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Apple's new MacBooks are here

by on15 October 2008


Most of the rumors proved to be true

Apple has launched two new MacBook models, the 13.3-inch MacBook in aluminium and the new 15.4-inch MacBook Pro, and although a lot of the leaks proved to be true, there were still enough surprises at the launch event that didn't slip out ahead of time.

The bad news is that there won't be an $899 product, but rather Apple is keeping the old white plastic MacBook as its entry level product without any hardware changes, although the price was dropped to $999 (€949/£719). Some people might be disapointed to know that Apple didn't include Blu-ray support due to various reasons and that the 17-inch MacBook Pro didn't get a major overhaul.

The rumor about Apple going with Nvidia chipsets was indeed true and both the MacBook and MacBook Pro as well as the MacBook Air will use the Geforce 9400M chipset, which is a single chip solution with DDR3 memory support. The MacBook Pro also gets a Geforce 9600GT GPU and you can switch between the two, although you have to log off to switch modes. The battery life takes a hit of about an hour using the discrete card over the integrated GPU.

A related feature that struck us as interesting is the fact that Apple upgraded the display connector on all three models to include a mini DisplayPort connector. These are the first systems we're aware of to feature this connector, although this could be a potential issue, as we're not aware of any mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapters, but we're sure they'll turn up sooner or later. Apple offers mini DisplayPort to DVI, dual DVI and D-sub adapters as a cost option.

The MacBook will be available in two SKUs, one with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo CPU with 3MB of L2 cache and a 1,066MHz FSB with 2GB of DDR3 1,066MHz memory, which is made up of two 1GB SO-DIMMs and finally a 5,400RPM 160GB SATA hard drive, all for US$1,299 (€1,199/£949). The faster model will have a 2.4GHz CPU, a 250GB hard drive and a backlit keyboard, while the rest of the specs remain the same. You have to fork out US$1,599 (€1,499/£1,149) for the faster model. The new MacBooks will have an LED backlit display, unlike the older model that relies on CCFLs.

The MacBook Pro will also come in two SKUs, starting at US$1,999 (€1,799/£1,399) for a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo CPU with 3MB L2 cache and a 1,066MHz FSB with 2GB of 1,066MHz DDR3 memory, a 250GB hard drive and 256MB of GDDR3 graphics memory for the Geforce 9600GT. The more expensive US$2,499 (€2,249/£1,749) model gets a slightly faster CPU at 2.53GHz with 6MB of L2 cache, 4GB of DDR3 1,066MHz memory, a 320GB hard drive and 512MB of GDDR3 graphics memory. The battery and the hard drive are accessible via a removable cover at the bottom of the notebook.

Finally, the MacBook Air got upgraded with a 120GB hard drive, or a 128GB SDD drive, which is also available as an option for the MacBook Pro. The new MacBook Air models will set you back US$1,799 (€1,699/£1,299) or US$2,499 (€2,299/£1,799).

For full specifications of the new models we suggest you head over to Apple
Last modified on 16 October 2008
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