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342 of 353 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2009

I made this video to hopefully add a little more life to the product.

Snow Leopard adds a lot more than I thought.

This is a great computer if you want to play with pics, surf the web, mess with your music collection.
This is not the Mac if you want serious processing power of lots of inputs to create a home network.
Look to a MacBook Pro or iMac for that.

I would have given it 5 stars if it had more inputs.
This is a pricy computer already, now I have to spend more to get adaptors.
I wish it was still available in black or you could opt for the non-glaze display.

I hope you enjoy the video, I had fun making it.
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145 of 151 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 2, 2009
I had intended to purchase my mother a Macbook for some time now. I wobbled between the several models I considered. However, Apple's late October 2009 update to the white polycarbonate MacBook made the decision much easier.

Reasons for my Decision - With this update to the 13-inch white MacBook, Apple gave its entry-notebook impressive numbers. The processor a 2.26 GHZ Core 2 Duo is the same processor found in the 13-inch MacBook Pro. 2GB of memory? Same as the Pro. Nvidia 9400 Graphics, Same as the Pro. Hard drive? 250 GB, bigger than the MacBook Pro (it has 160GB only).

Yes, considering the larger hard drive, 250 versus 160, this white MacBook actually gives you a higher specification computer in some regards than the $200 more expensive MacBook Pro 13-inch. Remember this updated white MacBook also now incorporates the unibody under its polycarbonate shell. The unibody provides strength, and I must say this notebook is very solid. Furthermore, Apple has incorporated a long-life battery! The only downside is Apple must replace it, though it has a longer life cycle. In terms of performance, my mother reported to me simple usage of nearly six hours on a charge. Impressive. Blows away my older Mac notebook's battery.

Yes, this white MacBook does lack the remote control sensor, Firewire Port, and backlit keyboard that the MacBook Pro would offer, but my mother would likely not use those features and she had an affinity towards the white polycarbonate. The white does look nice, but handle and place it on surfaces very carefully as it will show light scratches easily.

The bottom of the MacBook is a bit strange. It is a rubber seal so to speak like what is found on the bottom of Airport Extreme and Apple TV. I'm not certain I like that choice by Apple. The material does pick up dirt easily. I would recommend wiping off whatever surface you are going to sit the computer on, to remove light dust, if you worry about the computer's appearance.

Overall, I was looking to find a quality Mac, for my mother. I didn't want to compromise performance, and I feel I didn't despite choosing this entry-level MacBook. Truly, with its stats, it can hardly be called entry level. My daily Mac is only slightly faster. These computers are getting faster and faster, and they impress me. Snow Leopard is great, and my mother is enjoying iPhoto and iMovie, all included with the computer.

The price to value of this MacBook is remarkable. At two hundred less than the MacBook Pro you get the same speed and memory, plus a larger hard drive. You can't argue with that. I didn't, and the MacBook has impressed.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
This is my 4th Apple laptop (PB150, White iBook, MacBookPro Alumnium). All personally owned. I've also been a user of many PC laptops for work. Our last 2 Mac Laptops have been our sole home computer when we've owned them. Getting probably 6 hours of daily average use.

I have to say that this new unibody MacBook is by far, my favorite laptop I've ever owned and used.

We've been using it for a month now with the same rate of usage. Maybe more because of the holidays.

It has some slight imperfections.
1. I wish it still had composite TV out, but when I become the last person on earth to finally upgrade to HDTV, it will be ready (3rd party HDMI/video out cables are cheap).
2. The edge of where your arms go needs to be rounded because it slightly slices into your wrists. (I haven't filed it down yet, but will...)
3. And sure, target mode in firewire would be nice. But, it's rarely needed ($15 for a shell and a disassembly gets you to the harddrive in the disasterous event your system is so fried you can't get a network hookup going).
4. An SD slot would be nice too. But, everything I have a card in is USB anyway, and I already have card readers for when I don't (or my devices connect directly anyway).
5. It's more expensive than Windows laptops. But, at under $1000 ($850 if you're smart with rebates and deals) the MacBook makes buying a Mac almost equivalent to a nicer Windows laptop. Almost. Well, it's at least not embarrassing to admit anymore.

But, that's it with the negatives.

It's slim and sleek. The unibody means no flex when I hold the corner with one hand (RIP 2.5 year old G3 iBook with graphic chip recall). The plastic means no permanent deformation when I drop it from 4 feet (RIP 2.5 year old MacBookPro with a slow overheating death near the corner I dropped it on.) The battery life is impressive. (RIP every PC laptop I've ever used within 6 months.)

The white keys mean keyboard lighting is not such a big deal. The glossy screen is not really that glossy. The screen is bright and sparkly. The processor is speedy. (I run Windows on it just fine.)

The 250 gig HD is big enough (I'd need a few terrabytes to hold all my media anyway.) 250G is enough to simply expose the low end MacBook Pro for what it is - Apple's cynical attempt to milk money out of folks.

The mousepad is just wonderful. Takes a day or two to get used to not having a "button", but it's simply wonderful after that. Two fingers for a right mouse click and for scrolling. I zoom in and out of dual browsing sessions with the pinch like I never expected to do. And it's CENTERED in front of the screen. I don't know what Windows design idiots decided to stop centering their mousepads and keyboards and to give them tiny recessed buttons, but I refuse to personally purchase a lopsided laptop where you have to flop 4 inches off one leg just to type and where your thumb is rigidly fixed to an ergonmically challened button. The keyboard is equally well designed and easy on the fingers for this touch typist.

And, 2 of my Apple pet peeves have been fixed: the latchless lid is perfectly designed, and, there's no feet to get rubbed off the bottom anymore.

Oh, and it's light. Not MacBook Air light. But, surprisingly light and thin. I carry a 17" Windows machine for work. Yet, the 13" screen rarely feels restrictive. And, its performance blows away the MacBook Air. Try running full screen video off of YouTube on a MacBook Air. It can't do it. This MacBook has the juice to display without stuttering.

Plus, importing the old data from my old MacBookPro was seamless. Import and done. Just a few apps that needed to be upgraded for 64 bit and Snow Leopard. No crap on the desktop to remove like a new Windows computer. No annoying security messages. No virus worries. Basically, ZERO "Windows" worries. (Yes, I've got XP running on VM ware fusion and Vista on Boot Camp for certain games. So, I know of what I speak... Yes, I'm a masochist.)

And finally, it's MacOSX. I'm the kind of guy that has people coming to me for tech help at work, asking for recommendations "for a new PC cause their old one has a virus". They need help reinstalling windows. They have driver issues. They have reps from foreign countries advising to "recover" their systems (which means wiping the entire Harddrive). They have trojans running wild. They are always confused and frustrated. The only ones who don't have problems are the ones who are too scared to do anything with their computers. Or, who are technically savvy enough to navigate the waters. Who like the complication.

The annoying things people have come to accept from Windows computing astound me. As a daily user of both OS's for decades, I always breathe a small sigh of relief when I get back to my Mac.

MacOSX is wonderful. It rarely frustrates. (Just scan down the list of Amazon's laptop best sellers, and see the average stars for Mac machines vs. Windows machines. Clearly, there is a difference in quality and ease of use that justifies the difference in cost.)

So, this review is much longer than I intended. But, after reading the initial reviews a month ago -- of Mac zealots who hadn't purchased one who were whining about "no firewire" -- of clean freaks who worried about microscopic scratches (barely a blemish on ours in this household with 3 cats, a dog, and 3 and 6 year old kids), I just had to put my 2 cents in. This is, in my opinion, the best laptop Apple has released.

Why? Because it is inexpensive (for a Mac) and does everything you need it to do.
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103 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2009
Since Windows 95 I have been a PC user, I have been through 95, 98, 98se, millennium, xp and vista and I have had enough. I've been through 3 PC laptops in 4 years and only one of those didn't have fatal hardware failures or viruses. I used Mac's briefly in 99' and didn't understand them at all and have shunned them ever since. Finally after my last laptops motherboard started failing I decided it was time to take the leap to a Mac. The main reason I did this was because I've heard so many good things about them and I have had two iPhones and wanted to continue with Apple products. I waited for the new models to come out first before I got one because I have a habit of always wanting to get the new gizmos. Price is a little higher than what I'm used to but you get what you pay for. It was a little tough getting used to the OS right off the back, as a Windows user this is like going to a foreign country and trying to talk to someone there. I've had it for almost a 2 1/2 weeks now and so far I couldn't be happier. There are very few flaws that I have found, the edge of the laptop is too "sharp" and I get lines on my wrists but my typing teacher would yell at me anyway for that. Performance wise this thing flies! I thought about getting the Macbook pro but could not justify spending more money and getting the same/lower specs (i.e. 160gb hard-drive in the pro, 250gb in the macbook, same processor, same graphics, same RAM, same battery). I can live without the SD slot, simple USB adaptor can fix that, no need for firewire and I don't type in the dark so I can do without the backlight keyboard. At this rate I don't see myself going back to PC anytime soon!
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2009

- Unibody enclosure
- Same battery as the MacBook Pro
- Same graphics and processor (low end) of 13" MBP
- Glass multi-touch trackpad
- 250GB Hard Drive (bigger than entry level MBP)
- LED Backlit Display
- SuperDrive
- New AC Adapter (I just like it better. Basically the same as a MB Air's)
- Snow Leopard
- Price


- No backlit keyboard
- Bezel around the display isn't as "refined" and the edge to edge glass on the MBP
- No Firewire. Isn't that big for current products as most things are going USB, but legacy items and high transfer rates of Firewire 800 or sustained throughput of 400 would have been nice.
- Battery is non-removable. Again, could be a big deal for some.
- "Non-slip" bottom is rather slippery and tends to gather crud easily, but then again, it's easy to wipe clean
- While I would surely say that the new case is more pro than con (looks better, doesn't get dirty as easily, fingerprints rub right off) that high gloss is rather easy to scratch.
- Finally, this is more neutral than con, I would have liked to have seen a $50 price drop, putting this machine for students and educators, who make up a sizable chunk of Apple's target demographic, at $899. With everything that has changed on this machine, I can see why it didn't happen.

Overall, I would say that this is an very solid machine. For those looking for the "best overall value" in the notebook line, I say that it would be a toss up for me between this guy and the 2.53 MBP. For most users, this is more than enough machine and would be my pick for them. With the overall features, value, and redesigned exterior (and interior), this is really a great machine.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2009
I am a big mac fan I have a 13" MBP and a 15" MBP both current models, the day this was release I ordered from Apple.
The fans and heat are much better on this then my other two laptop,it is dead silent.
Not having a firewire does not bother me in the least (used it once in years).
The uni body is very well made and has no flex to it at all.I prefer this over my 13" MBP in a heartbeat.
The screen is bright and clear much nicer then the 13"MBP and love it without the glass over it.

I suggest this to anyone thinking about the Macbookpro..
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2009
Wow. Okay, I previously had a Sony Vaio that ran Windows Vista. It wasn't a bad computer in any sense, but now that I've owned this Macbook for a day, I can already see that it wasn't a GREAT computer at all! Even after a single day, I can already tell that this Mac has pulled me in, and I will never go back to Windows computers, unless they somehow become more amazing than Apple. But they won't. Once you go Mac, you don't go back ;)

But... anyway. The pros:
1. Start up/shut down. Shut down takes 5 seconds, and start up takes 10-20 seconds. My jaw dropped when I actually saw it happen.
2. The BATTERY. It really will last up to seven hours. Which I need, as I am a college student. If nothing else, get it for the battery life, haha.
3. Ease of use! I know my way around Windows computers quite well, and this was my first Mac, but my gosh, I've caught on quite quickly. Installing & uninstalling "apps" is 1000X easier than programs in Windows. I couldn't believe it was so easy, again, until I saw myself do it. If you happen to lose anything, spotlight will easily find it for you. Similar to the "search" feature in Vista's start menu.
4. The power adapter. It really is a simple magnet. You can pull as hard as you want, and the computer is going nowhere as it detaches.
5. The keyboard, and track pad! And... well, honestly, everything else, haha.

1. No SD card slot. But this can easily be fixed by purchasing a SD-USB item. I haven't done so yet, but eh.

Overall, this is definitely a computer you should get. I once thought Apple overpriced its computers, by looking at the technical specs. Now I realize, you really do get what you pay for. Mac is sooo much better! Now I'm a believer :P
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2010
I haven't owned a Mac laptop in 12+ years. (though I have craved one) Finally I found a good deal on this polycarbonite macbook. The 2 other machines I was looking at were the 15 Dell Studio (nice eSata port) and the ASUS ULV models (with 12 hour advertised battery life)

The processor in the Dell was faster at a similar price and the battery life of the Asus made it appealing. I have no regrets that I chose the Apple product. With VMWare Fusion I have a great Windows XP computer. (that resumes and suspends way faster than my VMWare workstation does on my work PC)

In addition, I loaded Windows 7 with bootcamp. (I have to reboot to get to it) I turned on all visual effects and the performance is impressive.

