Linked by David Adams on Mon 25th May 2009 21:22 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Over the years, we've occasionally run an "Ask OSNews" feature, wherein a reader asks us a question and we answer it publicly. Lately I've really been enjoying Slate's Dear Prudence advice column and the ever-interesting Straight Dope, and I thought we should see if we can get more OSNews readers to submit questions, and turn Ask OSNews into a more-regular thing. If your question falls outside of our domain expertise, we'll try to track down an expert to help out. And of course, our responses will always be supplemented by further advice from OSNews readers in the comments. Questions are welcome on any topic ranging from OSes and computing to science and geek culture. Contact us with your questions. (Please include "Ask OSNews" in the subject). Today's question is from a young student in Hungary who's seduced by the faraway siren song of Apple's marketing and wonders, "should I switch?"
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Macbooks are really nice.
by Ravyne on Tue 26th May 2009 07:05 UTC
Ravyne
Member since:
2006-01-08

I recently bought a macbook -- I wanted to get into iPhone app development, and I also needed a laptop: two birds with one stone.

I'm dual-booting OSX and Windows XP Pro -- Windows seems to be a little flakey, I occasionally get a random bluescreen but it could be something wrong I did installing drivers or something.

OSX is fine for the things I've used it for. One nicety I've found with OSX is the ability to burn ISO images without any additional software, and you can also mount disc images as virtual drives.


Hardware-wise, the guts of the machine aren't extravagent and you can find the same in a PC-laptop for cheaper, however, finding a PC-laptop which has the same guts, for cheaper, and with similar build quality is a long shot. Aside from looking good, the thing just feels solid and well built. Battery life is about 4-5 hours on a full charge, which isn't at all shabby.

The biggest thing I like about my macbook is the trackpad... let me be clear, usually, I f--king hate the kind of trackpads you find on PC laptops. They're almost universally small, rough, useless things with frail buttons. The macbook trackpad is great for a few reasons: First, its huge, probably about 4.5 inches on the diagonal. Second, its glassy-smooth with no weird resistance. Third, there's no buttons at all, you click by depressing the bottom half of the trackpad, and it responds with a satisfying click. Fourth, it supports a full range of gestures to replace all those annoying "special function areas" (such as scroll bars) on typical PC-laptops -- zoom in/out, scroll left/right/up/down, and right-click are all supported through simple, intuitive gestures -- under OSX and windows. Even though I still prefer a mouse for long sessions (when I have the space) I find myself not hating, even enjoying, the macbook trackpad -- something I haven't said about any other trackpad ever. This feature alone justifies a couple hundred dollars of the purchase price for me.

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