10 Things I Hate About My MacBook Pro

Don’t get me wrong – I love my new MacBook Pro (2.16Ghz, 120GB HD, 2GB RAM, if you care), but there’s a few things that annoy me. Some of these things they don’t tell you about before you buy it and others just take a while to notice.

hard case

1. Not enough keys. By default, all the function keys work as brightness, sound and keyboard light controls. I’d prefer the opposite. The use the function keys, you have to hold down the ‘fn’ key, awkwardly placed on the left bottom corner of the keyboard (where the control key should be). Page-Up, Page-Down, Home and End are also missing. I used these all the time to scroll. Now I have to use Fn-Up, Fn-Down, etc. But the two finger scroll on the trackpad isn’t too bad.

2. Power management. I really hate the fact that closing the lid turns almost everything off. Opening it again requires you to reconnect to the network and applications to reconnect as well. At work, this means me typing in two passwords and a 14-digit passcode to get access to my email again.

What I really want is for the machine to do nothing when I close the lid, then sleep or hibernate when I tell it to. Macs don’t have a hibernate mode, but the sleep mode is pretty good. It consumes almost no power at all. There is a Hibernate-like “Safe Sleep” mode, but it only kicks in when your battery is completely dead.

3. Power options. My work-provided laptop allows you to swap out the DVD drive (which I hardly use) for an extra battery. This allowed me to do 5 hours or more of slugging through meetings. You can’t replace the DVD drive in a MacBook, so I’m stuck carrying around a power adapter. The 85-watt MacBook Pro adapters are bigger than the 60-watt MacBook adapters too.

I love the MagSafe connector. For something that you plug in several times a day, it’s really quick. The magnet is strong enough that it will pull it into the right spot if you just get the end close. The plug is symmetrical, so you there’s no “right side up” either. That said, it’s annoying that you can’t buy one except from Apple. I love my iGo universal power adapter, but it’s useless to me now because I can’t get a MagSafe tip for it.

4. The screen doesn’t swing back far enough. Now this isn’t a problem in the cramped airplane seat I’m currently in, but when the machine is on your lap and you’re looking down at it, I’d like it go recline back a few more degrees. My old laptop would go back almost 180 degrees.

5. The case seems easy to damage. I’m not sure how easy it is to scratch, but I feel like I’m going to nick it at any minute. Plastic cases like on the MacBook seem better about this. Thankfully, Santa brought me a hard case for Christmas and now I can throw the machine in a bag without worrying about it.

6. The trackpad button sticks up too much. It’s not flush with the rest of the case and it’s even a little sharp around the edges.

7. No VGA-out. It’s annoying that if I want to give a presentation that I have to carry around one of those silly dongles. I know Steve Jobs hates all things analog, but how about dumping one of those Firewire ports no one uses. I’d even settle for an S-Video out instead.

8. No docking solution. When I sit down at my desk, I need to plug in the DVI, power and USB for keyboard and mouse. As a result, I don’t bother unless I’m going to be there for a while. As a consolation, the screen is big enough to work on.

9. No memory card reader. Most PC laptops these days have an SD card reader which is handy for transferring files to a digital camera or Treo. I guess there’s some use for the ExpressCard slot.

10. It’s not the most stable machine around. It crashes at least once a week, usually after opening or closing the lid. The later updates have helped fix crashes with the wireless networking. Sometimes I just can’t get it to wake up after closing the lid and end up rebooting it.

The titanium case PowerBooks/MacBooks have been out for 5 years now, so I’m sure a revamped enclosure will be out soon that will address some of these problems.

In the meantime, my MacBook Pro is wicked fast and fun to use. It’s beautiful to look at inside and out and I love having a real Unix environment to use underneath.

It seems that coexisting in a mostly-Windows world has gotten easier over the last few years, partly because of samba file sharing, Java-based applications, cross-platform Firefox and Thunderbird, Apple’s own suite of applications like iTunes, iCal and iSync and even the ability to run fast versions of Windows with BootCamp or Parallels. In any case, I’m sure I’ll be able to find a few more things to hate about it before it’s time to upgrade.

50 Comments

  1. I love the MacBook Pro, hate the MagSafe. I’m on my third power adapter due to the shorting-inadequate-insulation on the laptop connector. Never had a problem with other laptop power supplies, especially with wiring insulation. I felt like I was abusing it until I found the Apple support forums and MANY similar experiences.

    As a hardcore Intel and AMD guy, I have to say I’m hooked and finally have something that solves running Linux, OS X, and Windows. Testing is a breeze.

