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Portables (Apple) Apple

Hands-On With the New MacBooks 128

Posted by timothy
from the nice-look-see dept.
Paige Philuer writes "Macworld has a hands-on article examining the new MacBook and MacBook Pro — not a quickie look from Tuesday's event, but a lengthy, in-depth look with laptops they actually have in their offices. Some interesting observations: No FireWire on the MacBook; the TrackPad doesn't feel like you're running your finger across a pane of glass, though that's what it is; and switching between graphics cards in the MacBook Pro requires you to log out." Reader Bourbon contributes three links at CNET related to the new models, too: a positive written review (giving a score of 8/10 to the new MacBook), a video review, and a behind-the-scenes look at how the new models are machined.
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Hands-On With the New MacBooks

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  • by dancingmad (128588) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:14PM (#25391057)

    I'm a huge Mac fan (I'm typing this on an older MacBook Pro), but man, I really think these new laptops are ugly as sin. I really prefer the look of previous model MacBooks and MacBook Pros, though when the Air came out it was probably inevitable that the other laptops would follow its lead.

    • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:28PM (#25391283) Homepage

      The black border isn't that great imho, but it's ok. Same for keys I guess.

      But new macbook vs old one? Definitly. Way better than plastic.

      • by MojoStan (776183) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @12:04AM (#25394859)

        But new macbook vs old one? Definitly. Way better than plastic.

        Way better than the white plastic MacBook, which looks like a tacky toy IMO. OTOH, I think the black plastic looks pretty good.

        I must be the only one who thinks Apple's white plastic products (iBook, iPod, iMac, MacBook) look lame. I like Apple's current move away from white plastic and toward uncolored (MacBook, iMac) and colored (iPod nano) aluminum.

        • by quadrox (1174915)
          You are NOT alone. I have hated these white plastic toy things they produced forever. Nobody ever agreed with me before though.

          Personally I think the new look is an improvement, at the very least over the white ones, as you said.
      • by DarkVader (121278)

        Except for the lack of FireWire, and the glossy screen, the MacBooks are ok. I know, the MacBooks already only came with a glossy screen, but that's fixable (and still is, as soon as somebody comes out with an anti-glare film for the new ones). And if I have to change one because it's cracked, I offer my customers an anti-glare replacement third party panel.

        The FireWire issue is a killer for me, I've got a MacBook now (black) but when it's time to replace it, I have no choice, I have to get the MacBook Pr

        • by aliquis (678370)

          I want an external firewire case for a 3.5" HDD simply because it's faster but I find them hard to come by compared to USB ones. I wonder if Apple have convinced themselves that USB 2 is just as good or almost as good or why they choose to remove it.

          Maybe they just think it's simpler with less ports?

          Yeah, I know the Macbooks had an opening for the HDD but not the Pros. Rather weird. I'll open mine up some day anyway.

          • by TheBig1 (966884)
            The last generation pros don't have a 'customer accessible' hard drive... that being said, it's not too technically difficult to change, although it is definitely not for the faint of heart. You need to remove lots of tiny screws, the keyboard, etc. I don't know about the new solid aluminum ones, but I won't be buying one of those for quite some time, if at all (I have just about convinced myself to buy non-Apple next time, due to a number of factors).

            Cheers
            • by aliquis (678370)

              Yeah, I've seen the guides, just haven't done it because I wanted to send this one in for warranty stuff before. But things made it so that year has passed so I'll see what happens.

              There are lots of good reasons to not buy Apple, such as incredible overpriced, crippled configurations, vendor lockin. So I understand you :)

    • by Jerry Rivers (881171) * on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @06:29PM (#25392215)

      You're not the only one. I personally think these look pretty tacky, especially compared the sleek/slick, classy look of the previous model MBP.

      In two years these will look like even uglier, like that K-car your stuffy old man used to drive. Of course by then all the others notebook manufacturers will have copied the design and nobody will notice that they all look cheesy.

    • by tyrione (134248)

      I'm a huge Mac fan (I'm typing this on an older MacBook Pro), but man, I really think these new laptops are ugly as sin. I really prefer the look of previous model MacBooks and MacBook Pros, though when the Air came out it was probably inevitable that the other laptops would follow its lead.

      I never figured Jobs for a closet Raiders fan.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      Yeah...might be something to do that they look much more like any generic, shiny laptop on the market.

