The MacBook Has Landed.

Yes, it's true, I saw my first black MacBook on display at FNAC:

Pardon the crummy photo, this was taken with a Windows Mobile device... Honest!

The display unit had a serial number starting with 4H621, and the magic Apple serial number decoder ring says it was manufactured in China last May. The temperature database shows no real improvement for this serial range, so I'll stick to my train of thought and wait.

For those of you rushing to click on the comments link and ask when I'm going to get one, don't bother - click on the links above instead and see why I'm not rushing headlong into what seems to be a whole series of, well, challenged hardware.

Quick impressions, since the display models could be lifted and fiddled with a bit (although they had no batteries installed):

  • For a machine that sits around all day showing a screensaver with its price tag, it was pretty warm underneath (the old iBook besides the MacBook Pro on the right was... practically cool). It was also weighty, even without the battery.
  • The fans were working. I couldn't hear a damn thing over the din of the store (so it might be mooing like a mad cow for all I know), but the machine was idle when I got to it, and a screensaver oughtn't be that taxing, right?
  • The glossy display was, in fact, not as glossy as I expected, although reflections from lighted shelves were clearly visible - as you can confirm on the photo. I still hope they come out with a matte screen, since this will be a major nuisance for me at home.
  • The white one looks like a grub magnet, especially where it concerns the little spaces between the keys and the main body. The black one might attract just as much dirt, but the matte finish seems to be able to hide it better - although you can easily spot the finger marks from a sweaty hand just under the left side of the keyboard. Update: turns out I was right on this one.
  • It didn't seem all that fast (Safari took two bounces to get going, for one thing). Then again, there was no way to accurately test for speed other than snapping around Finder windows and fiddling with Spotlight queries (which is meaningless on an empty machine).
  • Comparing it to the Asus W5F that was also on display, it is markedly cheaper (Eur. 1.532 against 1.999, with the Asus having an extra 512MB RAM and an ExpressCard slot). Although I can probably get hold of the Asus for less, I doubt I can do so for Eur. 500 less (and it isn't a Mac).

So, I was wrong - it didn't take months to get here.

But I still think that the controversy regarding the early models' failings is going to take months to (literally) cool down...