Apple MacBook Review: Part 1

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TwoDigital

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So now that you've spent $1200+ on that new Mac, what are you going to do if someone takes the time to write an exploit for it to send out tons of spam again? I'm glad you like your new hardware and it really sounds nifty since you had that much money and time to spend on it... You may have been better served, however, to develop a strategy to back up your harddrive for the next time an exploit comes along (yes, macs HAVE vulnerabilities too) or you otherwise could have waited a day or two for Microsoft or your AV company to issue antivirus for that 0-day hack (like, on day 1 or 2 when these things are usually stomped out.)
 

tipoo

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I was actually debating between the macbook and the Studio XPS 13...that might have made a better comparison than the inspiron 13 used, as it has an equal or optionally better graphics card than the macbook.
 

BallistaMan

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[citation][nom]TwoDigital[/nom]So now that you've spent $1200+ on that new Mac, what are you going to do if someone takes the time to write an exploit for it to send out tons of spam again? I'm glad you like your new hardware and it really sounds nifty since you had that much money and time to spend on it... You may have been better served, however, to develop a strategy to back up your harddrive for the next time an exploit comes along (yes, macs HAVE vulnerabilities too) or you otherwise could have waited a day or two for Microsoft or your AV company to issue antivirus for that 0-day hack (like, on day 1 or 2 when these things are usually stomped out.)[/citation]
You're assuming that exploit hasn't been written already. My dad has been having this issue for the past 2 months with his Macbook. IT can't figure it out. His AV can't figure it out. And he's not in a position to just wipe the drive, so he's stuck.

Methinks I'll stay with my nice, clean XP/7 system. :)

And wait let me get this straight, you built systems since 1985 without a problem and then switched after 1 piece of obnoxious malware? Um...wow...
 

davidgbailey

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I've been reading articles here for awhile. The mac bashing has gotten tiring to say the least. I switched camps just like the author of the article. From his writing and position I guarantee he knows more than any of you puerile, obsequious, sycophantic myrmidons. The #1 reason that I used to bash Mac was that I couldn't afford it. After making the switch I will NEVER go back. Ahhh, it's nice to have money and to be able to buy anything I want. You're arguments against Mac are all illogical.

1. It's obviously more stable being Unix based. I used to make the argument (as a Windows turdboi) that if I really wanted stability I could dual boot Linux. Well, that option always sucks because Linux is stable and unusable for 99% of the population. The other 1% have too much time on their hands. Mac OS X sits right in between a Microsoft operating system and Linux. Stable and usable.

2. You must be in seriously desperate situations to make an argument against Mac due to the cost. The cost that you're describing is a "marginal cost" ... look it up. The Mac laptop isn't expensive because it's 1300$, it's expensive because it's $100 more than a comparable Dell P.O.S. You're not bitching about 1300$, you're bitching about 100$. I know that you can't afford the Dell or the Mac, so the $1300 just seems that much more astronomical to you. It's up there with America's national debt, both are incomprehensible.

3. Mac's US PC vendor market share was up from 7.7% (Q3 07) to 9.5% (Q3 08). I remember when Mac's PC market share was 1%. From a business standpoint, the growth means that Microsoft has left a significant area of the market up for grabs and Macintosh capitalized on it. What area of the market would I be referring to? The area of the PC market where your computer doesn't have to run a shitty operating system like Vista.

4. Ad hominem arguments are futile. Resistance is futile. I've seen the argument, "Mac users are conceited, arrogant, and condescending." Being rich myself (having the additional 100$ to cover the marginal cost), I will take the opportunity to speak for the rest of the Mac users out there (roughly 10% of the US market). We are better. We're smarter and better looking. We have better jobs and better jokes. (I guess I can be a victim of making ad hominem arguments as well)

If you're going to try and flame Mac in the future just remember: once you go Mac, you NEVER go back.
 

theDudeAbides

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So, it's a notebook. A heavy notebook without an extended battery or a second mouse button.

I've just imaged 3 unibody Macbook Pros and I'm not impressed. Nice screen but crappy keyboard and the trackpad annoyed me a lot. Plus you have to pay for Mac OSX even if you want to install something else.

It's still a Mac, and it's sold on image and not hardware. You can't get 3rd party power adapters cos the plug is patented, you can't get larger batteries because they wouldn't look pretty. This is a computer you buy for someone that doesn't understand computers so why are you writing about it on a serious hardware review site? Sigh.
 
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My god, its hilarious the defense mechanism that users of this site have.

