This is the longest I’ve had a Mac in probably a decade. My current Mac–an early 2009 17-inch MacBook Pro–has been a workhorse for over three years; I bought it when it debuted. I originally bought a 17-inch model, not because I needed the size but because it because it was the only model I could get with a matte screen, and I really disliked the mirror-like glossy screens Apple had moved to.
For years, I’ve been on a twoish year cycle with Mac laptops, but Apple hadn’t really released anything that felt significantly better than my current one until recently. Sure, they’ve been faster, but also hotter and my MBP has been “fast enough” and stable.
I’ve had that two-year itch for awhile now, and I’ve had my eye on a MacBook Air. And now, with the intro of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, my urge to have a powerhouse is tugging at me. But, uncharacteristically, I’ve decided to wait it out. I’m feeling a small amount of pain now that Mountain Lion is out and my Mac is too old to do Airplay streaming to the Apple TV and can’t do PowerNap; I don’t think I’ve ever held on to a Mac long enough to not be able to use new OS features. But I’m waiting, and here’s what I’m waiting for:
First, now that I’ve had a taste of an iPad with a persistent LTE connection, I want that in my laptop too. Particularly if I went the MBA route, I just want it to always be connected as soon as I open the lid. Yes, I can share the connection from my iPad to my laptop, but I’m spoiled now, and if I had an MBA, I’d probably take either it or the iPad to a meeting or wherever I might think I needed a device. Either way, it has to be connected.
Second, I want SSDs to continue to get bigger and cheaper. One thing I’ve done to expand the life of my 17-incher is replace the DVD drive with an 128 GB SSD that I use as my boot drive; the OS and most home directory-based files that are accessed frequently are there. I also have a 500 GB, 7200 RPM spinning drive for big things like media files and stuff I want to have on me, but access less frequently. I’m hoping that 750 GB isn’t out of reach next year. The SSD is fast, but the system does slow down when the spinning drive has to wake up for an access.
Lastly, I just want the new MacBook Pros to get Retina-ized across the line. The current Retina is beautiful, and is normally the kind of early-adopter bandwagon I’d jump on, but this time I think there might be quite a bit of benefit to waiting out the first revision and push throughout the lineup. Perhaps there’ll even be a Retina Display on the higher-end MBA, making my choice harder again.
It makes me a bit sad to be practical this time around, but I’m hoping it’ll be worth it.