Check those wee MacBook factoids 15 Oct, 2008
Macworld have been taking a closer look at the new MacBook (Pro)s. There are some interesting factoids about the machines, both positive and negative:
Within the Energy Saver preference pane, you can choose between “Better battery life” (the 9400M) and “Higher performance” (the 9600M GT) for graphics. However, this isn’t a switch you can do on the fly—nor can you set the system to use one when you’re on battery power and the other when you’re attached to an outlet. In fact, to switch between the two cards requires you to log out of your user account and log back in.
Bonkers! Hopefully the full story re dual GPUs will filter out in due course. I’m still scratching my head a little over why this design feature requires two chipsets, and not just one that scales down, but there must be a good reason for it.
Anyway, then there’s this wee feature, which is pretty nifty:
…these new MacBooks work with your iPhone headphones. If you click the button on your iPhone headphones, iTunes pauses. Click again, and the music resumes. A double-click advances one track, and a triple-click moves back a track…
(I note from photos that the MacBooks boast re-assigned function keys to cover iTunes (and video?) playback shuttle operations, which is quite nice). Continuing the keyboard theme, this is basically the same as that in the older MacBook range. I love the keys on Kinky (my “Blackbook”), and the general feedback I’ve read is that the MacBook beats out the old Pro in the keyboard stakes (bar the backlighting), so this sounds like another positive (unless of course you just hate the MacBook keys).
Summary? Nice machines and all—but read the reviews before you decide for sure; on that front, I sincerely hope Ars Technica’s John Siracusa steps up here: his stuff is exhaustive and amazingly well-informed.
Read more: Macworld - First Look: MacBook and MacBook Pro.