Anyone who's known me for any length of time will probably know that I like technology. I embrace it and try to utilise it as much as I can. I've been called a geek and I've been called a nerd but that's ok. I believe technology is the future. Granted, there are some technologies we definitely don't need. My Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch mint fall into that category, but I find it quite useful. Being such a supporter of technology, it may surprise you to know that I've never owned an Apple product in my whole life. I'm very much an "Android guy". I've been a staunch supporter (and user) of the platform since it began operating. iOS has never interested me.
While I'm not going to turn this post into an Apple advert, millions of people can't be wrong can they?
As I'm slipping deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit of photography - my girlfriend and my wallet can definitely attest to that - I found myself needing something with a bit more kick than my Samsung Note 10.1 2014 tablet. As much as I love that device it really isn't up to the job anymore. I needed raw processing power. I needed more than 32 gigabytes of onboard storage. I needed a bigger, higher resolution screen. I needed all this power in a lightweight, sleek, strong package. I needed a Mac!
At least...that's what they told me in the Apple Store in Liverpool One...but then again, they would wouldn't they? My head was swirling as I left the store. I'd been through an in-depth-ish demonstration of the new 2014 13" Macbook Pro Retina, instead of the MacBook Pro. The one I was interested in looking at to start with. Still not quite sure how that happened.
I still wasn't sure about buying an Apple product though, considering how much I've bashed them over the years. I began to wonder if there was an alternative (by wonder I mean it was suggested to me). I went to another store (which I won't name) and asked about it. There was an Apple rep in the store and he was far more helpful. Probably because he was a rep not a salesman but anyway, moving on.
The guy explained to me that to get the same power and everything else I needed in another brand of computer would be expensive, unreliable and probably wouldn't las any longer than 12 months. Then I got him to go over a few of the features that had intrigued me the day before. He also said all (near enough) the same stuff the other guy had said but, and this is the strange part, in a completely different way. Which I liked. A lot. Whether he was more skilled in sale-speak, whether it was because he in fact wasn't chasing a commission, or maybe he was genuinely trying to help a confused Android user, who's platform and operating system of choice didn't seem to be working for him, I don't know. I don't care either. I found the salesman in the Apple store to be a little pushy, and the moment I said "photography" that was all he seemed to focus on.
The rep however, did a much better job of explaining how a Macbook would help me, and not just why. He didn't force it on me. He wasn't pushy, and I felt I was able to take my time. The best bit is, once he'd finished explaining, not telling me, how and why a Mac would suit my needs better than other brands he buggered off and left me alone to think it over, instead of standing there gorping at me mentally spending his commission. I didn't feel pressured at all.
I tinkered with the display model. I did a quick picture edit. I opened up some apps, typed a note, had a little play with the camera, closed the lid, picked it up, put it down and went for a walk around the other laptops.
So after some coffee and a lengthy "should I shouldn't I" discussion both with myself and my ever patient other half, I bit the bullet and bought a shiny 2014 Macbook Pro with Retina Display.
And I f*****g LOVE it!
The rep was right. He explained it all to me, laid it out and finished his pitch with, and I quote -
"ONCE YOU START USING A MACBOOK YOU'LL WONDER WHY IT'S TAKEN YOU SO LONG"
And he wasn't wrong.
At the time this post is published I'll have been a Mac user for maybe 50 or so hours. So not very long but y'know what? In that short space of time the things I've been able to do with it have literally blown me away. Editing photographs is a breeze. Blogging is a breeze. I'm truly amazed at how sleek and nice it all is. There's a bit of a learning curve to it, I'm getting over the fundamental differences, I finding it really easy.
Now if you're reading this and thinking "You're easily impressed Mr. Bannerman" please remember something: I've never used an Apple product. I tried an iPhone. Hated it. Used it once and didn't ever bother with it again. My last "dedicated" laptop was a Dell Inspiron 1520 running Windows XP that I bought second-hand for £120. When that packed up I got a Google Chromebook. Great little machine for web browsing but not much else.
So to have this monster of a laptop with a quite frankly alien operating system is both amazing and confusing. I've been like a small child trying to wrap his brain around an old Magic-Eye picture, but I'm embracing it as fast as I can because it works.
So have I been converted? Will I ditch my Android devices for iOS? Will I buy an iPad? Will I be queuing all night for the next bi-annual iteration of the iPhone? Certainly not.
While I'm ridiculously impressed with the MacBook and all it can do, I still have a problem with iOS. My mobile devices (phone and tablet) will remain Android based. I like the platform, I know it, I understand it and I've been using it for years. When it comes to laptops though, I think Apple just might have a new life-long customer.
Dave C. Bannerman