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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > I'm Calling the New Unibody MacBooks the Best Apple Laptops Ever

I'm Calling the New Unibody MacBooks the Best Apple Laptops Ever (Page 2)
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Gavin
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Dec 23, 2008, 02:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by matt_s View Post
I can no longer connect 2 Macs together using Target Disk mode and copy huge folders (10-20GB) of PDF specs or PPT presentations, as we typically do every Monday to sync sales machines. I now have to copy them to an external drive over USB (which takes forever), unmount that drive, mount it on the target machine, and copy the damn folder yet again.
You should look into rsync. With a fast network it has to be faster than all that rebooting. Basically plug the laptop into the network (faster than wireless) and run an applescript.
( Last edited by Gavin; Dec 23, 2008 at 11:26 PM. )
You can take the dude out of So Cal, but you can't take the dude outta the dude, dude!
     
matt_s
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Dec 23, 2008, 04:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post
I think that calling it the best ever is a bit premature. I picked mine up the first day they were released and was fairly impressed. But there is a list of on going problems that have not been resolved. The questionable battery life, freezes requiring a hard restart, lose hinges that Apple says are a design feature, no matte display option and the elimination of FW400 with only one FW800 connection. At this point, I'm giving the previous generation MBP the prize for best Apple laptop.
1394a (FW400) and 1394b (FW800) are compatible. You can operate any 1394 peripheral on a FW800 9-pin port. To operate a FW400 peripheral, just acquire a 9-pin to 6-pin cable, and to operate an i.LINK device, simply add a 6 pin to 4 pin adapter. They are really cheap, we probably have dozens laying around the lab & office.

I haven't had much in the way of freezes on this unibody MacBook, as I noted, it's a nice little unit performance-wise, I just wish there weren't so many forced sacrifices. But I do agree, it's a bit premature to anoint the king just yet.

Perhaps we should chop this into two laptop categories:

Laptops for Desktop/Performance
Laptops for Travel/Portability

To me, any MBP can't be classified as a "best ever," simply because it's just too large for my use; i.e., it's not a good travel companion (I'm on the road all the time). I would take the 12" PowerBook G4 over that aluminum MBP, and would elevate the Pismo over them all.

If Apple came out with a unibody MacBook that was sized to an 11" LCD, got rid of the DVD drive to save space & weight, didn't cut the storage capacity, kept 2 USB plus Ethernet & display, offered a replaceable battery bay & added either 1394 or a card slot for it, now that would be an awesome platform. A true Road Warrior machine.
     
~bash $
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Dec 24, 2008, 01:51 AM
 
My absolute favorite was the Pismo. Loved that thing, and it was my first Apple laptop back in 2000. Had a TiBook, a 12", BlackBook, a Merom MBP, and now the Unibody MBP. On the desktops, I've had an old Power Mac, an iMac G5, a Mac mini, and now an MP.

However, the unibody trumps the Pismo for me. So, I have to concur that I think this is the best laptop Apple's ever built.
     
EuroBeat
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Dec 24, 2008, 02:50 AM
 
Folks,

I read messages in this thread and I have to say that my first ever MacBookPro 15" (late 2008 model) with 2.83 processor, 4 GB RAM and 320 GB/7200) is simply an amazing machine. I have been into Windows all my life and decided to get my first Mac because it can also run Windows.

I went through many Windows-based laptops, but this one is best I ever had. Runs beautifully both OX and Windows Vista. Worth of $ 2800 bucks I spent (including some additional peripherals and Parallels software).

I had it on the road (I travel a lot) and it took much less space than any other laptop I ever owned. The width might be an issue for some, but I always had wider computer bags.

As of reception, I have great signal. As a matter of fact it picks up better signals that my other two Windows-based laptops (Ferrari 1000 and 5000). For my Firewire need I bought 400-800 converter and it works great.

I have to admit, (and YES! I am doing it again) This is the best machine I ever had.

EuroBeat
     
freudling  (op)
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Dec 24, 2008, 03:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post
I think that calling it the best ever is a bit premature. I picked mine up the first day they were released and was fairly impressed. But there is a list of on going problems that have not been resolved. The questionable battery life, freezes requiring a hard restart, lose hinges that Apple says are a design feature, no matte display option and the elimination of FW400 with only one FW800 connection. At this point, I'm giving the previous generation MBP the prize for best Apple laptop.
You seem alarmist in your posting, like so many others... like a "list", or "long list of problems." What problems? I have no problems whatever with my UniMBP. Yes, I will give the hinge an eyebrow raise, but I have gotten used to it and it is not really loose, just designed like this. The only time it comes down is when I move quickly in bed. So, using it in various positions, the hinge has held well, so for me at least, the hinge is not a "problem".

