Washington Post: Apple MacBook leaves iBook in the dust

“Apple’s new MacBook ranks as one of the company’s most anticipated laptops ever,” Rob Pegoraro reports for The Washington Post. “In general, the MacBook represents a tremendous advance over the iBook that it replaces. It starts at $1,099, $100 more than its predecessor, but is barely heavier (the review model loaned by Apple weighed 5.14 pounds) and offers a wider, brighter, glossier screen (13.3 inches across). Its most important feature lies inside, a 1.83 or 2 GHz Intel Core Duo processor.”

“Like the Intel-based iMac, Mac mini and MacBook Pro, the MacBook rips through software revised for these new processors — including the bundled Mac OS X 10.4 operating system and iLife ’06 multimedia suite, plus a growing number of third-party applications,” Pegoraro reports. “And the MacBook can run Windows itself. You can employ Microsoft’s operating system inside Mac OS X using the pre-release version of Parallels Workstation, an upcoming, $80 release from Herndon-based Parallels ( http://www.parallels.com ), or you can download Apple’s free Boot Camp software ( http://www.apple.com/bootcamp ) to add a completely separate, faster copy of Windows XP that can be booted instead of OS X each time you start the MacBook. Either way, buying the MacBook — or any other Intel-based Mac — means never having to say ‘I’m sorry, I can’t run this program on my computer.'”

“The MacBook provides only two USB ports, lacks a memory-card reader or PC Card expansion slot and even leaves out a modem. That last feature could be deal-breaker; if you ever must use dial-up, your only option is a $49 external model sold by Apple,” Pegoraro reports.

MacDailyNews Note: How is it a “deal-breaker,” when you can simply toss the $49 Apple USB modem in your backback?

Pegoraro continues, “The review unit repeatedly lost the wireless signal of an Apple AirPort Extreme WiFi access point, even while Windows laptops in the same room stayed online. MacBook users have posted similar complaints in Apple’s discussion forums. Weirdly enough, this problem didn’t emerge when I rebooted the MacBook into Windows — which suggests that Apple should be able to fix it by updating the MacBook’s software… Glitches such as the MacBook’s erratic WiFi reception and almost painfully hot surfaces undercut that appeal. Apple has taught its users to expect better, and it ought to be able to deliver as much before long.”

Full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: Surprisingly harsh, but a fair-enough review by Pegoraro. We do think the MacBook is a much better machine than the overall impression of it that Pegoraro leaves his readers – and so do most other reviewers. Please see the related articles below.

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Related articles:
Mossberg: Apple’s new MacBook surprisingly inexpensive, offers vastly superior Mac OS X – June 08, 2006
Time Magazine on Apple’s 13-inch MacBook: ‘Dell and HP should be very worried’ – June 07, 2006
Thurrott: Look at Apple’s MacBook and ‘you might just find your perfect notebook’ – May 31, 2006
CNET writer won’t buy Apple MacBook because it lacks 2nd mouse button (uh, two-finger right-click?) – May 30, 2006
Personal Computer World review: Apple MacBook – May 22, 2006
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
Apple’s new MacBooks are mobile HDTV media centers – May 17, 2006
Analysts expect Apple’s new MacBook to drive market share gains in near future – 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
Mossberg: Apple’s MacBook Pro gives users a ‘much better OS with vastly better built-in software’ – March 02, 2006

62 Comments

  1. I replaced my 12″ Powerbook with a Macbook. I noticed enough of an improvement in the WiFi antennae on the Macbook that I was able to get rid of my second Airport Express repeater and take that with me on trips. Also, my Macbook is much cooler than my 867 Powerbook.

    Did I just get lucky? I LOVE this thing!

  2. What percentage of users choose glacially slow dial-up versus high-speed access (wireless, DSL, cable, and satellite)? This is like complaining that the MacBook has a design deficiency because it lacks a floppy drive.

    Even when I worked in rural Alaska north of the Arctic Circle I had 24/7 high-speed access.

  3. I am planning on getting a MacBook or a MacBook Pro as soon as someone comes up with an alternative to Folio Views.
    I’m still using this old classic app because there seems to be no other software that can handle the extremely large text files that folio is designed to handle. Logos says they are working on one, and it was supposed to be out in January ’06 then they pushed it back to June ’06. Now they say it won’t be out till late fall or winter.

  4. Regarding the “scorching hot surfaces.” I’ve actually found my BlackBook to much cooler than I was expecting. There was so much bad press about how hot it was going to be my expectations were pretty high. When it’s running off the battery and the cpu is slowed down a little, it’s not any hotter than the 12″ powerbook was.

    But one big improvement is that the heat in the macbook is no longer localized under your left wrist. The heat seems more to come from under the keyboard somewhere. Which means that no matter how hot the machine gets, if it’s sitting on a table top you’re not likely to notice. And your palms always have a comfortable cool place to rest.

    I’m not sure what all the complaints are about. The MacBook rulez. It’s fricken boss.

    MW forces. Hmm.

  5. meatofmoose wrote: “What percentage of users choose glacially slow dial-up versus high-speed access (wireless, DSL, cable, and satellite)? … Even when I worked in rural Alaska north of the Arctic Circle I had 24/7 high-speed access.”

    To which I respond with the following (numbers from last year):

    “When you look at pure numbers, the current U.S. population of 296 million translates into about 200 million Internet users, and 69 million — or 35 percent — with access to broadband.”
    http://pda.physorg.com/lofi-news-broadband-internet-not_5386.html

    So blow it out your ass, you egocentric jerk.

  6. Great computer but despite the most advanced operation system on the planet, ooodddles and googles of integrated apps that would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars …. a beautiful interface … solid construction …virus free .. etc … etc… etc… etc… etc…

    I think I must pass on all that because there is no outdated modem included …..

    My logic is impeccable …. and I am for ever and always …. your PC idiot..

  7. MDN: “How is it a “deal-breaker,” when you can simply toss the $49 Apple USB modem in your backback?”

    Because you’ve just raised the price of your computer by 4.5 percent to give it functionality that everyone else includes, plus have to deal with a dongle hanging of the machine?

  8. meatofmoose, you are an idiot.

    hundreds of thousands of people in the United States don’t have access to broadband internet and are forced to ‘dial-up’. This is no fault of their own, but rather the location of their home.

  9. MDN: “How is it a “deal-breaker,” when you can simply toss the $49 Apple USB modem in your backback?”

    Because it’s a hassle to need to have a seperate device to use when you’re not in a place that offers broadband, or if you simply want to send or receive faxes. Especially when most other notebook manufacturers include a modem.

    Besides that, over 50% of users in the US still use dial-up access according to most reports- “hiding” the cost of the additional modem (Look! A new MacBook for only $1099! Uh, wait, if I want to dial up to my service provider, it’s actually $1148).

    It’s especially ironic since OS X has built-in faxing capabilty, but the notebook has no built-in way to send or receive faxes…

  10. Hey people that 50% of users still using dial-up aren’t buying new $1000 laptops. There using hand me down PCs running Windows98. I personally know of no-one uaing dial-up with a new machine.

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