Macbooks and upgrades

I’ve been using a previous generation Macbook Air (pre-redesign) for years now. It’s a “travel laptop” - I don’t need it to be powerful. My main computer is a PC that I built 2 years ago that is plenty powerful.

For travel, I need my laptop to,

  • be Light, and fairly portable.
  • have a decently long battery life.
  • have good interfaces, keyboard and touchpad.
  • have a robust charging system (something that I have grown to love after using Magsafe)

The new Macbooks meet only the first two, and completely fail at the other two. As such, I have been putting off upgrading my laptop for years now. (Also, since I don’t need more power in my laptop - I don’t feel that an upgrade is necessary at this point)

Recently I had a chance to use a Surface Laptop. It was a brilliant experience. Apart from a couple of flaws, I think its a far superior replacement for my Macbook than any current-gen Macbook. The Surface Connector mechanism is great (Apple seems to have forgotten that magnetic charging cables are a great idea), the keyboard is great (better than butterfly switches on the new Macbooks) and the screen is lovely (3:2 aspect ratio is a great idea). The only things I dislike about it were, the ports (single USB-A and a Display Port) and the Alcantara material. Both of which are fixed in the new generation Surface Laptop - which has a Type-C port instead of a Display Port and an optional aluminium finish.

It seems like the ideal upgrade for me.

Edit (Dec 2019) : Macbook Pro 16 looks great – with a fixed keyboard. Hopefully the next gen Macbook Air takes after the Macbook Pro 16.

Edit (Apr 2020) : As expected, the new Macbook Air uses the new scissor switches - and has a quad-core option. It is now a good default laptop. Still not feeling the urge to upgrade right now - but when I do feel the need to upgrade, I’m happy that there exists a decent Mac option.

Written on October 20, 2019