In 2006, Apple, The makers of the Mac introduced the Macbook line to replace the weak ibook series. Ibooks were fully capable computers, but did not come very close to the Powerbook in performance. This changed with the introduction of the Macbook line. While the insides typically mimicked the Macbook Pro, this most recent model takes that to a whole new level.
- 13.3 inch LED screen
- HD display
- 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
- NVIDIA Geforce 320M
- 250 GB, upgradeable to 500 GB
- 2 GB RAM, upgradeable to 4 GB
- 10 Hour battery life
- 1.08 inches thick
- 4.7 pounds
Just looking at the Macbook is like owning a piece of art. Its all white design is very minimalistic, and for the most part, universally aesthetically pleasing. I would have no problem toting this around, and neither would my little sister or someone like my father; we rarely have the same taste. Apple not only simplified the casing, but the ports too. While a typical laptop has a large DVI or VGA port along with HDMI, the Macbook has a mini display port instead. The mini display port can easily connect to any of those ports on external displays with adapters.
Apple decided to do away with a firewire port, which Apple effectively created for use with large files such as HD movies. Apple also opted out of including an audio in port. Both of these ports are important for certain interests such as video and audio editing. If I was doing either of these things, chances are I would be working off the 15 or 17 inch Macbook Pro. Yet, this can be worked around using the USB ports, most cameras these days can plug into different kind of ports. Less is more. With fewer ports, there are fewer inputs for the motherboard to deal with, so speeds will be higher.
At 4.7 pounds, this is heavier than most 13 inch laptops. The difference is this has a full speed processor, not one of the low voltage processors. Paired with a desktop level graphics card, massive battery, and DVD burner, this is the size of compact laptop, with the power to play the newest games. This current version is almost twice as fast as its predecessor.
Appleâ€™s new move to integrate the battery inside the case has been the most controversial move in this new line. Apple decided to put in a larger battery, too large to be removable, and it would disrupt the unibody design. The only problem with this is that a trained Apple technician is needed to open the case and replace the battery if in a year or two the battery loses its power retention.
I downloaded the most recent episode of Royal Pains from the iTunes store in HD. I had to adjust the screen because of the glare caused by the glass covering but this was the only issue. There are films that you can buy to counter glare if this really becomes an issue. Watching it on the Macbook looked fantastic, and the Macbook has some of the best sounding speakers on the market.
Of course the Macbook has the same keyboard, trackpad, and webcam as every Mac laptop. The Mac trackpad is the best designed trackpad of any laptop on the market. It has the largest, with the most controls, and the most responsive. After using a Mac, it is difficult to use PCs with their tiny trackpads. The button is built under the entire trackpad, so clicking anywhere on the trackpad will work. It responds to right or left clicking, and scrolling down pages if you drag two fingers down it. The keyboard is a simple design, with the keys raised to make typing easier.
In the end what makes this computer a Mac is the operating system. Macs just work. My Titanium Powerbook from 8 years ago still works, even though all the ports have been used so much they have been worn out. The included iLife software is just so much more powerful and easier to use than any software that is included with and Microsoft computer.
This is a great computer. This is a computer that anyone including my Mom and hi-tech Dad would love to use on a daily basis. It does everything you need a computer to do, and looks great doing it. This machine will be more than enough for 95% of the users out there. Personally, I prefer my Macbook Pro because of its Matte screen and more powerful graphics card. The matte screen is much easier for photo and video editing, but I also would have no problem working from the Macbook. There are very few differences between the Macbook Pro and the Macbook. So unless you need a firewire port, Matte screen, or more than 4 GB of RAM, this computer is for you.
Michael Blumreich is a contributor for the aptly named laptop review site, LaptopReviews.com. He's currently a university student and lover of all things tech.