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I have already written a review on the macbook black, but I am kinda ashamed of it now and don't think it deserves the VU rating it got, so here we go attempting it again with the other macbook.
So, here we are again, faced with the question of mac or PC. I can easily go into thousands of words exclaiming why you should choose mac rather than PC but lets be honest you're reading this so you must interested in macs.
So here we're looking at the lowest end of the spectrum of macbooks apple has to offer but at £699 that is very expensive compared to it's rivals, lets take a look at what it's up against. Dell Inspiron 1525, bought from the Dell website is £369 which is nearly half the price, we also have the Toshiba TL60 for £449.99. So it's obvious that price doesn't go in favor of the macbook, so why is it worth considering.
Well, this is where any mac can out do any new PC, the operating system. Leopard is Apples newest most renowned operating system which comes in every new mac, it has over 300 features to add onto the already brilliant tiger operating system which the leopard succeeded. The biggest feature, I think, is the Time Machine, this will automatically back up files hourly for the last 24 hours, daily backups for the last month and weekly backups for anything older than a month, with a very easy to use interface which is easy to use and a it does all this as soon as you plug in any external hard drive. In the leopard operating system we also have spaces, this is where you can have multiple screens operating simultaneously where you can easily drag programs from one screen to another, and flicking between the screens is as simple as 'apple, arrow key'. Then we move onto iChat, which is apples instant messaging service with webcam etc, with leopard you can use a tonne of new affects from photo booth to spice up your video chats, apple also use AAC-LD audio codec which delivers the highest quality of audio, iChat also offers screen sharing which is a fantastic new innovation where you can access and control the other person computer from your own and flick through files etc. The list is almost endless of what apple have now included in leopard, but when we compare it to the vista operating system. The first problem I see with Vista is all the choices because if you choose the wrong one you can end up spending far to much money or you end up with nothing like enough features. From the reviews and through what friends say, Vista is a complete and utter catastrophe for Microsoft with a large amount of people degrading back to XP. So now we begin to see why the macbook is so much more expensive.
So now we need to look to the tech specs, and to give you something to compare them to the Dell Inspiron 1525 which is the £369 laptop I mentioned earlier. As to why I've chosen this one to compare it to, this macbook is apples budget laptop and the Dell is Dell's budget laptop so it makes sense to compare the two together. Firstly lets take a look at the screen sizes, the mabook has a 13.3" which is relatively small compared to Dell's 15.4", but the larger screen size means the Dell weights 2.7kg which is 0.5 more than the macbook weighting 2.2kg, it also means that the macbook is more compact, 2.75 x 32.5 x 22.7cm compared to the Dells 3.7 x 35.7 x 25.6cm which makes the Dell bigger by about 3cm length and width and 1cm in height which is quite a lot of space on a laptop. As far as memory they are both evenly matched with each going up to 4GB as an extra. The macbook has a 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor while the Dell only has Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7250. From this you can see that as far as these statistics go the two notebooks are pretty much evenly matched with the macbook creeping ahead, so how is the macbook worth the extra money. Well we just need to take a look at the actual price of the Dell, I've added all the statistics the website gave me in customising it and suddenly the price has come to a huge £635.76 and now it's suddenly looking a lot less impressive. And I'm gonna let you know how much I payed for the macbook, I payed a mere £500 for a brand new one by importing it in from America during the credit crunch and if you try hard you can probably get it cheaper. So now the tables turned and it looks like for a decent Dell you're going to have to pay more than for the macbook. So already the macbook is looking very favourable, and I haven't finished!
Apple is one of these companies which include lots of little toys in their computers, for example we have bluetooth as standard which is fantastic for sending files from computer to computer, computer to phone or phone to computer. It also has built in iSight, the webcam, along with photo booth which can amuse you for hours. There's also apples fantastic built in airport which is it's wireless which I've found fantastic. The battery life is also a fantastic 4.5 hours wireless productivity, and then we move onto the MagSafe power adapter that automatically releases is someone trips over it. Then it also has iLife free with purchase, this includes iTunes, iPhoto for editing photos, viewing photos and creating photo albums and frames, iDVD for creating DVDs, iMovie for making homemade movies while looking professional , Garage Band which is a home music studio and iWeb for making websites. And then the fact it's got a tough polycarbonate case means it's virtually indestructible.
