Well now what? (My new laptop)

MacBook ProWe have a handful of computers in our house. My Desktop, my wife’s Desktop, our media/backup server, and a netbook. The netbook’s job was relatively simple. It lived in the back room of our house hooked up to a couple of things: Our rarely-used printer/scanner, and my MakerBot 3D printer. Over the past few months I had contemplated getting a replacement for the netbook.

The Netbook was running on OS X, my Operating System of choice. If it’s not obvious to you, Apple doesn’t make netbooks, and OS X wasn’t designed to run on that machine. It’s a Hackintosh, and as such tends to have a handful of problems. I can’t update the OS without some significant work. On top of that the Atom processor is great for web surfing, but lousy for heavy-duty processing that my MakerBot wants (at least if I want to spend less than 10 minutes slicing models)

So after some saving, some well-timed windfalls, and some planning I was set on getting a new Apple laptop. I knew it’d be more expensive (by a long shot) than any other x86 machine, but as I said before: I prefer OS X. I was going to go with a MacBook Air. A compact secondary portable that I wouldn’t use too often and would live in the back room doing the things that the netbook does now.

After perusing what was available from Apple several times, I was having a hard time choosing. The MacBook Airs were nice. I liked the size of the 11″, but not the speed. The 13″ was nice, bigger than I wanted though, and much more expensive. Hykel (My wife) went to the Apple store with me one evening and thoughtfully steered me toward the MacBook Pros.  She pointed out to me I was headed back to school and that it would be helpful.

This computer was turning into more than just a secondary portable machine. A compromise of size, price, and functionality I went with a MacBook Pro 13″. Apple just barely released these computers. Seriously. This machine was announced on the 24th of February. I bought mine on March 17th. That’s a record for me, save except I think for the first mac I purchased on my own: My Sawtooth G4 tower, which I think I bought within a few days of announcement.

So I’ve had my MacBook Pro for a few weeks. I’ve found that I’ve been using my iMac less and less. With the exception of the graphics chipset (and the screen size) my MacBook outpaces my iMac in every way (lower clock speed but compensated for by a better bus, and higher efficiency). While I can’t do anything about the graphics (a paltry Intel integrated 3000 chipset) getting a 24″ monitor is simple: $200, I could step up to a 27″ monitor for about $300. My MBP doesn’t have the 640GB that my desktop does, but do I really need that space anyway? I can put any media on our NAS. Do I need heavy duty graphics processing? Not really, the heaviest thing I do is Starcraft II… and that should play back decently on the MBP’s Intel 3000.

The point of all this is that I never thought I’d be in a position where I’d want to get rid of a computer that I didn’t consider obsolete. Here I am wondering if I’m ready to ditch my much-loved iMac.

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