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Laptop replacement - all options considered


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Posted (edited)

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Thank you, everyone, for all your advice, even if I haven't taken it in specifics!

I've ordered a Macbook Pro 14 with the M1 Pro CPU (the high end version), 32Gb RAM and 1Tb SSD. Delivery in the first half of August. I hope Apple doesn't announce that the next generation will have a touchscreen just after mine arrives.

Edited by LocalHero1953
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1 minute ago, LocalHero1953 said:

Thank you, everyone, for all your advice, even if I haven't taken it in specifics!

I've ordered a Macbook Pro 14 with the M1 Pro CPU (the high end version), 32Gb RAM and 1Tb SSD. Delivery in the first half of August. I just hope Apple doesn't announce that the next generation will have a touchscreen just after mine arrives.

at least they factored in the delay [august] due to Shanghai's lockdown!

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On 6/22/2022 at 10:50 PM, LocalHero1953 said:

Thank you, everyone, for all your advice, even if I haven't taken it in specifics!

I've ordered a Macbook Pro 14 with the M1 Pro CPU (the high end version), 32Gb RAM and 1Tb SSD. Delivery in the first half of August. I hope Apple doesn't announce that the next generation will have a touchscreen just after mine arrives.

Congrats on your new gear...^^b

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  • 3 weeks later...

The new Macbook was actually delivered two days ago - so only about three weeks lead time.

First impressions are as good as expected. A solid piece of hardware of similar manufacturing quality to my Surface Book, but without the clever but unusual hinge that is a point of weakness in the Microsoft device. The screens and keyboards similar - beyond a certain level, improvements are diminishing returns. 

Switching computers is less of a hassle than it used to be. Once I registered with Apple and Microsoft, all my documents transferred via iCloud (just photos from my iphone) and Onedrive. Installing Edge gave me all my bookmarks. Installing 1Password gave me all my logins and registrations. Registering with Adobe and installing LR/PS meant I had access to my photos. There are a few apps that need special attention - I have to transfer my own music (iTunes downloads are there). My favourite musical notation app (Noteworthy) is Windows-only, so I am giving Musescore a trial. I have done no photo editing, so I haven't checked out the M1 Pro performance

The MacOS interface is taking a while to become familiar. I remain baffled by the missing touchscreen from the Surface Book, but I'm learning workarounds with the trackpad - they remain, to me, unnecessary workarounds, rather than the natural human touch. I miss File Explorer and knowing where everything is on my laptop, even if it is often hidden somewhere unexpected.

I have a problem with a second screen, which I would like to connect to via a switch/hub, that shares it with my deskop. My old Dell 27" only has one functioning input, Displayport - both HDMI and USB are defunct. The Startech switch uses old large Type B USB ports. I could probably work out a way of connecting it all up, but it may be time for a new monitor (it occasionally flicks to green and magenta) and a new switch. 

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Posted (edited)

Bit late to the party here but did you consider the iPad Pro XDR (with M1)? It only supports Lightroom for iPadOS which is fairly full featured at this point and mainly lacks in the panorama stitching department. The benefit is that it’s light, compact, and has an amazingly good touch screen.

As far as responsiveness for photo editing and exporting in Lightroom, the iPad Pro XDR is great (at least with 24 MP images) and I’ve been using it since it came out with the Magic Keyboard which works quite well. As good as any other laptop keyboard from Apple.

That said, I did also order a MBP 14 M1 Max because I’m starting to do more video editing and the iPad Pro XDR doens’t quite cut it for more advanced workflows beyond trimming and colour adjustments. I also looked hard at the MBA M2 but the early reviews seem to suggest that heat dissipation is a concern for the fan less MBA when doing video exporting. Some reports says it gets up to high 30°C to low 40°C which is a bit too much for me.

Based on my experience with the M1 iPad, if you’re not doing video editing and just doing Lightroom stuff, the MBA M2 seem like the ideal machine. It is fantastically fast for small burst of activity like making edits to large raw images in lightroom but it will have problems doing huge batch exports or videos that run the machine for more than a few minutes while maxing out the processor.

For myself, the MBA M2 is a little too close to my iPad Pro XDR for performance. If I didn’t already own an iPad Pro XDR, it would be a good candidate for a light travel machine. However, given the challenge the MBA M2 has with long sustained intensive workloads, the MBP 14 M1 Pro/Max seem much better suited.

Edited by beewee
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I did consider the iPad briefly. I had an iPad years ago (iPad 4) but got fed up with the lack of connectivity and absence of mainstream apps. I know it has developed a lot since then, and that people happily use LR on it. Even so, I did not want to risk the frustration of finding that Apple's dogmatic insistence that iPads are self-contained devices with their own peculiar ecosystem has not not relaxed (just like its dogmatic insistence that touchscreens are not for laptops).

