After the death of my beloved iBook G4 (she spent two years in Africa with me) and after about a month long mourning period, I purchased one of the 13in MacBook Pros in anticipation of starting grad school. I’ve had the new computer for a couple of months now, and I don’t think I could survive without it. However, rather than just preach to the choir about the glory of Apple, I want to talk about the practical ways some specific innovations have been indispensable.
One of the primary reasons I was attracted to this computer in the first place was the physical size. At 4.5 pounds it’s only a shade heavier than the Air, and not that much larger. And in trade you get back way more power and speed, so I can still play games on-the-go if I want to. Speaking of on-the-go, compared to my old iBook, this computer is a joy to carry with me everywhere. The portability allows me to follow my impulse to the next coffee shop and basically work from anywhere.
But shrinking sizes and boosted specs are nothing new. What really makes it easy to keep working is Apple’s new 7-hour battery. This thing lives up to the boast. In practice, I am able to charge my computer over night and leave the charger at home in the morning. I work on this thing all day at Small Dog, then take it for a study session at a couple of different coffee shops, and finally read web comics in bed before it finally tells me to plug it into power. Not having to remember to carry my adapter with me is, in a word, liberating. And all of that usage was done without ever turning off Wi-Fi or dimming the screen anymore than the computer does automatically (yeah, did I mention it auto adjusts to ambient light? ‘Cause it does!).
The third thing I really love, which has changed the way I think about user input devices, is the glass Multi-Touch trackpad. As an example, in my grad program, I have to read a lot of scanned texts. I like to save paper so I never print these out. Sometimes, however, they are scanned in vertically, so the text is the wrong way around. On my iMac, I have to go through menus to rotate each page. Pain in the butt. On my MacBook Pro however, all I have to do us use the rotate gesture on the trackpad. Nothing has ever felt so natural. Add to that the intuitive zoom and scrolling and it’s like I’m manipulating a physical document. This is truly the interface of the future!
The innovations Apple has packed into these unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros are amazing and make mobile computing an absolute delight. With the polycarbonate body MacBooks finally getting some of the goods, it really makes it a great time to upgrade an older laptop.