Freezes... no freezes here, none. Been using it everyday hard for over 1 month, so, no, freezing is not a problem for me either.

Matte displays and FW: my god, so sick of this complaint... move on... matte is dust, this screen is way better than any matte screen from Apple.

Questionable battery life? What is questionable about it? It lasts as long or longer than my 2.16 GHz MBP does. Battery life is not great on either machine, and I don't listen to Apple's numbers too much, because most of us use the machine over wifi with brightness turned up, and lots of programs running which drains the battery. Turn off wifi and your battery life will increase. So, in this case, I don't see any "problem" here either.

As such, these kinds of complaints as you have made are sort of alarmist. And if there is any problem with the machine, you do know you bought it from a reputable company? Apple won't leave you out to dry if there is a defect.

Additionally, on prematurity, I have owned hundreds of Apple laptops myself over the years, my favorite next to the Unibody is the PowerBook Wallstreet. In close third is the 1400c and 2400c.

All things being equal, having spent years using Apple's laptops, I stand by that I think the Unibody MBP is the best Apple portable ever. It incorporates all of what Apple has learned over the years designing and making laptops, and significantly refines the previous MBPs. It is simply the next logical, evolutionary step in laptop form and function. The multi-touch glass trackpad with the multi-touch functionality that is predicated on these trackpads is simply understated: it really is a killer feature of the unit that people don't seem to be talking enough about, and is a feature that leaves all other Apple laptops in the dust...

Yes, the previous MBs/MBPs have multi-touch trackpads too, but the shear size of the Unibody's trackpad really opens up multi-touch. I can see how this is really the now/future of how we compute. Minority Report? We are slowly inching that way, and these new Unibodies are taking us closer and closer to that computing environment.

matt_s:

The bottom line, you are allowed to disagree about whether these are the best laptops ever, but you bought it so you only have yourself to blame for your disappointment. I give it a 9.5 out of 10. The only thing I wish is that it had better battery life, but until laptop battery technology evolves, we are all stuck with these batteries, a I don't totally blame Apple for this.

The Pismo...

Yes, one of the best Apple laptops ever produced, but not without its problems. 1. Greening, fading case problems 2. Purple screen 3. Poor backlight, dims after 12 months of use 4. Poor case structure (cracks down the center, just above and just below the trackpad 5. Wears poorly (keyboard glosses fast, fingers slip off, etc.).

Actually, many of Apple's laptops - first revisions - have had "real" problems (5300 flaming batteries/faulty ac adapter plugs; Lombard USB problems/cpu failure issues; Titanium PowerBook paint chipping problem/slow firewire problem; Dual USB iBook logic board failure problem...) I don't see any real problems yet with these Unibodies... so far software updates have solved any issues. So even if there are a few problems down the road, it still, for me anyway, won't detract away from how good of a laptop this is, especially because, just like all other previous laptops, Apple stands by their products. For instance, they gave PowerBook 5300 owners a 7 year warranty, certain iBook Dual USB owners received a 3 year extended warranty on their logic boards, etc. The dual USB iBook was still a pretty good laptop, and so was the 5300, as was the Pismo, but they all had their "problems".
( Last edited by freudling; Dec 24, 2008 at 03:16 AM. )
     
angelmb
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Dec 24, 2008, 06:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by ~bash $ View Post
My absolute favorite was the Pismo.
(…)

However, the unibody trumps the Pismo for me. So, I have to concur that I think this is the best laptop Apple's ever built.
That's my experience as well.
     
matt_s
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Dec 24, 2008, 12:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Freezes... no freezes here, none. Been using it everyday hard for over 1 month, so, no, freezing is not a problem for me either.
Ditto, have not had a single freeze on this MacBook.

Matte displays and FW: my god, so sick of this complaint... move on... matte is dust, this screen is way better than any matte screen from Apple.
I disagree. I do not care for the shiny hi-gloss screen. Not only are reflections distracting from day to day work, light sources can wash the entire viewing area out... but I just think it looks chintzy & low-rent.

