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Apple's MacBook sports user-replaceable hard disks

post #1 of 43
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First on AI: Owners of Apple Computer's new MacBook consumer notebooks will find that upgrading or replacing the computer's hard disk is as simple as adding more memory.

The notebooks, which are some of the most redesigned personal computers to emerge from Apple's Cupertino, Calif. design labs in recent years, also pack such novelties as heat-staked feet that are designed not to fall off. In fact, you can't remove them if you try.

The again, only Apple would affix two screws to the left side of the computer purely for cosmetic purposes. That's right -- they serve absolutely no function other than to sit there and look pretty.

Where the MacBook really struts its stuff is under the hood. There, innovation takes center stage -- primarily in the front-most portion of the computer, beneath the wrist-rests.

Flipping a MacBook upside down and removing its rectangular lithium-polymer battery reveals two RAM slots, placed side-by-side on one wall of the battery cavity. Two metal levers aid in releasing or securing RAM in the slots.

Each RAM slot is capable of accepting up to 1GB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM, for a max of 2GB. For the best performance, Apple recommends that RAM modules be installed as pairs, with an equal amount of memory in each slot.

Below the two RAM slots (at the base of the battery cavity) is where you'll find the MacBook's hard disk drive. Without disassembling the notebook, users will be able to quickly removing some protective aluminum shielding and lift the drive out of the computer.

Apple's previous line of consumer notebooks, the iBook, required that an authorized service provider perform all hard drive replacements -- a process that would typically take at least 10 minutes for technicians and possibly days in turnaround for the owner.

While the MacBook clearly takes a few steps forward with its industrial design, other aspects of the notebook have already drawn some concerns from insiders.

Like Apple's MacBook Pro professional notebooks, the company says the new MacBook has a tendency to produce a significant amount of heat. Though the notebook's operating temperature falls within national and international safety standards, it runs much hotter than the iBook G4s it replaces. Apple is offering these tips to customers who are concerned over the heat of their new MacBook.

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Another potential concern is the notebook's keyboard. Apple redesigned the MacBook's keyboard to sit flush against the bed of the computer for a sleeker, lower profile. Though it offers a firmer touch, the keyboard is built-in as part of the MacBook's enclosure. Users who damage a key or two could find themselves having to replace the notebook's entire bottom casing and trackpad -- a potentially hefty expense.

Speaking of costs, customers leaning towards a black-colored MacBook will find themselves feeding Apple's profit margins. For a mere 20GB of additional storage and the matte black finish, the company is charging a whopping $200 extra. Otherwise, the $1499 black MacBook is identical to the $1299 offering in white.

Each MacBook also supports Apple's extended desktop feature, allowing users to widen their horizons with a second display.
post #2 of 43
WOW! thanks Apple you got a few more few things right...

Removable Hard-drive and extended Desktop... Cheers!

P.S. I'll wait a while till you repeal your new colourist policy...
post #3 of 43
Quote:
Like Apple's MacBook Pro professional notebooks, the company says the new MacBook has a tendency to produce a significant amount of heat. Though the notebook's operating temperature falls within national and international safety standards, it runs much hotter than the iBook G4s it replaces. Apple is offering these tips to customers concerned over the heat of their new MacBook.

I'd like to challenge this and say this statement is false referencing the linked Apple doc. The document generalizes "Apple Notebooks" and the search strings at the bottom do not contain "kmb" for MacBook.

Quote:
Another potential concern is the notebook's keyboard. Apple redesigned the MacBook's keyboard to sit flush against the bed of the computer for a sleeker, lower profile. Though the new keyboard offers a firmer touch, it's built-in as part of the computer's enclosure. Users who damage a key or two could find themselves having to replace the notebook's entire bottom casing and trackpad -- a potentially hefty expensive.

Then don't break it or give it to a 5-year old kid.

Quote:
The again, only Apple would affix two screws to the left side of the computer purely for cosmetic purposes. That's right -- they serve absolutely no function other than to sit there and look pretty.

I understand keeping things "balanced" but I call BS.

