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Apple MacBook Review

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Specifications

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
Video Card: Not Specified
Chipset: Not Specified
Audio: Not Specified
Weight: about 5lbs

System Ratings

Build Quality:
Screen Quality:
Battery Life:
Asthetics:
Port Placement:
Preformance:

Where it was purchased?

Purchased From: Not Specified
Date Ordered: 2007-02-23 00:00:00
Store Comments: Not Specified

How is the service?

Pre-sale Service:
Order Ease:
Price:
Shipping Price:
Post-Sale Service:
Tech Support:

The Review

The Might MacBook

Background:
Ok I’ll be brutally honest when I first thought of a Mac i thought of the nasty old things we had in elementary school, you know that had the original Oregon trail loaded on them. But after having a desktop replacement laptop for a good 3 years I was ready for a change. I needed something I could take to college classes for the day and not die on me half way through the day. A few friends had switched over and raved about their Macs so I figured what the heck it fit almost all the specs i needed it to and was pretty cheap to boot. So I went to the local apple store and walked about with the mid range MacBook, a extra battery, and the Apple care protection thing all in all about $US 1,500

Specs:
2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
1 GB memory
80GB Hard Drive
SuperDrive

First Impressions:
Apple sure does know how to pack things, there was no way this baby was getting damaged in that packaging! Picking up the laptop it felt well built but not heavy. That is to say it didn’t feel like cheap plastic it didn’t crack and moan when I opened the screen but at the same point its defiantly not an ultralight. But its a very good balance between weight and what I feel will be durability. The entire set up process seemed quite easy and much tedious then that of Windows XP (waiting for Vista for my desktop). Not a single dead pixel on the screen, and no scratches! The screen is very sharp and bright, though you wont be able to keep the brightness cranked down when outside but that was the case with my non glossy laptop screen before.

Connectivity/Other:
As far as I’m concerned the ports are well places and quite adequate. I guess one or two more USB ports could have been nice but defiantly not required as this is meant for me as portable machine don’t plan on plugging a lot of things in that could sap the battery life. Getting this on my local network was absolute cake and that is a huge difference from my last laptop, in fact with only one exception this notebook was received a extremely noticeable better signal then any machine I’ve ever used. Getting through the security set ups is easy and quick, and signal strength is outstanding. As far as the speakers go, they are laptop speakers if you are expecting movie theater quality you will be disappointed but they are quite functional and only with decently hard bass do i notice them lacking, that being said I don’t listen to much without headphones. The headphone jack serves quite well btw. As for the infamous mag connector power cord, I think its one of the greatest features, i have already saved myself the pain of seeing this laptop hit the deck once tripping on the power cord only to have it live to the hype harmlessly unplugging itself. To me it does not seem over easy though to unplug it but thats highly opinionated i guess.

Performance:
Not wanting to play games or anything of the like I only have experience using the programs that come stock (iLife). The machine is defiantly not a powerhouse but its not a slouch either. It does seem to take a few seconds for some programs to load but once loaded I can have tons of programs open and not encounter any problems (max i have open was iTunes, iCal, iWeb, iPhoto, NeoOffice, Mail, and several Safari browsers). I may play a few games on this eventually but right now I don’t want the temptation for more then a few reasons.

Portability:
Probably the main reason I got his laptop, was I felt it would be good on the go and I was not disappointed. First off battery life using only NeoOffice, Mail, and safari (not all at the same time and turning off airport when I wasn’t using it) I am able to use this laptop throughout the course of the day on battery power alone. That being said I still like to carry the power pack just so I can surf the web more and turn up the screen brightness a few notches but it is defiantly not a requirement. As i mentioned earlier the weight of this laptop is ideal, i can through it in my backpack and really not notice that much, I do notice it a bit in my messenger bag but thats the one vs two strap difference. With my laptop it was never any where near my lap for fear of the loss of any future children, underside was molten hot. That is in stark comparison to this MacBook I can run it to its max on power adapter then still feel comfortable setting on my lap. Oh and with the exception of the hard drive whining for a second on start up this machine is dead quite, it doesn’t utter a peep! It is perfect for in class I can hear other peoples laptops whining and moaning while mine is dead silent.

OSX:
Right now I’m a dual user but I highly doubt I will continue with the window’s OS when its time for my desktop to be replaced. That being said the first few hours with the mac OS where a bit confusing/frustrating. But the more time you put into learning all the shortcuts and keystrokes the more intuitive it becomes and the more and more I’m liking it.

Inputs:
The keyboard at first likes a strange alien landscape, but I have come to absolutely love it. I much prefer this keyboard over that of my full size one for my desktop. The keys have a great depth and travel (hope I’m using those terms right). The spacing allows for extremely little accidental striking of another. The track pad for me is pretty similar to the last one I in design (use i had a PC laptop that had a single bar design). The pad is responsive and I love the ability to both right and left click on it. Again this is highly subjective and I would recommend everyone go and try it out if possible (just make sure to go and toy around in the system prefs for speeds and such). I really don’t have much use of frontrow and its remote but I did try it on the first day and it works flawlessly as far as I could tell.

Software:
The included software were more then ample for what I needed, well minus a office program but I had already planned on using a free ware program for that. That was actually one of the reasons I went with Mac is didn’t feel like I needed much more then what was included. The built in mail and calender are extremely powerful and rival if not beat Outlook. The iLife suite is a great set of programs that are quite fun to mess around and pretty practical. The only downside is that you pretty much must download at least Firefox or another browser as some sties just don’t play well with Safari (but these seem to be in the minority from my experience). I am currently using the 60 day free trail of .Mac and like what I see. The free web space is fun and the storage is handy for those few critical documents I just cant loose. But like I said above I don’t feel the need to install more but I’m probably in the minority. Oh yeah and no virus protection probably a big selling point of macs is that you don’t really need it, eventually I’ll probably install a anti-virus but currently I don’t feel a strong need to (unlike my PCs)

Pros:
Excellent Built Quality
Great keyboard and wifi
Little to no need for much additional software

Cons:
Without student discount could be a bit pricey
Need to download Firefox (oh the humanity)
Not a ultralight (just put it here so things were even)

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March 13, 2007 - Posted by | Apple

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