The biggest news of the past week was Apple’s new line of MacBook notebooks. Thinner, faster, lighter, and a new MacBook Pro model with no SuperDrive and a much ballyhooed Retina display. The MacBook Pro with Retina display is a monster. Quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, all flash storage, 5.1-million pixels on the screen. Less than 4.5-pounds and only .71-inch thin (not thick).
It’s easy to see why this MacBook is sold out already, and why everyone who is anyone stands in line to see it at the local Apple Store.
If it’s so great, why do Apple’s so-called pro users hate it?
Again, Apple defies convention. You can’t upgrade the MacBook Pro with Retina display. The Mac’s memory is soldered in. The flash drive has a proprietary connector. The battery is glued in (and a replacement is the most expensive ever).
Clearly, this is one Mac that Apple doesn’t want users to upgrade to a different sized flash drive, or add more RAM, or swap out to a newer battery.
Cry me a river.
There’s been a simple rule of thumb I’ve followed (and I don’t proclaim Mac power user status) for years. Buy as much RAM as you can afford. Buy as large a disk drive as you can afford.
That’s what you should do with the MacBook Pro with Retina display, because once you buy it, you’ll kill yourself trying to add more RAM, or update the flash storage, or monkey around with the battery.
Just like the iPhone and iPad, this new Mac is designed to be used as is. The quaint notion of 1989 that every important component should be upgradeable is totally passé.
Simply, put, Apple is moving steadily away from user upgradeable devices that simply do the job they’re intended to do so users don’t have to focus on hardware.
Think about it. Remember the megahertz and gigahertz wars of yesteryear, whereby a PC (and to some extent, a Mac) was compared and contrasted by processor speed, hard disk size, and graphic card capability?
Those days are going, going, almost gone.
How fast is your iPhone? What’s the CPU and RAM of your iPad? Who cares? You love both regardless of all the technical bullet points.
Sure, there are geeks who love to tear apart their devices and see what makes them tick and upgrade them like they’re 1956 hot rods, but those users are a small minority; so small Apple is saying goodbye to them.
I guess that anyone hates to be marginalized.