Apple MacBook Pro Disappointment
Last edited 22/08/2019 - 20:52 by 1 other user
I recently got a $6k Top of the range Macbook Pro after being a windows power user for my whole life. In short it is going back. The whole premise of "it just works" is BS. In the 5 days of using it it has crashed with a black screen 3 times. I have not been able to install bootcamp because of some bug in the latest version of Mac Os with drive partitioning. Also a bunch of obvious shortcuts which you have in windows are not available - no way to quickly snap or move windows to different screens to be just one example. I could go on. I can't see how they can justify the ridiculous pricing for these machines.
I will stick to my work issued Surface Book 2 15 which has its own share of issues but they don't seem any worse than Mac. It is a shame because I was really hoping to like this laptop and that it would be hassle free, however this is definitely not the case. I think the days of Mac being significantly better than Window systems are long over and they are both as crap as each either when it comes to having to manage a bunch of performance issues
Thought I would share my experience in case anyone else thinks the grass is greener in the Apple/Mac OS world
EDIT: SOME ADDITIONAL COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS ELABORATING ON THE ABOVE IN SOMEWHAT RANDOM ORDER
• Random reset and black screens. I have used this PC for about 5 days. In that time I have had it randomly reboot 3 times. The screen suddenly goes black and I can’t wake the device with the keyboard or power button. Eventually it starts up again by itself and boots back into Mac OS. No error report is provided. At least windows gives you BSOD with a vague error code when it crashes. It is probably a hardware dud
• I can’t install Bootcamp due to “your drive could not be partitioned error”. After 1 hour of googling and trying various solutions I gave up. The consensus seems that it is a bug in the latest Mac OS version and the only way to fix it is to wipe to drive and install Mac OS again and then try the bootcamp installer. This is a new machine with only a few apps installed, I should have to mess around with this.
• Some apps seem to randomly use the dedicated graphics card e.g. Chrome severely affecting battery life. No obvious way to force an app to use the integrated graphics.
• Battery life in general is not as good as my Surface Book 2 15. Only getting about ~ 4-6 hours. Probably related to the above point. Also the Apple CPU is 45W vs ~20W for SB2 so fair enough.
• Animations such as swiping between apps can be slightly choppy at times. I have enabled “reduce motion” in the accessibility settings to make this faster. Minor point but it is disappointing to see this in an expensive machine with a seemingly the best and most refined OS out there. No better than windows in this regard. In fact in windows you can turn off all animations to make the UI very responsive. Mac OS does not seem to allow you to turn off the animation effect to the same extent
• No quick way to switch apps as you do in windows with WIN+NUMBER. I have used Better Touch Tool (BTT) to enable this but you can’t switch to finder using this technique as it is not counted as the first app in the dock (?)
• When saving an email attachment in the Mail app. It does not show up in recent items folder in finder. Instead, click through the whole folder pathway to get to my file. In windows I just go to the recent items folder and my saved file is there even if I didn’t open it. Annoying.
• Can’t move and snap windows to external monitor. I used BTT tool to provide a keyboard shortcut but this only works for windowed apps, not full screen. To move a full screen app I have to click on the resize button, then move the app with the keyboard shortcut, then maximize again. In windows you can just use WIN + Right arrow anytime.
• There is slight but annoying lag in showing dock and top menu when in full screen mode.
• Scroll direction with touchpad and mouse different. You have to get a third party app to make them the same. In windows you can set your preference easily.
• Office version is several feature releases behind the windows version and is missing functions e.g. Small corner setting icon under settings such as paragraph.
• Stupid shortcut combinations for common functions. If I want to do a screenshot clipping in Mac the shortcut is CMD+SHIFT+CONTROL+4….this needs two hands. In windows the same function is WIN+SHIFT+S, simple one-handed shortcut.
• No separate delete and backspace buttons
• Spotlight search is great but you cant resize the window width so long file names are cut off. You can’t right click the file and open the location. Stupid. In windows you can get similar functionality to spotlight with “Search everything”, “quicklook” and “wox” apps. These also have limitations though but at least I can read long file names and open file locations easily. Windows as-installed search is pretty crap though.
• Dark theme is system wide which has some benefits and drawbacks. Benefits: all apps are affected, Drawback: I cant say use a permanent dark theme in Office and a Light theme in finder or safari. Ideally it would be nice to set the separately. Windows has issues with dark theming too – mainy that it is inconsistent; some apps and dialogue boxes are affected other are not.
• No Mac equivalent of windows single key link to search and program menu with the WIN key.
• You can only swipe between fullscreen apps, not all open apps. In windows, swipe is between all open apps. This seems more intuitive.
All in all Mac OS does not seem to be that much better thought out than windows for power users. In both you have to spend time setting up productivity shortcuts and third-party apps. However at least in windows some obvious productivity features are better implemented: keyboard shortcuts for: app switching, moving and snapping windows, screenshots, etc.
Mac Book Pro 15 benefits:
• Better screen: brighter, wider colour gamut, anti-reflective coating.
• System wide colour calibration
• No throttling (SB2 has issues with this regularly).
• More RAM and better usage. SB2 hits the limit regularly and once it does the whole system slows down. Even if you close apps and release RAM the performance remains slower and a reboot is required. This is one of the most annoying issues with my SB2.
• Charging port on both sides
• Mail app has good search capabilities. The windows Mail app and outlook are stupid. E.g. a search for the term “as advised” returns every email with the letters “as” appearing in a word such as cast, mast etc. The Spam filter is also terrible. It flags replies from colleagues which I sent an email to as spam!
• Bluetooth hotspot connection to my android phone is easier and faster than in windows
Surface Book 2 benefits:
• Touch, pen and tablet support are obvious.
• Keyboard is not as prone to oil stains and does not require constant cleaning to look “as new”
• Ports, SD card reader etc.
• MS power connector is magnetic, the MS dock is a useful single cable dock solution. No native dock in Mac world, have to buy third party devices.
• Easy control over which app uses discrete graphics. In Mac OS some apps seem to randomly use the dedicated card e.g. Chrome.
• Maximising a window does not automatically hide the taskbar and menu.