The Windows (10) Experiment. Is it really THAT bad?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by LeCroqueMitaine, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. LeCroqueMitaine macrumors newbie


    Jan 8, 2017
    Disclaimer : English isn’t my first language, so please don’t focus too much on my mistakes and mostly on the message.

    In this thread, I will describe my experiment with Windows 10 as a Mac user.

    About me : I’m 31 years old and have been using a Mac for pretty much all my life. Once, my dad bought a Windows PC so my brother and I could play Baldur’s Gate and Unreal Tournament. It worked for a while but didn’t last because we caught some viruses and it was **** to keep up with the drivers. I don’t remember what OS it was but think something like XP or 98. Finally my father put the PC in the trash and bought an iMac instead.

    I always owned Macbooks (white Macbook then Macbook Air then Macbook Pro) for college and never thought about buying a PC because that’s what I was used to and because of all the **** you hear about Windows. And also because my parents helped me to pay for those computers and they always suggested Macs.

    Now I’m out of college. I don’t need a laptop anymore so I’m looking for alternatives to Macs because those are expensive when you buy them with your own money. I’m always a “good bang for the buck” kinda guy so I’m looking for the best value, according to my use case. I’m also not pleased with the butterfly keyboard and lack of legacy ports. In January, I purchased a 2016 unit and tried to get used to it for 2 weeks writing essays on it but ended returning it because I just despised the typing experience. I like travel on my keyboards and for me, good design is adapted to the end used, not the other way. Despite what some people say around this subreddit, I think a keyboard has to be adapted to me, I don’t have to get “used” to it. I always loved Apple keyboard and enjoy typing on my 2015.

    So I recently bought a used (Craigslist) Intel NUC with an i7, 8gb RAM and 256 SSD M.2 drive for 500$ Canadian so about 395$ USD. It runs Windows 10 Pro. Usually, you have to buy the NUC, Ram, SSD and OS but since it was pre-owned, the guy already assembled it. Here is the link for the unit I own :

    For the geeks, it’s a 5th Generation Intel Core i7-5557U processor, so a little bit faster than the i5 in my 2015 Macbook Pro.

    I’ve been using this (tiny) computer for about 2 weeks now and I’m very surprised at how good it is for my workflow. I’m mostly doing Microsoft Office stuff and browsing with Chrome. No games, and I would be disappointed because it has integrated graphics anyway. I downloaded all my files from the cloud with Google Drive, installed Microsoft Office 365, Spotify, Utorrent, VLC, etc. I must confess I’m very pleased because I had zero blue screen, driver issue or annoying software update. It was basically plug and play with my mouse, display, keyboard and printer. It boots quicker than my 2015 Macbook Pro and is even a little bit snappier for everyday work. I’m not yet used to the shortcuts so it may take some time before I’m as quick as on the Mac but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

    My guess is most bugs on Windows 10 are now ironed because the OS is already 2 years old. Also, since I’m using an SSD, it’s super quick and most people probably still use HHD so that slows their computer.


    · Upgradable: up to 32gb or RAM and 2Tb SSD

    · Also cheap to upgrade… get your SSD and RAM on Amazon for much less than Apple’s BTO unit

    · It’s super tiny, can carry it easily

    · Work very well with my 32 Inches BenQ monitor

    · Boots in 10 secs.

    · Way cheaper than a Mac Mini


    · Meh UI: While it’s functional, I must confess Windows 10 isn’t as beautiful as macOS. I don’t care much honestly, but for those who are very attached to the prettiness of macOS, it may be a bummer. I also couldn’t find nice Calendar and Email apps so I just use the Windows 10 apps instead. They are not pretty, I prefer Spark and Fantastical 2 (or even macOS’ own email and calendar) but they work OK so for the moment I stick to them.

    · No iMessage app. Most of my friends are also on Facebook so I just switched to Facebook Messenger. It works alright. I’m not going to pay a premium for a proprietary messaging app. Not an issue for me.

    · Noise: The computer isn’t loud per se, but I can certainly hear the fan even on idle. It may be because mine is an i7 and it runs a little bit hotter than an i3 or i5. I’ve heard it’s normal to hear the fans purring on the background on Windows PCs. Mac users who don’t use PCs don’t realize that but their computers are dead silent when they aren’t under load.

