Initial impressions of the 2GHz MacBook

My initial impression(s) of the MacBook 2GHz Core Duo? Amazing. These machines are very much as capable as their older sibling MacBook Pro’s. With the first revisions of these MacBook already nipping at the Pro’s heels with 2.0 GHz Core Duo’s, the decision as to whether that extra few hundred is really worth the metal housing and upgraded graphics card is surely one that many Apple customers will face.

  • PPC vs. Intel: Wow. Intel, where have you been all this time? OSX on the PPC architecture was heaven. OSX on Intel? Divine. As my good friend Dan puts it, never touch an application if it’s flying the PPC colors.
  • Integrated iSight: It’s a shame the original iSight, in all its industrial style, looks archaic in comparison. I’m sorry iSight, I’ve left you for a smaller, lighter, and more willing camera which has agreed to come with me wherever I go without making me look like a super geek at the cafe.
  • Glossy 13″ widescreen: I don’t care what others say about you glossy. Although rumors are true that you do outshine the matte screens of yesteryear, your clarity and brightness is something the previous iBooks or Powerbooks could never match.
  • User friendly: User replaceable – and not to mention easy – memory and hardrives [without risk of voiding your warranty].

Aside from being one of the best hardware configurations that I have had running Windows XP Pro, the number of high notes to glorify are too many to itemize. Yes, I did the unspeakable. I dual boot Windows. Not because I necessarily need or want to, but because I can. I now have a reason to grin in front of Microsoft employees on the way home. “Oh damn, I need to run Office – which runs like ass molasses on OSX Intel – so I better boot into *gasp* Windows XP.”

Discuss - 14 Comments

  1. William says:

    I’m thinking about buying the Macbook Pro for college this coming fall. I have 2 concerns that I hope you’ll be able to shed some insight on:

    1. Any heat problems? What about the whine or moo?
    2. The release date of the Merom processors? Do you think I should wait for this before I buy a Macbook Pro, even though I might have to go a few weeks at college without a laptop?

  2. Derek says:

    [quote comment=”1724″]1. Any heat problems? What about the whine or moo?
    2. The release date of the Merom processors? Do you think I should wait for this before I buy a Macbook Pro, even though I might have to go a few weeks at college without a laptop?[/quote]

    I have yet to hear any sort of whining or misc noises that were initially reported by early adopters. As far as heat issues, I can say that the laptop does get warm.. But I wouldn’t go so far as to call it hot. I actually haven’t heard the fans kick in yet so I’m not entirely sure whether I’ve pushed the computer to its limits enough to reult in scorching temperatures. I think those that do report “overheating” exaggerate the matter. Any laptop will get warm. My IBM used to get “scorching” hot anytime I was working with it on my lap or on top of my bed. It’s just a matter of providing ample air flow. I don’t think we would
    have such happy Apple users who have had their computers for as long as they have if the machines weren’t built solidly.

    As far as the Merom question and waiting is concerned, I think the age old question “should I wait for something better?” is something that any Apple customer is familier with. If your’e going to doubt your purchase, wait. If you’re going to accept that fact that what you’ll get at this very moment is a solid / well built workstation, by all means, jump on board.

  3. Eli says:

    Speaking of MacBooks, this little hack is genius.

  4. Derek says:

    There are a number of “novelty” uses for the MacBook(s). Have you caught wind of the MacSaber? There has to be something wrong about swinging your laptop around like a light-saber (motion sensor or not).

  5. Anshul says:

    William: I bought the Macbook Pro for college just a few days ago and I was on windows previously. Till now from what I have experienced is that the laptop does heat but not to the point that it can burn u. The whine is sometimes there and sometimes not. These 2 issues were exagerrated a lot on the internet. Go ahead and buy it. Its quite nice.

  6. William says:

    Anshul: Thanks for the hands-on observations.

    It looks like 1) the problems are exaggerated, 2) Apple is quietly fixing the problems, or 3) a combination of both.

    I think I’ll wait for August or September for Apple to work the kinks out and possible for the Merom processor to make its way into the MBP. This works because my college starts later than others, in September.

  7. Tommy says:

    I’m considering buying a Macbook. What’s the battery and wifi reception on it like?

  8. Derek says:

    [quote comment=”1861″]I’m considering buying a Macbook. What’s the battery and wifi reception on it like?[/quote]

    Battery life averages about 4.5 hours with medium screen brightness, airport, and Bluetooth. The estimated time jumps up to well over 5.5 – 6 hours with the display turned down.

    As far as Wifi reception, it out “detects” a G4 1.3 iBook when placed in the same room. I actually have KisMAC loaded and often find 5-7 more networks when compared to the iBook in the same vicinity. Maybe the MacBooks antenna is stealing the signal *shrugz*.

  9. Tommy says:

    Wooooo, etc then. Hopefully I’ll be able to persuade my dad to buy it pretty soon. I doubt I can live on Windows XP much longer.

  10. Zeta says:

    The increased WiFi level is due to the new placement and design on the antenna. The iBooks have a metal wire around the screen, built into the frame. While the Macbook and the Pro, have a similar set up, but with a different wire material, and enhanced bluetooth to boot, the WiFi is more than tripled (in most cases).

  11. Derek says:

    I’m not sure about Wifi detection being tripled. I know for a fact that it takes longer for the Airport utility to lock on to a signal for me. Here’s hoping the 10.4.7 update fixes that.

  12. Zeta says:

    Well, in “theory” the signal should have been more than doubled. Maybe tripled was to much. Another thing that I wanted to comment last time, but I had to call someone to double check myself. They use a different chip in the air port card. Not the master chip, but a sub-chip that deals with power and intensity of the signal. Wifi cards are only allowed to let out and take in a certain amount of waves, due to the FCC. But apple found a new chip manufacture, that allow more control over both tasks. This would “help” in the battery consumption when he wifi card is on. I among other nerds, tell people to turn off there wifi card when not online for it can save power, but this new chip is suppose to allow you to leave it on all the time and never see a difference. I have personally not had a chance to test this, i don’t doubt it, but i also doubt count on it…. if that makes any scene…

  13. Derek says:

    [quote comment=”3713″]this new chip is suppose to allow you to leave it on all the time and never see a difference.[/quote]

    Not sure about that one. Regardless, I’ll leave my Airport off if I know I’m not using it. It will actively sweep for a signal at intervals which in my book equates to unnecessary battery consumption.

  14. Zeta says:

    This may be true, but doesn’t the hard drive make surface checks even when its not running user applications, and the system is idle. this is a function that ALL OS do, its built into a protocol that makes the hard ware make sure that every thing is still were it left it. And it just doesn’t stop at the hard drive, the CD drive, RAM, VRAM, track pad, keyboard, so on… they all do a miner but necessary system check. In fact, just a simple check from a CD drive with NO CD in it, uses more energy than an Airport conducting a quick scan.