on 26 July 2007
I've always been a bit suspicious of the hype surrounding Apple products. I've used PCs for years (I'm typing on a Dell now) and find them OK, though maddening at times if you're not the kind of person who enjoys scouting the Internet for tips on how to make a consumer product work. Set against that, I like the look of Apple products; and when I did a thorough like-for-like pricing exercise, was intrigued to find that the MacBooks were not notably more expensive than comparable PC laptops (although you can buy perfectly serviceable PC laptops for a lot less). So I took the plunge and tried the Mac, a few months ago. What did I find? Well:
- the basic interface doesn't at first feel all that different from a PC. It's a little bit quicker to boot up, which is nice. The screen is good, but not spectacular. The keyboard takes a bit of getting used to, but is OK. The Microsoft Office:Mac 2004 suite I bought for £99 or so (see separate review) worked well, and Word and Excel files transferred from a PC to my Mac or vice-versa worked fine. My first impression was that this was less of a revolution than I'd expected;
- the size is right, if you travel. It's a bit heavier than some top-end PC laptops, but you can't get many smaller, lighter PCs with comparable specs for this price. The built-in camera is great for using Skype or other VOIP applications with a camera while you're on the road;
- when I'd been using the MacBook for a bit, though, I became increasingly conscious of two big differences. First, the Mac really does work better than most PCs I've had. Getting it working with wireless networks, for example, is much easier than a PC. New software nearly always works first time. I've never yet that ghastly moment of "what do I do now?" to make a bit of hardware or software work. Second, the Mac feels fun, in the sense that I get positive pleasure from using it. There are one or two killer applications, like the "front row" software, with remote control, for watching DVDs or video.
So, overall, after a couple of months, I'm delighted with my MacBook. It's not revolutionised my life, and I haven't become a committed Apple guy, but it's the first computer I've owned for a while which actually gives me pleasure to use, and rarely causes me frustration. That, for my money, is quite an achievement.
on 26 September 2007
This was my first outing into the world of apple and i have to say this piece of kit has converted me. At first it was a little daunting, getting used to the way of OSX but now it comes second nature, and i find XP much less intuitive.
The macbook itself is great, unlike a PC all the hardware fits right into the operating system without having a separate programme with a different user interface to learn your way around. The design is great, i still go wow when i see it sitting on my desk. The keyboard is very nice to type on and the touch pad, although hating the things, is still much better than anything i've used on other laptops. Although it is pretty heavy, its a good size, with a very good screen and i love that there is no catch to open it, it is held closed by magnets.
The iLife software that comes with it has been updating since i purchased mine, so i can assume it is an improvement on already great pieces of software. Also the apple remote and front row software is really useful for watching movies, or when i hook my laptop up to my hifi and play music out of it. It is just like the user interface of an ipod, easy to learn and it works very well.
The only problem with the design is that the very small inlet for the fans is hidden in the hinge, so it can get noisy and hot when running intense programmes. Also it bends ever so slightly when you pick it up, and makes the cd drive groan very loudly at you if you are running anything off it.
I bought mine for uni mainly as there is no threat of viruses due to something in the UNIX code (according to the apple web-site). No idea what this means, but i feel better knowing my work is safer than on a pc. also, using a free download from the apple web-site you can install XP onto it too, as i have done to use some software that i love too much to part with.
I was previously put off buying a mac due to the higher prices compared to similar spec pc's, but i have found the memory management of the macbook to be much better. It does not slow down as often, and when it does i have found it is only the problematic programme that freezes, so the operating system is still running as smoothly as before, meaning you can quickly solve the problem and shut the programme down.
Overall i much prefer my macbook to any other laptop i have used before, and i think i am now a convert for life to OSX, and i can't wait for leopard. I would recommend this to anyone, especially as it is extremely intuitive to use and it is much safer online than windows alternatives.
on 8 August 2007
I have had a Macbook for a couple of weeks now and am very pleased with my choice.
I have had various PCs over the years and though I thought I was happy. Then I took the red pill and my eyes were opened. The Macbook is designed with the user in mind. Most of the software you need is already installed and all works together.
I was a little wary that there would be a bit of a learning curve to get used to the Mac operating system but it is very user friendly. As a lifelong PC user you need to make a slight mental shift to figure out how to achieve the same tasks (no right clicking for example). But after a few days or so you don't even think about it anymore.
