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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Macbook - Macbook Questions for Macbook Users.


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SoundsGood

 
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Sorry in advance for all the questions, but I'm trying to decide between a Macbook and a Macbook Pro, and these answers will really help.

1. KEYBOARD - the MB has a "funky" raised keyboard (compared to the more traditional keyboard on the Macbook Pro). Is this keyboard easier or harder to type on?

2. SCREEN - anyone think it's too small to use as a main "desktop replacement" type computer?

3. SCREEN (again) - anyone have issues with the glossy screen? I've never used glossy before, only matte.

4. WHITE vs. BLACK - I don't really have a color preference, but I am concerned about dirt, fingerprints, etc. Which *surface* is easier to keep clean and fingerprint-free... gloss (white) or matte (black)?

5. HEAT - I read somewhere that you can "fry an egg on the bottom of a Macbook." Does it really get *that* hot? I often use my laptop on my lap (weird, right?) so too much heat is no bueno.

6. UPDATES / REVISIONS? - any new Macbooks coming up in the next few months? Any good reasons to wait?


Thanks a lot for your help! :-)
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plusfortyfour

 
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Keyboard- I like the keyboard. It took me a day or so to get used to it, now I find it weird with a regular keyboard.

Screen- I find I get a reflection. I mostly use mine in my room so I just shut the blinds. I don't find the screen too small.

Colour- I have a white Macbook and yeah, you can see the dirt/dust. I just wipe it of with my sleeve and any fingerprints or whatever I use a bottle of cleaner and cloth I bought.

Updates/Revisions- I don't know of any new Macbooks coming out. I am sure there will be new ones eventually. The only reason you might want to wait is for Leopard, but you can buy it on its own.
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yogi

 
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I'm no MacBook owner, but since no-one else has replied yet, I'll share what I know.

1. I've typed on this keyboard and I prefer it over the Pro Keyboard, because it has slightly better tactile feedback. The bread crumbs can be a problem, though.

2. I can't work on 13.1" for my main uses. I cried with my 15" CRT back in the day, and griped over 17", and right now I'm just about feeling OK with 20". It's a matter of preference - I think 13" is OK to run one app, like a word processor or web browser, but forget apps like photoshop.
I have seen iLife manage remarkably well with 13.1" though.

3. Both have advantages and disadvantages. If you like watching movies, dvds, get the glossy screen. If you going to spend a lot of time outdoors, get matte. The color preformance, etc. are the same AFAIK.

4. I reckon the blackis cleaner, but cannot warrant for it.

5. This depends on your Macbook. If you're flogging the processor, it might heat up. As a man, I wouldn't keep a WiFi/Bluetooth device to near to my lap anyway - if you know what I mean.

6. No-one knows thought the Macbooks haven't received any major update since introduction - but I wouldn't reckon on anything prior to July/iPhone.

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SoundsGood

 
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Thanks guys, I appreciate your help.

And yes, Yogi, as a man I do know what you mean! ;-)

BTW, someone left me negative feedback for posting this thread, stating that "there are TONS of threads that ask these same questions." My apologies to anyone I have offended by starting a new thread.
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RNDdave

 
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Quote:
Sorry in advance for all the questions, but I'm trying to decide between a Macbook and a Macbook Pro, and these answers will really help.

1. KEYBOARD - the MB has a "funky" raised keyboard (compared to the more traditional keyboard on the Macbook Pro). Is this keyboard easier or harder to type on?
I really like the MacBook raised keyboard - I think the spacing is about the same as a regular keyboard as I didn't have any trouble adapting to the new keyboard at all. HOWEVER I have not really used a MBP keyboard so I don't know what the difference 'feels like'.

Quote:
2. SCREEN - anyone think it's too small to use as a main "desktop replacement" type computer?
I think this depends more upon the type of apps that you use. As Yogi said; something graphics based will prob benefit from a larger screen size - but then nothing stops you from buying an external monitor in the future - for those more demanding tasks.

Quote:
3. SCREEN (again) - anyone have issues with the glossy screen? I've never used glossy before, only matte.
I've not really noticed an issue here. I guess it comes down to where you use it - and I have seen a thread on this forum from someone that does not like their glossy screen, however, for me, it's fine. I mainly use my MacBook in doors - in fact I've not been outside to use it at all - yet.

