The new MacBook

Hey, I should blog about it too, everyone else already has. :-)

I like the new MacBooks, especially the black one. If I get a new Mac laptop (sometime after my 12″ G4 dies), I will probably go for a MacBook instead of a MacBook Pro (price difference is a lot and features are not), *except* if there is a new MacBook Pro with a 64bit CPU released next January. The thing is that the 64bit CPU will offer more lifetime to the product, as eventually, some OSX functions might require 64bit support in the distant future.

Nevertheless, while the MacBook is overall a really nice product, it’s got a few things that I don’t like:
1. No integrated 56k modem. I have to pay an extra $49 for a USB modem (Apple used to sell it for $29, they changed the pricing just a few days ago) that in reality does not cost more than $15. While I don’t use dialup, there are at least 2-3 times a year I need to fax things, and for that I use my Powerbook. Also, when I am in Greece, there is no other option other than dialup in my parent’s village.
2. It’s bigger and heavier than it should have been. Look the “fat borders” it has around the LCD, even if it is perfectly possible to fit the webcam on a smaller border (check Nokia’s N73 for example for a really nice implementation of the webcam on thinner borders). As for its weight, at 5.2lbs is a heavy laptop, when my Powerbook used to be at just 4.6lbs and other, affordably priced, Intel laptops can go as low as 3.8lbs. I would want the MacBook to be 4.5lbs, to be honest, exactly because right now Apple does not have “light” laptops in its product range.
3. The bloody thing comes with both the RAM slots occupied! This means that if you want to upgrade the RAM, you have to throw away one of your memory sticks! Just as I did for my 12″ Powerbook 3 years ago!
4. As many have noted, the “little feedback” keyboard can be a problem. Haven’t used it though, so I can’t tell for sure yet.

Other than that, I like the MacBook and I will probably opt for it, sooner or later.

However, I can’t keep thinking that an even cheaper version, at $999, was easily achievable: 1.6 Core Solo, 40 GB drive, no Bluetooth, no Gigabit ethernet (just normal speeds), no i-Sight, no Apple remote, no optical audio, no s-video stuff. To be honest though, the real value of all these things are below $100, and it would actually drive costs up trying to engineer and manufacture yet another model with such subtle but manufacturing differences. The money you save by removing these features are overcomed by testing and custom manufacturing costs (plus the fact that most customers will opt for the better model for just that $100 of difference). In other words, Apple did the right thing to not offer the suggested “slightly cheaper” MacBook. In fact, I do expect Apple to lower the MacBook price at $999 in a few months time.

Comments are closed as this blog post is now archived.

Lines, paragraphs break automatically. HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

The URI to TrackBack this blog entry is this. And here is the RSS 2.0 for comments on this post.