MacBook C2D First Impressions

Well, MacBook first impressions, really, since I’m not doing anything particularly 64-bit here. Rather, I’m comparing the G3 iBook with the MacBook. Unsurprisingly, it’s a lot faster.

Top 3 Things So Far

  1. iSight. This is such a simple, yet brilliant idea. The upshot of having a tiny built in WebCam, is when you start up for the first time to register, you can get a mugshot on the spot. And you can have neat little apps like PhotoBooth, allowing you to change your account picture or iChat pic using a dozen groovy effects. I’m currently changing my iChat picture every half hour.
  2. The Screen. I was worried about the shiny screen but it’s incredible. Side by side with an iBook, it looked far brighter, and that was before I discovered it wasn’t on full brightness. The other thing that bugged me was the fact that there is less height to the screen, but I’ve got used to that almost immediately. Strangely, the extra width more than makes up for it (two finger scrolling helps, too). I should also mention the keyboard here, so as to not go over my 3 things, because I also want to mention
  3. FrontRow with R/C. I know this is old hat, but it’s new to me, and it’s sooo nifty. Admittedly, it sometimes seems to take ages to load a playlist or whatever, when it should be snappy like an iPod, but I love the gallery of movie trailers just waiting for me to view. They look terrific, too.

Runner up: The sound quality on this machine is a very pleasant surprise. A definite weak point on the iBook, there is more volume and more base on the MacBook, and the hidden design of the speakers is really very neat.

Least Great 3 Things So Far

  1. Noise. It makes a hell of a racket, and when the fan gets going, it’s like a plane taking off. Okay, a plane taking off about 10 miles away, and by racket I mean if you stop all the other noises in the house and put your ear close to it, it’s distinctly audible, unlike my old iBook. But I believe the noise is principally the hard drive which is easily upgradable, so if I get a quiter one I can improve things on this score.
  2. Region Locked DVD. This is really, really pissing me off. The DVD drive is a Mat****a which can’t be region unlocked and won’t even let VLC (which reads the data direct from the disc) play my Region 1 discs. My only option appears to be rip my R1 discs and reburn them without the region coding. How is it a good thing to force the law abiding consumer to re-rip DVDs bought legally?
  3. Er… That’s it..

Okay, it’s still the honeymoon period, and I haven’t had a chance to play properly because I’ve had to do lots of boring trying-to-recover-valuable-data-from-variety-of-backups, so there may be better and worse than I’ve found so far. In particular, I intent to get hold of Parallels very soon, and play with some different OSs.

About Simon Wood

E-learning officer, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more…

13 thoughts on “MacBook C2D First Impressions

  1. I haven’t laid hands on the C2D Macbook yet… have they filed off the edges of corners yet? On the CD version, the edge where the hands rest is positively sharp, whereas on my old iBook is was smooth and comfortable.

    Parallels is very nice. I sadly am required to use Windows XP for certain things for my work, and it works pretty much flawlessly. It does make the “plane” take off and cruise around the room, though. One of these days I’m going to fire up a Linux VM and see how that works.

  2. I haven’t laid hands on the C2D Macbook yet… have they filed off the edges of corners yet? On the CD version, the edge where the hands rest is positively sharp, whereas on my old iBook is was smooth and comfortable.

    Parallels is very nice. I sadly am required to use Windows XP for certain things for my work, and it works pretty much flawlessly. It does make the “plane” take off and cruise around the room, though. One of these days I’m going to fire up a Linux VM and see how that works.

  3. I haven’t laid hands on the C2D Macbook yet… have they filed off the edges of corners yet? On the CD version, the edge where the hands rest is positively sharp, whereas on my old iBook is was smooth and comfortable.

    Parallels is very nice. I sadly am required to use Windows XP for certain things for my work, and it works pretty much flawlessly. It does make the “plane” take off and cruise around the room, though. One of these days I’m going to fire up a Linux VM and see how that works.

  4. My internal MacBook drive wouldn’t even allow me to rip my region 2 discs, no matter what software I used. 🙁

    One workaround is to buy a cheap external DVD drive. Since Apple unclinched and started allowing third party DVD players, I can at least now rip my legally purchased discs and/or play them.

  5. My internal MacBook drive wouldn’t even allow me to rip my region 2 discs, no matter what software I used. 🙁

    One workaround is to buy a cheap external DVD drive. Since Apple unclinched and started allowing third party DVD players, I can at least now rip my legally purchased discs and/or play them.

  6. My internal MacBook drive wouldn’t even allow me to rip my region 2 discs, no matter what software I used. 🙁

    One workaround is to buy a cheap external DVD drive. Since Apple unclinched and started allowing third party DVD players, I can at least now rip my legally purchased discs and/or play them.

  7. It’s got sharp corners, which I’ve already grown quite fond of.

    My main interest in Parallels is that there seem to be pre-configured VMs floating around the ‘net, and I’d like to be able to easily try FC6 and the latest Ubunto distro, say, and see what they’re like on a fast machine. I may also get Windows, but only if I can’t run things on CrossOver Mac, which I also need to have a go at.

    Besides VLC, I’ve found HandBrake and MacTheRipper can’t cope with this sodding drive. I have got an external DVD writer, though I may go for a portable one if I get desperate. So it’s not a technical problem ripping the R1s to disc, it’s just a hassle. And it’s put me off replacing my DVD player (amongst other things) with a Mac Mini based home cinema setup…

  8. It’s got sharp corners, which I’ve already grown quite fond of.

    My main interest in Parallels is that there seem to be pre-configured VMs floating around the ‘net, and I’d like to be able to easily try FC6 and the latest Ubunto distro, say, and see what they’re like on a fast machine. I may also get Windows, but only if I can’t run things on CrossOver Mac, which I also need to have a go at.

    Besides VLC, I’ve found HandBrake and MacTheRipper can’t cope with this sodding drive. I have got an external DVD writer, though I may go for a portable one if I get desperate. So it’s not a technical problem ripping the R1s to disc, it’s just a hassle. And it’s put me off replacing my DVD player (amongst other things) with a Mac Mini based home cinema setup…

  9. It’s got sharp corners, which I’ve already grown quite fond of.

    My main interest in Parallels is that there seem to be pre-configured VMs floating around the ‘net, and I’d like to be able to easily try FC6 and the latest Ubunto distro, say, and see what they’re like on a fast machine. I may also get Windows, but only if I can’t run things on CrossOver Mac, which I also need to have a go at.

    Besides VLC, I’ve found HandBrake and MacTheRipper can’t cope with this sodding drive. I have got an external DVD writer, though I may go for a portable one if I get desperate. So it’s not a technical problem ripping the R1s to disc, it’s just a hassle. And it’s put me off replacing my DVD player (amongst other things) with a Mac Mini based home cinema setup…

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