vista vs macbook

Well, my experiences of both types of laptop this week has left me reeling. Where do I start? Let’s start with the Mac, a MacBook with OSX preloaded. The MacBook was a joy to look at, very well finished with a glossy white sheen that looked and felt good in the hand. And light. On opening the thing had obviously been placed in suspension, and it just started. It found my network and was ready to use. The interface, OSX, with its one button for the mouse, threw me for a few minutes as I am VERY used to Windows with a two button mouse with a scroll wheel. But within a few minutes it was ok and I was off and running. If you thought Windows was intuitive then you haven’t used a Mac lately.

Everything worked as you think it should. From the perfectly designed email client to the built in iLife apps. Want a picture from here over there in that app? Drag it and drop it. And it’s there. It has been well thought out, and designed to be easy to use for a person. Not a USER, but a PERSON. All of the “dialogue” boxes are made to explain everything in plain English, or close enough. It’s as though this machine has been carefully planned at thought about, and you can tell. A real pleasure to use, and the kids liked it too. Now the Vista Laptop, an HP Compaq nc8430. When I say Vista it had Windows XP on it so I had to load on Vista first. After picking this laptop up once and carrying it somewhere once I would have to say that I will not move it too often again. Man this thing is heavy. A beast. The case that came with it is HEAVIER that the MacBook. Think about that for a second, the case is heavier on its own than the entire MacBook. With the HP laptop inside it was heavy, and the strap dug into my neck. I couldn’t carry it very far. And its black, not a nice black, but that aggressive corporate laptop black. So – I have to set up Vista. I will spare you that, but it’s been the last 24 hours or so of configuration after the Vista install that has been frustrating and well, just plain annoying. I wanted to thump the laptop, and I never got cross once with the Mac. What’s with the keyboard? I’m typing, and suddenly the cursor jumps to another part of my document and starts typing there. Why? Who knows. It’s happened twice since I started typing this. And the dialogue boxes that pop up when you click on anything (the keyboard thingy just happened a third time!) not just once but two or three times. What is with that? Please – go away. And take the HP laptop with you.

The HP laptop is just not designed for people, it’s designed for USERS. And corporate users at that, so it comes with everything that corporate customers have wanted, ever. There’s a fingerprint scanner on the front, so that I can be checked. Whats wrong with a password, you asked me enough times for it. And Vista just isn’t designed for ordinary people, it’s designed for USERS, those mythical people who will won’t mind sitting down for 24 hours configuring a PC so that they can start to use it. HP, Microsoft, hire some designers!

UPDATE: There is an update here… 


20 thoughts on “vista vs macbook

  1. Aaln,

    I am a MacBook convert. Awesome for use at home and I am glued to it. I am interested in your comments regarding the additional RAM. Mine has 1Gb but I have been thinking of upgrading to 2Gb. Is it really worth it. I assume I will have to buy 2Gb as I am told Apple will have installed 2 x 512Mb RAM cards. Your advice would be appreciated.

  2. Trevor,

    You can check a couple of things about whether you’d benefit from more RAM. Open Activity Monitor during your usual workload and see how much system memory is sitting inactive. It’ll change second-by-second as the OS allocates memory, but you’ll get a good idea of whether you’re maxing out what you have installed already.

    If you’ve routinely got just a hundred or so megabytes left over, you could probably see a benefit from more RAM. You can swap out one 512 MB stick for a 1 GB version, giving 1.5 GB, and see how that goes. Some might say that RAM should be installed in matched pairs for best speed (2×512 MB, or 2×1 GB, etc), but it’s been noted that unmatched memory isn’t any slower than matched. Search a bit at to see what they say about it.

