MacBook CoreDuo First Thoughts

The new CoreDuo MacBooks from Apple look cool. I’ll probably get one whenever my current 2002-era TiBook dies, though hopefully that won’t be soon. There are a couple of things I wonder about though.

The first is the weight. The MacBook weighs 5.2 pounds, only .4 pounds lighter than the much larger MacBook Pro, and still at least a pound heavier than I want to lug around. Whatever happened to the ideal of a real notebook computer? Maybe one without an internal optical drive?

Side note: why do all laptop manufacturers, Apple included, hide the weight on all but perhaps their lightest models? It’s one of the first things anyone wants to know about a laptop. It’s far more important to me than the CPU speed or hard disk capacity. I start shopping by looking for the lightest models I can find, and then try to cram in the most features for the weight I can manage; not the other way around. I shouldn’t have to read three columns across the technical specs to find out what it weighs.

Second, these models introduce some new mini-DVI connector. Hooking them up to a a regular VGA or DVI monitor requires an extra, $19 adapter. Why is this necessary? Why couldn’t they use a standard connector? I’d really prefer a VGA connector standard since I use my laptop primarily for presentation rather than as a desktop replacement. However, the older models at least had a real DVI connector, and bundled a DVI-to-VGA adapter at no extra charge. Non-standard connectors are painful and evil. You can never find one when you need it. Just last week I had to make an extra round trip on the subway because I’d forgotten to bring my DVI-VGA pigtail to school. And I can’t count the number of times someone at a conference has borrowed my adapter because they’ve forgotten theirs. Adding yet another weird plug is only going to make it more difficult to find the plug you need.

That said, these are minor quibbles, and it really does look like a nice computer at a decent price. If only it was a pound lighter.

One Response to “MacBook CoreDuo First Thoughts”

  1. bob Says:

    I think the reason for mini-DVI is height. The new laptops are so thin, the older DVI and VGA connectors simple won’t fit inside the available case height.

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