Apple MacBook Review: Part 1

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TheFace

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Seems to be that many of you don't want to like the Mac on principle. I use Vista HP x64 PC that I built and a year old macbook. I find them equally pleasing in their own respect, with my macbook providing a better experience for web browsing, typing up papers and using the iLife suite (iPhoto is amazing for keeping collections). My Vista PC has its many pluses as well. It acts as a DVR for me, and I use it to game. I love to upgrade my PC which I could only replace the RAM and the HDD on my mac. My point is that this article, however flawed, is supposed to be an illustration of a person's experience switching from PC user to Mac. The author highlights the Mac's strengths, since you all can EASILY point out it's weaknesses ad nauseam. It's disappointing to see so many close minded people when it comes to the competition in the marketplace. To sincerely enjoy computing you should really at least consider all that is out there, and not just what works on the Microsoft/Linux boxes. OSX is a treat to use, and the multitouch trackpad is very handy.

Last I checked, Tomshardware.com was about reviewing computer hardware, and not just Windows/Linux compatible parts. A large part of reviewing is benchmarking which all of the gamers/overclockers love to see. There are however people who like to see more of what is out there in the market. Alternative offerings that the OC/Gamer crowd don't necessarily flock to.

This article states that the macbook offers quality construction, a chipset that is faster than what Intel offers, an OS that is different yet enjoyable to use, and other features of a Macbook. All you readers seem to focus on is why on earth would the author say such things? It must be Blasphemy! The point is to relate the experience, and maybe some of you will try it. The point is not to be a blatant attempt to 'convert the overclockers and pc gamers' as that isn't the crowd a Mac draws. It's a general purpose computer and not a gaming PC. This website IS NOT all about just OCers and gamers, although they do cater to them from time to time. Go to extremeoverclocking.com or ocforums.com or overclockersclub.com or some other website to flame about all that if you want.

Flame away, as I'm sure a lot of you will.
 
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I have no interest in people spewing hate in the direction of mac users. Please get a life. As a software engineer developing exclusively in Linux I detested macs in that I found the users to be conceited or even arrogant. then... I started to look at the product a little more and much much more importantly, the SOFTWARE.

I bought a mac. I won't go back, I thank M$ for developing an OS that eventually drove me to something more interesting.
 

AngryClown

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MY friend bought a 17" MBP. She paid a premium, but she is happy. The customer is always right. I could have spec'd out a similar laptop with Ubuntu for half the cost, and she wouldn't know the difference, but she is happy. Can't you get your heads around that?
 

jsloan

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[citation][nom]TheFace[/nom]Last I checked, Tomshardware.com was about reviewing computer hardware, and not just Windows/Linux compatible parts. A large part of reviewing is benchmarking which all of the gamers/overclockers love to see. There are however people who like to see more of what is out there in the market. Alternative offerings that the OC/Gamer crowd don't necessarily flock to. This article states that the macbook offers quality construction, a chipset that is faster than what Intel offers, an OS that is different yet enjoyable to use, and other features of a Macbook. All you readers seem to focus on is why on earth would the author say such things? It must be Blasphemy! The point is to relate the experience, and maybe some of you will try it. The point is not to be a blatant attempt to 'convert the overclockers and pc gamers' as that isn't the crowd a Mac draws. It's a general purpose computer and not a gaming PC. This website IS NOT all about just OCers and gamers, although they do cater to them from time to time. Go to extremeoverclocking.com or ocforums.com or overclockersclub.com or some other website to flame about all that if you want. Flame away, as I'm sure a lot of you will.[/citation]

I have nothing against reading objective reviews on alternative products, but it looks to me the author failed to write one. From the first page it's more of an unsubstantiated opinion piece. Macs are as vulnerable to viruses as PCs. In spite of what Apple commercials say Mac users, just like PC users, must have properly configured and updated Internet Security Suites, else they are subject to get infected and have / cause problems. It's reckless to suggest otherwise. Also, the author makes statements about such things as performance, like you cite "This article states that the macbook offers quality construction, a chipset that is faster than what Intel offers" but does not give us the facts, the raw data for us to verify. I would prefer that the authored has benchmark the Mac chipset to the equivalent of Intel chipsets and let us judge for ourselves based on the numbers. Ok, the author also states quality constructions, ok give us the data compare Apple to Dell, HP returns, problems, ect. Finally, many Apple users say that OSX is easier to use, again give us the data. Has anyone done a usability study, go do the legwork find the study and cite it so that we can judge for ourselves, otherwise it just an opinion, not a review.
 