Quote:
Speaking of costs, customers leaning towards a black-colored MacBook will find themselves feeding Apple's profit margins. For a mere 20GB of additional storage and the matte black finish, the company is charing a whopping $200 extra. Otherwise, the $1499 black MacBook is identical to the $1299 offering in white.

Ah, the price of being the cool kid on the block.
post #4 of 43
Don't you see that by pricing the black model higher, Apple is making it even more attractive? I actually liked white, but now that I see I have to pay more for black, I am already starting to want it. Clever marketing.
post #5 of 43
Hmm...well, you know, I'd have to see it in person, but the white one looks better...not cleaner like people like to say, but more lighthearted and spacious looking...the black has a very edgy profile - personally I would prefer white. What ever happened to multiple colors eh?
post #6 of 43
If heat comes with THAT much speed, I'll take it!

Screws for looks alone? Apple would rather NOT have screws. If AI found them to be non-functional then I believe it, but I bet there's some other weird story there to explain why they're there. Like they are a holdover from a previous design iteration, and it wasn't worth fixing the error or something.

Maybe they even add Wi-Fi reception
post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
Maybe they even add Wi-Fi reception

Or they retract out for better reception booyakasha
post #8 of 43
crees, stop being such a douchebag.
post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by OfficerDigby
WOW! thanks Apple you got a few more few things right...

Removable Hard-drive and extended Desktop... Cheers!

P.S. I'll wait a while till you repeal your new colourist policy...

Quite right.

I've been elbows deep in PowerBook G4 myself and can speak from experience that the user replaceable hard drive improvement is a major plus point!

Makes it easier to try those flash drives which are around the corner from Samsung et al. Boy am I looking forward to Intel power and flash silence.
post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Robin Hood
Don't you see that by pricing the black model higher, Apple is making it even more attractive? I actually liked white, but now that I see I have to pay more for black, I am already starting to want it. Clever marketing.

I second that

I wouldn't be surprised if the black model comes out best or second best in terms of sales amongst the new consumer MacBook models.
post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by crees!

Then don't break it or give it to a 5-year old kid.

That's a bit much for a product ostensibly designed for student use. iBooks had a reputation for being durable, it would be a shame if the MacBook had developed flaws in the key mechanism and required a major overhaul to fix. That's over the top in light of many other notebooks needing only a few minutes and a replacement keyboard to replace it.
post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by crees!
Then don't break it or give it to a 5-year old kid.

I had two keys snap off on my old Tibook from normal use. Luckily, I was able to find a place online which sold single keys (although the shipping cost about 3 times as much as the replacement keys, so it wasn't that cheap to fix).

A coworker of mine also had a key snap off on his Albook. Seems to be a fairly common problem on notebooks.

Hopefully this new keyboard design will prevent the problem. However, if it doesn't, it's going to be a lot more costly than it used to be to fix it.
 
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post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
Like Apple's MacBook Pro professional notebooks, the company says the new MacBook has a tendency to produce a significant amount of heat. Though the notebook's operating temperature falls within national and international safety standards, it runs much hotter than the iBook G4s it replaces.

I think Apple should takes its own advice "think different" on this, not just comply with international and industry standards but stays within temperatures reasonable for confortable on-lap use. It would have been nice if that page cited exactly where to find those standards and what they are.

To be honest, I was surprised Apple put 2.0GHz chips in there, I would have considered a 1.5 Core Solo unit if the slower chip meant the unit ran reasonably cool.
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
To be honest, I was surprised Apple put 2.0GHz chips in there, I would have considered a 1.5 Core Solo unit if the slower chip meant the unit ran reasonably cool.

I don't know that the slower (or single) chips run that much cooler.
post #15 of 43
I for one am ecstatic that I can get 2.0ghz core duos AND have the ability to upgrade my hard drive--I think I might have died and gone to heaven.

As to the price for the black one, I was all for doing it, but then I realized when it comes time to sell I will never get anything close to the difference back...it simply isn't worth it. Also, there are places that will paint ( i guess that is what you call it) it any color you want for a lot cheaper--and it doesn't void the warranty!!
post #16 of 43
So now you can easily replace your hard drive on a macbook


Just like every other notebook on the planet.
post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by minderbinder
I don't know that the slower (or single) chips run that much cooler.

