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! 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! So, I’m creating a thread where owners can post their experiences. Comments Weight -- half-pound weight loss is definitely noticeable compared to previous MacBook. 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. 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: CHOOSE “SYSTEM PREFERENCES...” FROM APPLE MENU CLICK ON “COLOR” CLICK ON “OPEN PROFILE” SCROLL DOWN TO ITEM #13 AND CLICK ON IT AND YOU WILL SEE THE SCREEN BELOW: THE “MODEL” NUMBER CONTAINS THESE CODES: 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! 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. [*]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%. Accessories 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. 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. Hard disk -- These two hard-disk upgrades make most sense: Hitachi Travelstar 7K320 (320GB/7200rpm) or Samsung Spinpoint HM500LI (500GB/5400rpm). UPDATE: ACCORDING TO THIS THREAD, A 320GB 7200RPM STILL ACCESSES INFORMATION FASTER THAN A 500GB DRIVE. THE LATTER CAN ALSO INTRODUCE VIBRATION AND HIGHER BATTERY DRAIN. FOR 2.4GHZ OWNERS IT MAY NOT MAKE SENSE TO UPGRADE HARD DRIVES UNTIL SECOND-GENERATION 500GB DRIVES ARRIVE. FUJITSU AND HITACHI HAVE JUST ANNOUNCED 9MM, 500GB DRIVES WITH HARDWARD ENCRYPTION. DEFINITELY WORTH THE WAIT. Bags -- To protect your lappy you need a bag. Be.ez just introduced the LAbesace CLASSIC. Reviews 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. 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. 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.