macnews.net.tc
2006-05-26
My MacBook has arrived.
I've ordered the base model, but with 2 GB RAM and the video adaptors. The reason behind this decision was that I didn't think the 0.17 GHz would make _that_ much of a difference and that I rather have it with double the RAM. Rosetta will still play some important role in my daily life, and I've heard it wants RAM, so there it goes... Besides that, I don't really have the need to burn DVDs on the go, and I have a fine DVD-burner at home, which serves me well - and when BluRay and/or HD-DVD burners become cheap, I'll simply replace the external burner, which'll be cheaper to do than anything internal on the MacBook.
Now. How glossy _is_ this screen really? Where I usually sit and work, the screen shows no special glare at all. Good lighting, one would say, and would be right. If I have sunlight from outside coming in over my shoulder, I _do_ see the glare, but once you concentrate on the screen's picture, the glare doesn't bother me at all. Besides: I don't _have_ to sit in that direction, do I...
The next thing: Keyboard. It works well. It's a little unusual to have space between the keys, and that certainly makes it a little more awkward to hit Cmd-Opt-Shift-Backspace in Finder to seriously empty the trash, but it works - and for writing, the keyboard actually works very well.
I can't say much about battery life yet, since I've only just spent three hours with the MacBook. About heat and ventilation noise: It's hotter than an iBook G4 and cooler than a PowerBook G4. It's good. Ventilation doesn't come on very often so far, even when I give the thing some things to think about, but when it does, you certainly hear the fans. But they only come on for a short time and go off again. This gives a little moo-ing sound which seems to bother some people. I happen to find it cute, but that's just me, and you'd probably better test a MacBook before buying one.
The size of this baby is ideal for me. Well: I _would_ have wanted it smaller, but actually, it's quite comfortable on the lap (yes, it's not so hot that you can't use it on your lap!), the iBook 12" and PB 12" were a bit too narrow for that, I guess.
I'll come back with more information about battery life etc.
Comments:
I got the high-end MacBook with stock 512 MB RAM with the intention of upgrading the memory myself (got 2 GB for ($160). I had to wait 3 days for the extra RAM and let me tell you, Office was SLOW. Very long hangs/pauses, especially with contextual menus. I watched the RAM usage with activity monitor and it would generally have <6 or 7 MB free. Things like dashboard were also pathetically slow. But with the 2 GB RAM installed, that all cleared up right quick. I haven't seen it drop below 700 MB free memory yet.
 
Mine's currently at 624 MB free. ;) ... But you can add the "inactive" RAM to that. That's another 780 MB here for me. Of course I haven't opened many Rosetta-apps right now. But I guess it's really just like that: Rosetta-apps need memory like crazy. I'm looking forward to every app that I can turn from PPC to Universal, because it'll actually increase the performance of this little machine.

I guess 512 MB of RAM - which wasn't enough to run Tiger well even on a PPC Mac if you opened more than 3 applications - just isn't enough as basic memory anymore. Anyone getting an intel Mac should have at _least_ 1 GB of memory. With the Mac mini and the MacBook, another 64 or 80 MB of RAM are taken away by the graphics engine, so you want even more. I'm glad that one can get cheap memory outside of Apple's realm.
 
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