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I now find myself in a position I’ve long prepared for but never imagined would ever happen. It’s a day where I promised to be firm and take swift action, yet I’ve done nothing.
Today is the day I’m supposed to update to macOS Sierra, but I can’t. My computer is a top of the line tricked out MacBook Pro in stunning condition…from 2008. So that means for the first time I’m facing an OS upgrade that’s not compatible with my machine. I didn’t need a software update to tell me that in technology terms I’m living in the Stone Age with a machine so prehistoric. I already knew that, but I always figured that as long as I could update the software and keep things mostly current that I’d be okay.
But there’s always been a conversation, one where in a very stern voice I would say to myself “Self? When this wonderful MacBook Pro that has provided you with 8 years of mostly reliable service is no longer compatible with the latest Mac operating system, it is time to say goodbye and buy something new.”
I never had any intention of breaking that promise to myself, but here I sit typing on my iPhone while the white light on my 2008 MacBook Pro pulses as it sleeps the afternoon away. I could use it, but the battery lasts for about a minute and a half before I have to plug in.
And now for the conundrum. Rumors abound that Apple is close to releasing an update to its MacBook Pro line, so buying now would hurt a lot if a newer Mac were to come out before the credit card bill even arrived in the mail. And while it’s logical to say that you can say that about any piece of hardware from Apple and maybe any other company, there’s something bigger at play with this particular MacBook Pro update. The last time the line was updated was in 2012. As crazy as it sounds, it’s been more than 4 years since the last update to the MacBook Pro line. So while going more than 8 years without updating seems crazy in and of itself, Apple not updating its signature mobile computing line for more than 4 years seems especially unforgivable especially when you consider that the previous average span between updates was 334 days. When you look at it in days, it’s almost laughable that the last MacBook Pro update came 1,564 days ago.
At this point it’s lucky any MacBook Pro can run Sierra!
And knowing how my luck works, my purchase and my purchase alone would be the catalyst to cause Apple to update the line. So I’m definitely waiting. While there are features in Sierra that I’m extremely excited about, specifically its ability to unlock the computer via my Apple Watch, that can wait a little while longer.
A friend recently asked me why I always have to buy a MacBook Pro? Why can’t I just choose a different laptop? And it took me back and made me think. I bought my first Mac laptop in the early 2000s and every single one has been from the Pro line. And all were the 15-inch size except for that one time when I was on a real design and photo kick and talked myself into a 17-inch.
But his question is a good one. If my problem is an 8-year-old machine that can’t run Sierra and I want to run Sierra and I need a new machine, well Apple has plenty that should suit my needs. The MacBook Air is a perfectly fine machine. The 12” MacBook is thin and beautiful. And either one of those will end up costing me less than a Pro because every Pro I have ever bought has been tricked out with the top of the line chip and graphics card and maxed out on RAM.
Maybe it’s the principal of the whole thing. The MacBook Pro has always been a fast machine made for creative professionals, and that’s a name that best describes me. You always hear people say that the Air is a fine machine “for people who use it mostly for email and word processing.” True or not, that drives me crazy. Plus, the chip in the Air always seems so far behind the other chips. I realize much of that has to do with processing power for the size of the machine, but somehow using a chip clocked at 1.8 GHZ vs. a chip clocked at 3 and paying only a few hundred dollars less, seems wrong. And let us not forget that for all the coolness the Air offers in such a light package, it still has a non-Retina display. That’s like listening to music on cassettes — some people do it but deep down they know there are better experiences to be had.
Then there are the newer 12” MacBooks. These are beautiful thin machines that would be a pleasure to carry around, especially compared to that 17″ I used to lug everywhere. But these processors are theoretically slower than the ones in the Air.
The 12” MacBooks also use USB-C, which is a new standard that means “one port does everything.” It’s awesome in theory but requires adapters for connections like Lightning and Thunderbolt. It’s not impossible to get used to and some day we might not have a choice, but for now I feel like after all this time that I’ve spent waiting that I am meant to own one of these fancy new Pros.
And if Apple hasn’t updated in 1,500+ days, just imagine how powerful this update is going to feel. Heck, what is my update going to feel like? My machine came out long before the first solid-state drives were even available. My hard drive still spins up and whirls and the fans go crazy when I use it for more than about 5 minutes. And a Retina display? The only Retina display I’ve ever used is on the demo models at the Apple Store.
As you can probably tell from my articles here, I’m very technology-oriented. I proudly wear my Apple Watch and love my iPhone. I have an iPad. I also have an original FireWire iPod that’s in beautiful condition. To me it just makes sense that my MacBook Pro is the best it can be for the work that I do. And I’m telling you the first time my Apple Watch unlocks my Mac when I walk by it, I’m going to tear up.
Like you, I wonder what to expect from the new line of MacBook Pros. There are all kinds of rumors out there, but with such a gap between the last update I’m taking these rumors with an even bigger grain of salt. Everybody seems to be confident that there will be some sort of strip at the top near the function keys or possibly in place of the function keys that will be digital and programmable. So say you switch from Word to Photoshop, the strip will change function depending on the program and you’ll be able to program the strip yourself for shortcuts. To someone like me, that seems like light years ahead of what I have now.
So my recommendation is to wait patiently if you’re in the market for a laptop because there’s going to be a new and improved MacBook Pro any day now.
Do you plan to buy a new MacBook Pro when it comes out? Or are you happy with what you have now? Let us know in the comments below.