A Simple Test

What it felt like lugging a laptop around again. Like a trip to the past.

This week I decided to run a quick litmus test while on a quick business trip: leave the iPad at home, and bring the laptop (12″ Macbook) instead. Of course, the iPhone always is with me, but this was going back to my previous workflow for the first time in 4 — 5 months.

Within the first 2 hours, I was shocked at how “bulky” everything felt — from dealing with airport security, the larger power brick, reading on the plane, etc and it just got more annoying throughout the day.

As I return home (48 hours later), I am convinced my laptop will rarely, if ever, leave the desk again.

Everything just felt worse — as if I went back to a time long ago, long forgotten. Tasks felt slow and strange. I guess I didn’t really comprehend how much of my day to day workflow has transformed and now is optimized around a “device first” mentality. In order to adopt a new computing paradigm, you need to let go of the past and be willing to alter how you work and let go the way you used to do things. It’s also, funny enough, proof to me on why a touchscreen Mac would’t work well, or why Windows with “touch” has failed in the past (re: anyone remember Windows Origami?).

Change is hard.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have plenty of complaints about the iOS application ecosystem — especially on Apple’s own apps. Editing a keynote can be downright painful on the iPad, and it’s criminal that Pages doesn’t really support inking with the Pencil.

It also goes without saying that your mileage may vary on making this type of transformation depending on what your normal day looks like. If I was still coding like crazy, this setup obviously doesn’t work. Yet. I envision that notion of what an IDE needs to radically change in the future for “touch”.

Is it the end for me using a laptop? I’m not sure —To be honest, I just upgraded to a new 13″ MacBook Pro (which I have yet to set up) . I’m sure that it’ll be used for some heavy lifting when I need to; but the day to day tasks, running around between meetings, conferences, taking notes, reading, presenting, and for a large quanity of computing it’s going to be the iPad for the foreseeable future.

Finally — you may ask (since I am so invested in the “mobile” ecosystem) — why did I even bother getting a new MBP?

Simple: I have a hinting suspicion that this is the last laptop (er, desktop?) that I will need to buy for the next several years, if ever.