Houston Chronicle reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook: sturdy, glossy, and alluring

Last week, Apple “unveiled its new MacBook and MacBook Pro models. I bought a black MacBook in early 2007, and suddenly my machine’s not the current model,” Dwight Silverman reports for The Houston Chronicle. “I love my MacBook dearly, but the new one is alluring. Is it compelling enough to make me want to shell out for a the latest and greatest?”

Apple’s new aluminum unibody construction “makes the notebook more rigid and, thus, sturdy. I never though the older MacBook didn’t feel sturdy, but the metal and the increased rigidity are noticeable in the new one,” Silverman reports.

Silverman reports, “The 13.3-inch screen is a backlit LED bordered by a black bezel, both of which sit behind a plate of glossy glass. The look is similar to the design of Apple’s iMac desktop. The LED is brighter than the older display on my MacBook, and the glossy surface heightens the contrast. I like this look, but not everyone will. Apple no longer offers the alternative – a matte display surface – on its MacBook Pro line, so it’s glossy or nothing. Some users are distracted by reflections and glare on glossy displays, but this one is so bright that it overpowers most visual distractions.”

MacDailyNews Note: You can easily make a glossy screen matte, but you simply cannot make a matte screen glossy. Apple MacBook, iMac screens too glossy? Apply inexpensive non-glare film – November 05, 2007

Silverman continues, “The MacBook is also notable for some of the things it’s missing. Gone from beneath the trackpad is the single click button. Now, the entire trackpad is the button.”

“Another thing that’s missing is not so welcome: There’s now no longer a Firewire port on the machine. Apple maintains that it’s not really needed on consumer-level machines, because USB 2.0 is now the primary way that consumer level hard drives and video cameras connect to computers,” Silverman reports. “But that doesn’t take into account the fact that there are a lot of Firewire camcorders out there, and folks who want a new Mac for video editing are either going to have get a new camera or buy the more expensive MacBook Pro, which still has Firewire.”

Full article here.


  1. When you can get refurbed MBPs for $1349, I just don’t see what the issue is. Get a refurbed MBP if you need Firewire, it’s just as cheap as getting a new Macbook, and it’s got a faster chip, a faster GPU, an Expresscard slot, a DVI out, a FW400 and a FW800 port. What’s the problem?

  2. Those of you who don’t need FW, please respect the people who do.
    Those who like the glossy screens, please respect those who don’t.

    I am a pro at a startup studio. We can only afford an iMac right now – MacPro coming soon (yippee!!). I have to sit in the dark to mitigate the effects of the wretched glossy screen or I have horrible reflections on images I am trying to retouch.
    We’re not talking about readability of text or how web pages render, I mean dark areas of a wedding photo, it simply won’t cut it.
    The machine itself is fantastic, and in the dark the screen is a delight – I love it – just not in daylight.

    I’ve shot in 110 and -30 degree weather, I’m no pussy. Glossy doesn’t work for me and Apple gives me no choice now.
    Now we know the new ‘pro’ displays are glossy only – no option, I’ll just buy a nice juicy 30″ and make do.
    Same goes for the MBP. I’ll just get an older one.
    No biggie.

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