As you can imagine I have never been particularly interested in Microsoft announcements as well as Windows as a platform for that matter, until now. However, in this last week the news of the new Surface Studio desktop and Surface Book 2 tablet/laptop computers have really caught my attention. Check out my article Microsoft Announce Surface Studio With Surface Dial to find out my thoughts on the new Surface Studio all in one desktop computer.
MacBook Pro With Touch Bar
I have owned two MacBook Pro laptops and currently use a MacBook Air. I was expecting quite a lot from Apple's announcement of the new 2016 MacBook Pro range but sadly I just don't see the appeal. The presentation of the keynote didn't wow me nor did it encourage me to upgrade my MacBook Air to one of the new MacBook Pros with Touch Bar. The new MacBook Pro doesn't appear to move things forward in ways that Apple used to. Instead, it just looks to be a subtle increase in power presented in a sexy dress. As much as I should love the new MacBook Pro I don't, it doesn't capture my imagination like the older models did.
I think the biggest problem with the new MacBook Pro is the continued use of the word Pro. For me, Apple doesn't now seem to be living up to "Pro" expectations anymore so maybe a move to use a similar naming structure found in the iOS range would be better - such as MacBook Plus. At least then "Pros" wouldn't feel hard done by when "Pro" features are not included.
Surface Book 2
My brother in law uses a Surface Book for his computer business and for music production. This last weekend I have been able to have a close look at his Surface Book in the flesh, and I must say it seems to be very well made. It's no MacBook in terms of thinness but I feel as though the Surface Book is a completely different take on the laptop computer. The Surface Book really is in a class of its own as it comes across as both a tablet and traditional laptop in one.
When the Surface Book is in laptop configuration I find myself using it like any other laptop but what I'm doing differently is touching the screen to press buttons on the screen and using the trackpad much less. I'm looking at some point at installing Pro Tools on the Surface Book and run it parallel with my MacBook Air to discover how the two computers differ in Pro Tools user interaction.
Having looked at the different models for both options, these are the two models that I would be interested in as power is an important aspect to me when choosing a 'Pro App' laptop.
MacBook Pro 13" With Touch Bar
- 6th Generation Intel Core i7 3.3GHz dual-core
- 16GB Ram
- 13-inch non touch display
- 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Touch Bar
- Battery life 8-10 hours
- Weight 1.37 kg
Support Service: Apple Care
- Up to three years of technical phone support
- Up to three years of additional hardware service options
- Walk in to Apple Stores Worldwide for face to face support.
Surface Book 13.5"
- 6th Generation Intel Core i7
- 16GB Ram
- 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen display
- 2 USB 3.0 ports, SD & mini display port
- Surface Pen included
- Battery life 12-16 hours
- Weight 1.65 kg
Support Service: Microsoft Complete
- Two years of technical support from the Answer Desk
- Accidental damage protection including drops and spills - Deductible applies for accidental damage claims: limit two claims
More Choices Available
What I've learnt from the last week of releases from Apple and Microsoft is we have some pretty amazing choices in the creative/pro laptop market now. I don't feel it boils down to which laptop is best, the best laptop is the one that best fits you as a "Pro" or "Creative".
As a Mac user I feel that we now have choices now available outside of Apple from Microsoft that are well worth exploring.
As my opening statement of this article says "I've been a hardcore Apple fan boy for about 15 years" - Windows and the Surface products are now in my future considerations as the centre of my professional and creative workflow.