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1. to right click, just click with two fingers instead of one
2. arguably you should include Vista Ultimate to get a comparable Dell config. When you do so, the price generally matches Apple's very closely
3. having said the price matches closely, of course you can also configure a much cheaper Dell
4. I am saddened to read so much ignorant and parochial bigotry in the comments. the article itself had a remarkably large amount of detailed information
5. Macs are not as vulnerable to viruses as PC's. There has never been a Mac virus in the wild. I don't know of a single OS X user who uses an antivirus package; they just aren't useful. Of course a user of any OS can install malware. You just have to be even more pig headedly stupid to do it under OS X.
 

jeffunit

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The root problem with the author getting his 0 day exploit is running the machine as administrator. This is clearly a bad idea from a security perspective. On my linux computers, I log into root to install software. Don't need it for anything else. He could have kept his old computer and
used vmware with internet access disabled, to run whatever microsoft loving apps he had to run, with near-perfect security.

Lets compare windows - cost $50 - $250, runs on x86
macos - costs $100 or so, runs on mac hardware only
linux - costs $0, runs everywhere from a linksys slug, x86, mac hardware, to supercomputers.

As for security, anyone that has a windows pc running for more than
a month, has known security vulnerabilities, which microsoft has patched. I won't speak about mac's, but linux boxes often stay up for
months to years at a time, without any security issues. Try that on a windows box.
 

catalinp

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First of all this article is so confusing from the beginning with the so elaborated story of "reasons" to switch. Well, I felt about the same when I switched to Mac few years ago, but the difference is that I was more practical (from my perspective...you may say otherwise).

I used to have a top-notch PC desktop built by myself with parts chosen carefully after weeks of reading reviews and comparisons. BTW, Tomshardware.com was among the websites "elected" to count best in the final decision. I was a convinced gamer and an overclocker squeezing that "last drop of the juice" until the computer restarted or just crashed frozen.

But then I got bored and more busy with other stuff, my wife and son came into picture, and all that cloud of wires beneath my desk became so annoying. I didn't want to go shop another parts, spend time to replace them in my PC and re-install Windows (which BY FAR was the most killing part...because of so many piece of software I had to reinstall and re-establishing my work environment).

And one day I said: I don't need this big box that consumes a lot of power, has so many wires and gives me so much troubles (documenting, upgrading, re-installing) every few months or so. I just a computer that works and it's there when I need it. And I switched...I bought an iMac...

Conclusion: I don't blame anyone for saying their opinion being a PC-lover or a Mac-lover...it's just a matter of taste...but having 2 comparable choices for a desktop is a lot for our best interest, because that's what competition leads to - progress.

One more thing, I would never go to PC, thanks to Mac OS. Period.


 

TheFace

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I stated nothing of security, and I use security software (Norton) on my mac just as is recommended by Apple. I agree with you, it is reckless to suggest otherwise. That said, I've never come across a trojan or virus that can affect my mac as opposed to my Vista x64 pc where I have encountered some. Still, just because you've never been in a car accident is no reason not to wear a seatbelt.

As for a usability study the many Apple users that say OSX is easier to use, also use Windows in it's various forms, much like myself. Yes it is an opinion, and this article is an experience (read: opinion) article with some numbers thrown in. My argument is this, the software set that you get with a Macbook is far superior than what a Vista based PC comes with. That is a bold statement, but you get OSX, and iLife altogether. There is a particular ease of use with these programs, and I would direct you to download the macworld keynote podcast(I understand it's completely one sided, but HAVE A LOOK FOR YOURSELF. The programmers and engineers at Apple attempt to make things intuitive and easy.