    Fragile, the case sometimes feels cheap for the premium cost of the computer. Great OS and integration with filesharing, printing, network tools. I love the triple boot capability, but to tell the truth, I haven’t booted Windows for quite some time.

    Firefox, Thunderbird, SSH Agent, MySQL tools, Stellarium, HandBrake. I never thought I’d be using a Mac for all this – I thought Macs were just good as fish tanks and playing monochrome Risk! 🙂

  2. I really hate my macbook pro. Got one from work (probably same one you have), but it’s incredibly slow. Switching between windows takes several seconds and it frequently lags behind keystrokes when typing. Something is severely wrong with it, I hope I can find a solution soon. It’s driving me nuts.

    Agree with all the points you list, particularly the missing keys, the screen swing limitation, the lack of docking station, and the missing VGA.

    And while we’re at it, a one button mouse? You have to put two fingers on the trackpad and click to simulate right button? I thought the IT guys was pulling my leg at first, couldn’t imagine that was the actual solution.

  3. 1) Not enough keys. You can switch the functionality of the top row on the keyboard. It’s in the system preferences.

    2) Power management. You can tweak the power management to your specifications, it just isn’t built into the GIU. You need to use terminal, or use a 3rd party utility like Sleepless that does it for you. I agree that its pretty lame that this isn’t built into the GUI. Keep in mind that some systems can overheat if you run them with the like closed. You can find sleepless here: http://www.alxsoft.com/mac/sleepless.html

    3) Power options. Adding and extra battery slot would probably create heat issues. However, if you do have an extra battery, it is quite easy to put the machine into safe-sleep (hibernate) mode and swap the battery. Again, this can be done with a command line utility or with a utility like sleepless.

  4. I made a similar comment on another site, but reading your comments puts me in mind of a person who is used to a manual shift going over to an automatic. “Where’s the clutch?” If you get to know how to use a Mac as a Mac, not as a PC, there are so many insanely great things about it, you’d be amazed. You mention that you use a mouse. Why? The trackpad implementation on the new MacBooks and MacBook pros is fantastic. Two fingers and click and you have your right click button. Dragging two fingers on the trackpad scrolls whatever you have on the screen.

    There is a ton of good stuff in there. Please take the time to find out about it.

    Yours sincerely,

    John Davis

  5. John, I’m a life-long mac user. I like most things about my MacBook, but these things annoy me. I agree the trackpad is pretty good; I only use a mouse when at a desk, in front of a monitor.

  6. John Randall,

    I know you can switch the key function, but that’s not the point. I don’t want to have to switch them, just have more keys like pretty much every other laptop on the planet.

    Sleepless still doesn’t quite work on Intel Macs.

    Other laptop brands have extra batteries without heat issues. It’s simply more convenient to just have extra power without having to put things to sleep and then swap the battery out.

  7. Jeff: Interesting list. Don’t worry about the durability of the case. I have one of the first-generation aluminum Powerbooks from 2003 and it looks almost new despite being used nearly every day for years. There’s a minor dent (you have to look from a certain angle) thanks to my son dropping a sippy cup on the cover a couple days after I got the Powerbook, and one tiny scratch near the Apple logo on the top, and that’s it. It doesn’t feel as sturdy as the iBook/MacBooks, but it is.

  8. The many sleep issues is the 500 lb gorilla in the room with the MacBook Pros. Just go read the Apple support boards and there are many many stories of these laptops not sleeping when the lid is closed, not waking once the lid is opened and severe video problems upon waking. Apple’s laptop QC has gone down the tubes. This is my fourth Apple laptop and by far the worst in build quality and stability.

  9. I don’t agree with many of your comments but that’s just me and the way I use a notebook. Home and End keys are useless to me. I don’t think I’ve ever used them at all. Dragging the scroll bar or settings holding an additional key isn’t something I’d complain over.

    But to say swap VGA for Firewire. That’s just crazy talk. Every mac user I know uses firewire and usb daily practically. And the dongle is fine enough for vga considering I only need vga half of the time. The other half I’m connecting to DVI hardware such as LCD TV’s, Projectors, or S-Video through the other DVI to Video adapter. I don’t want it all just built in with nasty ports lining every side of my computer. Sure I want the function but I don’t mind using the occasional adapter.

    I guess what I’m saying is this sounds more like whinning than actual issues.

    Also, I’ve had my macbook pro for just over a year and it never crashes. I use it heavily for everything from video editing/compositing to keynotes to documents. I play games watch movies, skype, built websites, master DVDs…you name it. And it has crashed maybe twice the entire time I had it.

    My point is. If yours crashes regularly than either you used the migration software with and old PPC and let it bring over system resources (bad idea). Which by the way will make even a brand new system pig @ss slow. Or you have permissions or font issues. Take care of these and you’ll see huge increases in performance and stability. It is that easy.

