Friday, December 07, 2012

Moving from a PC to a Mac - First Impressions

So after over 20 years of PC usage I finally bought a Macbook Air.

It's just been a few days, but here are my first impressions.

Things I like:
  • The build quality is the best I've ever experienced. I've used laptops from Lenovo, Dell, Acer, but this feels more solid 
  • The screen is really sharp. This is not a retina display but even then it is the best screen I've worked with in a long time. I'm not much of a gamer but I read a lot online so I like nice crisp text. On this screen I'm able to read text at a smaller font without my glasses simply because it is sharper.
  • The boot-up time is about 10-15 seconds - refreshing !
  • The wake-up from sleep time is just a few seconds - this is really going to spoil me !!
  • More importantly the sleep and wakeup functions work every time. Even with Windows 7, I would occasionally run into situations where closing the lid wouldn't put the machine to sleep, or it wouldn't wake up when I open it later. Not so here. Close the lid - sleep. Open the lid - wake up. Every time. In seconds. Lovely.
  • The hardware keys for volume, brightness, backlight etc. work. I know this doesn't sound like much, but getting these to work on a Windows machine has always been hit-or-miss. This is where Apple's approach to doing both hardware and software itself shines. On the Windows side the buttons are generally implemented by hardware manufactures through drivers, and sooner or later something goes wrong. 
Things I don't like
  • While the keyboard is very nice, it is missing a few keys I really use a lot. Where are my 'Home' and 'End' keys ? If you write a lot, these keys are very handy during editing. I know there is a workaround by holding down the command key and using the cursor keys, but now I have to use two keys where previously I used one. Not good
  • The install process is - well - weird. You download a .DMG file, then you open it and it shows up as a new disk drive (it is 'mounted' at this stage). Then you take the file from inside this 'disk' and drag it to your Applications folder. Really ? is it 1984 again ? Windows has had a streamlined install process for years and seeing Apple make me go through hoops to simply install a file is ridiculous.
  • And don't even get me started on the uninstall process. In theory you simply delete the file from the Applications folder. In practice you should also search your drive manually for any other folders the application might have created and delete them too. Archaic.
  • The missing right-click. The debate about the usefulness of a right-click button is long over. It is implemented in virtually every application even on the mac. So why isn't there a right-click button ? I know I can buy the so called "Mighty Mouse" from Apple which has two buttons implemented but why should I have to? I also know I can configure a two-finger tap to simulate a right-click, but again: why reinvent the wheel ?
I'm still fooling around with the machine - it's only been a few hours of usage so far. More later.

1 comment:

  1. Shurjeel's Theorem: Any sensible person, provided that he has the means, will eventually switch from a PC to a MAc. :-)

    BTW, OSX has supported the right click for some time now. Mouse buttons, including the one needed for doing a right click are somewhat archaic. Just set up you track pad to do the right click (two-finger tap = right click) and you will never go back to using the mouse button.