As you may know, I recently bought my first Macbook Pro a few weeks ago. I have now had plenty of time to learn how to use it, change all the settings the way I like it, and get everything transferred over from my old laptop. I thought it would be a good idea to give a review for those of you who may be considering making the move to a Mac for the first time.
I made the move to a Mac for a few reasons. One was I really need a new laptop. My previous laptop is 3 years old and I desperately needed something way more up to date, something that is more suitable for my needs. Another is because Macs are basically the norm in the graphic and web design world, and as a lover of technology, to be honest I couldn’t be out of the loop. But don’t worry you PC fans, I still have my good old desktop, which I believe is about 5.5 years old now. I also wanted a Mac just to try something different! It doesn’t hurt that they are completely and totally gorgeous as well, which brings me to…
The Gorgeous Exterior
The 2010 Macbook Pro has an aluminum unibody casing, and it is just gorgeous! It is sleek, and light. I bought the 15″ Hi-Res Anti-Glare. I chose the 15″ because it is right in the middle – not too small or too big and still easily portable. For those of you who choose the Glossy screen, your Macbook Pro will come with a black bezel around the screen which I might add is very very nice. However, I just can’t stand glossy screens and I am VERY happy with my choice. The Anti-Glare comes with the silver around the screen but it looks just as amazing (I think I might like it more!). The chiclet keyboard has all black keys and are very easy to type with, at least for myself. I am pretty much accustomed to it. I actually have a hard time typing on my old laptop now! I personally use a wireless USB mouse (which has no connection problems what-so-ever even with the USB port on the left-hand side, by the way), but the track pad is nice and large, and you can do some very cool things with it (for example, a four-finger down-ward swipe will show you all of the programs open, as thumbnails). The disc drive is on the right-hand side, while you have your two USB ports, audio-in, etc. on the left-hand side. The front has an indicator for when it is sleeping, and the back nothing as it is the hinge. The underneath is very sleek with a few screws, and on top you have the Apple logo.
The Amazing Interior
I upgraded my Macbook Pro specs and compared to my old laptop, this thing is lightening fast. I can be on the internet in less than 30 seconds, and it shuts down in less than 5! Programs open fast, and close even faster. It is so much more amazing compared to my old laptop – though the specs are totally different. Overall, the hardware is 100x better if not more so there is just no comparison really. Anything new would be faster!
Aside from being very time-consuming, I had no trouble moving everything from my laptop over to my Macbook Pro. My suggestion is to organize everything on your old computer first, getting rid of things you know you won’t need anymore. I managed to remove a lot of stuff that I had no use for anymore. Then when it was time to move files over, I did it section by section so I could organize it the way I wanted on my Mac.
I have installed the Mac versions of programs I had on Windows, and also got equivalents for others. If you’re a user of Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint, etc), definitely take a look at iWork ’09. Pages will read your .doc and .docx files, and can be saved as .doc files too. Not everything will transfer, such as fonts or certain page styles, but Pages will tell you what could not be transferred or what was replaced with a substitute. If you or your friends use MSN Messenger, check out Adium. You also have iChat that comes with your Mac, but there are only certain types of email accounts that can be used with it.
Overall my move to a Mac has been a great experience. But, there’s always a learning curve with new technology.
1) Installing programs: On Microsoft Windows you get the dialog box when installing programs that takes you through the steps of the installation. This is not how it works in OS X. Instead of a dialog box, I got a window with some images. Turns out, you have to drag the icon/logo of the program “into” the image of the Applications folder. Not hard to do, but I was surprised at first. Most programs have an arrow or text to tell you want to do, but if I remember correctly my first installation did not so I wasn’t sure what to do at first! After you do it once, it is VERY simple though.
2) Closing Programs: I was very used to clicking the X in the right-hand corner of programs in Microsoft Windows. So having to do it from the left-hand corner as well as shutting it down properly with Program Name > Quit (equivalent to File > Close on Windows), this was a learning curve. I kept going to the right-hand corner! But now it’s natural and I find on Microsoft Windows machines my mouse goes to the left-hand corner…
3) For my third trouble… well… I don’t even remember what else I had trouble with, if anything!
Is there anything I don’t like about my Mac? Well, there is a “delete” key, but not one that deletes the text on the right side of the cursor – until you hit the Function button. So that doesn’t count. Control versus Command? Well that took some getting used to. I kept hitting the Function button as that is where the Control button is on my old laptop. But I’m accustomed to using Command-C etc. now, so it’s not something I dislike. Another thing that is a little annoying is the maximizing of windows. When you first get your Mac, none of the windows will be full screen. I personally don’t always make them full screen. Internet windows I have stretched to fit (and it remembers this so I don’t have to do it every time) while others I don’t mind if they’re smaller. It depends on the program really! If you really love your windows fitting the screen, you can also hide the dock, and pull it down all the way. Certain programs are also see-though, such as Photoshop which is different but I am getting used to it. Otherwise, I don’t really dislike much, just things I had to get used to and they don’t really bother me.
Thinking About Mac?
So the verdict: If you’re thinking about going to a Mac, I highly recommend it! I have thoroughly enjoyed learning to use my Macbook Pro and I enjoy using it everyday. I had used Macbooks before but very minimally until now. I really didn’t have much trouble making the switch, as you can see from above. There have been little things here and there, but it’s just the way the operating system works. If you’re on your laptop a lot such as myself, you won’t have trouble switching at all.
And that’s it! If you have any questions or comments about my Mac experience so far, please comment below or email me!