Let me start by saying I’ve been anxiously awaiting the MacBook — small form factor, dual bootable, reasonable price point! But having spent about 30 minutes exploring it, I may have to pass.
I want to love the MacBook and it suits my purposes perfectly, but the keyboard just isn’t working for me. I realize I didn’t give it a lot of time to grow on me, as an Apple Store clerk insisted it would (How does he know that?). I was also typing at a less than ideal level standing at the Genius Bar. On the other hand, I type hours a day (on various devices, in various positions) and am a graduate of the Thinkpad School of Keyboards. My main complaint is what I want to call a lack of travel followed by a lack of bounce. The stroke just feels too short and too firm — it’s somewhat jarring. The other problem I have is the unfamiliar feel of the keyboard; the keys aren’t very concave and I’m a little too cognizant of the edges or space between them. For comparison, I like the feel of the MacBook Pro keyboard.
Several folks wanted me to report back on the new glossy screen – I can tell you it’s similar to what many PC laptops offer these days. There is more glare/reflection, but the extra contrast is nice and offsets it. (The reflection in the photo is the overhead lights in the Apple Store, my cell phone doesn’t have a flash.) Design-wise, that recessed keyboard allows the closed laptop to have a very sleek form and subtle magnetic closure. The black finish is nice and tasteful, though I was originally afraid it was going to be too glossy.
So what’s the verdict? I want to love it, but I’m not sure I will gamble $1200 on getting used to the keyboard. I see several more visits to the Apple Store in my future…
Those of you in the DC area: Montgomery Mall has both black and white MacBooks in stock (where I conducted my research), while downtown Bethesda told me they just have white. I saw some Flickr photos of a black MacBook purchased at Pentagon City. The Tyson’s Apple Store said they hadn’t received a shipment yet.