How Does A MacBook Work?

Apple unveiled the MacBook in the spring of 2006, a 13-inch (33-centimeter) laptop that would quickly become a phenomenon. It took the place of Apple’s everyday laptop, the iBook, and the professional model, the PowerBook – two laptops that were popular but not nearly as successful as the MacBook [source: Gallagher]. Within a short period, the shiny, white, plastic MacBooks could be found dotting the tables of cafés all over the world, claiming counter space alongside lattes and gourmet muffins.

Perhaps it was the machine’s simplicity that made it so popular. With a sleek, elegant design that was devoid of frills or unnecessary extras, it quickly became the go-to computer for college freshmen, young professionals, and families alike. The standard white body was unmistakably familiar, emblazoned with a glowing Apple logo, though a few willing to spend an extra $200 sported the even sleeker black-bodied model. Sure, PC owners had their multi-colored computers in various shapes and sizes, with a plethora of buttons and customizable options, but MacBook owners didn’t mind because their machine was powerful, simple, and beautiful. Furthermore, because it was a Mac, it had few of the problems that plagued PCs, such as crashing or viruses. Stein is the source.

The MacBook fit many people’s idea of the perfect computer, with all of the power and reliability of a Mac, the portability and professional look of similar PC laptops, and the simplicity and ease of use that made Mac lovers of many former PC owners.

But then, all of a sudden, it was gone.

The traditional MacBook received its last model update in mid-2010, and by July 2011, the model had been discontinued in favor of the wafer-thin MacBook Air and ultra-powerful MacBook Pro models. Apple made no fuss about the transition; they simply stopped selling it. Even if you can’t buy a new MacBook anymore, refurbished models are still available, and many people still own the trendy computer that dominated the laptop market in the first decade of the millennium.

So, what made the best-selling Mac ever so special? Continue reading to find out.

MacBook Specifications

Many of the basic specifications of the MacBook remained constant over the four years it was manufactured. The first MacBook was 13 inches (33 centimeters) wide, had a screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800, was made of plastic (polycarbonate), and came in two colors: black and white. Those specifications were also present in the final 2010 version. The only significant body change occurred in 2008 when the aluminum unibody model was introduced. The aluminum unibody version, however, was rebranded as the 13-inch MacBook Pro in 2009 [source: Apple].

Internal hardware, on the other hand, has improved over time. In May of 2006, there were three MacBook models available. The first model was equipped with a 1.83 GHz Core Duo processor and a 60 GB hard drive. The second and third were a little faster, with a 2.0 GHz processor and an 80 GB hard drive. The memory in all three versions was 512 MB. However, in mid-July, Intel unveiled its new Core 2 Duo processor, which was reflected in the November 2006 MacBook offerings. The new Core 2 Duo processor was used in all three models released that month (in 1.83 and 2.0 GHz). By the end of 2006, the top-tier MacBook had a 120 GB hard drive and 1 GB of memory, providing twice the storage space as the first-tier model [source: EveryMac].

Over the next four years, every aspect of the MacBook improved. By the time the computer was phased out in 2010, the offerings had greatly improved: a 2.4 GHz processor, a 250 GB hard drive, and 2 GB of memory, which was comparable to the 13-inch MacBook Pro at the time.

The MacBook also included a touchpad (or trackpad) mouse in front of the keyboard, as well as a built-in camera above the monitor. The lithium-polymer battery in the 2006 model could provide 6 hours of battery life, and by 2010, the battery could provide 10 hours of battery life. The MacBook also had several ports for connecting to other devices. All MacBook models included an Ethernet port, two USB ports, a mini DisplayPort (for connecting to a TV or computer monitor), a FireWire port (for connecting to a computer network), and a DVD drive. Some early models had separate in and out audio ports, but later models combined these into one.

What’s the Cost?

