Over the years, I have owned a number of Apple products. This piece covers everything I've owned, and my experiences and opinions of all the different products.
Mac Studio (2022, M1 Max, 64GB/1TB)
3x Dell 27" P2723D
1x Dell 27" U2717D
1x Dell 49" U4919DW
MacBook Air (4th generation, 2022, M2, 16GB/512GB, midnight)
MacBook Air (3rd generation, 2020, 1.1 GHz i5, 8GB/256GB, space grey)
MacBook Pro (3rd generation, 2014, 15" Retina, 2.8GHz i7, 16GB/512GB, legacy machine)
iPhone 12 (black, 256GB)
iPad mini (6th generation, space grey, cellular, 256GB)
iPad 5 (used as wall display)
Apple Watch (Series 5, space grey)
AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
Apple TV 4K (1st generation)
iMac (7th generation (unibody), 2009, 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB-12GB/500GB)
iPhone 11 Pro
iPad mini 3
iPad mini 4
iPad 4 (used as wall display (until battery expanded))
iPod Touch (1st generation)
iPod Nano (2nd generation)
3rd and 4th generation bought secondhand as collectors items
My first Apple products were iPods. I had a 2nd gen Nano with 4GB of storage, followed by a 1st gen Touch.
Like most people, my first computers were Windows, from the old tower PCs my family had growing up, to my old HP laptop running Vista (ugh). After I had had enough of the poor laptop quality, I decided to make the switch to the Mac.
In 2010, I bought my first Mac, a Late 2009 21.5" iMac, with a 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 4GB of RAM (which I upgraded to 12GB myself). What a beast. This was the machine I used to start getting into web development properly, and it served me well.
After a few years, and fully committed to the Apple ecosystem by this point, I decided to upgrade.
I wanted to be able to be a bit more mobile when working, so decided to switch from a desktop to a laptop, and went with a 15" MacBook Pro, which I specced as high as I could, with the 2.8 GHz i7, 16GB RAM, and the NVIDIA GeForce graphics card. This was a machine I wanted to have for a long time, so I invested in the best specs I could. And it's paid off, as I still use it as my main development machine today.
This generation of the MBP is widely regarded to be one of the best laptops that Apple's ever made, possibly now succeeded by the 16" MBP. It has actual ports instead of only USB-C, as well as MagSafe, and has the iconic design and high quality keyboard (before the failure-prone butterfly keyboards on later models, adoption of USB-C, and the controversial touch bar).
My only real issue with it is that it can often struggle with overheating. A macOS "feature" will artificially increase CPU usage to manage thermal issues from excessive usage from other applications, however all it seems to do is cause more heat, and use so much CPU that the entire system is unusable. This is normally solved with a cheap laptop cooling mat, but in the middle of summer where it's over 30 degrees inside, it struggles to the point of being unusable.
It can also be a bit bulky when using it on your lap, and the battery life is pretty abysmal, even after having it replaced after the original one expanded.
It's still a very capable machine though, and I currently have it on my desk in clamshell mode hooked up to 3 external monitors (which means the bulkiness and battery life issues are redundant).
The only issue I can foresee is that it is currently listed as "vintage", and will eventually be considered obsolete (which the first generation rMBP already is), at which point, if anything goes wrong, Apple won't fix it; hopefully, it still has a good few years left in it yet.
While I originally got my 15" rMBP to be more portable than the iMac, it didn't really turn out that way. As I use it with 3 external monitors and have 2 time machine backup drives attached to it, it's cumbersome to detach everything - I have to eject the time machine drives, and going from 3 monitors (each with multiple spaces) down to a single 15" screen means it's difficult to manage where everything is, and windows would often be in a different place when I plugged the monitors back in. It ultimately stays on my desk in clamshell mode the whole time.
