Whoops! Back to Mac already...

Date:

tags: technology
My desk now (Large Photo)

Introduction

In my last post, I griped about all my issues I was having with macOS and was going to switch over to Windows/Linux with the purchase of a Lenovo Ideapad Slim Pro 7i. Unfortunately, Linux support on this machine was quite terrible and WSL wasn’t going to cut it for my love for the command line use cases. Long story short, I ended up picking up a blue 512 GB 24” M1 iMac that i’m currently typing on now. I just wanted to explain what happened with the Lenovo Ideapad and why I decided to give macOS one more try.

Why the Lenovo Ideapad Slim Pro 7i Failed

Before I talk about my gripes with the machine, I want to talk about the pros, which include:

  • The display: Dear lord this thing was gorgeous. 14”, 2880x1800 and 90 hz. With this DPI, I was able to run the machine at 200% scaling and the screen was buttery smooth.
  • Build quality: For a windows machine, this thing was top notch. An all aluminium build, which was almost as nice as a macbook (not quite though).
  • Windows Hello: When I was using Windows, this was mostly just a convenience thing to quickly unlock the device. That said, I would probably disable this when traveling for security purposes.
  • The price: I paid $900 before tax and shipping, due to a $200 off sale price. It was hard to find a machine with these specs at this price.

With things working well, I was ready to wipe Windows and go to Linux full time. The first distro I booted up was Ubuntu 20.04. Upon boot, I noticed the screen would go black whenever I moved the mouse. If I moved it enough, the screen would return. Frustrated, I was like “Maybe the kernel is too old for this laptop?” Next, I tried Fedora 35, which only recently came out and is running kernel 5.14, a relatively new kernel. Regardless of the newer kernel, I ran into the same issue. Additionally, I also noticed the laptop keyboard was not registering inputs. I also tried elementary OS 6 with the same result, thinking it might have been just an Ubuntu 20.04 LTS issue.

When looking into how to fix this issue, results were sparse. There were some posts here and there about adding GRUB boot-parameters to fix the keyboard issue, but nothing about the display. Call me privileged, but this is something I haven’t had to deal with on a Linux instal in years. Only being able to run Windows on this machine wasn’t going to work. I returned the machine shortly after.

Back to Mac

While I was going through the month of testing the Lenovo Ideapad, a few other things had happened:

  • I sold my 23.8” QHD monitor due to preferring a single display setup (and the Lenovo Ideapad’s display was so good), eliminating most of my issues with macOS with external displays
  • I changed my workflow habits on my work 13” Macbook Pro such as using spotlight more, and better workspace management using virtual desktops

Like Linux, macOS is still a unix-based (or unix-like) operating system with all the benefits that come with it. Sure there is some privacy concerns with macOS, but it’s honestly a balance of convenience and privacy at least from 3rd party companies. With the Ideapad, I just wasn’t going to be able to live with Windows alone.

After much research, I decided to pick up the 8-core GPU, 8 GB variant M1 iMac 24” in blue. With my past experience with the M1 Macs, I knew 8 GB RAM was going to be plenty for what I used it for. The big selling point was the display, as I stare at text most of my day. This alone has been a noticeable improvement compared to trying to use my old QHD monitor. With the great built-in speakers, I no longer have to deal with macOS’s weird issue of volume control not working on other audio devices.

This is my first day on the device, and I have less an mouth to not have buyers remorse. I am really getting tired of computer searching, so hopefully this is over now.