On the frequency, it mostly depends on how they are sorted. Power consumption of a given CMOS chip is approximately related to the square of the frequency. If you take one chip rated to run at 1.5GHz and clock it to 2.0GHz, it will consume about 80% more power than it would have at 1.5GHz. The monkey wrench is that because of variations in the silicon fab process, the higher consuming chips could be given a lower clock rating so as to not exceed thermal specs at the rated clock. The cores are supposedly where most of the power is consumed, if you don't have the extra, I think it is reasonable to suggest that there may be a significant heat reduction without the extra core.
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by mikehackman
I for one am ecstatic that I can get 2.0ghz core duos AND have the ability to upgrade my hard drive--I think I might have died and gone to heaven.

As to the price for the black one, I was all for doing it, but then I realized when it comes time to sell I will never get anything close to the difference back...it simply isn't worth it. Also, there are places that will paint ( i guess that is what you call it) it any color you want for a lot cheaper--and it doesn't void the warranty!!

The only one I am aware of is Colorware and their work is a lot more than $150 on a Mac, they want an extra $500+ on a MacBook Pro.
post #19 of 43
Jeff, thats aftermarket custom. The cost for Apple to produce at a specific color is far far lower then $150. Aftermarket mods are general expensive, just look at the tuner car scene.
post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger
The cost for Apple to produce at a specific color is far far lower then $150.

That will always be the case for ANY commercial product. For a lot of products, the actual cost to make might only be 10% of the list price, it is a regular rule of thumb in some sectors. In this case, there might not be any actual material cost, other than inventory management which could cost a considerable amount in its own right.
post #21 of 43
The black MacBook comes with an 80 GB drive and the white MacBook comes with a 60 GB drive. Since the upgrade to the 80 GB drive is $50, the black case is only (haha) a $150 premium.
Ridiculous lucky captain rabbit king, lucky captain rabbit king nuggets are for the youth!
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post #22 of 43
The replaceable hard drive seals the deal. I'll be picking one up as soon as they are not sold out everywhere. (3 apple stores in LA today were sold out of the black model by around 1PM. Only one even had it as a floor display)

Not only am I going to pick one up, but it means that I don't have to special order from the online store for once. I can just pick up the model I want and swap out the hard drive and ram later. I wouldn't have purchased the Ram from apple anyway, and 80 gigs will do just fine for a while while I wait for larger capacities in the near futue at most likely a lower cost a year from now.
post #23 of 43
To people that are against the price of the black macbook (the ones that want black for all configs, or black to not cost anymore):

The black one cost more because apple obviously doesn't make as many as the white one, so it cost a little more to make. They don't make as many for 3 reasons:
1. It is the highest of 3 configs so why would as many black cases be built as white cases?
2. They don't want to make equal colours of everything to find half sitting in a warehouse. That's what happened with the gold ipod mini, it was a waste of money, time and space.
3. It becomes a status symbol. An Infiniti G35 body is not a body option for a Nissan Sentra.


I can live with that because it's better than having a warehouse full of unsold white or black machines because everyone opts for only model. That's what had happened to the white nanos at first until the craze for the black one calmed down, for something as big and as expensive as a notebook it makes no sense for a smaller volume company like apple.
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post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by Robin Hood
Don't you see that by pricing the black model higher, Apple is making it even more attractive? I actually liked white, but now that I see I have to pay more for black, I am already starting to want it. Clever marketing.

im guessing you also buy things that have "EXTREME" on the packaging in 18 point red font.

I wanted the black too, and thought about upgrading... until i saw the 1500 price tag rather than the 1100 i was expecting.

I think high demand will be very short lived here... if its generated at all-- that price is simply absurd. As far as being "Clever Marketting", id leave out the clever part-- as its marketting geared towards people who just must have the coolest looking thing at any cost (rich people, idiots), and so their target demographic is anything but clever.

to those of you whod add geeks to the above "rich people and idiots" comment-- id say no... geeks sometimes buy the newest, latest and greatest (and ultimately coolest and most expensive) gadgets, but not for solely cosmetic reasons, thats just dumb.
post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by ecking
The black one cost more because apple obviously doesn't make as many as the white one, so it cost a little more to make.

