I vividly remember the day I received my Dell Inspiron laptop, back in July'05. Being my first laptop, my excitement was simply uncontrollable, more than that of a child running behind an ice-cream truck. I purchased the laptop against all thoughts by people around me, advising me that a laptop will be of no use to somebody with a PC at work. When have I ever listened to people!
After four years of merciless usage (perhaps I should call it 'rape' for the lack of a better word), I decided to part with the laptop. I decided to give it to my dad, who got addicted to using it in the last 5 months. I wouldn't lose a 12 inch beauty like that without a bigger replacement. I have always had my eye on the MacBook and thanks to iPhone, my love on Apple only got doubled in the recent times.
There I was, last week, cringing and squirming at work, waiting unbearably for the MacBook to be shipped. I even left work early and for the next 5 hours, nothing mattered in this world – it was just me and the MacBook. I wanted to explore the MacBook and I did to my hearts content.
Having used the MacBook for a few days now, I thought I'll share some of my initial thoughts on using the Mac.
For a first time Mac user, I thought there'll be absolutely no learning to do. I was terribly wrong. End of first day, I wondered if I should buy the 'MacBook: Idiot's learning guide' book (if there was one).
There is a slight ramp-up curve involved, when one starts to use a MacBook. If somebody tells you that Macintosh is intuitive, laugh on their face. Seriously, do it. (I can't imagine the number of calls Apple customer service gets from people asking simple questions like 'how do I install this application? Or how do I disable applications from start-up?')
Most tasks which seems like a childs-play in a PC are not in a Mac. (I can't believe how many times I would have googled/asked my friend Amar for even simpler tasks, such as - how to make the Mac recognize my canon camera once I connect it!)
Wait a minute, my view has been too lop-sided, talking only about the cons of the macbook. All said and done, MacBook is a very successful product. It indeed has a lot of good features.
First comes the hardware. Their design definitely is much better than other PCs I have seen/used. With a light single-solid-aluminum unibody enclosure, the laptop is overall thin and light, yet being strong and durable. I certainly feel good when it sits on my lap.
Trackpad: My most favorite feature of the laptop. There is no specific mouse button, the trackpad is one large button. The trackpad seems so large, I can almost sleep and roll on it. And the umpteen cool 'jing-chaks' like pinch-the-trackpad to zoom in/out, rotate-fingers to rotate images, two-fingers-swipe to scroll, three-fingers-swipe to flip photos/pages, four-fingers-swipe to move windows and twenty-fingers-swipe to cast a vote at the White house. No, there is no twenty fingers feature yet!
Interface: Some of the cool features like Expose and Spaces, ichat (with video), Dashboard are definitely cool despite one's doubts of ever using them.
Other minor yet noticeable features such as magnetic charger connector, doorless CD slot, large separated keys, bright LED screen are certainly nice and does grab one's attention.
Overall, MacBook has definitely been a cooler gadget. But for some initial start-up glitches, I have been a satisfied Macbook owner.
I don't think it can ever match the intuitiveness of a PC, but only Apple could make a laptop like this!