First, a confession. Were it not for the money that I’ve invested over the long haul in Windows hardware and software, let alone my dread of migrating thousands of files to a new operating system, I’d have bought a MacBook Pro years ago.
Not because I ever thought they were better at doing anything that mattered to me. They weren’t.
Not because the famously balkanized Windows development community cranks out such famously underwhelming user interfaces. If the FTP app that I prefer isn’t a work of art, who cares? 95% of my computer time is spent using design software that looks equally lovely on both platforms.
My main reason – my only reason, really – for wanting a MacBook Pro was its exterior build quality. Premium materials and clean lines so unlike the boxy, plastic industrial appliances I’d been using since 2005 when my last desktop system donated its organs to science.
In short, I wanted a Windows laptop that looked and felt as impressive as its benchmark scores.
Now I have one.
When my three-year-old Sony Vaio started to fail in August, I re-entered the market prepared to settle yet again for a merely presentable utilitarian product. What I found instead was the Dell XPS 15 ultrabook. Machined aluminum chassis, carbon fiber undercarriage, silicone palm rest, Gorilla Glass screen. More Krupp than Eames, more business casual than coffee bar chic, it’s beautiful in its own right and renders 1080p video at almost playback speed. This, thanks to a 500 GB solid state drive, two 8GB RAM chips and a quad-core processor.
The only downside for designers was its native resolution, so crazy high at 3200 x 1800 that even Adobe, yes Adobe, had yet to come to grips with it when I accepted delivery in August. The toolbars in Premiere and Audition, for example, were unreadably small.
But one month later – this very day, in fact – Adobe published a Creative Cloud update that resolved those issues, making me, for the first time in 20 years of computer ownership, a completely happy camper.
So thank you, Adobe. Thank you, Microsoft. Thank you both for ironing out whatever your differences were.
It’s the children who suffer most when parents fight, you know. Please try to remember that.