My New Mac Setup for 2012

I only have one computer, and that’s my 15 inch MacBook Pro. It’s a 2010 model and is fully maxed out at 8GB of RAM with an 80GB SSD and i7 processor. I absolutely love this machine. Here’s the clincher though: the battery life sucks.

Apple claims 7 hours of battery life for the latest MacBook Pros, and if I’m not mistaken, that hasn’t changed since 2010. Luckily for me, I mainly use this at home and it’s always plugged into AC power. Occasionally when I head out to a coffee shop for a few hours, I’ll bring my MacBook Pro with me — without the power adapter. If I turn the brightness on the display to the absolute lowest possible setting, I’ll maybe get 4 hours if I’m lucky.

I’ve run diagnostics on my battery, and it turns out it’s properly healthy, so that’s not the issue. I don’t have battery eating Adobe plug-ins installed in Safari, nor do I tend to watch videos while running on battery. I’ve heard that Twitter’s Mac client triggers this generation of MacBook Pros to automatically switch to its dedicated GPU, which would explain some of the hit the battery is taking. I’m going to have to run some tests without, but it leaves me thinking that 2012 will be the year I re-evaluate my setup.

I’m thinking I may just sell my MacBook Pro in favour of a combo setup. I would get a top-end 27” iMac for home, since I need the most powerful workstation I can get for a reasonable price. For most of my casual computing needs, an iPad would be well suited to this task. Since I obviously do a lot of writing, I think whatever the next generation iPad will be like, paired with a Bluetooth keyboard, would be all that I need. I could go anywhere with something super light that would last me for 10 hours of continuous use.

I don’t re-evaluate my setup very often, but after many years of using MacBook Pros, I’m no longer happy with them as my primary computer.