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Mossberg on MacBook: Polished, not perfect

updated 09:45 am EDT, Thu October 23, 2008

Mossberg MacBook review

Apple's revised MacBook is polished, if still not perfect, writes tech columnist Walt Mossberg. Joining other reviewers, Mossberg comments that one of the most striking aspects is the aluminum casing, which is not only more attractive but 12 percent thinner and 10 percent lighter. The underlying CPU is actually said to be slower, but this fact is compensated for by an integrated GeForce 9400M chip, which substantially improves graphical performance. Neither this nor the newly LED-backlit display are said to affect battery life, which is actually longer than in an equivalent older model.

The system is said to be unusually adept at running Windows as well, namely Windows XP, which Mossberg describes as running "beautifully." The author also highlights the "huge" glass trackpad, calling it a blend of a normal trackpad and the iPhone due to its support for multitouch functions.

The default 2GB of RAM on the system is said to be more than enough for the average person, but the standard 160GB hard drive is described as merely adequate. The computer is in fact said to have definite drawbacks, beginning with price, as the minimum of $1,299 is $300 more than the current low-end MacBook, or $200 more than the previous base system.

Mossberg also complains that there is no matte option for the display, and that the trackpad takes some getting used to, due to a slippery surface and the lack of regular buttons, which forces unorthodox left- and right-click methods. Lastly noted is the continuing absence of a memory card reader, and the removal of a FireWire port, which impacts people with a variety of camcorders and external hard drives.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    Huh ...

    What an oddly worded, noncommittal article.

  1. Haroscarfel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    card readers

    apple never includes card readers. it would be foolish to hordwire something that changes as rapidly as memory cards. every device maker has its favorite card and than changes their mind. look at the canon rebel, changed over to sd. just get an external if you really need it that often.

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    trackpad

    I find complaints about the trackpad premature, much like complaints about the keypad on the iPhone. If anything's odd, it's the bizarre twist you need to do for a right-click on PC laptops. Anything would be better, and I suspect that this trackpad will be seen that way over time.

  1. dagamer34

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Card reader

    Card readers are the most useless thing to stick in a laptop since 9 out of 10 people use their camera to download photos anyway.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Mossberg is RIGHT

    Everything he complained about, people have been saying since the new Macbooks were introduced.

    Lack of matte = FAIL
    Lack of firewire = EPIC FAIL
    Small 160 hard drive = FAIL
    DisplayPort = HUGE FAIL
    Price = EPIC FAIL

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    Re: Card reader

    Card readers are the most useless thing to stick in a laptop since 9 out of 10 people use their camera to download photos anyway.

    Gee, and web cams are a close second. Yet apple insists on including them, without option.

  1. tmedia1

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    success has killed...

    The success of the ipod and iphone have given apple the financial will to force what they want on the apple faithful like me. The new MacBook is a perfect example. I agree with all the comments below:Lack of matte = FAILLack of firewire = EPIC FAILSmall 160 hard drive = FAILDisplayPort = HUGE FAILPrice = EPIC FAIL

  1. tmedia1

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -8

    success has killed...

    The success of the ipod and iphone have given apple the financial will to force what they want on the public. The new MacBook is a perfect example. I buy a previous gen MBP before the I buy the new version. I agree with all the comments below:

    Lack of matte = FAIL
    Lack of firewire = EPIC FAIL
    Small 160 hard drive = FAIL
    DisplayPort = HUGE FAIL
    Price = EPIC FAIL

  1. dennisobell

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    typing has killed...

    ...your comment.

    Ability to log in and submit comment once: EPIC FAIL

  1. Warrenpeace

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    Make up your mind.

    Does he want more RAM and hard-drive space or does he want it to be cheaper? You can't have both. I've actually used one of the MacBooks over a couple days and they're brilliant. Want one now. They make the white model look like a toy.

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