    • Yup, one of the other manufacturers (Asus?) makes laptops with a shiny black border around the screen - I've seen a few around campus - and so they manage to look both ugly and derivative at the same time. Not a good combination. I'm also totally unimpressed by the Mini DisplayPort. My old PowerBook had a DVI port and an S-Video port, with an S-Video to composite adaptor in the box. My newer MBP has a DVI port and they charge for a DVI to S-Video / Composite adaptor. Now they are charging for both DVI

    • by clara777 (1388895)
      I'm curious who would have been responsible for the shift in this direction, industrial design-wise. I wonder what Jon Ive is thinking.
  • Brightness (Score:5, Interesting)

    by victim (30647) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:16PM (#25391083)

    Great! The displays are bright.
    How about dim? Can they be dim too? My 24" iMac is painfully bright to use in a dark room at its lowest backlight setting. Some people resort to software that puts a neutral gray, transparent window over the whole screen just to keep the pain down at the expense of color resolution. I keep sunglasses by the computer so I can see to work on late night emergency calls while my eyes adapt to the light.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by von_rick (944421)
      Bright displays might be a necessity, given the glossy screens. Though I'm not quite sure if bright back light can offset reflection of bright objects.
      • by RichiH (749257)
        If anything, glossy displays let _more_ light through. And offsetting reflections is not a concern when you are in a dark room.
    • Re:Brightness (Score:5, Informative)

      by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @06:13PM (#25391997)

      The LED backlights seem to dim better than the old fluorescent ones did. My not-quite-latest-generation-now MBP with LED backlight works just fine in a dark room and goes nice and bright for a non-dark room.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You guys are missing the whole point of getting a Mac. You guys haven't remodeled your room to match the design aesthetic of these babies? The plans should incorporate matching multi-mode "daylight"/"nighttime"/"coffee-shop ambience" lighting schemes. And they should all be controllable via keyboard, because only the keyboard knows how much light you will need at that time when you lift the lid.

    • Re:Brightness (Score:5, Informative)

      by CODiNE (27417) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:22PM (#25393685) Homepage

      It's not a real solution but holding control option command and 8 inverts the color making the screen a negative. Works well at night when you want to keep the light level down.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        That's a neat trick...can't wait till the next time I stop by an Apple store... (wonder how long it'll take the geniuses there to fix it)
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          Hold down control and scroll up with the mouse. This zooms in. Do it just a little bit, and everything is slighly out of focus (subpixel AA doesn't work right when zoomed) and wobbles when you move the mouse. Really confusing to novice Mac users...
        • by jo_ham (604554)

          About as long as it takes them to hit the key to switch it back!

          The inverted screen colours thing has been an email circular since OS X came out, and is reported as "the mac virus!".

          I'll bet that almost all Apple stores have had calls about how to fix this "problem".

      • holding control option command and 8

        I love the way everytime a mac guru hands down advice it is in the form of a long string of keys that need to be held down. It does make me wonder if Steve Jobs is secretly an octopus...

        • by CODiNE (27417)

          You can remap them all in your system prefs btw. I prefer to just memorize the default shortcuts since they're universal (sort of like learning vi) but you could make them whatever you want.

          • It wasn't really the actual key combination I was referencing but the way that when asked how to do something by a novice, mac users invariably answer with something like "oh that's easy just press Alt-Command-Shift-X". As if they can't believe that someone wouldn't have stumbled across it on their own!
            • by goodmanj (234846)

              You're right about us Mac geeks, but it's got nothing to do with Macs, and everything to do with nerd macho. Linux folks will say "oh that's easy just do "perl -ne 's/\s/-/g; print;'", same for any operating system.

        • by NateTech (50881)

          You must be a pretty poor Windows user then, since most of the interesting things on Windows are also done with multi-keystroke "commands".

          First thing to do with any OS... sit down and figure out how NOT to take your hands off the keyboard... if you're going for maximum efficiency and getting shit done.

          • Off the top of my head I can't think of any Windows keyboard commands that require more than two keys, apart from Ctrl-Alt-Del and you really shouldn't need that very often.

