The price of this photo

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To photograph the following image as seen above, with all my current Apple products that I own, it costs me S$4624. The 13 inch Macbook Pro (non-Touchbar), the Apple Watch Series 3 Nike Sports Edition (GPS) and my new iPhone X (256GB). I never realise until recently that just these three items would cost me a whopping S$4624. And on top of that, (which hopefully I will update this picture once the package arrives) I have ordered myself the Apple Airpods. That is going to set me back another S$238. The new total cost of all four items would be S$4862. That is nearly S$5000!

And don’t even make me start on the iPads….

 

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One week with the Apple Watch series 3!

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The watch is with me when I run, work, walk, eat, sleep. So how do they perform? Fantastic! Absolutely fantastic. I am extremely pleased with how it performs no matter the situation. I am completely blown away by how much biometric data it records on the watch and to my iPhone. It records a multitude of readings from the number of steps I took daily, to my heart rate, be it working, sedentary or resting, calories burn, and the amount of sleep I am getting every night. It does all that by sipping power from the battery. I can go an entire day from 7am to 10pm draining just 15% of battery life from the watch. Battery life is just amazing.

With all these data and appropriate apps to help me visualise those data, be it heart rate, exercise or sleep, I am now greatly more aware of my daily activities and the potential impact it might have on my overall health. For now, after wearing the watch and scrutinising my daily activities of the day for an entire week, the good news is that I am pretty active on a daily basis. I have little to no difficulty meeting the minimum amount of exercise and time standing instead of sitting that is required each day. I fill up the rings pretty much almost to full for the amount of energy spent being active. It seems that commuting to work by walking to the train stations and to my offices constitutes exercise. I have always been tracking the number of steps taken using just the iPhone and it has been pretty easy to hit the 10 000 steps needed daily. With the Apple Watch, it is more accurate than ever before since it is on my wrist and with me all the time. In certain situations, especially at work, I would leave my phone on my office desk and it is those moments where my steps are not recorded.

Heart rate is another exciting feature and the primary motivation for getting the Apple Watch. So long as I wear the watch, it records my heart rate on an almost constant basis. Every few minutes, no matter the situation, it would record my heart rate. The data can then be used to visualize and determine your resting heart rate, sedentary heart rate, workout heart rate and even sleeping heart rate. It is pretty interesting to see the changes in your heart rate depending on what you are doing at what time of the day and to determine if you are over-exerting yourself doing a workout.

I think with all the talk and excitement about getting the Apple Watch, I am just primarily interested in the health and fitness aspects of the watch, rather than from a purely aesthetic or day-to-day functionality the watch might offer. Knowing more about your body, health and fitness through the Apple Watch just give you a whole new perspective on the things you do with your body on a daily basis.

Now that I have my Apple Watch, I’m officially a data junkie, obsessed with recording everything about my body. I can’t imagine that day when I have to part with my Apple Watch for an extended period of time. I think I will feel that a small part of me is missing. Not being able to see my current heart rate would be mildly uncomfortable.

My Apple purchases over the years

I have bought many Apple products over the years. It is not entirely inaccurate to say that I am a loyal fan of all most things Apple. It started with the iPod touch, then the iPhone 3GS onwards right to the recent iPhone X. All my mobile phone had been Apple iPhone starting with the iPhone 3GS. That is just on the mobile front.

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On the PC front, it started with the second generation Mac Mini. It got me through college. A hardy little beast back in those days. On the portable laptop front, the MacBook Air was my first ever purchase. It was about sometime during my senior year, as I had the need to write more and more assignments on the go, leading up to my graduation. For a short while (5 months) I bought a Windows laptop, the Lenovo 13 inch laptop. It was a good laptop. Great battery life, a huge factor when making my laptop purchasing decisions.

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But soon after, a new generation of Macbook Pro was announced, sporting the latest Intel Kaby Lake chips. I was smitten. I was sorely tempted. I had never owned their premium laptop before. The Lenovo worked perfectly. It suited my needs. I just needed a laptop for my part-time postgraduate studies. I don’t really need a fancy laptop. But within a couple of days, after the product launch announcement, I ordered the 13-inch with no Touchbar version. Within 2 days after clicking the ‘Order’ button, it arrived at my doorstep. I sold my Lenovo laptop on Carousell (at a pretty good price, considering it’s just a 6-month old product and still in pristine condition, including battery life). The selling price was enough to offset the hefty expenses made trying to buy the MacBook Pro. (at the same time trying to self-justify that it was a perfectly rational decision to get the MacBook Pro from a financial point of view when clearly it wasn’t) The MacBook Pro was also my first ever purchase to be made through an interest-free monthly instalment plan, which I am 6 out of 12 payment through as of this writing.