    I set up about 2 macbooks or macbook pros for other people every 3 weeks or so and I provide support for all of them. These systems are setup to run bootcamp as well and I’ve had to invest minimal time to keep them all extremely happy.

    Just my thoughts but I do realize most people use notebooks for different reasons.

  10. I love the two finger scrolling and right click. To me it’s most intuitive way to use these functions. When I switch to my ThinkPad at work, getting it to right click or scroll seems clunky in comparison. I do occasionally have the wake from sleep problem and I’m hoping this will be fixed soon as it is a big pain in the @$$. I’m not so sure it is as simple as fixing permissions or font issues. I also maintian a lot of systems, MBPs and others, and I’ve seen it happen once in a while.

  11. For the person complaining about speed, run Activity Monitor (/Applications/Utilities) and look to see what is slowing it down. Keep in mind the Intel Macs have to emulate PowerPC programs. If you have PowerPC printer control running, for example, it will bog the machine down. If you have only 512 MB or even 1 GB you don’t have enough memory.

    I have 512 on my recently procured MacBook Pro (refurbished Core Duo). Not enough to do more than about two big programs at a time. I’m saving my pennies for more mem.

    BTW, I LOVE this thing. I am totally enamored. Fanboy. Fanatic. Mac Addict. Cult of Mac. Church of the Apple. Follower of The Steve. This is an amazing laptop. JMHO.

    The software is amazing too. It’s an unbelievable engineering marvel that it can run emulated PowerPC, native, and Windows apps simultaneously in windows.

    Bot

  12. I agree with all your complaints especially the lack of a full size keyboard (on a 17″ I have plenty of room)
    However there is a program that will allow you to close the lid and keep the computer running.

    http://www.alxsoft.com/mac/sleepless.html

    Main features of SleepLess
    can disable sleep with lid closed
    Safe Sleep (Hibernate) with one click
    one click activation / deactivation
    menu icon with commands menu
    no processor time waste

  13. Great post, I totally agree on pretty much every point 🙂

    When I switched to Mac, I ran into many of the same things. I made a blog post about it here:

    http://blog.plaxoed.com/2006/04/18/two-weeks-after-the-switch-verdict-meh/

    Nowadays, I still use my MacBook Pro, but I’m running Windows XP 90% of the time via Bootcamp. At the end of the day, I had to switch back to Windows because there are too many apps I need to run that don’t exist on the Mac (IE, MS Project, Outlook – Entourage sucks if you have a large mailbox and you have to run under Rosetta, etc.).

    *sigh* I pine for the T60p with an extra UltraBay Slim battery 😀

  14. If your MBP is crfashing on waking from sleep, it’s probably a hardware issue. This happened to mine, and it was repaired under warranty. Does it just fail to come back to life and you have to reset it? If so, take it in for repair… it’ll be covered under warranty.

    I can’t remember which component needs to be replaced, but it was happening to mine nearly every day – after the repair, I’ve gone abour 4 months without ever having a crash.

    It is NOT NORMAL for your MBP not to wake from sleep – it’s broken.

  15. I’ve had a 17″ MBP for since last June and this is absolutely the best laptop I’ve ever owned. It may have crashed once since I’ve gotten it. I run InDesign, Photoshop, Graphic Converter, Tex-Edit Plus, Mail, Safari, iPhoto, Keynote, Pages, DeltaGraph Pro, iTunes, iMovie, iDVD, several others and I do some AppleScripting. I also run XP with Parallels for the software product I support. I try to use it sparingly, I just start up Parallels when I need to run that program.

    One thing I’d like to see on my next laptop is more Firewire ports. I’ve got a bunch of Firewire devices. The only thing I ever use USB for is a flash memory drive. FW800 is great!

    I never knew about the right click being accessed by having two fingers on the trackpad and clicking. I haven’t had a need to right click so this hasn’t been an issue.

    I’m not sure why you want to run the laptop with the lid closed. If the idea is to connect to an external monitor and not use the laptop monitor I think that is possible. Try connecting an external monitor and keyboard. Put the system to sleep with the lid closed. Press a key on the external keyboard.

  16. I’m running a basic MacBook and I agree with most of your concerns. For the record the plastic casing is even worse – at the moment there are two chips in it, one right at the bottom. Oh and I don’t have a trackpad button.

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  18. I have never seen a more ignorant or more completely unfounded list of pointless complaints on any electronic device in my life. The ONLY two points I can agree with you at all about is that the Macbook Pro tends to have trouble turning back on after closing the lid (I say two point because you complained about it twice -#2 and #10).

