Category Archives: MacBook Pro

MacBook Air vs. MBP13 or wait/hope for MacBook 12?

I want to talk about the MacBook 2016 and MacBook Pro 2016s that I purchased for a minute and then onto what’s next for me. I bought my rose gold MacBook 2016 in the highest configuration, the Macbook Pro with Touch Bar came out and that led to a 2nd purchase. Other than desktop Macs that I replaced last year, these are still my main Macs. I don’t use desktops much.

I’m typing on my Rose Gold MacBook 12 which I prefer over my faster but heavier MBP with Touch Bar. So, after 3 years, I’m kind of in the mood for a new laptop and have that same dilemma except a bit worse right now. I can’t believe there is no MacBook 12 for 2018 or 2019. I have a VERY hard time believing this is a discontinued model. No way!

Rumors have been going around for a long time that the next MacBook 12 will be driven by one of Apple’s A chips, not an intel chip. The industry this year is coming to the conclusion that Apple needs to do this platform switch. Also, we have incursions from iOS 13 with Catalyst coming to help migrate iOS apps to the Mac. If iOS app migration and A chips continue to close in on Macs and MacOS, the MacBook may get a double whammy soon!

Software development is slow compared to hardware except that firmware is essentially software burned into silicon so it’s still trouble. There’s no way Apple can turn its back on Mac miniaturization. I know some may think Macs are yesterday’s news but some of the best things and all the big complex apps have been on PCs and Macs not on smartphones and iPads.

iOS apps are getting better as that is where the volume is. As in 20 smartphones vs 1 Mac and maybe 3 PCs. This is guesswork with these numbers, but in any case we have developers working on stuff that fits on tiny devices that never grows up to run on Mac apps.

The Mac and Windows apps aren’t getting upgraded fully if at all. FileMaker Go is practically a view only device compared to FileMaker Pro Advanced which can build incredibly powerful and complex databases and automate just about anything at scale. Part of the problem is that iOS is a touch or fat finger environment that can’t handle as much detail/complexity as a Mac or say Windows 10.

One more time on Desktop Software. It’s not going away. It is being invested in and can run on things like a sexy little MacBook 12. In MacOS Catalina come Fall, we get to plug an iPad into our Macs and use Apple Pencils on the Mac software that supports it. Macs will get a little more fun in their lives and who knows what happens with Apple’s A processors cranking out augmented reality on these Macs. Interesting that we are actually plugging the iPads in with wires, I guess the wires will allow better performance. Which might be understandable if we throw in a big dose of augmented reality. I hope someone finds an application for AR quickly for something fun like maybe genealogy family trees – kind of like time travel if the software can figure out how to visualize that.

So, temporarily I’m stuck with the NEW COOL MacBook Air 2019. OK, 12 ounces heavier isn’t working for me but I do admire the 13 inches of screen real estate over the 12 — some stuff is designed for a minimum of 13″. Also, I very much appreciate the 2 Thunderbolt ports vs. 1 USB-C on the MB12. I get 4 on a MacBook Pro — 2 on both sides which really helps when you need a plug and power is on your right side.

The new Air 13 seems to get a thumbs down from reviewers based on performance. Just like the MacBook 12’s have done. The 13 has a girly 8th gen Y Intel processor (a lousy 2 cores) vs. the beefy hotter 9th gen 4-core processor in the new MBPs. All I can say to Apple is you could have done a little more for the Air. Like offer an option but I suppose that wedge and that 1/4 lb. lighter Mac couldn’t handle these beefier hotter chips. I think the marketing guys were trying to drive a wedge between the two models. Whatever.

Even though 1/4 lb. is almost nothing, I seem drawn to the Air 13. It is a vote for smaller lighter. I would get the next MB12 if there were any available other than a 2017 (that’s too historic and only 1 year ahead of what I have now!). Also, cost is an issue with the MBP. It’s too easy to end up spending close to $3000 with one of those if you, like me, want to have 16gb RAM and a terabyte SSD for an extra $200. The Air I want probably will cost me closer to $2000, but once you open the floodgates of processor choices on the MBP13, you cross the $2500 line in a heart beat.

