The Apple MacBook has been out for a few weeks now and we have had a couple of interactions with it. Not enough to writeup a full review but we logged enough Apple Store hours to offer our impression.
The new MacBook is a 13-inch laptop that replaces both the iBook and the 12-inch PowerBook G4. The MacBook box is a slightly smaller version of the thin MacBook Pro box. It comes with the Apple Remote and MagSafe power adaptor. It comes in both standard Apple White and a new Black. We preferred the look of the white in addition to the fact that the black model is extremely overpriced.
Compared to a 15-inch MacBook Pro, the MacBook seems quite small. The MacBook is slightly thicker but weighs 5.2 pounds, compared to the MacBook Proâ€™s 5.6 pounds. Unfortunately the MacBook is clearly bigger than its predecessor the PowerBook. Not only wider which we expect from the widescreen display, but thicker and heavier too. If youâ€™re an iBook G4 user, youâ€™ll find the MacBook slightly smaller, but slightly heavier.
The 13-inch widescreen display with a native resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels is glossy, which we liked, like Sony and Toshiba units.
Another major change for Apple is the brand new keyboard on the unit. It looks very different (keys are very spaced out) but it seemed to feel natural to type on. The MacBook also does not have a latch to close the unit but rather uses a magnet (which we find unnecessary since a hinge like my Sony VAIO S series works just fine). With two fingers on the mouse pad your click becomes a Ctrl-click/right-click.
Above the screen in the built-in iSight camera, has Front Row software, comes with the remote, has built in wireless and Bluetooth, all like the MacBook Pro. The MacBookâ€™s also got built-in audio input and output, in both digital and analog forms, and support for external displays up to 1920 x 1200 resolution. The MacBook seems to be missing a PC card or ExpressCard expansion slot, a back-lit keyboard, lack of dual-link DVI support, and could have better video card.
Although the MacBook is Appleâ€™s lowest-priced laptop, itâ€™s about as far from a â€œlow-endâ€ model as you could get. Although you can no longer buy a new Mac laptop for under $1,000, the cheapest MacBook (a $1,099 model) features a dual-core 1.83 GHz processor: even the lowest-priced MacBook is a remarkably powerful system. A maxed-out MacBook will cost you $2,049 ($2,199 if you want it in black!), with a dual-core 2GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, a 120GB serial ATA drive, and a SuperDrive.
Overall – We have not spent enough time with the laptop to offer a true rating but we doubt you will go wrong with Apple’s new, very powerful, 13″ widescreen laptop.