Gadget update: buh-bye new pank MacBook

I got a new 12-inch rose gold MacBook recently but returned it and came away with a Boss Pro, which I had returned originally in favor of the Baby Pro and subsequently missed a lot.

The MacBook had issues, like, bad ones that would have necessitated a new computer swapout had I decided to keep it. Notably, the battery randomly dropped from 60% to the scary red icon, and it declined to wake from sleep without a restart about half the time. This is not convenient. I did Disk Utility stuff and PRAM stuff and all that hoodgie-boodgie stuff we do, and for my troubles I was rewarded with a flashing folder with a question mark on it.

If I loved the thing enough I would have swapped it out, but I didn't. I loved my Boss Pro before, but I had only 2 weeks to return it and thought I'd like the Baby Pro better. Having done so I figured I'd just get a slick little MacBook. It's just like a Boss Pro with a built-in keyboard, right?

It DID look slick, and the rose gold is pretty. All of My Things matched (except my watch). It worked OK for the first few days, just as I'd expect for a machine with its specs. It is CRAZY light, too. I didn't have complaints with the sound, as others have. I did have issues with the keyboard. I do much better with the iPad Smart Keyboards. They get mixed reviews, but they work great for me. The MacBook keyboard resulted in a lot of back-spacing and corrections, and I'm not sure exactly why. It looks all right, and it feels all right, but nevertheless I just couldn't type well on it.

The screen looks really nice, too. In cosmetic terms, the new MacBook rocks nations compared with the Airs or MBPs. My MBP is a bit long in the tooth but has prodigious hard drive space, so I'm unlikely to give it up until it's dead and gone. But it looks like a heavy silver brick compared with the new MacBooks.

Still and all...meh. I'm happy to have my Boss Pro with Smart Keyboard back. It doesn't run OS X, but I apparently don't really care that much anymore. There are a few tasks I need OS X for, and I open my MBP every weekend (yes, once a week) to do them. When Hazel and my complex e-book workflow come to the iPad, maybe I'll abandon the MBP, but for now I still use it for some important stuff.

So why the Boss Pro? I am a fundamentally lazy person, and this machine is made for us lazy people. You can draw on it, write on it, type on it, and watch video on it without feeling cramped. The Pencil was initially a big deal for me, but now it's receded into being a nice perk. The Smart Keyboard, I love. Either people like or hate them, and I'm in the like camp. I like just lifting off my screen and setting it back down for an instant conversion from laptop to tablet.

I now, though, have two iPads (the boyfriend got my Mini), and that seems fundamentally weird on the surface. No one needs any of this stuff, after all. I justify it because I do use all my toys, and it's really my only expensive hobby. I just want the toys. Also, after you look at the Boss Pro screen, the Baby Pro looks like an iPad Mini, and it's a wicked cool iPad. It's super light, so it goes with me, whereas the Boss Pro just migrates around the house with me. Unlike many people, I do like reading on the Boss. I just like the giant two-column spread. But you really can't read in bed with it without risking a head injury, so I end up reading about half and half on the Baby.

I have gone a week without the little MacBook and don't miss it. I like the instant-on of the iPad, and I still like the Smart Keyboard better than that butterfly keyboard on the MacBook. I thought I'd use the MacBook like an iPad with a built-in keyboard, but it wasn't very good at being either a laptop or an iPad-equivalent.

Regarding connector gate, I didn't care about the lack of ports. Almost everything I use connects wirelessly (largely, my printer and my ScanSnap). I back up using Backblaze and Time Machine. I bought the dongle to plug other stuff in to the MacBook but never ended up opening the box.

What I did care about was the lack of the nice snap-off charging cable. My MacBook Pro has been spared from an untimely death a few times because the charging cable just snaps off when someone pulls on the cable ("someone" being me meandering into it and tripping on it, usually). The USB-C port is a tight fit and that cable isn't coming away without some effort. Granted, the battery should last so long that it doesn't spend a lot of time plugged in, but I just didn't care for it, especially since the MacBook I had experienced battery issues and did need to be charged during the day.

So really, for people on the fence about whether to get a little MacBook or a big iPad, I vote for the big iPad. They end up costing about the same if you get a Smart Keyboard, a Pencil, and the larger capacity on the iPad vs. the bottom model of the MacBook. When I swapped I ended up with about $150 back and half the storage space, and I'm okay with that. Better to have something you use constantly and love.