It's fast too. Just turn it on and everything loads up in seconds.
On a superficial level it looks good and is very light to carry around. 5 stars from me.
on 31 December 2007
Since I started shopping for a laptop last year, I went everywhere, looked at every laptop under the sun, reviews, lab tests and customer reviews and everything told me that if I bought a Mac, I wouldn't be disappointed.
Ever since I picked up my MacBook, I've found that using a computer isn't just about using things, It's about having fun and enjoying the process of using a computer, then going back to the windows desktops of work, I just can't help but feel that Macs have always been designed by people who actually use computers on a day by day basis for things other than work. Sure you pay extra for it but it's like a car!!! Imagine the PC as the Vauxhall vectra, very middle of the road, designed around a coffee table by the blokes who balance the books. Then Imagine the Mac as a stunning V8 supercar, smashingly overpriced in the UK but outperforms anything else in it's field in terms of the "feel good" factor. When I start my MacBook up, I smile, because it's just so user friendly, I've made a few modifications to my mac, giving it more RAM and a bigger Hard drive, but the overall feel of the MacBook will always be one that totally outclasses any old PC on the market.
It comes with a whole suite of software and iLife as well as all the expected stuff, but then goes one better, features like esposé does what vista can only rip off, and dashboard gives you functionality without extra running applications. Front Row, teamed with the apple remote, gives you a stunning media centre which windows had to design a whole new operating system for. Spotlight allows for really quick searches and the graphic richness of the whole OS really makes even the most mundane tasks manageable.
I guess you could just say Once you've had mac, you'll never go back. I know I haven't
on 1 September 2007
Although the macbook and most particularly its accesories are a little more expensive than their windows based counterparts, you get what you pay for and what you get is brilliance. Apart from the ease of use, the Macbook saves so much time compared to the virus-ridden, pop-up nightmarish hell that is windows. Having finally been driven away from the latter by a total hard drive failure on my dell PC, I took a deep breath and plunged into the Mac OS for the first time since my student days. Needless to say, I am utterly delighted with what I found, hence the rating, and will be recommending the product to my husband as his windows-based (dell) laptop is already on the blink after only 3 pathetic years of use. I am confident that this new purchase will go the the distance and my husband already describes himself as a "macbook widow" because I'm still exploring all the options available with this beautifully simple and stylish concept.
After using PCs running Microsoft Windows OS for the last twelve years, I decided to make the switch to a Mac.
My wife loved the look of the machine (it is beautiful) and I was impressed with the specs.
This is a beast of a machine, it might not be the top spec model, but it is still blisteringly fast. My old laptop running Windows takes about 3 minutes to boot up and then another 3 minutes before it is running at full speed once all the background stuff has completed - BUT...
This new Mac of mine takes less than 30 seconds from pressing the power button to be fully functional! And that includes me typing in my profile account password.
It was really bizarre having a machine that didn't need several disks of application installing to have it finally work, I just turned it on, entered my details - and then it was ready!
These machines are perfect for both those who love their tech and want a fab machine, and also for those who are nervous of computers as this is such an intuitive system. The fact that it is so intuitive means that those who have made the move from PC to Mac can navigate round with ease, and those who are not confident with computers can feel their way round more confidently.
The look is great - the 'lid' has no catch or clasp on it, instead it is magnetic and so closes nicely without breaking the beautiful lines of the screen mounting. The webcam is integrated and is a nice square panel which houses the lens.
Another nice nifty feature is the power cord. It doesn't actually plug into the laptop - it too is magnetic and it just connects. This means that if you trip over the wire, you won't pull your beloved glossy white slab of a machine onto the floor.
The standard pre-installed software is a dream to use. I struggled to find simple software for my old PC which would allow me to edit video, and create movie files from JPEGs to give me a photo montage. But the software that comes with this as standard does this fantastically, and it does it quickly. I have also created DVDs of my photos using my Macbook, and this is so simple that a ping-pong ball with penned on eyes could do it! The Mac thinks of everything ands resizing the pictures for you - you just drag and drop, then watch the preview clicking on anything you want to change.
Apple Macs are the most attractive bits of tech going, the finishing touches and the attention to detail is amazing. It feels and looks both fun, and powerful. But looks aren't everything, and this has the(and forgive my obvious computer jargon here) proper gubbins inside to ensure that performance is lightning fast - and consistently so.
