Note: The following article appeared fist in the February issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.
I got myself a great gift last Christmas - a brand new Macbook Pro 13" with Retina display. It replaced my Mac Mini as the main home & office PC now. I use it whenever something needs to be done on "a real computer". As it is turned on all the time, I can always connect my iPad to it with LogMeIn. This Macbook is perhaps the last computer I'll ever buy. Here's why:
Yearly upgrade cycles of my iOS devices
I upgrade my iPad and iPhone every year. I don't upgrade my PCs so often though. My Mac Mini was 2.5 years old when I swapped it with the new MacBook. And I didn't do that because it was too slow or too old or anything like that (i5 processor, 8GB RAM, fusion hard drive etc.). I simply realized I needed a laptop as my home & office PC because sometimes I have to work in another room and I couldn't move my Mac Mini back and forth easily.
Built for the next 4-5 years
Obviously my new Macbook Pro is equipped with a Thuderbolt 2 port and Retina display which should be enough of enhancement for the next few years. If I ever wish to exchange my external Thundebolt Display with a 4K screen, I will be able to do just that. First I'll let Apple finally start selling a screen like that.
I assume that as my Mini served me perfectly for 2.5 years, I'll surely be using my new laptop for 4-5 years or even longer.
iPad is only 4 years old... seriously.
Yes, iPads are only 4 years old. iPhone is 7. Who knows what iPads and iPhones will look like in 4 or 5 years. I am doing the majority of my work on iPad now and eagerly upgrade it every year as it gets faster, lighter and better every year. This has a positive impact on my productivity and motivation to get things done.
I am so much into iPad now that when it comes to a task that is only doable on a PC, I am working as fast as it is possible in order to switch to the iPad again. I enjoy performing my everyday duties on my iPad a lot more. It's just more fun. I have all the apps tailor-made to make my job easier. It just feels easier and more comfortable to work on my iPad than on my Mac.
Moreover, I can always have my iPad or iPhone with me. I start my day with working on the iPad in the morning. I finish every day with the iPad as well. I usually carry it with me when I leave home as it is light, handy and absolutely customized to my needs and habits.
Dominik Lada, the Editor in Chief of iMagazine, wrote about it on the magazine's blog. He noticed that iPad became his "management center" and while his several-year-old computer is still powerful enough to do what it is supposed to do, he really loves to change his iPad every year.
Computers have been powerful enough for a long time
The Mac Mini I swapped to Macbook Pro was still a really good computer. The Macbook is even more powerful and it will remain so for a few more years. The interesting thing is that according to the benchmarks the new A7 processor in my iPad is equally fast as the first Macbook Air 11" from the year 2010. It is very much possible that my iPad will be even more powerful than my new laptop within the next 4-5 years. The only difference between the two machines will be the operating system: iOS vs Mac OSX. Frankly speaking though we can't be sure what (and if) that will be the case in the future. Who knows...
Computer is an investment, iPad is not... or is it?
A brand new, fully equipped Macbook Pro can cost you between $2,000-$3,000. A new iPad is something like $500-$900 depending on your configuration. Also, if you upgrade your iOS device every year you can sell the "old" one and still earn a decent amount of money so that the swap costs you something like $300 after all. My iPad and iPhone earn that $300 over this one year of intensive, efficient, productive and profitable work that I do thanks to them. By a large margin. I hope that after several years my Macbook Pro will have earned for itself, too :)
It is amazing that products that have been on sale for such a short period of time (iPad - 4 years, iPhone - 7 years) drastically changed the way I work and turned the whole computer world upside down. Although I can hardly believe it, this is true. As I've already written many times over I carry two computers with me - my iPhone and iPad. These two machines are crucial for my everyday work. My new, super-duper, shiny Macbook Pro is just an additional IT unit in my home office. It is all spic-and-span and cost a lot of money... and I guess it is the last PC I have ever bought.
Question: What's the last PC you bought? When are you going to upgrade it, if ever?