Review(s): Aluminum Macbook

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

  1. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I haven't seen a thread where all reviews and first impressions are congregated in the same place (like usually happens), so I will post my initial review and impressions and invite anyone else who want to to post theirs as well.

    I got the 2.4GHz model w/ 2GB RAM and 250GB hard drive, as well as the backlit keyboard.

    Looks: SEXY. I was VERY skeptical after looking at all the pictures, but had my mind changed instantly. The footprint looks the same, but it is significantly thinner. The rounded edges add to the perception of thinness as well, but it is indeed thinner.

    Screen: Gorgeous. Bright and evenly lit. With the glass covering if you accidentally poke the screen the colors do not distort because you aren't actually touching the LCD. It is thin thin thin, and I would say this is what makes up for most of the difference between the plastic model and this one.

    Keyboard: Nice. Its the classic chiclet style which, after owning both a MB and MBP, I prefer over the contiguous keys. Again, that part is personal preference. The keys are quiet and provide a nice "pushy" feel (I don't know howelse to describe it). The backlighting is even and bright. There is a "leak" around the edge of each keys, but that's just the nature of the beast, and doesn't, in my opinion, detract from the appearance. The ambient light sensor is next the the iSight camera (on the left facing the notebook open). Also, the keys feel as if they have some kind of coating on them that is different from the previous MB and even the Air's keys.

    Trackpad: Cool. I love having all the real estate, and the new four finger gestures are very very useful (already like second nature and I'm 5 hours in :)) The clicking will take a bit getting used to for me. I am used to slamming my thumb down on the button and, while that click perfectly every time, it feels different. The button becomes more difficult to click the further up you get, so accidental clicking shouldn't be an issue. The texture is amazing. It does not feel like glass, but is silky smooth. The sensitivity is spot on (for me) and the trackpad now has its own section in the system preferences (which makes sense, there is a lot to set now). For right-clicking, you can specify one of the bottom corners (left or right) or you can set the "two finger click". With the two finger option, just press down with two fingers, or tap with two fingers, anywhere on the trackpad to right-click. Very easy to use.

    "Unibody enclosure": Sturdy. I held the notebook in my hand and tried to gently flex it; no give whatsoever. Feels strong and durable. The edges around the wrist rest could get annoying if you hang over the sides, but then again, so were the previous macbooks. ;)

    Accessibility of components: The battery and hard drive are located directly under the bottom beneath the door. You don't need a coin to open the door anymore, it is self contained. You only need to remove one screw to get the hard drive out, but you'll need to a torx to get the mounting screws moved to the new hard drive. To replace the RAM you now have to use 3 separate screw drivers to remove 8 different screws that will allow you to take the rest of the bottom of the notebook off. An illustration of this is on the inside of the battery cover door, and the RAM is still considered user replaceable (and is still easy as hell to do, just a little more tedious).

    I can't really say any more about it right now. I haven't put it through any paces as far at the graphics go, and can't speak to the battery life yet. However, I have been working on setting it up (transferring files over, and surfing the internet) and while warm the bottom is resting comfortably on my bare legs with no problem.

    Hopefully all stays well!!! What do all you other owners think?

    Also, questions?
  2. Palliser macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2007
  3. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    nice review. Your thoughts compared to your MBP?
  4. tMac85 macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2007
    in a great place
    i agree with everything you said. I got the 2.0 Version. I was really surprised how cool the macbook stays. I transfered file music and movies and it barely got warm.

    very happy.
  5. gabe90 macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2008
    thanks for posting this. Should make it easier to quickly find impressions and to post my own w/ out starting a new thread.
  6. abijnk thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I haven't had the MBP for a while now (since like last march), and the reason I got rid of it was because it was too big and a lot more bang than I needed at the time. I chose to go with the MB over the MBP this time mostly due to the graphics upgrade in the MB. I can now comfortably do the light photo editing I do (strictly hobby) on an extremely portable machine, so I'm really happy about that. Also, I like the chiclet keyboard more (although the backlight was a must for how I type). REALLY miss the matte screen.

    Also, something I left out, the speaks are great. Definitely sound better than my last macbook.
  7. BekkyNixon macrumors newbie


    May 5, 2008
    Emo Wrist Issues...

    UGH I don't want a MacBook with those AWFUL sharp edges that leave lines on my wrists! :mad: :mad: :mad:

    *sigh* The Apple site says they spent THAT MUCH time and energy on the little thumb scoop that they even looked at it under an electron-microscope.

    And yet... the sharp edge was completely ignored!?! Say it ain't so!!!
  8. ll PiStoNs ll macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2007
    The touchpad/clicking is what I hate most. When I have safar on over ichat and try and click an ichat window it is so messed up like I have to click in a few areas to get it right
    w/e i dont think mine is defective tho
  9. TwinCities Dan macrumors 603

    TwinCities Dan

    May 19, 2008
    Double Parked out front of the Courthouse
    I love the sharp edges, but then again I use correct typing form. :rolleyes:
  10. gospel9 macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2008
    Good review :)
    Give us more updates !

    I am so happy with the new MB it's got everything I wished for. Large multi touch trackpad, LED screen, MBA keyboard, aluminium iMac design, lighter weight, thinner, graphics, DDR3 ram. It's perfect!
  11. abijnk thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I completely agree. :)
  12. w00tini macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    Going from Air to MacBook...

    i just got my new MacBook fully updated and have it all updated.

