2019 - the year Lenovo won

by Volker Weber


While 2018 has been dominated by my switch from Surface Pro to iPad Pro, 2019 saw a big shift to Lenovo Ultrabooks. First there was the Yoga C930, and then the enterprise version of that machine, the 4th gen ThinkPad X1 Yoga. Both are excellent devices and they are in fact very similar. Both had 4k displays, charged via USB PD through the Thunderbolt port, and yet they kept the very useful "legacy" ports. No need to carry any dongles. And both could be charged via my Tankstation, which saw an upgrade from 1xUSB-C/3xUSB-A to 2xUSB-C/2xUSB-A. Yoga C930 has been slightly upgraded with Intel 10th gen CPUs to Yoga C940. Recommended!

Microsoft also had a very good update for the Surface Laptop, now available in 13.5" and 15" configurations. I like the matte black aluminium versions best. The 3rd gen Surface Laptop is finally serviceable. Remove the four rubber feet and unfasten four screws and you are inside. The SSD is replaceable so you can upgrade later. Minimal configuration is Intel i5 and 8 GB of RAM. Avoid the AMD version.

2019 was also the year that Apple fixed a lot of problems in their line-up. You can finally buy a MacBook Pro again, however only the 16" model with the scissor keyboard. The Mac Pro was re-released and Apple is making a new display. Both are beyond my budget for a computer. The best 2018 iPhone was the iPhone XR, if only for the larger battery. Apple brought this important feature to the complete line-up and I have downsized from an XS Max to an iPhone 11 Pro. AirPods first had a small upgrade with wireless charging and then a big one with active noise cancellation. The AirPods Pro now live in my fifth Levi's pocket. AirPods Pro are very, very good, with one notable exception: don't use them for telephone calls. The other party will thank you. Just plug in your EarPods. And if you need wireless, then Plantronics Voyager 5200 UC is your best choice.

Towards the end of 2018 I started using Apple Music and HomePods, which became my favorite speakers at home. I extended Apple Music for another year and doubled the number of HomePods to four. Most of my Sonos players have been switched off as are the Amazon Echo devices. There is still a Playbase under the TV and an Echo Show in the kitchen but there is no connection between the two. I have also severed any ties between other voice assistants and my smarthome devices. It's all Apple HomeKit now. To that end I have also started using lots of Eve products. Their data stays at home, which is an exception in the smart home space.

I went into this year with a goal: I wanted to reduce my weight further and get rid of all diabetes meds. I reached both goals by midyear and never broke the chain.


Congratulations for reaching goals so successfully this year!
One „technical“ question:
You write about the Surface Laptop „Avoid the AMD Version“.

Ali Schmalzhaf, 2019-12-17

Benchmarks show that the Intel version is faster and the battery lasts longer.

Volker Weber, 2019-12-17

I'd very much like a Mac Pro; in very much the same way as I'd really like an Aston Martin DB5. I suspect my chances of getting hold of one are pretty similar.

Nick Daisley, 2019-12-21

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