6-Months With the MacBook Air: Why I’m Not Returning to Windows Anytime Soon…

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Switching from Windows to MacOS
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Around 6 months ago, I decided to replace my ageing gaming PC with an M1 MacBook Air.

This was a big deal for me as it meant that for the first time ever, the primary device I used at my desk was going to be a laptop.

On top of that, it meant that I was replacing the computer that I built myself. This was a PC, that I ordered all the parts for and built and upgraded over the years.

All tears aside, the computer was starting to show its age and there came a point where upgrading was no longer a viable option, especially as the processor only just supports Windows 11.

After considering my options and thinking about it for a very long time, I came to the conclusion that my needs for a computer have changed.

I was barely playing any games and the main things I was using my PC for were video editing and writing blog posts.

That is why, I decided to buy a device that I’ve been thinking about getting for a long time, a Mac. The Mac I got was the base model M1 MacBook Air with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage.

This wasn’t the one I was thinking about getting initially, but I was able to get it through my mobile provider for an extra £19 per month, which doesn’t hurt the bank too much.

I guess the idea was that the MacBook Air would become the device I use away from my desk and I get something better for my desk in the future.

But that hasn’t happened yet, as it turns out that the M1 MacBook Air is still a brilliant device!

Without any further ado, here are my thoughts after around 6 months…

The base model is enough for me

I primarily use my MacBook for writing blog posts and basic video editing with iMovie and in all fairness, the MacBook hasn’t let me down as of yet.

For comparison, I have a Huawei MateBook D15 on Windows 11 which only has 8 GB of memory, an 11th gen Intel i5 processor and 512 GB of storage. But the M1 MacBook Air feels snappier. I guess that’s to be expected considering the price difference.

But in all fairness to the Huawei MateBook D15, it also feels fast for the specs it has, but these are two entirely different products aimed at different markets, so I wouldn’t necessarily call it a fair comparison.

I must admit, I was a bit concerned about the specs of the laptop, but Apple has proved me wrong. 8 GB of RAM is perfectly adequate for my needs, and I don’t have any issues with storage space.

I guess that’s because I don’t tend to store many things locally. I store most of my files in iCloud and my NAS server and when it comes to video editing, I store most of my things on a portable SSD.

But if I were to buy a Windows laptop or build a new computer today, I would have ensured that it has at least 16 GB of Memory. But, based on my experience with the MacBook Air, I don’t think that it is necessary as of yet. But only time will tell.

I seem more productive on macOS

I’ve talked about this before, but somehow I seem more productive on macOS, and I’m not sure if I fully understand why.

But thinking about it, I guess it all comes down to the apps I like using as well as the clean interface.

Microsoft has done a lot to help people enhance their productivity using Windows and one of my favourite things that they’ve done was that they added a Pomodoro timer within the clock app. I know that this is only a small thing, but the Pomodoro technique has practically got me through university.

Apart from that, Microsoft has some superb apps, such as Microsoft To Do, which, I think, is a very underrated To-Do list app.

But with all this work being done, somehow I still feel that the apps that are only available on Apple devices work better for me.

This is the thing, a company can do many things to make their app or operating system more attractive, but at the end of the day, it needs to work for you.

Furthermore, what works for some people, may not necessarily work for you. It could be something small that makes you use a particular app or system, but it may mean the world to some people.

Another reason for me being more productive on macOS is the fact that, mentally, I associate the system with work and productivity. I’ve been a PC Gamer for many years and I associate Windows with gaming, which somehow could be mentally distracting me.

Microsoft needs to improve their ecosystem

As someone who was brought up on Windows, I know a lot about the operating system and I know that Microsoft has to cater for a wide range of products, brands and use cases.

On top of that, Microsoft Windows is the most widely used desktop operating system in the world, so they’re obviously doing something right. I guess that corporate and business users will likely play a big role in those figures.

But I strongly believe that Microsoft needs to be careful, as one of the reasons that I think it is successful is that many people like me have been brought up using it.

But in this day and age, people are being brought up on Android, iOS, and macOS. Android is actually the most widely used mobile operating system in the world.

That is why I am concerned about the future of Microsoft Windows, I mean, will we see a shift away from Microsoft in the next 20 years?

To avoid that from happening, I strongly believe that Microsoft needs to concentrate on improving its overall ecosystem.

To start with, I strongly believe that they need to reintroduce the Windows Phone as not only will that introduce a new player in the smartphone field, but it will also give new generations first-hand experience with Windows Phone.

If done correctly and if they learn from past mistakes, it may get new generations closer to Windows, which in return will give Microsoft the opportunity to build a great ecosystem.

But I also think that Microsoft will have to concentrate on making Windows as well as Microsoft devices such as Windows Phone fashionable to win people over.

How I find the M1 MacBook Air after 6-Months and was it worth it?

Now for the real question, was it worth it?

Since moving to the MacBook, I discovered that I was being more productive throughout the week. Not only was I putting out more content, but I also became more organised.

I think that the apps I started using played a big part in that, these are mainly the apps that aren’t available on Windows, such as Ulysses and even the default apps such as Apple Reminders.

In terms of performance, I haven’t experienced any issues as of yet and the MacBook feels very snappy most of the time.

But the one area I have experienced issues with is the compatibility side of things, mainly as I prefer to use multiple screens. By default, this MacBook Air only supports 1 second external display, which I didn’t realise at the time of purchase.

However, I was able to get around that issue by purchasing a DisplayLink docking station. My understanding is that it has to be a DisplayLink docking station, as the USB-C one I had wasn’t compatible.

The docking station I went with was the Dell D3100 which I purchased for £25 on eBay. I’ve been using this solution since the early days with my MacBook and I honestly can’t complain as of yet. It does what I need it to do brilliantly.

The other thing I don’t like is that it only has 2 USB-C Ports, but the Anker USB-C Hub works great for this.

But overall, I am very satisfied with the MacBook and I don’t see a reason to buy a second Mac device as of yet.

Final Thoughts

To summarise this article, I am incredibly happy with my M1 MacBook Air and I think that it’s perfectly adequate for my needs.

Windows, on the other hand, is an operating system that Microsoft is continually developing, changing and improving, so it will be interesting to see what Microsoft does with it.

I am keeping the Huawei MateBook D15 as a spare Windows laptop so that I can try new features, but it won’t become my main device.

On top of that, I doubt that I will be building a PC anytime soon, which actually makes me kind of sad.