First Post! my review of the 2.0 ghz Macbook (DETAILED)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jjohnson87, May 19, 2006.

  1. jjohnson87 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    #1
    Hi...i have been a long time follower of these boards this first time I have made a post. I am a High school senior who is going to uni next year to be an english major, for my graduation present I was given 2000$ for a laptop. I was waiting to buy a mbp ever since it was announced until the mb was released this week. When the specs were annoucned my mind changed instantly. Not having played a game in over three years the intergrated graphics didnt bother me. The prospect of saving over 700$ for a more portable machine with comprable specs and better battery life is what sold me on the mb. On to the review. The macbook being reviewed is the stock 2.0 ghz white macbook with 512 ram 60 gb ect

    I have had the macbook since it came out tuesday and have been using it quite a bit since than. To start off and address what most people are worried about; my machine gets fairly hot. That being said I have not once found it to be unbearable or much warmer than my brothers dell laptop or the ibook g4s we use in school. I spent 7 hours with it on my lap and was never burned or even uncomfortable. While power using this machine naked is out of the question most of us with non defective machines should be fine. The speed so far is great everyhing running intel native is extreamly responsive and "snappy." The other night I typed up a 24 page paper (due the last day of senior year....my teacher has a funny sense of irony) in word and it is not the bullish experience many expect. It is not as fast as it will be but even with the stock 512 mb of ram both word and powerpoint are extreamly useable. I cant comment on excel because spreadsheets and math are the work of satan lol. Bit Torrent has ran well in rosetta. The iLife apps are great. While the ram so far has limited how many apps i can run at once a ram upgrade will take care of that and make this a firebreathing mini beast.(BTW I know it has been said a thousand times but save your money and install the ram yourself. The process is so simple a monkey could do it.) The display is a sight to be seen, this is subjective but I feel the glossy screen was a great addition. While most of my work n the machine has come in dark rooms even in moderetly lighted rooms the glare has not been a huge deterent, and this sucker is bright. This also is subjective but so far I feel the keyboard is amazing. I have medium to smallish hands and so far this is one of if not my favorite keyboard i have ever used. The buttons are well spaced and responsive. The wider track pad with the additional right click features put to shame most other laptops track pads. I cant comment on battery life yet because for the most part I have mostly used it indoors plugged in. I know with normal useage (browsing, word, itunes, ect) the estimate is slightly over three hours. Wireless reception is great, the mb still picks up a strong signal in my garage which is currently a recording studio which is about 60 feet away from the router. I had some trouble watching a 1080p hd trailer with h.264 but I think that was mostly because I had four other apps open and the 512 mb of memory. The frame rate averaged at about 19 fps. The speakers are clear but not loud, out of a 13in laptop this is to be expected. As far as sound issues besides normal hd, fan, and optical drive sounds this thing is perfectly silent. After four days so far not a single whine, buzz, clang, moo, chirp, or wail.

    I know another pressing question is "If I am a student should I go MB or MbP." Honestly, unless you are a serious gamer (which in case you are on the wrong platform) or are in serious need of apeture, FCP, Motion, ect the mb is more than you need. Thats not to say those apps wont run but if you are a professional or are a power user of those programs the mbp is the way to go. Instead of spending 2200+ for the mbp 2.0 model maxed out with memory and hd I will be upgrading my machine myself for an equal machine for my and most others needs for a much lower price. With the extra money I am going to be pimping out my dorm with a 20in display, eyetv 250,
    and a decent sized external drive for a price in the range of the maxed out mbp. Also, paying the extra money for the black model seems ludicris to me. I used both in the apple store the day of purchase and found the white not only to be a better value but a more attractive machine. Who would want to blend in with the thousands of windows notebooks when you can have an more orginal looking machine for a better price. Sorry if this seems overly long or meticulous but us english majors tend to do that :) I hope I answered most of the pressing questions and gave a good impression of what using the machine is like, if there are anymore questions please ask and I will answer them to the best of my ability. Thanks to anyone who reads this I look forward to becoming and active of member of this community.
     
  2. dwsolberg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    #2
    I have a couple of questions. First, let us know when you find out more about battery life (number of hours, screen brightness, and what you were doing). Also, I'd like to get a sense of how sturdy it is.
     
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #3
    Nice review but it lacks some paragraph formatting. Some headers would have helped too.
     
