Apple MacBook review

A slightly overpriced laptop, but its style, usability and software ably compensate

Apple MacBook (2011)
The MacBook may be a bit on the pricey side, but its performance and features easily make up for it

TechRadar Verdict

Slightly overpriced, but its style, usability and software ably compensate


  • +

    Stunning performance

  • +

    Excellent keyboard

  • +

    Multi-touch touchpad

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    Impressive screen

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    Easy to use


  • -

    Limited connectivity

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    Low storage

  • -


  • -

    Old system

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With the continuing popularity of the iPad, iPhone and iPod range, Apple's laptop sales have seen an impressive boost in recent months. The Apple MacBook is its entry-level model, and while some could argue it offers limited value, it's still a great choice. And here's our Apple MacBook review of the mid-2010 model.

The main argument against Apple's laptops is that despite their use of older technology, they still cost the same as cutting-edge Windows-based machines.

The MacBook uses a last generation Intel 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo P8600 processor, rather than a Core i5 chip as seen in the Acer Aspire 5943G and Fujitsu Lifebook S710. While the difference in performance is significant, there's still ample power to run the excellent Mac OS X 10.6 operating system and software with plenty of speed.

Graphics are just as capable. While outperformed by the Acer Aspire 5943G and Samsung RF510, the dedicated Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics card has treble the power of the Fujitsu Lifebook S710, running photo and video editing tasks with ease. Even light gaming is possible.


Battery life: 505 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 204
3DMark 2003: 10,375

This multimedia ability is aided by the impressive 13.3-inch screen. Despite having a low resolution of 1280 x 800, brightness, colour and contrast are stunning. Photos and videos look fantastic, and even the glossy screen coating manages to hide reflections well.

Stunning usability

As with all Apple laptops, an isolated-style keyboard design is used, with each key cut through an individual hole in the laptop's top panel. This allows plenty of space between keys and stops dirt falling beneath them. Usability is excellent and the keyboard is a pleasure to use.

Apple was among the first to use multi-touch touchpads and the technology is used in the Apple MacBook (2011) with aplomb. The huge 104 x 75mm glass touchpad allows effortless gesture control, for scrolling documents and zooming and rotating images with just a simple pinch or swipe of your fingers.

Unfortunately, where the MacBook falls short of its rivals is its limited connectivity options – offering just two USB 2.0 ports. Storage, at 250GB, is also low, but will nevertheless suit most needs.

Apple macbook 2011

Far more impressive is the fantastic mobility and software. With 505 minutes of battery life, you can work on the move for over eight hours. Apple's iLife suite is also included, providing an outstanding range of photo editing, movie making, web design and music creation tools.

While there's no denying the MacBook is overpriced, considering its use of older technology, Apple's renowned usability and stunning design go a long way to compensate for this. As long as you don't want the most cutting-edge machine, this is a stunning laptop that the whole family will enjoy using.

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