As a long-time Windows user, I’ve always had a fair bit of a distaste for Apple. Despite the MacBook being one of my first ever laptops all the way back in 2007, and with me owning a second generation iPod Touch in 2008, I’ve avoided pretty much everything Apple ever since.
That is, until recently. You see, back in 2017, a full decade after I bought my first ever MacBook, I bought a 27 inch iMac, primarily for video editing purposes. And boy, this thing is beautiful! The 5K display is arguably one of the best I have ever seen. And considering the amount I paid for it, I actually did not regret my first ever real Apple purchase. I was always under the impression that Apple products were super expensive, which to be fair, I did indeed pay over $3,000 for my iMac at the time. However, counting the screen, it actually would have ended up costing me roughly the same if I had opted to build my own Windows based computer with the same or equivalent specs. So yes, I was quite surprised, as up until that point I had just assumed that all Apple products were super expensive.
Then in 2020, just before the pandemic had really reached its height, I bought what I would consider the first Apple product that got me truly hooked into the ecosystem. The iPhone SE. This has, by far, been the best phone I have ever owned, and it’s the thing that got me interested in the Apple ecosystem as a whole. A few months later, I ended up buying the AirPods Pro. I later ended up subscribing to Apple Music, which has all but replaced my original Spotify subscription by this point, mostly due to Spotify’s recent updates removing features, and organizing the GUI in pointless ways. I also have Apple TV+, 200GB of iCloud storage, and Apple Arcade. All of which, perhaps excluding Apple Arcade, I consider to be valuable parts of my daily life.
My experience with Apple was, at this point, pretty positive. Not only did I buy a $600 phone (Canadian money, so $400 USD) that has the power to beat out pretty much every single flagship in raw benchmarks, I also owned arguably the best pair of earbuds you can reasonably buy. Apple had become a company that represented quality, and more importantly, value. The fact that a $600 phone could outperform a $1300 phone just blew my mind.
And then, as if Apple was reading my mind, they came out with the new MacBook Air with an M1 processor. I watched the announcement video, and was pretty skeptical of the claims. I mean, it all looks far too good to be true. And yet, after the MacBook Air with M1 came out, and all of the tech journalists and content creators started praising it? I knew that the claims were more than just claims; they were promises. The fact that Apple, of all companies, created a $1300 ($1000 USD) laptop capable of outperforming every Windows laptop on the market sold at the same or similar price range? That blew me away. I just knew I had to buy one for myself!
And that’s exactly what I did. I bought a MacBook Air. No fans. No vents. Super fast processor. This thing actually manages to outperform my main Windows laptop, which I use for gaming on a daily basis. Though, my laptop does ultimately offer a significant boost in gaming performance, due to it having an actual dedicated 1070 in it, and you know, Windows. I’m still absolutely shocked that the M1 processor is capable of outperforming my i7 8750H found in my laptop. That’s just… magical, in a weird way. I’d even go so far as to say it’s unbelievable. And yet, it’s true. The fanless MacBook Air has a faster processor than my beefed up gaming laptop.
The entire Mac OS experience is oddly seamless as well. Take a picture on my phone, and it’s instantly on my Mac. Back up everything automatically to the cloud. Total synchronization. And yeah, that’s pretty neat. Everything on Mac OS just sorta works right out of the box. No need to configure stuff, or to really do anything. Just open the laptop up, launch Safari, and I’m working in seconds. Literal seconds. Oh, and the keyboard and trackpad? The absolute best I have ever used on any laptop, ever. Going from the MacBook Air back to my Windows laptop, I find myself struggling to do the most basic of tasks. Typing feels more like a chore, and navigating with the trackpad is practically impossible. I honestly don’t quite know how I managed to type on that thing for so long, though now that I have a MacBook Air, I’m glad I never have to do so again. (note: mechanical keyboards will always be my favourite thing to type on, but the MacBook Air keyboard is by far the best in any laptop I have ever used)
However, the ease of use is also a downside. While I trust that my MacBook does what I need it to do, occasionally it simply won’t. I need more control, and Mac OS simply isn’t anywhere close to as flexible as Windows. I can’t simply pick and choose which drivers to install. I can’t pick which updates to install, or do any kind of troubleshooting. Mac OS either works, or it doesn’t. There’s very rarely an in between.
Though I haven’t really found scenarios where I’d need to switch over to my Windows PC, aside from the obvious gaming, I also can’t imagine myself not having access to a Windows PC just in case I want or need more control. Windows is simply a bigger operating system. There’s more apps. More programs. More everything, to a point where Mac OS itself feels like a downgrade, even if it isn’t for the majority of people. And like I said, I’ve never once found the need to switch back over to my Windows PC for any kind of work or productivity, as every single thing I need for my computer to do, I can do on my Mac, and I can do it faster and better than I ever could on my Windows PC.
All in all, Mac OS is my new favourite operating system, even if I don’t really consider it the best. Windows will almost always be better, since it simply has more stuff to do. But with that being said, my MacBook Air has ultimately become my new daily driver. It is, by far, the best laptop I have ever purchased. And at only $1300 CAD, it’s by far the best bang for the buck I have ever experienced. There is no competition at that price point. If you need to buy a laptop, buy the MacBook Air. It’s truly that simple.