The MacBook’s price fluctuated surprisingly little over its four-year lifespan. The initial retail price of the first MacBook, introduced in early 2006, was $1,099 [source: Apple]. In 2010, the final version of the MacBook sold for $999 [source: Bradford], which was $100 less than its predecessor.
Software for MacBook

Apple is well-known for including high-quality software on all of its computers. The Mac operating system has always been one of the highlights. The Mac OS, which is distinct from the Windows operating system found on most PCs, has been praised for its simplicity, high quality, and ease of use. Mac OS X Tiger was the standard operating system on the MacBook in 2006, and it included a slew of useful tools such as Dashboard, Mail, iChat, Safari, QuickTime, Address Book, and DVD Player. The 2006 MacBook also included iLife (iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, and Garage Band) and Front Row, a media application.

By 2010, not much had changed, indicating that Apple had found a winning combination with the MacBook’s standard software. The operating system had two iterations: Leopard in 2007 and Snow Leopard in 2009. Snow Leopard included improved versions of the programs available in Tiger and Leopard, as well as a few new features such as Time Machine (a backup tool). It also included iLife, which included all of the same programs as the 2006 version except iTunes (which is now available as a free download online).

While MacBooks already come with a great suite of software to help you with work and life, Apple also provides a ton of extra software that you can use to upgrade your system. iWork, Apple’s equivalent of Microsoft Office, is a popular software compilation that includes page layout and design software, a spreadsheet program, and presentation software. However, Microsoft Office for Mac is still available, and Apple’s version supports file types that are compatible with the Microsoft version.

Logic Studio, which allows you to record, mix, and edit music, is another popular program for the MacBook. Aperture software allows you to edit and organize your photos whether you are a professional or an amateur photographer. Another popular software, Final Cut Pro, allows you to edit videos and other media with professional editing tools. With so many design and media tools available, it’s no surprise that Apple’s software is used and adored by both home experimenters and industry professionals.

MacBook Additions

A power cord is the standard accessory that comes with a MacBook, which is good because, while MacBooks have a long battery life, a laptop is useless without a power source. Everything else, on the other hand, must be purchased separately.

Apple sells a wide range of MacBook accessories, many of which improve the functionality of your MacBook and make it easier to use. If you spend a lot of time on the computer or use the MacBook for work, a mouse and keyboard (either with a USB cord or wireless) are essential. The mouse is especially useful because the fingertip trackpad on the MacBook can be difficult to use for extended periods. You can also purchase adapters such as cords to connect the computer to a television or even a covert power supply to use your computer in other countries. A stand, a smart card reader, and a projector are among the other useful add-ons.

Some optional accessories make using the MacBook more enjoyable. For example, if you enjoy listening to music, you may wish to purchase headphones or speakers. If, on the other hand, you enjoy making music, Apple offers a variety of DJ controllers, a guitar input for connecting your guitar to the computer, a microphone, and even a music keyboard. If you watch movies on your computer, purchasing a remote control will allow you to control the video playback from the comfort of your couch. You can also purchase a webcam for chatting or business purposes.

The MacBook is fun and functional, but it isn’t cheap. If you purchase one, you’ll most likely want to protect your investment by keeping the MacBook safe from theft or damage. Apple provides locks to prevent your computer from walking away, as well as screen and keyboard protectors to protect against scratches and spills. If you’re concerned about losing data on your computer, you can purchase Time Capsule, an external data backup device that ensures you won’t lose any files if something goes wrong.

Browse the links on the following page to learn more about Macs.

I am a Mac

You may have heard that there are two types of people: Mac users and PC users. But what is it about Macs that make their users swoon? Their simplicity is one of their best features. Sure, you can’t rebuild the hardware or tweak the specs like you can on a PC, but that’s not a problem for the average computer user. It also comes with high-quality software and isn’t bloated with unnecessary extras. Macs also have a more stable operating system than most PCs, which allows them to run faster and crash less frequently.

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The above article was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which consists of some of the most knowledgeable technical experts in the United States. Our team consists of highly regarded writers with vast experience in smartphones, computer components, technology apps, security, and photography, among other fields.

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