Apple Silicone MacBook Pro

November 10, 2020

I have been wanting a new Apple laptop for some time now. My current machine is a 15” Retina MacBook Pro–the Late 2013 model. Apple classifies their hardware as vintage once it has not been sold for 5 years and less than 7 years. Beyond 7 years since sales were discontinued and the product is considered obsolete. This Apple support page explains about Vintage and Obsolete Products.

My MacBook Pro was bought in June 2014, so I’ve had it for 6 years. I don’t know when sales of the Late 2013 model ended. I expect my computer to be considered obsolete sometime in the next 12 months. It’s still a very capable computer. With a 2.3 GHz Quad Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB SSD, it is still respectable. My biggest complaint is the size of the hard drive. The combination of photos, movies, music, and audio books, along with all my other data, overwhelmed the storage capacity several years ago. I’ve offloaded all my movies, music, and audio books to my previous laptop, a 2009 MacBook Pro, and a 1 TB external drive.

When Apple announced that they were making their own CPUs for Mac computers, I couldn’t wait to get one. All summer and fall I’ve been anxiously awaiting the announcement of new Apple Silicone powered laptops. However…

My iPhone is 5 years old. It’s an iPhone 6s Plus bought in November 2015. I want a new phone too. I’ve only got so many dollars to spend on Apple, and getting both a $1000 phone AND what would likely be a $2200-2400 computer in the same year, isn’t fiscally responsible.

After thinking about it for quite a while I decided that I would wait and see how the new Apple laptops performed, how they held up mechanically, and to see if there were any major issues, before getting one for myself.

What I dreamed of getting was a 14” MacBook Pro in the same form-factor as the 13”—much like what happened with the new 16” replacing the 15”. Today’s announcement, while very exciting, doesn’t include that dream machine. They did announce a new M1 powered versions of the MacBook Air, the Mac Mini, and the 13” MacBook Pro.

Both the MacBook Air and the 13” MacBook Pro have up to 16 GB of “integrated memory”. Previously you could get up to 32 GB of RAM. I am curious to see how 16 GB of integrated memory performs compared to 32 GB of plain RAM. Of the three, I think I’d get the Mini first, the Air second, and the MacBook third. The idea of a Mac Mini desktop, with the largest internal SSD possible (2 TB) and a couple always attached external drives, combined with a MacBook Air is very intriguing.

The desktop computer would hold all my media, all my data, everything in one place. The ultra portable MacBook Air would be for times when I was away from my desk. Hmmm…

This year, by delaying the acquisition of a new MacBook Pro, I was able to order an iPhone 12 Pro, which will arrive here on Friday. Not getting a shiny new computer this year, and only getting a shiny new iPhone, is a first world problem that I can live with.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.