I was reluctant to switch to a Mac for a long time. I grew up on PCs and they felt comfortable but after Microsoft released their Windows 8 OS (which I dislike very much) I understood it’s time to try something new.
About a year ago I started using a MacBook Pro Late 2011 as my main home computer and I love it. It’s running with an external 24″ Asus monitor and makes a good replacement for my old PC.
As people say, “Switch to Mac and never look back!”.
Yes, there is a learning curve when you start using a completely different OS but in my opinion it’s worth it.
What do I like about the hardware?
1. The noise level.
It’s very quiet. If I close my eyes, while wiring at night, I cannot tell if my laptop is running or not. It’s much quieter than my backup drive.
2. The case design.
The case machined from a solid piece of aluminum. When you hold it in your hands, it doesn’t flex.
As a computer repair tech I can tell that flimsy PC cases causing lots of problems.
3. Extension ports.
The Firewire and Thunderbolt ports are strong, unlike USB3 and HDMI ports used in PCs. They ensure a good and reliable connection with external devices.
Also, they are much faster. Backups and data transfer take significantly less time.
4. The trackpad.
In my opinion, the trackpad is a piece of art. The sensetivity is right at the level where it should be. It’s very precise and smooth. Scrolling the web pages is easy and enjoyable.
I think Macs have the best trackpads on the market. Once you start using trackpad gestures, it will be hard to go back to prehistoric PC trackpads.
5. Easy to disassemble and upgrade.
When you remove the bottom cover (just a few screws), you can access all main internal components. The hard drive, memory modules, cooling fan, battery and DVD drive can be removed and replaced in less than 10 minutes.
What do I like about the software?
1. No viruses and malware.
I haven’t seen a single virus so far. There is no need for an antivirus software when you download applications from a know and reliable source like App Store.
2. Free applications.
Macs come with lots of very useful applications preloaded but if you need more, there is much more at absolutely no cost.
If you downloaded something from the App Store, it keeps track of all your downloads. In case you need to reinstall an application (paid or free), it’s just a click away.
English is not my native language and I would like to mention the built-in dictionary separately. It’s very convenient to have a good English-English dictionary at the tip of your fingers. Just select the word and tap three fingers on the trackpad to get the explanation from different sources.
3. Device drivers.
Drivers? What drivers? Forget about them. Mac OS X has all needed drivers built-in. No more fighting with a device with corrupted or outdated driver.
4. Spotlight search.
Spotlight is a searching software built into Mac OS. It’s a very quick and easy way to find a document or start an application. For some reason, on PCs I was using it only to start a notepad or command prompt. As soon as I switched to Mac, I started using it for everything. When you type in the search box, it gives you a suggestion and it’s dead accurate. You don’t even have to finish typing the search term.
5. Document preview.
The document and image preview software is also worth mentioning. If you want to take a quick look at the file, you select it and tap on the space bar. A quick preview window will open up without launching the main assigned application.
6. Time Machine Backup.
While using PCs I was paranoid about losing my files. Windows OS has some built in backup utility but I think nobody is using it. It’s not user friendly at all. With PCs all my backups were manual, basically drug and drop technique.
On the other hand, on Macs you will find a very robust, quick and easy to use backup software called Time Machine, which is “set and forget”. All your files, even deleted once, will be safely stored on an external hard drive in an organized order. For example, I can easily find files that I deleted from the desktop a year ago and it will take me just a few seconds.
Simply enter the Time Machine, go back to the time you need, find the file and click restore. Boom! It’s restored and ready to be used again. Impressive? Yes, it is!
7. Target Disk Mode.
The target disk mode is one of the best features on Macs. This mode allows to connect one Mac computer to another as a regular external hard drive. It’s very convenient when you want to transfer files between two computers without using the network.
Simply connect two computers with a Firewire or Thunderbolt cable. On the source computer push down the “T” key and turn it on. Hold down the key until the Firewire or Thunderbolt icon appears on the screen. In a few seconds this computer will be detected by the target computer as a regular external hard drive. Now you can easily transfer files from one to another.
Have you tried that on a PC?
If your Mac laptop fails, you can remove the hard drive and move it to a similar (same generation or newer) Mac laptop and it should boot and run without issues. I’ve done it a few times and it worked perfectly.
9. Sleep Mode.
I never turn off my computer completely. Instead, I put it in sleep mode and it takes only a few seconds.
If I want to bring it back to life, I push on the keyboard key and it’s back and ready right away.
Here’s a screenshot from my current system. The last time this system was turned off completely 23 days ago! Probably I had to reboot it because of some major update was going on.
For some reason, the hibernation or sleep mode never worked well for me on PCs. It was taking a very long time to put it into sleep mode and even longer to get back to normal again.
10. It runs Windows OS.
I can run Windows OS on my MacBook Pro and it runs very well. I’m using Parallels Desktop software for that.
Even though I assigned only some of my hardware resources for Windows and basically my computer running two different operating systems at the same time, the Windows Experience Index is pretty high.
iCloud is a cloud base storage space. All built-in applications such as contacts, notes, calendar, textedit, etc… connected to your personal account on iCloud (you have to login with your apple id).
If you have two Macs, you can access your personal data on both, when you login to your account.
All Macs have great resale value. You can easily sell a 3 year old computer for 50-70% of its current retail value.
Just for your information, there seems to be some fetish going on with original retail packing boxes. If you decide to sell your computer later, most likely the buyer will ask if you still have “the box” so keep it.