MacBook Pro is finally a desktop replacement again

I just built a loaded up MacBook Pro for my new job and am relieved to find that, finally, they’re viable as a desktop replacement for development work again! I’ve been using an iMac + MacBook Air combination for the past year or so which worked fine when the bulk of my real productive time was at the iMac and the laptop was just for the occasional meeting and travel, but I’m now at a startup again I really one portable computer that does it all wherever I need it.

Based on the recent benchmarks I figured the late 2011 upgrades would put the MBP in the desktop contention range and I was right: quad core, the ability to finally get 16GB SODIMMs as 2×8 for under $200, and the relative cheapness of a blazing-fast third-party SATA III SSD upgrade (I went for a Crucial M4) makes it come in only a hair beneath a fully-loaded iMac (graphics capabilities aside) for somewhere in the ballpark of $3k. Of course, that’s without a 27″ display – but as much as I still love my 27″ iMac at home I honestly found the extreme glossiness pretty bad under office lighting anyway, and am more than happy to wire up a couple generic 23″ anti-glares for a fraction of the cost!

Overall, it’s a killer machine for doing tons of iOS, Android, and miscellaneous server development side-by side with all the IDE’s open and a pile of devices connected without so much as a hiccup, and as a quiet computer fanatic I love that I really have to go out of my way to push it before I ever hear a fan.


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