You can't admit that he just might be right, can you? That it IS better than your computer.


 
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@ theDudeAbides - serious hardware site? I think you answered your own question. The MacBook is serious hardware, as endorsed by Tom's.


 
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A $1300 laptop with 2GB of RAM? Even the $600 laptops in retail stores have 4GB of RAM. And don't try to argue that Apple uses DDR3 RAM. DDR3 1066 gives about 2% increase over DDR2.

250GB HDD? If the laptop is $1300, I'm sure Apple can fit a Seagate 7200.4 in there (it's only $140 RETAIL) and keep the price the same.

I don't care if Apple uses a "superior" display, because the only thing I care about in the display is resolution. With a resolution of 1280x800, Apple's display goes with the rest of the budget laptops'.

As for switching to OS X because you got hit by a zero-day that caused someone to spam using your computer, that's your reason for a new OS? Zero-days are very rare. In 24 years of using Windows, you've only encountered 1. Do you know how many exploits there are in Safari that are still unpatched?
 

BallistaMan

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David, I tend to agree with most of your points, but they aren't what I see as the problem with Mac PCs. Let's all take the level-headed non-fanboy approach, okie?

1. The stability will differ greatly depending on user experience. Having grown up using Apple computers, I would argue that a properly maintained Windows/Linux system is far more stable, but that for the 95% of the population that doesn't know how to do that, correct, OSX will be tougher to break. Generally. The question of usability I don't even want to touch. I find that OSX substantially reduces my computing efficiency because it doesn't match my style. At the same time, I imagine it's quite compatible with yours. Thus, usability can not be used as an argument by either side, because people will be both ways on the issue.

2. Comparing a Mac to a Dell is a mostly worthless argument for both sides. There is a cost difference, but it's less significant that when you compare a Mac to a custom build. That's what everybody looks at. I don't care if Dell can put out a computer that's $100 less. I'd rather build one that's $500+ less. Macs simply don't have the price/performance ratio that a home-built PC has. Why? Because that's not their business model. They aren't trying to win the performance crown. They aren't trying to win the cost crown. They've realized that they can make a killing without either of those.

3. So Macs are growing in market share. Good for them. First lesson in being an educated consumer: popular =/= best. Sometimes it will match your needs, sometimes it won't, but you can almost always find something better if you dig deeper than the surface. It's the nature of the market.

4. Honestly if you're going to make a point about ad-homs, don't do it in your next few sentences. Eventually it stops being funny and starts becoming offensive. At that point, any hope you have of convincing the other side is gone. Are there arrogant Mac users - yes. Are there arrogant PC users - yes. People are idiots. End of story.

And uh, as for the whole "once you go Mac, you never go back" thing. Oopsies, I did. :)
 

funkjunky

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I don't think I've laughed so hard before. These comments are halarious. It's like that 13yo kid on Counter-Strike attempting to bad-mouth people's skills. Why don't you guys add some homoesexual jokes on your poorly based arguements... oh wait, someone already did.
 

chise1

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I would really love to see someone write an anti-Mac article who is not afraid to be condemned to death by the Mac overlords...
 

marraco

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[citation][nom]DavidGBailey[/nom]Ad hominem arguments are futile. Resistance is futile. I've seen the argument, "Mac users are conceited, arrogant, and condescending." Being rich myself (having the additional 100$ to cover the marginal cost), I will take the opportunity to speak for the rest of the Mac users out there (roughly 10% of the US market). We are better. We're smarter and better looking. We have better jobs and better jokes. (I guess I can be a victim of making ad hominem arguments as well)[/citation]
Mac users are NOT conceited, arrogant, and condescending. They are people which says 1300 U$S buys that Mac, an allow playing Windows games. They don't see that to playing windows also need to buy Windows, so the difference is more than 100$.

I love the existence of Mac users. They finance the industry, allowing me to buy cheaper, more powerful hardware.

If anybody buys the smartest hardware choice, it would cost more to me, because my choices would have a higher market demand, raising prices.

You are right, I are cheaper. I can but a geforce 8800 GT, BECAUSE you pay two times the price to get a 8400. Otherwise, you would buy the 8800 at a higher price, and I would be forced to buy the 8400 (which I would never buy anyway).

