~ MacBook [Aluminum] Owner's Thread

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by ubercool, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. ubercool macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    I picked up my $1,600 MacBook tonight at 7p at Stonestown Galleria store in San Francisco. It was their last one, so very lucky! :cool: Apple rep had no clue about DisplayPort cable at Stonestown, so I had to educate him and run to Stockton Street store to pick one up! :p

    So, I’m creating a thread where owners can post their experiences.

    1. Weight -- half-pound weight loss is definitely noticeable compared to previous MacBook.
    2. Chassis -- This is definitely the German ubercar of computing. A total brick, man. THERE HAVE BEEN ISOLATED REPORTS OF LOOSE-FITTING BATTERY COVER PLATES. CHECK THIS THREAD FOR MORE INFO: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=584475; or even better, watch this YouTube video. The edge of the Aluminimum MacBook is not sharp like the white MacBook, so definitely more comfortable.
    3. Display -- The LED screen is noticeably improved over last MacBook. It's nice, evenly lit, with very minor light leakage at bottom. I have no dead or stuck pixels. UPDATE: SOME USERS REPORT THAT LCD PANELS SUPPLIED BY AU OPTRONICS ARE SUPERIOR TO LG/PHILIPS PANELS. TO SEE WHICH ONE YOU HAVE, FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS:




      9C89 = LG Philips
      9C8C = AU Optronics

      Recommendation: Make sure to increase saturation by choosing television gamma in display preferences. Also, several other threads contain calibrated monitor profiles that may help.
      [*]GPU -- Another important improvement is the new Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics processor (Apple is the first company to ship a computer using the 9400M). Unlike the integrated Intel GMA X3100 graphics in the previous MacBook, the 9400M has its own graphics processing unit (GPU), providing more power than the integrated Intel chip. Like the X3100, the 9400M doesn’t have its own memory, and instead relies on main system RAM. But the Alu MacBook uses fast DDR3 SDRAM and the GPU gets 256MB of RAM, a boost from the 144MB of the X3100.
      [*]Trackpad -- Trackpad is very responsive. I love the fact that Jobs solved the two-button trackpad mouse issue, without actually using buttons! :p :p SOME PEOPLE SAY THEIR TRACKPAD IS NOT CENTERED AND HAS LESS OF A GAP ON ONE SIDE. CORRECT GAP WIDTH IS ABOUT 1MM ALL AROUND.
      [*]SuperDrive -- faster and quieter than previous generation.
      [*]Keyboard -- you will grow to like this keyboard; spaced-out keys reduce typing errors; keyboard cover plate resists accidental damage due to spilled drinks. Most importantly, blueberry muffin crumbs can't fall between the cracks. :D
      [*]Speakers -- much louder than MacBook. Finally!
      [*]Wi-Fi -- reception is very strong with Time Capsule, and rock steady.
      [*]Power -- Battery lasts about 3:30 hours at medium brightness and approximately 2:30 at maximum brightness, with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on. Keep in mind that the 45-Wh battery is smaller than the one from the original MacBook, which had a 55-Wh capacity. This partly explains the weight savings. RECHARGING BATTERY TAKES VERY LONG. TYPICALLY THREE HOURS FROM 0% TO 100%; WITH TWO HOURS REQUIRED TO GO FROM 50% TO 100%. :(

    • Memory -- The MacBook can be upgraded to a maximum of 4GB. Order yours from: Crucial or OWC.

      Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to upgrade your Alu MacBook memory:

      Place your MacBook on a padded surface, which in the pictures shown below, is a virgin copy of W Magazine. :p

      Remove the battery cover by popping the lever open and remove the battery by lifting it by its tab:


      Unscrew the eight screws with a Philips #0 screwdriver. Keep them in a safe place, so you can tell where they came from. In case you forget, the three longest screws go in the upper right-hand corner:


      Remove the bottom plate making sure to carefully detach the lever mechanism:


      Remove the existing memory modules by squeezing the two metal holders apart (more detailed instructions are in your Apple manual). Insert your two 2GB modules and make sure they’re seated correctly:


      Reassemble all the parts. This memory upgrade procedure took me exactly 23 minutes.
    • Bags -- To protect your lappy you need a bag. Be.ez just introduced the LAbesace CLASSIC.

    PC Mag: Apple MacBook 13-inch (Aluminum)
    Slashgear: Apple MacBook Review - Late 2008 Model

    Additional Information
    Apple site
    Apple support article about the MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) battery indicator lights.

    Recommended Software
    Since a lot of new MacBook owners have switched from Windows, I thought it might be handy to include a recommended software list.

