Macbook 2.20GHz First impressions (Day 3)

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 25-Feb-2008 20:18

I splashed out on Saturday and bought a Macbook 2.20GHz from DSE. Being a long time Windows and Linux user, I thought I would share my experience so far.

  • System just feels so stable. Very fast, even with the stock 1GB RAM (I am upgrading to 4GB to help with virtualisation).
  • Bootcamp was too easy to setup from within the Mac GUI. Vista FLIES when booted natively on this thing. All drivers to make iSight, Bluetooth, WiFi etc are easy to install (and supplied on disc).
  • Parallels works great, but is sluggish on 1GB system RAM.
  • VMWare Fusion seems to be much more responsive than Parallels with 1GB.
  • Coherence and Unity allow running Windows apps and displaying them as if they were running natively on the Mac. Very cool. Very useful.
  • Yes, the hardware, case etc is just gorgeous. Screen is shiny, but little glare. great DPI. Would never have considered buying a 14" Wintel lappy, would've chosen a 15.4", but very happy with this extremely clear 13.3". Its a non issue for me.
  • Out of the box experience with Leopard and iLife etc is just briliant.
  • Leopard is easy to use, visually appealing, and the learning curve is not as steep as you might expect.
  • aMSN for MSN webcam chats is an ugly app, but works well. MS's own Messenger for Mac is a nice app, but no webcam support.
  • Big touchpad and multitouch support is great. Tap two fingers at same time to get right-click. I do NOT miss the right mouse button on the touchpad because of this.
  • Still getting used to the FN, CONTROL, OPTIONS, COMMAND key layout. Very functional, but Wintel muscle memory still has me hitting wrong keys (only day 3 though).
  • Speakers are very clear, but volume is pretty low. A bit lower than my Compaq V5000.
  • No Expresscard, PCMCIA or memory card slots.
  • Keyboard is awesome, I love typing on it. Possibly the best keyboard I have ever used (Your mileage may vary!!)
  • Lid closes firmly, opens nicely, just the right amount of resistance.
  • Simplistic design really rocks.
  • Default menu bar in OSX is very informative and non-intrusive.
  • Whole thing just kinda "works" really well.
  • Apple "Mail" seems 'basic' and I much prefer Outlook, Thunderbird and Gmail webmail. More time with it may improve my perception.
  • Safari is cool, no free bookmark sync to multiple cross-platform PCs is a pain (I get my Firefox bookmarks synced on all my Windows machines AND my VMs AND my Mac. Go Firefox - you may not be the absolute best/fastest browser, but you tick all the boxes where it counts.
I am happy I got it, and will primarily use OSX for "my" OS. But also use the bootcamp partition in VMWare to run selected Windows apps in Unity (IE7, Office, MSN, the few games I have), and a full windowed desktop of XP Pro and Server 2k3 and SBS2k3 and Server 2k8 for learning/teaching purposes.

If you have been considering getting your first Mac, but have been unsure about the viability of switching, and you need/want a new laptop, then now is the time. Leopard is a huge improvement over whatever my Mac Mini G4 had (Jaguar I think), and is just sooooo usable and so nice.

Note the DSE link says OSX 10.4, which is a typo. It does come preloaded with Leopard 10.5

More information

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Comment by chakkaradeep, on 25-Feb-2008 21:04

Great! I am planning for iMac 20" with 4GB for my Desktop  System

Comment by chiefie, on 25-Feb-2008 21:37

you can use VMWare Fusion to boot into BootCamp too. So you don't have to constantly reboot to get into your Windows partition. great for quick-stop-over into Windows to get bit of things done and get out.

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 25-Feb-2008 21:55

Yep - already doing that. I cant see myself natively booting Windows too often.

Comment by manhinli, on 25-Feb-2008 21:58

You should use Adium... it's a pretty full featured for Mac OS X from what I've heard.

Comment by hellonearthisman, on 25-Feb-2008 23:20

Thanks for sharing Tony.  Here is the URL to you Apple MacBook 2.20GHz White
DSE are so anti-social when it comes to sharing links.

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