Happy Anniversary to my MacBook Pro! Four years ago I made the switch from Windows to Mac with the support of Wonder of Tech readers and the nudging of my oldest daughter. In August 2011 I asked Wonder of Tech readers PC or Mac? and the issue was hotly debated in the comments and in the article’s poll. But the majority of commenters were passionately in favor of me switching to Mac.
Because Wonder of Tech readers are the smartest people on the Internet (true), I accepted the advice I was given. I took the plunge and bought a 17-inch MacBook Pro I named The Beast. Even though I bought The Beast in August of 2012, it’s actually a late 2011 model MacBook Pro, now five years old.
I’m writing this article on The Beast, as I’ve written nearly every Wonder of Tech article since I got my first (and only) Mac.
As a fan of tech and a self-described polygadgetist, I should want the latest and greatest tech, right? But I have absolutely no desire to replace The Beast. In fact, I will be in mourning the day I have to get a new computer.
Why I Don’t Want to Replace the Beast
1. The Beast works just fine. The Beast doesn’t crash or cause me any problems. The battery doesn’t last long, but I am usually close to a power outlet. I could always replace the battery if I needed to, but I don’t.
2. I’ve upgraded The Beast to just how I want it. I’ve replaced the memory cards so I went from 4GB of memory to 16GB, making The Beast plenty speedy.
[note]Apple states that the maximum memory this model of MacBook Pro can have is 8GB, but I trusted reviewers on Amazon who said they successfully upgraded to 16GB of memory. Fortunately for me, the reviewers were correct. [/note]
I also replaced the 500GB hard drive with a 1TB solid state drive, making The Beast faster and more powerful.
Find out how to replace your hard drive with a solid state drive: Speed Up Your Slow Computer with a Solid State Drive (SSD).
3. Apple doesn’t make a 17 inch laptop any more. The Beast is the last model MacBook with a 17 inch screen. I like my screens big. I have an iPhone 6 Plus. Bigger is better for me.
I keep multiple windows open on my screen, side-by-side, when I work on my articles. Having a big screen makes work easier.
Current MacBook Pro models have a maximum screen size of 15 inches.
4. I’m not a fan of Apple’s current line of laptops, and not only because they only go up to 15 inch screen size.
a. They’re expensive. Apple charges a lot to add memory and storage capacity, much more than you would pay to upgrade these yourself. To get the memory, processor and hard drive comparable to what I have now in a 15 inch MacBook Pro, I would have to pay $2749.
That’s a lot of money, especially for a laptop which is portable and more susceptible to damage. See, How to Protect Your Laptop from Damage and Disaster [Infographic].
b. MacBook Pro models are no longer upgradable after you buy them. Apple now seals their laptops and adheres the parts so they are not easily replaceable. They’re also not easily repairable.
See Cult of Mac, iFixit Teardown Reveals New MacBook Pro Is ‘Least Repairable Laptop’ Yet.
5. I’m not going back to Windows. Yes, I realize I could get a 17-inch Windows laptop and spend less. But I very much enjoy the Mac experience, including the ability to get and respond to text messages and FaceTime calls on my computer.
I have nothing against Windows, I just prefer Mac computers now.
What Aren’t Reasons I’m Staying with The Beast
1. The hassle of setting up a new computer. I used to dread setting up a new computer because the process took so long and was complicated. But that’s not a problem any more for me.
With Time Machine, setting up a new Mac is easy. You can have your new computer download all your files from your old computer.
See, Time Machine: My New Best (Tech) Friend! to learn how Time Machine backs up and restores Mac computers.
I restored The Beast from my Time Machine after I replaced my hard drive with a solid state drive. The process takes hours, but you can do it overnight when you sleep.
2. Lack of Portability. Lugging a 17-inch laptop around can be cumbersome. Having a thin and light laptop would be sublime. But I can’t have it both ways — big screen and small profile. I’m willing to sacrifice lack of portability for extra screen real estate.
3. Lack of a CD player. The Beast has a CD player which new MacBooks don’t have. I can’t honestly say I’d miss having a CD player on my computer. I can’t remember the last time I used the CD player on The Beast.
What Could Go Wrong
I will have to replace The Beast some day. Tech doesn’t last forever, especially laptops which are mobile. My computer will either become obsolete, be damaged or stop working.
I also may some day be lured by a new computer that has compelling features I crave. Next month, new models of MacBook Pro computers may be announced. Who knows? They may be innovative enough to entice me to replace the Beast.
How often do you replace your computer? Have you ever resisted upgrading your tech? Do you have any features that aren’t available on today’s computers?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
* MacBook image (edited) courtesy of Marcin Nowak via Unsplash and Creative Commons
* MacBook Rainbow image courtesy of Wesson Wang via Unsplash and Creative Commons
* MacBook at Night image (edited) courtesy of Jay Wennington via Unsplash and Creative Commons
Voice of America Learning English
If you’d like to learn about tech while learning English, check out my personal technology column at Voice of America Learning English. This week’s article is: Video Calling Services Compared