Mossberg reviews Apple’s new MacBook: I like it a lot; a terrific choice for consumers and students

“According to the sales-research organization NPD Group, the midrange model of [Apple’s] MacBook has been the single best-selling laptop of any brand in U.S. retail stores for the past five months,” Walt Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal. “So, when Apple completely revamped the design of the MacBook last week, it was a big deal, not only for Mac die-hards, but for anyone shopping for an everyday laptop.”

Mossberg reports, “I’ve been testing the base model of the new MacBook for the past five days, and I like it a lot, despite a few downsides. I found this new MacBook to be speedy, solid, innovative, and comfortable to use, with very good battery life.”

“The new model sports a sturdy aluminum case, instead of the old plastic one, and looks gorgeous,” Mossberg reports.

“Like all current Macs, the new MacBooks come with Apple’s Leopard operating system, which I consider superior to Windows. But the new MacBooks can run Windows as well,” Mossberg reports.

“Apple’s new MacBook is a terrific choice for consumers and students, if you can handle the $1,299 price,” Mossberg concludes.

Full review – recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Citymark” for the heads up.]


  1. wouldn’t a video editor ( pro ) buy a macbook pro ?

    although i DO agree leaving out firewire is pretty daft

    i’ve got several hard disk backups and they’re all firewire based , so that’s me stuffed

  2. A professional editor would probably purchase a MBpro, but millions of other people love to put together a little movie of the kid’s birthday party. That is the promise of iMovie and it is a great little program that can produce excellent results for ordinary people.

    Too bad that Apple didn’t think that the tens of millions of people who already own DV cameras were important enough to include as potential customers for the MacBook. With one bad decision about firewire, Steve Jobs eliminated tens of millions of potential customers.

    It was a bad decision and the MacBook sales will show that.

    Not to mention the fallout when the ordinary people who have a brand new thousand dollar video camera realize that their brand new MacBook cannot be used to edit their videos.

  3. Mossberg downside – ‘Glossy screen’.


    Hi, I’m a Glossy screen.

    Hi, I’m a Matte screen

    Matte: ‘Hey what you got there Glossy?’

    Glossy: (large beat box on his shoulder, nodding to hip-hop track) ‘It’s my new sound system Matte

    Matte: ‘Hmmmm, nice’
    Glossy: (proudly) ‘Yep, they’ve decided to apply the same idea used for my super-clear screen to my sound.’

    Matte: (looks curious) ‘Oh, I see.’

    Glossy: ‘Yes, Matte… hear those deep driving drums, those sharp vocals and…
    (Glossy turns slightly and a crackly-sounding Bob Dylan song plays on top of the hip-hop track)

    Matte: ‘Hey, what was that?’

    Glossy: (slightly guiltily) ‘What? – oh nothing’
    (turns slightly again and a tinny Beethoven’s 5th replaces Bob Dylan as interference)

    Matte: ‘THAT – every time you turn… I hear, like, other music in the background.’

    Glossy: ‘Oh that. Just ignore it Matte and concentrate on those deep driving drums, those…”

    Matte: (bemused) ‘…but Glossy, isn’t the idea that I can just listen to what I want to?’

    Glossy: (tilts box upwards slightly and cacophony of different music tracks are heard).
    It’s all about ‘choice’ Matte, you see… we like to give our customers ‘choice’.

    (Matte dances of to screen left with the cacophony still playing. Matte turns to camera and shrugs ironically).

  4. IANACB but I want to edit my home videos.

    I can’t do that with the new MacBook. I can do it with my Windows machine. (a Dell)

    I would like to switch to an Apple laptop, but I do not wish to spend $2500 on a MacBook Pro. Mostly I like to make videos with my Sony PD100 video camera.

    I will therefore stay with my Dell laptop and make videos. Maybe I’ll look at a new iMac when they come out. Maybe not. I really want a laptop but I don’t want to pay two thousand plus dollars!

  5. Perhaps Walt is pre-Parkinsons, which would account for his problems using the trackpad. Walt seemed to overlook the fact that previous higher end models of the MacBook started at $1299, the same price as the new MacBook. I would have liked for him to place more emphasis on the new graphics chipset in the new models. This is not a model that will lure those bargain shoppers that use price as the only consideration in their purchase. WalMart will still be their referred vendor.

  6. If you’re serious, you could get a much better laptop from Apple than that crappy Dell. It’s the $999 white MacBook WITH Firewire. The technology is still better than that in the Dell, and it will certainly fit your budget. It even looks nicer–much nicer–than the Dell. What’s that? You’re just a whining troll? Oh. Thought so.

  7. It’s not worth arguing about it for the hundredth time, but readers of these comments should be aware that “Old Guy with a Beard” is almost completely WRONG about everything he says.

    He’s probably got a lot of FireWire equipment and can’t afford to buy the Pro and so he’s rightly upset about it. Unfortunately, he is taking his upset and using it to fuel some seriously inaccurate hate-fantasies on the Internet.

    It’s kind of fitting actually because if he is “Old Guy with a Beard” he is halfway to being a troll already. I say we pitch in and buy him the red troll hat.

  8. Hmmmm,
    Second guessers. Go to the store and play with the new MacBook for five minutes. . . . It will come very close to owning your soul.
    I’ve never liked or wanted a laptop. . . . I want one of these. From the solid feel, to the bright, beautiful screen, to the incredible track pad, . . . I’m sold. Just try the three-finger swipe to scroll back and forth through browser pages or a photo album.

    It’s giving me shivers!

  9. Great new Mac, that MacBook. EXCEPT for the lack of FireWire, which is a stupid thing to have left off for so many reasons (go see the Apple Discussion Forums if you want to see hundreds of postings with relevant details. That is, if Apple hasn’t deleted them already).

    Leaving off a port which must cost about $10 to put in is just crazy. Is would have been worth it to have left it in for all the negative publicity that has been the result of leaving it out.

  10. My response to Apple feedback:

    Why not leave some yourself?

    I DON’T BELIEVE APPLE LISTEN TO THEIR CUSTOMERS but I’m writing now because I’m so upset, disappointed and shocked at the loss of the functionality that Firewire gave use, that I can’t let this moment go without response.

    The breathtaking arrogance of removing such an important legacy interface means that I can no longer trust Apple to provide me with tools I need to keep working.

    As I don’t trust Apple — and trust is the ONE thing companies can’t afford to destroy; I just don’t feel safe relying on Apple computers any more.

    12 years of evangelical Mac use and promotion — through the dark ages of OS 7.6 and the uncertainties of OS X 10.1 to now; a numb, cold sense that Apple DON’T ASK, DON’T LISTEN and DON’T CARE.

    There’s a party going on at Apple, the music’s pounding and the cash is rolling in but the musicians, photographers, videographers and creatives who have shown the world how useful and flexible the Mac is have had the door slammed in their faces. For what; a $7 port on the side of a laptop?
    It makes no sense, so what faith can there be that Apple won’t make just as arrogant and senseless a decision in the future.

    The Mac’s market share is rising; Apple won’t miss me at all, in the head long rush to join the Apple party. I know plenty of people, savvy in both PC and Apple worlds who wouldn’t give up their PC, it’s flexibility and hardware choice, for the world.
    They’re not stupid or frightened people, in fact they are empowered and aware enough to deal with the complexities of Windows which have frightened away so many of the feeble, into the arms of Apple.

    The reward for coping with that complexity is the opportunity to buy whatever hardware they need to get the job done. No enslavement to One voice, One power,
    One supplier.
    I must say I’m daunted at the prospect but I know I won’t be the only one who has to face it.

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