Review Index:

Apple 13-in MacBook Review - A Pro in disguise?

Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Apple


Not every Apple product is greeted by trumpets and confetti when it is redesigned or refreshed. Take the new MacBook as an example. Although upgraded in late May 2010 with specifications matching its cousin, the MacBook Pro, the MacBook’s refresh was mentioned only in passing by a handful of news sites. Otherwise, this hardware update has gathered little attention.
Although the specifications only match those of the 13 inch MacBook Pro, they are a significant improvement over what was previously available. The processor has been upgraded from a 2.26Ghz Core 2 Duo to a 2.4Ghz model. The integrated graphics have been upgraded to the nVidia 320M, a huge boost over the aging nVidia 9400M. The battery is also different, and promises life of up to ten hours. The MacBook still has only 2GB of RAM standard, however – a meager amount for a $1000 laptop in today’s market.  The hard drive is an unremarkable 250GB drive that spins at 5,400 RPM. 
With that said, this is only a refresh, so most other elements remain the same. The MacBook still retains its white polycarbonate casing. It is interesting to note that the MacBook is now the last representative of Apple’s old design aesthetic of white, almost clinically clean design. Every other computer in Apple’s line, both laptop and desktop, has moved on to the new design language of silver aluminum accented by silver aluminum. 
Despite the difference in materials, the MacBook essentially has the same physical specifications as the MacBook Pro. The display size is 13.3 inches, and unlike most PC laptops, the MacBook still has a display aspect ratio of 16:10. The MacBook is 1.08 inches thin and weighs about 4.7 pounds. That is towards the heavy side for a laptop of this size, although it still isn’t enough to become cumbersome if you carry it in a backpack. 

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