I had decided to get a secondary machine, primarily to take out to meet clients now that I was working as a freelancer. Originally I had considered a 11" iPad Pro for this, but then I decided a laptop would be better as I'd be able to use it for development too. I wanted a smaller laptop so it'd be more portable, and I also didn't want to take my main machine out anywhere, because if anything happened to it, I'd be screwed.
I originally looked into getting a used 2015 13" Retina MacBook Pro. Being the same era as my 15" rMBP, it'd have the better connectivity with all the ports, and I'd had a 13" rMBP at my last job, and I loved it for its form factor. It would also be cheaper to get one of these as a secondary machine than buying one brand new.
I found a refurbished one in excellent condition on eBay from a repair company, and bought that. It was great, apart from one issue - every so often, the WiFi service would turn itself off. Not just disconnect from WiFi, but actually turn it off, and it couldn't be turned on again without restarting the machine. It even happened after reinstalling macOS, and in recovery mode. I can only imagine there was an issue on the logic board and it couldn't "see" the WiFi chip, but then it would be weird a reboot would fix it. Either way, it happened frequently enough that there was clearly an issue, so it had to go back.
At this point, I figured it'd be too risky to buy a used machine that was this old - there would be no warranty, and it would soon be obsoleted the same as my 15". So I looked at which new model to buy.
My choices were either the base 13" MacBook Pro, or the MacBook Air, which had both just been updated with the new and improved scissor-switch keyboard, replacing the butterfly switches.
When I started to compare models though, I was quite surprised to realise that the base 13" MBP is a waste of money. These are some specs for the various models and configurations (for simplicity, I'm ignoring the base Air with the i3, and comparing everything with an i5):
MacBook Air - 10th gen 1.1 GHz i5, 8GB RAM - £1,099
MacBook Air - 10th gen 1.1 GHz i5, 16GB RAM - £1,299
MacBook Pro 13" - 8th gen 1.4 GHz i5, 8GB RAM - £1,299
MacBook Pro 13" - 8th gen 1.4 GHz i5, 16GB RAM - £1,499
What struck me here, is that the Air came with CPUs that, while running at a slightly lower clock speed, were two generations newer than what the Pro came with (and I don't know much about CPUs, but I know that the generation is more important than clock speed). But also, the base Pro, with an older CPU and only 8GB of RAM, was the same price as an upgraded Air, with a newer CPU and double the RAM at 16GB. So, why would anyone buy that £1,299 Pro, or for that matter, the £1,499 one? The most expensive Air had better specs than the cheapest Pro. The Pro doesn't even support Apple's new 6K XDR monitor, but the Air does. It seems the only reason Apple offer this model is to claim they have a "Pro" machine at this price point, but the Air is better in every measurable way here.
In the end, I went for the £1,099 option, with the i5 but only 8GB of RAM. In hindsight I probably should have got the 16GB model, but I wasn't planning on doing anything too heavy with it, and considering my 15" rMBP had been getting on fine with 16GB as my main development machine, I figured 8GB would suffice.
Having used the Air for a few months now, I can safely say that I love it. The keyboard is great, and it's a nice compact form factor for working on the sofa. The battery life can vary, but hasn't caused any issues so far. It works well as a light development machine, and I haven't noticed any issues due to lack of RAM. Overall, a very good purchase, and if you're looking for a competent MacBook, get an Air.
When the time comes to retire my 15" rMBP, I will be replacing it with a Mac Mini, with Apple's newly announced Apple Silicon ARM chips.
The new 16" MBP has a beautiful screen, but as I explained above, my currently MBP is kept in clamshell mode on my desk, and I use the more lightweight Air for mobile work, so there's not a lot of point in buying a laptop just to leave it closed on my desk and never use it as a laptop.
