Cloudy Sky Forecast for the Mac
The current lineup of Mac hardware is in a weird spot. While the hardware used to get revisions on a yearly basis, all of the machines in the lineup save for the controversial one port MacBook are really outdated and overdue for an update.
I’ve found myself in recent weeks having to convince people that they shouldn’t buy a Mac, which isn’t really something that feels good to do as someone who believes Macs are much better machines than the competition, but is still the right thing to do.
It’s a widely held belief that Macs are overpriced, but I think anyone who has given both PCs and Macs a fair shot can attest to the fact that you get something for the premium that PC manufacturers simply aren’t interested in offering. While the Macs in the lineup still have all the flourishes that makes them premium priced products, it’s the basics where the current Mac lineup falls flat, with many of the processors and graphics cards woefully out of date compared to the rest of the market.
Even as someone who has used Macs for most of my life, I have a harder time justifying the premium on Macs simply because more and more of my computing time is spent on the iPad. I bought a new MacBook Pro last year because the MacBook Air I was using was starting to struggle with iOS development tools, but now that I have a Real Day Job, I rarely ever need the horsepower of a Real Computer at home and vastly prefer the iPad for most computing tasks. Last week’s episode of Limitless Possibility was also fully edited on the iPad, and thanks to recent advancements in the audio editor I use, editing took about the same amount of time as it does on the Mac with results indistinguishable from a regular episode. The amount of times I need to resort to using a Real Computer every week are so limited that I have pretty good confidence I could get by fine even without a Real Computer altogether. My MacBook Pro is really just a safety net and iTunes management box at this point, and while it’s a damn great one, does a safety net computer really need to cost $2300? It really feels like overkill.
I feel bad for people who rely on Macs and have been waiting for new models for what feels like ages now. It’s inexcusable that the lineup has been stagnant for so long, and I fear that this might become the new normal. I hope to be proven wrong, but who knows how much longer the Mac has before it’s pushed to the side like the iPod was and continues to live on with a mostly static, unattractive lineup for years to come.