Getting Used To MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jadAce, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. jadAce, Aug 14, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013

    jadAce macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2013
    Hello everyone,
    So I have been using the MacBook Air for the past few days. I switched from Windows, and this is my first Mac. My previous PC was a laptop.
    These are some things I have noticed while using the MBA:
    1) The keyboard seems to be slightly small/strange/awkward. It's probably just me not being used to the keyboard style. The same goes for the trackpad - feels a bit strange/awkward to not have two buttons to press for right and left clicks.
    2) The MBA itself is great, but feels just a little thin and vulnerable.
    3) OS X, obviously, seems a bit challenging to navigate for me (as a previous Windows user).

    My question is, has anyone experienced this after switching over? How did it go? How long did it take you to get used to it? Would you recommend a Pro instead for something that feels more sturdy and rugged?
    Thank you!
  2. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    You'll get used to the 2 finger tap or click soon enough. In a couple of weeks it will be second nature.

    Regarding robustness/vulnerability of it - over the past 10 years I have had 4 Dell Latitudes for work - to me, the MBA seems more abuse resistant and durable than the Latitudes with all their plastic and thin metal cases.

    I use both my Dell and MBA daily, and can easily go between the two. I use the Dell because I have to; I use the MBA because I want to. ;)
  3. jadAce thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2013
    Thanks Mike, that greatly helps. :)
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    1) Humans have an amazing mechanism to adapt. U will get used to it soon enough.

    2) Pros are not immune to damage. Most of the damage I've seen is when the laptop, both Pro and Air are dropped on the edge and rear corners get dent, so ur warned.

    3) I suppose after 6 months if u hate OSX, can always run Windows on that puppy.
  5. jadAce thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2013
    Mrbobb, all of your advice was really helpful, but these sentences are especially very reassuring. Thanks!
  6. xnview macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2013
    1. I also recently switched from windows to my first mac. Know your feeling about the keyboard, did you have a bigger keyboard with a numpad on your last computer? I did and that's probably why I felt that the keyboard on the mac seams slightly small, but within 1-2 you'll probably get used to the new one.

    2. It's probably just the weight and thinness that makes you feel its vulnerable, shouldn't worry to much, my friend uses his Macbook Air in his backpack with his school books and stuff without any sleeve or cover and he hasn't a scratch or anything on it

    3. Within a couple of weeks you will probably find windows slow to navigate after getting used to mac
  7. yinz macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    I switched over from Windows last year to the MBA as well. I used a Netbook for almost 3 years as my main computer, so I felt like the keyboard was a lot bigger. That was very refreshing. The track pad was also much bigger and more responsive. I love the glass track pad.

    The MBA itself is great. I don't feel like it is vulnerable at all. It's made out of all metal. I'd be worried about scratching it the first month or so, but then I worried about my plastic netbook for the first few months of its use as well. Also, it very difficult to spot any blemishes on the metal of the MBA. I think Apple did great there.

    Navigating OSX was super easy. I got the hang of it after a week. I got really confused when I didn't have Control Panel for Add/Remove Programs, the delete button for files and My Computer to navigate through my files, but I quickly got accustomed to dragging apps to the trash, Cmd + D and the Finder. Of course, I watched a lot of OSX videos before buying my MacBook Air.

    I don't think I'd switch to the MacBook Pro unless it was for the 15" Retina Display. The Air is just so light and portable. The wedged shape is so nice to type on. I also really like the back lit keyboard.
  8. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    After 10 months, I still prefer Explorer over Finder.

    Explorer is more consistent, seems to give me more display options if I ask. Explorer default Quick Viewer let me quickly browse through pictures, in Finder looks like I have to view them in thumbnail then pick the one I want to view, IOS lets me swipe to the next picture, why doesn't OSX? right from the Finder, without me firing up a helper application. Explorer automatically display ID3 info from my audio files, Finder?
  9. fark macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2013
    Everyone who has switched from Windows has.

    Anything new will take a while to become routine. Why not enjoy learning something new instead of worrying about everything? Try having some confidence in yourself.

