Okay, before you read this article know a couple of things:
- I don’t think Windows is better than Mac OS, neither do I think Mac OS is better than Windows. I think they all have their positives and negatives depending on different people’s use cases.
- I am not in any way saying you should switch, I am just sharing my experience. If you plan on switching, however, remember this is my experience, yours might be different.
- I know very little about Mac OS since I’ve only been here < 3 months. So don’t take my word as gospel truth. Read some more, watch YouTube videos. Now let’s dive in:
If there’s one piece of gadget I’ve really loved – of all the numerous tech gadgets I use – it is my HP Spectre 13. I can’t point out one reason, to be honest. And saying this even sounds funny when I remember that it wasn’t the laptop I wanted originally when I bought it at the beginning of 2018. I was going for the Dell XPS 13. But Avechi did me dirty, and I had to get the HP. And I fell in love with it. (That’s weird – saying I fell in love with a laptop, yuck) But yeah, I loved it. Really loved it.
It was very very very thin, and would fit in everywhere. I could carry it anywhere, use it everywhere, and rely on it to do most of my tasks easily. Plus it had great battery life. Except when late last year it decided to misbehave, and I had to get a battery replacement early this year. Throughout the period of use, it only fell once – because obviously duh! But never did I face any serious Windows OS issues with it, never did I dislike it – though there are many instances where I wondered how it would have been having the XPS 13.
Anyway, saying I loved it doesn’t mean there are things I didn’t like. Of course there are:
- For one, the bezels were to big, though they sort of always faded while you used the device.
- The performance though quite good for daily tasks failed me in one area – editing videos. I mean yes I edited way over 50 videos with that machine, but exports took quite long, and the device would also really heat up during such tasks.
- Thirdly, this is something I only realised when I changed to the Mac: the keyboard wasn’t good for long periods of typing. Especially my type of typing where I want to sit down and let my thoughts flow to the keyboard. I used to have very many missed keys.
- Fourth, also this is something the Mac has helped me realise: the battery was not that great.
A couple of months ago, I decided I needed something more powerful. The HP though very excellent was slowing down my workflow. Editing videos was now a pain since the YouTube channel now has more demands. I needed a laptop that could handle all my tasks pretty smoothly, but still manage to look very good. Pretty smooth for me means I don’t want lags. I don’t want the fans kicking in but I am not seeing any performance boosts. I don’t want a 10 min video export to take 30 to 50 minutes. You know! Good for me means something that stands out. Something that is thin, easy to carry, and classy. You’re probably thinking there are many out there. Yes. Every time I opened YouTube before making the decision, I saw numerous Windows laptops screaming pick me! More powerful ones. Classier designs. But I gave in to one thing: the idea that Apple’s devices run very smooth with Apple’s software, so things like editing with Final Cut Pro would be so good compared to the possible frustrations I’d probably run into with Adobe Premiere Pro which is also – so I convinced myself – expensive, as compared to Final Cut’s one-time purchase.
For me, that was the main decision I went for the MacBook Pro 13″ 2020 two-thunderbolt model (I wanted the 16″ but honestly who can afford that). Being able to easily edit my videos without problems, and without long export times was the only reason, to be honest. And, apart from the better battery life here, there’s really no huge thing I can point out when I compare it to the HP. The only thing I regret is I should have waited for the new MacBooks with Apple Silicon. Argh! But… let’s get on.
Switching operating systems is the most frustrating thing ever. And Mac OS sucks in the following ways:
- There’s no way to properly arrange your windows. So everything is thrown everywhere. Very frustrating. What’s even more annoying is that there are apps that can help you easily arrange open windows, but you have to pay for them! Why wouldn’t Apple just incorporate those ideas into MacOS? I guess Windows OS is called Windows because it knows how to handle windows hehehe.
- Also, the tab that’s always at the top is where you access all your settings and stuff. It is very complicated, I had to watch numerous introduction to Mac videos to get comfortable. Imagine trying to find the usual in-app settings only to discover it is in the toolbar above, which keeps changing depending on the app you open. What?
- What’s even weird is that when you close an app, you have just closed the window. The app is still open in the background, WTF? So you have to manually close it, by going to the tab on the top and hitting QUIT or by using the COMMAND+Q shortcut. And if that sounds frustrating, wait till you try finding where a Window has disappeared to when you minimised it. It is chaotic!
- The best way to survive on Mac, so I’ve come to learn is to know the shortcuts. So COMMAND+W for closing Windows. OPTION+COMMAND+V when copy-pasting when you don’t want the item to remain where it was – you know the thing called CUT and PASTE that we do as WINDOW+X then WINDOWS+V… Yeah, there’s nothing like CUT on Mac. I’ve had to watch so many YouTube videos from Snazzy Labs to learn the numerous shortcuts. He has awesome videos.
