Jul 23 2012

Should I sell my MacBook Air? Thinking about it very seriously…

Adel Gabot

Yeah, should I sell it?

It’s sorta outlived its usefulness now that I got a keyboard going again for the iPad. I keep thinking about how I’m going to use it and I keep coming up empty.

I loaded all my favorite apps on there (a near-10GB install of Diablo III too), and I still have 75GB of space left. It’s running the golden master of Mountain Lion right now, pretty well I might add, and I’ve about done everything I can for that sucker. Still, it’s underused.

I got it partly because I didn’t have a laptop, and partly because I didn’t have a functioning keyboard anymore for the iPad (this was back when the Logitech thing tanked). But now that I have the Adonit Writer Plus keyboard again, I’m at a loss for any apps that my iPad can’t handle.

I think I can still sell it at a good price – it used to go for P59,990. (The new 2012 equivalent costs P52,990.)

A 2011 11″ 1.6 Core i5 MacBook Air with 4GB RAM and 128GB flash storage. I don’t know anymore now that there’s been an update to the Air, but surely it can’t have gone down by a lot. And it has three years of warranty, owing to my getting Applecare for it. All told, I paid around P60,000 for it, getting it at a low P49,900 and then around P10,000 for the discounted Applecare. Total value used to be P75,000. Maybe I can sell it at the price I got it all for, no loss. P60k, in a perfect world. Or realistically, P55k or P50k. Maybe. God knows I could use the extra money.

Hmm.

But, still, it would be nice to have a backup system. You really can’t ever tell if you’re going to need a laptop or not. What if my main system conks out and I have to send it in for repairs? Or maybe if I’m traveling, and I might need a system aside from my iPad.

Or maybe I can convert it to a new entry-level Retina MacBook Pro and have THAT as my reserve unused laptop. Should cost a little over P100k. Could probably get it for less from online sellers. Hmm…

Hmm indeed.


Mar 21 2012

…and more thoughts

Adel Gabot

Damn it.

No 64GBs yet. Maybe Friday, or worse, Monday.

Been calling them up, and from yesterday’s “Maybe Thursday, sir” to today’s “Sorry, sir. Some arrived yesterday and today, but they’re all sold out,” I am bummed. But they were only 16GB and 32GB units, so no big deal really. I wouldn’t have wanted those units anyway. Still. Been calling them up everyday, even though I sorta knew the units would begin arriving today, just on principle. It would be great if they were aware that I was on the prowl, although the early delivery and quick sell out of those units still rankles.

(A quick aside: watching a newly arrived guy across from me use his laptop to find a hotspot. He’s sitting directly across from me, and I’m a good angle to see his laptop screen. He went through the usual suspects, but no dice. I even saw my iPhone‘s Personal Hotspot there among his choices; good thing he skipped it, otherwise he and I would’ve had words.)

Was already plotting out how to establish a way to have wifi on the new iPad – getting a Huawei Mifi from that store, Office Warehouse, in the Shopwise building.

Was wondering if it really was a good idea to get a wifi-only iPad. The lack of a 4G option still bothers me, although there isn’t a way for me to use it yet, and no idea when there will be, or if a 4G LTE unit from the US would work at all here in the Philippines.  A Huawei Mifi would really be OK, although using another separate device on top of the iPad just to have a connection still bothers me a bit. There are a couple of girls across from me on another table using one to connect to the net to get on Facebook through their netbook, and they seem to be doing just fine.

But the fact remains, I still have to get the new iPad, and I still haven’t really convinced myself I need one. I’m going through the motions of actually getting one, but I’m still not entirely sure if it’s the right thing to do.

(The newly arrived guy just settled on working on his Excel worksheet. But he still hasn’t ordered anything, the louse.)

Actually, this delay is good. Gives me more time to think. (Although it’s slowly zapping any Technoodling posts I may have a chance of putting up. Was thinking of a two-pronged attack: an unboxing, and then a few days later, a review.)

I guess a few more sleepless nights, damn it.


Mar 19 2012

More thoughts on an iPad upgrade

Adel Gabot

Now that the iPad upgrade is postponed to the day after tomorrow, I have more time to consider whether or not to actually go through with it. (Not entirely true, I’m afraid. I still have to reserve one, and Kimstore only accepts reservations for a day, which means I gotta call them sometime tomorrow afternoon if I ever intend to get one.) Haven’t had much luck with the sale of my current iPad 2 – I posted it for sale yesterday in PhilMUG, TipidPC and Sulit.com, and all I’ve gotten is one bite from a guy who wants to trade with a factory unlocked 64GB iPhone 4s, if I add cash. Then again, it hasn’t been a day yet.

Apple‘s revved up its PR machine to the max, but I’m not entirely convinced of the need to upgrade. Like they say in the reviews, I really need to see the new Retina display to be totally convinced, and at this point, I can’t be too choosy – I can’t compare. There isn’t a new iPad to compare my iPad 2’s display to, not until maybe two or three months in the future, when the new products finally appear on the shelves. So I should get one sight unseen. Given the glowing reviews, I’m sure I’m going to be more than pleased with the new iPad’s display – but after that, what?

