Well boys and girls, attempt number two to leave my Microsoft overlords for my Apple overlords and M1 processing. I picked up a Best Buy Open Box MacBook Pro 14 (M1Pro 10/16cores; 16gb; 1tb) for $1957, and was able to get AppleCare+. Will hibernate the SP8 for a while as I adjust to the MBP14/iPP11 pairing for work and note taking.
INTERMISSION-RANT ON A warning to Best Buy customers and Apple gear: when you buy new you have 60 days to add on AppleCare+. When you buy “open box” that same rule applies BUT the clock starts from the original activation date of the device. My MBP14 was on day 71 when ordered, day 75 when I lit it up, and Apple’s automated system rejected the AppleCare+ purchase despite BB saying it was eligible for the three year contract. When I pressed Best Buy they told me “Sorry Charlie - go talk to Apple - nothing we can do.” Fighting my way through the 800-MY-APPLE phone systems, I finally got a nice person who said they’d look into giving me a new activation date based on the proof of purchase I sent them from Best Buy. Lo and behold they approved resetting my purchase date to 3/25/22 (the day after I called) and the automated system approved me for an annually renewable contract. RANT OFF
So, the roller coaster ride continues. Despite being right handed (MS) in a left handed world (Apple), things are going fairly well. I really love the pairing of my iPP11 to the MBP14 through Sidecar and Universal Control, and slowly starting to learn where the “H” Apple hides everything. As I told a good friend, it’s kind of like learning German when I was in high school - I keep translating every word/sentence/paragraph in my head from English to German and back, instead of “thinking” in German. It’s also frustrating that I am committing to a three device solution this way (phone, tablet, laptop) but they all work together very well and let my watch unlock each device.
Not really - two secrets: (1) iCloud/OneDrive (whichever system I’m using), and (2) an exFAT formatted SanDisk Extreme SSD (1tb) that stores all my data files - acts as a backup; can connect to Windows, MacOS, or iPadOS to swap “stuff.” I’m a simpleton at heart - hey, wait a minute…
I too just fell for an open box deal at Best Buy (as in, clicked the buy button within the last 30 minutes, and just got the notice that my order is ready for pickup.) Do we need a support group? Or maybe a podcast?
I’ve said this before and I’m sure you know, but spotlight is fast and easy. Apple key+spacebar and just type what you need. Finds apps and settings, feels pretty similar to hitting the windows key and starting typing.
The biggest disorienting thing for me whenever I find myself in front of a Mac (no I did not buy one!) is that the app menu bar is always at the top of the screen even for windows that aren’t maximized. Anyway, enjoy your new machine, can’t wait to see what you buy next!
My open box “satisfactory” “S7” still had the kickstand back cover on it from clearly being a trade in still in its case. It also felt oddly big, and sure enough, when i powered it on, the splash screen welcomed me to my S7+. I have totaltech, so anything I but direct from them is covered including accidental damage for 2 years. Bestbuy is very particular about condition too. This is my third like new “satisfactory” deal.
I hope you are equally satisfied with your deal. Should we take bets on whether or not you keep it past the return window?
Yes, they are particular on returns, and I’ve found “Open Box Excellent” to be as good as “Open Box Excellent Certified.” I am very satisfied with mine, and I assume despite the larger form factor, you are as well with the AMOLED upgrade of a 7+ !
As for that return window, it is a long one for Elite members - 45 days - and that is sometimes why time runs out on AppleCare+ because people who hold on for 45 days are pushing the envelope for the next user.
Back to the topic at hand. I am slowly learning there are a lot of things built into the OS that requires utilities in Windows like fairly robust PDF support built into Finder and Safari. Also, when I plugged the MBP14 into my OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock it immediately recognized my two external Samsung 4k monitors (the cheap $300 32" variety - not anywhere near Apple “quality”) and they looked great. All I had to do was scale up the text - native resolution was like reading the back of an aspirin bottle - and the text stayed sharp.
The file system takes some major adjusting, but column mode is pretty helpful to see where you’ve come through the hierarchy. Also, MacOS’ preview function is pretty D good compared to Windows.
I am going to preface this with the admission that I am very old school, grew up on IBM keyboards and prefer clicky mechanical ones - although switched over to the Lenovo ThinkPad keyboards the last few years.
The MBP14 keyboard is not as good as the x360 or even the new MS type cover (when it is lays flat on a table - when attached to front bezel of SP8 still a little bounce), but it is an improvement over the last MBP and a VAST improvement over the scissor model.
PS - I think the problem is the key travel is still too shallow.
Fan Noise - NONE
I’ve been using the MBP14 for three days now, almost exclusively Outlook, Office 365 (primarily Word and simple Excel sheets), Raven Scanner desktop (which uses Rosetta), and Safari (have NOT loaded Chrome) and I have not heard the fans once. Now this could be poor hearing, but I can easily hear the SP8 even when the fans are running slow.
New Connection Setup
Working form home this morning, and connected by USB-C to my old 27" Samsung with PD: (1) it connected straight away, all I had to do was rearrange screens - like my office setup it defaults to Extended Screen Mode (not duplicate like my SP8 did); (2) this screen is QHD, and looks crisp and sharp, but when I scaled it down one step the larger text was slightly blurry; and (3) USB-C PD topped off my battery and shows I’m connected to power - I think this only delivers 45W but doing the trick (was only down about 10% this morning after surfing for about 2 hours last night).
These stats, and the fact that one device almost replaces two:
Surface Pro 8, with type cover and pen_____________2lb 9.6oz
MacBook Pro 14__________________________________3lb 8.7oz
—with iPad Pro 11, pen and ESR smart cover_______5lb 2.7oz
That alone is a lot to consider (exclusive of the price differential, thanks to @Hifihedgehog and his friends at iTSavvy). I really like this MBP14, but is it a better solution? Universal control (using same keyboard for the MBP 14 and iPad) is handy, and Sidecar is far better than duet display between my SP8 and iPad. I really enjoy answering iMessage and FaceTime on the MBP14, but again that is an “add-on” advantage.
After the “weight” post above I got a couple of PM’s asking if I was already wavering on the MBP14 trial - Hxxx NO!
If anything, the trial is going too well in Apple’s favor, especially little things like answering text messages from my son and former law partner right here from the MBP14. It is “liberating” to borrow a millennial phrase. Seriously, getting alerts here on the desktop and being able to respond is a great extension of my workflow.
Also, note that I said the SP8 could “almost” replace two devices, but it can’t in my case. The iPP11 is a far better tablet than the SP8, and other “little things” (like my Beats Pro earbuds switching from Watch to iPhone to iPad to MBP14 effortlessly) keep stacking up in Apple’s favor. In fact, the cross device compatibility is building mega-points for the switch.
I have not yet experienced that overwhelming business pressure of juggling dozens of docs and spreadsheets at once, but not fearing that either. Part of that is the further removed I get form my year end medical issues, the more stable everything becomes, and although this week’s closing for a client was a bit of a pain in the “now how do I do that” realm, I didn’t get claustrophobic and run screaming to the SP8…another small victory…