MacBooks

MacBook chat wrap

Macworld hosted its first-ever live chat on Friday, with Editorial Director Jason Snell and Senior News Editor Jonathan Seff taking your questions about the MacBook and other new Apple hardware. We’ll post a full transcript once one becomes available, but in the meantime, here are some highlights from Friday’s event.

On the merits of the white MacBook versus the black model: Well, the only differences between the two are a slightly bigger hard drive and the black color. So you’re paying $150 for just the black color. Is it worth that to you. I bought the white model.—Jonathan Seff.

On installing a non-Apple 7,200-rpm drive in the MacBook: We just ordered a 7,200-rpm SATA drive and got it in yesterday. So look for a report on that in the near future… my guess is that it will work, but you never know for sure until you try.—Jason Snell

On the durability of the MacBook versus the iBook: I can’t see how it would be any less durable than the iBook. It’s hard to say because it’s so early. They sure seem solid, though.—Jason Snell.

On the reason for the price difference between the white and black MacBooks: It’s not always cheap to be beautiful and fashionable.—Jason Snell.

On the likelihood that the next-generation of Intel chips will produce lighter weight, longer-lasting laptops: I doubt that the weight will dramatically change. The battery life might improve a bit, but battery technology also improves. I love small laptops, so I hope Apple comes out with something smaller or lighter than the MacBook, but I’m not confident that it’ll happen. That said, the new generation of chips should be pretty impressive when they arrive. But isn’t that always the way?—Jason Snell

On reports of high-pitched sounds from the MacBook Pro: We’ve heard that one a lot. Some models seem to emit a high whine intermittently. I get it sometimes. It seems to be something that may be able to be fixed with some software tweaks. And Apple’s been releasing firmware updates lately.—Jason Snell

On how much RAM should go into a MacBook: 512MB may be enough for some people. But I put 2GB in mine, and it purrs. I suggest 1GB or 2GB.—Jonathan Seff

On allocating more memory to the MacBook’s integrated graphics: Sometimes it will use more than 64MB. Apple says so on a somewhat hidden Knowledge Base article. But I don’t think there’s any way for the user to change it other than using a graphics-intensive app.—Jonathan Seff

On the lack of Universal versions for high-profile appls like Photoshop: If all you use is Photoshop, there’s probably no reason [to get a MacBook Pro]. The MacBook Pro is much faster than old laptops when it comes to Unviersal stuff. And it’s much faster than G4 laptops under about 1.2GHz even using Rosetta. But if Photoshop is your main thing, and you’ve got a last-generation G4 PowerBook, it’s probably worth it to wait.—Jason Snell

On the possibility of dual-layer burners appearing in the 15-inch MacBook Pros: I think it will make it sometime. However, the placement of the drive in the 17-inch MacBook Pro is different form its placement in the 15-inch case. As a result, I think it’s not as simple a process as just dropping in a new mechanism. They either need to wait for a slimmer burner to arrive, or they need to redesign the case.—Jason Snell

Got a question that didn’t get answered? Or do you have some feedback about this chat event? Post it in the linked forum thread below.

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