    • 1Password $40 -- Auto credit-card and user name/password filler. I’m switching from Splash ID to 1Password, which definitely is very slick with a front-end program as nice as Splash ID.
    • AppDelete (shareware) -- Although the Mac is far easier to manage than Windows when it comes to installing programs, many applications do not include an uninstaller. AppDelete gets rid of all program-related files, including prefs and any other random bits.
    • Apple iWork $79 -- Numbers and Pages are excellent replacements for Excel and Word. The predesigned templates are particularly cool. Keynote is far superior to PowerPoint. But you might consider using Excel and Word for specific instances where features are not available. Numbers does not offer “Print Area” for example.
    • Adium (free) -- Integrated chat program that handles AIM, Facebook chat, GoogleTalk, MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger in one program.
    • Adobe CS4 Design Standard $1,400 ($500 upgrade) -- If you can afford it, the latest Adobe suite is much faster and refined than the previous one, but CS3 runs fine too.
    • BBEdit 9.0 $125 -- Best HTML editor for the Mac. Nothing fancy here, but very deep in features and usability.
    • Evernote (free) -- Save Web clippings or text and synch it with your iPhone. Neat!
    • Fetch $25 -- Best FTP program.
    • FileMagnet (desktop app free; iPhone $5) -- If you would like to carry MacBook files on your iPhone, use FileMagnet. I store my business plan on my iPhone, which blows people away. :p
    • Firefox (free) -- Safari is nice, but you can’t beat Firefox’ vast selection of extensions.
    • GrandTotal €50 -- Finally, a well-designed invoicing program for the Mac (there is nothing on Windows either for that matter). If you’re a consultant, you’ll love this program. I do.
    • NetNewsWire (free) -- Best RSS newsreader for the Mac.
    • Path Finder $40 -- If you crave a replacement for the Finder, to see two views side-by-side for example, or to be able to cut and past files, get Path Finder, which is loaded with features.
    • QuarkXpress 8 $800 ($300 upgrade) -- I still prefer Quark over InDesign, but that’s a personal matter. This latest version feels much better than the previous one, and crashes less too. You can get a free, two-month trial.
    • Skype (free) -- Great, and only, implementation of Skype on the Mac.
    • Smultron (shareware) -- Need to save text files that are compatible with Windows program (CR/LF)? Smultron does the job and far more too, if you’re a techie.
    • Snapz Pro X $69 -- The Pro version of screen-shot utility also captures movies of anything on-screen, which makes it highly useful for Keynote presentation artwork creation.
    • Splash ID (desktop $20/iPhone $10) -- I still use Splash ID for storing data other than user name and paswords, such as serial numbers, etc. Also, unlike 1Password, Splash ID has an iPhone version that syncs with the Mac desktop.
    • Suitcase Fusion $100 -- If you have a lot of fonts, this is the font manager to get. Version 2 offers auto-activation of fonts in Adobe CS4 and QuarkXpress 8.
    • TechTool Pro $98 -- Yes, you need to defrag your MacBook hard disk too, at least once in a while. Also, if you ever suffer a horrendous crash, TechTool Pro may be able to get your hard disk back. Definitely a lifesaver.
    • Things $50 (alpha version free until Macworld Expo; iPhone $10) -- Best to-do list manager, bar none. Highly addictive for anal people, very useful for everyone else. :D
    • VMware Fusion $80 -- Best way to run Windows on your MacBook. Version 2.0 is less demanding than the first one, which was already very good.

    Enjoy. :cool:
  2. yogamonkey macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2006
  3. jade macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2003
    So far so good. I thought the 12' PBs were pretty, these are way better looking. The speakers are great! So is the screen. Go check em out at your retailer. I'll be busy here getting used to Leopard....and installing my updates. :D
  4. ubercool thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Thanks for reminding me about the speakers! I added them to the list. :eek:
  5. ubercool thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    BTW, even though the battery is 45W vs. 55W in the original MacBook, this lappy sips gas! ;) Excellent battery life!!!! :cool:
  6. jade macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2003
    Agreed on the battery life and I haven't even done a real test. Anyway I didn't plug in when I gor my home. It was at 63% charge. I got about 2:45 before shut off. Even with transferring a 20GB of files and downloading millions of apps and updates. Wehn I got it out of the box the remaining hard drive space was 130. Now I have 90GB left :D
  7. ubercool thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    OMG! Battery life rocks! No formal test here either, it's just a comparison with my experience with both my MB and MBA.

    I didn't have time to use it much today except for playing Chess! :p But it still has 2:36 left after a partial charge!

    Also, Wi-Fi radio is very fast. It could be due to degraded system software, but it takes my MacBook forever now to find a Wi-Fi signal, the new MacBook is blazingly fast.

