The Black Mac­Book

Mac Format - - NEXT MONTH -

It hasn’t got a Retina screen. It hasn’t got a back­lit key­board. It doesn’t have an alu­minium uni­body en­clo­sure, and it can’t even run the lat­est ver­sion of OS X. But I still can’t help but love my mid-2007 13-inch Mac­Book.

For a seven-year-old note­book, it shows sur­pris­ingly few signs of wear and tear. The matt fin­ish has rubbed off on some of the cor­ners, a few keys are a lit­tle faded and the track­pad (which un­for­tu­nately doesn’t of­fer ges­ture con­trols) has rubbed a lit­tle smooth in the mid­dle. But apart from that, it looks very good for its age. It per­forms well too. Its 64-bit 2.16GHz In­tel Core 2 Duo pro­ces­sor has long since been sur­passed, and its GMA 950 graph­ics mean I can up­grade no fur­ther than OS X 10.7 Lion. But after in­creas­ing the RAM to 4GB and re­plac­ing the hard drive with a Sea­gate Mo­men­tus XT hy­brid drive, it boots and runs sur­pris­ingly quickly, cer­tainly faster than a Win­dows PC of a sim­i­lar vin­tage.

It still runs almost all the soft­ware I need too. It’s not much use as a high-end gaming rig, but that’s not what I bought it for any­way. As well as the usual email and web brows­ing tasks you ex­pect from a 21st cen­tury com­puter, it’s per­fectly at home run­ning Adobe Cre­ative Suite, Mi­crosoft Of­fice

It’s per­fectly at home run­ning CS4, Mi­crosoft

Of­fice and (most im­por­tantly) Scrivener

and (most im­por­tantly) Scrivener. I can use it to work on a train or in our lo­cal cafe with­out dif­fi­culty. It can’t run the lat­est ver­sion of the iWork suite, which is an­noy­ing as I’d like to make use of the iCloud in­te­gra­tion, but there’s al­ways Drop­box.

How­ever, there are a cou­ple of ar­eas where it is re­ally shown up by the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of MacBooks: weight and bat­tery life. At 5.1lbs, my poly­car­bon­ate Mac­Book is nearly 2lbs heav­ier than a cur­rent-gen­er­a­tion 13-inch Retina Mac­Book Pro, and it’s almost twice as heavy as a sim­i­lar-sized Mac­Book Air. Its bat­tery life is look­ing shabby too. It’s good for around three and a half hours th­ese days, but it can’t match the all-day bat­tery life of­fered by mod­ern Ap­ple note­books. This is why I’ll prob­a­bly up­grade it within the next year, but I’ll al­ways have fond mem­o­ries of my black poly­car­bon­ate Mac­Book.

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