Walt Mossberg: “MacBook is a solid machine at a great price”

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Walt Mossberg reviews the new Apple MacBook–Apple’s lower cost notebook.

A couple things in his review caught my attention. First, he really likes the iLife suite. I agree. iMovie, for instance, is well worth it if you are interested in making videos. Even though it doesn’t pack all the features of a professional system, it is a step above MovieMaker in some important ways. For instance, you can easily insert video or images over other video. It makes a big difference in the resulting videos. How often have you seen someone make a “single-shot” video edited on a Windows system and while talking about a particular feature they have to fumble with what they are talking about to bring it closer to the camera so you can see it. With iMovie you can just take separate closeups and insert them into your video stream withouth disturbing the audio.

On another point, I have to disagree with Mossberg–a lot. He points out that the Apple notebook doesn’t provide a mouse with a right button. Mossberg doesn’t mind. He says instead you can “Place two fingers on the touch pad and click with a third. It works well”. You’ve got to be kidding. I don’t have a problem with this being an optional feature, but come on Walt, Apple should be supporting right click out of the box. Why? Because not only does Apple support right-click menus as Mossberg points out–Apple software often works the best with this feature. Try using iMovie without right click, for instance. It’s a pain. Apple needs to either get over its “no right mouse button” mindset and provide a right mouse button from the start or it needs to rework its programs to provide context buttons (like OneNote) or something similar so that a right mouse click is never needed. (Of course, this solution doesn’t help BootCamp users running Windows app which often heavily rely on quick, right-click menus. Now this isn’t a big deal on the iMac because it includes a right mouse button on the mouse, but for a notebook I think Mossberg needs to point this out as something that needs more thinking by Apple. (Evidently other Apple enthusiasts side with Walt on this issue and think requiring Apple hardware to support right clicks is “unreasonable.”)