    What applications are you using that require you to use the function keys constantly? Is it really that difficult for you to hit the fn key? If you hit the down arrow when typing it acts as the end key taking you to the end of the line, same with the up arrow in most cases.

    Do you have ANY idea how hideous this notebook would look if Apple designed it to fit another battery? Just turn down the brightness on the display (to do this, use that ‘useless’ F1 key WITHOUT the fn key) and don’t use the DVD drive (which you claim not to use anyway) and you’ll get about 4 hours of life out of it.

    The trackpad is easily the most well designed trackpad I’ve ever seen. Two finger scrolling, easy right click, what do you want? If the button was flush with the pad, you’d be complaining about how hard it was to find when using the trackpad I guess.

    Why would you actually want a VGA connection? DVI is BETTER! It irritates me that virtually every other laptop out there has VGA and you have to use TWO adaptors if you want to hook up to a diplay that only has HMDI. If you want VGA go buy a Dell and then complain it doesn’t have DVI when you need it. This is a Macbook PRO, and any display an actual graphic design pro, photographer, video editor, and any other profession that this notebook caters to is going to need DVI to hook up to the displays they use. Do the Apple Cinema displays use VGA? NO! Why do you think firewire is useless? If anything they need to put more firewire ports on this notebook. I got mine before the 17″ model came out, and if I could I would have upgraded just for the FW800 port. Firewire is faster for external harddrives, required for any digital video, pro card readers, high end printers, audio devices, ect.

    If you WANT to use an external mouse, keyboard and monitor. You’re going to have to plug them in to ANY laptop excluding HP’s with their crazy expansion bays or one of those generic docking plates that just plug in through USB. Even without those docking stations…its THREE cables, again, how difficult is that to plug in for you?

    So do you want a slot for every card or just the one type that you use. Yes it would be relatively simple to put a memory card reader on the side, but based on the room inside the notebook, it might have to be thicker to support additional slots. Also if they include the standard in other laptops right now (SD/Memory Stick pro Duo/XD) it would be worthless to a massive amount of PRO’s that use this notebook who use Compact Flash with their SLRS. If I need to load up some pictures mine, I just plug in a firewire card reader (yes, firewire is useful) and download all my pictures in and unplug the reader. I use the express card slot all the time. They have EVDO aircards, FW800 cards, eSATA cards, if you go look for a new laptop they all have expresscard slots now too. The Macbook Pro was just one of the first to give you the benefit of the new technology. Sorry you didn’t see that.

    Why did you buy a Mac in the first place? Was it just to pretend you know anything about technology? If you wanted a firewire-less, VGA/S-Video ridden, DVD drive-less, notebook with a docking station to save you 2 seconds when putting cables in for using your precious monitor mouse and keyboard, you should have gotten a Dell or HP. Go back to the world of Windows, Apple doesn’t want you.

  19. Noah, I considered deleting your comment since you clearly didn’t read what I was saying, but it’s entertaining to me that you spent so much time on this. Might be time to get back on your meds though.

  20. I just knicked my macbook pro and the scratch is pretty significant…….:(
    I was wondering if its possible to replace the whole top cover somewhere , somehow??

    Ivan

  21. Isn’t it funny how all you hear from Mac users is ‘Macs are better’, ‘You should get a Mac’ etc. etc. Then when people do get a Mac and have issues or complaints they get all angry and defensive… Muppets

  22. Wow. Reading this blog reminds me of why I have never gone over to Apple.

    It’s not really the machines that bother me – the first GUI I ever saw was one of those little Macs with the tiny screen built in. I was fluent in C prompt back then, so I didn’t appreciate the brilliance of the GUI.

    So time went by and it became clear that Mac was a better machine. Over the next 20 years I considered several times buying a Mac.

    Other than cost, which was always an issue, it was the attitude of the Apple people that bothered me. I found the whole condescension thing to be too much.

    So I stumble upon this blog and I see the following kinds of quotes:

    “Apple doesn’t want you . . . ”
    “These aren’t “real” complaints . . . ”
    “Why don’t you go buy a Dell . . . ”
    “I have never had the need to use the right click . . . ”
    “I have been using a PowerBookMacProApple for 15 years and it has never crashed and never had an issue and the cover looks like the skin of a brand new ferrarri . . . ”
    “I have a scratch in my cover. Where can I get a new cover?”

    It’s that last quote that really gets me the most! I have a scratch and I must replace it!

    I suppose what it comes down to is that, to me, a computer is a tool.

    For a Mac user, his Apple is a statement of his person.

    I get a scratch, I think, “still works great.”

    Mac user gets a scratch and he thinks, “what will people think?”