And the best part, is that this message will never be understood by rich, cool dudes like you.
 

jsloan

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I'm a bit troubled about this review, the touching story told by the reviewer on the first page was not necessary, it does not appear to be objective. It's not rational to think that the solution to getting a virus is to go out and get a new computer, let alone switch operating system, sounds more like one of the Mac ads. All the author had to do is go out and get a good Internet Security Suite and configure and update it appropriately, something that they should have done in the first place and something that if he had a Mac he should have done as well. Sadly this is the junk science, misinformation, marketing nonsense that Apple has been propagating inspite of the facts that all computers, including Macs are liable to get.
 

seboj

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Hm. I may have actually read the article if it hadn't been for that ridiculous excuse of a back-story on the first page.

By the way, DavidGBailey, I want to thank you for your comment. I haven't laughed that hard at someone in a long, long time.
 

philosofool

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[citation][nom]curnel_D[/nom]Yawn. Basically, you were just explaining a normal notebook that costs more than it should. It's slightly thinner by the standards in it's class but is 0.38" really a big deal? (No.) [/citation]
Disagree. The Mac is 70% of the thickness of the Dell. As someone who has walked 20 minutes to and from work three to five days a week carrying his notebook every time, I will testify that for some users, size is really important. While I can see that many users will not find this size difference important, many will; it's worth fifty bucks.
 

philosofool

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[citation][nom]one-shot[/nom]..The scent of Mac-ness and the sense of power that comes with it. Maybe spending twice as much isn't such a bad idea after all.............[/citation]
Macs are not twice as expensive as PCs, especially not Mac notebooks. 20% is the premium on mac computers.
 

philosofool

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[citation][nom]theDudeAbides[/nom]So, it's a notebook. A heavy notebook without an extended battery or a second mouse button.[/citation]
PC users still believe the "no right click" crap? (Hold the apple button on the keyboard and click, or just get a two button mouse.)
 

cjl

Splendid
Interestingly enough, I just went to Dell's website, and for $1269, you can configure a Studio XPS 13 to significantly better spec than the Dell comparison systems that were mentioned in the article. Notably:

320GB 7200RPM drive
4GB DDR3-1066
Geforce 9400M
802.11n wireless
Bluetooth
56WHr battery
Intel P8600 (2.4 GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 3MB cache)
Vista Home Premium x64
LED backlit display (1280x800)
15 month McAfee subscription

This is STILL cheaper than the apple (admittedly only by $30), and yet it is faster in every way except the graphics, which are identical. The Mac's hard drive and RAM are a joke by comparison, the Dell's CPU is 20% faster, and if you can list OSX as a benefit, I can claim the same about Vista x64, which is in my experience more stable than any other operating system I have used (including varieties of Linux). If you're going to compare the mac to a dell, at least compare it to a more recently released model - the XPS M1330 is over a year and a half old right now, and is going to be a worse deal than the new Studio XPS line in most cases.

Of course, that would have the effect of making the mac look bad, which is something we just can't let happen...
 

jsloan

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here is what an equivalently configured Dell (with newer cpu T8100, Dell did not offer older P7350) would have cost

$999 - $200 (discount) = $800 and when I went to Apple and configured the same thing $1,348. That's $548 more for the Mac. Save the money and get a good Internet Security Suite for $50.

Additional saving if 12, 14 or 15" inch screens, 13.3 are a little higher priced at dell, than 14" or 15".


Details:
Date 1/26/2009 1:29:31 PM Central Standard Time
Catalog Number 29 Retail 19
Catalog Number / Description Product Code Qty SKU Id
System Color:
Pacific Blue BLUE 1 [330-0926] 2
Inspiron 13:
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T8100 (2.1GHz/800Mhz FSB/3MB cache) MB810HN 1 [223-9458] 1
OPERATING SYSTEM(s):
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1 VHP31E 1 [330-1016][420-5769][420-6436][420-6576][420-7622][420-8566][420-9100][420-9106][463-2282] 11
Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed):
Microsoft Works IWRK9 1 [420-8051] 22
Hardware Support Services:
1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty and Mail In Service ST111RR 1 [950-9057][960-2780][989-0990][990-7989][991-0977] 29
Display and Camera:
Glossy, widescreen 13.3" LCD (1280x800) w/o Camera NCXGA 1 [320-6854] 5
Video Card:
128MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M GS 128NV84 1 [320-7600] 6
Memory:
2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 (2 Dimms) 2G2D8 1 [317-0164] 3
Hard Drives:
Size: 160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM) 160GB 1 [341-7027] 8
Combo or DVD+RW Drive:
8X Slot Load CD / DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Drive) 8XDVDRW 1 [313-6617][420-8183][420-9129] 16
Wireless Networking:
Dell Wireless 1395 802.11g Mini-Card DW1395 1 [430-2680] 19
Bluetooth Options:
Built-in Bluetooth capability (2.0 EDR) TM355I 1 [430-2566] 121
Primary Battery:
56Whr Lithium Ion Battery (6 cell) 6BAT 1 [312-0751] 27
Adobe Software:
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9.0 ADOBER 1 [410-1883] 15
Processor Branding:
Intel Core 2 Duo Label IC2DNB 1 [330-0717] 749
Labels:
Windows Vista™ Premium VPN 1 [310-8628] 750
Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed):
McAfee SecurityCenter with anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, 30-Days MC930D 1 [410-1160] 25
Entertainment and Editing Software:
WildTangent Games WLDTNG 1 [420-9352] 195
Dell Remote Access:
Dell Remote Access, free basic service DRAFB 1 [420-9800][993-1919] 813
Datasafe:
Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year DOB2GB 1 [420-9518][988-0099][988-7707] 34
Dial-Up Internet Access:
Earthlink Internet Access ERTHLNK 1 [412-0934] 37



