Upgrade anxiety.

Well, I was going to order ye olde iPhone 11 from my wireless provider this week, and then I saw a MacRumors post reporting on the latest iPhone 12 rumors.1

I know I should be able to look past something that’s not going to be on the market for another nine months, but sakes alive, I’ve forgotten what it means to be in the tick-tock product cycle that Apple has been in for the longest time.

For context, I have an iPhone 7 Plus with a battery that should be replaced. I would have already done this, but my screen has a nice-sized crack in it, running from slightly left of the center bottom edge to the volume rocker on the upper left edge of the unit. It otherwise functions normally, aside from the odd barcode being a pain to scan from time to time thanks to an abnormal crack running through any given representation of the binary language.

Sadly, the damage excludes my device from being serviced officially, unless I replace the glass front of my screen.

And so, after holding out for as long as I could bear with the battery, I decided that I was going to take advantage of my carrier’s interest-free financing of a new iPhone 11. I haven’t been a fan of being beholden under contract to a carrier for awhile, but I can’t really see anything wrong with this payment plan–especially when I can pay the whole balance off at any time without a penalty.

Of course, Apple offers a similar plan, but I feel even more like I’m leasing a device in that case, instead of owning a device.

Maybe I’ll just get over it and commit to getting a new device.

Here’s to hoping I remember to buy a case for it.

I’ll probably never get a real response to this.

to: tcook@apple.com
from: hello@bcarr.me
re: Real MBP upgrade?

Any chance Apple will ever get around to shipping a real MacBook Pro that isn’t afraid to trade power for battery life? Say, something with a desktop-class Nvidia 1000 series chipset, like other manufacturers are providing?

I mean, either that or being able to install OS X on PC hardware would be great too. I’d pay for that privilege.

I love Apple and my MacBook Air is the most solid Apple product I’ve ever purchased, but I’ve been thinking about upgrading for awhile now, and paying nearly three grand for a MacBook Pro that’s graphically less powerful than the refurbished Acer laptop I bought nearly a year ago for $900 hurts my soul too much to commit to.

— Brad

I bought (what should be) a refurbished MacBook Pro for less than a grand.

I got tired of waiting for Apple to ship a reasonable laptop with a discrete graphics card and started looking at PC alternatives. I recently pulled the trigger on a refurbished unit from Acer.

I’m not sure why I waited.

My new machine may only have a 4th generation quad-core i7, 16GB of memory, and a 2TB hard drive but it’s got a powerhouse mobile graphics capability in its Nvidia GTX 960M. It runs actually runs CS:GO at 1080p60 with at least a hundred frames to spare. It even renders ArmA 3 at a playable level, with a consistent framerate in the 50-60 FPS range at the same resolution.

It’s conceivably portable, even. The battery life is reasonable enough considering it’s powering a 17″ screen and enough computing power to handle most of what I’m looking for when I absolutely need to use something other than my phone.

Even if the design of the laptop’s casing isn’t up to Apple’s standards, it’s got to be more powerful than most MacBook Pros are today (at least the configurations priced south of three grand). And that realization is a shame.

My main computer until now, a MacBook Air, was a consistent champion considering how underpowered it was, but one thing I always preferred about it was the snappiness of how everything seemed to be thanks to a built-in SSD and modern low-power processor. For what I paid for it, I definitely think I’ve gotten value out of it.

The Acer I picked up is signaling to me that it’ll be giving more value than I could have hoped for.