I mentioned in my previous entry about buying a MacBook Air, and I am now here to share my thoughts on it. As a long-time PC user since the late 90s, I had struggled quite a bit with using OSX. I’ve been fiddling around with it for the past week, and I’ve had to learn this operating system. Despite some of my frustrations, I will admit that OSX is a lot easier to handle than the time I tried out Linux several years back! Moving on, here are some of my observations.
Touchpad is not for me
I never got used to the touchpad on Windows laptop and my Chromebook. The MacBook’s touchpad and I didn’t agree, either. This led me to using my mini-USB wired mouse, which I feel gives me a lot more control, and it’s just easier for me.
The scrolling direction has driven me crazy
When I used my mouse, I use the scrolling wheel and discovered, to my dismay, that the way I scroll down on a PC was making everything go up! I tried to adapt to it, but I only grew more frustrated. This led me to look carefully in the preferences and I saw something about natural direction scrolling. I chose to be unnatural, and voila! That solved my scrolling problem with the wheel!
Command key is forever disabled
Being a keyboard shortcut person, I am used to using the CTRL key. Mac’s COMMAND key and I rebelled against each other, and I was not about to change years of muscle memory for that one key. Ergo, I changed my modifier key to be the CTRL key on the MacBook. It’s not exactly placed the same on a Windows PC keyboard, but it’s a much better alternative to the COMMAND key! I hope the FN key will be a modifier key option in the future!
The function buttons placement confuses me
By function buttons, I mean the minimise, maximise, and exit buttons on the left. I’m so used to them being on the right in Windows, so them being on the left is one thing I’m still trying to acclimate to on the MacBook.
iTunes and QuickTime can stay far away
My dislike for Apple back then was due to iTunes and QuickTime being a major pain on a Windows PC. I realise that those were what really soured my experience with Apple. Now on a MacBook, I still refuse to use those. I might seem a bit irrational here, but I really have no use for those two software despite my hatred for them.
Sticking to Mac-only apps will not work
I was excited to try out apps like Day One, but then I realised that I wouldn’t be able to access them on my PC! Sure, I can use those apps on my MacBook, but when I am at home, I prefer my desktop PC. Ergo, I need to use apps that are not restricted to one particular platform, like Evernote, Google Apps, and et cetera. I do make an exception to using one Mac-only app, and that’s my next point!
iMessage is a gem
I am liking the fact that I can use iMessage on my MacBook, meaning I have an actual keyboard to use to type messages to people! I absolutely hate typing on my iPhone, but now I can write long messages on my MacBook! Along with Twitter and KakaoTalk, I am happy with my messaging options.
It’s faster than my Chromebook
My beloved two-year-old Chromebook only has 4gb of RAM, but the MacBook has 8gb and that makes a difference in performance. In fact, my MacBook’s performance is comparable to my desktop, but only in terms of browsing online, checking email, doing blog-related tasks, and messaging people.
It’s heavier than my Chromebook
My Chromebook weighs 2.2 pounds (0.96 kg), and the MacBook Air weighs 2.96 pounds (1.35 kg). In numerical terms, the differences aren’t much, but when I am holding the two, I definitely feel it. The heaviness isn’t a bad thing, but I do wish the MacBook were a bit lighter!
The screen is okay
The screen on my MacBook Air is okay for what I need to do. But there are some tasks that aren’t suitable on that screen. Things like photo editing and whatever gaming I do, it will be on my desktop, which is a lot easier to see on a 24″ monitor! I do admit to wanting that Retina screen, but I’m not forking $300+ for that!
AirDrop is awesome
Along with iMessage, I am loving AirDrop! Using that to transfer photos from my iPhone to the MacBook is so convenient! I adore this feature, and it will be handy when I travel and have to sort out my iPhone photos!
Overall, I like the MacBook Air
Despite my gripes, I do like my MacBook Air. I think it was a good investment, and I think this machine will be more useful to me as time goes by. It’s definitely faster than my Chromebook. I will always favour Windows PC as a desktop, but for a portable laptop, I think the MacBook Air is the way to go! To conclude this post, I want to thank my friends who have helped me with this should-I-buy-a-MacBook dilemma and recommending me their favourite apps. I may not have gone for them, but it was fun to see what their favourites are :)