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A MacBook Pro user of 2 weeks: initial thoughts

I've now been a Mac user for 2 weeks.

It may come as a surprise to many of you that know me quite well. As I have not used a Mac long-term for 7 years, many things have changed since then, and I have switched from being an Apple apologist to a user the PC world. Ever since I went there, I do not think I'll ever able to go back: the upgradability, moddability, price, and consumer choice offered by PCs/open mobile computing platforms are things that I can't leave, once experienced.

There's also software that I use on Windows that I can't use on Macs. Granted, I know I can use virtualization software or a separate partition to boot to Windows, but given that I'm only borrowing a MacBook Pro for the long term, I don't want to do too many irreversible things. That being said, I already miss Solidworks, EAGLE, and other engineering programs that only work on Windows machines. I may decide to later, but considering I'm swapping the drive for a 250GB SSD, that doesn't sound like enough storage for Mac software and a Windows partition on the same drive. On my Surface Pro 4, I've minimized the macOS partition as small as it will go, deleting some system apps and leaving only Xcode installed. Yet, it still takes up a huge amount of space on a laptop with only 128GB of storage.

The good.
There's a ton of great things about macOS and MacBooks that I really like, so I'll start with those. First off, the touchpad is great. It's very responsive and all the animations in macOS are fine tuned to respond to the exact movements of my fingers, unlike Windows, and even less like Linux distros. While the touchpad on the newer MacBooks seem large, they're (mostly) great with the additional finger real estate. (The problem lies in Apple's palm rejection algorithm. It's wildly inconsistent.)

The ugly.
First off, what is Apple thinking with battery life? I do use my laptop more now, but when I left the Apple world, the white MacBook I used to have decent battery life, at least it wasn't bad enough for me to worry about. However, as a student, battery life is something that is important to me, because I do not want to bring a big, bulky laptop charger to school every day. A 2016 model MacBook would be able to use a USB-C PD charger, and therefore I could use my phone's charger, but alas I have an older MacBook.

There's more I have to say, but these are my initial reactions to using a MacBook again, which, for the record, is running the latest version of macOS High Sierra at the time of this post. 


Gideon Tong