Tuesday, March 18, 2008

How good is the MacBook really?

Because of how much I like Adobe Air (or, in particular, FreeTune) I've been using Leopard all day. So, I took advantage of this to find out a little about some problems I have with the Mac.

First, there's that bloody Mighty Mouse. In my situation,  the mouse at times just doesn't move the cursor exactly where I want it to go. Now, it not a catatrophic problem and I can generally live with this annoyance but it'd nice if I could replace some driver or change some setting to get away from it.
Well, it seems the Mighty Mouse is not held in very high regard by the MacBook community although nobody seemed to have the exact problem I have. Certainly no solution were offered other than making sure no grease/dirt from hands gets onto the scroll ball. But that's not where I have the problem
Anyway, I tested the Dell/Logitech 3-button usb roller-ball mouse from Margaret's computer on the MacBook and this worked very well -- significantly better than the Mighty Mouse. Then I tried the Kensington usb optical 3-buttn mouse from Killian's laptop and this didn't work well as the cursor seemed to go wild. Even after slowing the tracking down, it really wasnt great.
So, I'm not sure what options there are to get a better performance here.

Then I saw a few threads about the poor screen display on a MacBook. Once again this was a generally held view. Nevertheless, I posted that, in my opinion, the screen display quality in the various Linux OSes I have on the MB (Ubuntu, openSUSE, Sidux) are all better than in OSX.
One suggestion I found was to do a PMU reset (plug out power cord, take out battery, hold down power switch fr 5 seconds, replace battery and boot). But, no improvement resulted.

So, if the mouse and the screen are crap, what's so good about the MacBook and how can mine justify it's price of €1360 (2.16 GHz, 1GB RAM) ?
Killians laptop (1GB RAM, 1.86 GHz C2D) cost less than half what mine cost and both the screen and the mouse are perfect.
Actually, possibly the best thing for me about the MacBook was that no Windows OS was installed and very little in the way of crapware was pre-installed.
Also, I like the keyboard which seems smoother than the clunkier versions on most laptops.
But, are these benefits really worth an extra €700?
I'll have to think about this but, quite honestly, little springs to mind immediately to justify this extra expenditure.

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