    · Choosing a PC can be very exhausting. There is SOOO much choice! How do you know what to pick? I overcame this problem by tracking my computer usage with a small App I downloaded on my Mac (Usage is the name of the App). After a month of tracking, I realized I was spending my time between Microsoft Office, Mail, Chrome. I also used Lightroom but very rarely (2 times a month, to edit some images for Wordpress). So I realized I didn’t need horsepower of anything fancy, certainly not a quadcore or a fancy graphics card. I wanted a very small form factor, cheap system, upgradable and SSD.

    I realize it’s something weird because when you spend so much time on an OS, you get used and attached to it. People still like to call themselves a “Mac guy” or “PC guy”. I like to say OS are tools and don’t care much about labeling myself to my operating system. So overall, I’m a happy camper with my new computer. For my use case, it does all I need it to do. And with the SSD in it, it will probably not slow down over time like Windows PCs can do after a couple of years. I can say that Windows 10 is NOT the piece of **** operating system people like to describe on Apple forums all around the web. I enjoy the freedom of not being “trapped” in the Apple ecosystem. I use Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos so I don’t loose much. Never really liked iCloud. I still have my 2015 Macbook Pro but didn’t use it since I set up this computer. It’s still worth about 1800 CND on Craigslist… and to be honest, I’m thinking about selling it and get a cheap Chromebook for browsing on the couch and call it a day.

    I’m aware that all this is very recent and I didn’t test it extensively yet. If you guys like the thread, I intend to do a follow up or “Part II” in a month or two to report my experience and if I still feel the same about Windows 10.

    TLDR : Mac user all my life, decided to try the “dark side” and see how was Windows 10. I’m very pleased to say the least and may even sell my 2015 MBP.

  2. ed. macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    I would say that for that kind of money and for what you are doing, apple's answer is not a laptop but an ipad, and honestly why would you want a windows pc just to browse the web and write office documents?
  3. LeCroqueMitaine thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 8, 2017
    Good question! I had an iPad Air 2 and quite frankly I didn't like it. I don't like to hold a tablet, it's just awkward. I bought the smart case, didn't like it either... Typing on is a poor experience. So I ended up selling it. My girlfriend bought the new iPad (2017), just the regular one and really to me it's not something I also enjoy the screen real estate. I use a 32 inches monitor. I also like a good keyboard and a mouse. Both are good quality Logitech stuff. Call me old school, but why change a solution that work?
  4. ed. macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    If you're used to a certain setup and switching to a windows machine is cheaper without loss of functionality, by all means go for it. Some basic tasks have become pretty much indistinguishable between platforms.

    Switching from a laptop to an ipad requires a certain kind of adaptation and (unfortunately, so far) quite a bit of tinkering: it's not possible to just translate your workflows 100%, you also have to learn how to do things differently and that is an investment that many people are simply not interested in making. On the other hand, if you're willing to give it a try, you might discover there's a lot of stuff that works - differently but not inefficiently.

    It depends a lot on what you're used to, I agree: if you type long documents sitting on a sofa or in bed a laptop is probably unbeatable, although in the same setting a tablet is unbeatable for browsing.

    For example I got a cheap bluetooth keyboard (by logitech, so it's not actually crap eheh), and I found out that together with an ipad mini it makes the best writing machine, way way better than any laptop: I can carry both around all day, no battery problems, no cables. I can get to work and be 100% productive everywhere - provided that there's a table... but I don't really like working on sofas anyway : )
  5. LeCroqueMitaine thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 8, 2017
    There is a good reviewer called Dave 2D on Youtube and he tried for a month to really use the iPad Pro 10.5 with iOS 11. I really liked how he talks about his workflow and compares it to a full fledged OS. Tell me what you think !

  6. Shirasaki macrumors 604


    May 16, 2015
    Windows 10 is overall not that bad if we minus super legacy applications (like my ol’good Dune 2000, dead after a recent build of windows 10).