    Also, I TOTALLY dig the multi-touch trackpad. I love being able to change apps, with four fingers! :cool::D:)
  8. vendettabass macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2006
    Wellington, New Zealand
    also runs much quieter than my old blackbook FWIW
  9. MacsBestFriend macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2008
    upstate ny (purgatory)
    Thanks for showing how to upgrade the RAM
    iCant wait to get mine! Gonna get an Apple Sac hopfully! :D
    Edit: Thought I would share my knowledge with a review of the computer iWrote for a school assignment...

    Late 2008 Apple MacBook Review

    Although I will not own this model for another few weeks, I have read about Apple's new Aluminum MacBook around the clock from the minute of it’s announcement at a conference, in Cupertino, California on October 13, 2008.

    Apple chose to discontinue the 2.4 GHz Core2Duo White and Black MacBook, while keeping the lower-end 2.1 GHz MacBook in the line up. Whether this is overstock or not, is unknown. Apple has lowered this models price by a hundred dollars, from $1099 to $999. The 2.0 Aluminum MacBook released on the thirteenth sports a 100 MHz slower processor, but the difference is made by Apple's new integrated graphics chipset; the NVIDIA 9600M. The MacBook Pro has the same integrated chipset, but it also has a dedicated GPU, the NVIDIA 9600M GT with an option of 256 or 512MB RAM. You can choose which processor you want to use and when to substitute graphics for battery conservation and vice versa.

    The new MacBook has an aluminum enclosure that is built from Apple's new method that uses precision lasers and jets of water to cut and bend a solid piece of aluminum into the computers shell. This new method has also been used for the Apple MacBook Air. Many users of this computer say the new "Brick" method is a success because the computer feels extremely solid, with no creaking or bending when pressure is applied to the computer.

    The new trackpad on the MacBook is a great innovation made by Apple. The trackpad is made of fiber-optic glass, like used on the iPhone. The trackpad does not have the usual button you find on the bottom of the trackpad; instead the entire surface is a button. The aluminum MacBook's trackpad is also 39 percent larger than the previous model due to the loss of a button. The trackpad has the same Multitouch features found on the iPhone now. For example, a four-finger swipe on the trackpad opens Dashboard.

    OSX has great features like iChat, Apple's instant messaging client, iLife and Time Machine. iLife is Apple's multimedia suite. iLife features Garage Band, for making and editing music, iPhoto for picture editing, iMovie for editing movies and of coarse, Apple's most famous program, iTunes.

    The new MacBook does not only look great, but it is good for the environment. The MacBook uses arsenic free glass for the LCD screen and the trackpad. MacBook now also has a LED backlit display, versus the Mercury backlit screen in previous generations. Along with the fact that glass is recyclable, the MacBook's aluminum body is highly recyclable unlike the previous generation, which had a plastic body, and a long decomposing period. The MacBook is now shipped in 41% less packaging. Apple has designers only for designing the box and packaging, making it's cozy cocoon extremely beautiful. The use of less packaging means that they can ship more units per plane. The more units that are shipped per plane means that Apple doesn't have to use as many planes, thus saving fuel and the ozone layer.

    The new MacBook's new design offsets the new hefty price point well. The MacBook Pro now has many MacBook styling cues in it's redesign also. This edition of the MacBook lacks a FireWire port, but that is not a huge loss unless you are a large video editor. If you need FireWire, the MacBook Pro still has it. The MacBook has a new Mini-DVI port that is usable on all Macs, but you have to buy a new cable if you are purchasing a MacBook and you have a regular DVI cable.

    But all in all, the new Aluminum MacBook, or GlassBook, by Apple is a great all around computer for traveling and for games with it’s five hour battery life. The Bluetooth and AirPort Express cards in the MacBook make it a great computer for working wirelessly. You don’t have to worry about it flying off the table when you trip over the power cable thanks to it’s MagSafe power adapter, and hey, it’s an Apple!

    You can find out more about the
    MacBook and other great Apple products at www.Apple.com
  10. ubercool thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    I just posted this in another thread:

    BTW, I have the MB and MB Alu right here next to one another in a quiet hotel room in Austin, TX and the MacBook is at least twice as loud! :eek:

    It's that brick construction, I tell you! :p
  11. ubercool thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Anyone else notice that battery charging is taking too long? Could it be because I'm using my MacBook charger and not the one that came with it? I left it at home because I'm traveling and didn't want to carry two power bricks with me.

    Anyway, it's still showing 1:54 hours left to charge at 73%! :eek:
  12. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    I love mine, but the contrast on the MB screen leaves much to be desired. The blacks are very washed out still...looks like Apple tanked the screen to make the MBP's look that much nicer.

