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.