            My point wasn't to put down keyboard commands, they can be very useful when you get used to them. My point was that OSX (and OS9 before it) seems to be based around keyboard shortcuts that require 3,4 or even 5 keys, and that experienced Mac users reel these off to new users as if they are a perfectly natural way for a casual user to ope

            • by NateTech (50881)

              Nah, all this stuff is available through menus on the Mac, just like Windows... it's just easier to type (and teach) the keyboard shortcut.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by kliklik (322798)

      There's a great tool called Nocturne [blacktree.com], you should check it out.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I guess that's so when the first one de-laminates you have a backup. *Bah-dum-bump*

    Actually it's pretty cool to have both high- and low-power options. Too bad they can't switch on the fly. But since the GeForce 9600M GT can do CUDA, maybe you could use it as a compute accelerator while you use the 9400 for display.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:27PM (#25391261)
    The Lenovo laptops running Vista with two graphics cards can switch completely on the fly. It's a bit disappointing that Apple, with full control over everything, couldn't manage the same. See http://lenovoblogs.com/insidethebox/?p=154 [lenovoblogs.com].
    • The third-party patch will be out within a month ;-)

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by p0tat03 (985078)

      That's the difference between Windows and OS X. On Windows (XP anyways, not too sure about the new graphics architecture in Vista) all GUI drawing is handled directly by the CPU. So switching the GPU would just entail having to redraw everything all over again, something that the OS can push through fairly easily.

      On MacOS X though, every single window, every little widget you see is directly tied into OpenGL (hence the purty animations without killing your CPU)... it's a bit more involved, since each app is

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Complete nonsense, GDI graphics are hardware accelerated on Windows XP and lower.

        http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms794599.aspx

        On Windows Vista GDI is CPU drawn, but composition etc. is done via the 3D engine, hardware accelerated. I believe Windows Presentation/Graphics Foundation is also hardware accelerated on Windows Vista.

        A lot of stuff on OS X used to be CPU drawn, but this was improved in OS X 10.3 and 10.4.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Watching the video, the Mac guys talk about all of the innovations that have gone into making the computer friendly to the environment. But the aluminum machining looks like a pretty energy intensive and wasteful process. Does anyone know if this is a true observation, relative to the process used to make other laptops?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by icegreentea (974342)
      The flip side is that an aluminum body is completely recyclable. Also, 'waste' aluminum from milling can just get recycled right off the bat. If you look at the carbon footprint for just making one plastic and one metal laptop, the plastic will probably win. But if you look at the carbon footprint of a plastic laptop and its 3 plastic replacements, and a metal laptop and its three metal replacements, the metal ones just might do better.

      Yes, I am aware that the metal from one laptop will not directly go into
  • The Canadian price for the low-end used to be $1250, now it's $1400. Whatever happened to the maxim that computers get faster & cheaper over time?

    Then there's connectivity. One of the mixed blessings of apple is their place on the avant-guard of computer ports; sometimes they're annoying (proprietary video), sometimes not (usb on iMac). All I know is that there's no hope of using an external monitor without shelling out an Elizabeth for an adapter. That, and the newfound lack of firewire (and thus targe

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      CAD:USD exchange rate isn't as favorable as it used to be. They priced aggressively before, and with the rate change they have to re-price. Won't be good for ROW sales in a recession...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Our dollar slipped 20% (rather, the US dollar recovered 20%). That makes the difference.

      CIV 4? Should work great on the integrated graphics. I'm pretty sure I've run it on my mini.

      The integrated graphics is only slow compared to a cutting edge dedicated board. CIV 4 is a few years old.

      • by Nyeerrmm (940927)
        I'm not so sure about Civ IV. It's barely usable on my Macbook Air, which has the same integrated graphics. Of course, it could be that the slower CPU really does it in; I also haven't retried it with CoolBook, so it may be hitting a core shutdown issue.
    • Actually .. more like used to be $1350 for the midrange macbook (the better white one) I know - I just picked one up on Saturday (silly me, didn't know of the pending model refresh ... meh) The entry model was $1095 (I think ..) So ........ Its only a jump of $50
      • by chebucto (992517)

        You're right... I just checked my (two week old) price list and it was $1350 for the mid range model. $1150 for the low end.

    • Low end price (Score:3, Informative)

      by AlpineR (32307)

      I've been checking out the MacBooks to console my sister who I advised to buy a white MacBook two weeks ago (d'oh!). I can't speak for the Canadian dollar, but in USD there's been a branching among MacBook models.

      Before there were two: a $1049 model with 1 GB memory, etc and a $1299 model with 2 GB memory, etc. Both were white plastic. If you go to the store now there are two aluminum versions: a $1299 model with 2 GB memory, etc and a $1599 model also with 2 GB memory plus a 90 GB larger drive and a 2.4

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by chebucto (992517)

        I fracked the price up, but I was right about the increase - at least for the mid and high end ones!