It should also be significantly cheaper - I can configure a current Mac Mini with an 8th gen i7 and 64GB of RAM for £2,299, compared to a 16" MBP with a 9th gen i7 and only 16GB of RAM for £2,399 - making a saving of £100 for a similar CPU but four times the RAM when getting the Mini. To have 64Gb of RAM in the MBP would make it £3,199, a whole £900 more expensive. The MBP does go to an i9 while the Mini maxes out an an i7, but my 15 rMBP has an i7 and is perfectly fine, so an i7 several generations newer should be plenty good enough. However, this could get even better with the ARM chips, if the recent iPad Air and Pro chips are anything to go by. I'm looking forward to seeing what Apple releases in the coming years, and I will almost certainly be getting an ARM Mac Mini not long after it's released.
While the goal was to replace my 2014 rMPB with a new M1-powered Mac mini, Apple had slightly different plans. The first M1-powered Macs were a mini and iMac, which even as of today (4th July 2022), are only available with the base M1 chip. I had considered getting an iMac instead of a mini, however a limitation of the M1 chip effectively ruled both out - it can only output 2 displays, which in the case of the mini is 2 external, or 1 external alongside the inbuilt display with the iMac. At the time I had 3 external displays, and was not going to compromise on that, it was a hard requirement for a new machine to support at least 3. I was hoping Apple would later release more powerful chips, which they did with the M1 Pro and Max. On a MacBook Pro, the M1 Pro could output to 2 displays, and the M1 Max could output to 4, so I would need to wait for a Mac mini with an M1 Max. However, Apple came out with an all new product instead - the Mac Studio.
The Studio is essentially 3 Mac mins stacked on top of each other - I thought it looked a bit cumbersome at first to be honest, however in its post-Ive era, Apple seemed to be going back to making sure their Macs worked properly, instead of focussing on making them look beautiful (evidence by the MBP becoming thicker and adding the ports back). I ordered one on launch day and couldn't be happier with it. I specced it up to 64GB of RAM and 1TB of storage to ensure longevity, which came to £2,599 - considering my 7+ year old rMBP with an old i7 and 16GB of RAM came to £2,149 in 2014, an increase of only £450 for 4x the RAM, 2x the storage, plus an extremely more powerful CPU ("extremely more powerful" doesn't really do the scale of the upgrade justice), plus 7 years of inflation, means that the Studio is extremely reasonably priced.
It also turned out the Studio can output to a total of 5 monitors, which makes sense as the M1 Max MacBook Pro can output to 4 external, but then has the inbuilt display too. I had always planned to upgrade to 4 monitors once I found out the M1 Max would support that - I was going to retire my old HP Envy 24" (despite it being a good monitor with great speakers), replace it with the 27" Dell U2717D that I had been using in in portrait-mode, and then replace that with two new 27" monitor that I'd run in portrait mode. However, once I found out it could support 5, I figured that as I was investing in a new machine, I may as well utilise as much of its potential as possible, so decided to buy a 3rd 27" (helped by a £100 discount from American Express) and run 5 monitors. And it is amazing.
The 34" Ultrawide is used for Chrome windows (I can have 2 full sized windows open side-by-side), the right-hand portrait 27" has Sublime Text and Sublime Merge (code editor and Git client), the left-hand portrait 27" has a browser, Slack and Terminal, the lower landscape 27" has everything else I use (email, another browser, Finder, Airtable, Postman, Cyberduck, etc etc), and my old 27" is on a monitor arm above the other one. I use this one for media or other visual content, such as watching YouTube or football/F1, so it doesn't cover up anything else I have open, or keep Apple Music/the Sonos player up there. Is it necessary? No. Is it over the top? Of course. But like I say, if it supports 5, I may as well use 5 (and for the record, if it only supported 5 with the M1 Ultra, which started at £2,000 more than the M1 Max model, I 100% would not have gone for that just to have 5, it was simply a bonus I wasn't expecting that was supported by the base model).
