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MacBook – first impressions (I’ve actually touched one!)

As it will be known to longtime readers (do I have any?), I usually comment on Apple’s new product releases. This time however, I’ve decided to base my first entry regarding the new MacBook consumer laptop from Apple, on hands-on-experience.

Friday I swung by the humac/Magasin store, and pressed my nose to the window for a glimpse of the MacBook (WhiteBook), it looked really cool, so I decided to pay the store a visit saturday.

Much to my dismay, the stand was empty, and the WhiteBook (e.g. the white MacBook) was gone – what had happened. Well it turned out that they only had one left in stock, and since it was close to closing hours it had been neatly tucked away under the counter.

It didn’t take much convincing to get to touch it though even though I only had a few minutes with it, my first impression is very favorable.

  • The design is ultra-clean and minimalistic, the MacBook is really sexy.
  • The keyboard is really wierd, and it took some time to get used to it, I think that I had to adjust my writing position, but then it worked fine, and it felt like I could type with the same speed as on my PowerBook. Hmm…Am I seeing things, but doesn’t the keyboard resemble something from the 80ies, most notably the Sinclair Z88, and the BlackBook (e.g. the black MacBook) will look even more like it!
  • The screen has a coating, and is called “glossy”, it looks strange, and I’d like to be able to test it under different ligthing conditions.
  • The magnetic closing mechanism is brilliant, I felt that it was a bit “heavy”, but since there’s no moveable parts, you prpbably just have to give it “a jerk”. The “maglatch” really contributes to the clean design.

I didn’t really have the opportunity to test the performance of the WhiteBook, but considering the specs and the performance of the MacBook Pro, I wouldn’t be too concerned. I did notice some considerable lack when I opened the lid, until the system was ready, compared to my PowerBook, but this could of course be caused by other factors, like the fact that the battery was running on empty.

I really, really like the design, it’s much more a departure with the iBook than I though, and it’s difficult to imagine how Apple can come up with a cleaner design, but hey, I’ll give it a shot:

Get rid of the remote sensor (Bluetooth has been invented), remove the “iSight eye”. Apple should be able to come up with a way to conceal the camera inside the screen (some rumour sites has shown some patents that points in that direction), and finally I’d like the dent in the front (used to make it possible to flip the lid open) removed.

I’m out on a limp here, but I dare trust that Apple has made a soild and functional design of the keyboard and screen, I’d like to spend some more time with it first, however.

I’m really looking forward to engaging a BlackBook IRL. The wise answer given by the sales person at humac/Magasin was that it will be on display in the store “when it arrives”.

The only thing I really wish for, is a more compact model. Mr. Ive and Mr. Jobs, If you need any inspiration, look no further .

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