I’m in a quandary. Just hoping others that might be in similar situations might be able to offer an additional perspective.
For the last decade, a MacBook Pro has been my go-to portable machine for everything. I’ve used it as my primary dev machine, because it can compile for everything, and I can test everything in virtual machines via Parallels.
But development is just a fraction of what I do. I also edit video, do graphic design, host radio shows, and DJ/VJ some pretty large nightclubs. Up until now I’ve been able to do ALL OF THAT with the same MacBook Pro. The 2016 is the one I’m currently on.
Unfortunately, now that I’m getting back into DJing nightclubs (with music videos, mind you) following the pandemic, everyone seems to have taken the opportunity to upgrade, and I’m being encouraged to use 4K video where in the past I’ve only done 720p. Live manipulation of even 1080p video is a bit too much for my poor 2016 Macbook Pro to handle, and it’s time to get something new.
So my choices are M1 or 2019 Intel (13" is too small for me which excludes 2020 Intels).
M1 seems like the obvious choice, but there’s the issue of software development. I still maintain quite a bit of software targeting WinXP and Win7. Virtualizing x86 Windows is not a thing the M1 can do. Even running Win10, it can only run the ARM version which then emulates x86, and you never know if something doesn’t work due to a bug in your code or due to the emulation layer. Testing for WinXP and Win7 is also a non-starter. It’s a nightmare.
So, maybe a Windows laptop? Well, then I lose the ability to compile and test for MacOS and iOS.
So… An Intel MBP then. But do I really want to drop $5K on a 2019 MacBook that Apple is clearly phasing out and that’s running two year old silicon? Already there are features in Monterey that will not be available on Intel Macs.
There are a couple other strikes against the current M1 MBP, such as the lack of ports for DJing. Running through hubs and splitters is a big no-no when you’re dealing with critical A/V signals. I’ve had USB-C cables quite literally vibrate out of my current Macbook (due to the loud volumes) to the point where I now tape all my cables in place.
I’m holding my breath to see what Apple releases this fall in the MBP line, but I really don’t think there will be any new Intel Macs. It just doesn’t seem like there’s one laptop that can do it all anymore, hence my quandary.
What would you do? Thanks for reading this novel of text and for any insights you may have. Cheers and stay safe.