Anyway, if you are a woman like me who is not crazy about even an extra 1/4 lb. or like little devices like I do and really aren’t doing lots of intensive gaming or video processing or something, I say go with the Air 13. OK. One last admission, I have an iMac Pro on my desk should some crazy reason for more power come up at some point. I pretty much hate working at my desk, so most work is done like this on the couch with my MB12.

There is an outside chance a MacBook 12 will show up if Apple doesn’t like its sales of Macs in September but I doubt it. I’m still a little on the fence about buying before I can get a 2019 or 2020 MacBook 12 but as soon as I make a move, you’ll be the first to know!

The MacBook Pro w Touch Bar is Great for this Knowledge Professional


Macs are still Relevant to the Knowledge Professional

There are lots of reasons why a knowledge professional would like this Mac. First, it is a Mac which is historically the favorite for creatives. I’m going to assume that knowledge professionals must be creative to do their jobs regardless of the field. If you are operating with knowledge at a professional level and might be a knowledge enthusiast too, this is your brand.

But this gorgeous MacBook Pro is Pricey!

Let’s get this out of the way early. Yes. Apple raised their prices on these better quality Macs. You get your money’s worth, but yeah, it will cost you. As my father used to say, money doesn’t grow on trees. And the last 30-years haven’t been kind to the middle class. But your tools have never been like this.  You are better educated and more knowledge-capable than ever. If you are serious about your career, this big tax deduction is a great investment. It is your primary tool so consider cutting back elsewhere in your budget.

iPad is Not (Yet) Enough. Now that you are preferring Mac and are creating with knowledge whether writing, advising, creating presentations or diagramming, you’ll probably want a Mac not just an iPad to get your work done. I say you need both if you can do it because reading, the primary activity of a knowledge professional, is best on an iPad by a large margin. It feels better. It’s less awkward.

Mac wins when you are writing. If you are reading and typing, you’ll probably be better on a Mac than an iPad just due to the advantage extra MacBook functionality. With a Mac you can still read but you get some extras. The screen is adjustable to any angle and is always with you (you don’t need a stand or foldable cover to prop it up). The keyboard is really good and is built in. It works well on a table or your lap or anything in between. While Apple doesn’t give you a touch screen, it gives you the world’s best trackpad which you can operate and still keep your hands in perfect typing position.

Mac wins when you are gathering and organizing as you begin or review a project. The Finder with its multiple windows and ease of connecting and working with external data, beats the iPad handily in these critical knowledge functions. There are many Mac apps to choose from. I like Scapple for the visual note-taking. I like Ulysses because it keeps my serious writing and important notes in a database so all that stuff is there so I can grab what I need quickly. I think Scrivener is great for long writing projects. But also we have lovely OmniOutliner and Omnigraffle.

Why Would the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar be your choice for your next portable Mac?

Look and Feel

Jony Ive outdid himself with this Mac. I’ve got the space gray model which is stunning. I believe and its been documented that beauty can inspire and energize. What knowledge professional doesn’t need all the inspiration and energy they can get when faced with tough creative challenges? It is smooth as silk opening, closing  and adjusting the screen angle.  The screen is wide color and brilliantly lit. The touch bar is perfectly blended with the keyboard. The 4 Thunderbolt ports are small leaving the sides uncrowded.

Form Factor

I’ve been using the MacBook 12 and I have to say that the small size and 2 lb. weight are wonderful on your lap or in your bag. It’s better for me to have the extra screen size, though. I like big screens because I get a larger canvas just like I like bigger notebooks and note pads when I need to figure out what I am doing on a new problem or project. For me, the 13″ size is as big as I’m willing to carry or hold. I would not have gone 13″ if the MBPTB was bigger or heavier than its compact 3 lbs. I like that it is smaller than the MacBook Air 13 by a large margin and, of course, way cooler. It’s more comfortable on my lap.

