It’s better than I thought!
As a long-term Windows user, I’ve been thinking about switching to MacOS full-time for a while.
I say full-time, because during my time at university a few years ago, my primary coursework computer was an old MacBook Pro from 2012 and a Mac Mini from the same year.
But the primary PC was always a Windows gaming PC that I built myself.
Unfortunately, that gaming PC is now starting to show its age so I decided that it was time for an upgrade.
But here’s the thing, the primary use of my computer has completely changed over the last few years. For starters, I don’t really tend to play games that often anymore. I primarily used it for writing blog posts and basic video editing for my YouTube channel.
I don’t know why, but for some reason, I always found it more comfortable to work on MacOS. The software and apps available definitely have something to say about that.
In terms of Windows as an operating system, it doesn’t mean that I dislike the system, as a matter of fact, I’m one of those people who actually likes Windows 11 and sees the full potential that Microsoft has, especially when it comes to Windows Phone.
As an IT engineer, my job even includes managing Windows IT infrastructure including servers and workstations which run on Windows. So, when it comes to Microsoft Windows I know what I’m talking about.
Receiving the MacBook Air
Apple has always struck me as a company that believes in making every single detail count and like with countless other Apple products I’ve owned over the years, I wasn’t disappointed.
Even the box that the MacBook box came in was well thought out and did not disclose the fact that there was a MacBook inside. I wish more manufacturers did this!
The MacBook arrived in a brown easy-to-open box, I didn’t even need to get my unboxing knife to open the box.
The actual MacBook box was very well presented, which was expected, as Apple know how to package their products well.
Inside the box, there was a USB-C Cable as well as a 30W charging plug and that actually surprised me, especially as someone who comes from laptops that use 100W laptop chargers.
But I’m happy with that as it means that if I’m working in a cafe or on the train, I can simply use my power bank.
As a whole, I was very satisfied with the unboxing and the way the MacBook was packaged. It was great to see that the classic Apple Stickers were also in the colour of the MacBook!
Setting up the MacBook was a lot smoother than I thought. I simply turned it on, logged into my iCloud account and installed the main apps and software I needed. It honestly took me around 10 to 15 minutes to fully set it up how I wanted it and install all the software I needed.
One Week Experience
It’s been a week since I started using the MacBook, and I had to make a few changes to my desk setup. To begin with, I decided to hide my gaming PC under my desk as initially it was on top of a drawer unit.
Doing that somehow made my office seem bigger and cleaner, not sure how that works!
The PC is currently sitting disconnected next to the other computers I use in my home lab, but that’s a story for another day.
Daily use and performance
With my old MacBook Pro long gone and my Mac Mini being converted into a Proxmox server, it’s been a while since I last used MacOS.
But getting used to the operating system didn’t take too long and I quickly remembered the reason I liked it so much and why I felt more productive when working from MacOS.
In all fairness, 1-week isn’t a very long time, but I still managed to use the MacBook Air for a wide range of tasks, starting with writing blog posts.
As a fan of low-profile keyboards, I love the experience of writing on the MacBook Air. I don’t know what it is about the keyboard, but it just feels nice to type on.
I’ve also used the MacBook for video editing. My current go-to software is Filmora, which I’ve been using for many years and I find it works great on the MacBook Air.
As it’s only been a week, I can’t really say much about the battery performance, especially as I had it plugged in the majority of the time. I’ll leave that to a future review.
Have I faced any problems?
I think it’s important to remember that when switching from one platform to another, people often face issues, and as of now I’ve only faced one issue, and that was getting my dual monitor setup to work with the MacBook.
Unfortunately, it looks like the M1 MacBook Air, only supports one external monitor natively. I tried connecting it with two USB-C to HDMI cables and it just did not discover the second monitor no matter how many times I tried, and when I connected my USB-C docking station, it just duplicated everything with no ability to change the setting.
As someone who works from 2, sometimes 3 screens, I think I would have found it difficult to adjust to just having one extra monitor plugged in.
Luckily, I was able to find a solution, that solution was to buy a DisplayLink docking station, which I was lucky enough to pick up for £25 on eBay, and now it works great with a dual and triple screen setup. You can read more about this here.