If we then look over to how user friendly it is you begin to see how the macbook really does stand out, with the easy to use dock, spotlight to find any files on your mac, spaces, exposé to select a program which behind another program, and the brilliant tracker pad which out does any tracker pad I've used before. Then we get cover flow in finder and quick look in Mail and finder which means you can see the file without opening it. This is by far one the most user friendly computers around, apart from the rest of the mac range.
So, for the specs and the features it has this has a very competitive price which can be taken down if you look in the right places. But it's meant to be Apples budget laptop, so why does it have so many features and cost so much. What I think apple need to do is release a proper budget laptop which is cheap, not with so many features and has a price which can compete against the basic Dell 1525 (without the extra features). This is a fantastic machine but it isn't worth buying because the slightly more expensive macbook at £130 more has much better specs with twice as much memory so why bother with the cheaper one if it isn't cheap compared to other budget laptops.
Before I begin I have been told by a fellow member that I should always state whether or not I own the product, so to clarify, and to avoid getting scary comments, I do own iWork.
Having bought a mac, as I assume you must have since you're reading this review, we are faced with a serious question; iWork of Microsoft Office for mac. Having just come from a PC I honestly thought it was a given, go microsoft office. But I then got to the shop, stopped and wondered why this was. Microsoft Office, priced at £349.95, is a good £295 more than it's rival, iWork priced at £55. So I decided to back and use the trial software expecting either iWork to be useless or Microsoft to be fantastic and definitly worth the £295 ... but it just wasn't.
Lets firstly look in detail at Microsoft Office. It contains word, excel, powerpoint, entourage and messenger. I shall begin by pointing out that messenger is a free download of the apple website, so why have they included it in the £350 bundle? Then we get to entourage, I know some people who do use Office, but they still can't see the point in entourage, it's meant to be used for emails etc but isn't really worth the money.
As we move on through the bundle, we have the typical word, excel, powerpoint trio which is exactly as it is on PCs so it's great, but there's nothing special about it to make it stand out to be worth £350, it's the exact same software I got free on my old laptop.
So we must now look to the alternative, iWork. Using this I knew it was by far the better software package. It consists of pages, numbers and keynote and is, as I said earlier, only £55 and even cheaper if you get 4 other friends and purchase the family pack and all chip in.
Lets first look at pages, this is macs version of word. Lets start with the templates, there are fantastic and there is enough to keep you amused for hours! Then as you start using it you see how easy it is to create fantastic looking pieces of work. My only query was that it used a different format to Microsoft Office, but then when I saw that it really is just two clicks and it's exported as a .doc file or .pdf file I was just amazed that this could possibly put people off and then importing, it does it without you doing anything, this is the same across the package.
Then numbers, this is the only place where they fall down because it's not quite as easy to use as excel and isn't quite as useful and this is my only query about the package.
Keynote, this is by far better than what you can ever produce on power point, more professional slide transitions, better usage when showing a presentation with the screen on your mac showing you the current and next slide and how simple it is to use and achieve a professional, good looking presentation.
I just can't see where Microsoft think they are worth £295 more than iWork and even if Microsoft Office was £55 I would still opt for iWork because it is easier to use and the end result is so much more professional than Microsoft can ever offer you.
So, save your money and buy 404,110 paper clips with the £295 you just saved. It's a much better use of your money
If you think back to the playground as a child, you will undoubtably have, at some point, said something along the lines of "I can jump further than you can, nah nah na nah nah" and this is precisely what Apple are doing by releasing the Macbook Air, "we can make it thinner than you can, nah nah na nah nah." So why then, you might ask, are we so much as reading this review if it's just apple playing a game to beat PCs? The answer is simple, just look at how thin it is!
Just take a second to gasp in wonder of it's thinness, I swear it must be some sort of witchcraft.
So, this technological masterpiece given to us by apple is fantastic, it's a mac and it's ultra thin ... ah, but that's not it.
What has happened to the CD drive? it just isn't there, now apple talk about how it can wirelessly use other computers CD drive, but I sorta want my own rather than to have to borrow one from someone else, but that's okay because I can buy a CD drive off apple for £65 ... so I've just payed a colossal amount of money for a macbook air and now I have to pay an extra £65 just for a CD drive ... where is the logic in that.
Then we move on to the performance, the £1,199 is far from brilliant, I find it a bit slow and not quite as good as say the macbook itself and isn't nearly as practical with only an audio output, 1 usb & a micro DVI.
