MacBook Gets New Display, Trackpad, and Built-in Battery for Old Price

21 Comments

Today Apple (s aapl) announced the release of an updated MacBook, and Senior VP Phil Schiller says it best in a press release for the new Macbook:

“The new MacBook includes many of the great features found on the innovative MacBook Pro, such as an LED-backlit display, glass Multi-Touch trackpad and built-in long-life battery.”

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The new MacBook remains priced at $999, which will disappoint some hoping Apple would compete more aggressively with netbooks. However, the new MacBook does not disappoint on specifications or build quality. Featuring a unibody, polycarbonate enclosure with magnetic latch, the new MacBook weighs in at 4.7 pounds, down from 5 pounds, and is 1.08-inches thick. The LED-backlit display is the same as used on the MacBook Pros. Apple is claiming the built-in battery will last up to seven hours.

As for specifications, the new MacBook has a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and integrated graphics with the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M. The two DIMM slots support up to 4GB RAM, available for another $100 from Apple. A 320GB or 500GB hard drive is optional, $50 and $150 extra, respectively.

About the only thing missing, besides a price drop, would be the SD card slot and FireWire port included across the MacBook Pro lineup. Nonetheless, even at twice the price of the best netbook, the new MacBook is easily more than twice as fast with double the battery life, and is many times more aesthetically pleasing.

21 Comments

michael

Overpriced? the same as a BMW or even a Bentley is “overpriced” however, ask an owner if its worth it and they’ll say YES. I’ve had my Black macbook since 12/07 and its still running strong, has no viruses, starts up, shuts down and wakes up incredibly fast and in a fraction of the time of a PC. As for Apple taking away the firewire port well I’m not a fan of that but think about it this way… how much does the “average” user use firewire? not much, in fact all but one of my archive drives is USB. all my peripherals are USB. I’d say give me an extra USB not a fire wire. Now on the other side as a Video Editor I do use Firewire when I get jobs that require capturing footage I NEED the fire wire drive. but as many editors and media and arts people that bought the macbook will tell you, they would upgrade to the macbook pro even if the macbook still had firewire. I’ve planned on upgrading to the pro since i starting planning to buy a new mac 3 years ago. I love the macbook but need more power.

As for garage band users… you can get an mbox or some other type of USB audio in device, this way you have more control over the input. I’ve used garage band and soundtrack and not once have used the audio in. In fact I’ve used it once and if I were to need it again I’d go buy a USB mic.

I suppose what I’m getting at is half of the bells and whistles that people bitch about that are missing are features that most of the consumers do not use enough to warrant them being on the new macbook. If you really need them save for another month and go Pro or go buy a “Chevy” PC and deal with all the added crap but hey…. enjoy those extra ports!!!!

Dave

Macuser may well be right about it being a hideously overpriced netbook. It’s use as a multimedia device is shrinking with each vanished socket.
I’m buying the old model… I physically wouldn’t be able to capture / edit / USE this new Mac.
The perfectly serviceable MiniDV and HDV Cameras I use for animation / education aren’t going out of the window for a long while yet. The other shame is that i can no longer find the model on the Apple site so i’ll have to buy it elsewhere.

Wellu

You can buy the old models refurbished on the Apple site. I’m not sure how long those will last though.

Eric Knibbe

Ok, so I looked more closely, and it’s a combined audio in/out port. But that’s still an annoyance for, say, GarageBand users.

MacUser

The white Macbook *IS* the Apple “netbook”. Get used to it. And, yes, it’s more expensive than the under-$400 windows netbook. You should have known this already that Apple is NEVER EVER going to come out with an under-priced netbook. The profit margins on netbooks are not worth it for Apple compared to how much more they make with their standard higher priced Macbooks. Get used to it.

SD slot? Go get a USB SD card adapter. No removable battery? So what. You get seven hours on the new non-removable battery. And how often do you actually remove the battery? How about the no Firewire? Go get an older Macbook if you really want Firewire. Or dump your firewire devices.

So, if you really want *NEW* which is what all the Apple FANBOYS seem to crave, then get used to Apple taking away features and keeping up the same higher price. Yup. Get used to it. You should be used to this by now.

crander

I do love mac and I love my Mac Mini, but the white macbook is not a netbook because it is too big to be at netbook. Netbooks are a form factor as well as a price point and an Air while an ultraportable, is too expensive and port limited.

There are new super-netbooks with Nvidia ION chipsets running Windows 7 that are really ultraportables with weak CPUs and strong GPUs (instead of the typical other way around).

I just bought the HP 311 Mini which has the same Nvidia graphics (WoW at 35 FPS) as a Macbook and similar specs otherwise except for an Atom processor sucking up less than 5 Watts instead of a Core 2 Duo taking much more power than that. Windows 7 is OK for me as well.

The price isn’t a big deal, a 12″ Macbook mini with ION work fine for me at $800-900. Its the 12″ and ~ 3 pounds I want.

If Apple is used to having crappy marketshare in PCs then I guess they can stay used to it and not embrace smaller cheaper systems.

Raiden

Actually Apple’s netbook is the iPhone/iPod Touch. Steve Jobs said in his September keynote that “the iPod Touch is a great portable computer”.

Janko

Wait … so the only real difference between an entry-level Macbook Pro and the new Macbook is Firewire, an SD card slot … and 200 bucks? That’s a pricey Firewire port right there.

Marl Crump

Backlit keyboard, up to 8 gig ram, glass trackpad, SD card, firewire.

Tom

Firewire is once again gone on the Macbook.

Still seems odd to me that Apple has basically one Macbook, while the Pro line has 6 configurations.

Adam

At what point are folks going to realize that Apple doesn’t lower the price on new model announcements?

Charles Jade

It’s not a new model. The 13″ unibody MacBook last year was a new model. When Apple updated it to be a MacBook Pro, they dropped the price. Next question?

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