Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hands-On With the New MacBook

Last night, after class and a career panel at the law school I ran into my friend, Lauren, on my way to finish up a legal writing assignment. She just got one of the new 13-inch MacBooks. It was my first time actually seeing one in person and Lauren was gracious enough to let me use it to work on my paper for about an hour. Needless to say, more than 50% of the time was spent playing... Below is a photo I took using PhotoBooth that sums up my initial impressions:

It is an incredible machine. Much quicker than my ThinkPad, that's for sure. A great screen, impressive build quality, and snappy performance. The coolest feature by far is the no-button touchpad. I can't begin to say how impressed I am by it. Without even thinking about it, I started pressing the end closest to me when I wanted to click the mouse button and it worked every time. It took me a couple minutes to realize what I was doing and how nicely it worked. Lauren also had the bottom right corner set up to emulate a righ mouse click. What this means is you can essentially turn the touchpad into a two button touchpad. What was most impressive was being able to use two fingers to scroll up and down on any page (a feature that's been in Macs for some time now) and the ability to do a four-finger sweep to activate Expose, minimize all the windows, or toggle between programs. The touchpads are muli-touch meaning you can also use them to "pinch" pictures to expand and contract them (like on the iPhone), rotate photographs using two fingers, or scroll through your iTunes collection with ease.

I must say I am incredibly impressed with this machine. It is by far the snappiest MacBook I've ever used. More than anything, it was just fun. Perhaps the biggest impression it made on me was how seamlessly everything just seemed to work. There were no pauses or delays in opening programs I commonly experience with my ThinkPad (and every other Windows machine I've owned/used). One of the advantages of one company controlling both the hardware and software?

Between the build-quality, the multi-touch no-button touchpad, and the ability to run Windows programs as well as Mac ones on the new MacBooks, I don't see myself ever getting another brand of laptop unless I were to buy another tablet. The only downside was that it wasn't mine...

P.S. -- Below are a few more shots I took using the MacBooks built-in camera in PhotoBooth:

(click image for larger view)

P.P.S. -- Apple is rumored to be releasing new iMacs in the next couple of weeks. Can't wait to see what they're coming out with next!

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