We love our Macs. We keep them for years beyond what a typical Windows user would keep a PC.
When you buy a new Mac, is it future proof? How long will you keep it?
I ask that question because of Ken Mingis’ article in Computerworld Software. Ken tried out a 17-inch MacBook Pro.
He calls it as close to “future proof” as a computer can get. Is it? Are Macs more future proof than Windows PCs?
Future proof carries more than subtle meanings and may refer to hardware, software, processes, and so on.
Wikipedia defines future proof in a single sentence:
When we buy a Mac do we give consideration to how long it will last? How can we, when the pace of change is so rapid these days?
As an example, for about five or six years now, all of my new Macs received the largest hard drive I could buy at the time, and the most RAM I could afford.
Each version of Mac OS X from Jaguar to Panther to Tiger has actually improved performance on recent machines.
Apple is to be applauded to making each new version of Mac OS X run better on older hardware than older versions of the OS.
Mingis’ ComputerWorld article talks about his love affair with a 15-inch MacBook Pro that he enjoyed so much that he ditched it for the 17-inch model.
Why? It’s so good that he couldn’t wait for the better model. So much for future proofing at the 15-inch MacBook Pro level, huh?
Still, there’s something to be said for waiting for the Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro models. They’re faster but the same price as the older model.
They’re closer to a full 64-bit CPU than the previous Core Duo models, so Mac OS X Leopard should improve performance.
The question is, how future proof are today’s new Intel-based Macs? Our own Jack Miller got nearly four years out of his original 17-inch PowerBook.
Is four years about average for holding on to a Mac? When you’re ready to buy a new Mac, what points do you consider to extend the life expectancy?
The ComputerWorld article spanned four pages and great detail of Mingis’ MacBook Pro purchase. There’s plenty to consider beyond hard drive and RAM.
MacBooks now have options for glossy or matte screens. 200 gigabyte hard drives are available options. RAM goes to 3 gigabytes.
There’s even word that MacBooks Pro models come with 802.11 n wireless cards built in—a standard that isn’t even ratified yet. How’s that for future proof?
The Mac notebook line remains modestly refined (meaning: not many major changes) over the past four years. At barely an inch thick and embedded in luxurious alumnium frame, it’s a work of art.
What of next year? Can Apple top the MacBook Pro with something sleeker, cooler, faster, more sturdy? If so, how future proof is today’s model?
The discussion questions are simple? How long do you hold on to a new Mac before buying a new one? What do you do to your new Mac to make it future proof?