May 2006
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Month May 2006

How Hot is the MacBook?

After computer has been on for three hours, while streaming iTunes music, and working in Pages, terminal, Firefox, and other apps. I will measure different parts of the MacBook with an infrared gun. I think the results are good. (specs: 2.0ghz core duo, 2gb ram, 80gb drive)

Yes I misspelled acceptable, I made this video in about five minutes.

http://youtube.com/v/Mfj9WuKZF-I

MacBook (nonpro) has been announced!

macbooks So on my previous post, MacBook (non-pro) to Arrive in 30–60 days (my tech spec. requests), I made some “demands” on what I want in a MacBook. Well lets see what they did “right” and “wrong”, how’d it compare to my requests, and lastly will I buy one?

Pros

  • New look! Now they both come in white and black. The white MacBook’s keyboard and hand rest are a nicer gray then on the iBook. The iBook had an ugly off-white/grayish color that I hated. Its also thinner now at only 1.08in (27.5mm) thick which is a ¼ inch smaller than the iBook. Changes to the keyboard allow for a firmer more tactile response, make the keys flush with the body of the macbook, and also the keys do not touch the screen.
  • Addition of MagSafe adapter, FrontRow with IR remote, magnetic latch for closing lid, 10/100/1000Mbps ethernet, digital audio in and out, and integrated iSight with PhotoBooth.
  • New glossy widescreen display. According to Apple it is 79% brighter than the iBook before it and has 30% more screen real estate (native 1280×800). The whole glossy thing, is said to make images/video look more saturated and blacks more black.
  • Dual Screen Support, this is a huge plus! By dual screen support, I refer to the fact that you can now “power” your laptop screen plus an external monitor with a resolution of 1920×1200. (basically up to a Apple 23-inch Cinema HD [expect a future post about how I like the Dell UltraSharp Widescreen Flat Panel Monitors better than Apple’s displays) Also this isn’t in mirroring mode. The external display you hook up can be a fully independent extended desktop. New Intel Core Duo Processors are said to be up to 5x times faster than previous iBook. The MacBook is capable of 2gb of 667mhz DDR2 RAM. 6hrs of battery life, 3.5hrs with normal usage, 2.5hrs with DVD playing/burning. User replaceable hard drives and easier to install ram slots. Heat-staked feet designed not fall off.

Cons

  • No express card slot! That sucks. I wanted a truly portable system, so I wanted to get an EVDO plan so that I can have internet everywhere. Hopefully Verizon will start uncrippling their phones, so people could use their phone as a bluetooth modem. Even better would be a EVDO USB 2.0 solution (Edit: usb modem are now readily available) or T-mobile to come out with an EVDO like service, since they don’t cripple anything.
  • Integrated graphics chip. :( Although they are more powerful than the ATI 32mb cards that were in the iBooks. But I hate to have to share my ram. The GMA950 does support core video unlike the previous iBook.
  • Superdrive doesn’t burn dual layer DVDs.
  • Only two USB ports, and one firewire 400 (not that big of a surprise or deal)
  • Black model cost $150 more ($200-$50 [60GB to 80GB HD]) as far as I can tell theirs no difference between the two beside the hard drive being 20GB large which is worth $50. (I don’t want the Black anyways)
  • Still not ultra-portable, like some of the Sony Vaios, but I don’t mind that much because the Macbook and the iBook before it have a much sturdier shell then the Vaios.
  • Glossy Screen may suck for office environments due to reflections on the display. My concern is that if images look more saturated and blacks look more black, then will it be harder to make accurate prints? From what I heard this can be true. (MacCast podcast 5-17-06)
  • Magnetic Latch cons: Depending on the strength of the magnet you’ll have to be careful not to place Cds and DVDs, near this area. (Notice that the Cd drive spits the CD/DVD out of right of the MacBook.) In the user manual for the MacBook Pro it does caution users: “The MacBook Pro power adapter port contains a magnet that can erase data on a credit card, iPod, or other device. To preserve your data, keep these and other magnetic media away from the power adapter port.” I assume will see a similar warning in the MacBook manual.
  • Apple states that the MacBook will run hotter than its predecessor. They even have tips page for customers worried about damage due to heat. p106 MacBook Pro Manual: “Do not leave the bottom of your MacBook Pro in contact with your lap or any surface of your body for extended periods. Prolonged contact with your body could cause discomfort and potentially a burn”

Comparison

Here is Apple’s comparison between all of their current notebooks. And here is some guys comparison between the late iBook model and the new Macbooks.

I’m going to compare it to my previous post, in which I said I want an dedicated graphics card, 1280×768 min screen resolution, and a EVDO slot. Well I did get my screen resolution which was an |absolute| must, I would never buy a laptop with a 1024×768 screen. The integrated graphics is a bummer, but it has done well in tests, and reviews. The lack of an express card slot is a bit disappointing, but with bluetooth and usb 2.0 I’ll find a work around. So, did I make the purchase? Yes I did. I got the white model MacBook with 2.0 ghz Core Duo, and upgraded the hard drive to 80gb and added iWork ’06, mini-dvi to DVI adapter, mini-dvi to VGA/S-Video Adapter, and of coarse apple care. I did get an educational discount from Apple on my purchase since I’m a student which saved me in total $201. I also add 2GB of RAM, not through the Apple store though. That would have cost me $450. Instead I bought it from transintl for $209. I should be receiving my MacBook April 26. I paid for 2-3 day shipping, and they are going to take 5 days to ship it. :( (1-5 days my ass) When it comes in I take some hi-res shots of it and post them. Why not black, you may ask? Personally I don’t like the way it looks, I prefer white, and I don’t want to see every single figure print, and I’m not going to pay $150 extra for simple black, maybe I would for aluminum or something else nifty, but not black. (I’m not saying it sucks, its just not for me.) Since this will be my 1st Mac I will be posting info about the process. Also I’m planning a video podcast that may debut toward the end of July.

Reviews

Mooshi Sae

Newly adopted cat, still deciding if we are going to keep her, it depends if she likes our other cats. Posted by Picasa