If you haven't used one yet - make the switch, you won't regret it
I've been a Mac user for just short of 17 years now and I've owned various iMacs since the year 2000 and finally I managed to buy myself a Macbook.
I've had it for just over a month, and I've generally been impressed.
The first thing you notice is actually unwrapping the machine, as ever Apple have put a large amount of thought into the packaging and it's all rather neat.
The second thing you notice is just how nice a feel the Macbook has on your lap, it feels solid. It's generally a pleasure to use, I've only really done some word processing and web browsing so far and it's been absolutely fine. It's reasonable to carry around but you will notice it on your shoulder, you'll need to invest in a bag, though.
This was my first exposure to Leopard too, and the only striking differences between that and Tiger is that downloads sit grouped in the dock and you can back up the drive with Time machine (if you plug a hard drive in or have another Mac with a wired hard drive).
The only possible complaints are that this model lacks a DVD writer (superdrive) and ships with a relatively small hard drive and a small amount of RAM (1Gb). The newer model has improved the Hard drive situation.
on 25 December 2007
When I started to look for a LapTop I didn't think I'll go for an Apple, but all the reviews have convinced me. I own this piece of kit for 2 months now and I am impressed!
My DeskTop runs on Microsoft and I think it's worth having both - that puts me in the position to compare.
The Pro for Microsoft is that every Software goes with it which can be a problem with Apple as for example my Clie Sony PDA Software is not compatible with the Mac ... however:
Being new to Apple I was surprised how easy it's use is: just drop everything on the icon you want to shift it to and done! And with 'Finder' you can access all the applications, documents etc. and work with them. I have transferred many of my PowerPoint Presentations and Work documents on to the MacBook and you get a 30d trial of Work-Mac which enables you to access and work with Word and PowerPoint - actually it's even better to work on them on my MacBook then on the original Microsoft Software as Apple has arranged all the applications so extremely user-friendly: you need to see it to understand what I mean.
One thing I noticed likewise: the MacBook doesn't crash and every Software I put on works without problems - something I can't say about Microsoft! A further point is the Security: no more Firewalls, Virus Update and System Maintenance - the Mac does that for you. Updates from the Apple site come in blocks and you will have them presented to you and decide what you want to install: with Microsoft I always found the choice is limited to make your own decisions in what Software you would like to load up.
It's more expensive but worth it!
And finally: it's fast! I work a lot on different PCs at work and all are pretty fast but nothing compares to the Mac!
on 25 January 2008
Ok...here it is; a PC user since 1994 with a reasonable "tech" head, I have finally gone over to the "White" side and bought my first Mac.
Received it yesterday; packaging is good; very little in the box apart from the laptop, two CDs, power adaptor and the Apple remote.
Started the Macbook up; 45 seconds later and the "desktop" was ready! It asked if I wanted to set-up my email; yes please, and all I had to do was put my email address and password and...that's it! The Mail software did the rest.
I like the Apple remote; being able to control iTunes and the volume from afar (across the room).
Safari internet browser is quick, marginally more than Firefox and infinitely more than Microsoft Internet Explorer.
DVD playback quality is good...but the VAIO is still class leading.
13.3" screen is good but I will have to invest in a monitor as after an hour or so, looking at a 13.3" screen gets rather tiring. However, I have for the past 18 months been looking at a 15.4" screen so...make your own conclusions.
Now for the reason why I give it only 4 Stars. Once started, the Macbook started to make a "whirring" noise (top left, near power adaptor).
Apart from this, the Macbook and Leopard Software I am getting to like a lot. I have my Sony VAIO (Vista) running too, therefore I can make a good comparison.
Currently, I have 1 GB of RAM in my Macbook and an 80 GB HDD. This will have to upgrade if I am going to run a "virtual" Vista environment. Do not buy RAM from Apple...way, way too expensive!
So, to conclude, I have been on the "white" side for 24 hrs and I like what I see. The software seems more solid and it is very easy to get around the system. I have yet to get use to the idea of surfing the Web WITHOUT a virus checker. Only time will tell if I ever get drawn back into the "dark" side!!!
If, like me, you are agonising over the decision whether or not to switch, I say SWITCH. At the very least, you will not be worse off.
on 11 February 2008
And I expect some problems with OS's because computers are not built fault free.
Works like a treat runs reallllllly fast and I have so much stuff on it and use so much less memory than I thought I would. Photoshop is really fast on it as well.