Apple’s MacBook Air and Pro: Better multi-touch support than Windows 8, no touch screen required

“The MacBook Air recently released is a laptop that sets the bar for the genre. Even with all that Apple has accomplished with the new laptop, a common complaint is the lack of a touch screen,” James Kendrick writes for ZDNet. “The support for touch screens in Windows 8 is creating an expectation that laptops need to have them. The fact is that OS X handles multi-touch on a trackpad better than Windows 8 does on a touch screen.”

“Apple has perfected the use of touch gestures on the big trackpads found on all current MacBooks. After only a short period of learning the gestures, OS X is wonderful to control with them,” Kendrick writes. “This operation, coupled with the intelligent use running apps in the full-screen mode, makes the MacBook (Air or Pro) simple, intuitive, and delightful to use.”

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Kendrick writes, “I use both Windows 8 and OS X on the Mac, and the latter is clearly superior to me. Touch operation on Windows 8, both the touch screen and trackpad, feels like Microsoft tried too hard to make it work on all device types. While it works, it never feels natural nor works as well as touch control on the Mac.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
ZDNet reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: The new standard for laptops, a stunning achievement – June 14, 2013
PC Magazine reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: Astonishing, astounding; Editors’ Choice – June 14, 2013
Engadget reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: Stunning 12+ hour battery life – June 13, 2013
Hands-on with Apple’s new MacBook Air: True all-day battery life – June 13, 2013
Why the MacBook Air didn’t get a Retina display – June 12, 2013
Apple brings all day battery life to MacBook Air – June 10, 2013


  1. Absolutely correct. People have to turn all the trackpad features and gestures on and give it a try. It’s amazing once you do. Best computer interface ever. Use the new (correct!) scrolling direction, use tap to click, use three finger drag. The whole deal. You’ll never go back.

    As for touch screen, it’s great on a handheld device but not really necessary for a computer.

  2. “While it works, it never feels natural …”

    This is a key aspect that other companies often overlook. It’s not enough to make something work after a fashion, it’s vital to work on all the tiny details so that it feels natural and intuitive.

    When you ask PC laptop users what they think of trackpads, they often don’t think much of them. When you ask an Apple user, they reckon that they’re great. It’s the fluid and natural way that an Apple trackpad works that makes the difference.

    Poorly implemented features allow people to tick boxes on comparison checklists, but if a feature does not work well, it’s not worth having and won’t get used.

      1. I’ll tell you why. Because the track pad on my Lenovo (work laptop) is utter horse crap. It does make me appreciate that much more coming home and getting on my MBA.

  3. I’m still using Snow Leopard and the latest version of iTunes lost the ability to three-finger-swipe left or right to go back or forward, something still working on Safari. Is there a fix for itunes? Because I love this feature.

  4. To me it seems completely logical that about a certain size (possibly that of an iPad) it’s easier to just move your fingers the little distance required to move around your screen with a trackpad than having to move your hands across the entire screen to touch all the time.

    1. Exactly… My guess for that the size limit is about 12 inches. This is not only an aspect of the screen size itself, but the weight of the device. It must be light enough to hold up with one hand, while you use the other hand to touch the screen.

      I think there will be a 12-inch iPad, once Apple can make it weigh the same as the current Retina 10-inch iPad, and still have the same battery life. The resolution will have to be something like 3600×2400 to be “Retina” at the 12-inch size. At that point, the current 10-inch size goes away, and Apple has an 8-inch and 12-inch iPad (plus a 4-inch iPod touch which should be renamed “iPad nano”).

      Any size above a 12-inch screen is the realm of the Mac, which is a “stationary” (while in use) computer that uses a trackpad for “touch,” not the screen. No one wants to constantly lift and wave their hands around to touch a large screen, and block the line of sight to screen with hands and arms.

  5. Steve Jobs said it correctly in that no one wants to keep stretching their arms out to keep touching the screen. You will be able to tell the windows 8 users from the os X users by how big their right arms are. For this reason I would rather use a good track pad so I can work all day long instead of “feeling the burn” after a short time on a windows 8 machine.

    1. Yes. Ergonomically the touchscreen computers are a terrible design nobody should ever use one for more than a very short time because it puts stress on arms and shoulders. For a tablet, your arms are stationary and it’s fine. Maybe some day there will be a class action lawsuit…like in the movie The Jerk where the Opti-Grab glasses made everyone cross eyed.

  6. “a common complaint is the lack of a touch screen,”

    Who is this common complainer? Is it the same person who is complaining that the Mac lacks IBM’s red button on the keyboard?

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