Monday, May 22, 2006

My Quick Impressions of the New MacBrick


I had a chance to briefly take a look at a MacBook this afternoon while playing tour guide to Akihabara for some visitors from Hawaii. I popped into the fake Apple store - the MAC store, and stole away from my charges for a few minutes to see the MacBook (MB) while they piddled with iPod accessories.

They had two, a black and a white MacBook. I tried both keyboards, and have to say they felt inferior to that on my 12" G4 PB. There is also actual space between the keys, giving them a sort of hard edge I don't care for. I also noted that one of the MBs was missing two keys. I have no idea if this was customer abuse or a QC problem.

Both MBs were lacking batteries (like Jason observed in another store), but felt quite heavy anyway. Big plastic-coated bricks...

I'm starting to wonder if batteries are removed for other reasons, however. Such as to prevent their theft or problems when the magnetic plug is yanked.

Performance I didn't have a chance to futz with, given time. But these are not very attractive products in my opinion. And I didn't even notice the glossy screen.

Oh well - let's hope Apple gives us a truly portable laptop soon...

3 comments:

Jason said...

I don't know how official this person's claim of an official answer from Apple is, but he says that there will be no 12" MacBook Pro and that the laptop lineup as it exists now is complete. Sad.

I don't know how true all the reports are, but the heat issues alone would make me afraid of owning one. I'd love to have CoreDuo power, but not all that heat nonsense. My 15" Powerbook G4 1.67ghz is very quiet, and only occasionaly are the fans even slightly audible.

Link to the report: http://yourtech.typepad.com/main/2006/05/its_official_no.html

dan said...

Played with one yesterday and thought it was great. Ran a little warm, but so does my iBook.

They were getting oohs and aaahs and selling like hotcakes, so (and if you read around you'll know this) I think your opinion is in the minority. They're getting great reviews.

Great move by apple.

Oh, and not as nice as your 12 inch pb? Do you buy a toyota and complain it's not as nice as your bmw? Seriously, how much did you pay for your pb? And you're comparing it to a macbook which you can get for a little over a thousand? Time to get off the drugs.

And jason, everything I've read says the macbooks run warm to hot, but are very quiet. Might want to do a little research.

umijin said...

Well Dan, since you like to bait people by insulting them, I suppose I'll indulge your 'drugless' stupor for now.

As with many new Apple products, people often buy them for the stylishness, not the functionality. Unfortunately, Apple sometimes releases stuff that isn't up to snuff. The first two generation iPods were good examples of this, as was the Cube. Maybe the HiFi is another dog, but it's still too early to tell.

The MB isn't getting the completely rave reviews you claim. Sure, lots of people like things about them - they are new and relatively cheap and relatively fast. I think someone who wants iBook functionality will likely be pleased with a MacBook. I've said that before in previous posts.

But reviews are also talking about the whine in some machines (certainly not all), the lack of a graphics accelerator (maybe no big deal if you don't play high end games or want to run apps like Aperature), the heat, the glossy screen (which I like).

But it's not that great a machine or innovation, quite frankly. It's just a relatively cheap Intel machine that runs OSX and is quite heavy for its screen size. And just because a bunch of MacFanboys go out and buy it when it first comes out doesn't make it a good product.

Maybe it's just me, but I didn't see the same sort of mania here in Japan about the MacBook in the retailers I visited. People looked, they lifted, and they left. Hopefully, it's not that way at the Apple store - for Apple's sake.

And though I appreciate your analogy of the Toyota and BMW, I don't think you understand why I don't care for the MacBook. Apple is billing this 'Toyota' as a replacement for an older 'BMW'.

Actually, the MacBook is billed as a replacement for both the 12" PB and iBooks by Apple and the 'rave' reviewers. I partially agree - it certainly replaces the 13" iBooks.

But it simply is not a replacement for the 12" G4 PowerBook. There are no other tenable options- this is my gripe.

Now pay attention closely why the 13" MacBrick doesn't replace my 12" G4 PowerBook. IT'S TOO HEAVY. Get it?

If you *do* get it, you are one up on Apple.