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.