Angry Robot

The New Ride

Essentially, this is what happened: ever since I bought that netbook I never took my MacBook Pro off the desk. I was using it as a desktop, but a shitty one. All the video I shoot on my GH1 has to be transcoded, which is a processor-intensive task, and the MBP was crashing a lot. Presumably it was overheating. Also, it wasn’t very fast (it’s three years old now).


This new bastard has four cores and a 27” screen. The screen is irresistible. It’s amazing for editing, but pretty much any task benefits as you can have all the windows you need open and on screen at once instead of flipping around between them like Flippy McFlips. This screen makes 1080p look like bullshit kid stuff. And the extra power is certainly welcome. I thought something was wrong with Compressor, but apparently it was just my slow ass computer. This thing eats AVCHD transcoding for breakfast, sighing with boredom. It’s apparently faster than the low end Mac Pro right now, which is $800 more and doesn’t include a display. Let alone a monster 27 incher, the sort that will never ever appear on a laptop.

I used to buy as fast a laptop as I could afford. I was buying computers that promised both power and portability. In truth, they delivered neither. The landscape has changed, and now you can get both – in separate devices, without having to be one of Europe’s wealthiest princes or anything. With netbooks, smartphones, and now tablets like the iPad, we have much greater portability than ever before, at much lower prices. These are not powerful machines, of course, compared to proper computers. However, when you need real power, you can turn to your desktop monster.

I wonder if the laptop’s days are numbered.