Why the Retina MacBook Pro is the Last Mac I'll Ever Buy

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akdj

Excellent article. And I'm in the same boat. Enjoying the rMBPs tremendously. Took the plunge @ 2012's genesis and typically I wait to buy 'gen one' technology. Turned out to be a home run and an easy decision to grab an updated '14 version. That said, we've got the new MP at the studio for lifting along with an older 2010 MP tower. I've owned each iPad since it's genesis and wanted to comment on Alexander and his adamant comment about the iPad 'unable' to do what he NEEDS as a photog

I also make my living doing audio and video pre, event and post production. We do a lot of 'still' shooting as well and I can't tell you in enough words what you're 'missing out' on without the iPad. Without Adobe's current programs and aggregation/integration with it's OSx counterpart and LightRoom, absolutely amazing! For such a tech 'guru' as you claim, to have not given the iPad a fair shake five years in to it's life is bewildering and certainly not a point I remember reading the article. The iPad and rMBP is a satisfying set up for most professionals these days and with iOS 8/OSx 10.10 along with it's 'Handoff/Continuity' capabilities, Swift language along with Metal GPU low level programming, Xcode update and the 'ease' of transition from a developers perspective to update to the HiDPI or different resolutions is painless. Swift is incredible and you're missing a LOT by 'never purchasing an iPad'. Nat Geo sent a photog out to three or four continents ...with an iPhone. About 5,000 shots later, instead of a single issue, three issues contained his shots from the iPhone 5s. A lot of his 'field editing' done on the iPad Air. Huh? I wonder where you're being published that negates your personal disinterest in iOS. Because I'll be honest ...you've absolutely NO IDEA what you've been missing, are missing and will miss as a 'creative'

Anyway, excellent article and thirty years of computing I'm finally excited to click 'on' in the mornings;). The rMBP is an absolute wonder. As is the new MP, Air, iPhone and Mini iPad 2. This fall will only build on these accomplishments! Exciting times

J

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Alexander Rhett...

I was also hoping to see an iOS - OS X hybrid or even OS X on the iPad, but Apple has explicitly declared they are not interested in porting OS X to iPad, according to some article I've read a while ago.

I am basically sick and tired of people saying their iPads are capable of suiting all of their desktop needs. Maybe if they're basic web browsers and Facebookers it's one thing, but I'm creative and I need my space. I also need capability and an iPad is simply incapable of suiting my personal needs. For example, the mobile version of Photoshop (which may or may not be available for iPad right now) is not capable of the things I use the desktop version for on a bi-daily or daily basis. It's also a huge pain to work around Apple's walled-garden approach within iOS. I'd also rather browse on my computer than an iPad for many reasons, and I'd also enjoy the control over my files which is something you just do not get with iOS.

When you think that way, why carry about an iPad when you could use an iPhone or iPod touch which has the same OS and features, but the ability to fit in your pocket and save you a lot of energy (between moving your entire arm all over the place hahahhha)? I will likely never own an iPad because I find them pointless and unnecessary. Of course, I've used others' iPads all the time, so I am familiar with the concept and I still oppose it.

I currently use a MacBook Pro Retina 15" and I am seriously elated. I could not ask for more. It was worth every penny and I would buy it again in a heartbeat. Would I replace it with an iPad (or, more fitting for my tastes, an iPhone)? Never.

I've enjoyed your article!

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WM

I really hope you are right. Jobs once said that you must canabolize your own products or someone else will when the iPhone was phasing out the iPod. Jobs isn't calling the shots now but I hope they keep the same mentality. Replacing the MacBook with the iPad seems necessary since the Microsoft Surface is already on store shelves. As a graphics artist I'm using my MacBook for more than just checking my email and surfing the web. The new device needs to run the Adobe Creative Suite. I've learned of a patent apple has on pixel selecting for video editors. Geez, I can't even imagine how great things would be if I could use Apps like After Effects, Premiere or InDesign (the real versions) on my iPad future device. Insane. It's probably going to take another 5 years or so while SSD prices drop and the software can support all that.

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hywelt

Interesting resurrecting old threads. Great article and kudos for guessing the future, now we're here I reckon:
We have more choice - you select the stuff you need to do the best job.
I don't get out much, don't need constant on-the-go internet access when out of the office, do need a bit of music recording, do designery type stuff so pixels are important and email, so I have a powerful PC - more bang for the buck (see below), an old Mac for music and Adobe stuff and a good smartphone (HTC One X) for moving about.
The PC has a quad i5 processor, 64 bit, 16GB RAM, 255GB SSD and two lovely AOC monitors - all for £1100 (about $1600)- an Apple would cost around twice that. Windows 7 is the best OS Windows have ever produced so I'm happy.
I'm spending today recording on Garageband on an old G5 - flipping between the two computers with a $50 KVM switch. Easy!
I have a feeling the iPad/tablets will develop easy come-and-go connections with deskbound interfaces over the coming years, but it's not precise enough for me - and the keyboard on there is not up to scratch. Similarly, I can't stand small monitors.
But, that's me, I wouldn't want to persuade anyone to change - just use what works best for you.
That's 2014 over 2012 - even more choice.

