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New MacBook: Upgrade From The iPad?

June 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

I finally had a chance to use a MacBook at the local Apple Store. I’ve been wanting to try it and the Apple Store gives me a good opportunity to check it out without being pushed into buying one.

I had read the comments and reviews from Jason Snell for Macworld, Ars Technica, and this review from Marco Armet (spoiler alert: Marco really hated the MacBook), but I wanted to check it out for myself to see if it was as good as I thought it might be or as bad as Marco says it is.

To my surprise it isn’t slow, in spite of its supposedly slow processor. It is quite quick, though I didn’t do anything more stressful than surfing the web and write with it. The screen is beautiful, which in itself is reason to seriously consider it. To my eyes, it’s the best of the retina screen Macs. That’s saying something.

However… that keyboard! I like the big keys, and the fact that it is full sized. There is very little travel, though, and that bugs me. I suppose I could get used to it, but it reminds me very much of typing on an iPad. I got used to it, but I can’t say I like it. I guess I was spoiled typing on those Apple Extended Keyboards. Everything else feels inferior to me.

That got me to thinking about the MacBook in a different way. Is the MacBook a the upgrade from an iPad? One thing that stuck me watching the March keynote is the way the MacBook looks very much like an iPad. The back of it certainly does, and from a distance it looks like an iPad with a keyboard. There are other little touches here and there that subtly remind me of an iPad Air. Plus… colors! It’s all very iPad like. Seeing one up close only reinforces that feeling.

Perhaps Apple has determined that the iPad isn’t the productivity machine it’s made out to be. In other words, maybe this is supposed to be the upgrade from the iPad for those iOS users who need more. I tried to love the iPad as a productivity tool, but I just couldn’t do it. Even with a bluetooth keyboard it wasn’t for me. I know some of you feel differently and have made the iPad work for you. Not me, sadly.

I suppose at some point I will own a MacBook since I am a fan of small and light computers. I’m typing this on a MacBook Air, a machine I’m quite happy to own. The single port won’t bother me, but right now the price does. Maybe in a year or two it will get cheaper. The keyboard might be a deal breaker, but I’d have to really use one for a while to figure it out.

What do you think? Is this a computer that could appeal to a writer? Or is the MacBook a tool for the fashion conscious CEO?

Please leave a comment and let me know.

 

Tags: Dave

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