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My MacBook is dead! Should I keep the Apple ecosystem or move to Windows?

After a long and productive life, my 2010 MacBook has died. It went with me everywhere and did a good job, whether in the context of work or leisure. Despite its age and having never been top of the line even in its time, its Core 2 Duo processor was perfectly suited for all kinds of applications, even image editing tools, and I used it to process thousands of photos on Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

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In 2015 it gained some improvements, increasing the RAM from the original 2GB to 8GB and replacing the 256GB hard drive with a 240GB SSD drive. With these changes, I noticed a performance boost, with applications opening faster and Lightroom handling the 25MB RAW files of my cameras better.

For all the hard work, photo and video editing, since 2015 I count on a 27” iMac and it has been my main computer. But I was never able to get rid of this old white MacBook because it was so useful when travelling or working away from home. A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to turn on the MacBook and… the operating system didn't start up. The disc is dead.

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The question that immediately came to mind was: buying a new disc or a new laptop? Spending money on a 10-year-old computer that I probably won't use for much longer didn't seem like the right decision, because the battery is not what it used to be (although it still easily lasts for 3 hours), the screen shows its age with a low resolution by today's standards and, mainly, because today's cameras produce files that are too heavy for this laptop to handle them easily in Lightroom.

A new laptop then. But… new question:

- MacBook or Windows ?! -

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For many years I used Windows for professional reasons, because of the need to use CAD, project management and calculation software related to my engineering activity. But since I started using OSX on Apple computers, first for leisure purposes (photography, video) and later also for business purposes, I have not been able to go back to Windows. I am told that times have changed and today's Windows is no longer what it used to be, but the memories I have from those days are of constant system crashes, errors, having to restart my computer and losing work done. Not to mention the famous "blue screen of death". And comparing the prices of a Windows-based laptop with an Apple with equivalent features, the former can cost half of the latter. This makes me think…

But as a user of other Apple devices, such as the iMac, the iPhone, and even a small iPad Mini that will soon belong to the kids here at home to watch movies and play games, the decision becomes more difficult. Should I maintain the Apple ecosystem or should I move to Windows?

Admittedly, with Google's offering of services and apps, it's perfectly possible to use different operating systems on different devices and keep everything organized and in sync. But from being possible to being practical goes a huge difference. Thinking about the applications I use most often, many of them daily, I wouldn't want to have to modify my workflow. Contacts, Notes, Tasks, iCloud Drive, bookmarks in Safari browser are just a few. Little things like selecting a text snippet or email address on your phone and immediately pasting it to your computer, or sending files from one device to another via AirDrop, among many other things, are little details I've gotten used to and they make my daily life easier and more productive. Productivity equals time. Everything is possible to buy, but not time.

- Be an Apple device then. But which one? -

I don't want it to replace my desktop computer, that's not the idea. All “hard” work will always be done on the iMac, but during my travels, or a weekend away, or when I work outside home, I must be able to execute basic tasks like:

  • Send and reply to emails;

  • Search online content, whether it's articles on websites or YouTube videos;

  • Communicate through messages with the team I work with;

  • Write articles for publications (by the way, this text is being written on the device I just bought);

  • Edit photos away from home.

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A device that performs these tasks is essential, but given that the size and weight of the old MacBook was something I didn't like very much and prevented me from using it more often, the new device has a priority requirement to be lighter and if possible, smaller.

Options on the table:

  • MacBook Pro

  • MacBook Air

  • iPad Pro

  • iPad Air

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Apple has a very interesting update policy that allows users to always have the latest operating system until hardware capacity no longer allows it. So while the above-listed devices are priced quite differently between the “Air” and “Pro” versions, in the long run, this difference will be blurred because the Pro will have a longer life. The options were therefore reduced to two: Macbook Pro or iPad Pro. As you have already seen from the photos, my choice was the 11-inch iPad Pro 256GB which achieves the perfect balance between portability, features and performance. It's not a laptop, nor is it meant to be, but it perfectly accomplishes my most common tasks away from home and I easily carry it inside my camera bag.

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Was it the right choice? Time will tell. I hope within a few months to be able to give a long-term review of my experience with the iPad Pro, but for the moment I don't regret the decision.

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What about the white 2010 MacBook? I will probably put in a new drive and it will be for the kids to get their first steps on the Internet here at home.

For any questions on this subject, do not hesitate to write in the comments!

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