Monday, November 8, 2010

MacBook Pro reflections

It’s been almost two months since I switch my work machine to a MacBook Pro. I’ve been asked a few times what I thought after having used it for a while. Honestly, I’ve got mixed feelings. First the pros:

  • Ergonomics – the hardware is very nice. The size and feel of the aluminum uni-body is great. There’s lots of little touches like the auto-dimming and the track pad. I’ve even found myself trying to use two- and three-finger gestures on a PC touch pad when I happen to use one.
  • The general thoughtfulness that goes into features like the widgets, Finder, and overall ease of use

However, there are still things that I don’t like or agree with:

  • Insistence on a single-button mouse. Even after using a Magic Mouse for a while I still find that my two button, scroll wheel PC mouse is much more useful – perhaps it comes from almost two decades of using a PC-style mouse.
  • Lack of consistency in keyboard shortcuts. Generally the basic keys like Command+A, Command+C work okay but apps tend to be different enough that it’s annoying. Sometimes its Control+ and other times its Command+.
  • Price.

I just priced out a full Dell XPS 17 with upgraded bells ‘n whistles and still came in at $2K while the MacBook Pro is $3K loaded. That’s a full 50% premium above a high-end PC! I’m also finding that it is…well, a machine – a computer. I can be productive and useful with either one but I just don’t get the rabid fan boy, bash a PC whenever possible, pry-it-out-of-my-cold-dead-fingers feeling. Now, I’m not a graphics designer – just a corporate business user so I have Office 201x on both the Mac and Windows 7 as well as the same browsers, chat programs, and pretty similar utilities.