MacBook Vs. ThinkPad Redux

I’ve now had my MacBook for over a week now and used it pretty much in just about every real world scenario I have used my ThinkPad (other than while traveling). I’m getting more used to using the TrackPad but I still crave the ThinkPad Trackpoint. The trackpad gets easier to use with some configuration playing but it still isn’t a natural extension.

Copying a Home DVD

I had a home movie that I had to copy to give to a friend. It definitely isn’t easy to get OS X to copy a DVD that has no encryption. I found that I could probably buy some commercial software such as Roxio Popcorn 2 to burn a copy. I also found a few free tools to do this though I wasn’t able to get any of them to work under the time constraints I had. I would prefer to use an open source alternative. On Linux I used dvdbackup but as I don’t have a usable Linux machine with a DVD drive at the moment, I hate to tell my friend that I will mail him the DVD when I figure out how to copy it.

Sound Volume

I’ve found it a bit annoying that I cannot blast the sound on my MacBook as I could on my ThinkPad. I have pushed the volume in the “System Preferences” panel to the maximum and also done the same within iTunes but the volume is only at respectable levels. I am sitting in my kitchen with the door open and no one in sight and want to blast the music. On the ThinkPad, I could do this without external speakers.

Battery Life

The battery life on the MacBook is GREAT! I had the battery on my T40 replaced after about a year since I couldn’t get more than 1 1/2 to 2 hours on a full charge. Even the “new” battery never gave me more than 2 1/2 hours. The MacBook has given me as much as 5 hours and 15 minutes on a full charge and as little as 2 hours and 40 minutes when I’m really taxing the machine, e.g. Running iTunes on full volume, wireless connection, full brightness on the screen, transferring files and periodically using Skype.

Built in Mic

The built in mic is very good at recording sounds. However, when using Skype to call a landline, there is a great amount of feedback. I have tried this in small, furnished, carpeted environments, as well as larger rooms with no carpeting. I am still not able to determine if there is a problem with the mic or where/how I am using it. I have had no problems recording using GarageBand and the mic so perhaps it is Skype that has the problem.

The sharp edge of the MacBook under the trackpad is still annoying but I have adapted my hand positioning to make it less painful.

Here’s a few other reviews on the MacBook and ThinkPads:


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