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akdj

While I agree we've come a long way in these past two years, Apple vs. Windows today comes down to HiDPI capabilities and scaling functionality. While 8.1 has addressed some challenges, it's nothing like working with HiDPI and OSx with it's scaling abilities and third party support for UI and 'canvas' scaling on the same display (IE Premier or FCPx displaying all 2,000 pixels while keeping the UI 'legible' and easily targeted, read and 'used' vs. Windows third party support and it's awful scaling UI ...hoping 9 addresses these issues especially with multiple displays). For me, this is huge as I use both systems and it's a PITA editing 4k right now on Windows but the new MP has been a dream with multi monitor support

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jhstylze

If this does happen, Tim Cook will have a lot of crow to eat because he mocked Microsoft for doing this very thing with Windows 8. So either Apple will never merge iOS and OS X or Tim was just spitting out sour grapes because he's upset MS beat him to the punch. Either way, be interesting to see what happens. I bought my rMBP for a similar, yet slightly different reason. I bought it as a disposable computer. At first, the idea seemed ludicrous until I realized, if people can update their iPads yearly at a cost of over $800 a pop (for the 64GB 3G/4G model), Why not buy a much more powerful machine for a couple hundred more, that I plan to keep for at least four years?

Objective Mac owner.

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stevewallen25

Very insightful. I am an early adopter of the MPBr and have read more than a few pieces written on Apple's new flagship. This is one of the most helpful and well thought out opinions out there. Thanks for the piece!

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Frnc11

Two years ago I mentioned that Apple would eventually merge the product lines and OS X and iOS would soon become one (Q2 2015). I was also told I was crazy... Fast-forward to present day, and what we have is a writer for MacLife stating the same (but now obvious and pedestrian) outlook and prediction and claiming to be all-knowing and future-minded. What's worse is everyone seems to think its not such a crazy idea anymore...

I just can't wait until I'm vilified for my next prediction...

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Bownse

I'll stick with laptops and desktops that aren't built to be completely disposable and unserviceable.

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Frnc11

You, my friend, will then be out of luck in the coming years. Your arrogance will soon bite you in the rear. Isn't it obvious that devices are becoming more and more disposable, as Moore's law keeps charging forward? Think about it... when was the last time you purchased a product, damaged it in a serious fashion, and then took it to the retailer or service location and had them tell you anything other than "It will cost you less to just buy a new one..."?

The future is now... learn to embrace it.

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Mac Newbee

Ditto to you. I would add that in 4 years keyboards will be obsolete, as Apple is leading the way with Voice. I want a new Retina Pro not because I need the Horsepower but the display, cool look, and speed stir your emotions.

What I really want now is an IPad Pro. 15 inch display, quad core, 512 gb flash, wireless key board, etc. A machine that would.probably weigh 3 to 4 pounds and no built in kick stand. Also, what I don't get is why Apple, Parallels, or VM have not created a means of running IOS along Side of OS X. I would think this is possible now, until there is there is a merged OS. There are IOS apps I would love use on my Macs.

For those of you who are stuck in the PC (Mac or Windows) era, where the post PC era is going is likely to be your phone or IPad will be all you need along side your 40 inch or larger Apple Retina display and no mouse or keyboard.

Typed and dictated to my IPad early 2012.

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LeCarcajou

Your opinion can be what it may, but I do believe your MacBook Air has been "through the wringer" and not "through the ringer," as it reads at the beginning of paragraph seven. ;-)

Never trust a spell check.

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Michael Simon

Absolutely correct. Fixed.

Thanks.

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Geoduck

I agree completely.

Years ago I always got a big desktop PowerMac because I needed the horsepower to do what I wanted to do. Laptops were fine but too underpowered to do "real work".

Now all I own is laptops and they are a quantum level more powerful than even my last desktop PC (1.25Ghz G4 PowerMac tower). Actually that's not quite true. I do have one iPad. It's fine but it's too underpowered to do "real work".

See where I'm going here?

Friday I ordered a new MacBook Pro and I also would not be surprised if it is the last "Mac" I ever buy. My plan is to keep it for at least 6 and possibly 8 years. By then tablets will be commonplace and vastly more powerful. There are already third party "docks" that add a real keyboard and ports making them into the equivalent of a laptop with a touch screen.

In 6, 7, or 8 years who knows what personal computers will look like. My guess, though is that they won't look or work like any "Mac" made today.

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Michael Simon

Couldn't have said it better myself...

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Michael Simon

Couldn't have said it better myself...

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yspopowich

My only comment would be, did Macbook Airs have backlit keyboards four years ago? I'm pretty certain they didnt, nor have they been around for four years? Otherwise a nice article...

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Michael Simon

It did indeed. For some reason, Apple took it away with the 2010 model but brought it back last year.

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chicks05

Dollar says he buys another one before the iPad/Tablet market reaches that true usability tipping point.

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Michael Simon

You're on!

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jsnowbordr47

I agree, not so much for me, but for 90-95% of users out there.