    Heavier does not mean 'more sturdy and rugged'. I don't understand people who think the MBA is 'vulnerable', whatever that means.
  10. silvershamrock macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2013
    Edmonton, AB
    This sounds pretty normal to me ... :D The keyboard on the MBA does take a bit of getting used to, but if you continue to find it uncomfortable to use, there is always the option of using a bluetooth keyboard instead. (I sometimes use a bluetooth keyboard when I'm at home if I'm doing a lot of typing, because I like to use a wrist support for typing, and if I try to use my wrist support on the MBA keyboard it just covers up the trackpad.)

    I wouldn't recommend a bluetooth or usb mouse, however, because you would lose too much functionality that way. The trackpad might take a bit of practice but believe me, once you get used to it, you'll find a traditional two-button mouse to be rather clumsy by comparison. However, if you go to System Preferences, you can customize your trackpad gestures to some extent (including the specific gesture you want to use for the "right click").

    As for the MBA's physical structure, believe me it's plenty sturdy. My 2012 has survived being knocked off my lap onto the floor more than once, without so much as a scratch. Granted that the lap-to-floor distance is only about 2 feet, there was a footstool in its path which partially intercepted the computer on the way down, the floor in question was carpeted, and it did not land on a corner, this still would have been enough to damage the machine if it were that fragile. (So yes, it's "thin" -- but it's definitely _not_ "vulnerable"...)

    Not that I'm recommending dropping yours on purpose of course, lol ...

    OSX does take a bit of getting used to, especially for someone who has never worked on a Mac. If there is an Apple store in your community, you can sign up for one of their free workshops (check the Support page of their website). Alternatively, there are dozens of YouTube videos on how to use the different versions of OSX.

    Hope this helps! :D Within a couple of weeks, I'm betting you'll love that computer.
  11. jadAce thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2013
    xnview, I think that's exactly it (about the keyboard). My PC had a numpad, so I was more used to the "space". I find that I am improving on this, so all should be well.



    Thanks, that definitely helps. I greatly appreciate it!
  12. iLondoner macrumors 6502


    I agree, Finder is in the dark ages and I don't understand why. Apparently it's getting an overhaul in the next Mac OS release, in the meantime I use the free add-in XtraFinder, see the CNET 'micro review' at

    Most importantly Finder displays subfolders at the top of the list arranged alphabetically, followed by all the individual files, again organised alphabetically.
  13. Doublea6 macrumors regular


    Aug 3, 2013
    A tip that I didn't know for a while was you can press the spacebar to get a quick view of files. It made everything a lot easier.
  14. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    I like the look of finder vs. explorer, but especially with the revamp of explorer in Windows 8, it's miles ahead of finder in terms of usability and function. Finder tabs are a nice addition, but it still has some bizarre quirks I hope they fix.

    At least the whole merge folder/overwrite folder thing was fixed, that used to drive me crazy! I still don't understand why the two-finger swipe to go forward or back doesn't work in finder though, or why when you drag a folder it stays where you dragged it to. That's just messy and annoying tbh.
  15. beautifulcoder macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2013
    The Republic of Texas
    Same here. I had to convince myself to use Mac as Mac not Windozed. These days, I find Windows vastly inferior.

    I agree Finder is lacking features but at least is not buggy. It seems to me Explorer is just a bloated and buggy piece of crap.
  16. filmbuff macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    Explorer is the only thing Windows has over OSX, but that is easily fixed. I got Xtrafinder within a week after getting my first Mac when I realized that OSX can't sort folders first. The other thing I did was switch the trackpad scrolling to the "normal" way instead of inverted. Now when I get on a Windows computer it feels annoying and awkward to use.
  17. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    David Pogue has a great book "Switching to the Mac" it is written for windows users going to the Mac.

    I bought this after purchasing my first iBook and it was a great help in understanding the differences. The book focuses on what's different in osx. The book has been updated regularly.

