The big jump - PowerBook G4 (15") to MacBook (13") - first impressions

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iantm's picture
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Yesterday, while checking in at the regional office for work (our Western PA store), I was offered the chance to do an even swap of my PowerBook G4 15" 1.5 ghz for a brand new black macbook with all the toys. Since I'm going to be supporting these soon enough, I may as well get to know the product inside and out, so I did it.

Last night was spent migrating my data and getting the software on it speced out for what I'm going to need. Install Office 04 (no problems there), filemaker (it's a little slower, but when it goes universal this'll pay off), as well as the essentials - Handbrake, VLC, etc. I also installed Boot Camp and Windows XP Pro. The upside is that I can now support ANY platform with just one computer. This is particularily handy if I should have to change jobs (can't let my MS support skills get any rustier than they already are).

The glossy screen is ok. It's not perfect, but no display is. I will admit that I wish I had coughed up the money and upgrade the ram. Maybe in a few weeks I'll be able to scroung up the cash for a pair of 1gb chips. I'm happy with the machine, and think it's pretty swell. As for the power adapter and remote being white while the computer is black - that's fine by me - my Apple bluetooth mouse is white as well, so everything goes together Smile .

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iamdigitalman's picture
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Joined: Mar 2 2004
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so I guess you wont be sellin

so I guess you wont be selling me your PBg4 then?

well, those macbooks are really slick. got a chance to see a white onw when I was at compusa. the glossy screen isnt as bad as the crap on some of the sony and HP glossy laptops. those are like a mirror.

hey, if I had a spare grand, I would most definatily get one.

hmm, come to think of it, i'm only $400 shy. better start setting some cash aside. who knows, I may just have one by the end of the year, and then something else will come out, obsoliting the computer I just bought, and so on...

perhaps I should stick PPC for now.

-digital Wink

iantm's picture
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macbook

This is the first day where I've been putting it through any real world sort of use. Filemaker and MS Office performance is good enough, iLife apps are better. While the shared video memory situation could be better, I think they did a fairly good job of it. In Boot Camp, the macbook is a pretty nice windows box. It's my superfast go anywhere do anything machine.

So far, my biggest complaint is the trackpad - there isn't enough motion on the button, and it'll take time to get used to the extra trackpad space. My bluetooth mouse hasn't seen this much use in a while. 720p High Def trailers seem to play nicely on it. I did a three way video chat (other coworkers at the stores have macbook pros), and the performance was very very good. At full screen, it was just wowing. Trouble is that the macbook proper doesn't appear to be capable of initiating a 3 way video chat - but the macbook pros are.

Networking in windows works very very nicely - enet and airport are nice and fast. Apple has outdone themselves on this machine. The case doesn't feel like it will scratch. It's got the right tactile experience for me. Kudos - I give the macbook a Buy rating.

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BDub's picture
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kb

How's the keyboard, especially compared to a Powerbook?

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iantm's picture
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macbook keyboard

Surprisingly, the keyboard isn't any issue. In fact, it's hard to tell the difference between it and the PowerBook's keyboard.So far, I've been extremely pleased with it.

Update - 9:30 pm 8 June -

Wireless range on the MacBook is nothing short of amazing. The range that the dual usb form factor iBook had, which was still an improvement over the aluminum and especially the tiBooks, is a joke in comparison. Needless to say, this machine has done nothing but impress with the exception of that darn trackpad button (which isn't an issue in OS X, but is under Windows XP)

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