Features Users New to MBA like best

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by lockerc18, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. lockerc18, Jul 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012

    lockerc18 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2012
    I'm a little surprised that a thread like this hasn't been started yet. I'm a PC user from day 1, and I mean that literally. I've never used a MacBook of any type before I got my MBA 13" (i7 2.0 / 8 / 256). I got it because I needed a new laptop. I hated Vista. I like Windows 7, but can't imagine moving to Windows 8. I also have an iPad3, which I really love for the things it does. But it isn't a real laptop replacement. So, I got a new 2012 MBA. And I have to admit, I couldn't be happier.

    Yes, the price is high compared to PC Ultrabooks. But you get what you pay for in this world. Now that I've been using this system for almost a week, I think I've gotten past most of the learning curve of moving to Mac from Windows. What I've found is that the Mac is really an easy system to transition to, and in general is a very easy system to use.

    I mentioned in another post that I was disappointed in the LG display on my system. I installed the MacRumors config file, and that has fixed any washing out problems with this display. It is now very sharp, and the text is really clear. Honestly, it's so close to Retina that it's hard to tell the difference.

    I set up my wireless Brother printer by clicking on it in the "add printer" dialog. That was it, no drivers to install, nothing else to do. Worked like a charm. Easy.

    I installed Firefox, which I've used since it was Mosaic. Remember that? It was the original browser, which turned into Netscape, and then into Mozilla / Firefox. So, I like it, and I'm very used to it. It works especially well on OS/X, and for me, it's the last browser I'll every use. I wish it was supported on IOS.

    I also installed MS Office for Mac 2011. I'm used to Office, and I think it has the set of features that I need for business and personal use, too. It's originally a Mac app, so it appears to be an outstanding implementation. I know the most popular word processor on Mac is iPages. That's fine for those who have used it and like it. But for me, I've used Office forever, so I don't want to learn a new productivity suite. And the best way to ensure compatibility is to use the app you need to be compatible with. For me, that's Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

    It took me a little while to get used to the touchpad. I was considering getting a mouse because I can't stand touchpads, but now that I've gotten more used to it, I can't imagine using anything else. I grew up on Thinkpads and really like the trackpoint, but I think this is worlds better. Gestures rock.

    The Air's form factor is a major reason why I got this system, and it has not disappointed. It's light, and the ergonomics are really terrific. The keyboard is great. The battery life is terrific, and charging it is so quick.

    I figured out how to add icons to the Dock today. Whoot whoot! I like the dock.

    The performance is other worldly. I overbought on RAM and disk, and knew it when I did it. I can't seem to use more than 3 GB RAM at a time. I don't game, so that might do it. I haven't done any photo or video editing. Yet. That might do it, too. But for normal office type of work, 8 GB is so much overkill. I love it.

    Having 256GB SSD is overkill, too. You can't be too rich or too thin, though, so having more storage than you'll ever use is just fine, thanks.

    If there are major drawbacks to this system, I haven't found them yet.

    But this is my experience. I'd be interested in hearing what other PC / Windows users think, especially ones who never used a Mac before, so using the Air is their first Mac experience. I'd like separate backspace and delete keys, for instance. But that's pretty minor, really, given the overall experience.

    What do you think?
  2. ketchup4life06 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2010

    Hey, thanks for the post. I just recently ordered a MBA 13" i5/8/128 which is in the process of being shipped. I too have only used Windows computers all my life and this will be my first Apple computer. I chose the MBA since I was in the market for a portable laptop and like yourself windows 8 does not seem very appealing. The price for Ultrabooks with the same specs compared to the MBA were the same or higher and I felt it was time for a change. I am assuming (and hope) that I will have the same experience as you!:D

  3. yoyoma1992 macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Same situation as you, got the 11'' though...and mine is still processing :(
  4. tbl macrumors member


    Jul 14, 2010
    I just wanted to say that this was a really well written post, better than most on this forum. I agree with all of what you've said, and can definitely relate. Thanks for sharing!
  5. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    What is this?

    Tell me more about this, please.
  6. tfannon macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2012
    my entry into the apple pc world was last year's air

    I love the swipe gestures of lion. i am a programmer so am used to multiple monitors at work, typically one for the browser and one for the code window. i found with the 13" air and gestures I am almost as productive on the road or on the go with just the laptop display.

    Of course, the form factor is beautiful.

    As you found out, adding hardware and software usually just works, from printers to bluetooth devices. With PCs, it isn't that hard but there always seems to be some extra step or drivers to hunt down.

    Time machine built in and easy to use is a nice bonus as well.

    I just upgraded to the 2012 w/8gb (so I can develop in the VM) and 512 SSD so I can keep all my music, pictures, and development projects with me wherever i go.

    great machine. i chose it over the rMBP pretty much because of it's portability.

    and as a small bonus, the intel hd4000 actually can play some games.
  7. Kyllle macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    I had an HP laptop before and have had windows all my life until 2 weeks ago.

