The reasons of why you shouldn’t buy a MacBook Pro are well known.
They are overpriced, with RAM and SSD soldered to the motherboard and thus irreplaceable. The keyboards were a meme on their own for quite some time.
Nevertheless, it’s been more than 3 years since I’ve bought my MacBook Pro, and I’m still happy with it.
So why a Linux user has bought an overpriced and overhyped laptop from Apple?
I’m programming since I was ~12 years old, so it’s nothing weird, that I use my private laptop for coding in my free time. A new side project, a new framework to check out, there is always plenty to do at home or in a quiet cafe with good Wi-Fi.
I’m also a long Linux user, the first distro I’ve installed was an Ubuntu 5.12 (so a one released in 2005).
Earlier, when I wanted to buy a computer, I just compared the price, CPU, RAM, disk size and chose the one with the best price. Maybe I also checked how does the Linux compatibility looks like, so I won’t have issues with drivers, but that was after I learned it the hard way.
But with MacBook, my motivation was a bit different, and after 3 years, I still stand by my choice.
The first thing that caught my attention to MacBooks Pro was the trackpad. I was surprised, that my graphic designer colleague used it for work instead of an external mouse. I thought, that touchpads were good only for basic stuff, but here it’s not the case. It’s big, and you can press anywhere on it. You don’t have to move your finger to press the button. You actually press it, so you don’t have to fight with the tap gesture, which usually works, but it’s frustrating when they don’t.
When you want to use your laptop anywhere else than your desk, it’s a huge advantage, that you don’t have to carry a mouse with you to do your stuff in a comfortable way.
It’s not a new feature for me - workspaces were in Linux since I can remember. The problem is that it never really got used to them, and I ended up using two physical screens.
There are 2 things, that make this feature work well on macOS.
The first one is that they can be switched by a trackpad gesture. Swiping three fingers left or right is way faster and more intuitive than any possible 3-button key shortcut.
The second one is that when you maximize a window, it’s put in a separate workspace - one click without thinking about what window is where already and where should I put this one.
What’s the advantage? I could finally work comfortably without an external screen. Previously I couldn’t imagine working without at least two screens, because switching between two fullscreen windows on a single screen was so mundane task. With MacBook, it’s no longer the case.
One more thing related to the screen - the screen ratio. I really don’t understand why it’s so hard to find a laptop with a screen ratio other than 16:9. When you code, the more screen’s height you have at your disposal, the more of the code you can see. It makes coding more comfortable. In MacBook, not only you get 16:10 ratio, you also get a bigger screen resolution, which lets you see even more stuff at the same time.
One of the reasons why macOS is so great for coding is that it’s still Unix underneath. Working in the console feels as good as in Linux, comparing to Windows. Most of the tools are also here - zsh, vim, tmux, etc.
At the same time, you spend no time figuring out why stuff doesn’t work. It’s kind of win-win situation.
As you may see, I’ve mentioned the word comfortable a lot in this article. The thing is that you can’t really measure and compare comfortability by the amount of RAM, type of CPU, or any other metric shown in numbers. In my opinion, this is what people are missing comparing features and prices and wondering why ever people buy MacBooks and are happy with them.
Of course, I’m far from saying, that this laptop is the best and has no downsides. It’s more question about how much do you value comfortable work. Given my motivation and needs, after three years, I’m still happy with my decision.
So now to the comments section, what’s your take ;> ?