To PC or not to PC (part 2)

Reviews | Thoughts By 6 years ago

Recently I wrote a blog post on whether or not to ditch the Mac and switch to PC. I was caught in two worlds, enchanted by the seductive nature of Apple hardware, but frustrated with the inefficiencies and poor customisation of Mac OS X. Well folks, I’ve made the switch….kinda.

I figured why not have the best of both worlds, and bought myself a new Macbook Air 13″. First order of business: run Bootcamp and install Windows 7 Pro. Lion was pre-installed, and after a few minutes of the standard set-up process, was up and running nicely. I had an external HD (the Air doesn’t have a disc drive,) a legit copy of Windows 7, and the enthusiasm of a young boy scout. That’s when the problems started. I used Disc Utility to create a partition, 50gb for Mac and the rest for Windows. I was following the steps on an official Apple forum on this, so felt comfortable it would all work to plan. However, I kept being led to a blank screen of death, which just flashed a white cursor on a black screen constantly. Tried again several times, but still no luck.

I had to swallow my pride and go in to see an Apple ‘Genius.’ He was pretty helpful, and seemed to get it working without much of a hassle. I installed all the required drivers, but again this proved problematic, as the keyboard had minimal functionality, and I couldn’t right click the mouse. After uninstalling and reinstalling, this was mostly solved…. until I had to reset the computer. Then the keyboard wouldn’t work AT ALL, and I couldn’t even type in my password to login! Alas Windows has a usability feature that brings up an on-screen keyboard, so that took care of that. Again had to reinstall the drivers, which finally seemed to all work.

But, something very annoying has been happening. The trackpad, when running Lion, is super responsive, always does what I want it to, and taking advantage of finger gestures/swiping adds great efficiencies. This isnt the case with Windows though, where the touchpad doesn’t even recognise mouse clicks in the very bottom left and right hand corners, which is proving frustrating. Why can’t the hardware talk with the Windows OS as well as it does with the Mac’s?

Besides this, Windows runs very well on the Mac, wakes up from sleep almost as quickly as OSX does, and generally performs really well. All in all, I think the Macbook Air hardware is the best on the market for speed, power, battery and weight. Plus, it is a huge advantage being able to switch, at will, between Mac and PC. So for those who like the sexiness of Apple, with the functionality of Windows, I would highly recommend the hybrid model.