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After owning a Powerbook G4 previously, I needed a replacement - I looked around and considered buying a Sony Vaio - but ended up back with Apple and purchased the MacBook Core 2 Duo with Intel processor. I went for the smallest one of the 3 - only because it was purely for home use. I only use it for surfing the internet, downloading pictures and music so I did not need to much memory. Plus I have an external hardrive should I need to free up space. The software you get with a Mac is excellent -everything is much more 'friendly' compared to Microsoft - OK, Vista has arrived - but when you look at it Apple was doing all that years ago! Plus Apple have a new software edition called Tiger which comes out October 2007 which will knock socks off Vista. I Photo - the new version is brilliant - much better than the previous ones - it just gets better. You can store you photos in mini projects and flick through them when you move your cursor across the 'front window' of the project. Double click and open all the pictures - genius. You can even hide the not so good pictures instead of having them cluttering up your machine desktop. Safari - better than I.E. - just more user friendly - plus no need to type in www.?????.com just type in Ciao in the window box and click return - it goes to the site you want - if you did this on Microsoft you get a web page up offering you different sites and none that you never want. If you want Microsoft Windows then you can still buy it for a Mac - they do do one and its the same only tweaked a bit better in my opinion. I use Microsoft at work but found on my old Powerbook that I liked Macs version better. This time around I purchased Mac Works - it has the powerpoint/excel/word version of Apple. Its better, its easier to use and it can be transferred over into Microsoft applications. Apple make it easy for you - you can't transfer microsoft stuff over into Apple as they don't like it. The machine itself - nice feel to it- i purchased the white version - there is black also but that looked 'dull' compared to the white version with the glowing apple on the front when its in use. It has a built in eye camera so can be used on photobooth/internet however you use it. Its fast for me - like i say i didn't need to do much editing of movies/photos/music etc - for that I would have chosen the next one or top version of this. It looks Clean, dare I say it sexy!!! All in all I think its all round value for money - I got mine direct from an apple shop as they have 'Genius' on board - guys who know an apple inside out and can help you set up your apple and give you a quick overview - plus they discuss what your needs are and then say look this is too powerful for you or you really need to be looking at the next one up. I purchased a cover for mine (clear plastic cover). I have a parrott who likes to bite things and loved my last one to bits - doesn't sound to strong does it if a bird can break things - he is an African Grey and has a really strong beak so in my opinion nothing in his way is safe not even my laptop. I also purchased the extra 3 year apple cover with the machine. Apples hardly break down - my previous one broke down once and I had to use the service under this service. Even though its expensive its well worth the money plus you always have the apple genius on board in the apple shops - they help solve problems and can check out your laptop FOC. I love Apple - I hate Microsoft - simple. Microsoft to me means viruses. Apple just don't get them - this is one huge factor in my opinion of purchasing a laptop. Apple does everything Microsoft do. Ok they might be more expensive to buy but when you look at the problems you encounter with Microsoft - huge amounts of software you have to buy to stop people attacking your computer - it works out the same. My son has a Compaq laptop which has been a pain. I am sick of trying to get all the nasty software/viruses and everything else that still can get through firewalls off his laptop. Its a headache. An apple is a breeze. In my opinion, if you have an apple ipod/iphone and you love them then buy an apple computer - they are excellent and well worth the money. It might be weird at first using one - go to an apple shop and go to a genius bar and ask for a demo and for a play on one - after a few hours its like riding a bike! One thing that I must congratulate Apple on - the packaging. They have used their senses. Small box, no hefty thick manuals, just a small thin box with CDs, paperwork, leads and the laptop (oh and few stickers!) They are even environmentally friendly! No loads of polystyrene to throw away. They have thought of everything. Oh, you can upgrade your Apple also - fancy more memory/power - you can just pop in more of it in the base of the laptop or if you don't fancy doing it then pop into a store. Also, one good thing is the powercord. Unlike other laptops - even old Apples they now have a quick release powercord which if you knock the wire just quickly releases the cord from the laptop without pulling the laptop onto the floor. Another excellent addition in my opinion. Perhaps I am biased I do have shares in Apple and they have soared up everytime Steve Jobs brings out a new invention/upgrade - next one this month for Tiger Software!! Buy an Apple - take a bite - leave Microsoft alone. Apple is sexy, fun and easier to use than Microsoft. No more headaches - its a dream!