And I find the lack of 1394 functionality ridiculous and without economic or space merit. There is no reason why it should not have been included in the original specs. There's something else going on here.

Questionable battery life? What is questionable about it?
It's less than my wife's BlackBook, and the BlackBook I just came off of. But I agree, it's adequate and even more importantly, I can remove the battery and insert a charged one to keep going on those long flights overseas.

Additionally, on prematurity, I have owned hundreds of Apple laptops myself over the years, my favorite next to the Unibody is the PowerBook Wallstreet. In close third is the 1400c and 2400c.
Yeah, I had a Wallstreet, a Pismo and a Lombard. The Wallstreet burst into flames. The Lombard suffered all those discoloration problems you mention later in your post. It also died an early age. I not only had nothing but success with my Pismo but still do - yep, it still runs like a top. Lightweight, powerful and now, a decade later, we can certainly add durability to the list of achievements. It fit better on the seat back tray than this 13" MacBook, and for sure, much better than a 15" MacBook or PowerBook Pro, which are simply too large for airline trays. Putting 2 batteries in the Pismo's bays allowed me to work all the way from ORD to CDG with juice to spare.

All things being equal, having spent years using Apple's laptops, I stand by that I think the Unibody MBP is the best Apple portable ever. It incorporates all of what Apple has learned over the years designing and making laptops, and significantly refines the previous MBPs.
Well, I think it's just too soon to tell. You say you've had yours for a month. Thirty days! How do you measure long term durability and reliability on a product line that's only a couple of months old? To declare "best Apple portable ever" is impetuous and rash IMHO.

There are more than just one category of laptops, BTW.

Again, as a travel companion, it's not the best that Apple's produced. It's footprint is larger than both the PowerBook 12", iBook 12" and the 1400c, two of my favorites. It weighs more than the Pismo (one battery), the Duo and the 12" iBook.

As a desktop replacement, the MacBook is faster and more powerful in terms of processing speed/muscle than almost all Apple laptops that have preceded it. But it lacks the functionality of almost every Apple laptop that have come before it over the past 8-10 years, and I view functionality as a key component of power.

So, it's not the best travel unit & it's not the ultimate desktop replacement. It's too early to announce it's durability fabulous. How again does this get to be declared the king?

matt_s:

The bottom line, you are allowed to disagree about whether these are the best laptops ever, but you bought it so you only have yourself to blame for your disappointment.
No, that's way up the list, not the bottom line. The bottom line is: I paid my money, I get the right to complain. Whether I'm disappointed or not should be none of your concern, only the logic of my declarations.

The Pismo...

Yes, one of the best Apple laptops ever produced, but not without its problems. 1. Greening, fading case problems 2. Purple screen 3. Poor backlight, dims after 12 months of use 4. Poor case structure (cracks down the center, just above and just below the trackpad 5. Wears poorly (keyboard glosses fast, fingers slip off, etc.).
As I noted above, this was not my experience but you know as well as I the rule of thumb is always: YMMV. Perhaps you're getting the Pismo mixed up with the first iteration, the Wallstreet? I had all of the problems you mentioned - plus actual FLAMES - on a Wallstreet.

Actually, many of Apple's laptops - first revisions - have had "real" problems (5300 flaming batteries/faulty ac adapter plugs; Lombard USB problems/cpu failure issues; Titanium PowerBook paint chipping problem/slow firewire problem; Dual USB iBook logic board failure problem...) I don't see any real problems yet with these Unibodies... so far software updates have solved any issues. So even if there are a few problems down the road, it still, for me anyway, won't detract away from how good of a laptop this is, especially because, just like all other previous laptops, Apple stands by their products. For instance, they gave PowerBook 5300 owners a 7 year warranty, certain iBook Dual USB owners received a 3 year extended warranty on their logic boards, etc. The dual USB iBook was still a pretty good laptop, and so was the 5300, as was the Pismo, but they all had their "problems".
The MacBook is not even six months old. I think it's important to consider that. These declarations of fantasticality are a bit over the top and not yet deserved.

I do yearn for a return to the days when Apple delivered a laptop with powerful features and functionality. I never recall being forced to endure sacrifices before when I moved from one generation to the next.