The Nvidia 9400m is considered one of the best chipsets for laptops out there. It is available to other manufacturers, and one of the earlier posters listed a Dell with it. I was stating that it is faster than the current crop of Intel chipsets, as most of the capabilities of the 9400M are much better.
 

jsloan

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funny the headline today in yahoo news

Mac Malware Spreads on Pirated Copies of iWork 09
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/64230;_ylt=AjVnYnzf7o4SrCFC5EcBI.ojtBAF

the reason that their are more viruses out there targeting pcs is that more people have pcs and they are affordable and easy to create software for, including viruses.

so if you are a virus writer you are likely to have a cheap pc with free version of visual studio which is very easy to write software for and you can get nice help on google on how to write viruses for. plus you have the added benefit that your virus will find the widest audience. if i were to write a virus for mac i would have to get mac or clone and then i would have to learn how to write software for mac os and all my hard work would be limited to less than 10% of computer users. i would rather spend couple hundred dollars for pc with windows home edition and use visual studio express (free) and target 90+ of users, like the bozos who created the current Confictor virus,

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090124/tc_pcworld/confickerhittinghardestinasialatinamerica

that way if i only got 1% of market 1 billion infected i would have 10 million machines doing my bidding, unlike Macs where if I got 1% of the market I would only have i would only have 500,000! All that work for soo little users.
 

jsloan

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oh forgot virus writers like the ones who did the iWork 09 have to learn objective-c, now how knows objective c, i don't think anyone outside mac developers use objective-c, ok some oddballs
 
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Wow so much angst towards this review. Putting a Mac review in a site like Tom's hardware is like kicking a hornets nest.
 

one-shot

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No wonder the majority of us enthusiasts don't like Mac..err computers. The last article about Gigabyte's UD3 design sounded like an ad, this doesn't seem too much different. Where are the informative articles without the marketing BS?
 
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The whole comment section puzzles me. Why the hostility towards Macs when Apple is not forcing you to use one on gun point?? Did Steve Job kicked your puppy when you were a wee lad? Just because something does not agree with you it does not mean it won't appeal or fit the needs of other people. Reading stuff like this is like reading those debates on religion where the each side claims all we need is the Lord Orangefruitbanana and those who disagree are illogical and will rot in hell.

Thats right, Macs are not the computers for over-clockers but it does not mean it wont fit the needs of someone else. My sister bought a "overpriced" Macbook but she is very happy and satisfied with it - is there more to it then that?
 

Scarchunk

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The author spends the entire 1st page trying to convince the reader he is a seasoned PC power user, and then handles a malware infection in one of the most noobish ways possible. He runs a single Symantec/Norton virus tool and then gives up to go buy a new computer. I would expect this kind of behavior from my grandmother. The author also claims to be a seasoned Linux user, yet he fails to see past the Compiz-like frills of OSX for what it really is: a Unix/Linux derivative? I've worked on a number of Mac's and OSX is a fine OS. Nothing special though. I look at it this way: there have been numerous occasions that I've been in OSX/Linux and said to myself, "Gee I wish I was in Windows right now", but I've NEVER been in Windows and wished for OSX/Linux. Case closed. I think the entire premise of this article was a lie.
 

jsloan

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not angst, its just the review specific review, if it was writtened differently by the author, more like other tom's hardware reviews there would not be any comotion. personally i like facts, the numbers i don't like its faster, better, ect i like the nice charts with nice numbers, i like to see someone do a good job, like we see in so many other articles found on this fine site, isn't that why we come here, to cut through the marketing hype, and personal opinions. all i got is an opinion and an article about paying a lot of money for very little hardware, i posted an equivalently configured dell 13" laptop could be had for like $500 less. personally buying a mac is like buying a porsche or Ferrari, something the average cost, value conscience consumer or business will never do. finally the sure Apple sales are up, they have had a a very successful ad campaign that has mis-characterized facts, leaving innocent non technical people with the misconceptions that Macs don't get viruses and that you don't need anti-virus for Macs. Wrong, Apple folks get them like very one else does.
 
