Just recently I made a slight change to my editing arsenal and so far I’m quite happy with the choice I made.
In years past I did all of my serious editing on my desktop platform, an Apple iMac with the full Adobe suite as well as many other applications such as the Nik products, Helicon Focus, etc. And, I’ve been using a Wacom tablet as my user interface which is a joy to use. Whenever I travelled I brought a laptop, but mainly as a way to review and store images while on the road. I never did any serious editing of images, maybe a few quick edits to share on social media. The laptop I used was an Apple MacBook Pro that I bought used. It was a brick of a computer, super heavy but a joy to use in the way that Apple products are.
Well, about two years ago I was growing tired of the heavy weight and low horsepower of the computer, so I decided to upgrade. I decided to buy an Apple Air laptop due to its lightweight and size. It was super small, almost un-noticeable in the luggage, and very lightweight. However, there were some downsides to this. It didn’t have a strong engine inside, and, it used an older screen technology. I used this when I travelled, again to mainly review and do some light processing. However, after being used to the high-end iMac at home, I was never happy using it. It took a while to chunk through edits which frustrated me. And, the screen, oh the screen, I just couldn’t handle the low resolution. My images just didn’t pop and that made it not very fun to work on them when on the road.
In the last 6 months I’ve become even more mobile, spending less time parked in front of my desktop system, and more time in different locations. This all brought a stronger desire to have a mobile platform that I could do some serious image editing, which means a strong processor and fantastic resolution screen. All of my computers and software are in the Apple ecosystem, I started looking for a new laptop to replace the Air.
Apple just released a new MacBook Pro about the time I was looking for a new laptop. I normally try and buy the newest computer I can afford in order to maximize the length/usability of ownership, however in this case, the price/performance of the new MacBook didn’t add up for me. And, they have removed the USB ports and other normal features that I’m used to. So the new MacBook was out of the question for me and I started combing the use market looking for a deal on what I wanted.
Right before Christmas I found a barely used MacBook Pro, less than 8 months old, fully loaded with the fastest processor available and a sizable hard drive. What was most important for me was getting one with a Retina display, which this one has. It was owned by someone who had it as a secondary computer and barely used it. After a bit of negotiation, I was the new owner of this wonderful machine.
It took a few days for me to load up all the software and configure it to my work style, but once complete, the system is outstanding! I’m so happy that I made the switch to a Retina display and a strong engine to process images. Even though I don’t have my Wacom tablet to make edits, I can still do most everything I want/need to do to my images. The extra size and weight over the Air is not a concern to me at all considering the increase in performance and usability, enabling me to process images confidently no matter where I am.
I can’t tell ya how happy I am to have the “right” tools for me while I am on the go, enabling me to work on all of my creative endeavors while on the road.
(originally published 1/7/17)