A few things are converging here. The main motivator here is shifting back into travel mode. The amount of time we spend traveling will be increasing for the foreseeable future. So I’ve been trying to simplify, both in life in general and in all things digital. Another motivator is moving out of the budget mindset and focusing more on quality and solidity. Things that just work and don’t require so much ‘fiddling’ just to get things done. Side benefit, less time helping my wife figure out how to do something that involves her phone/tablet/etc.
Serendipitously Apple just announced iOS 13 which includes a lot of nice improvements for the iPad. This caused me to think more about upgrading our hardware with a shift back to the Apple side of things. We already switched back to iPhones and I picked up an iPad for some music experiments a year ago. But now we want to do more.
My first experiment was to see if the iPad could replace a laptop, and I was encouraged at first. But after a week or so I think it will be limited to photo/video workflows and yoga on YouTube and some other miscellaneous uses, maybe even some creative spurts with an Apple pencil. But for spreadsheets and writing and multiple windows, etc., it’s just too cumbersome, even with iPadOS’ new features (I’ve been running the public beta, which I don’t recommend you try). So that means a laptop, and it will probably be a MacBook Air. I have fond memories of my last one, and I’m looking forward to that smaller weight and footprint compared to my current 15” Lenovo beast. I am also excited about all the new apps and other ways to coordinate between iPad and MacBook and iPhone. We will probably upgrade phones over the next year since my 5S won’t work with iOS 13 and the wife’s SE is getting a bit old as well. Might upgrade to 7 or 8, not sure yet. I’m also thinking about an Apple Watch, even though I haven’t worn a watch since my first iPhone purchase in 2008. I am eyeing a HomePod to try and keep sound levels decent while also being much more portable than my speakers + subwoofer combo currently in use. Pretty excited about Siri and shortcuts/automations as well. And finally we might swap the Zotac Zbox out for a Mac Mini, just to keep it all in the Apple family.
I have become quite used to Linux over the last couple of years, but I can’t imagine a scenario where I will need it for something compared to what is available on the Mac. And if I do run into something, well - there’s always dual-booting or virtual machines. :)