Tech News on G4

Dreaming of a White MacBook

Dec 21, 2009

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada

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If a netbook just isn’t your thing and your old PowerBook needs to be retired but you still want to get into a Mac, the latest evolution of Apple’s entry level MacBook might just be the right for your holiday wish list.

After getting a new lease on life, including a number of features it now shares its Ivy league brothers – like the 7-hour battery, multi-touch track pad and crisp 13.3”  glossy LED back-lit display, there’s really not that much entry-level about it.

Base Model Features

MacbookThe base model features a 2.26Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It ships with 2GB Ram and a respectable 250GB hard drive. (Even the base model MacBook Pro only has a 160GB).  There are no processor upgrade options, but you can get up to a 500GB Hard Drive with a build-your-own unit and take your Ram up to 4GB. The MacBook also ships with an 8x Dual Layer SuperDrive. And if you are still the wired kind, it ships with a gigabit Ethernet.

There are no longer separate headphone and audio input jacks as it is now combined into Apple’s input/output audio port.  A mini-display port (with optional adapter) will allow you to hook it up to an external monitor. There are also 2 USB ports – but no FireWire port and all external ports are on one side of the unit.

Like all new Mac notebooks, it features the iSight camera, the MagSafe adapter and ships with Snow Leopard Mac OS 10.6 the latest version of the Mac OS as well as iLife,

Unibody Construction

Apple has also updated the frame of the MacBook with a unibody construction, taking a page from the MacBook Pro– albeit polycarbonate and you can get any colour you want as long as it’s white. It weighs 4.7lbs and is 1.08” thick. And those little rubber feet that fall off – no more, the underside of the unit is a rubberized non-slip surface.  Hallelujah

After playing with it for a while, the white actually grows on you – having been used to staring at silver all day.   All white actually quite appealing.  It’s clean and actually with matching white chicklet-style keys and a white trackpad. It certainly attracts attention at coffee shops.

Watching a movie on the MacBook is quite a treat. The sharp crisp screen certainly blows away that of my older 15” MacBook Pro. Battery life is significantly improved, but in practical use I was hard pressed to come anywhere near to the 7 hours on the battery. Now admittedly, I guess I could improve battery performance and perhaps get closer to the stated time by turning everything just about off and dimming the screen to near squint mode.

With that said, I fully charged the battery, booted up the unit and ran a video from the hard drive with 80% screen brightness. The battery petered out after 4 hours and 37 minutes – that’s 50% more than I ever got out of any other laptop battery.

Te new MacBook performs exceptionally well and certainly an option even for an experienced user as long as you don’t mind not having a FireWire port or a backlit keyboard. 

The base model is available now and sells for $1099.  For detailed info visit your favourite Apple store or on-line.

Happy Holidays!

 

Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy “at” telus “dot” net Or GadgetGreg.com

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