Speed & Reliability vs Portability & Convenience

Since Apple's "Spring Forward" event announcement on March 9th, there has been much hemming and hawing about the design of the new MacBook. I won't be the first to say this new machine is not target at the geek audience, but I wanted to express my own thoughts about it nonetheless. This afternoon I started Tweeting an incomplete thought on this subject but after several Tweets stopped myself, and decided it better expressed via this blog post.

First, let me say that I detest wireless-anything because of its current inferiority to wired-anything in terms of speed and reliability. Of course there are instances where this doesn't apply: AirPlay, Sonos, my iPhone are three products I use daily that come to mind. When mobility is not a requirement, however, I prefer speed and reliability. Maybe someday wireless will be able to stand as being technologically superior to wired in terms of these properties in all instances, but that day is not today. It maybe be in two years, but I highly doubt it. It may be in five years, but again I doubt it. It may be in ten years....probably.

But that day is not today.

This is why I have no desire to own the new MacBook. This is also why the new MacBook was not designed for people like me. The people who it was designed for do not prioritize speed and reliability over all else. The people it was designed for prioritize portability and convenience over my values. If I were someone who traveled more, or left my house more than once or twice per week (I work from home), then I might value this machine more. That Apple made this machine is okay with me, however, because the Mac Pro and Retina 5K iMac both exist. And this will continue to be okay with me, as long as Apple still makes these desktop machines.

I think that most of the controversy around this machine comes from people like me who fear the new direction of the MacBook is an early indicator that Apple plans to eventually do away with the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Pro, etc etc, in favor of more machines like the new MacBook. They are upset about the new design because Apple came out with a revolutionary and groundbreaking new product that was not designed for them! Their beloved Apple is forsaking them!

Calm down.

Eventually when wireless technology catches up to all of our existing ports and is able to transfer as fast as gigabit Ethernet, Thunderbolt, USB 3, and Displayport 1.3, then Apple might just come out with MacBook-like products across their entire product line. Apple is not stupid, though. They realize what and how people use their current products. They know that people still need MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs -- why else would they have released spec refreshes to those machines last week as well, if they did not?

In the meantime, that day is not today. But that day is coming within the next 5-20 years. In the meantime, rest easy, sit back, and lets enjoy witnessing progress happen during our lifetimes.