    Likes: size, feels like an Air on steroids, chicklet keyboard, superdrive, ports

    Dislike: no backlit keyboard on the base model

    Hopefully I'll have a full review up in my sig soon (like the one for the Air)

    hope you're all enjoying your new MB's!
  13. MacinDoc macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2004
    The Great White North
    It should be cool; the new unibody alu case basically becomes a great big heat sink (much more so than even the old alu MBP cases because it is a solid piece).
  14. okrelayer macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2008
    I bought the MacBook Pro today, and i must say i love it!

    Coming from a MacBook i appreciate the larger screen. I am only posting in this thread to touch on the trackpads. I really like these new trackpads. I can click just as normal as i did before this. The gestures are fantastic!

    I checked out the MacBooks at the store, Those are awesome. Iv been trying to talk my "converting to air" friend to buy the new MacBook instead. Ah well.

    The displays on these new Macs are stunning. Lets all keep eachother updated on our progress with our new macs, have fun!
  15. Lurchdubious macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2008
    Nice writeup, abiyng. I love hearing good reviews after so many people have trashed the lack of FW and Matte screen. I'm not-so-patiently waiting for mine to come in the next couple days...
  16. TxMacAddict macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2008
    Some things I noticed about my new 2.4 Macbook...

    The good:

    This thing feels like a brick and I love it! I don't think I could stand to have a notebook that creaks or flexes anymore.. like the old macbook or macbook Pro.

    Aperture booted up smoking fast! Definitely a noticeable speed increase from the 2.2 Core 2 Duo w/ 667mhz Ram.

    The #1 improvement I have noticed after using this thing for about 2 hours. There is virtually no heat coming off of this thing. I am used to the Macbook Pro cooking just while surfing the internet. Very happy about this!

    The bad:

    The lcd... Blacks aren't nearly as black compared to my macbook pro w/matte screen that I sold today to buy this thing. I think my Macbook Air even had better blacks. A little disappointing.

    The screw that holds in the hard drive brace is extremely tight and will not come loose... not sure what to do. I need to put my 320GB Scorpio Black in there.

    About all I can think of for now...
  17. cshale210 macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2007
    me too...

    I have the 2.4 mb. Just got it today. Honestly, reading about what everyone has been saying about how its a bad update... seriously just go to an apple store and pick it up. It is easily one of the most well thought out pieces of technology I have ever seen. It has everything the normal user would want. The backlit keyboard it very nice, I am using it right now actually. The speed seems great (I sold my 2.4 MBP on ebay) Brightness is exceptional.

    It just feels great in my hands when its closed. Its like the goddess of computers. Not the god, the goddess.

    Personally, no firewire, yeah thats no fun I do a bit of video editing myself. But nothing to wine and moan over. If you do that much editing just go with the pro I guess. I heard you can somehow do it through ethernet, Im not sure.

    Anyway the point is, this computer got so much negative attention on this site when it first was relased (yesterday) but this was pretty much all the pro users complaining i feel. For an everyday tech lover, who wants the best looking, thinnest, lightest, put just as powerful computer. There is simply no other option.

    You will be stunned when you hold it in your hands, its better than a child.

    Edit: Also, its like cold, no heat whatsoever
  18. bidwalj macrumors 65816

    Feb 16, 2007
    coming from an air

    thus far, everything feels at home.

    the keyboard feels better than the air (more stiff)

    screen is nice and bright, just like the airs

    new trackpad feels normal as well, not much learning curve to it.

    weight feels a bit on the hefty side, anything will be compared to the air.

    All in all, liking it so far. Nice to have a quiet machine again and no heat worries.
  19. Jonnyfive macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2007
    British Columbia
  20. jade macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2003
    It's beautiful

    Typing this from my shiny new macbook. Just trading up from an ibook G4. Love it. I was running Panther so I have a ton of new goodies to enjoy. First impressions?
    1. Feels speedy (definitely over the pest 1.8 core duo Win XP Dell I use at work)
    2. The trackpad is totally intuitive. Love that I can right click without control
    3. Chiclet keyboard? It is not bad, easy enough to get used to. We'll see with more days of wear and tear
    4. The screen? Really bright! I cranked it down to like 50% and it is plenty
    5. The size and design? Awesome. I only have a 3G ipod that uses firewire so I am not too crushed. I do need to get the phantom tunes from that pod to this new book, but i'll figure that out later
    6. Like the play/pause/skip shortcuts

    The bad?
    1. My ibook was not having the migration assistant, so I haven't got my keychain or bookmarks over.
    2. My flaky airport express (well not it is confirmed, it is the airport express not my ibook) has dropped my connection a few times.
    3. Don't love the sharp edges, since I tend to work from a table not a desk. 4. There are way too many updates for such a new machine. I have 7 to run!
    5. The shortcuts for expose aren't working for me right now
    6. Sad my "start menu" application shortcut no longer work a faux start menu, the way it used to :(
    7. I liked the "traffic" light minimize, maximize buttons

    Looking forward to getting this all set up and working the way i want. :)
  21. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    How's the wifi everyone? I heard it wasn't that great…but maybe it was just a defect in one of the MacBooks.
  22. jaredtomas macrumors regular


    Aug 11, 2008
  23. TxMacAddict macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2008
    I'm picking up wi-fi much better than my Macbook Pro did. My neighbors wi-fi is coming in strong... For some reason I had to go to a specific spot in my room to get a signal with the Pro. Not anymore!!
  24. Bluekkis macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2008
    Are these new MacBooks still using same broadcom wlan chip as older ones?
  25. jade macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2003
    So far the wifi seems to be picking up the same stuff my ibook did. :)

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