Tales of a Macbook

For all of my bashing of Apple, there is one thing I have to say, my wife loves her Macbook. She’s still using the aluminum version before it was officially a Macbook Pro. Sporting the Core 2 Duo and a recently upgraded 4 GB RAM (which now allows her to avoid what she calls the spinning wheel of death). She’s sad that it doesn’t have an SD card slot but a quick order from Monoprice.com got her fixed up in a few days. The battery has been replaced once, but it was more due to the fact that she wasn’t fully cycling the battery enough early on. Other than that it’s really treated her well. She’s fairly rough of it (ask her what she did just recently on the front porch bench) but it’s held up very well. She still insists on using iPhoto even though it doesn’t work with Picasa photo storage (the cheapest place found to store photos some time back before the recent price increase).

As for myself, well I get around with computers and laptops especially. Two different Dells Latitude models (D630 was one) in college. A white macbook owned very shortly (really didn’t enjoy it my first time) before trading for a monster 17 inch HP. Then had a 13 inch Dell XPS which to this day was my favorite laptop. Next came a Dell Inspiron Mini 11 that I didn’t like because it was too small. Followed by another Dell XPS but it was the Studio XPS this time. I got it because the first one was so enjoyable, but I didn’t like this one at all. Then the last laptop before recently getting a Macbook Pro 13 was an Asus K53E. I enjoyed that laptop, but I prefer 13 inches instead of 14. I had an SSD installed and 8 GB of RAM with an i5 which made for good performance.

So, now back to the Macbook. I moved my SSD and 8 GB RAM over from the Asus so that I should see similar performance (the Macbook is also an i5). Now to chronicle the usage of the Macbook. I’ll tell you why I decided to try a macbook again and what my experience has been so far.

Why I decided to try a Macbook again

Screen Quality – The screen quality on a Macbook is excellent. It’s certainly better than either of my previous two laptops. The pictures is so crisp and clear. It’s very similar to my 24″ Dell monitor.

Backlit Keyboard – Sure plenty of other laptops have this feature but it’s a really nice to have feature. It makes it so much easier to use your laptop in the dark. A Macbook has a one here though but I know of no other laptop that has 17 different brightness levels (even thought you really only need three: off, dim, bright).

Screen Brightness Control – This is one of my two favorite features. It’s so easy to control how bright the screen is. Once again you have 17 different brightness levels but you’ll actually use these depending on where you are. The two biggest pluses here are that you can actually turn the screen off so that it’s not wasting power while you listen to music or whatever else. The other is that this screen seems to go dimmer than any other laptop screen I’ve used.

Two Finger Browser Scrolling – A feature that I’ve often enjoyed when using my wife’s computer. It makes the browsing experience on the laptop much better than any I’ve used. Let’s be honest, most of the time you’re on the internet.

Sleep Mode/Battery Life – Sure other laptops have battery life comparable to a Macbook but it’s hard to beat the battery life. Properly managed it can last for 6 hours or a little more. What I really like here is I can be working on the laptop, close the lid, open it a day later (it comes on almost instantly) and the battery hasn’t changed. I don’t recall any other laptop working that well except for maybe the Dell XPS (not Studio XPS). I absolutely love this feature. Why EVERY laptop can’t do this, I don’t understand.

I’m currently 2 weeks and a day into using a Macbook. It’s had it’s differences and it’s challenges. I’m currently still working on some of those but I’ll follow up about them in a future post.

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