Move over Macbeth and make way for the MacBook. No fuss, no hassle… a neat, nice, nifty notebook which places it a niche above the rest. The completely redesigned MacBook is here and we divulge just why this particular version sets it apart from its older models and why this offering may be better preferred over even the MacBook Pro.
The MacBook came to us packaged in a white rectangular box complete with a carry handle. The box too was simple as it portrayed nothing on the cover save for the name of the product, a picture of the closed MacBook and of an open one on the rear to give us a taste of what we could expect. With the image itself and its reputation preceding itself, we already anticipated the MacBook to offer a sleek stylishness as the cherry on top with reliable computing experiencing as its icing. On opening the package we saw the MacBook snuggly sealed in a plain white cloth bag. Packed along with it were a 60W MagSafe Power Adapter, an AC power cord as well as a neat box which held two sets namely Everything Mac which was the manual and Everything else which comprised of installation software. Coming to the notebook, we could espy just the recognizable Apple logo adorning the surface that would light up once the MacBook was in use. No lines, no patterns or color schemes on the lid… just a complete pleasant white appearance.
When we opened the lid of the laptop, we weren’t surprised to find the inner offerings also neatly placed. When the MacBook was switched on, there was a beautiful snow leopard staring right back at us through the desktop. What a way to start our Apple MacBook experience. The maneuvering of the mouse could be done either through the huge glass Multi-Touch trackpad already provided on the device or via a standard mouse which fits into one of the two given USB slots. Another great way to navigate through the various applications is by utilizing the Apple Magic Mouse. We were truly bewitched with how easy it was to pair the device with the notebook through Bluetooth.
The newly improved MacBook sports a durable polycarbonate unibody layout. The laptop measures 1.08 x 13 x 9.12 cm and was observed to be slightly on the heavier side as it weighs 2.13kg. There was an integrated full-size keyboard which came complete with 12 function keys and 4 arrow keys. From the function keys, we could increase, decrease and mute the volume as well as access the Expose, Dashboard, Media and brightness keys. The keyboard isn’t backlit so typing in the dark may pose a slight problem. All content could be seen on the improved 13.3 inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display which supports various types of screen resolutions. Unlike other standard notebooks, the home screen was also as clear as day without any icon cluttering. On the top of the home screen was a Menu bar complete with few options such as an Apple logo which, when scrolled upon, revealed a few relevant options like the Sleep, Restart, Shut Down and Log Out. Just besides the logo, we could espy other choices like Finder, File, Edit, View, Go, Window and Help. Along the Menu bar on the right hand side were the battery and Wi-Fi indicators, volume, date, time and more. At the bottom of the screen was a Dock, which we must say, was very convenient especially while navigating through different icons and offerings.
Thanks to the introduction of the Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard we were provided with a plethora of options. These include Time Machine, Spaces, Dashboard, iChat, Address Book, iCal, Photo Booth, Xcode Developer Tools, Quick Look, Spotlight, Mail, Safari, QuickTime, DVD Player and Front Row. We could also find iTunes, Finder, GarageBand, iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, Aperture among others which are all part of iLife. Through the Safari icon, we could view the top sites all on one single page. What’s more is that Safari will learn all your most frequented websites while surfing the Internet and place them as the preferred top sites. Easy accessibility doesn’t just stop there. When we swiped our finger across the trackpad we could easily toggle between the Top Sites area, home screen and all the icons which were opened. The latter could be seen neatly displayed all in one page for easy access.
Users who possess an Apple iPod or iPhone need not install iTunes as it is already provided with the notebook. There are also a lot of options to explore which would surely appeal to the creative side of customers and spark life into their wildest ideas. Take for example the iPhoto and Aperture. With these options, photography enthusiasts are bound to have a field day. It offers a wide selection of editing, viewing and previewing tools. When inserting pictures into the MacBook through a flash drive or via the webcam, you can choose different options which would perfectly suit your needs. Through the ergonomic multi touch trackpad, you can seamlessly pinch, rotate, swipe and tap pictures.
There’s something in here for music aficionados as well. For all you bathroom singers and those who like to jam along with your band mates would surely appreciate the inclusion of GarageBand. Through this option, you can merge, mix, blend and ultimately record an original composition. There is even something for those users who aspire to be the next Steven Spielberg. The MacBook also offers the iMovie which allows them to fashion, create and edit clips to ultimately formulate a complete movie. We had put together an African safari which featured cheetahs, lions, elephants and even a tour group. One of the known qualities featured in this newer version of the MacBook is the 60-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery which allows up to 7 whole hours of computing time. This is precisely what we experienced. With loads of such fascinating applications, we were working on the laptop continuously for nearly 7 hours without having the need to plug in the charger.
With so many interesting applications to explore, we opened quite a number of them and found that we could easily toggle between all of programs without having to experience any sort of lag. We could even multitask with many computing activities such as listen to music, surf the Internet as well as switch between a few applications. Although the MacBook does have some cool features for music enthusiasts, the sound emitted wasn’t really up to the mark. The device does include integrated stereo speakers as well as an omnidirectional microphone located on the upper left hand side of the MacBook, combined optical digital output/headphone out. It even supports Apple Stereo Headset with microphone or any other 3.5mm earphone or headset. Another treat lies in store for users who love to play around with pictures and videos. The MacBook boasts of the integrated iSight camera which is located on the top of the device. If you really want to have fun with pictures and videos, you can take complete advantage of the Photo Booth option from the Application section. This is your portal to loads of fun effects like funhouse mirrors and various backgrounds like the Eiffel Tour, a rollercoaster and even the moon!
Coming to the hardware specs, we see the Macbook housing the a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and robust Nvidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics. Connectivity options include built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking, Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR wireless technology, integrated 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet. On the right hand side of the notebook is an 8x slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW).
The MacBook sports a sleek and neat appearance.
Includes a brilliant glass multi-gesture trackpad.
Offers mostly all the qualities of a MacBook Pro at a lesser price.
Only 2 USB slots which are cluttered along with the charging port.
The glossy display as well as the snow white hue easily catches fingerprints and dust particles which are very much viewable.
To bring this review home, the revised MacBook is an excellent and optimum choice for users who have always wanted to own one. It sports a heap of new features like wider trackpad and many other specific options when pitted against its older versions. The 13.3 inch notebook also offers nearly all the specs of a MacBook Pro and is also the cheaper option with the Pro possessing a price tag of Rs.74,400 where as the latest MacBook is aptly priced at just Rs.56,900. The MacBook from Apple would surely get you booking and acquiring one right now. We give the device a cool 9.2 out of 10.