I know it is silly to get excited over the arrival of a notebook computer. But, I was pretty darn excited when my MacBook arrived on Tuesday (after a wild journey that went from China, Alaska, Indiana, California, and finally to my state). After the intial excitement, I started looking at the various questions I had about the MacBook garnered from web while waiting. Here’s what I’ve found so far…
The 13.3″ MacBook next to a 14″ HP notebook
- Glossy screen: I put the MacBook on a passive notebook cooling surface (no fan) on a stool so I could move the screen in various positions relative to a standing fluorescent type light. The worse case is with the light directly over my left shoulder. I can see the long bulb in the screen if I am sitting about two feet away. But, that problem goes away by crouching in closer to the screen. With the light at some other angle, the screen looks great. So far I like the glossy screen (compared to my 12″ iBook G4).
- Keyboard: I was very concerned by the comments about the non-tapered keys on the keyboard. But, I haven’t had any problems adjusting to the keyboard so far. My only minor complaint is that the delete seems a bit too far away. I feel pretty comfortable on the keyboard after using it for a couple of hours so far.
- Heat: I was really concerned about this. The Dell and HP notebooks I’ve used for the last 4 years have run pretty warm. The iBook G4 seemed to me to run a lot cooler and that is one of the reasons I like the iBook so much. The MacBook palm rest area below the keyboard gets a little warm about about 30 minutes on battery power. But, with an ambient room temperature of about 78F, it does not feel terribly uncomfortable. The CoreDuoTemp utility reports an internal temperature of 129F right now. It had run as hot as 150F right after starting up when I was downloading the many megabytes of upgrades from Apple. I suspended the MacBook after the upgrade (closed the lid) to do a few things around the home. When, I resumed the session, the temperature was around 95F. It slowly rose to where it is now and seems to be staying there. CoreDuoTemp also reports the CPU at 1500MHz (I have a 2GHz White MacBook).
- Wide Size: Yep, the MacBook is wider than a 12″ iBook. No surprise there. But, it is the same size width as my 14″ HP notebook. So, it fits fine in the backpack I usually carry HP in. IMHO the 13.3″ LCD is a perfect size for me: Wide enough to put up various windows to work on and small enough to carry around comfortably.
- iSight and iMovieHD: Based on web comments, I was not sure if these two worked together (I was thinking of doing some videocasting or maybe some family video interviews). Happy to report that iMovieHD supports iSight just fine.
So far the main concerns I had before my MacBook was delivered have become non-or-minor issues. I wish Apple would have added the two following features, however.
- An SD card slot
- A rotating camera that could face forward (useful for recording presentations, etc.). I remember seeing this on a Sony Vaio years ago and thought it was a good idea back then.