Ubuntu guy in a world of Apples… Part I: The iron
As I promised, here it is, the first part.
How do I do with a small MacBook? Do I like it? Today I’m going to examine only the Iron.
For me, The big difference in a first place is that unlike Linux or Windows, Mac is not only an operating system or a hardware. It is both. So what I except is smooth, perfect functionality and harmony between the iron and the “softness”.
I’m not going to get here into detail description of the hardware, as there are lots of review and informations on the Net. I’m going to touch only things that amused me, were compelling or were a disappointment.
At first look, without powering it, the design is nice. Not awesome, just nice. Fine rounded corners, nice touch. The keyboard looks a bit awkward, but after I start to use it, it feels so natural. Event though the Enter key is small I’ve never missed it. Fine layout, really good job. Of course I, the lack of Del button, strange behavior of functional buttons confused me at first, but as I type this, I’m getting into practice.
I’m thrilled with power adapter called MagSafe. – Now I’m wondering, why isn’t that the de facto standard. – It’s magnetic. So it clips into the terminal without any struggle and if you just forget that you’re pluged in and start to move with your laptop it just jumps off, no damage… Wow, that’s one of the coolest solution in CS I’ve ever seen. Charging is okay. It is a bit hot, especially now, as it is about 25C at the morning. The speed of charging is average.
I’ve just copied few files from a DVD onto a hard drive. While the laptop is real silent, the DVD reading were awfully noisy. But as I rarely use DVD/CD at all, I think thats not going to be the reason not to like this Mac.
The screen in nice, really nice. A bit too shiny, with too much reflection. But the quality of the picture compensates that, as it is charming. To be honest, I thought that the integrated card would produce much worst picture.
To test the sound and a picture, I started to play a DVD video: Keith Jarret Tokyo Solo 2002. The sound were great, much more than I would expect from the built in speakers and integrated audio. The DVD player was almost silent, probably because of lower speed. The picture was fine, but the shiny screen, the reflection of the light was a huge minus.
I did not examined other plugs, as I’m missing cables for it. I’m really curious about driving an external monitor and using and external mice, connecting my dSLR or a video cam. But I guess those works fine as well.
My final conclusion: As I expected, really nice integration. A fine harmony. If it would be only up to the Iron I’ll would probably like to have it. One big minus is that every repair is expensive compared to a regular laptop.
In the next episode I’ll take a look at the Operating System. I’ll explore supplied and 3rd party utilities and try to do tasks I usually do.