Thoughts on a Macbook Air from a Lifetime PC User

I’ve been a lifelong PC user. But after a few weeks with a MacBook Air, I’ve fallen in love.

My last Dell Latitude was a wonderful computer and I particularly liked Windows 7. Nevertheless, the features of my Macbook Air override my former love.

Credit: Miłosz Bolechowski http://bit.ly/1hBcs2v

Here’s my assessment after just a few weeks.

PROS

  • Thin & light. Unbelievably so.
  • Very long battery life.
  • Faster loading. Open it up and its immediately ready to go.
  • iTunes is MUCH faster on a Mac. It doesn’t hog resources like it does on a PC.
  • Syncing an iPhone and iPad is faster than ever.
  • Keyboard shortcuts are easy to create and customize.
  • Trackpad: Superior in every way. Look at its features.
  • 1Password on the Mac is pricey but better than SplashID on a PC. First, it has a browser extension so that you can click on the icon, select the site you want to go to (Amazon, for example). It’ll launch a new tab and automatically input the user name and password. It also has a password generator to create very long and very difficult-to-guess password strings (i.e. f56Yng498Qxx4T!&). Plus, you can link it to a free Dropbox account and it’ll automatically sync your passwords between all your devices.
  • iMessages – with this nifty little program built into the OS I can text people from my Mac, if their phone is registered with iMessages. Makes it easy to type a text using your computer keyboard rather than typing with your thumbs on your iPhone.

CONS

  • I miss the Delete key. I always have to stop to think, “Do I press FN+delete or CMD+Delete?” However, it’s becoming more intuitive as time goes on.
  • Mac Mail – I have been an Outlook user for 15 years and a quite adept at it. While I have it installed on my Mac, I have just recently switched entirely to Mac Mail.
  • Image attachments in Mac Mail is currently driving me insane. It either pastes image files into the body of the email so that it is displayed inline or it pastes and icon. I much prefer how Outlook handles attachments with the icon for the attachment appearing below the subject line. I may eventually revert back to Outlook for my business email. The verdict is still out.
  • MacBook Air can’t control two different monitors that aren’t mirrored. I understand this feature is available with the Macbook Pro. I have two monitors in my office. With my PC, I dragged the browser over to the right monitor while keeping other programs up on the left monitor. I can’t do that with my Air. (UPDATE 2014: with the release of Apple’s Maverick OS, the Macbook Air can control two different monitors.).

Each day, I learn of new features of the Mac. While it’s a bit cumbersome at this time, I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it over time. And it’s these features that enthuse me.

In short, this lifelong PC user is a new convert. I may never return.

(Photo Credit: Creative Commons – Miłosz Bolechowski via Flickr)

Author: Greg Lhamon

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