    I imagine that Mac is a superior machine.

    But here’s what I have . . .

    A PC I bought 4 years ago for about a grand, including monitor.

    I run my business on it – mostly MS Office – nothing too tough to run.

    At 2 years the mother board shorted and I swapped it out.

    It crashes at least once a week.

    It has annoying features, it requires babying for too many things, it requires security software, and it has several other flaws.

    And I’ve considered buying an Apple to try it out.

    But then I read a blog like this and I realize that I’m not an “Apple person” and that many apple users wouldn’t want me.

    They would hate me if I started fairly assessing the performance of my tool.

    For example, if I said I use right click about 300 times a day and that not having it would create a huge hassle for me, they’d say “go back to Dell” or “I NEVER use right click and only an orangutan would want one.”

    If I said that I use End and Home and PageDn regularly, I’d be told to “learn to use an Apple like an Apple and not a PC.”

    If I said that it’s silly to not have a 2nd battery port option, I’d be told, “well lower the screen brightness you idiot, and you won’t need that functionality.”

    But worst of all. Worst of all . . .
    If I walked around with a scratch on the cover of my Power apple mac book triple pro 8 with OSX10, I would get looks from a subset of Apple users who actually care if the cover of their computer has a scratch on it.

    UN be LIEVE able.

    I’d love to have the superior tool, but I wouldn’t want to have to adopt the dogma that comes with it.

  23. Jeff, you ignornat slut- :^D

    Hate? As in…

    Hate \Hate\ (h[=a]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Hated; p. pr. & vb.
    n. Hating.] [OE. haten, hatien, AS. hatian; akin to OS.
    hatan, hat[=o]n to be hostile to, D. haten to hate, OHG.
    hazz[=e]n, hazz[=o]n, G. hassen, Icel. & Sw. hata, Dan. hade,
    Goth. hatan, hatjan. [root]36. Cf. Hate, n., Heinous.]
    [1913 Webster]
    1. To have a great aversion to; to dislike intensely; to detest; as, to hate one’s enemies; to hate hypocrisy.

    …over an inanimate object? Maybe it’s just a pop cultural, vernacular type usage, but really, it gets so tiring hearing and seeing the (over/mis/ab) use of such modifiers and qualifiers. I’m betting you also ‘love’ certain aspects of the machine and find yet others ‘awesome’.

    Like I was all, “Eye h8t dat!” and then he was all, “I luv it” and they were like “Dats the shinizzle! Awsum!” But then I was all “Like, no way! That suksors!”

    :rolleyes:

  24. Haha, this is quite funny. Listen, Windows has its quirks, and so does Apple. Nothing is perfect, and there will always be flaws. If Apple designed a perfect notbook, then why would they design a new one, why not just improve the specs of it?

    Please guys, this dude is just trying to make a point. I use a MBP 15.4″ Intel Core 2 and I love it. I have a 20″ Intel iMac and I dont enjoy using the desktop anymore than the notebook… but it does have its flaws. So, save up, and in a few years buy the next one, where all your problems will be fixed, but there will be another 10 things to complain about.

  25. to jon babcock..

    I HATE pedants… Yes, hate… Detest, dislike intently, wish bodily harm on, etc. etc.

    If you haven’t got anything to say on the subject being discussed – fuck off!

  26. MAN,.. YOU SOUND LIKE A RICH LITTLE SPOILED KID!!! WHAT A WHINER!!! IF YOU DON’T LIKE MAC,.. THEN GET A PC!! I HAVE A MBP, AND ITS THE BEST LAPTOP IVE EVER OWNED…

    “oohh I don’t like this,.. I don’t like that…. ohhh… Booo Hooo….”

  27. Mac book pro is really slow running Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Adobe Illustrator CS2 and when running them both at the same time my computer crashes almost once a week.
    My old G4 desktop was so much faster.

    Rhett

  28. so it turns out i just purchased a macbook pro with 10.5.1, its been great

    and then, the computer kernel paniced, and now it refuses to reboot

    i get the chime, but then nothing but grey screen.

    what should i do!? 😐

  29. Dave Says:
    November 25th, 2007 at 4:39 am

    so it turns out i just purchased a macbook pro with 10.5.1, its been great

    and then, the computer kernel paniced, and now it refuses to reboot

    i get the chime, but then nothing but grey screen.

    what should i do!?

    edit: i should also say it was also connected to a firewire device at the time of crash

