Thinking of getting a Black MacBook? Do it.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lamina, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. lamina macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    I picked up a black MacBook today in Toronto. My lord. What a gorgeous machine. Perfect display, no dead or stuck pixels, the keyboard is flawless, the case is perfect...

    It runs totally silent and cool. I've pressed it with YouTube videos and benchmarks and whatnot, and it's stayed relatively cool throughout.

    Moving from a 17" PowerBook G4, the first thing I noticed is how fast it handles USB. REALLY, REALLY, fast. I guess it's the bus speed (800MHz vs. 133MHz).

    Anyway, I forgot to pick up the darn remote (I say Apple should include it with the laptop, but that's just me), so I had to order one from Apple. Best Buy nor Future Shop carries them, and neither does any of the Apple resellers around here! What's the deal?

    Anyway, unboxing porn, as well as me having several geekgasms:
  2. zeesa macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2008
  3. ref26 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 13, 2008
  4. Silverbird0000 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2006
    Fort Myers, FL
    Your pics are hilarious! I smell my Macs when their new too! I love that smell!
  5. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Does your PB has USB 2.0?

    If no, the reason is obvious ;) , if yes its because of the faster USB controller, not faster FSB.
  6. lamina thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    Here is my review of my MacBook:

    This is my review of the black MacBook. The specs are as follows:

    Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.4GHz
    800MHz front side bus
    250GB HDD at 5400RPM
    2GB DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz
    13.3” display

    I should first say that this machine replaces a 17” PowerBook 1.67GHz G4 with 2GB RAM, 120GB HDD, and a 133MHz front side bus.

    I picked up the MacBook at the Sherway Gardens Apple store in Toronto on March 25th at around 11:30am. My friend and I walked into the store knowing what we wanted. We had done our research and were ready to buy. When we caught the attention of a salesperson, we asked for 2 black MacBooks.

    After purchasing them, we headed home. Un-boxing pics here:

    My first impression can be summed up in 3 words: It is beautiful. This machine is gorgeous. The matte black finish makes the screen pop out and seem incredibly bright. I love the new keyboard. At first I thought the extra spacing between the keys, and the chicklet-like shape of them would be a bit annoying, but after actually using one, I wasn’t worried anymore.

    Another 3-word description is needed: It is fast. And I do mean fast. Coming from a G4, I know speed when I see it. The black MacBook boots to a useable desktop in about 35 seconds. Applications take no longer than 2 seconds to launch (cold, meaning first launch from boot-up). I encoded a full length movie from XViD to MPEG4 in less than 20 minutes. This would have taken about 2 hours plus on my PowerBook.

    I know what you’re thinking... “the speed must cause a lot of heat, right?” The bottom case did get warm during the video encoding and the fans spun up to full throttle. The hottest temperature readout I got from the processor was 80 degrees fahrenheit. That’s warm of course, but not scorching hot. It didn’t burn my skin to touch the bottom case. Another thing that should be noted is the speed at which this thing uses USB. My PowerBook would peak at about 16MB/s transferring over USB. This computer hit a bit over 30MB/s. This is a huge gain for me, because I backup my files quite often. I am yet to test the speed at which it copies to my iPod touch, which I noticed is a bit slow on my PowerBook.

    So, speed, beauty... what about weight? The MacBook line all weigh 5 pounds, or 2.25 kilograms. THis is an absolute DREAM in comparison to my 7 pound PowerBook. It’s only 2 pounds of difference, but trust me, it is very noticeable. I had my MacBook in my bag last night, and I forgot it was there. With my PowerBook, I had to almost squeeze it into my backpack at times, and I felt its huge width on my back, not to mention the weight. The MacBook is barely there at all. In fact, it doesn’t even stand tall enough to require the strap that my PowerBook did.

