Personal Computer World review: Apple MacBook

“Mac fans have been waiting a long time for this. The new Macbook is the long-overdue replacement for Apple’s aging iBook laptops,” Cliff Joseph writes for Personal Computer World. “The recently released Macbook Pro was the first Apple laptop to make the switch to Intel’s Core Duo processor, but with prices starting at £1,400 the Macbook Pro is very much a top-of-the-range option. This non-Pro version of the Macbook is the mainstream model aimed at the iPod-owning mass-market audience. There are three models, all equipped with a 13.3in widescreen display and measuring just 1in thick, 12.7in wide and 8.9in deep.”

“One detail that has attracted a lot of attention is the glossy coating on the screen – a number of PC laptops have similar screens. While they’re great for watching DVD films, the reflective surface of the screen can become quite annoying when performing more mundane tasks such as word processing. The glossy surface acts like a mirror and seeing your own reflection in the screen can be something of a distraction,” Joseph writes. “To combat this, Apple has added an anti-reflective coating to the Macbook’s screen, and this does reduce the mirror effect quite significantly.”

“The Core Duo processor represents a real step forward for Apple. It claims this processor is 4-5 times faster than the iBook’s old G4 processor. Of course, overall system performance relies on other factors as well, such as the graphics card and hard disk, but the Macbooks still clock in at 50-100 per cent faster than the iBook when running applications such as Apple’s iMovie video-editing software. The one weakness is Apple’s choice of a low-cost integrated Intel GMA950 graphics chip. This is perfectly fine for video work or 2D graphics, but it’s really not up to much when running 3D games,” Joseph reports. “Mac users are typically more interested in music, digital photography and video work, and for that sort of software the Macbook is ideal – especially with all the free audio and video software that Apple includes with all Macs. There’s nothing revolutionary about the Macbook, but it does give Apple’s laptop range a much-needed shot in the arm. And, of course, it’s got the gorgeous design that is traditionally associated with Apple products.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s nothing revolutionary about the MacBook? Compared to Apple products, maybe; compared to any other PC assemblers’ stufff, MacBook is revolutionary. Apple’s MacBook runs a modern state-of-the-art operating system, Mac OS X. It also runs any other OS you can throw at it, even inferior ones, thanks to Boot Camp and Parallels. All other PC laptop competitors are stuck with the several-year-old Windows XP. If you’re “lucky,” you get a “Vista-ready” sticker glued to a hideous laptop case that, when closed, could double for a bathroom scale. Have an ugly wait until next year (supposedly) for Microsoft’s kludge Windows Vista that will attempt to deliver some lesser percentage of Apple’s Mac OS X which we’ve been enjoying for years. Virtually anyone in the market for a notebook computer today would be vastly better off with an Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro. Period.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Amazon offers US$100 and $150 rebates on Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro models – May 22, 2006
Ars Technica reviews Apple MacBook – May 19, 2006
iTWire’s Beer: My next notebook is an Apple MacBook – May 18, 2006
Analyst: MacBooks are best consumer notebooks Apple has created, sure to be big winners – May 18, 2006
Analysts expect Apple’s new MacBook to drive market share gains in near future – May 17, 2006
Apple’s new MacBooks are mobile HDTV media centers – May 17, 2006
Apple MacBook dissection photos – May 17, 2006
PC World: Hands on with Apple’s new black MacBook running Mac OS X and Windows – May 17, 2006
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

26 Comments

  1. A friend of mine from Ireland has bought a new MacBook Pro and has no idea how to use it. He just got it because another friend and I have G4 PowerBooks.

    The Irish chap works in Sri Lanka and I am In Afghanistan and the other chap is in Iraq. Soooo we are both trying to give him the OS tips and experience via emails and a few Apple URL’s.

    Like feeding strawberries to pigs. I might ask if I can swap my G5 for the Duo????

  2. “MacDailyNews Take: There’s nothing revolutionary about the MacBook?”

    There is nothing revolutionary about the MacBook.
    Same chip and innards as any Windows notebook.
    How old is OSX now? That´s not new.

    In fact, it has been quite a while since Apple brought out anything new and revolutionary.

  3. J,
    The piece you quoted was quite true, when it was originally written. If you had read the article that it was referring to, you would have realized that the complaint was about the lack of software that had been written in the new universal binary format at the time.

  4. Running OS X is NOT “Revolutionary” – Macs have been doing it for years and the occasional PC has been doing it for … months? Quite a lot of PCs have been running an “Advanced Operating System” – Linux, various sorts of Unix – for years, though few ship with such installed.

    The MacBook is Evolutionary, which isn’t half bad when you are talking about a Mac. No need to froth at the mouth because a review was merely positive rather than gushing. We NEED people to look at Macs and say nice things, maybe noticing where things could obviously be nicer. How else will Apple know if they are doing good things that help us or interesting things that don’t matter a damn?

    As for the Irish lad in Sri Lanka … must be tough. I’m just back from a trip across the state to support my 90-year-old mother and her G4 iBook. It turns out the ISP changed the phone number on her and … she hadn’t a clue. Someone nearby is spewing WiFi about and Mom’s dial-up could be one, sometimes two, bars of ‘borrowed’ bandwidth … but she can’t remember how to get connected! (Power up, say “yes”) … what can I say? She’s the only one in her crowd with an email account!

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