Today I did something I never thought I’d do. And I’m feeling guilty about not feeling guilty.
After using Mac products since 1990, today I bought a Galaxy TabPro S.
Just writing that seems unreal. I mean, I’m the one everyone comes to when they’re complaining about their PCs. I’m the one always saying, “Should have got a Mac”. I’m the one who is known as the Mac Evangelist.
I mean, I love my MacBook Pro. I do. But it was time to upgrade the poor thing (it’s been a real workhorse) and after spending over an hour in the Apple Store pondering my choices, I realise I had a choice I hadn’t previously considered — not buying one.
I wanted something which would be portable for travelling — lightweight and easy to use on, say, a train. My 15" MacBook Pro was heavy to lug around all day and was too big to sit on those little fold-down trays you get on the back of the train seats. I had tried using my iPad Pro but I was going demented trying to select text. I have yet to meet anyone — anyone! — who finds cutting and pasting on a iPad an easy thing to do.
I tried to create a Keynote presentation on the iPad Pro but the creativeness that I can do easily on a full OS is cumbersome and frustrating on iOS. Other tasks were a bit easier on my iPad thanks to the split screen on iOS but it pales in comparison to the usability and functionality of the full OS. And I realised that what I really wanted was a tablet which had a full operating system. Something very light and portable with a decent OS.
I thought one option would be to purchase the entry-level MacBook. Starting at £1249, this is pretty steep and I didn’t want to spend that much money, particularly when I already own a 15" Retina Display MacBook Pro which was bought for roughly the same price two years ago (Yes, I know costs go up but Apple’s price hike rankles me, particularly when it makes the costs higher than in the US — by about £320).
So I walked out of the Apple Store unsure what to do. I thought about some of the alternatives. I wasn’t overly enamoured with the Surface Pro 4, particularly when I realised you had to purchase the keyboard separately. I don’t really need the pen. The Surface Book was a bit too big and bulky for what I wanted it for and the price was similar to the entry-level MacBook.
Later that day while in an electronics store purchasing ink cartridges for my mother (I’m trying to wean her off paper but it’s slow going), the Galaxy TabPro S caught my eye. And the cost was hard to beat. The entry level plus 3 years McAfee Livesafe (because I realised I was leaving the more-secure Mac environment) came out at a total of less than £500. So I decided to have an early Christmas and buy it.
And so far, I’m quite enjoying it. Setting it up was easy enough and while I keep getting the @ and the “ mixed up on the keyboard and accidentally hitting Ctrl-Backspace thinking it will erase subsequent text (it doesn’t; I have to press the Delete key), I’m pretty happy with it so far. It does what I need and want it to do and it has a fully functional OS.
Perhaps, in a week or month, I will be cursing this machine because it doesn’t have Facetime or Messages or because it’s outside the OS ecosystem of all my other devices. Perhaps I’ll be singing its praises because it’s allowing me to work the way I want to work and I’m less frustrated. Time will tell.
All I know is that I feel the shine has gone off the apple. A lot of people are feeling this way and are thinking of switching; I just never thought I’d be one of them.