  4. jjohnson87 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 19, 2006
    #4
    From what i can tell it is very sturdy and the weight is perfect for a soild feeling laptop without feeling heavy. I havent carried it in a bag so i couldnt tell you if it easily pops open in that situation. The only program that hasnt ran well is AIM and I am almost positive that is because it is running in rosetta. I am going to be testing out the battery life in numerous situations this weekend so as soon as that is done I will post the results

    yeah I should have fixed the format I wasnt even thinking, I havent posted on a message board in years and havent ever posted anything long like that. Thanks for reminding me lol
     
  5. esaleris macrumors 6502

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    Oct 18, 2005
    #5
    Way to focus on the really petty stuff. What, you want him to make a brochure for you? As far as I see, there are 3 paragraphs of information that should take you 2-3 minutes to read. Not a big problem.
     
  6. entropy1980 macrumors regular

    entropy1980

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    May 14, 2003
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    Canyon Country, CA
    #6
    No, but he is going to be an English major. Oh the irony. :)
     
  7. jjohnson87 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 19, 2006
    #7
    woah guys lets calm down lol yeah it would have been a better review if I took the time to format everything properly and add headers. Im sure a good amount of my spelling and grammar is way off as well. But please dont judge my aptitude in what I am majoring based on something I typed out on a message board in 5 minutes at 1:00 in the morning lol.
     
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #8
    You're soon off to a University...never let time spent and the time of day be the excuse for poor formatting. You'll soon learn that the best time to write is at the time you wrote the review and your best work will most likely come out when you are more rushed. At least that seems to be the experience of numerous college grads that I know. ;)

    On that note, this is a forum and I for one thank you for the great review and could care less about the formatting. Sorry you received such a poor response right out of the hole.

    What I want to know about the whole monkey changing my ram is, do I have to make an appointment? But seriously, as far as the MBP goes, this is going to sound stupid and lame, but does the apple light up on the back? I could go to any one of the two apple stores <5 miles from me to see, but it's late and I am lazy so there you have it.

    Also, would you say it is the best laptop keyboard you've ever typed on?
     
  9. jjohnson87 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 19, 2006
    #9
    Thanks for the support lol. Trust me I hear what your saying about the
    best work comes late at night rushed lol I managed to finish a 26 page memoir from 10am-6am right before school the other day lol (which is an AP class if there is still any questions as to my ability lol) I was merely saying this late on a message board is something I didnt think would matter if I typed it without formatting but whatever haha. As for the keyboard I would say imo this is the best laptop keyboard I have used 100 percent. I am in a small minority but I worked at an apple store and we would constantly use a powerbook g4 for the register; I like this keyboard much more than the old powerbook keyboard. As for the apple logo on the back, as of right now the apple lights up on all of the notebooks, what are you are really seeing is the light comming from the lcd, so the logo will light up as bright as you have your screen set. ​
    :cool:
     
  10. Badandy macrumors 68040

    Badandy

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    Terminus
    #10
    I won't be petty at all and comment on your paragraph formatting because I don't mind, but it should be "we" english majors tend to do that. :) :cool:


    Question: Is the exterior of the Macbook (the white one you have) any different than the material that adorns the iBook G4? Do you have any comparison of build quality vs. the iBook G4, because I always felt like the built quality of the 12" Powerbook was much better, and I am hoping this "non-Pro" machine would be better than the iBook. Thanks.
     
  11. jjohnson87 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 19, 2006
    #11
    I have use ibook g4's in school quite often in for the past few years in school. So let me try to give a good idea of the differences I can remeber off the top of my head. The most noticeable thing I can think off is the plastic on the MB seems more rigid and soild than the iBook. The new magnetic latch holds the screen in much tighter than the old hinges do. The hinges of the ibooks at school were all broken after about three weeks (altough they are laptops being used at a public high school mostly unsupervised. The fact that they still run three years later is a miracle) The MB is a small amount heavier, I feel this is due to the stronger plastic but I could be wrong. I have limited experience with a 12 in powerbook, a good freind of mine has had his for a year and swears the thing is bullet-proof lol. So while I wouldnt go as far as thinking it could stop a speeding bullet I am very pleased with the build quality consdering the price and other features.

    ....and for the record from here forth I am majoring in English with a concentration in modern unformal message board jargon =)
     
  12. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

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    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #12
    2nd this, much easier on the eye and brain when its a collection of 4-5 line paragraphs.