  30. Gideon: I have been a Mac user all my life, yet I openly criticize my machine all the time. There are several scratches on my MacBook Pro, and when I got the first one I was kind of sad, because I just spent so much money on it and it got disfigured. Now, it has a few scratches and dents from normal use, and I really don’t care any more. About half of what I see online is flames from Macaholics about PCs and Windows. While its true that I don’t much care for the “other world” I don’t flame it. What’s the point? I know a lot of Mac users, and they don’t care what their machines look like either. Think about it this way: If you work for Apple Tech Support, then all day you will get complaints about the Macs and iPods. Online too, if a user is having a problem they will post about it, but if they’re not, then there’s nothing to post. I personally don’t agree with all of Jeff’s complaints, but that doesn’t make me mad at him. If you want to get a mac, get one. If you don’t, fine, but make it because you’re happy with you’re current machine or a different machine, not because you’re worried about peer pressure and the mac community. If you decide to join us, we will welcome you with open arms.

    Jeff, a form fitting case could work to help protect your MacBook Pro. http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore?productLearnMore=MB167LL/A http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wo/StoreReentry.wo?productLearnMore=MB111LL/A A wireless keyboard and mouse (bluetooth) could be useful with docking. http://mikegyver.com/ will give you a hand with the MagSafe and iGo, though it is made by hand.

  31. “By default, all the function keys work as brightness, sound and keyboard light controls. I’d prefer the opposite.”

    You can do this by going to System Preferences -> Keyboard & Mouse (under hardware) then clicking on the “keyboard” tab and checking the box that says “Use all f1 f2 et. keys as standard function keys”.

  32. Agreed on power management (big one — if I want to go to another room at work I have to carry it around with the lid open or, as you say, reconnect to everything) and the lid not going back far enough.

    DISAGREE on:
    Case “SEEMS” easy to damage??? That’s not a criticism! I’ve abused mine to no end and I have the opposite comment — case seems damn-near indestructible!
    And I would NOT get rid of the FireWire port. If you use external storage at all, I recommend you give FireWire a spin before suggesting that it is eliminated. Sustained read/write is WAY faster on FW than USB (you can check with disks that support both). The 480Mbps spec on USB2 is misleading at best. And DVI is not there just “because Steve Jobs hates all things analog”, it’s there because it’s actually useful. VGA can’t output to 2560×1600 (and I don’t think 1920×1200 either, but not sure), so you would be stuck with inferior options for an external monitor.

  33. I first came to this site 5 months ago, soon after buying my MacBook. The right-click info was helpful, and somewhere else that day I learned about fn delete. Little crazy-making things that I was grateful to find help with. But I still don’t love my MacBook.

    Maybe it would help if there was something in between the little manual that came with it (which is comparable to the booklet you might get with a new hair dryer for example, and just about as useful) and a 848 page THE MISSING MANUAL by David Progue.

    I think that there are good and bad things about Macs, but the real problem, as I see it, is that the differences are not really spelled out very well anywhere to help you make a truly informed decision-before buying one.

    The security reputation is the big deal, but there is no way to tell if anyone has gotten into your computer or not.
    Mine runs slow, and it drives me nuts. I am really surprised at that, and I start to wonder…

    Also, it runs ridiculously hot. Another bummer. I bought it to use when I am NOT sitting at a desk, and it gets so hot I have to hold it above my lap, or find something to put under it. It’s not as bad with the cool weather, but still, why should it practically burn your legs.

    The .mac stuff is useless to me. I have not met anyone who uses it for personal computing (or for business either, though I can see how it might be more useful there).

    And as the advertisements point out, it is definitely not “bloated” with a lot of software. Kind of an understatement wouldn’t you agree?!

    For personal use, I do not need spreadsheets, or powerpoint etc.. but I can’t believe there is no word processor at all. And to get one, I have to buy all the bloat anyway.

    In fact, if you do not spend a good deal of your life playing with your digital pictures and videos, there isn’t much here
    at all. The speakers obviously are not worth listening to your tunes through.

    It’s great for surfing the net, while sitting on the couch, untill your legs catch fire, but I think maybe an I phone would be just as good for that.

    And the screen on my little machine is impossible to see outdoors.

    So, while it’s true that the things that bother me, might not bother a blue blood Mac user, but I didn’t know about any of them before buying it.

    I’m just saying….

  34. Couldn’t agree more, Pat.

    I very recently bought a 17″ 2.66ghz Dual Core MBP with a 7200rpm 200gig HD. Since this would be the most expensive thing I’d ever bought (apart from my house which in all reality is owned by the bank) I threw caution to the wind whilst feeling uncharacteristically flush and got Apple to upgrade the ram to a whopping 4 gigs of loveliness.

    I have always been a Windows kind of a gal. Having to ‘make do’ with the babbage’s analysis machines I had previously worked with in the past, I was beside myself with excitement with the object d’art I was about to seriously splash my hard-earned on.

