As expected Apple decided to refresh this autumn its iMac computers, the MacBook, the Mac mini, and to release or refresh a few other products including the Time Capsule – TB, the Apple Remote and the Apple Magic Mouse. The new MacBook is certainly familiar in design and hardware with the old one. However, it still sports important differences, such as the unibody case, better processor, faster (because of the DDR3 memory), and with a built in 7 hour battery. At a first glance, it would be almost impossible to spot a difference between them.
Even so, when you take a closer look you will see how excellent the design of the new MacBook is. Basically you get the same shape (or form factor) like the MacBook Pro aluminum unibody 13 inches. There are no straight angles, no sharp edges. Certainly the new MacBook was redesigned to provide the best computer experience possible. The lid is made out of glossy white plastic. You can easily imagine how easy it is to get scratches on this laptop, or fingerprints. Between fingerprints and scratches, I believe scratches are more unpleasant, since the glossy white plastic will cover the fingerprints pretty good when not under direct sunlight. However the sides of this laptop are made out of a matte plastic, which feels very nice at touch, and looks like it is designed for the MacBook. Inside, you get a certain shock.
Instead of getting a patterned surface, Apple added the same glossy white plastic. This move implies so many disadvantages. Imagine you work intensively for at least one hour on your MacBook. When you will take your hands away from the keyboard or touch pad, you will have to unstick your hands from the glossy plastic. Rather disturbing, or maybe Apple is trying to send the message that MacBook is not for intense work. This being said, the practicability of the new MacBook design is yet to be determined in time.
For the time being, the new MacBook looks really good. Even more, the build quality is remarkable. The unibody (even in plastic) is a true work of art. You get no flex or weird noises when handling the MacBook. Even more, any users (no matter how moody) will get to the same conclusion regarding the design; it is flawless, at least. This new laptops has a height of 1.08 inches (or 2.74 cm not varying by any means), wide of 13 inches (or 33.03 cm), deep of 9.12 inches (or 23.17 cm), the new unibody MacBook weights about 4.7 pounds (or 2.13 Kg).
Therefore, Apple really made this laptop computer, almost too portable, biting out of MacBook Air. On the front and back side of the new MacBook Apple didn’t include anything. The reason why the back side might be plain is because the display works like a hinge when opened. However, you can find on the right side the Super Drive slot (because this DVD drive doesn’t open, it is built in – like many other features, such as the battery). The 8x slot loading Super Drive is compatible with several disc formats, including CD – RW, DVD + RW, DVD – RW, DVD + R double layer, DVD – R double layer, and many other more (it can read more disc format files than write on them).
On the left side you get several ports and slots (the basic elements) the MagSafe power, the audio in and out, the Kensington lock slot, the Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0, and the Mini Display Port. Basically, Apple only added the bare minimum in terms of ports, to connect a keyboard, a mouse, your iPhone and iPod, to connect the MacBook to an Apple branded LCD display. However, MacBook had never included more than the base connection package. Once you open the white new MacBook you will find a small keyboard. By far it can be considered a full keyboard, but it will have to do.
The keys are also made of white material, well sized and with a good space between them. You get no flex when using the keys and the feedback is more than enough. The only under sized keys are the navigational arrows, and the empowering keys. In time any non MacBook user will learn how to operate this laptop within full potential. Under the keyboard you can find the touch pad. However, this is a multi touch track pad. First of all it is located in the center below the keyboard. This means you mind find the whole writing process on the MacBook a little strange, since every laptop on the market has a touch pad deviation.
Basically this multi touch track pad will enable a whole new way for you to interact with your MacBook. There are at least six finger movement you should know before opening the MacBook, the one finger click works exactly how it sounds (just click wherever you want on the track pad – consider it to be a button), the right click works in two ways, you either click to finger anywhere on the track pad or click in the right corner of the track pad, the scroll feature (just slide two fingers up or down the track pad), pinch (used to zoom either photos or web pages), swipe (to move within a gallery, or between the tabs in the navigational browser – swipe three fingers to make it work), and the rotate feature (just make a semi-circle on the track pad, and it will rotate a photo or a PDF).
Apple included within this new MacBook model a 13 inches LED backlight glossy display, capable of rendering up to 16 million colors. The good part of this display is that it support more resolutions than you might actually think, 720 x 480 pixels within 3 to 2 aspect ratio, 800 x 600 pixels and 640 x 480 pixels within the 4 to 3 aspect ratio, 1024 x 768 with the 4:3 aspect ratio, while in the 16 to 10 aspect ratio you get 640 x 480 pixels, 720 x 480 pixels, 800 x 500 pixels, 800 x 600 pixels, 1024 x 640 pixels, 1024 x 768 pixels, 1152 x 720 pixels, and the native resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.
The bad part of this display is that it features a glossy look. Therefore, the display will offer almost no brightness under direct sunlight. The connectivity department is medium assured, by the built in AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi with 802.11n profile, compatible with 802.11 a/b/g, the built in Bluetooth 2.1 with the enhanced data rate, and the RJ 45 – 10 Base T / 100 Base T / 1000 Base T Gigabit Ethernet. The audio department is only featured by built in stereo speakers with no special surround sound, or bass. Apple added in the new version of MacBook a starting processor of 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3 MB, L2 cache, 1066 MHz FSB, only 2 GB SDRAM, but sporting the latest 1066 MHz DDR3 technology (expandable to 4 GB), the 250 GB hard drive with 5400 rotations per minute, and the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphic chipset with 256 MB DDR3 SDRAM. The built in battery (Lithium Ion battery) should provide up to 7 hours wireless productivity, with almost 1000 recharges.
Even if Apple insists, that this battery will last you for five years, I don’t really agree with the built in batteries. It is not only unusual, but also frustrating to ship your laptop in service only to change a battery. The new MacBook is shipped with the latest Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard including some important applications and the iLife 2009. The base model, presented above has an asking price of $999, and includes in the retail package 60W MagSafe Power Adapter, the charger, the power cord, the DVD software, and documentations. As expected the new MacBook sports a few new features within a better design.
However, the starting price of $999 is still too much, since you can find better products on the market with the highest version reaching the $999 price tag. Therefore, once again Apple is trying to convince its customers that its products worth more than the rest of the devices on the market. At the end of the day, it is every customer’s choice whether the new MacBook is worthy or not.