I left Windows 11 for a MacBook Pro and it's the best tech relationship I've ever had

MacBook Pro M3 14 inch valentine
(Image credit: Future)

I've been PC-amorous for most of my life, a Windows user and fan for more decades than I care to admit. All that changed almost a year ago when I forced myself to go from a monogamous computer lifestyle to one where I could introduce a second choice to my computing life. And now I'm never going back.

What started as an experiment, became a whirlwind romance. Apple Silicon, first M2 and now M3 Max, whisked me away to an island of almost unlimited battery life and intense productivity.

As with any breakup though, there have been some tough moments. The truth is, I still haven't moved all my stuff out of Windows space. It's a rare breakup, though, where the comingling of our stuff still works. 

As a longtime Microsoft customer, I still use OneDrive, yes, even on the Mac. It's just another drive location and because I still enjoy composing content in Microsoft Word and the 1TB of storage (actually far more because I get to give a TB each to up to 5 family members) I get for $99 a year.

Not another silly love song

The MacBook Pro M3 Max and macOS Sonoma are my main squeeze now but I still keep a constant connection to Microsoft and my old relationship. The MacBook isn't the least bit jealous – it's a thrupple that works.

I still have affection for Windows 11 and use it on occasion at home. My real-life paramour – my wife – is still full-time on Windows 11 (and has repeatedly told me how much she hates that Microsoft shifted the start menu to the middle of the interface).

Knowing how much she hates change, I haven't suggested she break up with Windows, too. Still, with so much of her time spent on the iPhone 14 and an iPad 10.2-inch, it would make perfect sense, but then when is love sensible, even tech love?

Love can be hard to explain, but in the case of a computer, it's far easier. Every single day, I see reasons that support my choice.

The MacBook, in both the lovely thin and light MacBook Air (M2), and my current main squeeze, the MacBook Pro 14 (M3), is one of the most exquisitely designed pieces of hardware in techdom. It's not flashy but is elegant. Every decision, from the size of the keyboard and travel of the keys to the size of the palmrests and depth of the trackpad, feels utterly intentional.

My early crush on the Liquid Retina XDR display has given way to admiration, especially, as I've gotten over missing a touch-screen. You see, my go-to ultraportable for almost a decade was a series of Microsoft Surface Pro laptops. I loved how thin and light they were and found tremendous utility in the touch screen. I even drew on them sometimes, though my go-to digital canvas is the iPad Pro.

In the early days of using a MacBook Air, I did occasionally poke at the inert screen. It was embarrassing for both of us. Fortunately, the MacBook is a forgiving sort and understands that it's not that easy to walk away from a long-term relationship.

I would say I was in almost instant like with the MacBook Air (and later the MacBook Pro 14 M3) but two things transformed it into love and made me never want to go back: battery life and reliability.

MacBook Pro 14 M3 keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

Let me count the ways

Over the many years of using the Surface Pro, I often rode the hockey stick trend line of battery life. On the Surface Pro, it could be extreme. Battery life was so good in the beginning but a couple of years or so in, it would tip downward until you were always in a desperate hunt for an outlet. Even with a fresh battery, Windows' resource management system and the Intel chips that backed it didn't seem to know the meaning of efficiency.

The MacBook, macOS, and especially, Apple Silicon, run like mobile systems with desktop power, and that means they manage to sip power no matter the task (except maybe for AAA gaming at ultra-high framerates). I cruise through flights (toasting my beloved MacBook with non-alcoholic champagne), long meetings, and commutes without a single concern about battery life.

The only thing more important than longevity in a relationship is reliability or at least dependability.

We had it good, my Windows 11 Surface Pro and I, but sometimes it would just lose it. The system could be unpredictable and crash-prone. I just never knew when my Windows system would go blue, I mean Blue Screen. If it was just one uncooperative system, I'd chalk it up to a minor problematic relationship. But through every Surface Laptop Pro, the crashes would return.

My new love, my MacBook Pro, is as reliable as the sunrise and sunset. It never crashes. I mean never.

So this is my Valentine's Day card to the one system that's always ready to connect, always up for an excursion, and that never lets me down.

Ask me if I am in love, I will answer in the affirmative.

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Lance Ulanoff
Editor At Large

A 38-year industry veteran and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered technology since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a former Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, before that, Editor in Chief of PCMag.com and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He also wrote a popular, weekly tech column for Medium called The Upgrade.

Lance Ulanoff makes frequent appearances on national, international, and local news programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC.