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Have two: one is great, one is dying!
on August 2, 2009
Had I written this review, say a half-year ago, I would have undoubtedly given the Macbook 5 stars. I took it with me to college after my previous laptop - an Acer Aspire - failed me horribly. My Aspire had an issue with overheating, which only presented itself after my warranty expired. The cost of repairing it was not worth it when compared to getting a new laptop that was smaller, lighter, more powerful, and more capable of multi-tasking (more RAM).
I come from a family that has been using Macs for over a decade, although I myself preferred Windows computers...up until Windows Vista came out. We had many Macs around the house growing up since my parents use Macs in their office, and I was never really impressed with the Apple Operating System, so I had doubts about the Macbook. But since the Macbook is loaded with 2GB RAM and an Intel processor, you can run BOTH Mac AND Windows operating systems with ease. I therefore figured worse comes to worst, I'll use my Macbook as a laptop to run Windows XP with. I used it very heavily in college and it served me very well. It's light weight allowed me to easily carry it from class to class, its included photo and video editing software gave me hours of productivity, and perhaps best of all, it was reliable! I really loved my Macbook and would like to give it 5 stars...but...
My sister, who was in graduate school, also got a Macbook at the same time I got mine. Her laptop fared well, up until the end of last year. For some reason, the laptop started getting buggy...it'd freeze, it would overheat, it became a major nuisance. We've reformatted several times, hoping that would solve the problems, but to no avail. I HIGHLY recommend getting the AppleCare protection plan. We regrettably didn't, and really don't feel like forking over the money to repair the Macbook since she doesn't use it much anymore anyway. But our attempt to save money by not getting the protection plan will end up costing us more money now, should we choose to repair the laptop! The experience with our second, identical Macbook, is why I have to give 3 stars instead of 5 for an otherwise strong performance product, that can run both Windows and Mac, that comes bundled with a lot of great software, and that looks really cool (especially on a college campus where almost everyone has Macs!)
A last note...I have more recently purchased the sleeker Macbook, and would like to emphasize that while its construction is nicer, and it doesn't look as cheap as this plastic one, I still think this is a good deal. If you're looking to "wow" people and can splurge, get the newer model, but if you are looking for a powerful laptop and don't care too much about having the latest build, this one is just fine. I still use my plastic one even though I have the newer (cooler-looking!) one.