Product Type: Apple laptops
Newest Review: ... it looks like it's going to be. The dirt and dust it picks up tends to be more noticeable which I guess can be seen as a good thing as... more
I use it to write EVERYTHING!
Apple MacBook MB402B/A
Member Name: scotlandizdabest
Apple MacBook MB402B/A
Advantages: Excellent laptop, fast and powerful
What Is It?
The Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo 2.1 GHz - 13.3" TFT is the latest notebook to add to the Apple Mac range. For anyone who doesn't understand Core 2 Duo 2.1 GHz - 13.3" TFT, this basically means it is a lot faster than any other notebook previously made by Apple. TFT stands for Thin Film Transistor which means the pixel quality will be very good so brilliant to play movies, games on etc.
Why Pick Apple Computers?
Ever since 1977, Apple has been making computers to compete with Microsoft. Apple was popular but it wasn't until the iPod was released, that made Apple a huge name and that is when I heard of the company. Apple are now a leading competor in the Computer market. The MacBooks replaced the iBook which were at there time fast, but now seem to be a distant memory compared what these new computers can do. The MacBook was designed to be very modern and easy to use like other Computers in the company. I also read other reviews on Ciao and others sites which also explain that Apple are very reliable.
Finding An Apple Retailer
I wasn't very sure where to start if I was wanting to have a look at the Apple products. I actually used the instructions from my iPod to find the website (I forgot I could use Google) and got the Apple website from there. I ended up on the American site which was a little confusing but I found a little British icon in the corner and I was in a British website.
PC World now sell Apple products (in selected stores) as well which you can try and have a go on a MacBook to see what it feels like. I went to the one in Edinburgh and it was definately worth it. Apple shops aren't very common in Britain but they are about in the biggest cities like Glasgow and London. I would recommend the website the most as that is were you get the lowest overall price.
Picking A Laptop
Apple offer a range of computers to suite everyones needs. I needed a computer for school as I was starting Highers, so needed something smaller, lots of memory and practical to have. I went a long to my local PC World and had a great time having a look at different laptops. But I saw the MacBook which even said it was ideal for students. I spent some time trying it out and felt it was really easy and comfortable to use.
The MacBook range comes in 3 sizes of screen, going up to 15" you can also decide how much memory you would like (1GB or 2GB) and if you would like a widescreen (ideal for movies) and extra software added. I needed something simple so got the smallest laptop, 13.3" with the 1GB memory which was enough for me. Each laptop is slightly different to suite the buyers needs which is really good. So everyone is suitable if they were interested in buying an Apple laptop.
Best Place To Get One/Price
After deciding the Laptop I would like in February, I went back home and had to wait until May (to save up) and be the right time as exams will have been finished and would be able to get started with laptop for Highers. After a lot of looking around I found that the best place to buy would be directly from the Company. So I headed onto the website, which was very easy to use, and inputed what computer I wanted and any extras. The price however was hefty at £699.
Ouch, its a big price tag, although I didn't have to pay for full price as didn't have to pay the VAT as my dad owns a buisness and wanted to also use the MacBook when I wasn't using it for Internet use and to take to different events.
So I paid £594.89 which did make a bit of difference. It is still a lot of money. However PC World and other websites were asking about £100 more, so I would really recommend buying it directly from Apple to get the best price.
Arriving And Setting Up
After paying for the Laptop using direct debit (I would recommend that rather than a Credit Card) The MacBook arrived 2 days later which was brilliant. It came very neatly packaged and after opening the main box, was very happy to see another box with a lovely picture of my lovely new purchase. On the side is a bar code with all the details of the MacBook which I checked which all seemed to be correct. After opening my very modern looking box, the MacBook was under polystrene printed on it 'MacBook' which was pretty cool. The laptop was safely wrapped up and you could actually smell how new it was.
I took everything out the box and got the instructions out. They actually thanked me for buying this laptop which I thought was quite nice and I started reading how to set up my MacBook. It was all written just in English which is good as you sometimes get them written in every other language! I set up the power and plugged it into my laptop. It used magnets to connect the lead to the computer in the socket so it was securely plugged into the power supply.
I had to leave the laptop for around 3 hours to fully charge which I didn't mind. So after it arriving at 12.30pm it was really to use by 3.30pm. Exceptionally easy to set up so far which was excellent.
I turned on the Macbook using the little round button at top right hand side corner. The screen immediately lit up and turned grey with the Apple icon, a good sign I thought? And yes it was the screen turned into a picture of a pink star in space (the iconic background of the Software Leopard) and then all the icons showed up.
Now the setting up of the MacBook. I followed a step by step guide and it asked for a username (I just used my initials) and then to make up a password for the computer. It then asked me questions like would I like a Mac email adress at £50 a year which I declined as I had a free email from hotmail. Then that was it I was really to start up, and get going.
When I first had a look at Apple computers, I noticed how different they were design wise other than Microsoft. The MacBook comes in 2 different colors, black and white. I chose white as I thought it was a lot nicer than the black. Don't worry if you find the design a bit boring, you can get special sticker and covers which come in the most beautiful designs from everything from Cars to Flowers to Smart to Fun.
The keyboard is the normal QWERTY and is built in. You cannot remove the keys like some other laptops as they are built in. It is exceptionally comfy and after writing lots of essays and reviews, my fingers don't hurt at all. Also you do not have to push very hard like some computers where you have to put lots of pressure on each key. This means you can type very fast giving you more time to do other things.
The TFT screen is incredible quality, like having you own mini HD DVD player. Viewing photos and movies in such high quality is really amazing and you have to see it to believe it. The screen is a really good size as well and is just the right size for the MacBook overall.
