Thursday, September 28, 2006

My iBook’s partner

We all know that the MacBook is the new replacement for the old iBook, which I am using.

My iBook has all along been the only baby in my family. But last Saturday, that changed.

My iBook had a partner!!

My dad purchased the entry level MacBook for work purposes, together with a HP Officejet 6310 with wireless printing capabilities. But after looking at the MacBook, I decided to comfort myself that I’d still prefer my iBook which I’ve grown so attached to. After all, not everybody has the opportunity to own a classic Mac just before production stops. My iBook was one of the last PowerPCs, so it’s still unique.

But seriously, MacBook and iBook – not a great difference. Aesthetics wise, perhaps the glossy 13.3 inch widescreen would catch your attention, together with the 45% reduced thickness and the new keyboard design. I must admit that the mouse button has a nicer touch now, but one thing I find surreal is that the speakers are located behind the notebook, almost hidden by the screen.

And I somehow doubt Apple’s statistics. They claim a five times faster overall speed improvement for the Intel MacBook over the iBook, but all I see is one time faster. Truly, Core Duo’s are not fantastically fast. I dare say that my one year old iBook has speeds comparable or even faster than the 1.83 Core Duo. Probably it’s due to the Intel Graphics Media Acceleration (GMA) 950 which sucks out ram from the main memory. But with such a small frame, you don’t expect a good graphics card like an ATI Radeon or a Nividia GeForce.

Still, speed wise, it is manageable, even good.

Here are the specifications of my dad’s MacBook:

1) 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo main processor
2) 512MB X 2 DDR2 SDRAM
3) 60GB rpm serial ATA hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor (for shock protection)
4) iSight integrated webcam (my family had fun with Photo Booth and the effects)
5) iLife 06, Mac OS X Tiger AND WINDOWS XP service pack 2
6) Front Row with Apple Remote
7) Built-in 54-Mbps 802.11g AirPort Extreme wireless
8) Bluetooth 2.0
9) Magnetic latch and MagSafe

In terms of software range, my iBook beats the new MacBook. There’s no World Book, free AppleWorks, and my games are much better than the Big Bang Board Games. But well, never forget that the price has gone down tremendously. The whole notebook, complete with an external mini DV to VGA adapter, Windows XP and ram upgrade only costs $2,250.

Well, Mu Yao if you’re reading this you’d probably start your long speech again about how you got more for a lower price…so please keep quiet. I am a good customer unlike the kiasu you which so aptly reflects the typical Singaporean attitude.

I thought it would be good just to illustrate how the MacBook is an engineering marvel.

Compare the thickness of the two Macs (the black dot on the MacBook’s side is the infrared receiver):

Thin, isn’t it?

But from the top, from afar, you can’t really differentiate them:

External looks bears much similarity to the iBook, but I do like the placement of the MacBook’s lithium ion battery right at the bottom – at least I don’t get to see part of it like in the iBook, giving those unsightly lines.

But under the hood, it’s a revolution. The best things are hidden, and only those few who can see that the future of computing is not Vista will get a Mac.

My iBook shall never be lonely now!

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