 

cjl

Splendid
[citation][nom]philosofool[/nom]PC users still believe the "no right click" crap? (Hold the apple button on the keyboard and click, or just get a two button mouse.)[/citation]

Holding a keyboard button isn't the same.

Yes, I would get a two button mouse if I ever got a mac, but the point is that I shouldn't have to. What's so terribly difficult about putting a second button beneath the touchpad? I know the functionality is there, it's the annoyance factor that's the problem.
 

skjold

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[citation][nom]philosofool[/nom]PC users still believe the "no right click" crap? (Hold the apple button on the keyboard and click, or just get a two button mouse.)[/citation]


[citation][nom]philosofool[/nom]Disagree. The Mac is 70% of the thickness of the Dell. As someone who has walked 20 minutes to and from work three to five days a week carrying his notebook every time, I will testify that for some users, size is really important. While I can see that many users will not find this size difference important, many will; it's worth fifty bucks.[/citation]


[citation][nom]philosofool[/nom]Macs are not twice as expensive as PCs, especially not Mac notebooks. 20% is the premium on mac computers.[/citation]

It's perfectly right for you to refute these misconceptions. Lets look a some valid reasons that overclockers, system builders and gamers might not really care to hear another 'switch' story.

1. Build your own mac? not really possible is it? Unless you build some sort of 'hackintosh'.

2. Overclock a mac? Is that possible? It might be, but I bet it isn't nearly as easy as it is when you build your own system with the right components.

3. Game on a mac? Sure, if you dual boot or exclusively play Blizzard games. I personally would hate to have to dual boot every time I wanted to play a game.

As for the rest of the article: another mac book review? These are a dime a dozen. This might be more technical than most, but nothing that can't be found on a dozen other sites.
 

totenkopf

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Sigh...

I'm just going to say a couple things and then crawl into my bomb shelter until the flame wars are over... assuming I can resist the compulsion to comment furher.

There are only two reasons to buy anything mac. Both reasons are acceptable, and completely subjective.

1. They look stylish. Hey, I bought an asus 1002ha over some other models for a few more bucks because I liked the way it looked. I can totally respect buying something because you just plain like it and can live with the specs. There is no right or wrong... subjective.

2. OSX. Some people just like it more. What works best for you is sometimes just as simple as what you are used to. That doesn't explain why people "switch"... maybe sometimes people just don't have the brass or strength of character to withstand one piece of malware (sorry that was a cheap shot). Some people prefer automatics or manual transmission... most arguments for or against anything have some bias. Once again it's just a preference. The OS's are different, that's it; I'm not going to waste my time trying to convince someone else who has already made up their mind.

That said I hope Apple burns in hell. I have owned Macs, but not for a long while. I don't find them any easier to use than xp or vista machines, but they work just fine for the most part. I don't think there is any question that you get less hardware for your buck with mac, but as we all know, many people will pay whatever it costs to get what they want.

Also, this article doesn't seem like a good fit for toms. Also like how the author had to set up and preemptively defend his mac switch as others have pointed out; That shouldn't be necessary. It sounds more like you are trying to convince yourself and justify the purchase (and on this site you will need to defend that decision... you should know how we all feel about mac).

Crap... now I'm involved! NOOOOOOOO!
 
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LOL, man, talk about kicking over an ant bed. Posting a Mac article really does bring out the *feelings*. You know what, I'm not threatened by Macs, really people - throwing shout-dwndowns doesn't do much. I don't have much use for a Mac for a multitude of reasons:
1. I'm a windows system administrator
2. I enjoying gaming
3. Most of the more advanced technical stuff is available for PC users because they are more plentiful.