I found that a remote support tool called "TeamViewer" has a mac version that works great! (shared my screen with my friends to show them the interface) It obviously lowers the color palette to increase speed.

It is nice that OSX has RDP built in! I remote into my Windows XP desktop almost daily.
1) Windows compatible (even XP, newer Windows machines with XP drivers are getting more and more rare)
2) Mac Safe power adapter. My Sony laptop's AC/DC adapters always die right after the warranty expires. They are over $100 to replace, but the latest macsafe is only $75. I love this because I don't have to reach behind my machine to plug it in and I don't have to check if it is plugged in before I pick it up. (you can see it on the side) Also my kid tripped over the cord the first day I had simply came unplugged. (gotta love Apple for this one)
3) The screen is LED backlit and only slightly glossy. (macbook pros have glass on them, very shiny) shiny is good for indoor use, but in the sun you will wish it wasn't glossy at all. This is a happy medium and as always the Apple display is wonderful and bright.
4) Lithium Polymer battery (non-removable) By eliminating the extra hardware needed to use a removable battery Apple has lighted the load. Using this technology is unique in the market. (I don't think any PC laptops have LIPO batteries) The advertised 7 hr battery life is realistic in Windows or OSX if you lower the screen brightness a couple of notches from the top. (the lower you go, the longer the battery life) Many people are upset over the non-removable battery. The truth is you can replace it yourself or have Apple do it for $125 or so. It is removable but you have to take of the cover and undo some fasteners. It will also last longer than the Lithium Ion batteries we are used to replacing every 2 years. (Apple says in 5 years it will have 80% of it's original life)
5) Nice Nvidia graphics. I was looking for a powerful machine not a netbook or machine without discrete graphics.
6) Chicklet keyboard. Aside from confusion over which modifier key I should (being a long time Windows user) the keyboard is a joy. I love the itunes dedicated play, pause next button setup as well as the volume (that even works in Windows or Linux) and the handy brightness settings. In the past things like programmable keys on certain machines required locating drivers and a bit of work. Apple makes things easy with their bootcamp setup.
7) Resale value. At first I wanted to get a netbook. I looked on Cragslist and notices that they were worth very little used. I next determined that anything under 12" wouldn't do. (older Sony machines and ultra portables) I thought about picking up some old machines and buying a new battery. Battery life is very important to me and there is no PC equivalent to this machine. I spent a little more than a net book or order ultra portable, but I will be able to sell it later for a good price and it will probably be more reliable than either option.

You can get the aluminum unibody macbook pro if you really want that but you will pay more for the same specs. (though it will have Firewire and an SD card slot) I like the looks of the Pro better but I couldn't justify the money. Owning an Apple product (whether polycarbonite or aluminum) is a great experience.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I have been an Apple computer user exclusively since the early 1990's when I first purchased an LCII for use at home and then a Powerbook for use at work. For some reason I never got around to buying another laptop until this new model of the MacBook was announced, although I had used several other Apple desktops over the years.

After reviewing the specs and comparing the price and features to the lowest priced MacPro, there didn't seem to be any reason not to go with the MacBook over the MacPro, at least for my own purposes. I was initially worried about the lack of a Firewire connectivity since I have always used a separate Firewire drive with my desktops for Time Machine backups and/or extra storage space. It was not necessary to utilize a Firewire connection to load everything onto my laptop from my desktop since this was done wirelessly through the SetUp Assistant. Since I am not using my laptop as my primary computer, I do not feel that the lack of Firewire connectivity is going to present me with any problem going forward.

