I recently decided to purchase an Intel Macintosh for my main work system, despite there being no native binaries for the software that I use most often: Macromedia Flash and Adobe Photoshop. There was a few reasons I decided to take this plunge:
- My 12″ 1ghz Powerbook was far too underpowered to do daily work on, or even to use for training / presenting at conferences.
- I work at home, the office, and while traveling. I was sick of trying to synchronize 3 computers, and more than a little bit worried about overwriting the wrong file.
- There was no way I was going to shell out major coinage for a new powerbook that wasn’t using the newest processors.
- Bootcamp/Parallels should (more on that later) let me run Windows versions of the software I need when I require good performance.
- The new Macbook is just a ridiculously good deal in terms of price/performance/features, especially by Apple standards.
So, I jumped in head first and bought a dual 2ghz white Macbook, upgraded to a 100GB harddrive and 2GB of third party RAM for well under $2k. I opted for the Macbook because I won’t be playing games or using 30″ monitors (just my 23″ ACD) with this baby, so I don’t really need the integrated GPU that the almost $1k premium on the MacBook Pro buys you. While the other goodies like lighted keyboard and aluminum case would be nice, they didn’t justify the price increase for me. Likewise, I went for white because I didn’t want to be constantly reminded (or have other people realize) that I’d been duped into spending $150 for a paint job.
I received my new baby on Tuesday, and so far it’s been working absolutely beautifully (with the exception of some frustration trying to install the RAM upgrade). The screen is gorgeous! Amazingly bright and with wonderful contrast – on par with my 23″ ACD (which is hella bright). I actually have to turn the brightness down in darker conditions or it gives me after-images and sore eyes. No problems with glare so far, the heat seems fine – not any hotter than my 12″ and definitely not painful to the touch, no bad pixels, great wireless reception, keyboard has an ok feel (though not as nice as my 12″). The only thing I don’t like is the mushy feeling of the trackpad button, but I usually use a mouse or trackpad taps anyway.
My plan for this system is to run most of my apps in OSX, including Flash 8 and Photoshop for lower intensity work, then switch over to Windows XP in Parallels virtualization software for more intensive work, or to do ActionScript 3/Flex 2 projects until a player/IDE is available for Mactel. I’m going to try to skip bootcamp completely – I don’t want to have to reboot every time I need to do something in Windows (how archaic *grin*). This is part of the reason I went with 2GB of RAM – 1GB for XP when its running, and 1GB left over for OSX.
I’ll be posting more as I experience real world use, including how usable it is for a work system (using the above plan), how well the built in webcam works for my experimental work, and anything else that seems useful moving forwards. I’m guessing there’s a lot of Mac Flash users (and more than a few PC users) out there that are considering these new machines who could benefit from this info.
PS. It’s pretty odd (and also kind of cool) to look over and see the Windows XP screensaver running in Parallels on my second monitor.