12
yes it certainly will... i forsee noone buying them because that price is retarded-- thus causing them to raise the price further by your estimation.

Hey question, how were they able to sell ipods in black and white for the same price despite only making 1 black for every 3 white (originally)?

your response (im guessing?): theres more paint and manufacturing involved with the macbooks.

yes to more paint. no to more manufacturing because the lines are already set to make the computers, using a different colored ink and different colored plastic doesnt cost any more. maybe pennies if anything. $200 = greed.

Also, dont you think Apples people would be smart enough to figure out that high sales of black ipods might be translatable into high sales of black ibooks?

Its a gimmick to get the money from all those that just have to have a black one... ill wait till the $1100 one, or wont get one.12
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by archer75
So now you can easily replace your hard drive on a macbook


Just like every other notebook on the planet.

Not true! You could replace the PPC iBook HD, I did - but it was such a chore and frankly dangerous to put enough people off it. Some PC laptops have easy replaceable HDS's some don't although admittedly most are easier than PPC iBook. Apple should be applauded for re-enginering the design to allow this type of upgradability.. and encouraged in future.
post #27 of 43
Apple has a link to this article on AI on their site, so possibly lots of people will view it! Just kidding!

In all seriousness:

There is a minor error in the third paragraph: "The again" should read "Then again".

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by mike12309
12
yes it certainly will... i forsee noone buying them because that price is retarded-- thus causing them to raise the price further by your estimation.

Hey question, how were they able to sell ipods in black and white for the same price despite only making 1 black for every 3 white (originally)?

your response (im guessing?): theres more paint and manufacturing involved with the macbooks.

yes to more paint. no to more manufacturing because the lines are already set to make the computers, using a different colored ink and different colored plastic doesnt cost any more. maybe pennies if anything. $200 = greed.

Also, dont you think Apples people would be smart enough to figure out that high sales of black ipods might be translatable into high sales of black ibooks?

Its a gimmick to get the money from all those that just have to have a black one... ill wait till the $1100 one, or wont get one.12

You want my response? Here:

APPLE SELLS F**KING MILLIONS OF IPODS EACH QUARTER IN RETROSPECT TO THE NUMBER OF COMPUTERS THEY SELL. THOSE IPODS COST HUNDREDS UPON HUNDREDS LESS TO MAKE, SELL, AND BUY MEANING WAY MORE PEOPLE WILL PURCHASE THEM.

So take your rude ass remarks else where your being dumb.

Did I say apple doesn't sell the black at a premium? THEY DO, THAT IS NO LIE

All I did is justify their reasons for it, because it is done from a business perspective.

Nice company you'd run:
"Hey let's NOT charge more for our products and offer the black option at each config and waste expensive warehouse space for all the models we won't sell just like we did with the snowflake imac, INSTEAD of making less, charging more and essentially calling them special edition. THAT IS THE KEY TO GOOD BUSINESS AND MAKING MONEY!"

Open your damn eyes in LA the black ones were sold out by 1pm, people are going crazy for it and because they make less they'll never have to worry about overstock.

But hey you must know better than a multi-billion dollar comapny so I'll just shutup now. Insult to another poster's intelligence by poster incorrectly using the word "your" to mean "you're" cheerfully removed - JL

ps: Your not going to get a macbook because the 1099 isn't in black, who the f**k does that? I guess if they just never introduced a black one you just wouldn't get a computer right?
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post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by OfficerDigby
Not true! You could replace the PPC iBook HD, I did - but it was such a chore and frankly dangerous to put enough people off it. Some PC laptops have easy replaceable HDS's some don't although admittedly most are easier than PPC iBook. Apple should be applauded for re-enginering the design to allow this type of upgradability.. and encouraged in future.

Amen! I did a replacement, too. And let's just say that I'm not eager to do it again soon. Also, it voids your warranty. I doubt such a simple replacement on the MacBook, which involves no disassembly does. This is a true blessing and a good step forward.
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post #30 of 43
Originally posted by GamoGuy
Amen! I did a replacement, too. And let's just say that I'm not eager to do it again soon. Also, it voids your warranty. I doubt such a simple replacement on the MacBook, which involves no disassembly does. This is a true blessing and a good step forward.



