Well, I’ve received my MacBook this morning and since then I’ve been toying with it. One thing that I noticed was that there wasn’t much to be toying around with. Everything just works beautifullyright out of the box. There are no add-on applications that I really need. The only thing was tweaking al the new options. I really like the slick graphics, and I’ve taken a strong liking towards the included RSS screensaver. I also really like the way OS X renders text: everything is more pleasant to the eye.
Coming from a PC, it takes a small while to get adjusted to the new UI and its philosophy. I have to relearn keyboard shortcuts and actively find the new places for all the options and whatnot. Overall, I do like Mac OS X 10.5.4. However, the ease of use that is heralded by Apple fans seems to be merely a matter of taste and being accustomed to the OS. I am not a fanboy and will gladly use whatever is best suited to the job at hand. With that said, I like the “system tray” of the Mac (I don’t know what it’s called in OS X). The usage of voice recognition and TTS also seem to be more tightly integrated into the OS.I was very surprised as to the speediness of OS X. The shutdown time is basically the snap of a finger, and bootup is relatively speedy. Applications load up snappily, and overall everything is quite responsive.However, I am starting to think about the MacBook Air. I realized that the reason that my first laptop was a IBM X41 Tablet PC was that I loved IBM TrackPoint, the iconic little red nubbin of a pencil eraser that substitutes a touchpad. I have to get used to using the touchpad, but I don’t think I will ever enjoy it as much as either a mouse or a TrackPoint.
And because I have to rely so much on the touchpad, I started wishing that I hadmoregestures. I am able to scroll up and down with two fingers on the touchpad, but I thought that it would be nice if I could swipe my fingers laterally to go back and forth in my history. Then I realized that a natural extension of that motion would be to move laterally with either a modifier button or three fingers.
Naturally, I started Googling around, and then I realized that perhaps I should return this MacBook and instead get a MacBook Air. After all, the MacBook Air has the multi-touch gestures, an ambient light sensor, a backlit keyboard, and it’s lighter and thinner. There’s also the cool factor.
Then I started thinking some more. I’d be paying a $400 premium for the MacBook Air: $300, plus $100 for the SuperDrive. I’d be losing out on the processor: 1.6 GHz (same as my old IBM X41) versus this MacBook’s 2.2 GHz. I’d be losing a huge chunk of space: 80GB for my current 250GB. Not only that, but it’d be pokey as hell: 4200RPM PATA vs 5400RPM SATA. I didn’t do much research, but my general impression is that the MacBook is also better in the battery life department.
All in all, I’d say that I wouldn’t seriously getting a MacBook Air, not until the SSD hard drive comes down in price.
So yeah, I’m going to be watching DVDs and working on Celtx on this machine. Now that I think about it, I have no idea what compelled me to get a MacBook as opposed to another reputable laptop…I guess I’ll be mulling over this point for a bit.
Edit: I just experienced my first lockup with the Mac. I was editing the theme in Safari and all of a sudden it just stopped responding, leaving me with a spinning candy wheel. Nothing was working, not even Force Quit, so I had to hold down the power button to do a hard reset. And they say Macs don’t crash…tsk tsk tsk.