Overall, the Studio is fantastic. Whereas the fans in my rMBP ran at full speed pretty much all the time and I had to run it on a separate laptop cooling mat with extra fans, I can barely hear that the Studio is even on, with only a slight whooshing sound audible if it's silent in the room and I lean close to it. I don't use it to its full potential in terms of video editing or anything, but even under higher load such as compiling Brew packages from source with the CPU at 100% for 30+ minutes, I still didn't hear the fans spin up, and it continued to steam a football match on one monitor while outputting to the other 4 with no hint of a drop in performance. A brilliant machine worth every penny.
I went to get the battery replaced in my MacBook Pro, and they didn't have any in stock. They initially told me that as it was a vintage device, they couldn't do anything about it - I said I thought that was only for obsolete products, and they explained that obsolete means no service at all, whereas vintage is subject to parts availability. Luckily though, they were able to order one from a store 60 miles away (and even then, they were only willing to do that as they had more than 1 in stock). Not only was the old battery (already having been replaced once) not holding much charge at all, but it had also just started to swell again. The machine has no resale value now but still has a lot of value to me, so I'll be keeping hold of it for anything it ends up being useful for.
In 2023 I saw Dell's 49" Ultrawide, and they marketed it as being the same width as two 27" monitors (you could split it up to have two 27" windows). My existing setup was great, but also slightly incongruous with the stacked 27"s, and the monitors sitting on 3 different levels. I had some freelance money available so thought I'd switch things up - move the portrait monitors to the left, have the 49" Ultrawide along the top, and the two 27"s below to form one large screen area. And this is how that insane idea looks:
I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty ridiculous. But it's also amazing. The 49" Ultrawide is absolutely gorgeous, and allows for 3 full sized Chrome windows side by side. It also feels more natural having the dock in the left-hand 27" so it's more central. The only criticism of the 49" that I'd have is that it's not quite as curved as I was expecting, so as it's not directly in front of me the edges get away from my view a bit. I got a good deal on it though - it was listed for £1,115 when I first looked online, but a few weeks later it was down to £857 (which in turn says it was down from £1,009), so I saved around £260 from what I thought I'd be paying. It also went back up to £1,009 the same week I bought it, so I got it at just the right time. I had to get another heavier duty monitor arm for £100 though, but the original one was put to use on the right-hand 27" to free up space behind for the new one to clamp on.
If I had a wider desk, what I would actually probably do is get another 49" to sit under this one, and have another portrait 27" on the left. Sadly that will have to wait until I move into a bigger place ;)
The first M2-powered Mac was a newly re-designed MacBook Air, with a larger screen, but most importantly, a sleek-looking midnight finish. My Intel Air is fine performance-wise, but the battery life got poor quite quickly, and it can get quite warm. An M2 13" Pro with the older design and touchbar was (somewhat confusingly for many) also released alongside the M2 Air, and has apparently had thermal issues, which doesn't bode well for the M2 Air considering it is fan-less. However, I will still be ordering on launch day, and assuming there'll be quite the order backlog for it, expect there will be plenty of time for me to cancel the order if it turns out it suffers from the same thermal issues once the reviews start rolling in.
I ordered a M2 Air, and what can I say. The design is beautiful and sleek, with the midnight finish featuring subtle a blue hue, and it looks great when using it in low light. The screen is gorgeous and vivid. The performance is excellent. The battery life is incredible. I got 2 full work days worth of use out of it and still had battery life for several more, and I never felt it so much as get warm at any point.
There were reports of the base 256GB SSD model having slower SSD speeds, so in light of that and the fact my 2020 i5 Air had used more of its 256GB storage than I realised, I cancelled my initial order and spent the extra £200 on the 512GB model. Like most Apple products I buy, I look to spec them up to future-proof them, but also maintain higher resale value if I am ever in a position to upgrade sooner than planned.
Speaking of resale value, eBay listings for the 2020 i5 Air with 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD were only at around ~£400, which is less than I was hoping to get for mine, especially as it would be worth even less than that with its 256GB SSD, and that's before selling fees are taken into account. As I like the design of it, I've decided to keep it as a machine I'd take out of the house - not what I planned for it as having a tertiary machine seems excessive, but keeping it for that purpose is worth more than what I'd get for selling it. My 15" rMBP is also still usable, despite being more bulky and destined to be a paperweight if anything goes wrong with it now it's on the verge of being obsolete, so keeping the 2020 Air makes a degree of sense.