Meee too Took a 933mhz iBook G4 and modded in a 5400rpm 60gb western digital drive. Ended up with a few extra screws and pretty much violated the warranty. But it was worth it. iBook G4 933mhz 5400rpm drive 640mb ram = Very usable.
post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by mike12309
As far as being "Clever Marketting", id leave out the clever part-- as its marketting geared towards people who just must have the coolest looking thing at any cost (rich people, idiots), and so their target demographic is anything but clever.

If the buyers are dumb, that doesn't mean the marketing isn't clever. If they can make extra money over something cosmetic, good for them. It's a smart decision for the company, they take a chance at making some extra profit, with little or no risk.

Quote:
Originally posted by mike12309
[B]12
yes it certainly will... i forsee noone buying them because that price is retarded-- thus causing them to raise the price further by your estimation.

You seem to be proven wrong already. From the pictures posted online as well as the reports from people who've bought already, in this group there seem to be more black than white. I'm sure they won't sell as many black as white, but that's just fine for apple, and completely different than "noone" buying them.

Just for the record, I think the extra cost of black has NOTHING to do with cost of manufacture. It's purely a case of charging what people are willing to pay.
post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by minderbinder
Just for the record, I think the extra cost of black has NOTHING to do with cost of manufacture. It's purely a case of charging what people are willing to pay.

I wonder if it is a market test for possibly making it a standard no-cost option. It may well be like the iPod, where they offered a black U2 unit for a little extra, and on the next generation black is a no-cost choice.
post #33 of 43
The inability to replace the keyboard is going to be a major concern. The iBook is used extensively in schools by kids 6-18. One of the things we have to deal with constantly is broken or lost keys and other problems.
post #34 of 43
Easily accessible RAM and HDD = nice!

But, placing them all in close proximity with the battery would = higher concentration of heat, correct?

Just using my old HP laptop as an example, the RAM cover and the battery (when charging) are the two hottest spots on the bottom of the computer.

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post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by iPoster
Easily accessible RAM and HDD = nice!

But, placing them all in close proximity with the battery would = higher concentration of heat, correct?

Just using my old HP laptop as an example, the RAM cover and the battery (when charging) are the two hottest spots on the bottom of the computer.


Typing on a black one right now. It does get very warm. Especially on the left side under the battery. If you type on your lap a lot you may want to take this in to consideration.
post #36 of 43
With all the performance-per-watt hoopla, ironically the new MacBook and MacBook Pro suffers from even worse heat issues than the G4s
post #37 of 43
I'm not really in the market for a laptop right now, though from the sound if it I will wait for Rev. B at least if I do get a MacBook or MBP....
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post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
With all the performance-per-watt hoopla, ironically the new MacBook and MacBook Pro suffers from even worse heat issues than the G4s

I'm curious why everyone's complaining about the heat. Do the Toshiba Core Duo laptops run cooler than Macbooks? How about the Sony laptops? HP? Lenovo?

Apple must be selling the special 'really hot' Core Duo chips.

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post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by audiopollution
I'm curious why everyone's complaining about the heat. Do the Toshiba Core Duo laptops run cooler than Macbooks? How about the Sony laptops? HP? Lenovo?

Apple must be selling the special 'really hot' Core Duo chips.

Who knows, is anyone measuring the surface temperature of the case of each of those products? If the cases of all those products arel that hot, then I wouldn't want any Core Duo mobile device, at least not any of those including the "T" series chips.

It may be that Apple is the worst given the gobs of heat sink goop preventing the heat from getting to the heat pipe.
post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally posted by audiopollution
I'm curious why everyone's complaining about the heat.

cause its friggin hot as hades. One reviewer I saw online said his macbook is unusable after 30 minutes and crashes because of the heat. Mine doesn't yet, but I haven't run it around the block much yet.

this is, by far, the hottest notebook i've had since a Dell C640 (P4-M), which could blister your balls. This one will simply hot roast them.
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