The Amazing Touch Bar

I’m typing on it now. I have an iPad Pro 12.7 next to me but it is sitting idle for the reasons I’ve just covered. The Touch ID on the right edge of the touch bar is the biggest favorite out of the box. It’s not to be typing to login anymore. I haven’t learned much about the new touchbar yet, but I like that Apple has given me a small strip of iOS in this new MacBook Pro. That strip is great for discovering the commands available at any given moment. Simply engaging touch in the middle of a writing project may help your brain get a little more creative. I’m thinking it engages with the right brain, subconscious, primitive capacities of the mind where breakthroughs and insights are facilitated.

 Largest Trackpad

With the exception of the new MBP15 trackpad, this is the biggest trackpad around. Apple already makes by far the best trackpads. Turns out as you get into gestures including drag, pinch and zoom, the bigger the better. If palm rejection wasn’t excellent, the size of the trackpad would be an issue. Not a problem that I’ve experienced.

Fastest Solid State Drive

Apple says this solid state drive is twice as fast as previous SSD generations. This affects how fast things start – you are doing one thing and you do another thing. It’s extremely responsive. There’s no resistance to your effort. Faster is better when you work on hard stuff.

The USB-C Thunderbolt Ports

I’m not the best one to judge the downsides of not having the ports that came on previous MacBook Pros. I already have been using a single USB-C port with my MacBook 12 for over a year and a half and 4 ports seem like a complete luxury even though USB-C. They aren’t as compatible so I’ve used Apple 3 port adapters when I wanted power and a backup. With four ports, I don’t need a hub or multiple function adapters. I plug in power in one port and a hard drive and a USB stick all at the same time. I’ve got a 64 gig USB-stick that has a regular USB3 side and a USB-C side so that’s already available and I recommend one of these if you are new to USB-C.

My 2013 MacBook Pro 13 had an SD card slot, 2 USB3 ports and a Thunderbolt 2 port.  Now I get 2 full speed Thunderbolt 3 ports and 2 full speed second generation USB-C ports. I just bought 2 new $89 1-terabyte 7200 rpm G-drive portable drives in space gray from the Apple Store. I can’t find that $89 price anywhere else so I think Apple is helping out on that price a bit to make buying new USB-C drives palatable.

I am a technology enthusiast, so all these really powerful and fast, state of the art ports seem good. The lack of legacy compatibility and requirements to sometimes use an adapter for old drives seems like a very reasonable price to pay considering how small and light the MBPTB is and what I get. You can get a USB-C to USB3 adapter for about $10. Apple has their USB-C to USB3 adapter for sale for $9. Apple is trying to make these adapters affordable to smooth your way into the future.

You can keep all of your dongles at home except maybe take that USB stick with USB-C and USB-3. You already had a USB stick with you anyway didn’t you?


Choosing a Mac Laptop this Spring

Things are changing on the Mac laptop front. When the 2nd generation MacBook 12 was announced and released yesterday, Phil Schiller said that the MacBook is Apple’s vision for the future of the notebook. That’s a big deal.

We’ve also heard rumors of a 13″ and 15″ MacBook. Yesterday, the dates for Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference were announced. Let’s see… Looks like the 13″ and 15″ MacBooks will be the top of the line. I’m thinking we will get larger MacBooks with a little more oomph due to their larger size. Larger size equates to more room for batteries that could handle more power-hungry chips.

The MacBook 12″ would be the entry level model. The 12 is the smallest and lightest MacBook at the most affordable price point. Not sure whether the MacBook 13 will be called MacBook Pro or just the 15. Still, based on the history of the MacBook Pro, the 13 will be intermediate in price and the 15 will be higher and more full-featured. MacObserver was the first Mac site I saw yesterday that forecast the new MacBook Pros would be close in design to the MacBook 12. MacObserver guessed these will support Thunderbolt 3 via the USB-C port and might have a second USB-C port since there’s more room for one to accommodate a bigger 13 or 15 inch screen.

I can’t imagine getting a 15″ MacBook Pro. Great for screen size but I wouldn’t want to carry it or have it on my lap. But what happens if it is under 4 lbs? If so, it gets interesting to more people.

I’m much more interested in the 13″ MacBook. MacObserver predicts it will weigh well under 3 lbs. I will have to wait and see whether 12 or 13 seems more attractive once all the chips are on the table. If you have any doubts about the power of the latest MacBook 12 and would pay a little more if the right 13″ came along, you may want to join me.