    I won’t go on about how awesome the MagSafe magnetic power connector is. It is awesome, but everyone already knows that. For more info on the MagSafe power connector, visit:

    So we’ve covered sight (the computer looks beautiful), feel (the keyboard is great), taste (I think everyone can conclude that this computer is delicious), smell (if you saw my un-boxing pics, you’d know what I’m talking about)... that leaves one out... what about sound? I was very worried about the speakers on this machine. I love music, and I love to hear my music the way it was intended. Of course you will likely never hear the music the way it is intended from open-air laptop speakers. Anyway, coming from the 17” PowerBook, with its large and deep speakers on either side of the keyboard, I was worried that the speakers on the MacBook wouldn’t be able to compete. I can say that the speakers on the MacBook are quite acceptable, even to me, who is somewhat adamant about sound quality. The speakers are absolutely ingenious. They are located on the rear of the computer, and bounce the sound off the monitor. What a brilliant idea.

    The speakers are acceptable. My main concern wasn’t about the sound quality, but the volume. These speakers are adequately loud for watching a movie. They do lack bass response.

    So, I will sum up the review by sensation:

    Sight: This computer is gorgeous. The black is truly beautiful with its matte finish. The fit and finish of this computer is nothing short of stunning. I was concerned that I would get a lemon based on the complaints that I have read online. But I guess the old axiom holds true, that the complainers’ voices are the loudest.

    Sound: The speakers are mediocre. They lack bass response, which will be a bit annoying for me. I have been spoiled for the last 2 years by the huge speakers in the 17” PowerBook. The design of the speakers is nothing short of ingenious though.

    Smell: The smell of a new Apple product, especially a laptop, can’t be described. This smell is unique, and wafts through the house for the first week of ownership, like a fresh loaf of bread. After that, the nostrils will have to be pressed against one of the ports, or against the rear vents, to enjoy that beautifully cancerous smell.

    Touch: The keys are surprisingly springy and well-spaced. The new media keys at the top of the keyboard will take some time for me to get used to. F7 will go to the previous song in iTunes (even when iTunes isn’t the active application), the F8 key will play and pause music or video, and the F9 key will go to the next song. F10-12 are volume controls. The smooth matte finish is awesome.

    Taste: Delicious.

    This review is from my first 24 hours with my machine. Looking to the future, I am concerned that the trackpad will wear shiny more quickly than my PowerBook did. This is based on complaints I read online. I am considering getting some sort of protection for it, as long as the protection is not shiny, and doesn’t detract from the overall design of the computer. As far as I’m concerned, this machine is perfect for my needs, which include photo editing, the occasional movie, a lot of video conversion and dvd burning, and typing notes and projects.
  7. lamina thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    My PowerBook was the last revision, and does have USB2.0
  8. iMpathetic macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    I am really glad you like your new MacBook. BlackBooks FTW!!!

    I actually went in the reverse direction. I moved from my blackbook to a 15" 1.67GHz Powerbook G4. He he, it was kind of an impulsive thing to do, really.

    One thing I'm noticing as I type on this is that this thing is HELLA BIG! I can't even imagine what expletives would be uttered in this post if I got a 17"....
  9. asmallchild macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2007
    How's your Blackbook doing regarding fingerprints?

    Accumulating lots? Or is it an overexaggerated problem here on the forums?
  10. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    I had a BlackBook for two years. It's more oily spots (on the trackpad and wristrest area) than fingerprints that you see. I can't decide if this is worse than dirt on the white MacBooks. In either case, yes, there is smudging. But no, it's not that bad in my opinion.
  11. lamina thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    Well, it's been about 36 hours or so now. There were some fingerprints on the top and bottom cases, which I wiped off with a cloth. I cleaned the screen too, because I squirted some grapefruit juice on it. Ha. Other than that, I am absolutely thrilled with this thing. The speed is unbelievable.
  12. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Lamina- you know you and I are in the same camp. I never expected to get a BlackBook, but I got mine (same specs as yours) with an open box discount at Best Buy for $1349. As I've said before, I would have gladly paid full price for the thing now that I own one. I will most definitely buy another in the future. I've only had mine a little over a week, but I am in love, man. I liked my old iBook, but this thing is beyond love. :)
  13. jvette macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2007
    If you want it to really fly go purchase a 7200 rpm hard drive. Then this thing will smoke.

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