All MacBooks have built in touchpads which are really easy and sensitive to use. I admit it does take a little getting used to, if you are used to using a mouse all the time like myself.
And one of my personnel favourite parts of the MacBook, a built in 'webcam' or camera. I love it! There is software built in to allow you to use the camera to take photos of you and your friends using it. Also you can record videos and add funky effects. Really good fun! And of course it can be used as a webcam like on Skype or MSN. I have used it for webcam and it is fantastic quality (high pixels for a webcam anyway)
Of course I have to mention all the sockets, built into the side of the computer. You have the power, Ethernet, Firewiere, 2x USB and a headphones slot. A good selection and are nicely built in the side and not the back so you can easily add or take away leads and wires. On the other side is a really cool built in CD/DVD player. Unlike ordinary computers, you just slide the disc into it, nothing flicks out its all internal. It's really weird to first use as you kind of think you CD is going to be eaten by the computer, but you just click eject on the keyboard and it comes straight back out from inside the computer.
Overall design is actually quite unique compared to other laptops on the market. it is all about space saving and simplicity which they have excelled in design wise. 5+ stars for design, not a single flaw.
The MacBook comes with a lot of lovely extras as standard. The speakers are very good and actually are stereo which is obvious as the quality is very very good. The only annoying thing is that the bass isn't brilliant so the MacBook can vibrate a little but I solved that by turning the bass down! Easy enough.
One of my favourite extras is the built in Bluetooth. I don' t have a very new phone so don't have any fancy wires to add to the computer to import my photos. However I do have Bluetooth so was able to send all my pictures and songs to the MacBook. That was really cool and I could do the reverse and send stuff to my phone. Very handy.
There is a built in LAN aerial which is brilliant. It detects if you are in a wireless network and asks you if you would like to join it. Brilliant extra and really handy to have. It means you can access Wi-Fi anywhere that offers it (I see shops offer free Wi-Fi which would be great if you had this MacBook.
Its nice to have lots of little extras as well. You get built in the latest version of iLife 08' (see my review on it) which means you don't have to fork out £55. Also you get Leopard built in which I mentioned before. This means it will generally make your computer safer and faster. Great!
Living With The MacBook
After the excitement of having and getting the computer, I had to learn to live with it. Our house has built in Wi-Fi from BT which is great so I can go on the internet anywhere, I can even go on the internet outside with the MacBook (which shows how portable it is!) I'm currently writing this review on the sofa in our living room, which even after almost 2 months of having the MacBook, feels weird.
I went onto the Apple website and got some FreeWare downloads like MSN Messenger for Mac, Skype and other smaller downloads. These downloaded in seconds which is really common with this computer. It is so fast, it can download music files from iTunes in around 15 seconds which is very quick.
I took it on its first excursion in the car last week. I was heading to Edinburgh with my mum so was finishing off an essay for English in the car. I admit looking at the screen and the road did make me feel a bit ill.
The battery power is very impressive I have found with 6 hours full battery a time. This is really handy and means I can work for ages in different parts of the house without having to keep it attached to a power supply for ages.
So far, after two months, it has been a gem with absolutely no problems (touch wood) and i'm confident it will stay that way.
What's Right With It
I think I have written quite an optimistic review about this MacBook. That is because it is brilliant! I actually can't imagine going back to Microsoft as I have 100% trust in Apple now. I love the design of the MacBook, its light, very portable and has a great battery life. The use of the MacBook is brilliant, it is so useful and does everything and more than it is supposed to do. The applications allow you to do things that you will never have done before at such a high quality. You can make music on it and send it to iTunes and see if it sells! You can automatically put a movie on Youtube in seconds. You can keep a huge music library on your laptop and carry it everywhere easily.
I'll be honest, I don't just use the MacBook for doing homework (obviously!) but it is an education tool. Looking at the free software you can get off the Apple website for education use is fantastic. I recently got an application for higher maths, which is a great feature.
It is really fast to use and takes no time at all to turn on and off. I think around 30 seconds to start up and 15 seconds to shut down. Even if you don't want to shut it down, you can put the MacBook to sleep which means its basically on standby. You just shut the screen and then open it when you want the computer on! Great!
It is also fairly energy efficent. If you leave it on untouched for around 5 minutes it will just go to sleep. This means you don't waste battery power and when you turn it on it will be exactly the same as how you leave it.
It is a brilliant thing to have overall and it has so much right.
What's Wrong With It
The price is a put off for a lot of people. At £699 it is a huge amount of money and it is sad as this is such a brilliant machine. I feel it is worth every penny but the price is very high and it would be nice is Apple could knock, even a little bit off the price.
Another thing that is annoying that I have noticed is there is a very limited amount of games and software you can get for Mac. When looking in Woolworths there was only one game suitable for Mac which was a Sims game. The rest were all only suitable for Microsoft.
According to a blogger I read, a lot more software and game designers are taking Mac users into account when making games and there should be a lot more on the market soon. Until then it is a flaw.
Wow, I hadn't realised I have written over 2,500 words but I hope I have persuaded you that this is a brilliant computer to have. I conclude that this is a fantastic bit of machinery to have and am recommending it to everyone. If you have the money then this, I promise will be one of the best investments you will have ever made. The price is high, but I can guarentee it is worth every penny. I will be using this to write future reviews as well to show how great it is! A 5+ stars machine that is truly brilliant to have, ask anyone who has one!
© scotlandizdabest (2008)
Summary: An electronic best friend!
|Ease of use:|