About a month ago, I bought my first Mac – a Macbook Air 11. Here are my impressions:
The hardware of the Mac is top-notch and cannot be beat. Like for phones, I choose my laptops based on portability and form-factor first and being thin and light is one of the biggest features I look for. My previous laptop, a Dell e4200 was thicker, however was lighter than the MacBook Air, despite being larger (12″ screen).
The build of the Mac is solid. Even being so thin, it does not feel creaky or wobbly. My original e4200 was replaced by a new one because of the creaky body – it squeaked when you typed. This Mac had no such issues at all and the build quality definitely makes it stand apart.
One of the features that exceed my expectations was the speakers. Given it’s small size and the lack of any speaker ports, I was expecting pretty sad sound. Turns out the speakers on the Air are not just good, they’re the best laptop speakers I’ve ever had. I can only imagine that the regular Macbook speakers are even better. Clear stereo definition of sound is available – the sound seems to emanate from underneath the keyboard with a clarity unmatched by any Dell/HP/Toshiba laptop I’ve used in the past.
I do miss the SD slot that the 13″ Air’s have, that is definitely one feature I wish the 11″ version had – and the lighted keyboard that was on the previous generation of Macbook Air.
Mac OS was definitely harder to get used to than I anticipated. This can be mainly attributed to being a Windows power user for many years. I got used to using a lot of keyboard shortcuts – shortcuts where are different on Mac OS.
One of the best features of Mac OS is the ability of it to repsond to “gestures” – or more specifically, using multiple finger inputs on the trackpad for different functions. One finger to move the cursor, two for scrolling, three for moving back and forward on browsers – this is a feature I’m surprised has not been built into more Windows machines.
I’m disappointed at the lack of 64-bit software for Mac’s (Photoshop is 64-bit for Windows but not Mac), and the lack of TRIM support for SSD’s, which are standard of Macbook Airs, is troublesome. The drive performance will eventually deteriorate to the point of requiring a format/reinstall in order to get peak performance again.
Overall I’m happy with my Macbook Air but I’m not married to it. If a Windows machine came along with the same hardware build quality and form-factor, I would switch back. The recently announced Adamo 13 comes pretty close.