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If could I would buy one of that macbooks. I already used macs before and I must say they are gorgeous, miles away from windows pc's. They can make work with computers enjoyable again, like old days with BeOS. About Linux, I use it on my day to day but it still lacks some polish, professional applications and when things don't work they are hard to get working.
 

cjl

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[citation][nom]sleepy17[/nom]1. to right click, just click with two fingers instead of one2.[citation]

This is assuming you like tap to click. I prefer buttons.

[citation][nom]sleepy17[/nom]
arguably you should include Vista Ultimate to get a comparable Dell config. When you do so, the price generally matches Apple's very closely3.
[/citation]
Typically not, as a comparable home premium configuration is more than $100 cheaper than a mac, while ultimate typically adds around $100 to a home premium based config.

Besides, mac users have the idea in their heads that somehow ultimate is the only comparable version to OSX. However, when you actually look at feature sets and intended use, Home Premium is the closest vista to OSX.

[citation][nom]sleepy17[/nom]
having said the price matches closely, of course you can also configure a much cheaper Dell4. I am saddened to read so much ignorant and parochial bigotry in the comments. the article itself had a remarkably large amount of detailed information5. Macs are not as vulnerable to viruses as PC's. There has never been a Mac virus in the wild. I don't know of a single OS X user who uses an antivirus package; they just aren't useful. Of course a user of any OS can install malware. You just have to be even more pig headedly stupid to do it under OS X.[/citation]

This has absolutely nothing to do with the security of the OS.

See here: https://forums.symantec.com/t5/Grab-Bag/Mac-OS-X-Viruses-and-Security/ba-p/306008;jsessionid=FD937BC42A0BCEA8769129708C23D33E#A7

and here: http://www.techworld.com/security/news/index.cfm?newsid=1798
 

CTT

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Not very impressed with this article. If you are just doing a straight up review, that's fine, don't preface or interlace it with an epiphany about PC to Mac computing. As it stands, unless you really just want to pay for the Apple icon on your computer, Macs have an uphill battle in price for performance and compatibility. One thing I found interesting was the (standard?) DDR3, you should point out more things like that if you want to push the Mac fanboism, just imo, and not things like a really good display after you use 3rd party software to calibrate it. Case in point for price/performance, I wrote this on a few month old Dell Studio 15 (2.5ghz, 4G DDR2 800, 160Gb 7200 RPM HDD, 15in LED screen, ect. ect.) that cost over $250 less than the Mac in this review.
 
[citation][nom]johncarvalho[/nom]If could I would buy one of that macbooks. I already used macs before and I must say they are gorgeous, miles away from windows pc's. They can make work with computers enjoyable again, like old days with BeOS. About Linux, I use it on my day to day but it still lacks some polish, professional applications and when things don't work they are hard to get working.[/citation]
Have you seen a tricked out PC with WC on an Lian Li or Antec 900/1200 running a moded version of Windows (custom boot screen,etc)?
 
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Got a new mac??? Well, good choice, you won't be disappointed !!! Just the review is really like from mac addict ;) Thats the only virus you get on mac! Addicted to its visual beauty and perfect performance of OS X ...
 

webfeet2

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[citation][nom]cjl[/nom]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.[/citation]

Hey did you read the article? If you place two fingers on the track pad and then click with your thumb then you have a right-click. You must have missed that part.
 

angry_ducky

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If I were buying a MacBook, I'd go for the white plastic one. It's $1000, and it was recently updated to the same Core 2, GeForce 9400 and 2GB as the $1300 aluminum one. It also has FireWire. My sister has a white 2.4GHz MacBook (bought last August), and while it's a nice machine, I wouldn't buy one.
 
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