    I use two finger press for right click and found the MB trackpads a huge improvement over the awful separate click buttons.
  18. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    yes - it was an adjustment for me. one thing that bugged me was the lack of full screen mode. i didn't think i'd ever get over that. now that they finally put that feature in, i never use it.

    the trackpad for me is the best thing about the mac "experience" as they call it. almost worth the price of admission on its own.

    yes - you'll get used to it. and then you'll never go back


    i agree with this. searching for files is much easier on a PC in my opinion. while i do really like spotlight, i find it very cumbersome to search for a particular file.

    missi*ng.* is such an easy search string...
  19. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Compared to many other laptops (Macs included), the Air's keyboard has a much shallower travel, meaning that the keys don't press down as far.

    As far as the machine feeling light and fragile, it's very well constructed compared to most laptops. Most laptops are made of many plastic parts, and don't fit well together. The laptop's frame is all internal so it creaks and feels cheap. The unibody construction of Macs means that they are constructed in 3 pieces from solid blocks of aluminum (the lid, upper case and lower case). They fit amazingly well together and provide rigidity and structure to the laptop. Even the lid/screen assembly of the Air, which is only a few mm thick, has very little flex in it.
  20. yliu macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    The keyboard layout does take some time to get used to just like with any other keyboards.

    Apple Trackpad is awesome, one of the best.

    As for durability, I think the MBA (and all macbooks) feel very rigid and strong. There aren't a lot of other laptops that feel so well built. Maybe it's just the thinness that makes it feel fragile.
    I take good care of my macbook, but I've seen others' MBA and MBP that are full of dents and scratches to the point that the lid wouldn't close properly but notebook still functions.

    As for the OSX, it does take a while to get used to. In my experience, after I switched to mac, I never wanted to switch back to Windows. Just the fact that Windows had C drive, F drive, G drive etc.... and the organization of the entire system was more complex than Mac OS X.
  21. Mrbobb, Aug 17, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013

    Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    After a few months, I partitioned my Mac drive into 2 so I have my main OS partition and a data-only partition, like I had on Windows C: then D:

    I want to be able to restore my OS-only partition for disaster recovery without disturbing my data. Maybe there is a better Mac-way of doing this? but I do not want to bother to spent time selecting which folders to backup etc. Having 2 partition just fit my lazy-man disposition. If I have to spend time doing something, I tend to not do them, like backup!
  22. yliu macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    I believe you can press command + R after restart to enter recovery mode, and by reinstalling OS X none of the user data will be touched/deleted. So there is no need to partition drives.

    Using partitioned hard drive as back up does not work in case of an hard drive failure. You should get an external hard drive and use time machine if you want to backup important files.
  23. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    this isn't necessary, but backing up is. i would definitely spend the $50 and 30 seconds to set up a time machine drive. if you're lazy (like i am) the time capsule option would be even better.
  24. iphonedude2008 macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2009
    Irvine, CA
    For any media file or document (.doc, dock, pages, excel, txt, ext.) you can select it and then press space to preview it. For videos, you will get a player that instantly pops up, images will display, music will play, documents will be shown. For non media (folders, app data, ect.) it will show the name and size. As for file info, just select the file and press command+I (no plus).
  25. silvershamrock macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2013
    Edmonton, AB
    As long as you've got up-to-date backups and you've saved the activatation keys for any third-party software you've installed, your disaster recovery is already covered. The computer has a recovery partition pre-installed, which can even download and re-install the entire OS if necessary... then all you'd have to do to get back to a fully-functioning Mac is download your App store purchases, and reinstall any third party software (which is why you keep the activation keys, lol), then restore your latest backup.

    But most of the other troubleshooting capabilities built into the recovery partition are a lot less drastic than that .... The Apple support site has more detailed info on this.

    And thankfully with Time Machine nobody needs to spend time backing up their Macs anymore. They just need to spend a few minutes setting up TM to work with a TM-compatible external drive that's been connected to their home networks .... the computer does the rest. (TM even monitors itself, and will let you know if a backup is missed for any reason.... so there's literally nothing for you to do with your backups until you need to use them.) :)

    One of the things I like about Apple is the way they make it easy .... that took a bit of getting used to, after I'd become accustomed to how complicated things can get with a PC.

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