        Before, the Canadian prices were $1149, $1349 and $1549. Now, the prices are $1149, $1399 and $1749. The current lowest-end one is the same as the old lowest-end one, except the former combodrive been upgraded to a superdrive. The mid- and high- end ones are the new models. So, it's not as bad as I said, but the trend is definitely upwards.

    • by el_munkie (145510)

      Civ 4 works fine on my May 2007-era Macbook. I'm not sure what revision it is, but it has integrated graphics, the 2Ghz Core 2 Duo, and a gig of RAM. I imagine it'd work fine on a new machine.

  • Everyone is saying, Look! it is easy to remove the hardrive! Yeah!

    This is stupid. I think the most insane thing about any laptop is easy harddrive removal. It screams of a manufacturer that is going to save money using defective harddrives since they will be so easy to replace. Even if they go up in smoke after a year, the user will be able to replaced it.

    Here is why I think this is a bad philosophy. First, the hard drive is where my data is stored. Even with a backup, I want to know that when I t

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hiding the memory? What? It seems like its also a user serviceable part. It's not quite as easy to get to as the hard drive, but its still on the under side of the computer. You just unscrew it and bam, there it is.

      Here's a picture:

      http://images.macworld.com/images/news/graphics/136063-inside-top-door_original.jpg

    • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @06:18PM (#25392071)

      Maybe they designed it for people who want to cross the US border a lot?

    • by catch23 (97972) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @06:27PM (#25392201)

      One doesn't only replace the hard drive due to failure. The last time I replaced my laptop hard drive was when I discovered I needed more room and didn't want to carry around another drive. I'm guessing most people upgrade their laptop drives for this reason.

      • by p0tat03 (985078)

        On Apple laptops you do :) My MacBook Pro has had a failed hard drive (barely a year old), and out of the other Mac users I know there have been at least 5 other HDD failures. I don't know what causes it, maybe Apple uses shoddy parts, maybe it's bad thermal design... But Apple HDDs seem to die more often than the rest.

        • FWIW, I've been an Apple user for 10 or 12 years (on my sixth overall, fourth laptop), and I've never had a hard drive fail. Nobody I know has, either, although several were bitten by the infamous logic board problem in the old iBooks (which I managed to evade somehow). I've had to have my Macbook palm rest panel replaced due to cracking--that's it, out of all of my Macs over the years.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jophiel04 (1341463)
      You should take a gander at the user manual for the new MacBooks, as the RAM is user replaceable. http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacBook_13inch_Aluminum_Late2008.pdf [apple.com] As for your rant about the hard drive, this is a great move.

      Do you realize what the most likely component on any given laptop to fail is? Setting aside occasional bad crops of GPUs, logic boards, the most likely component in a laptop to fail is the hard drive. Making replacing that simpler and easier is a great idea. In addition, a
    • by jo_ham (604554)

      The 12" Powerbook is one of the most jam-packed packages that I've ever seen, and is not user serviceable, for sure, but I've done a few HD replacements in various 12" PB's and a new Superdrive in one. You just have to keep track of the screws and use the Apple service manual to track which seemingly strange piece you need to remove next. I think they designed the internals with a spoon and a comedy foam hand.

      These laptops though, have the two most commonly replaced items within a few easy-to-remove philli

    • by merreborn (853723)

      This is stupid. I think the most insane thing about any laptop is easy harddrive removal. It screams of a manufacturer that is going to save money using defective harddrives since they will be so easy to replace.

      Or, you know, they're aware that harddrives follow the moore's law curve closely, and users frequently want to upgrade them.

      I replaced the harddrive in my macbook, not because the old one failed, but because I just couldn't stand working with only 80 gig of space on a dual-booting machine anymore.

    • by gutter (27465)

      The latch is locked when the kensington cable is in. I don't remember where I read this, but I'm 100% positive.

      • by MojoStan (776183) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @12:48AM (#25395227)

        The latch is locked when the kensington cable is in. I don't remember where I read this, but I'm 100% positive.

        Just to make other readers 100% HIV positive, here's one place I read this: "Hands on with the Macbook/Pro's removable hard drive" [arstechnica.com].

        From TA:

        • "First, the battery cover is now removed with a latch instead of the old rotational lock that required a coin to turn. Secondly, the Kensington lock port, when activated, will also lock this latch and keep anyone from stealing your battery, and more importantly your removable hard drive."

        I'm surprised anyone would complain about an easy-to-replace hard drive on a Mac. Some current and previous model Macs make it a pain in the arse to replace the hard drive.

