Last week saw the launch of the refreshed 2014 Apple MacBook Pro, and I ordered one on the day of release. As luck would have it I happened to be working in a state with a nice low sales tax, so I figured I could save some money too.
Specifically, I ordered the MacBook Pro 2.8GHz with 8Gb of RAM and 512Gb of HD space. This is a bump over my 2012 MacBook Air of 1GHz of processor speed, twice the RAM and twice the HD space.
Back in 2012 when I ordered my first Mac computer I opted for the Air simply because I travel a lot with work, and was looking for lightweight. Back then the MacBook Pro contained an optical drive and a mechanical hard drive, making for a heavier and arguably more delicate machine. This, as well as the price, was the ultimate reason for the choice of the Air.
Fast forward two years and I am now a total Apple convert. I now have my MacBook Air, an iPad Air, four Apple TVs (one for each TV!), and the iPhone 5S. Apple really have won me over, big time.
The new MacBook Pro has thus far proven to be an excellent investment. First off the Retina display is like going from DVD to Blu-Ray. Everything is just smoother, faster, and more beautiful looking. It really cannot be underestimated how gorgeous the display is. Rich vibrant colors. No pixelation. Just beautiful. Some reviewers whine about refections from the glossy display. Not an issue unless you sit with a ton of light behind you when working (and why would you do that?).
Migration from the old Mac was perhaps one of the easiest I have ever encountered in the 32 years I've been using computers. It was hampered by the fact that I am beta testing OS X Yosemite on the old Air, unfortunately making some of the migration tools throw a hissy fit due to backwards compatibility issues. Had I been doing a more traditional upgrade from OS X to same OS X or newer, then the transfer would have been way easier.
Even with this little wrench in the works, the migration was still super easier. I purchased a 3Tb external USB 3.0 HD for $129 (amazing how cheap those are now), and did the Time Machine back up.
From there I had to manually transfer folders over to get around the OS X incompatibility. Many of the smaller apps just copied over. I had to download the re-install Office, because it's not like Microsoft to make it easy to migrate anything ever.
Adobe were their typical evil money grabbing bastards. I ran into issues downloading Dreamweaver CS6, when parts of their web site that happened not to be trying to sell me their stupid rip off subscription service mysteriously malfunctioned and then pointed me back to ads for their new products rather than allowing me to download software I already owned.
Adobe further annoyed me by ignoring my request for customer assistance via email. Even when I did finally find part of their web site not returning error messages, and re-download my software it insisted that I track down my serial number for my older CS5.5 version, enter that, and then put in the serial for CS6. I only purchased an upgrade last time, so they had to waste some of my time as punishment for not emptying my bank account in their general direction.
In fact, truth be told, installing three pieces of Adobe software was actually the most time consuming of all, even Microsoft beat them out. Not because it was hard to do, but because Adobe was doing all they could to persuade me to ditch the software I have paid for in favor of simply sending them $30 every month FOREVER!
I have to say, I think this software subscription concept is bullshit. I use Dreamweaver a handful of times a month for a few minutes; yet I am expected to pay $20 a month for it? And if I refuse, I get stuck with old software that won't ever be updated? Nice blackmail Adobe.
In fact if I bought into this whole subscription model nonsense it would cost me $30 a month for my Adobe products, another $10 for Microsoft. So now I'm giving away $1440 every three years for the basic productivity tools I want, along with paying for a bundle of software I would absolutely never use. Oh and Microsoft have not even bothered to update the Mac Office software since the 2011 release. So much for the promise the subscription model has of always giving me access to the latest software.
The standout was Parallels 9. I have some work software that will only run on a PC, so I run Windows 7 along with a couple of applications. I remember it being a hassle to install originally, because I had to buy a DVD player since Microsoft insist on using old school optical discs. After installing Windows, I had to configure it and install two applications and configure them. It took a while to get it all working right, and I was dreading doing all that again.
Parallels saved me from all that work, it simply grabbed the Parallels datafile off my back up, wiggled around a bit, and before you know it, a fully working clone of my old machine. Just incredible. Windows 7 and the software I need for work runs fast and flawlessly.
In conclusion, I'm very pleased with the MacBook Pro with Retina display. Just an outstanding machine, and weighing in at just a shade heavier than my old Air it's going to be great for travel, which I spend a lot of my life doing.
Apple have made it child's play to migrate a machine, and within a few hours I was reunited with all my apps and data, working just fine. I've never had such a stress free experience with a PC ever.
Really my only beef is with Adobe being dicks about their software, which of course has nothing to do with Apple.