But most of all, I have a high desire for a real pro travel companion from Apple. The company just doesn't make one and I truly wish they would.

Anyway, thank you for your thoughtful and engaging post. Have a Merry Christmas!
     
freudling  (op)
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Dec 24, 2008, 12:46 PM
 
matt_s:

What I find ridiculous is that you bought the laptop. Enough of your banter.
     
fisherKing
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Dec 24, 2008, 12:53 PM
 
i just got to say (again..) this is also my best apple notebook (the 2.4g macbook); previously, my fave was the 12" powerbook (1.5g G4); i STILL prefer the 'footprint' of the 12" but...the macbook has a brighter, clearer screen, is light, fast, 4g ram (vs the 1.25 max on the pb); the backlit keyboard is great; stable (so far), and fits easily in a sleeve in my backpack. significantly less hot than the 12" as well.

will deal with no firewire (a mistake IMHO), and the glossy screen (which i don't love), but overall, my new fave mac.
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
angelmb
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Dec 24, 2008, 01:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by matt_s View Post
As I noted above, this was not my experience but you know as well as I the rule of thumb is always: YMMV. Perhaps you're getting the Pismo mixed up with the first iteration, the Wallstreet? I had all of the problems you mentioned - plus actual FLAMES - on a Wallstreet.
Well, my Pismo had the pink screen issue, which if memory serves me well was due to its Samsung LCD panel, those with a LG panel didn't get it.

The 'first iteration' was the Lombard, (which had SCSI instead of FireWire). The Wallstreet was a different laptop, a previous not that slim, G3 laptop, and dates from 1998. Only one year later came the Lombard and again only a year arrivedr the Pismo, which actually featured the 'PowerBook' monicker instead of 'PowerBook G3'… cause the G4s were all the rage by then, 'supercomputer on a chip' !!!
     
matt_s
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Dec 24, 2008, 02:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
matt_s:

What I find ridiculous is that you bought the laptop. Enough of your banter.
How can you fault somebody for spending money at The Apple Store? It makes no sense. We should be supportive of users, at least, that's how things used to be.

Additionally, most of the elements I find problematic with the unit required actually using the unit on a day to day basis. You can't do that without buying one.

I've not complained a bit about buying it, I've only complained about it's lack of functionality and it's funky features. I am allowed to because I put my money down. Would I buy one again? Yes, I would be forced to because first and foremost, I use Mac OS X; secondly, the plastic MacBook cannot hold the RAM I need; the Air does not have the storage space, won't hold the RAM & doesn't feature the replaceable battery that I really need; and lastly, the 15" Pro unit is a bear to travel with... thus, selection is limited.

(I would rather learn from you how you can logically declare the new MacBook the "best ever" when you've only had it for a month. Perhaps you mean: "best month ever"...?)

Bottom line is, to run OS X, I had no choice. I needed a new laptop and the MacBook was the best selection for the sacrifices Apple imposes. I see no logical reason why you would feel the need to berate me based on these conditions. And especially, the day before Christmas, Mr Grouch
     
iREZ
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Dec 24, 2008, 06:31 PM
 
i chose a mbp previous rev over the new macbook and i find my computer the best apple has ever made, now you go ahead and prove me wrong. i have 2 fw ports, i have a matte screen, i have a physical touchpad and gestures, i have backlit keys, i have better battery life than you, i have no need for any dvi adapters to hook up to my externals, i don't have to worry bout my lid shutting down on me.

now, do i really think my notebook is the best? nope...know why? because i understand that everybody has their own specific needs.

making some general blanket statement like the one this thread is titled is ridiculous. I personally like the new mbp's except for the forced glossy screen which i'll have to adapt to when i get my next notebook unless apple gets their heads on straight again. am i going to impose the way I think and I feel on everybody nope, i just find it funny that we're discussing about how much better something has become when it's only marginally gotten better on the mbp end and depending on what you use your computer for could even be far worse for the mb.

i also agree with matt_s, i always read bout how fisherking finds his new purchase pretty perfect except for the minor flaws (i follow his posts because i find myself agreeing with a lot of his opinions). Now imagine if Apple gave us fw and a choice of screen, NOW THAT would be the best Apple notebook for me (probably matt_s and fisherking too).
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
freudling  (op)
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Dec 25, 2008, 12:29 AM
 
The Unibody MBP is the best Apple portable ever.
     
 
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