Quote:
4. WHITE vs. BLACK - I don't really have a color preference, but I am concerned about dirt, fingerprints, etc. Which *surface* is easier to keep clean and fingerprint-free... gloss (white) or matte (black)?
I wanted a black MacBook for months before I finally went out and bought one - and when it came down to it - the white one was the one I bought.
I went to a couple of stores (PC World, John Lewis, etc) and looking at the MacBooks on display - it was always the black one that showed it's use more so than the white one.
I don't doubt that after a few months of using it - the keyboard might be a little dirty - but in the black ones always looked kind of greasy to me.

Quote:
5. HEAT - I read somewhere that you can "fry an egg on the bottom of a Macbook." Does it really get *that* hot? I often use my laptop on my lap (weird, right?) so too much heat is no bueno.
Mine does get quite warm - perhaps warmer than any of my previous laptops - but it's not uncomfortable. Then I guess everyone will be different with that point.
I've played Champ Manager for maybe 3 hours - the CPU does get a bit of work in this game as there's quite a bit of math for the game to churn through - I had the MacBook on my lap for a lot of that time and I wasn't bothered by the heat - aware of it - yes, but not bothered by it.
However after reading Yogis' reply; maybe I'm not so keen to have it on my lap again - never thought of it like that before...

Quote:
6. UPDATES / REVISIONS? - any new Macbooks coming up in the next few months? Any good reasons to wait?
No one can be sure on an answer to this - welcome to the secret murky world of Apple!

Quote:
Thanks a lot for your help! :-)
Not a problem.
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slashjunior

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundsGood View Post
Sorry in advance for all the questions, but I'm trying to decide between a Macbook and a Macbook Pro, and these answers will really help.

1. KEYBOARD - the MB has a "funky" raised keyboard (compared to the more traditional keyboard on the Macbook Pro). Is this keyboard easier or harder to type on?

2. SCREEN - anyone think it's too small to use as a main "desktop replacement" type computer?

3. SCREEN (again) - anyone have issues with the glossy screen? I've never used glossy before, only matte.

4. WHITE vs. BLACK - I don't really have a color preference, but I am concerned about dirt, fingerprints, etc. Which *surface* is easier to keep clean and fingerprint-free... gloss (white) or matte (black)?

5. HEAT - I read somewhere that you can "fry an egg on the bottom of a Macbook." Does it really get *that* hot? I often use my laptop on my lap (weird, right?) so too much heat is no bueno.

6. UPDATES / REVISIONS? - any new Macbooks coming up in the next few months? Any good reasons to wait?


Thanks a lot for your help! :-)
1. I was a bit unsure about the keyboard at first and it took a bit of getting used to, but I actually prefer it now and it is great for typing on.

2. To be honest with you, personally I think the screen is a bit on the small side. However, it suits me because I want portability and use my desktop machine when I am at home. If this is a concern you can always connect an external display, a cheaper option than spending the extra on a MacBook Pro.

3. The glossy screen is great and is one of the best monitors I have used, really bringing out the colours. Just make sure you keep it clean and try not to touch it. Also it doesn't reflect the light very much either so it is great even if the sun is shining in the window.

4. With Black you pay for the premium and apparently it gets dirty a lot easier especially the trackpad. I occasionally give my white MacBook a quick clean once every two weeks and it still looks as good as new after about 3 months of heavy use.

5. Lets be honest here...all laptops are going to get hot, thats a fact. The MacBook is no worse if not better than other Windows laptops I have used. It does get hot, but to say you could fry an egg on it is an overstatement I would say.

6. The new operating system is coming out and Apple may release machines with higher specs. Having said that though, the current MacBooks are great machines which are very quick and versatile. Tiger is also a solid operating system and now is a better time than any to take the plunge and purchase that first Mac
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cwa107

 
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I have a MacBook Pro, but I do want to make one comment as it relates to heat.

In my time, I've owned at least a half dozen different notebooks. All of them get hot. The ones that are 1GHz and faster get really hot (I had an Inspiron 8200 that would get darn-right uncomfortable if you used it for extended periods). In comparison to my Windows machines, my MacBook Pro is about the same and maybe just a bit cooler. I've never found it uncomfortable to use on my lap, and yet, I have read a number of comments about the heat these things generate.

