Many people complain about Apple’s new 12” Macbook. You can find terrible reviews all over the place. There are a few possitive reviews that talk about the statement piece that this device is, but most of its press is overtly negative.

My own laptop was bought in 2008. It has been harvested for pieces for about a year now. This was after I was tired of waiting for the logic board to finally die. I took my upgraded hybrid hard drive and added it to a machine I got from work, a 2009 MacBook Pro! That machine was big, heavy, and slow. I timed it once, it took about 8 minutes for an application to open! This did not happen all the time, but common enough that I knew it was going to be worth timing it. If the battery gets too low while sleeping, it could be 15 to 30 minutes before I was able to get started working. This machine was painful to use. But as a graduate student with a family, money was tight and there was always something more important than updating my still working laptop.

Yesterday I finally was able to buy a new computer. I was not able to buy a $2,500 15” power house, but I decided I did not want one anyway. The main pain points I experienced from my computer was not getting all day battery life at conferences, carrying the extra weight as I biked to school everyday, reliability, and I/O speed. I was not hurting much for performance. If I was ever doing a task that was CPU bound, I would just run it on the computer cluster at school. Yes I had programs that ran for multiple days, but I would not run those on any laptop! Also, when you don’t upgrade for as long as I have, even the slowest new computer screams. This little MacBook is at least twice as fast in every way you can possible calculate it, when comparing to the last computer I was using. And that is the only comparison that matters.

This decision took a long time to make, but I do not regret my choice in an ultra portable laptop, that still out performs my previous device.

Now I don’t feel right without saying that the family did recently get a couple years old iMac that I will be using for storage and “heavy” personal computing like video conversion. I think even without this machine, the portability of the MacBook (or the rumored new 13” MacBook Pro) would have won me over from the powerhouse that is the quad-core 15” Retina MacBook Pro.