The iPhone was my first smartphone, the next in line after my Siemens C65, Nokia 3220, Samsung D500, and Samsung D900i I'd had when I was younger.
The iPhone 4 was a big deal when it was released, with the retina display, new design, and the infamous Gizmodo leak. I jailbroke mine (this was back when jailbreaking was cool) and overall it was a good phone.
I much preferred the iPhone 5 to the 4. The larger screen and thinner body was great, and I loved the slate-coloured back. It's one of my favourite iPhone designs out of all of them.
I didn't like the design of the 5S as much, the back was changed to silver and it didn't look as cool. I did, however, like the cheaper 5C they launched, and I bought a used one in white just to have a spare device because I liked it.
The iPhone 6 was probably as much of a landmark device as the 4 was, in terms of design, with its much larger screen and new curved-edge design. It was also extremely popular, selling as many as 222 million units, making it the third best selling mobile phone ever. But as popular and groundbreaking as it was, I never really loved it. It always felt very capable, but a bit plain and boring.
The iPhone X, however, was a return to form. I loved the X. I loved the whole design, from the edge-to-edge screen and removal of the home button, to the glass back, which I always felt really nice in my hand. The design drew criticism for the notch, but it was honestly just people finding something to complain about, as it didn't get in the way, and the very top of the phone was always only ever going to be used to status icons, which it still had either side of the notch.
Like the 5, the X has one of my favourite designs ever. I also liked the 7, but I skipped that as I decided to wait for the X, which was a good decision.
I'm going to be honest - part of me regrets upgrading to the 11 Pro. The only reason I did so was because I needed dual-SIM which the X didn't support, but I don't like the design as much. It's thicker and heavier than the X, and I don't like the colour or the feel of the frosted glass back. In hindsight, I should have got a refurbished XS, which did have dual-SIM, to tide me over until the device I really wanted to upgrade to, which is the rumoured iPhone 12 with a design inspired by the iPad Pro (although saying that, my 512GB 11 Pro was £1,399, and Apple sell a refurbished 512GB XS for £999, so the 11 Pro was only £400 more but will have better resale value).
As expected, the iPhone 12 featured a new design with flat edges like the iPad Pro. I sold my 11 Pro and got a regular 12, as I preferred the matt black edges of the regular model compared to the stainless steel edges on the 12 Pro. I much prefer it to the 11, I like how it feels to hold better, and it's the perfect blend of the flat edges from the iPhone 5, and the glass back of the iPhone X, my two favourite iPhone designs. I'll be keeping the 12 for several years.
I was a fan of the iPad as soon as it was announced (I even published this badly written post about it) - it drew a lot of negativity, but I think all the doubters have been proved about as wrong as possible, because like the iPhone and the iPod before it, the iPad has been an overwhelming success and I don't think many competitors even come close - it's become so ubiquitous that a lot of people use the word 'iPad' simply to describe any tablet, which says it all.
I was always interested in getting an iPad, but didn't really want a full-sized one. Just before I went to America in 2014 (which was the same time I got the iPhone 6 and a few months before I got my 15" rMBP), I got an iPad mini 3 (expensive year). It was released about a week before I went on holiday, and I waited for it because it was going to have Touch ID, which the 2nd generation model didn't have (it was the only notable upgrade really). And I loved it. The form factor was perfect, and it was fantastic for content consumption which is what I primarily used it for. It was a brilliant device.
The 4th gen mini was released in 2015, but there was no real reason to upgrade - it was pretty much just an incremental spec bump, with a slightly thinner body.