My personal belief is that since Macs used PowerPC processors that ran exceptionally cool for a long time, those long-time Mac fans that have made the transition over to Intel-based Mac notebooks are just not used to the way modern laptops are. So, although I don't own a standard MacBook, I'm willing to bet that it doesn't run any more or less hot than any other notebook.

The thing to remember is that the industry no longer refers to portable computers as "laptops", they call them "notebooks", because they don't want to encourage using them on your lap. Given adequate ventilation, you should be fine - especially if you've grown accustomed to PC laptops, you may even find that your MacBook runs a bit cooler (I know that mine does).
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jaster

 
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1- The keyboard takes some getting used to, but I honestly prefermy macbook keyboard over my old ibook keys.
2- I like the size. Its small, but you trade screen size for overall weight and portability. I like the fact that I can carry the macbook in a smaller bag, and the weight is unbeatable.
3- Glossy screen, no issues at all. Sure you get some glare, but what computer screen doesn't get a glare at times?
4-White/Black- I thought this over for a bit before purchasing my white one. The black ones get the "greasy" look, especially the keys. they look like they are coated in oil and have a shine to them, which I personally think, just looks dirty. Now I can't talk about a black macbook from personal use, but my wife's windows machine is piano black, and prints show up a lot more on hers than my pretty white one. Besides, white just SCREAMS APPLE. every manufacturer makes a black notebook. I have had no problems with discoloration or graying on the palrests, i think that problem has been fixed.
5- Heat- No worse than any notebook. they all have some heat, but thats to be expected. At least unlike windows machines, there are no fan vents on the bottom. I never understood the logic behind that.
6- I havent a clue about revisions, though you always take a chance when buying anything tht it will be outdated in a bit. Who's to say that the new revision wont have a bug? These macbooks here and now, work great, so why wait? Whatever comes out next may have bugs, may not, but hey you never know, at least we know these are just fine.

Sorry about the negative rep points, don't know who did that, but that seems like a misuse of the reputation system. I thiught it was to rate a person based on theor assistance and knowledge, not to penalize people for things unrelated to their knowledge of macs.
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SoundsGood

 
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Wow guys, thanks for the info... great stuff.

I very much appreciate it! :-)
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walkerj

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundsGood View Post
Sorry in advance for all the questions, but I'm trying to decide between a Macbook and a Macbook Pro, and these answers will really help.

1. KEYBOARD - the MB has a "funky" raised keyboard (compared to the more traditional keyboard on the Macbook Pro). Is this keyboard easier or harder to type on?

2. SCREEN - anyone think it's too small to use as a main "desktop replacement" type computer?

3. SCREEN (again) - anyone have issues with the glossy screen? I've never used glossy before, only matte.

4. WHITE vs. BLACK - I don't really have a color preference, but I am concerned about dirt, fingerprints, etc. Which *surface* is easier to keep clean and fingerprint-free... gloss (white) or matte (black)?

5. HEAT - I read somewhere that you can "fry an egg on the bottom of a Macbook." Does it really get *that* hot? I often use my laptop on my lap (weird, right?) so too much heat is no bueno.

6. UPDATES / REVISIONS? - any new Macbooks coming up in the next few months? Any good reasons to wait?


Thanks a lot for your help! :-)
There have been a few posts in answer to all these questions, but I thought I'd add my own data points. While perhaps it's true that these questions have been asked before, I don't see any reason not to answer them here, since otherwise there would be so little traffic on this forum since everyone mostly just goes and uses their Mac to get stuff done. Anyway:

1. The keyboard is different from other notebook computers, but it is quite pleasant to use. When my brother-in-law went out and ordered a Macbook after I showed him mine said a few days after using it that the keyboard is quite useable, and has a comfortable spacing. He didn't find it frustrating or weird at all. I usually use a wireless bluetooth (Apple) keyboard when I'm at home, but when I'm at work with just the internal keyboard I am not hampered in any way. Just have to remember to hit that fn key for certain things I need to do.