- I have had to change so many things to get a workflow that suits me. This has included moving the dock to the left, changing the size of stuff, having hot corners to quickly access certain stuff, and so much more. This has been so unlike Windows where the setup mostly just works great.
- I was used to the Type-C world. However, the HP laptop had 3 ports. This one has only two. And I find that quite annoying especially given they’re both on one side.
- When you use Safari, downloads for some reason automatically unzip themselves if they were in ZIP files. Why? Who asked for that?
- The already listed ones aren’t even the worst. The most frustrating one for me remains the lack of BACKSPACE. There’s only DELETE. On Windows, one gets both the DELETE and the BACKSPACE keys. And they do different stuff. Here, you only get the DELETE key. It works like BACKSPACE on Windows. But if you want to use the normal DELETE functionality we are used to on Windows, you use OPTION+DELETE.
These are just but a few of the many frustrations I’ve experienced with MacOS. I know I should list all of them, but that would be very long, and quite boring to read. Plus, it has been ~3 months and I am now used to finding my way around the OS.
How has editing been like:
Immediately I got the device, I got Final Cut PRO trial. It is 90-days free before you have to basically pay the equivalent of buying a high-end phone, or another laptop, to own it. Luckily, it is a one time purchase, and you get the licence added to your Apple ID so you can use it anywhere forever, even after updates.
My HP could handle 1080p videos quite well. Playback while editing was the challenge. Here, however, I can handle 4K files easily. Playback isn’t an issue, and editing has been a breeze as when compared to my previous experience. However, things like rendering in the background and exporting still make the laptop really push its fans.
Unlike with the HP where there were numerous times when I had to force close Adobe Premiere, or restart the whole machine, here, I’m yet to have such an experience. Also, with Final Cut, I can easily setup ways to edit directly from an external hard-disk without using up the laptop’s storage. And I’ve tried that and never had an issue.
When shooting a video, in many of the extra shots I use a phone. I noticed that with the HP, it would struggle very much with footage from the Galaxy NOTE 10. Here I’ve had no issues.
So, given this is the reason I got the device, I can say I am very happy with it.
The unexpected positive gains:
I didn’t expect these, but they’re very welcome:
- I’ve already mentioned this, but the keyboard is way better than the HP’s. This is the main reason I got the 2020 model unlike previous models which I had read had keyboard issues. Also, the levels of the backlight are a big improvement to the single backlight level on the HP.
- I wonder how I’ve written 1480 words without mentioning the trackpad. This is the best trackpad I’ve used period. I wonder how Apple managed to fool us into believing the force touch vibration was a click. Wow. Watch this video.
- Also, this may sound crazy until you actually have the device. But charging is amazing. Imagine being able to charge your laptop with any charger as long as it is type-C. Yes, I literally charge this laptop with my Galaxy NOTE 10+ charger, and it charges it very well, even when using it. That’s a gain I wouldn’t have expected. The HP would never accept power from something lower than 45W.
- I sort of like the touch bar. Yes, I am in that category of weird people who kinda use it.
- The speakers are amazing. I mean 100x better than the HP’s. So are the microphones.
- And something minor, but a thing I quite love is that I can customise my device to look different. That’s something I couldn’t easily do with the HP since companies like Dbrand didn’t offer skins for it.
- Updates arrive on time, there’s no gamble about this. They also are easy to work with, run in the background without the usual annoying processes of restarting I’d get on Windows. (saying this is funny because Big Sur has just failed to install a few minutes ago, and it looks like it is a worldwide issue.)
- And finally, the App Store actually has apps I want to try out, unlike the Windows Store.
I recently wrote about Switching from Android to iPhone, and I know I should list down Facetime and iMessage, but those aren’t things I want to talk about, since they don’t matter here. However, being able to make calls, send texts, from the Mac is much easier as compared to using the ‘Your Phone’ App on Windows 10 with an Android Phone. Also, I know I won’t be on the iPhone for long – since as I said it is frustrating – but another positive gain is being able to quickly create a WiFi hotspot using either the iPhone or the iPad from the Mac without touching the other devices. Very neat.
In a recent discussion, the argument about the expense of Apple laptops lost because of a couple of things: yes, there are cheaper Windows laptops that would perform better, but also yes, there are more expensive Windows Notebooks with the same sort of approach meaning close to similar specs, and close to similar performance. We concluded that one should get a device if they feel like they would like it, and it would do the things they want to do with it. However, we also agreed that local prices are weird and that shops like Elite Digital and the rest are total rip-offs. So maybe steer clear of many of the sellers here, unless they are within the expected 16% markup – which would amount to almost the same when you import.
Anyway, that’s it. Those are my thoughts on the Mac OS experience. Ask me any questions you may have, even if I take forever to answer my emails.