Normally this post would be all SQUEEE! SHINY! but somehow I can’t get myself terribly worked up about this new laptop. Yes, I’m wildly excited at the prospect of actually being able to be productive again, but I’m just not excited about it. I do hope it’s not just that I’m getting old. I’m pretty sure it’s not. I think there’s a few things going on here:
1. While the Macbook Pros are gorgeous, they’re all identical. There’s no personality expressed in choosing a Mac. You pick your size and there it is, the same as everyone else’s. Previously there was at least a little difference in whether you got a Macbook or MBP (and before that even more when you got to pick what colour iBook you wanted!), but now they’re all the same: 13-inch, 15-inch, 17-inch, Retina display, Macbook Air. You pick what fits the budget and the job and along comes your mass-produced friend. Until I turned to Mac, all my computers had a name (Edward, Edward II, Edward III, etc.). The Mac has never had a name. While I love the OS, and the machine has seen me through some pretty hefty work moments, I’ve never been fond enough of it to give it a name. And the new one, I fear, is just Nameless II. When I had my Vaio, nobody else I knew had one. It was pretty and slightly purple, but also a little unique. Now, though, my laptop looks like all my friends’ laptops. There’s also that aspect of ‘I never had a chance to choose anything else’ – because I want the Apple OS, I have to get a cookie-cutter Mac (unless I live with the potential unreliability of a Hackintosh. One day!). My decision was made purely on the intersection of what I could afford and how long I might be able to make it last, within boundaries of what the minimum was I’d need to run my software. No emotion involved.
2. The OS (Mountain Lion) basically looks the same as Snow Leopard which I’ve been running on the old machine. Yes, it does all sorts of funky things which Snow Leopard didn’t, but it looks the same.
3. I’m finding the screen colours are a bit muted. I’ve run calibration and it’s improved it a bit, but still not as contrasty as the old machine. Will try running it again, this time with Advanced Options switched on and see if I can perk it up a bit.
4. Really not enjoying the lack of trackpad button so far. Especially after the issues I’ve been having with the old machine, it feels like I’m breaking it when I have to click with the whole trackpad (and what’s with not letting me tap to click on the login screen?????)
5. One thing which I personally feel is a design flaw – the indentation in the front where you flip up the lid has really sharp points – which lie right under where my hand wants to be to use the trackpad. Quite ouchy.
6. I have quite small hands and I always really liked the keyboard on my old MBP. The keys on the new one though are quite far apart and I’m hoping this won’t cause a problem.
7. It actually seems to be slightly bigger than the old laptop, which is a direction I never want to go in, being short, not particularly strong and with long-term shoulder tension problems. If the 13-inch came with a quad-core processor, I’d probably have got that, purely for the portability (Macbook Air’s a bit useless – it’s not light enough to really make a difference given the huge trade-off in processing power, no DVD drive, and lame hard drive capacity)
Obviously 4, 5, 6 and the whole backwards-scrolling thing they have going on in Mountain Lion, are things to do with getting used to the new machine. I’ll give it a few weeks. The backwards scrolling can be switched off, I believe, to have it be normal, and if I really can’t handle the trackpad and keyboard stuff, then I can always get an external mouse and keyboard, at least for when I’m at home. But I’ll try to get used to them. Hoping that, if I can’t get too excited about this computer on a SQUEE! SHINY! level, I can at least get excited about the work I’ll be able to focus on now I don’t need to faff around with a broken trackpad!