    Despite the somewhat disappointing service from the Apple Store, Regent Street I had received (albeit rectified and apologised for by a nice assistant named Sarah)I was over the moon to take home this beast of a beauty which not only promised to pack the punch of Mohammad Ali, but was more stylish and slender than a supermodel with an eating disorder.

    Excitedly I opened the box in awe of the muted glistening of both the case and the controls and sat back to watch Leopard in all its purple-hued serenity unfold in front of me….

    Unfortunately that’s where the love affair ended.

    I won’t go through all the criticisms laid at its door as detailed above, nor will I sing the praises of the positives – what few I have identified – either. Just from a personal perspective, I feel crushingly disappointed that the alleged beast in front of me is not worth the £2,800 pounds, with the extended three year warranty, I paid for it.

    In brief:

    It crashed three times within the first hour of use whilst trying to transfer 4 gig of photos from my SLR camera.

    System Preferences won’t open in its own window after its been turned on for a while and other applications are in use. I have to reboot it.

    Airport does not recognise the wireless internet connection that I have in my house and if it does, only when plugged in through an ethernet cable. All connectivity says ‘bye bye’ if you let your system go to sleep and ultimately leaves me with the overwhelming feeling of ‘oh for God’s sake, I can’t be arsed with this’.

    This also goes for trying to assign manual IP addresses and overcoming the WEP/DHCP issues that only now I’ve got one of these MBP, I’ve had reason to pour over the internet to try, in vain, to find a solution for. (Incidentally, whilst using my really old laptop which sadly, still runs perfectly and I’m using to write this post with)

    Admittedly, I was a hardened Windows user but I was willing to break some habits and try something newer and as advertised by the public and the computing gliterati; astounding.

    I’m desperate to find the element within my new MBP that will make me go ‘wow’, but even after a couple of weeks, locating and accessing basic commands is both tiresome and a laborious chore. It really isn’t as ‘blazingly fast’, or, even, moderately fast as I was told it would be and although not a ‘gamer’, I’m starting to wonder whether in the first instance, I should have gone to Alienware…..

    Someone please tell me something positive about what I have in front of me, that I paid so much and had such high hopes for. As defeatest as it is, I’m giving serious consideration to trying to send it back for a refund.

    Yours dispondently, but ever hopeful….

  35. Unfortunately, I am having a similar experience with my shiny, new Macbook. The fact that there is no decent personal finance software boggles the mind, especially since I am not a Mac-newbie. I have, in my closet, an old LC from the early nineties, which I purchased in order to have work/home compatibility. I used an early version of Quicken to track our finances and haven’t kept a paper checkbook since. Three grandchildren used it happily, and the only thing wrong with it today is a strange whistling noise. I used Mac-in-tax for our taxes. When our company “went Windows” we began purchasing windows machines, but I still kept the finances on the old LC/system 7.

    After years of dealing with the security issues, I happily anticipated the day I could return to the Mac world. In January, my husband told me I could go to the Mac Store and pick out my anniversary present. I chose a Macbook with 2g memory and a 120g HD.

    I can’t believe there is no decent personal finance software for the Mac that will match the efficiency of MS Money 2004, but that’s what I’m reading. I’ve tried Moneydance, iBank, etc.

    Can someone tell me why, as I’m typing, all of a sudden, a previously typed area will highlight, and disappear; or why in midsentence, letters will suddenly pop to a place two lines above where they’re supposed to be.

    Managing digital pictures is lovely, burning cds great — so far, but I, too, am wondering about the extreme expense vs. functionality.

    I know I can solve some of my problems by spending $300 on a copy of XP and running Bootcamp, so I can put MS Money on it, but is this progress? Yes, there’s Quicken for Mac 2007, read the online reviews, and it’s $70 for the privilege.

    I’ve only had a couple of crashes, BUT if I had purchased this computer at Sam’s, I’d be invoking the 6 months guarantee and taking it back.

    I never thought I’d say that about an Apple computer.

    Thanks for listening.

  36. I am a first time mac user. I got my little 13.3″ macbook in October, and I like it less and less. First off, I have a part time job loading items onto Ebay. Little did I know I can’t use Turbo Lister (not a web based program), which is what we use to write up and upload hundreds of items onto Ebay. I read reviews on Garage Sale and a few other programs, and they don’t sound like they are worth the trouble.
    Second, the ergonomics on this keyboard seem bad. My wrists have been hurting. Third, the speakers are awful. Lastly, if my hands are leaning on the computer in the least bit when I am typing, the curser jumps around and messes up my words. For the amount I paid for this, I wish I would have stuck with a pc.