I chose the M1 Pro over the M2 basic chip because reports suggest the former should still perform better with graphics.

Finally, a big attraction of the MBP 14 over the MBA is the SD card slot, which makes travelling with a camera much simpler.

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Posted (edited)

I think the lack of SD card readers use to be more of a pain but since I started using the SL2-S as my main camera, I haven’t found a need to pull out an SD card reader. I plug the USB-C cable from the camera to my iPad and it mounts like a drive and is quite fast for downloading. I just open LR and import straight from the camera into LR via USB. I expect the same applies to the M11 as well. I also do something similar with other cameras that supports fast USB access where it mounts as a drive and I can copy files wherever I need them or save FW images to the camera directly via USB. It’s literally been over a year since I had to use an SD card reader.

Edited by beewee
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On 6/22/2022 at 10:50 AM, LocalHero1953 said:

Thank you, everyone, for all your advice, even if I haven't taken it in specifics!

I've ordered a Macbook Pro 14 with the M1 Pro CPU (the high end version), 32Gb RAM and 1Tb SSD. Delivery in the first half of August. I hope Apple doesn't announce that the next generation will have a touchscreen just after mine arrives.

I had not read this thread until now so sorry for the delay.

If you have an desktop that is able to do all the powerful editing for photoshop etc. why not go with an iPad Pro? I use an ipad pro for file loading and initial modifications and MBP 13" for complex edits. The files sync to creative cloud and back down to my MBP when I log into LR Classic. The ipad pro with keyboard cover is great for traveling compared to the MBP. Does most of what I need in LR and even does a few rough edits in PS.

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24 minutes ago, ejg1890 said:

I had not read this thread until now so sorry for the delay.

If you have an desktop that is able to do all the powerful editing for photoshop etc. why not go with an iPad Pro? I use an ipad pro for file loading and initial modifications and MBP 13" for complex edits. The files sync to creative cloud and back down to my MBP when I log into LR Classic. The ipad pro with keyboard cover is great for traveling compared to the MBP. Does most of what I need in LR and even does a few rough edits in PS.

I have owned a much older iPad, and considered a new variant - but see my post #27. 

I’m now learning how to use a MacBook Pro 14” M1 Pro. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got my MBP 14 this week and call me impressed. 

I’ve been using the iPad Pro XDR since it came out and thought the screen was pretty good (the colour gamut was very similar to the 3rd and 4th Gen iPad Pro but the XDR was able to get much brighter when needed, whereas there was a noticeable improvement when comparing 3rd Gen iPad Pro vs the 1st Gen iPad Pro). With that said, the MBP 14’s XDR screen is on a new level. As far as colour goes, the same photos that looked ‘good’ on my iPad XDR looked really good on the MBP 14.

Up until now, I’ve been using LR on the iPad for the past 1.5 years and the main feature I found lacking was the panorama merge. Having now used LR on both the Mac and iPad with the same photos, I feel I still enjoy the experience of adjusting tone curves on the iPad but everything else is just snappier and more responsive on the MBP 14 (M1 Max w/ 32 GB RAM). So far, the most impressive thing I’ve experienced was watching the MBP merge 31 DNGs from the SL2-S to generate a 360 degree 110 MP panorama in about 30 seconds and the results from LR was pretty stunning. 

As far as photo editing goes, I think the MBP’s XDR screen is well worth the upgrade. Now with an XDR display on both the MBP and iPad, I’ll need to give the Sidecar feature a try with LR to see if I can have the best of both worlds where I can control tone curves by touch on the iPad while leveraging the speed of the MBP’s processor.

 

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37 minutes ago, beewee said:

As far as photo editing goes, I think the MBP’s XDR screen is well worth the upgrade. Now with an XDR display on both the MBP and iPad, I’ll need to give the Sidecar feature a try with LR to see if I can have the best of both worlds where I can control tone curves by touch on the iPad while leveraging the speed of the MBP’s processor.

I will be interested to hear how you get on with this. Touchscreen editing is the main thing I miss from the Surface Book 2. The latter's screen was of a resolution and quality that the MBP's is not an obvious step forward, but I have already had to clean the MBP's screen to get rid of my attempted finger action😉.

I'm glad not to have the Surface Book's fan going full blast trying to keep the GPU under control. The MBP and its adapter get plenty hot enough when charging from low battery, but I guess that's the penalty of the high power-rating charger. At least it doesn't sound like it's in distress as well.

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On 7/30/2022 at 7:33 PM, beewee said:

I got my MBP 14 this week and call me impressed. 

I got mine recently too and have also been very impressed. I've finally taken the plunge and moved seamlessly from LR6.14 to LRC and it works a charm on this MBP 14".

As we are travelling the SD slot has been heavily used and we are very pleased with the audio and screen quality for catching up on streaming shows in the evenings.

Altogether very pleased with this purchase.

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