This blogger has been a Windows user for years. My last laptop, the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook, is actually pretty good. Boot up is quick, and turning on from sleep mode is pretty quick but the battery life is now dismal, being not more than about 2 hours or so of juice after a full charge. It runs Windows 7 and I looked at the Windows 8 notebook options around and I thought, no, none really appeal to me.
I turned to Apple as an alternative. Apple devices are no strangers to my house – we have an iPad (gen 1), iPad mini, iPod touch and 2 iPhones. But no Mac. I have used Macs at work but that’s about my only experience. Analysing what I do, which are mostly browser based and Office applications (Word, Spreadsheet and Presenations) it would not be a problem with MacOS. The other main application I run NSBApp Studio for creating mobile medical webapps has a Mac version which comes with the paid license so that’s no problem too.
I settled on a Macbook Air, specifically the 11 inch model, for the size and weight. It can fit in my eLabcoat which is a bonus .
Things I love about it:
- Great battery life – more than double that of my Dell XPS.
- Fantastic trackpad – I think easily the best out there with great gesture support
- Instant on from hibernation. This is what it should be – Windows ultrabooks are close but not quite there yet.
OS Mavericks was a 5Gb download – patience is a virtue – but at least it’s a free upgrade. It’s great to have iWorks for free too so there’s no need to purchase additional Office software. If you take that into consideration, then equivalent Windows 8 ultrabooks are not cheaper, and I would say the MBA is good value for money. It will take a while to orientate myself to the Mac interface – the way windows close, the Mission control, Dock and using all the nifty features like extra Desktops. I set the trackpad and mouse to scroll the “natural way” as I prefer it so while things may be different, the System Preferences are very tweakable.
Are there any downsides or regrets? Only one – I should have switched a long time ago.
(Originally blogged in the Palmdoc Chronicles. If you are a new Mac user like myself, get useful tips and tricks from experienced Mac users at the our regular Mobilefest meetups!)