2 weeks with the mac

well, its been a few weeks with the MacBook Pro now, so I thought I’d offer my thoughts!

Speed. I have the slower of the 2 MacBook Pro 15″ models, but its more than quick enough, even for serious photo editing. Lightroom and PhotoShop CS3 run fast and without any problems, as does Open Office. Actually, thats probably the most noticeable speed increase. Everything else tilts along just nicely.

OS X. The OS is ok, its fast, stable, does most things you want really. I find “Finder” – the equivalent of Windows Explorer – to be a bit limiting and frustrating, but I’m getting used to it and I suspect there are other free utilities that I can use to replace it in time. Its a pain with images – browsing is not as simple – Windows works better in that regard. Everything else though, the Mac is just fine. It goes to sleep when I want it to, wakes up with no fuss. Excellent.

Applications: It comes with most of the things you need really – have to download updated itunes which was a little disappointing, but no big deal. Downloaded Open Office, but could have bought IWork with the machine which I guess would have done pretty much the same thing. The only gotcha is playing video files. Windows was better at all the various codecs and players needed to play all the files I’ve collected over the years – the codecs are available for Mac, but I’ve only found pay ones so far.

Physical. Its very shiny and aluminiumy. The screen is excellent, but it does go very dim in low light with its ambient light sensor – has me peering at the screen sometimes. I got a glossy screen and its fine where I use it – not too many reflections and it displays images well and pretty much true to colour too. The single click track pad is a work of genius – gestures work really well, although I have a tendency to pinch, which enshrinkens the running application, mostly firefox – so the font goes teeny. I just need to adjust my technique. I particularly like the one, two, three finger gestures – they’re very intuitive. The only negative is the lack of USB ports (only 2) but there is an ESATA and Firewire port too, so its just a matter of getting peripherals that don’t rely on USB. Oh, and the keyboard is quite a long way back on the base in order to accommodate the large trackpad. Means my wrists get a bit sore from being bent up in piano playing stylee. The aluminium chassis is not comfortable to rest your arms on, so “normal” use isn’t really possible. I’ll get used to it though. They keyboard is lovely to use though, keys are nicely spaced and well weighted. And its really quiet.

Battery. Not 7 hours as claimed, but easily 5. Good. How well it lasts remains to be seen.

All in all – very pleased with it. Happy to have made the switch.

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