However, it was only the iPhone X (in-store pickup) and the Apple Watch Series 3 that were truly considered to be actual purchases made through an Apple Store. The iPhone X  was an in-store pickup that was originally an order made online. I placed the order, collected the phone and I was off. The Apple Watch, however, was different. I was on the fence about whether to get one or not. I had to try it physically before I made my decision. Thus, it was important that I made the trip down to actually try it out before deciding on my purchase.

The experience was fantastic. It was the first time that I actually had the opportunity to interact with the Apple Geniuses in the store. I asked questions regarding the Watch, took my time swapping out straps, all with the kind assistance by Asyiqin, the Apple Genius personnel who was with me throughout my time there. She was very professional, very patient and I had no pressure to make my decisions quickly. I was grateful to be given the opportunity to try out a large variety of straps laid out on the table, taking my time familiarising myself on how to swap straps on the Apple Watch and even trying out different watch sizes and strap sizes.

Soon after that, I walked out of the store with a bag, containing the Apple Watch. It was one of the most amazing retail experience I ever had.

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I wonder what is my next Apple purchase? The next generation iPad perhaps? Time will tell.

 

Sold my Lenovo, Bought Macbook Pro

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After using my Lenovo ThinkPad 13 for 7 months, I decided to sell it away. I came back to the Mac. When it was announced at this year’s WWDC that Apple is going to refresh the entire Macbook Pro line with the new Kaby Lake processors, I just could not resist it. I put my Lenovo ThinkPad 13 on Carousell and within minutes I had several offers of wanting to buy my 7-month old laptop. I barely even started to do a factory reset of my laptop including file backup when I started receiving several offers online. I sold the Lenovo within 2 hours, ordered the new 13 inch MacBook Pro (without Touchbar) online and within 2 days, it arrived at my doorstep.

Now, as I type this entry, I am already using my new Macbook Pro. So what were my first impressions?

Right off the bat, you are immediately struck by the beauty of this device. It’s absolutely gorgeous. The level of workmanship and design meticulousness is, to this day, unrivalled.  The Macbook Pro is a work of art, truly. When I opened the laptop and switched it on for the very first time, the next thing you noticed was how gorgeous the screen is. Colour just pops, everything is super sharp and it is really really bright when you max out the brightness setting.

That is the two most prominent feature I noticed the moment I started unboxing the laptop.

I am no stranger to using the Mac. My last laptop was the classic MacBook Air. Back then, it was considered a revolutionary device, known for its ultra portability and thinness that competing brands found it hard to replicate with grace.

But now, the Macbook Air has adopted some of the design principles of what made Macbook Air so great. You now get a far more powerful computer, but none of the added bulk, with a great, sharp, colourful screen to boot.

I got the non-TouchBar version. I figured that it is still largely a gimmicky feature that, while it adds some useful functions depending on the application that you are using, I am still not convinced that it would increase my productivity in incorporating the use of the TouchBar in my daily workflow. Add to the fact that a majority of reviewers on YouTube lamented the fact that they themselves don’t use the TouchBar extensively and you are better off saving a few hundred dollars and get the non-TouchBar version. They assured viewers of those reviews that you are not missing out on anything fundamentally important with regards to how you use the laptop.

I still cannot believe that I have a new laptop in my hands. Apple just announced the new refresh MacBook Pros and here it is right in front of my just days later. There are a few more accessories that I have ordered recently that have yet to arrive. One, is a sleeve by Tomtoc to safely store my laptop away and inside my backpack for use outside. Second, is a Thunderbolt 3 hub that would give me access to USB slots, SD card slots and additional Thunderbolt connections. Right now I cannot connect any peripherals to my laptop because none of them uses either the USB-C or Thunderbolt connections. I will have to wait for the dongle hub to arrive.