I have always been pretty computer agnostic. From my childhood, I remember playing with both the Commodore 64 and the Apple IIe. I helped set up early Macintoshes for my school library, but I also was just as comfortable setting up Windows boxes for my school computer lab. I eventually settled on Windows for my personal computing environment for several years…that is until 2009. I began working for a company that was mainly Windows, but my department was all Mac. To ease the strain of making everything talk, I broke down and bough a Macbook Pro so I could share resources with the company and edit video on the road using the same codecs and programs that were used at work.
Fast forward to Final Cut Gate as I call it. Apple introduced Final Cut Pro X. This is fine except it didn’t have all the capabilities of the previous version needed for many people editing. When introduced it worked well as a one user platform. The obvious choice (since my workplace had a mix of Final Cut 6 and Final Cut 7 computers was to upgrade everyone to 7 and wait until X became more mature. Upon the introduction of X, Apple ceased selling 7 licenses causing our team to drop Final Cut all together and go with Adobe Premiere Pro. We were not alone in this and I believe Adobe owes Apple a thank you for forcing so many creative to actually notice the capabilities of Premiere.
Meanwhile on my Macbook, everything was fine and I switched to Adobe Premiere as well. Adobe also introduced Audition for Mac, so everything was great… until a few weeks ago.
My Macbook has started to lock up for 15 minutes at a time, and while editing on Premiere, the audio suddenly sounds like I’m fast forwarding all the time. Only a restart will fix the issue for a little bit, but then it starts again. A complete wipe of the system and a new SSD install didn’t fix the issues either. So now its time to get a new laptop.
Now I’m used to a terabyte capacity system drive and a terabyte capacity secondary drive in place of the optical drive in my Macbook. I use the secondary drive as an edit drive and also run a Windows partition on it for programs I can’t find for Mac. When searching for new Macbooks, I find that the new Pro line uses an MSATA SSD and not the conventional 2.5” form factor. The new Macbook Pros also “boast” no space for a secondary drive. You have to lug around an external drive if you want more space…how is that progress? I didn’t even mention the part where Apple now solders in the RAM so you can’t upgrade or replace it later!
So the current crop of Macbook Pros do not have enough internal storage space for my needs, and even maxed out at 1TB of internal storage, the price is $3100 for comparable specs to my current Macbook Pro. This leaves me with the option of of getting a refurb 2012 Macbook Pro (the last year they had space for 2 internal drives) , but that will cost almost $3000 as well…for old technology!!!!!!!!!
Now stepping back from the situation, we are in a slightly different world than 2009. I can now get the ProRes codec for Windows to support any legacy projects I may have, and Adobe Creative Cloud runs just as well on Windows as it does on Mac. I have a greater selection of programs to choose from as well… from Software Defined Radio (not available on Mac) for my ham radio interests, to Sony Vegas (an old favorite not available on Mac either), to any number of utilities and apps that will do anything I could imagine. The Mac ecosystem seems to have priced itself and feature limited itself out of my ability to use it any more (I still like my iPhone, but thank goodness I can sync that with a PC). In my view, Apple is sacrificing usability and functionality for the “illusion” of portability.
Companies like Dell are coming out with laptops that beat the specs of the Macbook Pro line while coming in at a much reduced cost. For those of us that have invested in Thunderbolt peripherals, Dell is also embracing Thunderbolt ports while Apple just does not include it in the regular Macbook line. Many question if the next generation of Macbook Pro will even support Thunderbolt? Apple has a history of introducing products that work for enterprise level businesses, and then just dropping them (leaving companies and individuals with very expensive paperweights).
For now I can get a Dell (like the M3800) that kicks the pants off of the specs of a current Macbook Pro, has space for both an internal 2.5” drive and a 1TB MSATA SSD…and it gives me a 4K Touchscreen! The best part is that this computer is almost half the cost of a Macbook Pro with fewer ports and slower specs. Gone are the days of needing a Mac to be creative. Some motion pictures are edited on Windows these days. Dell, ASUS, and other PC manufacturers all have a number of very capable multimedia laptops and desktops.
$1600 vs $3100 and the $1600 gives me more ports, more storage space, a higher resolution display, a sleeker body, and a touchscreen. I guess the decision has already been made for me.