Are large screens as important as they used to be?
I think we can oddly blame the pandemic for some good news, you know. Surely, something good has to come out of what we have been through, and hopefully, that will be our working practices. The past two years have broken the habits of a lifetime for me. Before 2020, I would never have considered home working, or, for that matter, a laptop. But times, they are-a-changing, and I now have a MacBook Pro & a Studio Display as my main work station
I’ll change, but only if…
If you’ve read some of my recent blogs, then you’ll know I made a well-considered and measured change in the last week. I have moved away from a large, 27” iMac and for the first time ever, am now working on a laptop. That laptop is the 16” MacBook Pro. I have owned MacBooks before, but never as my main workhorse, or daily driver (an annoying phrase, but there ya go!). It was not an easy decision, far from it. If I were to get it wrong, then it would be a seriously expensive mistake. As much as I had spent time looking at the MacBook in store, there is nothing like it being on your desk and working with it. I had in my basket for, I don’t know how many weeks, but still something was gnawing away at me, that I was about to make a mistake. On the other hand, I was yearning for change. I wanted to avoid being guilty of simply carrying on with desktops, just because I always had. Nope, I wanted to embrace this time of change.
Put your fears to one side
I was being one of the precious luvvies, that thought my workflow was so dynamic and special. How could I, of all people, work on a diddly-little laptop? This blog is directly aimed at those of you, that consider yourself too pro to work on a smaller screen.
I have now been working on the MBP for 4 ,very full days. In that time, the tasks have included;
- recording this week’s podcast
- editing it in Audition
- writing daily blogs
- editing my first video on it in Premiere Pro
- Photoshop, Illustrator and In Design work
All of those tasks, perhaps barring writing in Ulysses, are demanding on the eye, and have always been the domain of the larger screens. The days have been long this week, and that is in no way due to the fact of ‘bedding-in’ the new Mac. Nope, far from it. This Mac has been so easy to set up and work on; the best experience I have ever had with a new Mac. What has surprised me, though, was not missing a big screen. I guess the only time I felt a little cramped for space, has been in the Premiere timeline, but, I am being picky. It was far from being unworkable, and outside that, I have not missed the larger monitor at all, and wondered, how can that be.
It’s all about the bezels baby
Several factors go toward making this such a great machine to work on, regardless of what your use case is. The smaller bezels make a big difference. I have an Intel MacBook that I can compare it to, and this screen feels way bigger than the 1” that the numbers tell us. The almost edge to edge screen, means you are immersed in your work, and the panel feels an integral part of your day. You really do not notice the thin bezels at all. I’ve just realised, I have not spoken about the notch. And that is because, I rarely notice it. In fact, I had not noticed it at all until I started using the Creative Cloud apps. Other full-screen apps, are exactly that. They take up the full screen, and the notch disappears. With Adobe, though, they only open up to the height of the notch. That is frustrating, as your eyes are, actually, then drawn to that part of the screen which is not being used. Hopefully, Adobe will be addressing that in a fix sometime soon.
The single most enjoyable factor of this MBP, must be the colour representation. The colours, say in Photoshop, just pop and make tasks that seemed more arduous, even on the iMac, an absolute joy. They are crisp, vibrant and, punchy. I have actually found my creativity has improved because of it, too. I have always enjoyed sitting down to work on a Mac, but this week that has been taken to a whole new level. Not only that, but I took time to open up Apple TV on here just before writing this blog. Oh, boy!! It puts my TV to shame! It’s so, deeply immersive, and vivid. Not to the point of hurting your eyes, no, there appears to be a balance about it. I wonder how long it will be until I start consuming TV on here rather than my 55” panel on the wall at home? It truly is that good.
Two other tiny factors, away from the screen that make this a joy to use, the keyboard and battery. The keyboard, undoubtedly, is the very best I have used. I only wish I was a better typer to take even more advantage of it. And the battery… I wrote this week that I was not sure about it. Scrub that! I have been working off the battery today, for 6 hours now, and it still has about 25% charge on it. In that time, it has coped with Photoshop, Illustrator and In Design. No fans, no heat, just pure productivity.
Small points matter
When you begin to consider all these indistinguishable, incremental design elements, it all goes to make for a gorgeous working environment. The brightness from the mini LED panel makes the day so much easier to get through. I have not put the 120Hz refresh rate through its paces, but give me time.
Go for it
If you have been delaying getting a new Mac, just because the 27” iMac is no longer available, then, you have no fears. Take my word on it, you can be creative anywhere with this MacBook. Grab your rucksack, throw the charger in…just in case, and you, my friend, are ready to create, anytime, any place. Make a change… let the pandemic have had a good outcome. If you are lucky enough, to embrace a new, portable, Mac working world, do it. There are days for being studio-based and hooked up to a larger screen, and equally, days for being as creative in the local coffee shop or beach!
Life is for living. These new Macs now make that both a possibility & reality.
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Originally published at https://www.talkingtechandaudio.com/blog on May 12th, 2022.