I cannot believe how happy I am to have my “old” keyboard back. About a year ago, I switched back from my Windows machine to a MacBook Air and regretted it within days. The problem wasn’t so much the machine, it’s portability is unparalleled and it’s great to toss in my bag and carry around with me all day. But the keyboard; that ridiculous butterfly keyboard.
I am probably a bit of a laptop snob. I change laptops more often than I buy a new pair of shoes. But that is merely because I love to try out new things and use my computer 10-12 hours a day. That is, when I am at home or working remotely for a client. When I need to work on a mediocre device for hours on end, that can be a strain on my mental condition, more than my physical one.
Yet, the MacBook Air I have been using, did not just make me mental, it “hurt” my fingers for some reason, too. When I first got it, I thought the shallow keys would promote a more fluent typing movement; be more ergonomic. As it turns out, the only thing I got out of it were sore fingertips and a lingering aggression issue.
My favorite device is not a MacBook
My favorite device? Without a doubt my iPad Pro, the big one. I could probably do 80% of my work on my iPad. Yet, sometimes I simply need more screen real estate and computing power; especially when working with larger data sets in Tableau or excel. Portable devices (yes, I know a laptop is portable too) are just not fully capable of doing all the tasks I would need them to do. It is all about the software, though.
Call me mad, but I actually preferred to type on my flimsy iPad keyboard compared to the horrific typing experience on my MacBook Air. The keys on the plasticky iPad keyboard have a bit of punch to them. They are loud, but I don’t mind that much; it actually makes me feel like I’m writing a lot. When I was growing up, we had an old fashioned type writer at home, and I loved it. The sound of me hammering on those keys was an absolute delight.
A few decades later, I guess there is something nostalgic about the sound of mechanical keys hitting cold metal. Of course I would not want to go back to that era, but it comes to show that sounds, haptics and physical button movements have a direct impact on the level of satisfaction I get out of using a device.
I didn’t have to think twice
Last week, the MacBook Pro 16 Inch was introduced. It took me 10 seconds to decide that I was going to buy it. I have been struggling to come up with a good reason for me to carry my horrible MacBook Air with me all day, compared to my iPad Pro. And there are very few situations in which I deem it sensible to carry both.
Every morning, I get up and contemplate which device I will need to use that day. And the answer is always: I would love to use my iPad, but the software is holding me back from only using that.
That is about to change.
The moment I saw the MacBook Pro 16 Inch specs, I knew that this would be the device I would love to work at during most of the day. The screen is, well great. The thermal issues have mostly been solved. The sound quality of the speakers and microphones vastly improved. And the overall package as a portable workstation just seriously grand.
There is one drawback: the camera, 720p… Seriously?
I’ll just ignore the camera for now, I’ve got a beautiful iPhone 11 Pro and an iPad as an on the road video cam. But this is the only real drawback of the new iteration. If Apple would have added a 1080p or even a 4k video camera to this device, I would probably not change my laptop for the next 5 years…
Well, I guess that is what will make sure that digital professionals will need to continue to upgrade their hardware ever now and again. I do think that this is a bit of a missed opportunity for a device that cost somewhere between $3-5k in a professional configuration.
I feel relieved
It is such a pleasure to write my first few words on this machine. The new MacBook Pro 16″ is a true delight to play around with. Of course, I will have to see how it holds up in daily life, but my first impression is overwhelmingly positive.
You can expect to see a couple more blog post from me in the weeks to come. I am having a blast with this machine and I can wholeheartedly recommend it.