MacBook

So Lenovo is picking up my ex-laptop, T60p, tommorrow. I got it for a great price but, because I have a powerful desktop with large screen and buckling-spring keyboard, ThinkPad was just sitting there most of the time staring at me. It sort of felt like how I would feel if I had two wives. LOL

I realized that, since I usually work at home and visit my clients once a week for a couple of hours, what I really needed was a small personal notebook for communication and light reading/writing, not a powerful desktop-replacement. Yeah, MacBook Pro is out too. And no, I don't need to play a game nor run Vista on the thing.

So the new plan is to get a MacBook soon and, when Vista comes out, replace my desktop with a high-end machine (Merom, DX10 GPU, the works). As to which MacBook, I think the low-end MacBook (white, 1.83GHz, $1099 $999 with $100 rebate at Amazon) with 2G memory ($225) and 120G drive upgrade ($159) is attractive. As I've pointed out in the comment to my previous post:

  1. 1.83GHz is less likely to have heat issues. Since Apple has chosen to address heat issues by slowing the processor down and turning the fan on more actively, I think the performance difference between 1.83GHz and 2GHz MacBooks will be minimal. Checkout the results in MacWorld's MacBook performance test.
  2. Black is more sensitive to scratch and grease and costs more for no reason. I think grime on white can be easily wiped off until scratch builds up. At worst case, I'll just put stickers everywhere as distractors. ;-p

I am not sure if I'll get AppleCare though because third-party memory and drive upgrades might void the warranty. $249 service for a $1099 laptop notebook seems rather steep too. It's cheap enough for me to just get a new one if it breaks after a year. I am gonna give myself some time to consider. Not all the tools I need are ready yet anyway (Parallels, Eclispe, etc.).

BTW, I don't expect them to cut the price when Intel cuts the Core Duo prices end of this month. I think Apple priced the MacBooks and MacBook Pros with the price cuts in mind already and cut a deal with Intel to get enough Core Duos at the upcoming prices to supply the Apple Store with MacBooks but delayed shipment to sellers like Amazon until after Intel official drops the price. Yeah, MacBook will again look more expensive than equivalent Windows laptops. All I can say is LOL.

Update:

I've just cancelled my Amazon MacBook order after reading some first-hand stories of people having a fairly wide variety of problems. It doesn't seem to be just bad units because many of them have gone through 2-3 MacBooks, each exhibiting minor to major problems. Here are some of the problems I've read about:

  1. excessive heat – this problem seems to be a mix of design and quality control problems. Design problems led to MB running at hotter temperature than other equivalent machines. Quality control problems led to fairly large (my guestimate is ~15%) number of machines with higher temperature than the already hotter than average temperature.
  2. whine – probably a mix of design and QA problems impacting audio sensitive people (not an insignificant number I think).
  3. mooing – apparently MB and MBP fans are not variable speed so when heat builds up, the fan switches on to full speed then off. When Apple released fix to stem the tide of temperature problems, the fix apparently attempts to start up the fan more proactively. That's good except I think they neglected to make it smarter (i.e. fuzzy logic) so when temperature is at some threshhold, fan comes on and off repeatedly, leading to mooing. Bad hardware and software design.
  4. leashed CPU - when temperature is high, CPU is slowed down. On good machines, this happens only sometimes. If your machine is one of the bad ones, it happens most of the time which means you end up with 1.5GHz Core Duo, not 2GHz.
  5. LCD plus sleep – apparently screen sometimes doesn't lightup after waking and PRAM has to be reset to get it working again. Most likely a software bug.
  6. dead touchpad – could be a software or hardware problem, maybe static build up leading to software confusion.
  7. graphics corruption – some think it's GPU acting flaky under high temperature.
  8. sudden death with battery - not sure what to make of this one. Problem used to limited to computer shutting down suddenly with 30% battery life. After recent update, some are reporting this happens at 80%. Pretty odd.

The good news is that one recent strawpoll seems to say at least 75% of the MB users are not reporting any problem with their lap cough notebook. The bad news is that 25% are. Given the level of loyalty and naivetty of Mac users, I think that's pretty aweful.

Regardless of whether what I wrote above has any substance or not, I think the wise thing to do is just wait. I am bored with Windows but not excited enough with MacBook to dive into a hotbed of problems. Maybe Apple will fix the problems, maybe they won't.

Update 2:

Add discoloration to the list of problems. Yikes.

Advertisements