BlackBooks | July 23, 2006

A few months back I discussed my dilemma about buying a new laptop. While I really like my 12” iBook, I found the screen real estate limiting and wanted to get a bigger machine. I toyed with the idea of getting a MacBook Pro, but was concerned that the 15” version may be too big to be really portable. The MacBook had just launched and the 13” wide screen looked very appealing. However I had a few concerns regarding specs, and the shinny screen was particularly off-putting.

Since my original post, I took a couple of trips to the Apple store to check the MacBooks out. They looked lovely, and the screens weren’t too off-putting. However I was concerned how hot the display models were running. On top of that, I noticed the they keyboards on the black models were getting very stained. I decided to leave it until the next revision, always a good plan when buying Mac products.

Over the next few months the idea of getting a new MacBook kept bugging me. With no revisions in sight for a few months I finally capitulated and went out and bought a Black MackBook on Friday.


The Machine looks really slick, and the shiny screen isn’t as bad as I’d feared. In most of the environments I’ve tried it in you don’t get any reflection at all, and your photos and videos really do look crisp and colourful. However this badboy runs really hot. In fact I bet you could fry an egg on the back of the machine if you tried. The heat is at its highest when you’re charging the laptop, but it’s still too warm to have comfortably on your lap without some kind of insulation–in my case my laptop cover. Also the matt finish does seem very porous and is already starting to get a grubby, which is a bit of a shame.

Apart from those two gripes, I’m pretty happy with the machine so far. Despite having just the default RAM, the machine is pretty fast, and this should only improve when I fit the 2GB of Crucial memory I have on order.

Posted at July 23, 2006 6:06 PM


Mike D. said on July 23, 2006 7:13 PM

I too am dying to jump into the Intel Mac world. Coming from a trusty 12-inch PB though, I just can’t get myself to migrate from slick silver to either the black or the white. The white is out of the question because it reminds me of my iBook from 5 years ago, and the black… well… I just don’t like it as much as some people seem to. It seems to show fingerprints extremely easily and it’s a throwback to an even earlier era of laptop. I’m hoping there’s a 13-inch Intel MacBook Pro on the way, or better yet, a sub-notebook. But who knows.

Since you’ve already made the jump, make sure to grab yourself a copy of Parallels Desktop. That’s 80% of the reason I’m so anxious to go Intel right now.

Mike Caputo said on July 23, 2006 7:20 PM

I waited for quite some time as well to make the plunge… Finally I decided to go for it, as I knew my Powermac G5 Dual 2.0 was getting old, and was loosing value every week (with the looming release of a SHINY NEW Intel Powermac coming soon), as well as a trip i’m taking to the Uk in about a week…

I decided to go for the macbook pro.. mainly cuz the idea of working on a 13” screen really bothered me..

I want to add one more thing… about the whole glare thing with the Macbook screens.. Something I haven’t really seen anyone complain about is the reflection of sunlight off of the surface of the Macbook Pro. If you have tried to sit outside with a macbook pro or even any ALbook, i’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Its horrendous.
I guess there is no way around it!

P.s: I 2nd the Parallels Desktop purchase!! Its made making standards based web designs a dream for me.

Jan Brasna said on July 23, 2006 7:22 PM

I simply don’t like the new models, be it all the heat issues or the absence of 12” models… I may end up getting a second-hand/refurb 12” or 15” PB from the last batches if they don’t come up with something better with Intel Inside ™.

Jane said on July 23, 2006 10:09 PM

I’m a proud white MacBook owner. My first mac, and so far it is excellent. I upgraded the RAM through Orca Logic and they were cheap and quick - highly recommended.

Enjoy it!

Paul Solecki said on July 23, 2006 10:11 PM

I’ve been thinking about a MacBook too.

I just came across this website for other colours but I’m not sure I’m keen:

Mark said on July 24, 2006 12:47 PM

I’m one of the few here not designing on a MAC.

I’m a PC notebook kinda guy :) And i recently bought the beautiful LG S1. I’m nor sure if its avaliable here yet, I purchased it in South Africa, before I moved over to the UK.

Have a look here anyway.

No regrets. It loves Photoshop, runs super smooth.

Kyle said on July 24, 2006 1:50 PM

I too just got my BlackBook last week, and apart from the obscene amount of fingerprints that it picks up, I love it.

I was wary of it running hot as well but mine seems fine, even on my lap. It is hot when charging but that was to be expected, and I usually charge mine overnight anyway.

To be honest, I was expecting to be able to cook eggs on it, and saw this as just another feature. Perhaps I got mine just after the publicised logic board revision?

Matt Hamm said on July 24, 2006 11:51 PM

I assume you have seen this then?

Martijn Engler said on July 26, 2006 2:13 PM

I was just looking into the 13” Mac again.. Still in doubt between an IBM T42 (14”) or the Mac. If I go for the Mac, I want the white one, I don’t see why people seem to like the black actually.
Biggest problem is I have no real experience with MacOS and ain’t sure if I will like it.. Well, I think I will. :-)
Some friend lend me a copy of his MacOSX-cd that should run on my PC, so maybe I try it out and then decide what kinda notebook I’ll buy.
Just hope they fix the heatproblem if I decide to buy a Mac.

nick fox said on July 30, 2006 10:32 AM

If your designing for the web you need to test multiple platforms mainly mac and pc and with the ability to run windows nativly at full speed (no emulation) on an intel mac, Why buy a pc???

Matthias said on August 3, 2006 2:21 PM

I bought a Toshiba Satellite and a 12” iBook in the last 2 years or so, and the difference in terms of the heat they emit is out of this world. While the iBook was more or less always fine, even right on your jeans, the Toshiba got so hot that it was still uncomfortably hot through a blanket when watching a DVD in bed. It’s actually so bad that it keeps losing its screws when you don’t wait until it’s cooled down when you want to carry it around.
I’d be disappointed if the same thing now happens to the MacBooks.