Wednesday, May 17, 2006

New MacBooks Released - Overweight and Underwhelming

Apple released the new MacBooks today, a day on which no events were planned, though ThinkSecret predicted they would appear at this time.

The Good:

  • New MacIntels broaden the product line.
  • Relatively cheap laptops ($1099-1599 or ¥134,800-179,800)
  • Accessories: built in iSight, Front Row, & Apple Remote
  • Color options - white or black
  • 6 hour battery life

The Bad:
  • VERY heavy - 5.2lbs, a pound more than the 12" PB and slightly more than the 13" G4 iBook
  • Color options - to get black, you have to get the most expensive model.
  • Graphics - Instead of an ATI uses Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950, which, I'm told, sucks. Also has only 64MB of video memory!

The Ugly:
  • The Name: iBook was so much better, and it's sad to see it go. MacBook is just not cool.
  • The Unit: From the promo photos, this just isn't an attractive computer in my view.
  • Glossy screen - actually I like this, but lots of folks do not.
  • Keyboard - this appears to be something different than on the MacBookPro's - have to see it in person, but looks ugly.

The Word:

I think this may be a nice entry level laptop option for those folks wanting something like the old iBook - sort of like a portable version of an Intel MacMini.

However, I'm pretty pissed that Apple can't design/produce something that is comparable to weight and features on Windows laptops. It's at least pound too heavy, and not fast enough to get excited.

Professional users want a small, fast, light laptop. Japan public transport commuters want something light. And women want something that looks cute. Apple just doesn't get it, and I have to wonder if Japanese Mac laptop sales will fall further.

Say it isn't so, Steve! Give us a truly portable laptop, that our wives will want to bring home.


Anonymous said...

Weighs slightly more then the 13" G4 iBook, eh? I don't see the problem here. Of course it will be heavier then the version with the smaller screen.

umijin said...

Unfortunately, the 13" MacBook is billed as a replacement for the 12" PowerBooks and iBooks. On the weight end, it doesn't match it. Sure it has a bigger screen than the 12", but the old 12 inchers were heavier than they needed to be.

If this isn't convincing, compare the MacBook with other 13" laptops and you'll see it is extraordinarily heavy for a laptop its size. If you compare it to the last 13" iBook - it's a third of a pound *heavier*. What's up with that? Shouldn't these be getting lighter? Now compare it with Windoze laptops in its size range. The MacBook comes out 1-2 pounds heavier. I think that's ridiculous.

I think if you want an inexpensive Mac laptop with Intel Inside - the MacBook is fine. But if you want a small, light laptop you can carry to work/school everyday - there aren't any Mac options, and likely won't be.