    • And what is it about hiding the memory. Apple must be really hard up for money if they are going to hid memory in hopes that users will buy Apple memory. There is only one thing that is still over priced at Apple. The memory. I will do without rather than pay apple prices. Non replaceable battery and memory in the macbook air, fine. No SD slot in the iPhone, fine. But making the HD a user replaceable part and the memory not, that is just silly.

      You're being generous. Apple has been making lots of really bad

      • by rtechie (244489) *

        It's like with the latest iMac revision when they went to a junk-quality screen - Apple's always had high margins, but you used to get a great computer for your money.

        iMacs have always been a lousy value proposition. Saving 2 cables (1 power and monitor) costs you $500-800 when you buy a iMac. The built-in displays have ALWAYS been inferior to inexpensive standaone displays. That was true at launch. The innovation of the iMac wasn't a cheap COMPUTER, it was a cheap APPLE COMPUTER. There were all-in-ones available for years (with better specs and cheaper) before the iMac was introduced. People weren't buying.

        • iMacs have always been a lousy value proposition. Saving 2 cables (1 power and monitor) costs you $500-800 when you buy a iMac.

          How do you figure? The better mini with the larger hard drive and keyboard/mouse is $950. The iMac is $1200. That's $250 for the screen (and a bit higher clock) from where I'm looking.

          The built-in displays have ALWAYS been inferior to inexpensive standaone displays.

          How do you figure that? The iMac G4 was among the first digital LCD panels on the consumer market (all the cheap on

          • by rtechie (244489) *

            How do you figure? The better mini with the larger hard drive and keyboard/mouse is $950. The iMac is $1200. That's $250 for the screen (and a bit higher clock) from where I'm looking.

            Minis are built using cast-off components from the laptop lines. iMacs are actual desktops with actual desktop components. Perversely, you're paying a premium for the laptop components in the mini even though it's marketed as a desktop. And anyway, you're still paying $250. Nearly double the cost of an equivalent stand-alone monitor.

    • by M-RES (653754)
      Actually, up until yesterday I would have agreed with you about Apple's RAM pricing 100%. I'm in the market for a new laptop - the G4 PBook is about 5 years old now. So yesterday I had a look at the Apple Store. Checked the new MBP and had a look at how much it would cost to upgrade the RAM from 2Gb to 4Gb when I buy - 100 GBP. I did my usual comparison check on crucial's website, and rather than the half-price I'd normally expect them to be charging, they have a 4Gb kit for 96 GBP. Only 4 quid cheaper t
  • Firewire (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bladx (816461) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:53PM (#25391691)
    Wish the low end still had Firewire, though.
    Even if you get the new display that can fit along with the new MacBooks... it has three USB ports in the back yet no Firewire!

    I wonder if it's a power issue...
    • Power issue or not, the lack of FireWire now officially makes the portable consumer-level Mac incompatible with the standard DV camera interface. I guess Steve really is pushing those memory-card HD cameras.

      • > I guess Steve really is pushing those memory-card HD cameras.

        Nope. Steve figures if you can afford a camera with a firewire port you will spring for the MBP. You might piss and moan but in the end you will pull out the credit card. It's all about the money.

        • by log0n (18224)

          Not really.. firewire/DV has been fading over the last few years for consumer products. Flash/tapeless/USB transfer is pretty standard now in the consumer world. Old stuff won't really be useful, but Apple has never been about holding on to the old longer than necessary.

          (fwiw i own mbp and am pro cam operator)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by pizzach (1011925)

          Nope. Steve figures if you can afford a camera with a firewire port you will spring for the MBP. You might piss and moan but in the end you will pull out the credit card. It's all about the money.

          I think it's a general sign of Firewire disappearing from general consumer products. The first major sign that I noticed was the lack of easy backwards compatibility between Firewire 800 and Firewire 400. Now the port is disappearing from Apple computers too.

          I wonder if Target Disk mode and such will be implemented for USB in Mac OS X? External hard drives were nice with Firewire because of how it in didn't burden the cpu like USB. But as with SCSI/ATA, chips are invented that offload the work from the

          • by M-RES (653754)
            I think you can already target disk mode with a USB port... (would have to get back to you on that though). I know you can definitely boot off a USB drive, even though officially they claim you can only boot from a FireWire - just hold down Option at boot and select the USB drive (I know, it's not automated like Firewire, but it still works), so there's a good chance they'll have allowed USB to target-disk too.
            • by pizzach (1011925)
              Thanks for the reply. It doesn't look like USB has a target disk mode from a quick google search. But it does looks like eSata will if it doesn't already [arstechnica.com]. Apple may eventually plan to phase out Firewire for eSata for hard drives. Though if they were going to start doing that it would have been nice if it had appeared on this refresh of the laptops...
          • Nope. Steve figures if you can afford a camera with a firewire port you will spring for the MBP. You might piss and moan but in the end you will pull out the credit card. It's all about the money.

