Bye bye iBook, hello MacBook!

by Todd Ogasawara

The Intel-based MacBook (replacing the iBook model series) was announced and became available for purchase today. Couple of surprises (not all good) regarding features, color, components, and pricing. Nonetheless, my Core Duo model is on order. With luck, it'll be here in a couple of weeks. Here's my list of MacBook hits and misses (in no particular order) based on my ordering experience...


2006-05-16 10:15:57
Apple is losing the big psychological price points though. You can't get a Mac Mini for $500, and you can't get a MacBook for $1,000. Those were nice, neat and easy price points.

I really wish they'd get a laptop model down to around $700-$800 base price. Just makes me save my pennies longer.

2006-05-16 10:22:25
Aren't they all "Core Duo models", with the only processor difference being speed?

2006-05-16 10:32:32
A few notes:

Your constant reference to Core Duo makes it sound like there's a Core Solo version... I think you meant the 2 GHz models, as in "The 2 GHz models come standard with a SuperDrive."

1. Note that iBooks only had analog video out (and if you've ever compared DVI to analog, DVI is better--I found I don't have to tweak color settings at all). I know you're talking about the lack of an included part, but the DVI is definitely noteworthy.

3. This is personal preference, but I usually buy stock configs and add RAM myself (I just ordered 2GB for about $170 via dealram). I think you're going to be disappointed with just 1GB. Even OS X by itself with several apps open can easily use that.

11. Sudden Motion Sensor is included (see

The main reasons I think these do not have the "Pro" designation is the lack of an ExpressCard slot and less VRAM (but then again, the 12" PowerBooks didn't have a PC card slot). But it's Pro enough for me!

2006-05-16 10:33:57
bad parsing script!

2006-05-16 10:38:34
the ibooks never had DVI, but a mini VGA, which had an adapter included. the mini DVI option on the MB is a welcome addition and now supports spanning. moreover, it's not just audio input, there's DIGITAL input and output now. great for using external DACs. all in all, nice upgrades from the ibook
GC Fiedler
2006-05-16 10:59:33
These MacBooks are too heavy - way too heavy. Look at 13" Intel laptops by Sony, Panasonic, and Toshiba and you'll see plenty around 3lbs. The 12" G4 was 4.2lbs, the 13" MacBooks are 5.2lbs.

Laptops should be getting lighter, not heavier!

Zaphod Beeblebrox
2006-05-16 11:09:01
True, the Macbook is a bit more expensive. But when you add the cost of purchasing iLife 06 for your Dell... oh, waitasec... Make that the R&D budget required to *develop* iLife 06 for the Dell (optimistically, let's say 5 programmers over a year, plus extras ... ~ $800,000), you're getting a deal.

(and as for Dell, here's a fun little trick I learned. Go to google and type "battery recall" into the search box)

Yes, you'll see Apple, along with HP, IBM and a bunch of others. But guess who is the #1 hit year after year? ;)

Todd Ogasawara
2006-05-16 11:39:29
Re to "Me": Yep, you are right! My eyeballs were probably too excited to read the copy correctly :-) All models are Core Duo.
Rick Curran
2006-05-16 11:46:41
Yep, get as much ram as possible, applications running in Rosetta seem to like a lot of RAM, and with the video ram using at least 64mb of your RAM it'd be best to get as much as possible. Cheapest option is get it with 512mb and buy 2 x 1GB chips, possibly eBay the 512mb for a bit of recouping expenses!
2006-05-16 11:50:46
The magnetic closure is a great feature - the little hook that flips out is the one and ONLY thing that's broken on my 12" Powerbook in 40+ months of heavy use !
Todd Ogasawara
2006-05-16 11:54:08
Anonymous: Thanks for finding the comparison chart that points out the motion sensor being present in the MacBook.
2006-05-16 12:24:24
Todd, forget running parallels in me. It'll work but your HD'll paging like a bstard!
2006-05-16 15:47:49
funny, when I configure the 1405 to get anywhere close to a "similar" stock configuration, I end up at $1097 ($997 after instant rebate) and that doesn't include optical audio in and out, iSight, sudden motion sensor, dvi output, microphone (from what i can tell), gigabit ethernet, iLife, and it is slightly bigger and heavier.

which one was the ouch again?

2006-05-16 16:58:15
If I understood correctly the the hard drive is right on top of the battery? Like the hard drive heats up the battery and when the battery is being charged it helps to heat up the hard drive even more?


2006-05-16 20:25:56
Adrian is surely mistaken if the comment is based on the AppleInsider report--"Below the two RAM slots (at the base of the battery cavity) is where you'll find the MacBook's hard disk drive" means below, if you're looking at the base of the MacBook if it were vertical (I wonder why they didn't publish a photo, which would clear things up). I've never seen a battery that wasn't almost the thickness of the casing, and certainly not one that would permit the thickness of a hard drive between it and whatever is on the other side of the case (keyboard/palmrest/etc.).

2006-05-16 20:33:52
Sure, like GC Fiedler, I wish there were lighter MacBooks, but they'd also cost around twice as much, judging by the Sony VAIO SZ series ($2499+ for the 3.7 lb model). Hopefully, in time.
Todd Ogasawara
2006-05-16 23:33:45
FYI: MacWorld has a photo with the MacBook battery removed at: First impressions after a day with Apple's new consumer laptop