PC World: Hands on with Apple’s new black MacBook running Mac OS X and Windows

“Well, that was fast. This morning, I woke up and learned that Apple had indeed released the MacBook, an Intel-based 13.3″ widescreen notebook which replaces both its iBook and the 12-inch PowerBook. Tonight, I’m using one–and thanks to Boot Camp, it’s running Windows XP as well as Mac OS X. … I’m using the $1499 black version,” Harry McCracken reports for PC World. “I haven’t had enough time with the machine to give any definitive verdict on it, but so far I’m having a really good time. The black MacBook isn’t the most feature-rich model in Apple’s new Intel-based laptop line, but it’s probably the coolest…which makes it one of the coolest laptops on the market, period.”

“A bit of background: For a couple of years now, I’ve been a Windows person when I’ve been sitting at a desk (my work and home desktops run Windows most of the time, with the odd excursion into Linux) and a Mac person everywhere else (my primary notebook has been a 12-inch Apple PowerBook). Being biplatform works remarkably well most of the time, but there are moments–especially when you work for a publication called PC World–when you’ve just got to work in Windows. I’ve used Microsoft’s Virtual PC emulator on the PowerBook to run Windows applications, but while Virtual PC is surprisingly servicable, you’re never going to mistake it for a real Windows computer,” McCracken reports. “Apple’s Boot Camp gives me what I want: one computer that can run both operating systems.”

Apple’s new MacBook “does pack a lot of stuff: that glossy, bright display, a 2.0-GHz Intel Core Duo CPU, 512MB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive with shock protection, a (single-layer) DVD burner, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, FireWire, a built-in iSight Webcam, and a remote that lets you sit back and use the Front Row media software. About the only thing that seems like a signficant cost-saving measure is the use of integrated graphics rather than a discrete adapter; so far, though, the MacBook seems snappy in both OS X and Windows, without the lag time that integrated graphics sometimes inflict,” McCracken reports. “At first blush, the keyboard looks weird–I had flashbacks to the one on Texas Instruments’ ancient 99/4. The keys aren’t sculpted, and there’s what looks like a lot of space between them, but so far, the keyboard doesn’t feel weird in the least.”

More in the full review here.

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Related articles:
Analyst: Apple’s new MacBook costs a bit more than iBook, but will sell strongly – May 16, 2006
Close-up Apple MacBook photos (keyboard, glossy screen, and more) – May 16, 2006
Apple debuts new 13.3-inch widescreen MacBook; replaces both iBook and 12-inch PowerBook – May 16, 2006
Analyst: Apple Macs cost less than most people think – May 16, 2006
Apple quietly boosts MacBook Pro speeds – May 16, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006

28 Comments

  1. I’m not exactly ready (or financially) ready to part with my 12″ PB just yet. Wasn’t impressed enough with the newbies. The black one seems too vaio-like for me.

    12″ PB: May she rest in peace. Please steve, make a 12″ pro!

  2. Wil, if i may add to your rules –

    2. spell “Cruise” correctly.

    back on topic – this is the laptop i’ve been waiting for. i’m somewhat bummed about the gma950 instead of, say, a radeon x1300, but for everything that isn’t doom 3 or quake 4, it should be just fine.

    it’ll make a fine replacement for my 900mhz g3 ibook… once i get the cash saved up. =)

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