Both my wife and I are freelance consultants. I’m a technical consultant and she’s a non-profit and arts management consultant. Because of this, our “office” is usually wherever we are. We spend many days shuffling between various locations. Our computing needs have to be highly portable and durable. We always buy the most machine for our long term needs and always purchase the piece of mind that Applecare provides. We even keep a spare machine on deck should one of our machines need to go in for service. Generally, we replace our laptops when the Applecare runs out (i.e. every three years), which just happens to be this month.
For my beautiful wife, we decided to get the new Macbook (2.26 GHz, 250GB, 2GB RAM) to replace her previous three year old model (1.83 Ghz, 120GB, 2GB RAM). Her needs are basic – web, email, office apps. For that, this is more than enough machine and should last her very well for the next three years. It’s an amazing machine for the price and we recommend it highly.
For me, I decided to “replace” my self upgraded black Macbook (2.0 Ghz, 320GB 7200 RPM, 4GB RAM) with an… iPad (WiFi only, 64GB). I know. Crazy right? Well, here’s the thing – the Macbook I have is more than enough machine for me capability wise. The upgrades I have given it mean that it will be enough machine for several more years to come in this respect. I did not need “more machine”. What I needed was “greater flexibility and portability”. The iPad will serve me well in almost every situation I can think of. It will allow me to do everything I need to 99% of the time. My Macbook will become a desktop machine, an adjunct to the iPad, with the added bonus of being able to be portable for those rare times I need more machine when out and about at a client. But, for all intents and purposes, the iPad will be my main daily machine.
Still think I’m insane? Well, wait until I tell you that I used a Newton MessagePad as my main “daily worker” for years. Every model from the introduction of the MessagePad 120 all the way until the 2100. I used it for web browsing (as it was at the time), reading, email, notes, calendar, address book, word processor, and much more. In other words, exactly as one would use any portable computer. During that time, I saw the sort of computing I was able to do with a handheld device, and the way I was doing it, as the future of computing. With the introduction of the iPad, my faith in that future is regained.
I am sure the time will come when I have to replace my current Macbook. But that is at least a couple of more years off as I see it. The iPad really is a return to the future for me. Call me crazy.