    I use both Mac and windows, to extend to each of their own advantages. Both are good on its own ways.
  7. ed. macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    As I said, a big problem of the tablet vs pc argument is that people are used to do things in a certain way on laptops. Very often this way of doing things (and the infrastructure that supports it) has not evolved with the technological landscape (and I'm also talking about corporate level work here), and the result is that the ONLY way to get work done efficiently is on a laptop, preferably a windows laptop. If one doesn't invest in exploring ways of working differently that might be beneficial when switching to a tablet, the tablet itself does not make everything suddenly magical... and I'm not only talking about software and workflows but even ergonomics: picking the right keyboard, even coming up with the right tablet placement on the desk (the gorilla arm is an issue).

    So in general I think it's very simplistic to just think 'I'll use a tablet for 30 days to see if it is really a laptop replacement' and then try to do THE SAME EXACT THINGS you do an a laptop: a tablet will never be as good, because a tablet is not a laptop, it will always be a compromise.

    I know Apple is to blame, because they kind of place the ipad against laptops in their marketing, so it's only normal that people (and reviewers), make that comparison... but in my view it's more of a laptop alternative than a laptop replacement: if you try to replace a laptop with an ipad you'll fail because it's not a laptop.
    If you see it as a laptop alternative you imply that there's an alternative way of getting things done, an alternative approach to computing, even a different lifestyle.

    if you think that for millions if not billions of people right now an iphone is their first (and possibly only) computer, you can see how in the future an ipad could very well become the 'upgrade' that once used to be the laptop. This is an alternative path, not a conversion for people who use laptop and switch to ipads to keep on doing the same things.
  8. boppin macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2008
    I installed Windows 10 version 1607 on an 2013 Lenovo notebook and it is working just fine. And each update for Windows made its better.

    I am using Macs since 2006 but Microsoft made a good job. Even my cousin a true mac enthusiast says this.
  9. LeCroqueMitaine thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 8, 2017
    Two weeks later I can say that W10 is a good OS. The problem I encountered is the poor quality of applications for it. It seems weird because Windows people always brag about the diversity of programs but I tried a lot of Mail apps and couldn't find a good one. I'm used to Spark and Apple Mail and those I found for Windows were all underwhelming... Windows Mail is junk, Outlook is way too complicated and clunky, Thunderbird is ugly, etc... they lack elegance and simplicity... That's what really makes the whole experience worst.
  10. boppin macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2008
    do you regurlarly install updates?
  11. LeCroqueMitaine thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 8, 2017
    Yes I do. But it's not only for Mail. For that reason + the fact that my girlfriend insists on sending me texts on iMessage instead of FB Messenger, I decided to keep my MBP and put the little PC on sale. That being said, if my MBP decided to die tomorrow and Apple wouldn't fix it (i'm not on Apple Care), I am very confident I wouldn't buy another one and would go for a 600$ Windows laptop. The OS isn't better than macOS, but surely it's good enough for my needs.

    Apple needs to bring down the price of their 12" Macbook and quick. They will lose the college students market and really that's not a good idea for the long term.
  12. macgeek18 macrumors 68000


    Sep 8, 2009
    Northern California
    Windows Ten is not that horrible. I use it at work and my main computer has Windows. That does not mean I don't prefer Mac OS and iOS. For me I use the right tool for the right job.
  13. boppin macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2008
    Perhaps you should using the application called "Feedback hub". With this app, you can send direct feedback to Microsoft.
  14. imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
    Tried Mailbird? Excellent in my opinion. The only Mail client I've liked on Windows, and it has unified Inbox which a lot of windows clients don't.
  15. BeforeTheMeds macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2016
    Edomx, MX
    I just got sn HP envy 15t and have a mac. I like osx but windows 10 is really a good os. If prices were similar I would probably go mac but there is a ridiculous price difference. I too dislike the windows mail apps but use outlook. Outlook for mac used to be horrible but no is better than the windows version. Overall though windows is quicker and smoother, on a 1tb ssd windows is 2-3 seconds, osx on ssd is much quicker than on spinner but much slower than windows.

    I paid less than 1000.00 during a labor day sale for an aluminum envy 15t. I7, 640 iris, 1tb ssd, 4k touch screen, 12 memory with hard drive and memory upgradeable. A mac would cost over 2000 and still have smaller ssd and not a 4k or touch.

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