My attention has been divided between this blog and a couple others (the bottom two on the side bar over there –>), but if you’ve been paying attention to those, you’ll probably notice that my activity on those has waned as well. Most of my writing focus lately has been going toward the sequel to Iterate, which is actually coming along pretty well, but I’ve been sorely lacking in posting personal/life updates here, so I guess it’s time to do that.
I’ve been wanting a new laptop since the beginning of this year, and for the first time, it’s not because there’s a laptop out that I want. Quite the opposite, it’s because I feel ready for a more powerful laptop than my 2015 12″ MacBook, but the problem is, there is literally not a single laptop on the market that I want.
I usually default to buying a MacBook when it comes to laptops because Windows laptops are kinda terrible, but I’m just not the biggest fan of Apple’s current laptops. Now that they’ve updated the Pro models with a Touchbar and didn’t bother with the non-Touchbar version, which is literally the only laptop I’m interested in from them, they’ve just totally lost me. But even before that update, I had given up and gone over to the Windows world for a laptop, and let me tell you, that market is a total and complete mess.
This is probably the wrong place for me to get into the details since I have a tech blog, but I’m gonna do it anyway. The issues boil down to a combination of some (or perhaps all) of the following:
- Poor trackpads, aka, “Does this laptop have a glass surface with Windows Precision drivers?” This is a dealbreaker – don’t buy a Windows laptop that doesn’t have this if you plan on using the trackpad.
- Poor customer support/lack of local support options/quick turnaround for issues
- Screen bleed
- Build quality, including case flex (does the chassis give when you press down on it) and screen flex, which I was horrified to learn was an actual problem in the Windows laptop world (can you tell I haven’t purchased one in a while?)
- Noise tests (how loud do the fans get?)
- Poor quality speakers (no one comes close to Apple here)
I pity anyone shopping for a Windows laptop. I bought a Razer Blade 15 and returned it because it simply wasn’t worth the price tag for the heat/noise it generates. And heck, now I feel bad for the pros that went out and bought the new i9 MacBook Pro, because I guess those are throttling hard (7-25-18 update: Apple has apparently fixed this with a software update yesterday). But, at least if you want a Touchbar (or don’t mind paying the premium for one), you can buy a pretty decent 13″ or 15″ Core i7 model…so I guess that’s something.
Anyway, I gave up on that and instead just focused on my desktop. I mounted a monitor arm on the wall next to the sofa, so now I can easily use my desktop while relaxing. I also bought a GTX 1080, which I installed yesterday, so hopefully I’ll be set for another 3 years or so with that (my GTX 970 was just over 3 years old, and honestly would’ve still been fine had I not gotten into VR or wanted a 144Hz 1440p gaming monitor…).
I guess on that note, I’ve been playing a ton of Fortnite, so if you want to play together, hit me up on my mobile (that’s a little old person humor for you, the joke is that I’m old; social media is fine). Oh, if you don’t read my tech blog, I guess I should mention that VR is awesome, and I’ve been playing Beat Saber almost every day since I got my VR headset. It’s really cool, and the most fun I think is truly to be had with the games that are designed for VR rather than shoehorned to fit VR. Fair warning about it, though: I don’t have issues with nausea (the headsets are super fast and responsive these days) but some people still get motion sickness.
Anyway, here’s to hoping Apple releases a good laptop without a Touchbar that has at least a current generation Core i5 sometime in the next year so I can buy one. Sigh.