Three things I miss after ditching my MacBook

Macbook Razer

A few weeks ago, I swapped out my 2014 MacBook Pro for the latest Razer Blade. I needed something that was VR-Ready, and it was clear from the last hardware refresh that Apple wasn't going to be prioritizing GPU anytime soon. Switching from the 13-inch MacBook Pro to the 14-inch Razer Blade was a relatively simple thing since I've never been "all in" on the Apple ecosystem, and Razer has the closest thing to Apple quality build and materials right now.

That said, it didn't take long for me to be reminded of the many small things Apple does really well in order to create that experience you can't get anywhere else.



MacBook Keyboard (Image credit: Rene Ritchie/iMore)

Not a big deal by any stretch, but there are no other laptops that handle both display and keyboard brightness like a MacBook. The times I felt it necessary to adjust the brightness on either the display or the keyboard on my MacBook were few, and never both at the same time.

I'm a huge fan of the Chroma light system on the Razer Blade, and being able to adjust the color and brightness of the individual keys on this keyboard is amazing. I can launch Adobe Lightroom and Chrome automatically adjusts to highlight my shortcut keys, which is very clever. Without a grasp of the basics, like making sure those colors don't blind me when working in a dark room, this very cool feature falls a little flat.

Quality trackpad experience


There is nothing quite like scrolling and accelerated tracking on a MacBook. Scrolling around in any app is perfectly smooth, and being able to press down on the trackpad as a mouse click is nice. Slightly more important, the way Apple handles measuring distance traveled on your screen depending on how fast you moved your fingers is fantastic.

I don't dislike the trackpad on the Razer Blade, but Windows 10 just doesn't offer as polished an experience. Most apps behave slightly differently when it comes to scrolling smoothness, and while you can tweak settings to get something close enough it's clear Apple's method is the better overall experience.

Silent running by default


You can make MacBook fans get really loud if you push the system, but light browsing or streaming means the system is whisper quiet by default. You can make this Razer Blade almost as quiet if you tweak the settings, but every once in a while I find myself wondering what that sound is only to realize it's coming from my computer when I'm not even touching it.

It's a shame I can't go back

These are largely personal quibbles, and doesn't even begin to touch things like effortless backups with my Time Machine or the way macOS interacts seamlessly with iOS.

Apple has worked hard to create a superior overall experience that makes it hard to leave their ecosystem. I happen to live in a niche for now with my need for slightly more capable hardware, and that's ok. Rather than slam Apple for not appealing to me directly as a consumer right now, I find myself wondering why it is these seemingly simple bits of polish are so difficult for the competition to pull off consistently.

It's a question that will, most likely, have me back in an Apple store should the VR-Ready box be checked for a MacBook Pro in the future.

Russell Holly

Russell is a Contributing Editor at iMore. He's a passionate futurist whose trusty iPad mini is never far from reach. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Reach out on Twitter!