Look, Macs are mostly for users...folks who don't understand computers. It's mostly a branding thing coupled with style and focus on features that most simple end users can appreciate (like thiness and cool interfaces - i.e. touch screen stuff). Again, this is popular because of it's simplicity -for simple people. Apple has no place in the enterprise market. . . and their marketing is all bandwagon techniques ("we're better because we're cool"). My own sister buys in to this. Of course, she cares about as much about computers/technology as does my dog. Really it comes down a personal preference, if you like the look and feel and all you do is web browse and write articles you probably will be happy on a Mac.
About viruses: Mac are only virus "proof" because of their lack of popularity. If they ever achieve the market dominance they seek, then they will truly trade places with Microsoft and become the target of hackers. Look if you are writing a virus, don't you want it to spread to the most users? Why waste your time writing a virus that can only possibly infect 10 percent of users in the world and zero chance of infecting an Enterprise? Macs aren't more secure, they are more obscure. PC's probably are more secure if you think of it in light of the fact they have more attackers. It's like saying, "you're safer on a desert Island from all kinds of crime than you are in America". Yep and you'd be right. But don't forget YOU'RE ON A FREAKING DESERT ISLAND!. So you take the good with the bad.
Let's not forget another point, Macs have become PC's. It shows that in the end, the argument about which is/was better has succumbed to market forces and you are reviewing a prebuilt custom PC. For all their religious zelotry, most Mac users do not even understand this. What you reviewing is another PC makers aesthetics as to their blend of putting together a PC. Hell it IS an IBM-Compatible. Let's not mix hardware and software. We should say, we are now going to review another PC by Apple, while we're at it we are going to look at their software and compare Apple's Linux Distro to Microsoft. And then we are giong to say, for what it was designed it does really well. It's going to fail every benchmark in file i/o and everything else even on hardware that is identical. But then we are going to say, but it's soooo sleek and pretty and fun. And in the end, we realize that sometimes we buy a car that is not a better value for those very same reasons. But IT's OKAY, to each his/her own, I don't care what you choose or if you choose to emphasize the good points of a product because you just like it. It's like rooting for the underdog. It becomes tiresome when the same out come previals every damn time...wouldn't it be nice to witness a true upset? And truly it has been a good run for Apple and they are nipping at the heals of Microsoft and the 800 pound gorilla has flinched and Apple deserves a look. Don't be threatened, just sit back and enjoy the comparison, hell try one yourself. IF they are better, they're success will be unstopable. Love 'em hate 'em....review em. Say what you think, no more shout-downs!
 

chjade84

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Wow, it's nice to see so many uninformed and inexperienced users complain that someone likes a Mac.

Anyone who has work to do, wont use this. Yawn.
Talk to the majority (obviously not ALL of em) of computer artists, magazine/newspaper artists, photographers, etc. Just because it isn't mySQL doesn't mean it's not work.

Reformatting the drive wouldn't cost anything but time
For many people time is money. Those people often value their free time more than those who play video games all day. (Not that that's you, but you get my point)

Oh yeah, why would the need to reformat your computer lead to building a new core i7 machine?
If your going to reformat it may as well be on a new machine.

Use utilities as Norton Ghost for fast "formatting". In minutes your computer restore a partition image ready to use with all your software installed.
Obviously not helpful for him at this point. (Good practice though)

You went Mac because someone better (a hacker, virus writer, whoever) defeated you? That's like saying you went gay because someone get the girl you're after.
That's just...ignorant. It's more like wearing a condom from now on because you got an STD last time. (To stick with your analogy)

As for security, i don't need security on my computer, i NEVER get any viruses, and if i did Norton or avg would take care of all that.
Me either. But saying you never will and ignoring it is absolutely mind-boggling! (Ask the IT guys here if that's what they do at work.)
Not all viruses are so easily cleaned either; as you will come to know some day.

I'll stop now. I personally don't own Apple (except an iPhone) but I know plenty of people who do and they all love them and would never go back to PC's. Why is it so hard for you people (gamers, IT guys and overclockers - FYI, I am all three) to see that raw processing power isn't the most important thing in the world? Many people like Macs because of their ease of use and unique features that work well on the "obsolete hardware" they come with for years and years instead of upgrading every 18 months.

If you find a discrepancy in the article please point it out but don't use the comments section to bash people who are different.

Mac-ism anyone?




 
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