Tag Archives: iMac

I Need a New Mac and Apple Doesn’t Want to Sell Me One

My MacBook Pro is over 7 years old now. I’m a software engineer, and I like to do my own design work for small projects. I’m also a fan of photography, and need a machine powerful enough to process large images. I even occasionally make and edit videos. Basically, I desperately need a new, far more powerful, computer. Through upgrades, my 7 year old machine has gotten upgraded memory and a solid state drive, which is why it’s been able to stay relevant for so long. But now it’s too old to keep up, the processor has been pushed to its limits, and even with more memory and a faster drive, it’s finally starting to feel sluggish. Software demands have finally outpaced what I was able to do for this plucky little machine. What do I replace it with? What could last me 5-6 years and provide the power I need? Can it also be portable?

No, not if I want to buy any of Apple’s disappointing computers.

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Pro iMac Coming Soon, Won’t be a Touchscreen iMac with Apple Pencil Support.

Apple should make a touchscreen iMac and a professional display with Apple Pencil support, that’s a fact. The demand for such products is high, with most design professionals purchasing Wacom tablets and displays to use with their Macs, making the iMac obsolete for designers. If Apple’s iMac came with Apple Pencil support, the computer could take on not only Wacom, but Microsoft’s Surface Studio as well. Apple’s also working on an in-house professional display for their Mac Pro and other Mac computers. This display would be a perfect candidate for Apple Pencil support, which would give serious design and video professionals the touchscreen precision that is currently only found on Apple’s iPad Pro tablets. But, just as Apple has resisted creating any truly professional hardware until the outcry became deafening, so too have they ignored requests for precision and design focused hardware. There is some good news though. While we’ll have to wait at least a year for the new Mac Pro, we won’t have to wait as long for a professional focused iMac, even if it won’t be exactly what we’re clamoring for. Apple has pledged to release an iMac made for professionals, and we can likely expect it by the end of the year. 
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Apple CEO Says New Mac Desktops on the Way

Seven years is a long time in tech, but my MacBook Pro will soon be 7 years old. It’s not too bad, thanks to some RAM upgrades and a solid state drive, but it’s certainly nowhere near the performance of even Apple’s low-end MacBook Pros. I had been considering getting a new one in 2017, maybe in 2018, if I can’t budget it this coming year. However, while the new MacBook Pro has a surprisingly delightful keyboard and the Touch Bar is a fun toy, the new MacBook Pro just isn’t for me. It can’t be upgraded or serviced and I don’t have a single USB-C item. Instead, I have items that use USB-A, Firewire 800, SD cards, Ethernet ports, Display Ports, and surely more. If I got a portable computer, I’d want it to be actually portable, not require a few dongles just to hook up to my iPhone on the train, my camera in the park, or my monitor at work. I don’t want to need a dongle or two just to connect a mouse and keyboard, for crying out loud. So, I began thinking about my needs. The iPad supports RAW photos now, so I can use that in the field for photography. I can manage emails, Jenkins servers, review GitHub, and even SSH from my iPad, so I can do some work. Perhaps what I need is a desktop.

But looking at desktop Mac computers is also a disappointing journey. 

Right now, the “best” Mac would likely be the 5k iMac. That computer, however, is already over a year old. The usual Mac powerhouse, the Mac Pro, is over 1,000 days old. The inexpensive Mac Mini? Almost 800 days old. These are devices that should be updated yearly, if not twice a year, but here they are, gathering dust on Apple’s shelves. 

As a Mac fan, I was beginning to lose hope. Would Apple never again make a computer that’s for me? Maybe you’ve been worried about the same thing. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, may be able to put those fears to rest. 
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Microsoft is Kicking Apple’s Ass

Surface Studio, SurfaceBook, and Surface

By the end of Apple’s MacBook Pro event, Apple had left me feeling disappointed. It’s not that the MacBook Pro isn’t an amazing computer, it’s arguably the best all-around notebook on the market, it’s that the MacBook Pro could have been so much more. It could have been Apple’s vision for the future of computing. Part of the reason I expected this is because Apple usually one-ups anything Microsoft does, and Microsoft is bringing it. Seriously, at Microsoft’s event just prior to Apple’s, Microsoft revealed everything that the iMac or MacBook Pro should be with the Surface Studio. The Surface Studio is an all-in-one desktop computer with a touch screen and Microsoft stylus support. Rather than just tilting up or down, the screen pulls forward toward the user, allowing it to be used almost like a tablet or drawing table. It’s a thing of beauty, and it’s something I had hoped Apple would do ever since I saw the articulating screen of the iMac G4, which would have been perfect for use with a touchscreen or stylus. However, since then, Apple’s iMacs have gotten more rigid, and Apple has sworn off touchscreen Macs, even as their Apple Pencil suggests it would be exactly what professionals want, and their users demand it. As an occasional photographer, I’d love to get my hands on a touchscreen Mac with Apple Pencil support. My iPad Pro can’t do professional level photo editing, and it’s a little awkward on my MacBook Pro, but Apple outright refuses to give users like me a viable solution, forcing me to consider expensive solutions from third parties like Wacom. Meanwhile, Microsoft is listening to creative professionals and looking to the future of what computing can be. 

Microsoft is innovating and listening to professionals while Apple is sticking to the basics. Am I in the Twilight Zone? I keep expecting Tim Cook to come out on stage with a pig face
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