Apple’s MacBook in Black

Stopped by the Apple Store at the Mall of America this afternoon to see if they had the new MacBook on display. They had ’em in the back room and one guy said they’d be out in 10 minutes…so I did an errand and came back 15 minutes later. All the black ones were sold! (They only had a handful of them).

The display models had been on the counter for 5 minutes when I walked over and decided to put the black one through its paces. The display was bright, the glossy coating on it really made it pop and the flush keyboard was extremely nice…but one thing troubled me.

Though this may demonstrate how much of a neat freak or anal retentive I am — often displayed by my frequent cleaning of my aluminum Powerbook case and screen — but I was stunned to see an explosion of body oil-generated fingerprints all over the outside of the MacBook case as well as from the couple of people’s palms that briefly touched the trackpad — all in only 5 minutes. My concern about filthy laptops comes from years of experiencing presentations made from dust covered, fingerprints-all-over-the-display software sales and technical folks…which always amazed me with their lack of awareness of how gross this was (kind of like handing someone nice color spec sheets in an expensive presentation folder with coffee or food stains on them and expecting them to ignore that and be focused on the content!).

My old Thinkpad was black and a matte finish too, but the case materials didn’t seem to absorb body oil in quite the same way (it diffused it somehow and it was less noticeable). To me, the Thinkpad is the gold standard of a rugged, road warrior tool.

Would I buy this new MacBook? A white one for sure. The deal-killer for me buying it vs. the MacBook Pro is graphics performance (the MacBook uses shared memory for video but the MacBook Pro has its own discrete video memory — which is a big deal for a Photoshop user like me and that my son often uses my laptop for gaming). If rumors of the Leopard version of Mac OS X being able to launch a double-clicked Windows app or game are true, I’ll want all the graphics performance I can get as I’ll really need it (and RAM too).

My initial impression is that the MacBook will be a resounding success and the improvements are so numerous (and price points stable) that there will undoubtedly be a flurry of upgrading and Windows migrators.

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  1. Tim on May 17, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    I ordered a white one because the black ones were $150 more for the same specs… I didn’t think of the fingerprint issue, but judging from how the black iPods are looking after use, I’m more pleased with my purchase of the classic white. And, it matches my iPod ;-)

  2. Fredrick Barnes on June 9, 2006 at 6:33 am

    A good laptop tool for a road warrior is the Shaggymac screen protector. It is a microfiber pad that lays between the keyboard and screen. It also works great to remove oils and fingerprints on the screen and case. I got one for my MacBook and it keeps it nice and new.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Connecting the Dots Podcast

Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.