The quad-core graphics and additional 512MB RAM is essentially to drive the new display, so I doubt if I’ll get any performance gains from that upgrade. The 5MB camera in the back will be nice, but I’ll be using that as much as I’m now using the current camera – almost never. The Bluetooth 4.0 spec will also be nice – when the Bluetooth 4.0 peripherals finally show up. (The 64GB storage upgrade will be great, but no big deal; I’d learned to live with 32GB.)

Otherwise that’s it.

I’ll be getting a better screen, but that’s essentially all the improvement I’m going to see. And getting a slightly heavier, slightly bigger iPad that has a (supposed) tendency to heat up. Is that worth the P10k I’m potentially spending for the upgrade? Not to mention giving up the built-in 3G and swapping it for a Huawei E5836 Mifi (that I have yet to buy for the princely sum of P4k)? (Although come to think of it, switching to a mifi might actually be better for me in the long run. The SmartBro unlimited internet account is exclusively for the iPad, which is bad because I have need for it outside the device, as in wifi’ing my MacBook Air and my iPhone, and a mifi would take care of that.)

And that was a further concern – the lack of the 4G LTE upgrade. It’s one of the biggest upgrades ever for an Apple product, and here I was being blinded by a desire to upgrade now now now that I’m overlooking that simple fact. The LTE option won’t be feasible for a while yet, as Smart is just rolling it out as we speak, and I really can’t be sure if the AT&T option would even be compatible with Smart’s implementation of LTE. I’d say it’d be a year before the dust settles on that option. Another point against upgrading.

Hmm.

It’s looking bleaker and bleaker for the upgrade, and I think I might have to live with my current tech situation for the time being.

But who knows? Knowing my lust for gadgets, I just might spring for it after all, my concerns aside.

Oh well. We’ll see.


Mar 17 2012

iPad upgrade now?

Adel Gabot

I happened upon a chance to upgrade to the new iPad immediately, and at an affordable price, a day after the release abroad, and now I’m wondering if I should. I can get it right away if I want to. I’m just not decided if I should upgrade.

No, it’s not the one with 4G LTE. God knows when that will even be a feasible option in this country. No, it’s only a WiFi model, and I can finally get a 64GB unit if I want to, for P35k. I got my 3G 32GB iPad 2 for more than that last May, which I’m now thinking of selling for maybe P26k on PhilMUG, P10K less than when I got it. I think that should be reasonable. I’ll jack it up initially to P28k, then let myself get bargained down to P26k. That way, I’ll have spent around P10k to upgrade to the new model.

Look at me, already plotting an exit strategy. When I haven’t decided yet.

The upgrade will essentially be the Retina display, the quad-core graphics and the new back camera. And the additional 32GB memory. No LTE. Of course, I’ll have to give up my beloved 3G, and I’ll have to convert to using a MiFi, which means I gotta buy a MiFi router. Maybe I’ll get the Huawei one my brother’s always going on about (and change the microSIM to a regular SIM, and pay Smart’s SIM replacement fee – unless I can jury-rig the SIM and tape it to a full-sized SIM frame or something). Ah, but that’s in the (near) future. First, I gotta decide whether or not to actually upgrade. Forget the other stuff first.

I’ll get a brand-spankin’ new display mode, is what I’ll get. Reviews about it are positively glowing. Admittedly, like I’ve said before, I don’t really see anything wrong with my current iPad 2’s display, and I can’t really compare the two. But hey, can Andy Ihnatko and Walt Mossberg be wrong?

We’ll see tomorrow.

UPDATE: Sunday, March 18 – Huh. Turns out the new iPads don’t arrive until Wednesday, March 21. Too good to be true if they were available right now. Three more days of waiting. Oh well.


Mar 17 2012

Cheap keyboard or no?

Adel Gabot

I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to get that inexpensive Bluetooth keyboard from CDRKing or not.

I looked at it (them) the other day. There were two actually. One of them cost more than the other, and it was a hard plastic case with the keys bunched up against each other – which was a point against it already. It was going to be hard trying to type on that thing with the keys all scrunched up together. And the case – well, it pains me to say that the case marks it as a really seedy, cheap contraption, with its opaque, flimsy cover and all.

The other, cheaper one was a leather-type case that I would get for the iPad had I not had the Smart Cover and (cheap) back case already. (Well, not really; it was the cheap variety that I was consciously avoiding. I maybe would buy it in a pinch, but on the whole would rather avoid them.) Plus the fact that it came with a Bluetooth keyboard with evenly-spaced out keys that seemed halfway decent was a point in its favor. The iPad is mounted permanently in the case/keyboard, and is angled permanently in a single horizontal position when typing.

That fact was, did I really need one? What with the MacBook Air and all, I don’t really have much need for a keyboard for the iPad anymore. On the other hand, it would be nice to have, on those days there is no need to bring the Air along or when I just feel like bringing just the iPad. I don’t know if the whole thing would fit in my Crumpler bag though. That’s a concern. Either it fits, or I just bring the case/iPad combo by itself. Which is a bummer in and of itself .

I’ll give myself until Monday to decide.

Or not.