Thus far I have been very pleased with my MacBook. I believe that my high-school age son feels the same about the one that I purchased for him but to find out for certain would require me to get him off of his long enough to actually hold a conversation!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2009
After using a reliable old Power Mac G4 "Sawtooth" for the last three years or so (a rescue from my employer who sold it to me for five bucks) I figured the time had arrived to treat myself to a new Mac machine. Sure, the price of a MacBook is a premium compared to (inferior) Windows-equipped computers, but I spent so little on the Power Mac that I figured even with the expenditure for the new machine, I'm money ahead. (and I'm even further ahead thanks to Amazon's generous sale prices over the Thanksgiving holidays...thanks y'all)

This 13-inch "Late 2009" MacBook delivers pretty much everything I expect from a Mac--qualities that in my opinion make a Mac superior to other personal computing products:

*Ease of use...within minutes of unpacking the MacBook, I was using it just like my old Power Mac. Configuration can be as easy or as complicated as you wish. I use Gmail, so no email configuration was necessary. Getting AirPort up and running was a cinch. And the interface, of course, is unmatched in its elegance and sophisticated simplicity.

*No worries with B.S. spyware or viruses...No need to run anti-virus software or anti-spyware or anti-malware, so you're left with a very snappy and responsive machine. I will always have a problem with Windows machines because they cannot be used worry-free out of the box--countermeasures are a MUST and they sap machine resources in the process.

*Leading-edge design...Sure, $400 of what I paid may have gone to the illuminated Apple logo built into the lid...but it sure does look cool. Seriously though, every aspect of this product, from the computer itself to the design of the box to the way the items are packed inside the box, is obviously and thorougly well-thought-out. When you spend the extra money on a Mac, you see where it's going.

These are just a few of the qualities that endears Mac to me. I could go on and on, but others have done that. If you've read reviews and articles, you know what makes Mac tick and whether or not it's for you. All that's left for me to do, then, is evaluate the hardware itself.

Exterior...The MacBook sports a beautifully-polished white polycarbonate "unibody" which feels luxuriously smooth to the touch. The unibody design makes for a more rigid chassis, with none of the flex or otherwise cheap feel I've seen on other notebook computers. That said, this MacBook's build is just a bit short of perfect. Out of the box, there were a couple of very small nicks on the edges of the lid (you can feel them when you run your finger along the sharp edges), and a couple on the edge of the body itself. Additionally, the bottom access cover fits perfectly on three of its four sides, but is slightly warped on the 4th. No gap exists, but the fit is definitely off. I could get worked up about it, but won't since I like the computer very much and none of these issues impacts performance. Still, for prices approaching $1,000, better attention should be paid to quality of build.

Display...LED backlighting produces an instantly-bright display when the computer is fired up--very nice compared to other LCD displays which use cold cathode tubes to light up their screens. The stock color balance of the display is actually not very good, however. Calibration is necessary to get it right. One can use the built-in calibration tool, which relies on your own taste and vision to get things right, or there are hardware/software solutions available from third-party vendors for more precise adjustments. I used a shareware app called SuperCal and it works very well, provided you have good eyesight and are patient enough to go through all the calibration steps.
***EDIT: After another few days using the computer, I concluded that I actually was happiest with the color balance out of the box. Go figure.***

Keyboard and Trackpad...Though the MacBook uses "chiclet" type keys, they are responsive and feel good when typing. Owing to the design of the body of the computer, you do not feel the keyboard flexing like you would on other notebook computers. The trackpad is a single piece of frosted glass that also acts as the button. I am particularly keen on the so-called Multi Touch gestures available with the trackpad, such as a three-finger swipe to go back or forward when browsing webpages or photographs, a two-finger push or tap on the pad for a right-click, and two-finger swipe for scrolling. The trackpad is excellent. My only gripe is that only the bottom 2/3 of the pad is really usable for clicking--the top third doesn't give enough to be used as a button. Surely this is by design, and I have already adapted to it.

Internal Components...Very much up to snuff with mostly the same hardware found in the more expensive 13-inch base MacBook pro. In fact, you get more hard disk space on this computer--250GB--than the MacBook Pro which gives you only 160GB in base configuration. Sure, you don't have FireWire or an SD card slot, but you don't buy this computer if you want those doodads. I am particularly impressed with this machine's speed. Here's a good gauge of it. I used to use my Power Mac for ripping DVD's into a format suitable for play on my iPod using a program called Handbrake. It would take around 7-8 hours to encode one hour of DVD material. On the MacBook, it takes only 40-45 minutes to complete the same task. There simply is no substitute for computing cubic inches, and the 2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, along with the 1GHz memory and NVidia chipset, make for a brisk machine.

I would have given the MacBook a fifth star but feel the minor issues with the build warranted backing it off. Despite that, I am thrilled with this machine and am looking forward to the usual longevity I have come to expect with Mac computers.
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