Apple MacBook Late 2009
Plastic phoenix rises
Review Just a year ago, in October 2008, it looked like the white plastic-cased MacBook was headed for the scrap heap. Apple had just introduced a new and more expensive model sculpted out of aluminium, and although the plastic version was kept on sale to provide a less-expensive option for the budget-conscious education market, it was obvious then that Apple was preparing to put it out to pasture.
Apple's latest MacBook: overhauled at last
Information about the White model was buried in the depths of Apple’s website, and a minor upgrade in January 2009 didn’t even merit the acknowledgement of a formal announcement from Apple HQ.
And then the global economy went completely off the rails, and the finger-smudged livery of the white MacBook rose from the ashes of recession like a cut-price plastic phoenix. Its aluminium sibling was booted upstairs to become part of the MacBook Pro range, leaving it to lead the charge for consumers' cash. And, lo, Apple’s laptop sales did boom miraculously despite the downturn.
And now, as a reward for its efforts, the humble MacBook has been granted a full-scale overhaul. It’s still made out of that distinctive white plastic – or "durable polycarbonate" as Apple calls it – but just about every aspect of the unit has been tweaked and updated. The right-angled edges of previous models now curve convexly on all sides, giving it a more streamlined appearance.
The new model is marginally lighter then the previous one – 59g, to be precise – but we were surprised to see that it’s actually about a centimetre wider and deeper front to back than its predecessor. It actually feels even bigger than those numbers suggest. There's no change to its thickness - 27.4mm - though.
No thicker than its predecessor, the new MacBook is however wider and deeper
However, the redesign achieves the desired effect, which is to give a face-lift to a design that hadn’t changed for several years.
Well, well, you learn something new every day! Apparently it's usually referred to as a Mini-TOSlink connector. Clever! However the manual for the Late 2009 MacBook on the Apple website doesn't actually mention the optical capability, though it does say it can be used to connect to digital audio equipment.
@ Paul Durrant
> The 13" MacBook pro is just much better value. That £100 extra gets you:
> * 250GB HD vs 160GB HD
Actually the 13" MBP has a smaller 160 GB hard drive, it's the polycarbonate unibody MacBook that has the bigger 250 GB HDD.
The more you know!
Specs and pricing
@Paul Durrant: actually for your extra £100 you get an SD slot, Firewire, a slightly smaller aluminium case, and a *smaller* hard drive.
The Pro model is actually the one with the 160Gb hard drive, and the standard Macbook has the 250Gb. Nothing sinister about this - it's just the Pro is a few months old, and they have nod adjusted the configuration as hard drives have got cheaper.
Similarly with the pricing. Apple tends to set local prices based on the exchange rate at the time a model is released, and then keep that price in local currency terms until they replace that model with a new one. Thus prices of products released at different times can have funny relationships to one another.
The new price undoubtedly has to do with the fall of the pound sterling. It's not worth as much as it used to be.
I do think it's a bit of a blunder to sell the Pro 13" for just 100 quid more. Then again, note how smart companies always make the "middle" level offering the most value for the money? It seems like this is what Apple is doing too. They really want you to spend those 100 extra, and they might very well succeed...
@ sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
I will buy your 1GB SODIMM's , will fit nicely in my mac mini
I dont suppose you want to buy my 4 x 512MB SODIMM's do you ?