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4 people found this helpful
Not bad but has lousy photo printing with many HP printers
on February 18, 2008
After purchasing a desktop replacement, 5 years ago I decided to go with a more portable and lighter laptop. The market has changed since then. Five years ago the screen size, memory and HD determined the price. Now the large widescreens are mass produced and even Walmart has Dell desktop-replacement laptops.
After much searching the only options with a screen size less than 17 inches and under $2k were Sony Vaio, Lenovo (thinkpad replacement) and the 13 inch macbook. The Vaio's have horrible reviews and look like the target audience is 12-year-olds. My husband had a Lenovo and it was nothing but trouble. So that left the macbook.
Pro: Beautiful screen, small and portable.
Cons: Expensive (for what you get) and you must pay $200 extra to get the black version instead of the plastic white version. Upgrading the memory through Apple is pricey. Major printer problems with Leopard OS.
If you decide to buy one these and have an existing printer, especially an older (2-5 years old) HP printer, be prepared for endless driver updates that don't deliver printing resolution past 1200 dpi. My 1215 Photosmart has 2400x1200 dpi resolution and the 'latest' driver that I found on an open source web site only went up to 1200x1200 dpi. This is WAY better than the driver I found on Apple's page and what came pre-installed which only delivered 600x600 dpi. If you check out the Apple help site there are endless posts about how do I get working in Leopard? I've also noticed that iPhoto doesn't center my photos on 5x7 papers. No idea why. The preview shows a print without a border, but what comes out of the printer does have a border and is not centered. So do some searching before you buy.
I'm very disappointed that I can't do photo printing from my Mac. I'm looking into creating a windows partition and installing windows XP just so I can use things like my digital camera and photo printer with all the capabilities working correctly. I've been told by my Mac-zealot friends that the previous major OS release (panther?) needed a year to get all the printer features working. Bummer.
Another tip I'll pass along: buy the smallest amount of memory available then upgrade the memory using an independent site such as newegg.com. Apple charges an INSANE amount of money for memory modules. I bought the 512mb then bumped it up to 4gig which cost $120. Now it smokes. Apple wanted to charge an extra $750 for 4 gig memory!
If you're looking at a desktop-replacement, I wouldn't go near the 15-17 in mac power books. I have one for work and frankly they are not worth the price Apple charges. We bought a HP widescreen for $1500 a few months back. It's a dual boot Linux system and it is much more stable than my 17 inch powerbook.
So if you want to go small, don't need Microsoft apps like Office ( I also have this on my work mac and trust me it doesn't match up to the Microsoft version when it comes to documents over 5 pages) then the macbook isn't a bad choice.