However, the mini wasn't updated in 2016, or even 2017. The mini 4 sat there, the runt of the litter, abandoned by its owners. At this point, the rumour blogs were suggesting the model would be dropped from the lineup altogether, after the second year without another update, I sold the mini 3 and got a 4. As well as getting the 128GB model so I could store a lot of films on it, I got the cellular model so I could use it in a wider range of circumstances, for example as a satnav in my car for long journeys (I got a windscreen mount for it and it's great having such a large screen for navigation). I saw this as a long-term device, which is why I went for the best configuration possible. It's just as good as the mini 3, just even thinner and lighter, and has the laminated display.
The mini was skipped for updates in 2018 too, leading many to believe it was heading for the chopping block. However, somewhat out of the blue, they updated it in March 2019 (3 and a half years after the last update), bumping the specs up massively, to keep it in line with the newly updated Air (it was pretty much exactly the same, just in a smaller body). This was what I'd really want for a long-term device - the upgrade from the mini 3 to 4 was quite small, with the CPU going from a 1.3 GHz dual-core to 1.5 GHz and RAM going from 1GB to 2 GB, whereas the 5th gen went to a 2.49 GHz hex-core with 3GB RAM, and also supported the Apple Pencil. However, what I'm really waiting for now, is for them to redesign it to look like the iPad Pro...
The 3rd gen iPad Pro featured a beautiful new design, and soon as I saw it I knew I wanted an iPad mini with the same design, just the size and form factor of the mini. That would pretty much be the perfect device - I've always loved the mini (I've also found it interesting that it has the highest pixel density screen at 326 ppi, whereas the Pro and Air only have 264 ppi), and if it had the same design as the Pro, it would be my ultimate device.
I wasn't sure they'd ever do it, but in 2020 (yesterday actually at the time of writing) they updated the Air to match the design of the Pro... but have neglected the mini again. Maybe it'll have another out-of-sync update, or maybe they'll let it fester for a bit, or maybe they will just kill it off. Either way, it feels a bit left out again, considering the base iPad got a spec refresh too.
I had also been considering an iPad for work, which is probably less useful now I won't be going to visit clients as much due to covid-19, but is still on the cards for the future. Depending on what updates the Air received, I was either going to get an Air, or a refurbished 3rd gen iPad Pro (1st gen 11"). Now that the Air has been updated to match the design of the Pro though, it makes more sense to get the Air - it has Touch ID instead of Face ID, 2 speakers instead of 4, is 0.2mm thicker and ha a 0.1" smaller screen, but has a much better CPU, and for a base 64GB WiFi model, which is all I'd need for a work device, it's £579 vs £519 for a refurbished 11" Pro, so may as well get a brand new Air. Then, depending on what Apple do with the mini, I'll either replace the 4 with a refurbished 256GB cellular 5th gen mini, or buy a new one if they update the design to match the Pro and Air.
After the iPad Pro-inspired redesign of the iPad Air, I was optimistic that the iPad mini would finally get the love and attention it deserved, and my prayers were answered with the 6th generation model.
It's pretty much the perfect product for what I want in an iPad. Great design, fantastic screen, and is easy to hold and use. I had my iPad mini 3 for 3 years, my iPad mini 4 for 4 years, and I'll likely have the 6th generation for at least 6 years. That is unless there's a more compelling design update in future, however I wouldn't hold my breath - there were three and a half years between the mini 4 and the 5th generation, and two and a half years between the 5th and 6th generation, so it's likely Apple will continue to only give it iterative updates and internal spec bumps every so often. It's weird to think that my outgoing mini 4, while only 2 generations old, is a 6 year old device.
The only slightly strange thing is that the screen is 2266 × 1488 compared to 2048 × 1536 for the previous models, so slightly taller but slightly narrower - the annoying thing being that a lot of CSS frameworks such as Tailwind have the "md" breakpoint at 768px, meaning the new iPad mini falls into the mobile breakpoint, so I updated my websites to have that breakpoint start at 744px instead of 768px.
