Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Back to Mac after 2 decades. Goodbye Windows 8
on January 27, 2013
I have had a personal computer since my first Apple II+ back in 1981. I worked my way up through several macs, starting with a whopping 128K Ram version. I left Apple in the early 1990s because of 3 factors: 1)The OS: Too many times the "solution" for program conflicts was a "clean restart". Meaning essentially start over with a re-formatted hard drive. 2)Apple stuff was only sold in Apple stores and was way more expensive than PC stuff. 3)Windows had progressed to the point it was almost as friendly as the mac.
I am very happy I switched back. It was time for a new computer to replace my 3 year old Toshiba PC. I read a book on Windows 8 and decided it is not for me. I do real work (email, personal accounting, Internet, word processing).....very little in the way of media. I have a tablet I use for emphasizing that kind of stuff and did not want/need my main computer to look like my tablet. The book explained how I could supposedly make windows 8 look like I wanted but it was so full of workarounds I decided on the Mac.
I bought the 256GB Air upgraded to 8 GB Ram and a Core i7 processor. i also purchased an external optical drive.....$70 on Amazon.
I had compared the Mac Pro and its Retina display in Best Buy. The kicker over to the Air was that I couldn't in any way justify/use the Retina display for my purposes, and I didn't need more than a 13" screen. When at my desktop I use an external monitor.
What I like:
Size and weight of course....It fits in my briefcase very well alongside my 10" tablet.
Fast.....it reboots in way under a minute. My old Win 7 machine sent me for at least one more cup of coffee. In fact the Solid State Storage drive is most likely the responsible reason for the speed so I cannot even be sure of the speed contribution from the extra Ram and processor.
The plus of the SSSD is that because you aren't spinning a disk you get better battery life (I haven't experiment with that, so no data) and also you don't have to worry about mechanical damage to the disk....vibration, etc.
Clean User Interface. Somehow Apple makes it seem cleaner and there is no missing functionality as far as my use is concerned. Accessing more obscure functions/options can sometimes be a little challenging but they are all there eventually. Most of these kinds of things are one-time settings.
Apple made the migration from Windows 7 pretty easy. I used an Ethernet cable with a Apple Thunderbolt adapter as hardware, Apple's free Migration Assistant as software. I initially tried the usb cable/software from StarTech but I could not make that work. Thanks Amazon for the easy return.
Be aware: Migration Assistant creates another user on your mac. I have made that user my main login and eventually will delete the original user the initial setup created.
Built in Bluetooth. I had it on my Toshiba but even Toshiba couldn't help me get it working, so I was tied into a dongle. The Mac's bluetooth works. I bought a bluetooth mouse and goodbye dongle.
Apple Support is totally 5 star. In the 2 or 3 times I have needed to get live help it has been less than 2 minutes to talk with someone live. Someone whose English is unaccented. Do not be daunted by their call-you-back system. The callbacks have been within a minute or two.
Apple UI writing makes you smile, I swear. For instance, instead of a "Send Mail" button it has a paper airplane icon. When the mail goes out it makes a swishing sound. Ok, stupid but it still gets my smile out. For another instance, when a download comes in the screen shows a ball-like icon flashing across the screen and going into the "download stack" in the "Dock"...the line across the bottom of the screen with app links, etc.
I haven't done anything with any other stacks but I think the idea is you can group files or apps into a stack without cluttering the dock. So a stack would be the equivalent of a folder on your Dock. "Home stuff" "Work Stuff: etc.
What I don't like:
Some things don't change. Apple has to have its proprietary connections (power, display, thunderbolt) of course. Expensive of course.
An inserted SD card sticks out from the Air case maybe half way. I wouldn't advise transporting an Air with an sd card inserted.
And of course the price. But since none of the don't likes were news to me I can't take a star away.
It's not really Apple's fault but the version of Quicken for mac is really crippled. Do your research first to see if it will do what you want. yes, you can always load up a Windows partition and run the real quicken but I am trying to avoid that