Macbook Pro 13″
The 13″ Macbook Pro has proven to be the most versatile tool in my bag since I started traveling many years ago. The combination of portability, power, and the fact that it can handle production and processing tasks that would strain lesser machines (phones, tablets, etc) makes it the most integral tool I use daily.
The first decision one must make when looking at laptops is what ecosystem you’d like to delve into. For many people, this has already been determined: we do our work on PCs or Macs, and some few tech-savvy folk are on some flavor of Linux.
For the PC-users among us, something like the Dell XPS would probably be a solid option; it’s the best Windows laptop I’ve used, and though I don’t prefer that ecosystem, personally, it is quite slick, speedy, and powerful.
For those who use, or aren’t afraid of changing over to the Mac OS, however, the 13″ Macbook Pro is truly a wonderful device. It’s light, well-built, just big enough but not too big, powerful as hell, and has an absolutely gorgeous screen.
When I started traveling back in the day, I was carrying a 15″ version of this machine, and though it was nice to have the additional screen real estate, the added bulk wasn’t work lugging around. Especially now that the Retina Screen is found across the whole Macbook lineup, cramming way more pixels into the same amount of space as before, carrying something larger than this while you’re traveling won’t make sense for most people.
So why not the Macbook Air or newfangled Macbook, then?
The Air is a little skinnier and lighter than the Pro, true, but what you get for what you give up (particularly power, speed, and battery life) isn’t what you get in return (a few ounces lighter, a fraction of an inch smaller). The Air is cheaper, but if you’re investing in a primary work machine, it’s worth forking over a few hundred more dollars for the Pro, instead.
The same is true with the Macbook; it’s trendy and will be appealing to some because of its novelty, but it hasn’t yet proven itself for anything beyond that. It’s less powerful, less rugged, and less overall capable due to lack of ports, battery life, and numerous other build-quality issues. If you’re the kind of person who wants an Apple Watch, the Macbook may be for you. If you’re someone who’s looking for practicality rather than bling, the 13″ Pro is still the better option for now.