            That's probably true, and its very unApple of them (disappearing the allowing the non-pro to edit video like a pro). But its a deal breaker for me on the MacBook, I want firewire. And it hurts a little because I like the dimensions of the MacBook so much more than the MBP. If they've disappeared firewire target disk mode from OS X, I'm really going to be pissed.

            I think it's a general sign of Firewire disappearing from general consumer products. The first major sign that I noticed was the lack of easy backwards compatibility between Firewire 800 and Firewire 400.

            What? dude... it doesn't get any easier [monoprice.com]

            I wonder if Target Disk mode and such will be implemented for USB in Mac OS X?

            doubtful :-(
            How would that even work? USB depends on the processor. FireWire has its own controller chip, wh

        • by EricWright (16803)

          No, actually I won't. The wife's video camera is several years old and works just fine. I really want one of the new MacBook's (not the Pro), but the lack of a firewire port kind of sucks. I'm not going to toss out another $6-700 for a port (the rest of the upgrades really don't matter to me).

          Now I don't know what I want...

          • by DinDaddy (1168147)
            I was waiting for the new MacBooks as well, as was also annoyed by no FW. Check the refurb macs on the Apple Store. You can nab 15" MBPs for $1350. FW and a real video card, for the same price as the new regular MBs. Just no new trackpad and sexy case.
  • The MacBooks, with their int-degraded graphics, were always lame, but axing Firewire 400 and not adding Firewire 800 is hella-lame. And this is coming from an "Apple Acolyte." Perhaps I need a different /. name.
    • My last two laptops have been Macs, but looking at the new lineup I seem to be in a market segment Apple doesn't cater to anymore. Looks like my next laptop is going to have to come with a painful OS switch too. Something like the OpenPandora system looks nice. Give me one of those with a dual-core Cortex A9 and HDMI out and I'll be happy.
  • MacBook Hardware (Score:5, Informative)

    by SLOviper (763177) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @07:57PM (#25393055)
    More information at ifixit.com with complete tear-aparts as usual:
    MacBook: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/First-Look/Mac/MacBook-Unibody [ifixit.com]
    Pro: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/First-Look/Mac/MacBook-Pro-Unibody [ifixit.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Here's why I've nearly given up on Slashdot (and yes I am posting as an AC because I don't give a shit). The parent is an awesome post that shows me precisely what I'm interested in: real nerd data about what the innards of these new and different machines are like. The score? +3 informative. Yet, the first post I can see that's highly rated is somebody bitching about how ugly the laptops are and is rated +4 insightful. Insightful? Give me a break! Have you even seen a thinkpad? Hello?! It's hard t

  • by mlts (1038732) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:13PM (#25393989)

    My quick comments while I'm erasing the hard disk and reinstalling it: (I always erase the HDD on all new machines to check for any SMART errors, and to know that the install is clean)

    First, the package it comes in is 20% smaller than the black MacBook's tote box. Styrofoam is a thing of the past, replacing it is plastic. Its easy to pull out the MacBook and peel off the plastic on it, easy to yank out the power adapter, but you have to use a thin piece of cardboard to pull the OS media box out as it is set flush, with no fingertip grips to make it easier. This is a very minor thing, though.

    Second, the MacOS CDs are not 10.5.0 as with the black MacBook. You get 10.5.5, and a DVD with the applications.

    Third, like every article says, if you need FireWire for mLAN or other music tasks, go for a Pro, or hit Apple Refurb for a previous model. FireWire is a thing of the past with this model. For what I'm using it for, the two USB ports are good.

    Fourth, its noticably thinner than the MacBook it replaced. Its not thin enough to slide into an envelope, but its definitely able to be slipped in a briefcase. Its definitely a nice student notebook for sling through classes.

    Fifth, I personally have not noticed any significant changes to the screen between the previous generation, but I'm glad Apple went this route, because LEDs supposedly have a much longer life than the CCFL backlights.

    Those are my first impressions for now, while I blank the disk on it. Overall, for what I need it for (slinging it around campus) it should do the job well.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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