2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Apple takes inspiration from MacBook Pro for updated MacBook

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October 21, 2009

Apple's updated MacBook with unibody enclosure, LED-backlit display and glass multi-touch ...

Apple's updated MacBook with unibody enclosure, LED-backlit display and glass multi-touch trackpad

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Apple’s new MacBook update finds the notebook borrowing a few things from its bigger brother. Like the MacBook Pro, the new MacBook features a unibody enclosure, albeit polycarbonate instead of aluminum, an LED-backlit display, a glass multi-touch trackpad, and a built-in battery designed to deliver up to seven hours of battery life.

Its unibody construction gives the new MacBook a sturdier feel than previous plastic models, and Apple has also added a non-skid soft-touch rubber covering to the bottom of the unit to stop it sliding every which way when sitting on one's lap. Not only does the unibody enclosure provide a more durable MacBook, it is also lighter, weighing in at 4.7lbs (2.1kg) compared to the previous model’s 5.1lbs. And unlike the MacBook Pro’s edge-to-edge glass display, the 13.3-inch LED-backlit 1280 x 800 resolution glossy screen is set inside a plastic bezel.

The unibody enclosure means replacing the battery will most likely mean a trip to an Apple authorized repairer, but Apple claims the built-in battery has a lifetime nearly three times that of conventional notebook batteries with its ability to last up to 1,000 recharge cycles.

The new MacBook also sports some pretty nice spec bumps, with a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics. However, the same can’t be said for the ports, with the notable absence of a FireWire port, SD card slot or dedicated line-in jack. Instead, users will have to make do with two USB ports, combined audio line-in/out port, Mini DisplayPort and Gigabit Ethernet port.

Technical specifications
  • 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1280 x 800 glossy display;
  • 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB shared L2 cache;
  • 1066MHz front-side bus;
  • 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 4GB;
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics;
  • 250GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
  • a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
  • Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately);
  • built-in AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • Gigabit Ethernet port;
  • built-in iSight video camera;
  • two USB 2.0 ports;
  • one audio line in/out port, supporting optical digital out and analog in/out;
  • glass Multi-Touch trackpad;
  • built-in, 60WHr lithium polymer battery; and
  • 60W MagSafe Power Adapter

The standard model MacBook is available from Apple now for US$999, but that can be increased with a number of build-to-order options including the ability to upgrade to 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, or 320GB 5400rpm, 500GB 5400rpm hard drive.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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