    What I found ironic about the switch to mac was that before with my HP laptop and HP printer, I always had problems getting them to work together (couldn't start a scan from the computer, had to do everything from HP's Solution Center software). With the mac, all I had to do was find my printer in preferences, then it automatically installed the drivers and works flawlessly, better than with the HP + HP setup.
  8. lockerc18 thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2012
  9. lls4f macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2012
    United States
    I've been a PC only user since age 5, so my 2012 MBA was my first significant step into the Mac world. I also bought the 256/8gb and I couldn't be happier with those specs.

    I expected to love and do indeed love: the trackpad (gestures are wonderful, two finger scrolling is now firm habit, etc), the keyboard (it's so much quieter than anything I've used previously and I like the short travel distance on the air better than the greater distance on a MBP keyboard), and the general UI. I like the dock system.

    I am surprised at how much I love: the app store (on PC, I had Office and a photo editor and that's it for software. On my Mac, I've downloaded so many useful programs), the unified menu bar (once I got used to it, having that pulled away from the program window is great), launchpad (being able to see everything at once is so nice), and iCal.

    I'm looking forward to: Mountain Lion features (in particular, Messages and Notes/Reminders), getting to know more about the OS and how to troubleshoot (though so far there hasn't been any need for that), and getting to know program short cuts (Cheat Sheet from the app store is great).

    Things I miss about Windows: F key functionality (really, just F5 for refresh. I know you can turn that on but it seems that you lose the other function..in the F5 case, keyboard toggling. I'm getting used to command-R), photo organization (I'm using Aperture and I'm still getting used the idea that my files are bundled into the "library" file).
  10. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Congratulations! I switched to a MacBook Air back in early 2008 and haven't looked back.

    If you decide to install Windows, as well as VirtualBox, Parallels Desktop, or VMWare Fusion in which to run it, the 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD will come in handy.
  11. Aniseedvan macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2012
    Very useful post, and reassuring for those of us coming to the mac world from PCs.

    My first computer was actually a mac when I was at uni... An LC475... Used it for years, loved it to bits but having worked with PCs I couldn't see the need for a mac.
    The iPad is also my re-entry back into apple, and is driving me towards an MBA. Mine will be my secondary PC, but consider this MBA a 3 or 4 year long interview before switching full time for my photography :)

    I've bookmarked this thread as I'm sure I will come back to it once I've ordered mine.
  12. alias99 macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2010
    Went through a similar experience in 2010 when I took the plunge and bought an Air. Used windows all my life till then but can't see myself ever going back.

    I still have my Windows rig but only use it for a couple of games. Will replace this once they put some better graphics cards into the Mac Mini or iMac. Should give me enough time to save up!

    But overall the experience is so much better / easier in almost all cases like people have mentioned!

    Hope you all enjoy your new mac, my 2012 air isn't far away!
  13. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    that is my favorite part about mac....the gestures and keyboard combo. They are unmatched by any windows PC. I hate using a track pad on any other computer :)
  14. gertruded macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    Northwestern Illinois

    "I've been a PC only user since age 5, so my 2012 MBA was my first significant step into the Mac world. I also bought the 256/8gb and I couldn't be happier with those specs."

    This thread is getting me in the mood to order an Air.

    When I was age 5 there was no TV, only vacuum tube radio. It cost 8 cents to get into the Saturday afternoon movies.

    Am I getting old? LOL
  15. lls4f macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2012
    United States
  16. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    I think Trackpad is one of the biggest things IMO. To the entire MB lineup actually. I've gone through a few MB's and windows laptops and the one thing that wants to bring me back is the trackpad. I think about when I'm on the bed, couch, or kitchen table and how easy I can navigate and do so many things with simply the trackpad and keyboard without a desire for a mouse. It's worth the price of admission to any Macbook IMO.
  17. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    I agree about the trackpad. the mac trackpad is the best. Every laptop pc ive bought since ive switched to mac there has been something about it I didnt like. I dont know what it is but ive made a pact to not buy windows machines anymore. Im never happy with them.
  18. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    What's difference about photo organization? (on a Mac vs on Windows?)

  19. tERS09 macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    I have just purchased my first Mac, i got the base macbook air 13". The trackpad is amazing! it has to be my favourite feature. I tried a few ultrabooks before buying the MBA and none of them felt as useable as the MBA which i found surprising considering i hadn't used OS X before.

    I am extremely happy with my purchase. The trackpad, the form factor, everything about this laptop i am liking so far.
  20. garfey macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2012
    Southampton, UK
    In Aperture and iPhoto the photos that are imported are amalgamated into a "library" file rather than being left as individual files in the folder. Not handy if you don't know that and want to back it all up, also can cause lots of disk space use as the "library" file is then the same size as all the photos combined.

    Not sure if you can stop the Apps doing it, I haven't used them in a while.
  21. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I was a pc user all my life until I got an MBA last year (have a 2011 13", maxed out). Apart from some of the stuff that's already been mentioned (track pad, the keyboard, the form factor), one of the main things I'm loving is the availability of apps that support non linear modes of text production. That's been one of the biggest value added for me.

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