Apple’s little white wonder of a MacBook excels against its PC counterparts, but it’s no Gandalf. As expected, gaming is this laptop’s weakest link. And even complex multimedia tasks can cause the MacBook’s magic to wither.
Still, in most applications, the Vista-booting MacBook performed admirably. But as speedy as the MacBook’s 2.1GHz Penryn processor may be, the notebook’s fatal flaw—beyond the gameplay-breaking integrated graphics—is a paltry 1GB of DDR2 RAM. This was most evident in our Photoshop test, where the once-mighty MacBook lurched to a crawl.
The MacBook’s 13.3-inch glossy screen presents a perceptibly higher quality picture than the other laptops in its class, but not outdoors—you can’t see jack in the sunlight. We enjoyed running our fingers across the spacious keyboard, although many of the strokes we take for granted on a PC have to be relearned on Apple hardware. Bringing up a context menu isn’t a simple right-click affair but rather a three-button ordeal.
Since Apple products are often touted for their multimedia capabilities, the MacBook’s limited connection options are a disappointment. Two USB ports and a single FireWire port butt up against a mini-DVI output for external monitor connectivity—adapter not included. Perhaps Apple means multimedia watching, as the device’s Superman of a battery and easy portability are a perfect fit for an on-the-go lifestyle.