I’ve now had the Apple for a couple days. While I am still not used to certain things, here are some thoughts that I’ve had while using it, along with a major frustration.
I really like the computer. The keyboard on the laptop has a really nice feel to it. The keys are like a rubbery feel instead of hard plastic like most laptops. However, for whatever reason, Apple decided to make the touchpad “wide screen”, meaning it’s the same scale as the wide screen monitor. While it might sound nice to have so you can go over the whole screen without picking up your finger, the balls of my hands hit it periodically when I’m typing, clicking me to another window. While there is a setting to prevent false taps, it doesn’t work very well. It’s not that much of an issue, but I do prefer the smaller square touchpads of PC laptops. The trackpad does have a nice feature with gestures. 2-finger scrolling scrolls windows and 2 finger tapping brings up the “right-click” context menu. I love that feature, especially with the lack of a right mouse button.
I really like the ambient light sensor. My HP had one and it worked great. This one also adjusts the brightness of the backlit keyboard, which is pretty cool.
The best part of the laptop is the battery. It has a power meter on it so you can tell how much juice it has when the computer is off (or even when the battery is taken out of the computer). The battery life on this is killer. The first day I had it, I used it for about 4-5 hours, which includes installing Leopard. It didn’t even have a full charge. The magsafe charger adapter is a nice touch. I thought it’d be flimsy and fall out easily, but it’s nice an strong.
The optical drive leaves something to be desired. I feel like I’m going to scratch the discs I stick in it because it’s a tight fit. I also don’t like how I have to shove it just about all the way in before it’ll grab and pull it the rest of the way. It’s really noisy as well (most optical drives make noise, but this is particularly noisy when it’s reading a disc for the first time and when it sucks it in and ejects it).
The keyboard, aside from feeling nice, has some things missing, like a forward delete key (the opposite of backspace, which is what the delete key does), regular sized arrow keys (these are tiny), and a home and end key. What I don’t get is why there are 2 enter keys, one where it should be and one where the right option key should be located.
I had some issues with Parallels causing my keyboard not to work, but after installing the Parallels tools on the Vista VM, it seems to have stopped (that was fixed when I wrote the first paragraph).
Overall, I like using OS X, and I like the way this computer was built. I’ve basically stopped using my XP machine at home in place of this one so I can get used to it. There are some things that bug me, like tabbing in Firefox and having it skip over drop down menus and check boxes. Apparently, that’s a Leopard/Firefox thing and not a real issue though. We’ll see how it goes. I wish MS would release a compatibility update for Office 2004 so I can open all the newly created Office 2007 documents without using Parallels, but such is life. I’ll write more as time goes on…