    This is particularly noticible when you set the desktop to Aurora or the 2/3 earth picture.

    Oh well...its like LIGHTNING compared to my 800mhz iBook. (I got the 2.0ghz model BTW)
  13. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I envy you guys, I have to wait, till the 29th to get mine (paycheck). However, it will be awesome gift for myself, just came from Lakeside Mall Apple Store and it was awesome feeling to see it in person.
  14. kurzz macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2007
    I just ordered one tonight. Yay!:D
    Now I have to install the same apps I have on my iMac. Boo! :(
  15. tMac85 macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2007
    in a great place
    i noticed this with mine too. it said 37 minutes left til charge and it was at 97%. wtf yo.

    either way i keep looking at it and thinking ....this is the best laptop i have ever had.

    my favorite part you might ask....
    the fact that i cant push the palm rests in with pressure. they support my hands! what a brick it is!!!:D
  16. ubercool thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    You will love it, congratulations! :)
    Yea, transferring everything takes a lot of time and thought. Didn't want to take the restore from Time Capsule route, because it brings a lot of apps over that I don't want. I will have to take a look at the Migration Assistant to see what it does.

    It is very solid, but the battery charging time is no slower than the regular MacBook, so not a real issue. Just wish it was faster. :rolleyes:
  17. Matsuto macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2008
    I just ordered mine in Belgium!

    so I'm switching from windows to mac os, I never tought I would do that one day!
  18. ubercool thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Gefeliciteerd/felicitations! Welcome to the MacBook Alu club! :)
  19. Bokes macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    I bought one for my wife.
    The trackpad is seated slightly off center.
    The trackpad is flush to the left and there is a slight gap on the right.
    Is this normal?
    It kinda looks like the trackpad was glued in place about a centimeter to far to the left. It's not off by much , but noticeable to an anal graphic designer.
  20. RelievedSimplet macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2008
    Just picked up a 2.4 Alu MB and have to say I absolutely love it. After just one day of running OSX, I will never look back to Windows. The experience is so much nicer and the support for all the 1-4 finger gestures is absolutely awesome. The build quality is exceptional and I love the way the screen looks. I don't know why your MB's are so loud, mine is dead silent... I can't hear a thing over the other noise that's usually present in my room. What fanspeeds are yours running at? Mine's ~1900RPM when idle. All in all I'm glad I waited it out and didn't settle for a HP laptop. With student discount, the 2.4Ghz model + Applecare was $1818.. not too bad of an increase in price when you consider the quality of the hardware, OS and the fact that if I have any problems, it's a 5 minute drive to the local Apple store, rather than shipping it out to HP and waiting 3-4 weeks for them to return it. All in all, I'm in love with my :apple::p

    My trackpad doesn't look like what you're describing... it's perfectly centered on the wrist rest area and I'd say there's about a 1mm consistent gap around the entire trackpad where it meets with the aluminum.
  21. ubercool thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Oh I hate when that happens. :( I wish you hadn't mentioned that, because now i notice that mine has the same problem. But not serious enough to bother bringing it back. At least I don't have any sloping keys, as some have mentioned.

    Take it to a genius!
  22. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    a 1mm gap is HUGE. Mine has virtually no space between the glass surface, and the aluminum case, perhaps < 1/10 of a mm at most i'd wager
  23. Bechmann macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2007
    Sold my cracked plastic MacBook last week, and just ordered my 2.4 Ghz with 4 GB ram yesterday in the Danish Apple Store. Can't wait to get it. But unfortunately my expected delivery date is November the 6th :(
  24. Ozzymandos macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2008
    Falcon, CO
    I have been using various flavors of Windows for over 12 years, and just made the switch to the 1299 Macbook last night. When I arrived back home my internet connection was down and it was too late to do anything with local support (very small town) so I just played with the software. I am very impressed with the performance so far. I am also in a deep state of admiration for iChat and Garage Band. As an old school punk rocker I have never done any digital recording, but I plan to (learn) now.

    The case is gorgeous, the LED is wonderful in both well lit and dimly lit rooms. I haven't had any problems with viewing angles.

    All in all I am very glad I made the jump. Anyone want to pick up a Dec 07 HP Gaming PC cheap? Between the new Macbook and my PS3 I can't think of a single reason I need to keep it around. ;)
  25. bbmajor macrumors newbie


    Oct 9, 2008
    I have also switched, finally! The main reason is the alumin(i)um body; I never wanted the crackbook:p 2.4 GHz with backlit keyboard! <3

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