I guess I didn’t really think that this could have been an issue as my Mac Mini supported multiple monitors well.
MacOS vs Windows
Based on personal experience, I think that MacOS and Windows are both great operating systems and both have their strengths and weaknesses.
But when it comes to work and productivity, I always found myself more productive on MacOS. That’s one of the reasons I decided to get a Mac.
In terms of the user interface, MacOS definitely wins in my opinion, it has an absolutely stunning interface.
However, I think that Microsoft has done wonderful things with Windows over the years. I know many will disagree with me when I say this, but I think that the Windows 11 interface is stunning.
The Windows 10 interface was seriously starting to show its age, but it is still a pretty good operating system. Sadly support for it ends in 2025.
In terms of software, I am glad to say that when it comes to productivity software, macOS has more options available, especially for bloggers. Apps like Ulysses seriously offer an enhanced experience for writing blog posts. I have yet to come across a similar app on Windows or Android – If you know any let me know!
Software-wise, it’s also worth bearing in mind that some of your paid software may not be licensed to work with MacOS. I found that out with my favourite video editor Filmora.
In terms of software compatibility, I haven’t really found any software that isn’t compatible with MacOS as of yet, but in all fairness, I’ve only been using it for around a week.
The MacBook Air I have is only a base model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage which as someone who is coming from a computer that has 32GB of RAM and 2.5 TB of storage doesn’t seem much.
However, the main reason for such a huge amount of storage space was games, something I won’t be needing on the MacBook. In fact, when it comes to storage, I store the majority of my stuff in the cloud, my NAS server and an external hard drive.
Therefore, it’s not really an issue for me.
As I discovered with the Huawei MateBook D15, 8GB of RAM is perfectly adequate for my needs, but that’s something I can’t really talk about just yet as I’ve only used the device for a week.
Why I Switched
As mentioned before, my Windows PC was starting to show its age. I could have easily upgraded and modernised the computer, but I didn’t.
The reason for that is that my usage has drastically changed. I built the PC several years ago for one main reason, gaming. However, I can’t even remember the last time I played a game.
Throughout 2023, I only played a handful of online games with my friends. Therefore, the device was overkill for my needs anyway.
I was thinking of replacing my gaming PC with a laptop of some form for a while. I mean the Huawei MateBook D15 is a very good mid-range laptop, but I wouldn’t have classed it as my main computer. But if my computer went down, it would have likely become my main computer.
During Black Friday week, I was looking for offers online for various tech items and I came across an advert from a well-known internet, TV and mobile phone provider here in the UK. The provider was Sky (not sponsored) and they were offering an M1 MacBook Air for £19 a month with a sim card.
It was a 36-month contract with a SIM card that contained 100MB of data. Obviously, that’s not much, but it’s not something I really needed and they did have other data options for extra.
I was thinking about it for a long time and I woke up one morning and decided to go for it. The thing that pushed me was the fact that the mechanical hard drive inside of my computer started making a loud noise, the sound of failure.
I know it was just a hard drive, but it reminded me of the age of the computer, and the deal that I found was pretty decent.
The other thing that made me switch was the fact that when I was at university a few years ago, I was always more productive on MacOS. I still can’t fully explain why, but the fact that I used Windows for gaming may have had something to do with it.
It’s been a week since I made the switch and whilst it’s still too early to know for definite, I think I made a good decision.
I mean, it’s only been a week and I have already become more productive. I’ve done a lot more tasks and written a lot more content than I usually do. I know that this is a personal preference, but somehow I find MacOS more enjoyable.
But with that in mind, I still think that Windows is a decent operating system and that it has potential. As mentioned before, I seriously think that Microsoft needs to release a new Windows Phone. That will allow them to build a strong ecosystem, which I’m certain many Windows users will like, especially if they allow it to run Android apps.
Back to the topic at hand, I hope that the MacBook will serve me well over the next couple of years and while I know it’s not the latest and greatest model, based on my previous experience with older Macs, I know that they hold their value and just keep working. I hope that this will be the same for this MacBook.
Have you ever switched from Windows to MacOS or the other way around? Let us know in the comments and how you found it!