Compared to custom builds, MacBook Pros were not the preferred choice for graphic intensive applications to edit photos and videos – so far. Addressing this, Apple has launched a major upgrade to the MBP line up, powered by two new processors the M1 Pro and M1 Max.
Why a Laptop?
In terms of portability, laptops were versatile to be carried along for all those photo shoots. Certain bank transfers, for example, were much easier over a laptop, compared to a mobile device – ICICI and SBI being notorious for their limited functionality. Another example is sending an invoice to a client via QuickBooks. If you’re driving, you could just park at a safe spot, boot up, connect to a hotspot and get these tasks done real quick.
Laptops are great for client presentations at their office. Apple MBPs boot up fast, have great displays and look professional. Unless your work is to sort through thousands of rows in Excel using keyboard shortcuts, you won’t really miss a Windows device.
Problem starts when you start editing a Matterport space, for highlight reels, scan flow, blur and other processing work. The fan heats up, even in an AC environment, working from home. The latest devices (with the Touch Bar) were not smooth for working on Premier Pro or screen recording a virtual tour using Quick Time.
Apple claims that these known issues (or limitations) are being addressed with the introduction of these upgraded chips. With a 10 core CPU, 32 core GPU and 64GB unified memory, the laptop is your high-end workstation that can be carried around.
We could go on for hours about the new launches, but will let Apple do the presentation they way they’d like to. Learn more about the new MBPs here – https://www.apple.com/in/macbook-pro-14-and-16/
We’ll continue this article so it stays related to photography and Matterport virtual tours in India.
Not Camera Shy Anymore
Tired of searching for that thunderbolt adapter? The new MBPs now come with built-in SDXC ports so that you can transfer files from your camera’s memory cards directly.
Along with the HDMI port (which is a welcome inclusion), the laptop can be used to connect to TVs at your desk or the client’s office. With the M1 Max, you can add three additional Pro Display XDRs along with a 4K TV.
With the kind of new 8K cameras (like the Canon R5) being introduced in India, these features are essential for an optimised workflow. When you’re done with a Matterport 3D scan, if you’d like to present it as a traditional video for your clients to upload in their YouTube channel, you can record screen, export as 4K and also test it in your HDMI display.
Similar to the iPad Pro, the new MBPs feature the ProMotion tech where graphics are at their best without draining power too soon. However, while editing video, the refresh rates can be set to a fixed level. The 16 inch model displays up to 7.7 million pixels at 254 ppi. This makes a substantial difference while screen recording, for example.
The laptop’s FaceTime camera gets a major bump with 1080 pixels, wider aperture and larger image sensor.
Touch Me Not
Thankfully, the Touch Bar is no more. The function keys are back, along with a larger escape key, that writers prefer. The keyboard now is full height with a mechanical feel. This helps during long hours of typing or writing quick captions for your creatives.
Editing in Adobe applications such as Photoshop is faster and easier with keyboard shortcuts. Those used to it will appreciate the redesigned keyboard.
MagSafe is now back! It was popular among the older versions of MacBooks, not only for the charging indicator, but for its functionality. Talking about the indicator, it is probably good to know when the device is fully charged, so that it can be unplugged. As a best-practice, portable devices should not be plugged in always, so that the life of the battery is extended. The same goes for charging – plug in only when it is low and not midway.
The MagSafe, as opposed to Thunderbolt charging or the mechanical ones in Windows, is magnetically plugged in. If you’re using the laptop while charging, and in a situation where someone might trip on the cable, the MagSafe clip detaches from the device instead of pulling the whole machine down, leading to a crash.
Even with the extended warranty (AppleCare+ that also covers accidental damage in India) you wouldn’t want the screen cracking or the metal frame to get dented.
Is it Worth it?
The most frequent question that Indian retailers hear, pre purchase. A day’s Matterport virtual tour scanning service in India would fetch about 1 lakh. Work for 4-5 days so that it pays for the M1 Max version. If it complements your service, speeds up post-processing and enables productivity, then yes, it is definitely worth it.
The 16 inch MacBook Pro, with AppleCare+ costs about 3.65 lakhs in the official Apple India store. This is for the minimal configuration. Add to it other must-haves such as the new polishing cloth, USB C to USB adapter and AirTags.
If you buy a pack of 4, maybe you can place one in that Matterport Pro2 hard case, another in the DSLR carry bag and one more for the Victorinox laptop bag that carries the all-new, super-powerful MacBook Pro. You’ll appreciate it!
What's in the Details?
My friend and I casually walked into a job fair in Bangalore in mid 2006. We were team leads already but just wanted to see what the HRs in other companies were like.
The friend who was financially-smart and great at managing a team, didn’t care much about technical details. It’s one of the reasons our articles don’t nerd out too much – our Matterport audience don’t care about the number of transistors on a silicon either.
Coming back, we walked up to a much hyped up company’s stall to chat up the HR executives. I asked my friend to enquire about a specific technical role and he did it, just for kicks.
Friend: (Flexing his biceps) Can I apply for the technical role and not the regular sales opportunity?
HR1: (Raising her eyebrows) Are you technically equipped?
HR2: (Interrupting her colleague) Wait, wait. Do you have a computer at home?
Friend: Yes, I do.
HR2: Fine, tell me the configuration of your computer.
Friend: (Lauging loudly) That’s a good question.
HR1: (Raising her eyebrows again) Do you have a good answer?
So if you’re thinking what’s in a fancy laptop that could cost 4 lakhs? Here’s the config:
- Apple M1 Max chip with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine
- 32GB unified memory
- 1TB SSD storage
- 41.05 cm (16.2-inch) Liquid Retina XDR display
- Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3 port
- 140W USB-C Power Adapter
- Backlit Magic Keyboard with Touch ID – US English
- Final Cut Pro