Earlier this year, I was weighing the options of getting a Mac after having a PC ever since I’ve owned a computer. I had decided on a MacBook Air, but my computer’s hard drive called it quits sooner than expected. So, I had to get a more budget friendly Asus laptop.
The biggest reason for choosing the MacBook Air over a Windows computer was for its Zoom feature. You can use keyboard shortcuts to enlarge it, or use the finger gestures to zoom in or out like you do with the iPhone or iPad.
Windows 7 is the first Windows operating system to include a full screen magnifier. I can’t use the one that sits at the top of the screen or the small one that magnifies small parts of the screen because they make me dizzy.
I recently discovered that I could use quick keyboard shortcuts to operate the full screen magnfier in Windows 7, so I feel better about not going the Mac route now.
However, it still needs some work. I notice a good bit of pixelation when I enlarge the screen. As I’m writing I’m noticing how fuzzy this post looks and I don’t even have the magnifier on that high of a zoom setting. It can also get a bit dizzying when I move across the screen. Now that the feature is in place, it should get better. Windows 8 is expected to bring even better accessibility features.
So it comes down to a matter of preference and how much money you have to spend. If you want a smoother, higher quality product, go with a Mac. Apple is known for good accessibility options. If you are on a budget and are more familiar with Windows, Windows 7 has a decent magnifier option.
I’m set for now, but I hope that the iPad will continue to gain computing power and allow me to use it for everything I use a PC for now. It is much more portable and allows for more flexible viewing overall.
The following RNIB article does a more comprehensive comparison of the Windows and Mac magnifiers: http://www.rnib.org.uk/livingwithsightloss/computersphones/updates/techknowmore/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?id=93