Overall though, the new iPad mini is fantastic, and I think the current range of iPads are the most accomplished products Apple currently makes. I no longer need a full size iPad as I'm back working full time instead of freelance, but the Air would be top choice if I needed one.
As a fairly spur of the moment thing, I decided to see what a larger iPad was like. I've only ever had the mini, which I've always felt was the right one for me to have, but wanted to see what I'd get out of a larger one.
The Air and 11" Pro are more or less the same size, so I thought I'd go the complete other end of the spectrum to the mini and get a 12.9" Pro. I managed to find a 3rd gen on eBay which was a warranty replacement and essentially brand new and unused, and at a great price too, which was perfect.
And after a few days I'll be selling it again.
The first thing, and really the main thing, is that it really is too big. I mean I know I should have expected that buying a nearly 13" iPad, but it's just... too big.
If it were being used as a daily device or as a laptop replacement it'd be great, but I only got it for freelance-related tasks, which I realised shortly after just weren't suited to it and there was nothing I'd be doing that my MacBook Air wouldn't be better at.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's an incredible device. How something so powerful can be so thin is beyond me. And the ProMotion display is stunning, I can see why people say once you've used a 120hz screen you don't want to use anything else. It just sadly doesn't have as much use to me as I'd hoped. It's a device I want, but don't need - or more, it's a device I want to need, but don't.
I went to the Apple Store to look at the Air and the 11" Pro - maybe I should have done that before I bought this one, but that's the thing, even in the store the 12.9" felt okay in my hand, as did the Air and 11" Pro, but it's as if once you're sat with it at home and actually trying to use it, not just play around with it in the store, it suddenly feels very different. I did get to use the Magic Keyboard though, which is also very impressive, and again makes me feel like the Pro is best suited to being a daily device or something for artists, and not anything more casual.
Ultimately, I should have trusted my gut and been satisfied with just my mini, which I now love even more. At least I know that if the mini is ever updated to have a ProMotion display, it will absolutely be worth it. And if I do ever actually have a genuine need for a full-sized iPad, I know to leave the 12.9" one alone. The interesting thing about that is that the Air and the 11" Pro are so similar there's almost nothing to choose between them - they both have the same size screen and the same M1 chip, the only real difference is the ProMotion screen in the Pro. And weirdly, my top-spec (256GB WiFi+cellular) mini was £759, whereas a base model (128GB WiFi) 11" Pro is £749. Maybe an 11" Pro doesn't sound so bad after all... no, what I really want is a mini with ProMotion. My word what a device that would be.
I was never really sure if I'd get much use from an Apple Watch, as I wouldn't use any of the fitness or workout features, but was still interested in the technology in general. I managed to find a second hand one in great condition for sale on Facebook for £100 from someone who just never used it, so I figured that was worth a punt. And for what it was, I liked it - it was pretty slow, but I got so used to having it I knew I'd want one long term.
After the Series 5 was announced (which only really had an always-on display as a new feature over the Series 4), I replaced my Series 1 with a nice new Series 5. The increased speed and bigger screen were very welcome upgrades. For the most part though, it's more or less the same. The watch isn't something I'd upgrade regularly considering what I use it for, it's very much a nice-to-have - the only reason I upgraded when I did is because I did a small website for someone so had a bit of money I wouldn't normally have had, so treated myself and splashed out on an upgrade. It'll probably be several years and a significant redesign before I'll consider upgrading again.
I had considered buying some AirPods for a while, but wasn't sure if I could justify the price or how much I use them. After racking up cashback on credit cards and earning interest on savings, I pooled this money together to get a pair of AirPods Pro for "free".
Overall, I am very impressed with them. The noise cancellation is better than I expected, and they sound great. The battery life is also actually better than advertised as I've had them last over 6 hours (although to get the charging case to provide 30 hours of listening, you'd need to charge them to 100% and immediately remove them.
I think I will use them a lot and they were definitely a good use of the money I'd built up.