So here we are faced with the question of the macbook or the macbook air, and as far as I see I can't see logically how the macbook air is possibly worth the extra £500. So why then is it the top selling mac on the apple website, well it's simple, it's that child in you who wants to go to his friends "my notebook is thinner than yours, nah nah na nah nah" and that far is stronger than any logic.
Let your inner child free, you know you want to!
Being a regular train user I come into contact with many different people, from teenagers (like me) to middle class business men. But one thing they all have in common is they are listening to music. So, lots of people listening to music, therefore there are lots of mp3 players on the market yet iPod seem to have this dominated, so what is it about iPods that set them apart from other mp3 players?
I'm gonna be honest with you, the thing that sells it for me is the wheel, I'm a typical guy so something as simple as the wheel can honestly keep me amused for hours on end. But for other, sane, people it's got to be the innovation apple put into the iPod and especially the iPod nano, I mean just look at how thin it is! I think it deserves a moment of your time to just take some time to think about how they got it that thin and congratulate the people who made it amazingly thin! Then we need to look at how simple it is to use and all the features it has, when synced to my mac it has all my contacts, my iCal, movies and music. The last one on the list isn't really all that amazing but I was silently impressed that it had my iCal and contacts on. So, as far as I can tell the iPod nano is a great success and worth buying ... so why would you make one with only 4GB???
4GB? why would you make an Ipod that can play movies and videos with so little space? It's no where near enough for much of my music let along thinking of putting movies or TV programs in on top of that. Apple must have been out of their minds when they released this in 4 GB, either buy the iPod shuffle or get the 8GB nano, it's only £20 extra and if you're spending about £100 anyway what difference is £20.
My advice is simply, the nano is a piece of technological innovation which just amazes me so why bother with the 4GB when the 8GB is just the obvious choice?
This is my first review so please do read it, I'm also sorry for any spelling mistakes etc since I am dyslexic!
Being a young, first time buyer of my own laptop with little money I was faced with the question "Should I go mac or PC?" this is a question which plagues a lot of people, do I go for the more expensive mac or make do with a PC? As a converted mac user I shall now continue to explain why the extra money spent on a mac goes a long way.
Lets look at the quality, I've had this mac for about 9 months now and I am yet to find a problem with it, it's solidly made with an fantastic battery life and it looks damn well awesome! Now lets compare this to another laptop such as my old laptop, a Fuji, which had to be restarted almost every time it was used and was slow and died on a number of occasions.
Then lets look at what the mac offers you, 1 years free warranty, fantastic customer care & support, iLife for free and the latest in innovation of technology. Apple seem to have used PCs, see what annoys people most and strive to put them right, for example built in webcam, a magnetic plug so if you trip over it doesn't fall to the floor, a remote control, a beautiful looking hardware and something brilliantly easy to use which doesn't need to be restarted and I am yet to see one crash or freeze. Then we get to Leopard operating system, spaces (different screens which you can switch from easily), quick look at documents, fanning / griding folders in dock and the list is endless with over 300 new features.
And we haven't even got to the performance, absolutely fantastic! I never ceases to amaze me, it's fast even with lots of programs running, and is fantastically easy to use.
As well as this, as soon as you purchase a mac you're suddenly let into this unspoken select group of mac owners; I was on a train back home from college and sat down beside a guy using a macbook pro and after I got out my macbook we suddenly started talking an it was as if we'd known eachother for years. And then you have groups of mac owners helping each other out with the best latest downloads for your mac.
So, why one earth would you even consider using a PC, I honestly can't think of any plausible reason as to why anyone would. My brother, unfortunately, uses vista on his laptop and I can't help but feel sorry for him, it's a constant battle for power between him and the PC with vista constantly stopping him and not working for some unknown reason which always seems to end up in me having so sort it out which takes just hours and is completely pointless and always ends in me wanting to take a hammer to it and smashing it until all that's left is a pile of meshed up plastic.
So, we've established that macs should be used over PCs. But which mac? I personally chose to go with the macbook purely because it is their cheapest laptop as oppose to the macbook air and macbook pro. So why then, you may ask, have I got the more expensive black one? Firstly because it looks fantastic especially when the apple logo is light up, and the little bit of extra specs go a long way as it is very fast and responsive and is just a piece of technological masterpiece.
If you want my advice, this is pure technological brilliance and if you're looking for a laptop then look no further!