MBW 740: I'm a Desktop Stan

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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This week’s episode is going to cost me a lot of money.

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Thank you, @Lory, for hilighting the down-stream potential of these devices to function as a primary market for those not served by premium-price hardware! The peace of mind Apple’s Certified Refurbished program offers those of us operating under stringent financial conditions, combined with their long-term support story, represents a life-line for escaping either the feral DIY of free/open-source on the one hand or a thoroughly disempowered, bereft, nearly unusably ad-cannibalized and malvertizing-beset digital serfdom of Wintamazoidoggle on the other.

I will respectfully disagree with @Leo about the quality of the Surface webcams. They are markedly better than most PCs and significantly better than MacBooks.

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Do people really care if they have a 720 or 1080 webcam for work zoom meetings? Half the time people on the other end don’t have enough bandwidth and the other half of the time you’re in a group so your image is either compressed down to the size of an icon or you’re doing a desktop share. Seriously, my boss has to turn off his video half the time because his internet can’t keep up and he’s IN the Bay Area, supposed heart of Silicon Valley. Meanwhile I’m up in frosty Canada with my symmetrical fibre connection making sure zoom isnt even using “high quality” 720 or our calls take a hit. The whole webcam thing, to me anyway, is such a moot point.


As @Leo has said many times in many different ways, the video is far less important that the audio quality. Now he was talking about podcasting, but that applies to web conferences as well. Mind you, it would be nice to have a better quality webcam so you could down sample it locally before shoving the bits to your ISP, but if that’s not an option, then just make sure your audio isn’t sh*t.


Boot camp?

Windows Games?

It depends. The 720p in my laptop is okay. Due to shortage, we had to make do with 720p Logitech webcams for our desktop users. The difference is night and day - especially as we do about 90% 1-1 or 1-2 calls.

Obviously the quality of the lens also makes a difference, but I was surprised just how “murky” and noisy the dedicated webcam was, compared to the one built into my ThinkPad.

Given a choice, I’d take the Logitech 1080p cameras every time, but they just aren’t available at the moment or they are simply too expensive (normally around 80€, if you can find them at the moment, they are going for between 400€ and 800€ a shot! The 720p cams, which are normally around 30€ are currently priced at around 60-70€, again if they are still available.

Amen. I am so tired of people that refuse to use a headset or get a decent mic for meetings. This is your freaking job; make an effort.


I really am not too concerned, the 720p is sufficient to podcast with or talk with your friends and family. Just make sure you are well lit. It seems that people expect Apple to upgrade something every time there is a change on the Mac somewhere, and the ones making the request become webcam experts all of a sudden.

Hi Andy over episodes I have heard your reasoned point of view about how the cost of iPad Pro (and now Air 4) plus the cost of the pencil and keyboard makes it almost expensive as an entry level MacBook Pro 13 - and your musings on why anyone should/ would anyone go down that path…
Here is an alternative point of view that’s real for me.
The primary Apple product I use is the iPad Pro (since the 2017 10.5 " and now 2020 12.9 ")- primarily for digital art (Procreate, Fresco, Tatsui Sketches). I use a Windows laptop as my primary work (and home) device. So for me, the logic is - do I spend $300 more to buy a keyboard and turn my existing iPad Pro into a functional keyboard+mouse device, or do I spend $1300 for an entry level MBP. The choice is clear, and I suspect a similar logic drives the sales of Magic Keyboards (though new Logitech options are equally tempting for a lower price)

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This exactly states my own personal calculus. The lone show-stopping Achilles’ Heel for me remains Files’ utter unreliability, particularly with external storage. I remain on iPad anyhow because of sheer cost, as you note, but even if I could afford a MacBook, as a creative, albeit amateur, touchscreen and the possibility of Pencil are quite compelling, and even just with my fingers I’ve been surprised at the results I’ve been able to achieve in programs as diverse as GarageBand’s touchscreen-effects input, and Art Set 4’s watercolor brush strokes.

(FWIW to note, I was able to snag a half-price Smart Keyboard for my 10.5” Pro, and that has helped tremendously, as I loathe touchscreen typing.)

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