic G1
  • Dropbox for some cloud usage.
  • Most of my computing was on my laptop at a desk.
  • Mostly I was connected by ethernet or 2.4Ghz wifi to a 8Mps net connection.

In 2015

  • iPhone 6, retina iPad mini, and a PC for Steam to go with this laptop.
  • No need to work with my laptop.
  • Mostly use the laptop random places round the house – the ipad is capable enough and more portable for travel.
  • Still got the G1, but an X100 also and Aperture is being discontinued – I’ll need to move on.
  • Dropbox, iCloud for syncing photos, browser tabs, online backup with Backblaze, Facetime
  • I do most of my home “computing” on the iPad, though a bigger screen would be nice sometimes (and then I grab the laptop).
  • I still code sometimes, though not as often at home.
  • Mostly I’m connected (at ~30Mps) by 2.4/5Ghz .11n to a 80Mps net connection.

Apple Options?

13″ Retina Pro – the obvious option. It’s the direct replacement, but do I need all this power these days? Built in SD card reader is nice though, and it’ll be faster than my current machine..but…for the first time ever I think… does that even matter? The new Macbook – Lighter, probably as fast – so fast enough? Slower CPU under load I suspect but much faster disk. No SD reader though, and no ports really…but again – does that matter? I already use my iPad most of the time, mentally I’d think of this as an “ipad Pro” – it’s a more capable ipad rather than a less capable laptop. But then my love of the iPad is mostly for reading material, and you fundamentally hold a tablet differently. So maybe this would never leave the house, then why be this portable? Maybe I ditch my iPad and my next phone is a larger Plus model so travel is phone only or phone plus laptop? Some hypothetical future iPad Pro – Could I go “ipad only”….I think so, with some caveats. The new Photos app means maybe I can import to the iPad and have it sync to my current mac i could keep around basically to maintain a complete local copy of my photos for backup. But then I need to pay £7/£15 a month for icloud storage too… and that adds up fast. But then the ipad is likely cheaper…

*whispers* Windows?

I know, I’m insane. But I love the tablet form factor and so the MS Surface Pro appeals. But could I make the leap? Would I miss any software, or ecosystem benefits? Would the loss be worth the benefits? I’ve used one in shops etc. and it seems fine, but it’s really hard to know with out trying my normal usage with my data in my house etc. Of course if I consider windows there are other options – Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro perhaps? Or buy something “cheap” to try it out – but what if I don’t like the experience because it’s a lower end device, and that will still add 100s to the price. And a Surface Pro aint cheap – the 512Gb option would be the most expensive of anything on this page, even the 256Gb i5 model plus a 128GB microSD for a bit more storage is comparable to the macs. You know you’re saying something when a Mac is a cheap option…

First World Problem.

For sure. I should just keep my current MBP right?

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