My current personal laptop is a 2012 Retina MacBook Pro (the original). It’s also, I think, the closest a MacBook design has ever been to perfection. Using it is frictionless.
It’s still going strong, but performance-wise it’s starting to show it’s age, so I’ve been thinking about options to replace it. In the current Apple laptop lineup, I’m not sure I can see one.
I don’t think I need a 15” laptop anymore. I mostly use my laptop to work on personal coding projects, and I almost always use it away from home, in a coffee shop or on a train. My 15” MBP is just a bit too unwieldy for this.
My ideal laptop would be a MacBook for its thinness, lightness, and plain coolness, but it’s just not powerful enough. The new MacBook Air isn’t a lot better performance-wise.
This is the chart I’ve been looking at:
These scores are based on Geekbench’s publicly available data. The black lines are the single- and multi-core performance of my Retina MBP, for comparison. It’s pretty striking: like Gruber said, the latest iPad Pro is competitive with the highest-end MBP you can buy today. Also somewhat surprisingly, not only does my iPhone score better than my personal laptop, but it’s actually very competitive with both of the machines I use at work. In short, Apple’s custom-designed chips are pretty incredible compared to Intel’s.
The rumors have been floating around for a while, and it’s clear to any close observer of the company, that the days of Intel-based Macs are numbered. The above chart makes it abundantly clear—when Apple takes ownership of chip design and engineers the silicon to fit the exact needs of a device, the results are pretty hard to believe.
The iPad Pro beats the current MacBook in multicore performance by a factor of more than 2.4x. If Apple can release a MacBook with performance that’s even in the ballpark of the newest iPad Pro, it would be a quantum leap for the MacBook. I would buy it in a heartbeat.