Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Praise God: Apple Bestows Its MacBook Pro With A Dazzling Update

At last, cool cats... Papa has been hungry for a new laptop computer. My more-or-less trusty MacBook Pro turned three years old in February—which is essentially, in computer years, the age of your toothless, bald-headed granny. While I had my hard drive replaced in December—two months before my blessed three-year Apple warranty expired—my poor overworked laptop now operates about as fast as a crowd of tourists shuffling through Times Square. That little endlessly spinning icon is seemingly part of every app I open. Sigh.

Monday, I was like a kid checking under the pillow for the Tooth Fairy (again, like your granny) to discover what Apple had in store for the MacBook Pro line with its grandiose announcement of upgrades, new products and the usual blah blah bravado. And like most of the tech world, I am practically starry eyed with the news regarding the MacBook Pro's first major overhaul since 2008.

First, the new gen sports a hi-res "retina" display that actually supersedes the iPad... nice and all, but what matters most to me are 1) Intel’s third-generation Core i-series processor, which adds speed and reduces start-up time and 2) its ultrabook-thin body (0.71 inch thick) and reduced weight (4.46 pounds).

Apple has also finally added an HDMI port, allowing plug-in to external monitors and plasma TVs—which, for some reason, they've always forced on consumers as an add-on extension. The idea of working here in my office and doing my daily duty plugged into a meaningfully large screen brings all the advantages of an old-fashioned mega-display desktop to the laptop realm. Bring it on.

The biggest caveat: Apple has done away with the optical disc drive, meaning that users can no longer slip in a CD or DVD to play or record... The company's take is that it slims down the MacBook like its AirBook. My take: Apple arrogance that we've already entered the post-era of needing physical media. Sadly, my 5,000 CD collection begs to disagree (although, yes, most everything I listen to is on iTunes). Still, I am not amused at the notion of having to purchase an external disc drive to record a CD or download pics onto a DVD.

As usual, you pay for what you get. While one can lap up a PC laptop for under $1,000, really, why would you opt for your great-great-Granny's plodding Window's technology in 2012? I've been a Mac user since1995 and would never consider turning back. The new MacBook starts at $2,199, with an amped processor version for $2,799. Yes, please, to the latter. I will willingly sacrifice Five Guys for the next 27 years to load this baby onto my credit card.

Hope to see you soon with a brand new laptop to type all these damn words with joyous post-millennial abandon. If nothing else, it will be a relief to no longer deal with this damn cracked "C" on my computer keypad. And to get that fucking spinning wheel to take a break for a good long time. *