For some reason the MacBook and MacBook Pro ship with different builds of OS X 10.5.2:

The MacBook's OS X 10.5.2 build (9C2015)

The MacBook Pro's OS X 10.5.2 build (9C2018)

While my experience with the MacBook Pro was flawless, I did encounter two crashes with the base MacBook. Neither was repeatable but one was a kernel panic:

It only happened once and I couldn't get it to happen again, but it was strange given that both systems were configured and used identically. There's always new kinks to work out and I know OS X 10.5.1 was horribly unstable for me on my Mac Pro, so this could be an isolated software issue but I felt compelled to at least report it.

I’d never owned or even extensively used a MacBook before, so when I first met its screen I was shocked. This thing was terrible, no where near as good as what was on the Air or the Pro models. The problem wasn’t brightness, color reproduction or response time, it was the display’s poor off-angle viewing.

The MacBook (left) vs. MacBook Pro (right), at the right angle the two displays are identical

Start moving away from the perfect angle and the MacBook's display stats to look really washed out

And here's what you get in airplane mode, where you can't necessarily tilt the display as far back as you'd like. This setup may seem unnatural but the MacBook's display is clearly inferior.

The MacBook screen is terrible for off-angle viewing. Case in point, I’m writing this while on a plane on the MacBook. The seat in front of me is reclined too far back for me to tilt the screen back far enough to achieve a proper viewing angle. Instead, I’m looking at the screen off-axis and it’s unbelievably washed out.

The same isn’t true on the MacBook Pro, indicating that Apple is most likely using a TN panel on the standard MacBook and an IPS on the Pro.

With Penryn, thermals have improved on both of Apple's notebooks which translates into a cooler lap experience. The plastic enclosure of the MacBook doesn’t conduct heat as well as the aluminum MacBook Pro, meaning that it also feels better on your lap. Penryn doesn't produce as much heat as Merom so while the MacBook got warm, it never got hot during extended usage on my lap.

At 2.4GHz, the MacBook can offer some very respectable performance coupled with great battery life. It gets the job done as an entry-level Mac notebook, but the display really left me with a bad taste. Give me a better display and an ExpressCard slot and I don’t need the Pro, but then again I guess that’s Apple’s plan from the get-go.

The New MacBook The New MacBook Pro
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • myusernamehere - Friday, February 29, 2008 - link

    either of the displays led backlit?
  • DavidK - Friday, February 29, 2008 - link

    There's been numerous complaints about the Agere firewire chipset in the previous version of the MacBook Pro. Has it been replaced with the TI set, or is it still the Agere?
  • Tigerotor77w - Friday, February 29, 2008 - link

    You compared the 2.4 GHz Penryn to the 2.2 GHz Merom, but what about the 2.4 Penryn to the 2.4 Merom? If I'm looking solely at clock speeds, how do those two compare?

    Additionally, is it conceivable that the $1999 price point remain for the Montevina-based MBPs?
  • Sunrise089 - Friday, February 29, 2008 - link

    Good point, but he compared the notebooks he physically possessed. As in, he bought each of the tested models at one point or another.

    I strongly believe any future Macbook or Macbook Pro will keep a pricing model determined by the marketing department. Apple has no direct competition (mobile OSX market) so they can simply select the hardware to include that allows them to keep the margins they want.
  • Tigerotor77w - Saturday, March 1, 2008 - link

    Makes sense. Nevertheless, I'm curious how the two 2.4 GHz processors compare (I saw that gizmodo had a comparison, but I'm not sure how that plays out qualitatively).

    As for the price point, what you said certainly makes sense -- I'm wondering whether they'll keep the $1999 point. Will they give up the sub-$2000 market for 15" notebooks? Or will they want the higher margins on the $2499 MBP?
  • HopJokey - Friday, February 29, 2008 - link


    In your article you mentioned that Yonah was built on 90nm technology when in fact it is built on 65nm manufacturing. Thanks.
  • slashbinslashbash - Friday, February 29, 2008 - link

    I don't think so Anniend. You want me to do things to you like the sun and the moon. Idiot!
  • acejj26 - Friday, February 29, 2008 - link

    My becomes once the battery ages and no longer manages to hold a full charge.

  • acejj26 - Friday, February 29, 2008 - link

    on page 6, you wrote "blacklit" not backlit
  • Gary Key - Friday, February 29, 2008 - link

    Fixed. :)

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now