    Good to know the MB can eat up HD movie clips with only half a GIG of RAM.
     
  13. celebrian23 macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

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    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Under the sun
    #13
    I have a question: How is the hard plastic many have complained about "hurting their wrists" as they typed? Is this only a problem if you type with your hands improperly low? I'm still trying to decide between the mbp or the macbook (if I go for the macbook I'll go for your model with 80G HDD) and this issue is actually a concern of mine.:p
     
  14. jjohnson87 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 19, 2006
    #14
    The hard plastic around the edges is noticeable if you type fairly low on the keyboard. That being said, I have noticed the plastic is there but it hasn't bothered me at all. I would recomend you go to an apple store and type for some time yourself if you fear the keyboard is going to be a big problem
     
  15. PeterKG macrumors 6502

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    May 2, 2003
    #15
    Thanks JJ for the awesome review, and the excitement you have for your new Macbook. Happy graduation!
     
  16. stefan15 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #16
    Good review.. can you elaborate/follow-up a bit on the 1080p playback? Perhaps with more apps closed? Or do you definitely feel this is a limitation brought on by having less than 1GB ram..
     
  17. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #17
    Yes, I actually muddled through the review. Still, I've written reviews as well and held off posting them. I format them to pleasing to the eye as much as the content itself.

    The new MacBook is a lot of power in that little package. It's not a gaming machine but it'll blow your socks off in iLife and in Universal applications. I have some reservations about the glossy screens. They seem to be more of a gimmick to make the MacBooks shiny. We have Dells in our offices and just having the blinds open causes massive glare on those screens.

    They handle 1080p playback smoothly even with 512 MB of RAM. (Cool too after playing it for 5 minutes.) I was getting 60-70% CPU usage divided between the cores. (30-35% each) I don't know how it'd fair having the video spanned on an external monitor though. You'll want more then 512 MB of RAM for that.
     
  18. jjohnson87 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 19, 2006
    #18
    I just tested the HD video with no other apps open and it ran perfectly smooth, im sure a ram upgrade will take care of the problem with other apps open. I ran my first battery test last night and got roughly 4 hours on a full charge while mostly using firefox, ichat, azureus, a few 1080p trailers, and about a half hour worh of garageband. The first test for etehe battery life was encouraging and there will be more to come.
     
  19. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Location:
    My Mac
    #19
    Since you have a white one, how 'bout that area in front of the keyboard that gets discolored (dirty looking) over time. Does it seem that these will do the same? You know, on each side of the trackpad?
     
  20. jjohnson87 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 19, 2006
    #20
    So far there hasnt been any signs of discoloring. The material used here seems different that what is used on the ibooks. Since I have only had it for under a week there is no way I or anyone else could say it wont get discolored over time.
     
  21. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

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    My Mac
    #21
    Thanks, that's the answer I was looking for. I know it is early in the game, but since you have experience with the iBooks, I thought you could indicate what the material was like and if it might be easier to clean. Thanks again.
     
  22. beatle888 macrumors 68000

    beatle888

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    Feb 3, 2002
    #22

    curb mad dog.

    the original poster is soon to be an english major. someones bound to comment on how well he wrote the review.

    cool you stuck up for him though.
     
  23. WabeWalker macrumors member

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    May 20, 2006
    #23
    You say that you're off to university in the Fall to study English?

    Maybe they'll teach you about something called a paragraph.
     
  24. ModestPenguin macrumors 6502

    ModestPenguin

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Location:
    OKC
    #24
    1. awesome review

    2. people need to stop whining about formatting, jesus it's not that bad:mad:

    3. I'm gonna pick one of these puppies up around the first of the month, your article convinced me.:D

    4. Where are you going, in the way of college?
     
  25. Max on Macs macrumors 6502

    Max on Macs

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    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    #25
    This is too true. You'll always find your best work comes when done at the end of the year with months of fooling around getting pissed and being done very quickly an late at night. This always works better than working as we are advised to with me and my mates.

    As for people complaining about the way you type stuff, ignore them. Most of the stuff I post on forums is really badly formatted, spelt and with bad grammar, although I try to do a good job ofit.

    u sd c me in cht rms tho

    Edit: Great review, btw... After commenting on those two things I forgot about the thread's purpose :)
     

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