Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

My New Macbook…

Is scheduled to arrive Tuesday! I’m fairly excited, not gonna lie. I’ll do my own unboxing post, along with impressions after some use. I’ll also time the battery life under low usage (word processing, web surfing), moderate usage (same but multitasking and some music or video) and heavy usage (HD video playback).

New Macbook

New Macbook

When I was ordering the thing, it took me a little while to decide which model to get, or if I should even be considering Macs and just go with a PC alternative. There were three main issues that were determining this decision.

First of all, my budget. I’m a college student with no job and almost no monetary assistance from my parents (they pay for my car insurance, basically). Any income I get is from scholarships that exceed my tuition, and most of that goes towards cost of living – rent, food, gas, etc. Obviously, I didn’t need to be spending a ton of money on a laptop, especially when this is going to be a secondary computer for me (my current desktop is my main). At the same time, I wanted to choose something with decent enough specs that it would be somewhat “future-proofed”, if you will. It should last at least for another two or three years, that way I can graduate college and save up a comfortable amount of income from my job (2nd Lt. in the US Air Force) before I go off buying expensive electronics. I figured that $1500 was the absolute maximum amount that I wanted to spend, and closer to $1000 would be preferable

Second, I’ve got a trip to China coming up pretty soon. From March of next year up through about July, I’ll be living and studying in Kunming, China as part of an education abroad program with my university. That means I won’t have my desktop with me (because there is no way I’m lugging 75 lbs of equipment to China with me. Besides, the extra baggage fees would kill me). I need a notebook with good battery life and a decent amount of processing power. I won’t be doing much in the way of gaming while there, but I will be shooting and editing tons and tons of HD video in the AVCHD format. I need something that will have the video processing capability to handle that. The 2.0 Ghz Core 2 isn’t the absolute fastest out there, but the addition of the 9400M IGP (integrated graphics processor) with it’s vastly superior capabilities over the standard Intel IGP will make a big difference. Also, the fact that iMovie is included, and is actually a pretty good program for making movies – not pro level, mind you, but pretty good – creates added value for me.

Finally, I need this thing to work well for me when I get back from China and it’s no longer acting as my main computer. I need something simple and easy to use, with great battery life (hello, five hours!) and a good form factor (13.3″) and weight (4.5 lbs) so that I can take this thing on campus with me for everyday use. It needs to merge seamlessly with my network at home. My capabilities on campus should *almost* match those I’ve got at home, or at least allow great remote access to my at-home system. I can easily see myself later upgrading the hard drive and creating a second partition for Vista. At that point, upgrading to 4 gigs of memory wouldn’t hurt, either.

Lastly, I’m a sucker for a beautiful product, and Apple has those in spades. The new macbooks have really good looks, an even better looking LED screen, and environmentally friendly parts, to boot. That’s enough to make me salivate over this thing, and (at least in my mind) it makes up for the hardware not being quite as competitive as comparable notebooks at other companies.

In short, I’m looking forward to getting this thing, and I can’t wait to put it through the paces and see what it can do.

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October 19, 2008 - Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , ,

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