  37. all of the complaints that i have read are coming from inexperienced mac users that have not taken the time to get to know their new best friend (mac). i’ve only been acquainted with apple for the past three years when i started school in digital media design, i bought my macbook pro in november and have not had any problems.
    PS most of the problems mentioned before could be easily fixed with a visit to the system preferences panel :p 😀

  38. “Cutting edge technology” – razor sharp blood letting edges that surround the keyboard and the perimeter of the entire screen and keyboard halves.

    The people that design these things should be forced to use them.

  39. Here are a couple more to add to the list. I am trying to switch from Windows to a Mac, and I have had my MBP for about 2 weeks now.

    1. It pulls the hairs out of my wrists. The small crack between the keyboard area and the plastic edging occasionally catches the tiny hairs on my wrists and rips them out. Several other people have observed that this feels exactly like getting shocked. However, you can see the tiny hairs sticking out of the machine in my case. I am considering putting some tape on the crack to stop the problem, or maybe eventually all the hairs will be ripped out, and the problem will go away.

    2. It is nearly impossible to tell what is the active window. Probably there is some way to change this, but the color scheme that is set up by default draws the title area for the active window in a medium dark grey and all the inactive windows in a slightly lighter medium dark grey. If you have several windows open side by side, then figuring out which one is active is a challenge. I’ve tried different color schemes, but nothing seems to affect the title bar color. As far as I can tell, there is also no way to set a “focus follows mouse” behavior, something which is really useful for me.

    3. There is no easy way to create a new blank document. Under Windows, if you want a new word document, you just right click, and select New->Word document. In windows, you have to open Word, click File->Save, and then navigate to the place you want to save the file, and then save it. This is much slower than the Windows way of doing it.

    Although these next ones have been mentioned, I am also discouraged by them.

    4. The surfaces of the machine get really hot. I have a 7200 RPM hard drive upgrade, and the area under the left palm gets hot enough under regular use that my hands get sweaty. The area on the top left side near the screen, and the area on the bottom of the computer near the top left side get extremely hot when the CPU is heavily loaded. I have been challenging my friends to set their MBPs on their laps with the CPU pegged for 5 minutes, but so far have not had any takers.

    5. The sharp edges on the front of the machine really cut into my wrists. A lot of people on other forums say “you are holding your hands wrong”. However, I realized that some people, including myself, have longer than normal upper arms. If I were to hold my hands up high as recommended by proper typing style, I would have to keep my shoulders tensed up. Considering that I have been typing like this for over 30 years with no problems, I don’t think I will be developing carpal tunnel syndrome anytime soon.

    On a final note, I am most disappointed by the “you are an idiot” attitude that many devoted mac users have toward anyone who finds fault with an Apple product. Many people expressing their opinions have legitimate concerns and problems, and to instantly attack anyone critical of an Apple product is extremely narrow minded. My first personal computer was an Apple IIe, and back then, and in the early days of the Mac, the user community was much more open minded and cordial. These days, why can’t we all just get along?

  40. I run both Apple and Mac laptops, I spend pretty much all day and night on the things for my business, and employ a few team of wed designers. Our designers also utilise both machines.

    One can say that there is no better or worse machine/system overall. There are qualities to both systems that are positive and negative. Depending on what you want from your computer will depend on your satisfaction.

    The one negative aspect I would say is the Apple advertising which would have one believe that a Mac is better. That is not the case, it is just different. Those microsoft users new to a mac will find the learning process difficult, those who are of the older generation will find it impossible. Operating system are very complicated tools, and getting to know a completely new system is a task that will confound many, and invariably after the learning curve is over there will be things you can do better on the Mac, and things that you cant do at all.

    This advertising then gives the purchaser the idea they are buying into a perfect machine that will make their lives better, and so when they realise it is actually no real improvement they are understandably upset.

  41. I love my MBP. tho in just one month I found myself needing to get my logic board replaced 3 times.. Other then that, it is great! I made the transition from PC to Mac and I despised it. Then I became so used to it, that I can’t seem to touch a PC anymore. A MacBook Pro is definitely one of those computers that you can’t be stupid, impatient, or close minded to use

  42. If anyone was woundering, and if anyone was actually reading this I just wanted to let you know this article was published in 2007 and apple has fixed most of these issues with the newest 2012 models of the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Pro retina display! I’m buying a MacBook Pro (normal one) 2012 model for Christmas and I was looking up bad things about it to see if it was the right choice, but my best friend has MacBook Air and pro 2011 (air model) and 2012 (pro model) and she says they have fixed those problems 🙂 just thought I’d let you know xx bye!

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