About two months ago, I made the switch at work from a Windows laptop, which I had used for 10 years at Amazon, to a Mac laptop.
The primary reason for this was the availability of first-class Unix-environment tools for working with and building my team's software product.
Now that I have gotten used to the new environment and worked out all the kinks of the transition, I have some observations on the relative pros and cons for my own use cases of Mac vs Windows.
- Battery life - the Macbook will let me do work for at least six hours without plugging in, and I do not need to dim the screen or turn off Wi-Fi or anything. The four Windows laptops I have had over the past 10 years never did more than 3-4 hours without requiring an additional battery or extensive power saving measures like switching off Wi-Fi and dimming the screen to minimum level.
- Mission Control and multiple desktops. This is a really slick feature and I find it makes switching between applications faster than cycling with Alt-Tab or Windows-Tab on the PC.
- Unix environment - just for the heck of it, I wanted to see if Jenkins CI would run on my Macbook like it does on our Linux build servers. It does. I haven't really thought of a use case for this, but the fact that MacOS's Unix-compatibility is this good makes a lot of things really easy.
- The magnetic power adapter connector. It is such a good idea, the rest of the industry should be clamoring to license this. I'm surprised Apple doesn't even use it on more of their own products.
- Microsoft's application suite is sub-par on the Mac. Excel is worse, Word is worse, and Outlook is much worse. If you want to run these apps well, you still have to boot a copy of Windows.
- No real docking station support. There are a number of dock-like devices out there, like Henge Dock and a few others, but these basically carefully replicate all of the connectors that would plug into the normal ports on the side of the Macbook, versus connecting to a purpose-built docking connector. You can create a more docklike experience if you have a later Macbook Pro with Retina display and can use the Thunderbolt port for display, USB, and Ethernet all at once.
- Dongle required for external display connection. This actually comes up as a negative issue less than I thought it would. On our team's projector we just keep it plugged into the VGA cable. People with Windows laptops (and VGA ports) just unconnect it first, then reconnect it after.
Overall I'm pretty happy with the switch. I could have a much longer "cons" list before that would change, simply because of the impact of the battery life and Unix environment.
Apart from the Microsoft app suite, most other things do not feel any different. I use Chrome for my browser, which feels identical. Android Studio feels the same. Spotify is the same.