Devices like the iPad/tablets will never be all that great for content creation that requires pixel/pica perfect precision because the finger is not a precision tool for that level of detail.

Therefore, as a designer, I don't see myself ditching my Mac Pro/Macbook Pro with Adobe Creative Suite xx anytime soon for my iPad 2 with Adobe CS iPad Edition (if there ever is one). And I'd guess the same for video editors. And to some extent Illustrators (mainly those that specialize in vector rather than hand) The only thing I could kinda see working on iPad is webcoding. However, the assets will still probably still need to be created on a MBP or desktop.

That's one thing I'm liking about Windows 8, you have the option. And a mouse plays friendly with it. If there was a way that developers for iOS could give support for the Magic Mouse in their apps it could change the game.

As for me, I find myself using my MBP and Mac Pro mostly for design work and downloading. Everything else (browsing, videos, etc) is usually done on my iPad. The stuff I download on my desktop/laptop is usually transferred to the iPad or streamed to Apple TV.

For 90%-95% of people, the iPad is all they need.

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Michael Simon

Right on. The iPad in its current form doesn't cut it. But in five years...

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Engelsstaub

The title of the article clearly indicates that this is op-ed. I'm not sure why people are getting offended by your opinions or expecting some journalistic standard of "reporting."

...anyway. Good read.

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DJR12

On a more civil note...

I don't think I'll be abandoning the iMac (or similar product) anytime soon, because of one simple combination: a giant screen, and a keyboard that's easy to type on. I have iPhone and iPad and love both, but for work, for typing e-mails, heck, even for typing texts now that Messages beta has come along, the desktop computer is superior. More power to anyone who can go completely portable, but now that I've worked on the glory that is the 27" iMac's screen, confining myself to 10" or even 15" feels claustrophobic.

Now, if Apple finds a way to build in a projector into a retina display iPad and somehow make the keyboard more useable... perhaps I'll eat my words.

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Michael Simon

I hear ya. I understand the comfort of a large screen, and I'm not saying Apple's going to abandon that in favor of 11 inches or less. Airplay's not going anywhere.

I just don't think I'm going to need (or want) to buy a Mac in five years.

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Cody Horner

Dude, you're a tool. I registered just to tell you this. Stop spreading this ridiculous crap about a topic you clearly have no clue about.

Anyone who states they 'foolishly used a Thinkpad' is hard to take seriously in the first place. Do me and everyone else in the world a favour and stick to actual reportable news. 'Apple' has specifically stated that they clearly understand each device has a single purpose and main strength, and that for the foreseeable future there will be separate distinctive devices. Why do you think Windows 8 is a joke?

Have fun typing articles on an iPad. Maybe you can bring it to work, and sit the nice 9-11" screen at your desk for 7-8 hour stretches?

Don't be a tool buddy. I hate when sites are stupid enough to publish this garbage for a read.

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sportmac

cody. dude. take a day off. put your feet up. it'll do you good.

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Redhead95

This was a piece of opinion, and I though that was communicated pretty clearly by the piece. Some people really don't like PCs, and are incredibly happy with their macs, while other just like to poke fun a PCs (which I think seems most likely, as this is a mac tech blog). Personally, I think I would continue to buy a laptop form, but he may prefer an iPad. Besides, journalists aren't confined strictly to desks the way a designer or engineer might be. Sometimes, he may need to work on the go, where an iPad excels. (and no one should work 7-8 hours straight. it's unhealthy and unproductive)

In addition, for you, a Thinkpad may be a great computer. I wouldn't be so great for me, as it doesn't fit my needs. It doesn't run Mac OS X (without a lot of tinkering), creating a learning curve and a pile of money that I would need to work through in order to get back to a similar efficiency. Also, it would disappoint me, as it would lack some of the polish I'm used to in laptops, and I don't know how it would hold up with games that I like to play. Then I have to retrain myself to be super paranoid about security/compromise my productivity with antivirus. Not to mention the headache of making sure that all my files transfer over and are in the correct format.

Also, He's talking less about one device to rule them all, and more one platform/OS to rule them all. Apple will still continue to make devices for different purposes, but united by a single platform.

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Michael Simon

Figured people would disagree with me. That's why it's an opinion piece.

Not sure what I'm spreading or what makes me a tool, though. I write articles on the iPad all the time--kinda what inspired this piece.

(And the ThinkPad crack was a joke; so was the Windows 8 one. Sheesh.)

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scottrey

Michael, first thanks for the article. I love all my apple products but like you and I would think most here I do not just jump on the next new thing. Typically wait and plan.
Lastly, do not let trolls like Cody bother you, any post that starts with "I registered just to tell..." immediately screams that this is not a well thought out post.

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WilliamP

After reading your article and the comments, I, too, felt compelled to register and say: thanks! I am new to Apple products (this original iPad is my first). I found the more I typed on this iPad, the more "natural" it felt. I now prefer the iPad's virtual keyboard to my old laptop's physical keyboard for writing.

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Nicholas Fisher

I, for one, liked the article :)

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Michael Simon

Thanks. Glad you liked it.

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