Apple MacBook MC516LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) Reviews

December 27, 2011 - Comment

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KSBAY says:
404 of 427 people found the following review helpful:
3.0 out of 5 stars
MB OK, May 24, 2010
By 
KSBAY

This review is from: Apple MacBook MC516LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)

The white Macbook was updated on May 18 2010. There are minor differences between the 2010 Macbook and 2009’s model, detailed below.

The UPGRADES are

1) Geforce Nvidia 320M integrated graphics processor with 48 processing cores. This is better than the Geforce 9400M in last years model. Useful for content creation.

2)Mini display port now supports video AND audio with a compatible Mini-DP to HDMI adapter. (Last years model only supported video)

Thats it.

STANDARD FEATURES – from last years model (minor changes noted in brackets)

Polycarbonate unibody
Core 2 Duo processor (2.4ghz – up from 2.26 ghz)
1280 x 800 resolution Glossy LED backlit screen,
iSight camera,

2 GB Ram – 1gb ram sticks x 2
250gb hard drive
8x slot-loading SuperDrive dvd burner

Large multi-touch trackpad ( Intertial scrolling is now enabled ),
2 USB 2.0 ports ,
Wi-Fi – 802.11n specification; 802.11a/b/g compatible, Bluetooth 2.1 and Gigabit Ethernet -10/100/1000.

Inbuilt battery – (which Apple advertises as capable of lasting between 9 to 10 hours.) Not true. Real world battery life is between 3 to 6 hours depending on what tasks you use your computer for.

Software included is OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and the iLife 09 suite of content creation tools. A 1 year warranty on parts and 90 day telephone technical support is standard.

The Macbook as it is – is good for basic computing activities – such as browsing the web, typing articles or watching movies. However, if you’re planning to buy a Macbook for multimedia work, such as editing high resolution photos or HD videos and plan to use multiple applications at the same time, please ensure that you upgrade the ram from 2gb to 4gb.

Why?

Because using a macbook with 2 gb of ram (such as this one) to multitask is a GREAT way to drive yourself crazy as the computer struggles to keep up. Try editing 10 megapixel RAW images while playing music in iTunes with Safari open. 2gb of ram is not at all adequate for multitasking / using processor intensive applications on a Macbook. I understand that Apple has to differentiate between the Macbook and MBPro to justify the price differences but skimping on the ram and putting 2gb inside a $999 product and thus, affecting the user experience is not the way to do it.

Upgrading the ram yourself from 2gb to 4gb is a great idea. Currently, Crucial CT2KIT25664BC1067 4GB 204-PIN PC3-8500 SODIMM DDR3 Memory KIT (2GBx2) costs $39.99. So that brings your total to $1010 ($969 MB + $39.99 Ram) if you upgrade your Macbook’s ram

So for only $160 more than your Macbook, (if you take into account the cost of the ram upgrade) a viable alternative is the standard Apple MacBook Pro MC700LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop which costs approximately $1160 on Amazon. The MBP 13 comes with the added benefits of a more durable aluminum unibody, a backlit keyboard, an SDXC card slot, a firewire 800 port, a thunderbolt port and most importantly, 4gb of ram. Which allows you to multitask effortlessly.

If you’re going to use the Macbook for any computationally demanding activities such as content creation, editing large RAW images or HD videos you should upgrade the ram to 4gb or just buy the standard MBPro 13 inch. The significantly faster i5 processor and 4gb ram in the MBPro 13 make a big difference in the daily usage experience.

However, if you only want to use the Macbook for general tasks like writing articles, browsing websites or watching movies, it will handle those duties adequately. At the same time, also keep in mind that if you only need a laptop for basic duties, many other manufacturers offer less expensive laptops which are just as (if not more) capable.

Hope this helps!

P.S. Update – Feb 15 2011 – At present, the Macbook is extremely out of date compared to other computer makers current products. C2D processor, 250 GB 5400 rpm hard drive, 2 gb ram, 2 USB ports. In 2011, these are totally unlike a $999 notebook’s specs and more like a netbook’s specs (excluding the C2D processor)

I’d recommend waiting for a Macbook update by Apple. Another good option would be to buy a notebook by HP,Sony or Toshiba (for $999 you’ll get a much more powerful machine with regards to hardware) or buy the updated 2011 Macbook Pro 13 base model.

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T. Brown says:
87 of 90 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Form and Function, June 19, 2010
By 
T. Brown (NC, USA) –
(REAL NAME)
  

This review is from: Apple MacBook MC516LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)

As a student, I’ve been trying to find a well-built computer for under $1000. For me, the MacBook is a perfect fit.

Pros:
-The touchpad is incredible for web browsing. I have been using PCs notebooks for years, and I have never liked touchpads, but this has proved to be an exception. I can easily do two-button clicking, scrolling with two fingers, and going back and forth through pages with three fingers. I find I no longer do I have to lug around a USB mouse (except if I want to some gaming).
-The computer starts up in 20 seconds without having to wait for background processes to load up (unlike windows).
-The build quality of the MacBook is unmatched for its price. The unibody does not creak at all when handling it.
-Multi-tasking is surprisingly good for only 2GB RAM. The only hiccups I have had were at the first couple of seconds of playing movies on iTunes with a lot of other programs running.

Cons:
-No HDMI port
-Battery does not last 10 hours (about 4-6 for me with iTunes and Wi-Fi running). Still, it is much longer than the competitors for the price range and size.

Even though the build is solid, you may want to get one of these covers if you worry about scratching:
Speck Products See Thru Satin, Soft Touch Hard Shell Case, for 13-inch MacBook Aluminum Unibody/Black Keyboard (Black) – DOES NOT FIT WHITE MACBOOK
They snap on in seconds and look great.

If you are a student who is not looking to do any graphic design I highly recommend getting the MacBook instead of the MacBook Pro if you want to save money. Sure it only has 2 GB RAM, but you can easily upgrade it now for $100 Crucial CT2KIT25664BC1067 4GB 204-PIN PC3-8500 SODIMM DDR3 Memory KIT (2GBx2) or wait a year and do it for about $50.

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E. Kellum "Teck_guy" says:
94 of 98 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
One Word: Perfect, July 27, 2010
By 
E. Kellum “Teck_guy” (Fremont, Ca USA) –
(REAL NAME)
  

This review is from: Apple MacBook MC516LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)

As a student, I was pretty hesitant to get the MacBook, but after MONTHS of exhaustive research looking for the right laptop (I’m a networking student, and also I am working on my A+ PC Repair certification, so I know a thing or two about PC’s and Windows), I decided that I needed a change in my life. I’ve had an IBM ThinkPad T60 last me four years through school, but after 4 re-install’s of XP, I’ve had enough of the constant attacks of viruses, spyware, etc…and I decided to go with the MacBook.

PROS:

Perfect for web browsing, e-mail, and document creation.
Comes with great features right out of the box: iLife simply rocks; it comes with PhotoBooth, Garageband (where you can create your own music or learn to how play an instrument), Preview, and iMovie (it’s basically an easier version of Windows Movie Maker)
Time Machine for backing up documents and pictures, which is FAR SUPERIOR than using the Backup Feature in Windows.
Wi-Fi is SO EASY to set-up using what Apple calls “Airport”, just go to the wi-fi antenna at the top of the right-hand corner and set-up right there.
Printing: Coming from a Windows world, and living in a household with a wireless network, setting up a printer was a pain in the butt with Windows, with Mac, it’s SO EASY to set-up and begin printing.
BlueTooth: BlueTooth is common in all laptops nowadays, and again, like setting up a printer, it basically connects with the BlueTooth device automatically.
MagSafe Adapter: Apple introduced this idea called MagSafe. If someone got caught on your power cord, it would take the cord and not the computer. I can’t tell you how many times my dogs got caught on my IBM power cord and basically almost took the computer with it.
Battery Life: Wow, what a difference. I was coming from a half-hour battery life on my IBM, although Apple says that the battery can last on a 10 hours on a single charge, in the real world, it’s falls under 6 hours, but still this is pretty incredible.

CONS:

2GB of RAM. Now coming from a Windows world, Windows is a memory hogger, so the more RAM you have in a Windows system, you are good to go, but with a Mac, it’s different. Now if you are compressing 1080p video on a MacBook, the system starts to hick-up trying to catch-up. My advice? Upgrade to 4GB or get the MacBook Pro.
EXPENSIVE: Like all Apple products, it’s pretty expensive. I was pretty hesitant to buy a MacBook because it was pretty pricey and being a student i.e. poor, I needed to save up a good chunk of money to buy one of these machines.

So if you are in the market for a new laptop, only need to do some document creating, and web-browsing this Mac is for you. If you want to do some high-end video compression, go with the MacBook Pro since the Pro lines are more aimed at high-end video production. This is definitely a perfect system if all you want is just web-browsing and document creation.

Happy Shopping!

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