MacBook: First Impressions

Posted: May 23, 2006 in Apple, computers, hardware, Mac OSX, technology
Tags: , ,


So i stopped by my friendly neighbourhood mac store on the way home to check out the MACBOOK. they had the bottom of the line model, the $1249 version with cd burner. it was sitting next to a 12″ g4 ibook so i could do a good side-by-side comparison of the two and you can colour me impressed. i like it. the screen is SOOOOO much brighter, i thought the brightness was turned down on the ibook because it seemed dim and pale in comparison, but it wasn’t. it was turned right up to full brightness.

the extra 1.3″ is surprisingly quite a difference when it comes to desktop real estate. i opened up safari in the standard window size and had quite a bit of room around it to see other things or have other programs open. sweet. the keyboard seems like there is a lot more space between the keys when you look at it, but in reality, they have just removed the sloping side chamfers off the buttons and giving them straight edges, thus giving the illusion of space between the buttons. its a cool look.

speaking of cool looks, overall i have to say it is an improvement from the somewhat dated look of the ibook, but i do find it strange that there are no speakers on the inside of the macbook. they are moved around the back of the unit and bounce off the screen, the same as the old powerbook 12″ did. sound-wise it did not seem to make a difference. they are still tiny little speakers, so you will never get great sound out of them, but as far as laptop speakers go, they are as good as the rest.

i only got a chance to play with it for about 15 minutes, while i grilled the salesclerk Paul (curse my parents for giving me such a common name) about the features and differences between it and the macbook pro as well as the improvements over the ibook, but i have to say it is a good home-user/student/small-business-user type of machine. definitely in the running for my next laptop.

one negative thing i noticed, RAM and the lack of it. This is a case where apple “cheaped-out” and really shouldn’t have. i was playing for about 2 minutes opening and closing programs, checking and tweaking settings, etc, and could see the macbook stumble a few times due to lack of available memory. i may be a bit biased being as i am used to my ibook with 1.25 gig of ram, but still, when you are going to swipe 64 meg of ram to use for video, why would you want to only start with 512meg? these babies should have come with a minimum of 1gig of ram and then you could really see the differences and improvements.

that’s my quick review of apple’s latest laptop offering. i may go back for a second look before i decide whether to go MB or MBP for my next mac, depending of course on what the wallet says, and secondly, of course what the holder of the family jewels thinks of me getting a new toy again.


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