Tag Archives: apple

MacBook or XPS Linux Ultrabook…looks like a Mac after all

I have had two laptops for most of the twenty years: a personal laptop and a work laptop.  Before I owned my own company that was a question of the company’s I worked for policies.  While I had my own company it was about living by the same rules that applied to everyone else in the company (I’m a big fan of dogfooding anything I do).  Now that I’m on the individual consulting/developer bandwagon I’m in the same boat.  I have a pretty decent System76 Linux laptop that’s a couple years old but pretty bulky.  I have a positively ancient 2011 MacBook Air.  Disk space and speed wise it is fine.  Memory wise at 4 GB it’s starting to get a little cramped if I have too many Google Drive tabs open and the like.  Processor wise though it is a dog.  It’s at the point now where some sites like Facebook and Gmail can take tens of seconds to complete rendering.  At least they allow interactions while they finish parsing their JavaScript etc.

When the MacBook Pros came out it looked like that’d be a great opportunity to switch and while the feature set finally looked reasonable the price point for what I want was artifically high due to selections that I couldn’t get with other configurations.  It’s not that a particular end configuration was expensive compared to a Dell (or System76) but the fact I could get the exact configuration I wanted out of the Linux laptop and not the Apple made the actual price point lower by over $1000.  With the new MacBook Air models that just came out I decided to do my standard configuration.  For this one I’m doing a 13″ to replace my MacBook Air but with the reasonable bump ups to make it last a long time.  After all, I like to keep hardware for awhile so no reason to skimp out to have to replace it yet again in a couple years.

What were the end results?  When I put together the exact configuration I’m looking for in both systems the Mac comes out to $1599 compared to $1659 for the Dell.  That’s pretty astounding to me.  I finally have a Mac option that fits my need at essentially the same price point.  What does that mean?  First, it means that the imminent demise of my antique personal laptop is imminent.  Second, it means that it’s probably getting replaced with another Mac.

Physics Says You Can’t Have Cake and Eat It Too With Laptops

I’m a bit baffled by this Motherboard article on “screwing ourselves” with the pursuit of thinness in laptops.  This is of course coming out of an Apple controversy where some bad software and a lot of tipping the scales in favor of form over function has lead to a haus looking laptop spec turning out some pretty bad real world performance numbers.  As has often been the case, once the initial outrage of some Apple stumble starts growing old people start looking around at other vendors and then the quiet problems of the industry are shown the light of day.  Apple’s MacBook Pro thermal problem is more egregious than others but turns out they all are essentially hobbling performance on their UltraBooks and compact laptop chassis making the list specs nothing real world.  Why are we surprised by this though?

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