2.4Ghz Apple MacBook Review (Late 2008 Model)

White Apple Macbook

I recently picked up a new Macbook this past Friday. Here are my impressions of Apple’s best selling product.
First Impressions:
As far as looks go, the macbook looks pretty sleek. All ports are on the left side, which is more form over function. I would have like some USB ports on the back so that all connections dont have to hang in plain sight off the side. The screen is the newer glossy coated type. Although some people do not prefer the newer screen, I find that it reflects less than my other HP notebook. Much of the design is form over function. To connect a external display, an adapter is required. To cut costs, Apple no longer ships Macbooks with a remote (one can be purchased for $19).

Keyboard:
The keyboard on the Macbook is different from most. There are spaces between each key that takes getting used to. The keys have a less substantial feel to them and are not as comfortable to type on when comparing to a Lenovo Thinkpad. Although Apple does not include any media keys, most function keys along the top serve as dual purpose with volume, mute, play, pause, rewind, etc housed on the F1-F12 keys.

Connectivity:
Apple now ships all their laptops with build in wireless N. This delivers better speed for downloads and streaming video.

Performance:
This is where the Macbook really shines. The model I purchased was the 2.4GHz White Macbook, with 2GB RAM. This model slots above the Base Macbook, but below the more expensive black model and shares its Penryn based processor with the entry level MacBook Pro. Ripping DVD’s and multitasking are handled with aplomb. I was able to encode a 2 hour DVD into .AVI format in 20 minutes (as fast as my Quad-core desktop).

Final Thoughts:
The Macbook is an excellent laptop. Performance is above average. When considering the Penryn based processor the Macbook ships with, it is a good deal even when compared to similarly configured Windows-based laptops. The Leopard OS that ships with the system is extremely stable and takes some cues from Windows including “Stacks” which organizes programs and options into popup folders much like Windows start menu. The FrontRow software is not as fancy or flexible as Windows Media Center, but the iLife suite is top notch.
Again, the Macbook is a good deal and should be on anyone short list shopping for a new laptop if they are open to trying the Leopard OS.

Rating: 8/10

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