"Looks? TICK Performance? TICK? Firewire? Bumbow!"4.0 starson by musictomyeyes
Pros: 1. New trackpad. Multifinger gestures.
2. Aluminium unibody. Rock solid.
3. Compact size.
4. Awesome performance and integration of various software components. Not buggy. (so far!)
5. Backlit keyboard (adjustable lighting).
6. Enjoyable experience
Cons: 1. Screen is sensitive to viewing angle. But fine if you are static and adjust it right.
2. Lack of firewire and express card! Apple messed up here big time...they have upset a lot of people with this omission (firewire especially.)
Summary: I'm new to Macs. But not unhappy with my previous windows machines. It just came time for me to get a more powerful computer.
I originally started looking at HP notebooks (which I could get very cheap!) and some Sony ones. They were all very nice machines. I also had a look at the Apple counter and started having a play with their laptops. I was trying to keep an open mind as I had never used a Mac before, with the thought in my mind that a big change is not what I needed right now.
In the process of playing, a salesperson showed me how the new track pad gestures worked, and I found them to be extremely intuitive and SOOOOOO much easier to use than traditional track pads. Just two weeks, on, I now find it frustrating to use my windows machines at work which have the traditional track pad. For starters, the Macbook trackpad is huge compared to any pc notebook. About 4x larger. That means you use less strokes to move across the screen. I seem to arrive at a point more accurately too...I really don't know why! The right click gesture I use is to put 2 fingers on the trackpad, and depress the right finger. It just seems so normal now. Left clicking is very intuitive too. You just depress wherever you are on the pad. You have to press a lot harder near the top of the pad though as that's where it is hinged. Honestly, I don't even like using a mouse anymore, it feels so wrong compared to using gestures. Scrolling up and down or across a document is very easy -no click and drag. Just 2 fingers on the trackpad and move up, down, left or right. Previous page?- 3 finger swipe left. Next page- swipe right. I wish I could do this on my windows machines.
Then I had a look at Keynote as I have to do presentations regularly...and the interface and quality of the slides was , well, impressive. Especially how easy it is to integrate graphics from the iphoto library. To me it was already a lot more intuitive than powerpoint, which I had been using for years.
It was lots of little things that made me decide to make the change and buy a more expensive machine. For example, the magsafe power adaptor - no more worries about damaging the power outlet when tripping on the cord. Backlit keyboard.Great feel to the keys. Rock solid aluminium body. - No more stressing about cracking the plastic shell if I'm less than careful. More little things.....the aluminium body doesn't get covered in fingerprints. The inbuilt mic works very nicely.The noise reduction works well - is not overly sensitive or tinny.
I find the screen is a mixed bag. Photos look rich and the colour is beautiful. But you need to get the screen sitting just right. It is pretty sensitive to changes in viewing angle. I think it will take awhile for me to get used to doing photo processing on this screen, but I'll definately get there.
Watching DVDs looks awesome. I have not been bothered by reflections at all yet. I must be the odd man out. Both when our house is lit by daylight or overhead lights, I've not been bothered by reflections.
Like most people, I think the omission of firewire was a big mistake. It doesn't really affect me much, but I can see how it would be a deal breaker for many people....especially when all the competition offer it...at a lower price!
The sound from the Macbook is actually very good.Well, it's loud and clear. Of course,not full and bassy. Hooked up to my home amp, and also my PA gear, it sounds great. The line-in/mic port is clean when I recorded some music through it. My headphones sounded clear and full through the headphone jack.
In the end, the overall package won me over. I voted with my hard earned dollars. No regrets so far.
I rationalized the purchase like this: although the initial purchase price is substantially higher than a PC equivalent, the Macbook comes with a lot more useful (valuable) software already installed. And it's not buggy crappy software that you have to fight with. It is well integrated, intuitive (to me) and someone else has already ironed out the bugs. The iLife suite is just amazing. Once you factor in the software, the purchase price is actually comparable again. The user interface is so much better than anything I have used before. From the backlit keys to the solid aluminium body, which has never gotten hot on my lap, even when processing video. I think because the entire body shell is aluminium,it disperses the heat very evenly, without the normal hot spots other notebooks get. Also,the Macbook is very very quiet. I hardly ever hear it. Others I've heard can be intrusive.
That's it. (sorry to waffle...)
Now, back to my life......