2. I love the screen. I used to have a 20" CRT external to my old Mac Mini, but when I got my Macbook I didn't have a DVI-VGA adapter for about a week, and found that the screen/resolution was absolutely workable, even if you're doing some photoshop work or other things of a graphical nature. When I got an adapter, I ran with the monitor spanned, but have since found that unless I am doing something of a graphical nature, the external monitor with 1600x1280 resolution really isn't necessary. At the moment, for example, I'm just using the LCD with the external monitor off. If I want to touch up some photos or work on a CD label with photoshop, I'll fire up the external but otherwise if I'm just surfing, emailing, or video iChatting the LCD is perfect. Even if I'm using Parallels the built-in LCD is fine.

3. The glossyness of the screen has not been a factor pretty much anywhere I've gone. It makes the display very crisp and easy to look at for long periods. My big CRT kind of looks fuzzy in comparison.

4. My Macbook is white, my wife's Macbook is black. Since she meticulously cleans it it's difficult to say which is easier to keep clean. I've already gotten a little darkening on the wrist pads of my white Macbook, but that is easily taken care of with some optical cleaner.

5. Yeah, it gets a tad warm, but nothing burning through the thigh. As has been stated all notebooks get hot but the Macbook doesn't get any hotter than any others. I don't care about bluetooth sterilization since I'm not planning on having any children. :dive: I don't think, really, that it is an issue.

6. Have no idea. Apple will do what Apple thinks it needs to do. So far it has done very well as I am quite happy with the Macbook as it is. When Leopard comes out I'll probably be at the Apple Store picking up a couple of copies a few days later. As for the hardware, my mantra is 'if you keep waiting to by the latest/greatest you'll never buy the thing.' Heck, the first month after I bought my Mac Mini (which got me into this whole thing in the first place) Apple updated the processor with a faster one, it came with more RAM, a bigger hard drive and wireless/bluetooth. Then Apple had to do that Intel thing which opened up a whole world of possibilities. When it was possible I upgraded to my current Macbook and couldn't be happier. Apple could come out with a new whiz-bang 500 Gigglehertz Mac that ships standard with 1000 kiloquads, a terabyte of RAID and folds up to something the size of a Shuffle and I wouldn't be too upset. My Macbook handles EVERYTHING I need it to now.
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SoundsGood

 
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Oh no... I just discovered something I'm not too happy about. :-(

In looking at Gallery pics of the Macbook, I noticed that everything connects on the LEFT side of the laptop -- not on the BACK. Yuck.

I often have the mouse and power cord connected to my current laptop, with all of the connectors in the back. This keeps the wires out of sight (for the most part) and more importantly, keeps them out of the way of my LEFT HAND, since my left hand is often resting just left of the laptop's keyboard.

How do you guys deal with the wires coming out of the left side??
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yogi

 
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How many wires do you have?

On a standard laptop in our household, apart from the mouse and the occasional power plug we don't have any other cables...

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How do you guys deal with the wires coming out of the left side??
By enjoying the fact that I don't have to reach around the back to disconnect anything. Typically while at home I'll have a USB hub, firewire external drive, speakers, Mini-DVI-VGA adapter and power cord connected. When I want to take my Macbook somewhere, it's very easy to get to them to unplug and go. With my employer supplied Dell, if it isn't in its docking station I have to lean over the screen to plug in external stuff. That's kind of a pain. With the Macbook sure, all the wires can be observed, but they're so much easier to plug in/unplug.
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slashjunior

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundsGood View Post
Oh no... I just discovered something I'm not too happy about. :-(

In looking at Gallery pics of the Macbook, I noticed that everything connects on the LEFT side of the laptop -- not on the BACK. Yuck.

I often have the mouse and power cord connected to my current laptop, with all of the connectors in the back. This keeps the wires out of sight (for the most part) and more importantly, keeps them out of the way of my LEFT HAND, since my left hand is often resting just left of the laptop's keyboard.

How do you guys deal with the wires coming out of the left side??
I honestly don't mind at all. If anything it helps keep the wires organised. You could invest in a bluetooth mouse eliminating the need for wires. Maybe it will help force you out of bad habits or resting your hand somewhere else.
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SoundsGood

 
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I usually just have the two wires: mouse and power cord.

I guess I'll learn to deal with it. But I just know my wife will give me a hard time about seeing the "ugly" wires! ;-)

(I work from home, and often have the laptop in the kitchen).
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