  3. I can agree with all the comments above. I’ve been an advid PC fan for ever and a professional PC developer for my entire working life. I know PCs and their software inside out.
    I’ve looked at Macs a few times in the past but I’ve never really got into them until now…
    I’ve just this week purchased my first MacBook. What can I say? They are awesome, simple, powerful, easy to use… I don’t understand why I’ve only just jumped on the band wagon but I’m glad I have.
    I will always use a PC for my day job and I need to dual boot my MacBook with BootCamp into VISTA (which runs just fine on a MacBook BTW) in order to use Visual Studio and SQL Server (which also run just fine on a MacBook). However for every day tasks and all my non-development work I’ll be using the Mac from now on.

  4. Bought my laptoptwo weeks ago, and am playing around with it for a week now. Guys you cannot compare a MacBook with a PC, this is such a great thing it’s actually becoming a part of me.

    Since I am a developer too, I installed VMware fusion the other day and will try to install Vista tomorrow to see how smoothly it runs in the VM. Most probably it will run way smoother on a separate partition with bootcamp. But for my development job I feel more safer and secure when running it in a VM.

    But the bottom line Apple really convinced me to totally ignore the PC world. Well actually I was already sold to the product by only seeing the package. Maybe you PC users are familiar with these ugly carton boxes your PC gets delivered in. Well Apple is all about design from the outside (box) way to the inside (computer). Enough BS, buy a MacBook and you will never look at anything else again.

  5. hi i really would like know what is the difference about having a graphic card non-sheared video memory with a sheared memory one, i mean the sheared memory one works so well!. what is the real difference? i thinking in getting a macbook but still dont know wich one. well i’m a digital artist anyway, and a i got my experience on windows and doing any work with video or graphic applications without a good video card IS USELESS!!! pls advice. that really would help

    having an nvidia 8700 256mb on macbook ……. sounds dreaming….

  6. @Javier – The only good reason for getting a independant graphics chip is for games. It would make a small noticeable improvement for digital art i guess, but the main reason is for gaming and 3d work.

    Also, @Peter: the reason your cursor jumps is because you’re stroking the mouse pad with your thumbs 😛

    The macbook is still cooler \../, (i wanna convert, but i’m broke :[ )

  7. I’m a “user” and have been spending hours reading blogs on Macbook vs PC. I have always used Windows, mostly because it’s way cheaper and the programs are “free”. I can relate to hours of searching google to fix a problem, computer lags, freezes, crashes and all the other handyman tasks. Oh and waiting to reboot, so something can work. My girlfriend just got a Vista preloaded onto a Toshiba tablet, I set everything up for her, and really that was easy and flowed sensibly, only took a couple of hours to move files add music and pictures etc. and everything works fine despite “vista phobia” (I’m not a techie type, just a person). I have only read a few reports by people that actually prefer the PC over the Mac, mostly because of downloadable programs and PC versatility, but the message is clear which way to go, switch to Mac is about 90-95% positive. My hesitation of course is that my desktop and most functions are PC and the switch is a little intimidating, but I think we are programmed by MS to expect anything new we try on a computer, whether an OS, program or even buying a new one will be a 24 hour learning curve. Please assure me that the switch is as seamless as so many are implying, not just because they are a cult of brand-loyalists. The programs I like on PC are DVD shrink, DVD rip. Quicken is straight windows, but all the other programs seem to have acceptable Mac alternatives and good movie editing. Is there a photo shop or equivalent on Mac or is it an extra?
    I feel like I’m getting rid of my old Ford (Fix Often Repair Daily) and getting into my used Honda (everything works).

  8. I have long been a PC person, mainly like mentioned above for the cost, and “free” software. However, upon surfing the net for many hours, going to the apple retail store for many more hours and playing on the macbooks i have fallen in love.

    The macbook OS is so simple and easy to use, it is unbelieveable. however i do have a few quandries holding me back on buying one.

    1. How long is the average life of a macbook?
    I have heard that it is no more than a few years, this is not what i need as i need it for a 6 year uni course.

    2. When using Bootcamp for windows XP does XP run at the installed speed?

    Lastly is garage band free with the macbook??

    Any help would be largely appreciated


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