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…