My new Apple MacBook and gripes about it

14 09 2008

So I did say screw it to patience and went ahead and bought a MacBook from the local Apple store. Quick basic specs on this device running Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.4) are:

13.3″ (widescreen 1280×800) TFT (gloss finish), 2.4GHz Core2Duo, 2GB (2 sticks – 1GB each – 667MHz DDR2), 3Mb L2 Cache, 160GB HDD (actual storage 149GB) @ 5,400 rpm, 144MB Intel GMA X3100, 800MHz FSB

Then I got an iPod Touch 8GB and a HP Photosmart C4480 color inkjet printer thrown in for free along with an Apple carry bag totalling for around $1200 w/ the notebook (after calculating mail-in rebates of $299 + $100 and 10% off using my old student ID card). Not a bad deal at all. Oh and I had to make a separate purchase of a VGA connector cable for an additional $19.

An interesting point to note is that the cooler-looking “black” MacBook had a 250GB HDD instead of the 160GB as an attempt to justify a $225 price premium over my top-of-the-line “white” MacBook. Pretty weak of Apple to stifle a consumer’s color choice but it’s either this or another ugly Windows Vista notebook. Steve Job’s Apple finally has the upper hand in the OS wars and they know it.

Despite getting a great deal with the MacBook which comes standard with bluetooth, a nice non-VGA webcam, built-in microphone, a line-in jack for an additional audio input, a firewire port, proprietary video-out port (mini-DVI), slot-loaded 8x dvd/cd burner and the regular stuff like 2 USB ports, ethernet, audio out, and power (it’s magnetic!), I had my gripes.

  1. There are no dedicated HOME/END/PGUP/PGDN/DEL keys

    – Cmd+Left Arrow / Cmd+Right Arrow = Home / End
    – Cmd+Up Arrow / Cmd+Down Arrow = Page Up / Page Down
    – Hitting Cmd+Left Arrow while blogging on Firefox 3 also serves as the BACK key. Delete does the same function making that redundant. Wiped out my post as I was typing.
    – Hitting Cmd+Right Arrow took me back to the typing page but everything was gone.
    – FN+delete = Delete
    – The delete key by itself is actually the beloved “backspace.”

  2. The touch pad isn’t depressed making it prone to accidental touching even with the “Ignore accidental trackpad input” checked in the mouse/trackpad settings.
  3. No simple way to turn off MacBook screen like in Windows XP.

    – You can switch the back light off by pushing the brightness setting all the way to the bottom but I’d like to have the power to the LCD turned off completely.
    – OR you can switch the primary screen to the HDTV, shut the lid of the MacBook, wait for it to go into stand-by, and then lift up the lid again.

  4. There is no physical right-click button on the MacBook even though Apple supports it. The only way to do it is through the touchpad.

    – One-Hand Method (preferred): Tap on the touchpad with 2 fingers spread apart.
    – Two-Hand Method: Another option is hold the “control” key and tap.

  5. Minor issue: No WinAmp. Will need to get acquainted with iTunes 8.

Up next is my post on why I like the new MacBook.


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14 09 2008

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