The Story Behind Switching from iMac to Retina MacBook Pro

Retina MacBook Pro mid 2014

Almost 1400 days ago (3 years 10 months) I bought my first Mac, a 27-inch iMac. At the time of heading to the local retail store to pick up the Mid 2010 model I had second thoughts, why not buy a MacBook Pro instead, I thought. However, it turned out that I bought the new iMac. At that point in time when I was switching from a windows laptop to a Mac, I was looking for more screen space and of course faster and reliable computing machine.

As I began using my first Mac with 27-inch large display and the fastest processors available at that time it was certainly an enjoyable experience. I could multitask and have TweetDeck open with almost 7 to 8 columns of different twitter feeds. So, more screen space allowed me to open more apps on the same desktop space. During the course of the last three years I increasingly felt tied to my workspace as working with a desktop obviously takes away the freedom of moving around.

When Apple announced the new iPad 2 in March 2011, it seemed to be the best option to bring balance to desktop computing by having a tablet to do other tasks while on the move. This combination of iMac and an iPad worked. I was able to check emails and respond while I was on the move, write reviews and more. As the App Store became populated with powerful apps like iWork, AppCooker, Omnigraffle I began doing advanced tasks like designing and wire framing apps and websites on the tablet. iPad became my first choice for tasks such as wire framing and designing as it felt extremely intuitive on a multi-touch screen.

All computing devices have a limited shelf life and as technology advances older products start slowing down. So, around mid 2013 the iMac and iPad 2 both started to age and not offer the same experience as before. Working from a stationary workspace also added more fatigue. This made me reflect back on that day when I had second thoughts about picking up a MacBook Pro instead of an iMac. Apple now had Retina displays in its MacBook Pro lineup and it felt like the perfect device for someone whose work involves a lot of writing and designing.

I waited for a while before making the switch to a Retina MacBook Pro as I wanted the processors to mature and offer stable experience to Retina display users.

When Apple announced OS X Yosemite during the WWDC, new features such as handoff wouldn’t work in my mid-2010 iMac. So, it was clear that iMac days were limited. On July 24 when public beta of OS X Yosemite was made available I installed in on my iMac and it worked fine for a few hours. The performance was laggy but that could be mainly due to the fact that it is a beta software and not final release. I rebooted the system a couple of times and it was the third reboot that killed my hard drive. The iMac was stuck on the boot screen and after a series of attempts to get the hard drive to work nothing worked. Eventually, I had to buy a new hard drive and then everything was fine. iMac being out of AppleCare warranty costs expensive repair. This particular model had a history of display and super drive being changed twice while under Apple Care.

After replacing the hard drive I decided to sell the iMac and buy a mid-2014 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro 512 GB SSD, 2.5GHz i7 Processor, 16GB RAM. It’s just been 2 days since I’ve started using the MacBook Pro and I haven’t missed having the iMac even one bit. Coming from HDD to SSD is like someone from the dialup connection days suddenly experiences the modern-day broadband. The absolutely stunning Retina display has an overwhelming “wow” factor. The text as I’m typing is set to very small font size but it’s so crisp and pleasing to the eye. Photos and videos look stunning with great colours.

I usually don’t quit apps as it used to take a little while to re-launch them but with the new Retina MacBook Pro tasks such as launching new apps, rebooting are so fast that you begin to appreciate the amount of power this machine has.

It’s only been two days, so there’s a lot for me to discover and it will be interesting to see how my impressions change after putting the device through daily usage. But, I can certainly say it’s been an extremely satisfying experience so far.

Do you have any first time Mac experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.

 

2 Comments on “The Story Behind Switching from iMac to Retina MacBook Pro”

  1. Armando

    I’m in a similar situation as yours Raven. My iMac is a late 2011 27 inch model. I too bought that computer as my first foray into OS X having previously been a Windows XP laptop & desktop user. I wanted the huge screen and the sheer speed found in the iMac. I was in computer user heaven! The transition from XP was quite painless and it is a decision that I am so happy I made.

    Recently, I bought my 12 year old son the same MacBook Pro you have (except his has the 256 Gb SSD) and after having an opportunity to use it, I really wanted one and wished that I had it rather than my iMac. I think that coupling the current fastest MacBook Pro with a 27 inch thunderbolt display would give me a similar experience that I now have with my iMac. Have you had an opportunity to use your new MacBook Pro with a 27 inch Thunderbolt Display?

    Complicating matters for me however in making the decision to transition to a MacBook Pro is that my iMac has a 256 GB SSD and a 2 TB hard drive and 16 gig of memory with the fastest Intel processor available at the time of purchase. The point of your article is well taken. I believe anyone trying to decide between an iMac and the latest and best of the MacBook Pro computers should go with the MacBook Pro because the retina display is gorgeous and the machines are plenty fast enough. Obviously the most important aspect of getting a MacBook Pro is not being tied to a physical location.

    Great article!

    1. TouchReviews

      Thanks Armando! I haven’t had the opportunity to use the MacBook Pro with a Thunder Display yet.

      I agree, storage certainly plays a big role in switching from iMac to MacBook Pro. However, in my case most of my important stuff is in the cloud. I would have preferred 1TB SSD but, customisation options aren’t available in India.

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