Sunday, November 19, 2023

So Why Are People Using Their Laptops Longer Than Ever?

I have been contemplating getting a new laptop for a long time. A new MacBook in fact. It'll be an upgrade from my 2016 MacBook with its perfect 12" screen. It's going on seven years now. And true be told, I can still hold onto it a bit longer if it was not for the fact that the keyboard requires that I type certain way or that the arrow keys no longer work after a bound of water spill. As I am writing this article, I sport have to position my fingers across the keyboard and tap harder on some keys to make the letters come out. At times, I've resorted to dictation out of frustration.


Then I came across a forum where someone posed the question of why he is seeing people use "ancient' laptops from as far back as 2012. I can easily answer that. 

Laptops have become our companion in ways that even the more earnest and hard working assistants can never be. They are simply our go to device to be productive. Our laptops has given us more power and increase in productivity than any other generations in the past. I believe more so than smartphones. Smartphones help us stay connected but laptops allow us to work and generate results that so far is not matched. 

For some people, I can see an intimacy that developed over time with their laptops. Recall your first laptop and the joy you had using it. You might still be using it. I am happy for you. If your laptop is older, it might not run the latest OS or applications anymore. Mine doesn't. And yet, if you give up your laptop, you feel like you're losing an old friend. Plus, some people even accessorize and personalize their laptops with covers and, of course, stickers. One analogy I can think of is like a lone cowboy and his horse trekking across the plains. The horse being the laptop, not the cowboy.


More importantly, these old laptops still work. I am sure if I break out my 2012 laptop, it will run Word and Excel documents just fine. Most Excel sheets are just data in cells so I am sure my laptop could handle them just well enough. It might have some trouble if the files are too big with a lot of formulas but I am not sure there are a lot of those out there. The browser might be a little slower opening up some websites so you don't want to keep too many tabs open but it'll work just fine. And for just writing, Word Pad on Windows or Pages on the Mac are adequate. I've seen some artists generate awesome drawings using older copies of Paint or Inkscape on Windows (perhaps not as efficient as using something like Illustrator).

I am certain the battery life on those laptops are not even close to what they once were. Getting a couple of hours of writing done from a 2012 laptop at the local cafe is not bad at all. This is especially true if the user is fortunate enough to find an outlet. With the juice flowing, he can be there all day.

On MacBook, I am continuously getting five hours of batter life of mix use. Surfing the web, writing, emails, and watching a bit of video. I think that is decent compared to even new laptops from 2012. But for more challenging tasks like rendering 3D models, I imagine it could take more processing and GPU power than the current CPU and integrated graphics in my MacBook can handle.

Personally, I have my eyes on the just released MacBook Pro with M3 chips - which one I end up getting largely depends on how much power I realize I need. And I like to save this little gem for another article. And one of those "needs" would make me want to keep my perfect laptop longer if that is I end up doing with it. Oh, the suspense. The article will come out soon. I promise.

My MacBook should continue to serve me well for many years to come even with a new MacBook on the horizon. Not giving up this friend so easily, if ever.





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