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When the Macbook came out, it took the iBook and 12″ Powerbook down for the count. I’ve been looking at this thing over and over and here are some things that everyone should pay attention to. 1) The Macbook uses the same MagSafe connector, but different […]

When the Macbook came out, it took the iBook and 12″ Powerbook down for the count. I’ve been looking at this thing over and over and here are some things that everyone should pay attention to.

1) The Macbook uses the same MagSafe connector, but different wattage from its Pro brother. You could use the Macbook charger on a Macbook Pro; though Apple seems to say avoid it like the plague. The Macbook uses a 60W adapter and the Pro uses 85W. You can safely charge the Macbook with a MBP charger. In fact, Apple only sells 85W chargers in the San Diego stores. Maybe they will offer 60W, but I doubt it because the 85W is universal and another charger means unneeded additional costs.

2) Shared video is the reason it isn’t a ‘Pro’ machine. Applications such as Aperture and Final Cut Studio don’t run on this thing. That’s fine for most consumers who would stick to iLife apps. The ‘Pro’ consumer would look to the higher end anyway. Edit:The pro apps will install with a warning but Apple doesn’t support it, and no announcement has been made that they will at this time.

3) External video adapters used to come with Apple laptops. This is not the case on the Macbook, and a Mini-DVI to DVI or Mini-DVI to VGA is going to cost ~$20. One could say that this should be common gear to a laptop, but from Apple’s perspective the numerous things their laptops can display on doesn’t warrant an included adapter for each. The majority of consumers never use an external display and end up losing the one it came with (guilty). So I don’t see this as a major exclusion. I see it saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars, and giving consumers the option to get only the adapter they need, saving the environment the cost of making 2 or 3 adapters per laptop (as was the iBook’s case), and lowering the cost of the units. Win-win.

4) Glossy screen not optional like the Pro machines. I agree with John on the glossy screen issue, and would prefer to rip it off than deal with glare. It’s bad enough on my supposed anti-glare glasses, now I have to deal with it on my laptop. Lame.

I still like them, despite these four things. They feel better and seem much more scratch resistant than previous offerings. The resolution is great on them and they can power a 23″ display. The benefits and improvements are welcome.

  1. One thing I would love to have seen in the MacBook: an even-cheaper single-core version. It’s great that the MacBook has the Core Duo (many were afraid Apple would go single-core only), but a single-core option would be nice. Less heat, less money, more battery life…for my portable needs it would be a great option.

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  2. Scroll down this thread from the Apple support forum:
    Aperture does run on the new MacBooks, but it is NOT officially supported, due to limitations with the graphics card. This means if you call AppleCare, you’ll simply be told that you’re running Aperture on an unsupported configuration. It’s an “at-your-own-risk” experience.

    That being said, Aperture will install and run on a MacBook…at least you’re not disallowed from using it. No hacks needed!

    And of course, Aperture is fully supported on all MacBook PRO models.

    Joe Schorr
    Sr. Product Manager, Aperture
    Apple

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  3. same with final cut… it will work, it’s just not supported.

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  4. How about the fact that the MacBrick is overweight at 5.2 lbs?

    You’d think Apple would be making lighter laptops to replace past products. I can’t see replacing my 1.33Ghz 12″ G4 PB weighing in @4.2lbs with a MacBrick. And heck, the 12″PB weighs more than comparable Windoze laptops with 12″ screens (Panasonic, Sony 2.2-2.4lbs).

    Factor in the crippled graphics ability, I don’t see the MacBrick as progress at all. It seems that Apple is narrowing it’s product line while migrating to faster chips, but not really giving what many of us really need.

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  5. anyone know how well Aperture runs on a MacBook?

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  6. I agree that the 5.2 lb weight on the MacBook is a disappointment, but it’s hardly fair to compare it to 2 lb. PC ultralights that don’t even have an onboard optical drive…

    Personally I can’t wait for the day when we have flash-RAM-based laptops and drop the heavy, noisy, and power-sucking hard drives entirely.

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  7. The MacBook has problems with Motion, not with Final Cut. Think about it: people have been using FCP on much slower machines and the Intel 950 is not behind where graphics were just a short time ago. The MacBook isn’t ideal for FCP but most people are using it on older, even less ideal machines.

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  8. I’m a new Apple customer who just bought a MacBook (black) on Friday. While I’m still trying to acclimate myself to the OS (I’ve been a Windows user since 3.0), I find the hardware to be wonderful–the weight and size perfect.

    I wasn’t sure if the screen would be too small; but it’s not. I placed the dock on the right of the widescreen so my application windows can take advantage of the vertical space. As far as temperature goes, it’s not any warmer than my old, “long dead” Dell Inspiron (850MHz PIII). In fact, it seems to actually run cooler.

    It’s also whisper quiet. I have yet to hear a “mooing” sound from its fan. And I’ve yet to hear the hard drive being accessed. The only noticeable sound it makes is when it wakes up from sleep and checks for insert of a DVD.

    I like the glossy screen. But I suppose if someone used dark backgrounds it would pick up a lot of reflections. But with any notebook, a slight adjustment of the screen and the reflection goes away. And BTW, the colors are brilliant.

    I like the keyboard. The lettering is very large and easy to read. And it’s very easy to type on…..though, I’m not sure how to use some of the Mac keys.

    My track pad is set so it’s scrolls with two fingers and selects with a one finger tap and “right clicks” with a two finger tap? I’m not sure how you Mac users got along without that second mouse button. :)

    Anyway, it’s just what I need without the pointless extras. Although, I wish it had a “home” and “end” key without having to also press the “apple” key. And BTW which is the “command” key?

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  9. Thanks for the insight, Alan. I’m glad to hear the temperature issue experienced in the ArsTechnica review may have just been a faulty unit. The review was linked on Engadget, so of course all the bitter Apple haters (where do these people come from and what exactly motivates them???) had to jump in with their “ha ha, Apple sucks” ignorance.

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