Thursday, May 14, 2015

Macbook for Industrial / Product designers - yes or no?

After having used Dell XPS 14" for 5 years, (and having constant issues about heating, charger conking off, and battery dying thrice), I decided to switch to Macbook Pro 13". Of course, I was in a dilemma, whether to buy it or no, since the air around me was that "Most Product Design softwares do not work on Macintosh". Against all that, I bought the Macbook (which is a sheer piece of beauty in design and engineering - placements of lights, the fillets, fine-brushed aluminium - Wow!) So here is my experience. 

Before we start? My Macbook is
2.5 GHz Intel Core i5
8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Intel HD Graphics 4000 1024 MB

Here goes.

Everyone keeps talking about it. I needn't say much. But a genius of manufacturing, engineering and design. Every fillet, every detail is so meticulous yet so simple. Looks so sturdy, yet beautiful. Trims are so nice! I spent a good hour looking at it before I even booted it!

Design Softwares:
Yes. The important bit.

Windows 8.1 / BootCamp on Mac
I am used to SolidWorks as my primary CAD software, and can't move away from it for anything - which is not available for Macintosh. So, I had to go for bootcamp / dual boot, only for that one singular software.

Does it heat up?
Yes it does. On prolonged usage. The only reason I went for an 8GB RAM is my requirement for SolidWorks / Keyshot. And 20 minutes into use of SolidWorks, it starts heating up. So, I am sure you don't need a cooling pad. I just keep my Mac inclined on a book, and that does the job.

How good is the performance?
It isn't exceptionally superb, as much as a Dell high-end PC might give you, but it doesn't suck, at all. SolidWorks work great and flawlessly on my machine!

Battery Life?
2:15 Hours max while on windows + SolidWorks

On Macintosh, I have all my other softwares: Adobe suite, Keyshot, Rhinoceros, Sketchbook Pro, AutoCAD (many of Autodesk softwares have their Macintosh versions).

Does it heat up?
Not at all. Well, almost. Only while using Keyshot it does, but not as much as, or as quickly as it does on Windows.

How good is the performance?
This sexy beast renders faster than my Dell XPS (i7, 4 GB RAM, 2 GB NVidia) did at it's peak time! While using premier pro, the video rendering is quick and smooth! Wait time is so less for everything here. Photoshop, Keyshot work as swiftly as sliding on melting butter. AutoCAD and Rhino work well too. And Rhino is still in it's beta version, so it's free (and doesn't crash despite it's beta)

Battery Life?
~4.00 Hours while working on Illustrator / Photoshop.
~6:30 Hours while watching a movie, or just surfing the internet or playing songs.

Beautiful and intuitive OS! You'll know the stark difference between Mac and Windows only on using Mac for a prolonged time. This is so easy! And so intuitive! And so pretty-looking at that. And nothing heats up! Optimum usage of resources at all times.

And so many things are inbuilt!
You can extract audio from video, cut it, apply album art, change artist-album-track name - all with apps that come with the Mac! Just one example of the infinite things you can do with it! 

And amazing notification centre, complete with reminders, calendar, which synchronises with your Facebook / Google calendar and notifies you with birthdays, and also gets you Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn notifications on your desktop.

There is Hangouts, there is Skype.

Recommended Apps:
Evernote - Tell me one creative who doesn't recommend this App. Paired with my phone, and Tablet, this makes for a great resource for a designer.

Digital Color Meter - (Inbuilt) - Colour picker which gives you RGB values of anything you see on your screen.

Are you an Industrial / Product designer who thinks he should go for a Mac?
You totally should! Just go for 8GB RAM at least for good performance in SolidWorks.