The New MacBook: I Think I Might Like It

The new MacBook does a bit better, you don't give up too much but what you do get in return is pretty much what I've been asking for. The dimensions are basically the same, but we get a much thinner unit.

The LED backlit display fixes my biggest complaint with the MacBook, the screen should be on par with that of the MacBook Pro - finally.

Apple continues to put FireWire 400 on the chopping block, there's absolutely no FireWire support on the new MacBook. The GeForce 9400M + DDR3 combo also reduce power consumption, but Apple outfits the new MacBook with a smaller 45WHr battery.

You do pay for all of this, the updated configuration will run you $1299 up from $1099 (although you can still buy the entry level MacBook at $1099). The display alone is worth the $200 price premium honestly.

  New MacBook 2008 Penryn MacBook 2007 Merom MacBook
Dimensions H: 0.95"
W: 12.78"
D: 8.94"
H: 1.08"
W: 12.78"
D: 8.92"
H: 1.08"
W: 12.78"
D: 8.92"
Weight 4.5 lbs 5.0 lbs 5.0 lbs
Screen Size/Resolution 13.3" / 1280 x 800 (LED backlit) 13.3" / 1280 x 800 13.3" / 1280 x 800
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz or 2.4GHz (45nm Penryn, 1066MHz FSB) Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 - 2.4GHz (45nm Penryn, 800MHz FSB) Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 - 2.2GHz (65nm Merom)
GPU NVIDIA GeForce 9400M (256MB UMA) Intel GMA X3100
(144MB UMA)
Intel GMA X3100
(144MB UMA)
Memory 2GB - 4GB DDR3 1066 1GB - 4GB DDR2-667 1GB - 4GB DDR2-667
HDD 160GB - 320GB 2.5" 5400RPM SATA HDD
128GB SSD optional
120 - 250GB 2.5" 5400RPM SATA HDD 80 - 160GB 2.5" 5400RPM SATA HDD
Optical Drive Integrated SuperDrive Integrated Combo drive or SuperDrive Integrated Combo drive or SuperDrive
Networking 802.11a/b/g/n
10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11a/b/g/n
10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11a/b/g/n
10/100/1000 Ethernet
Built in iSight Yes Yes Yes
Inputs 2 x USB 2.0
1 x Audio in
1 x Integrated mic
2 x USB 2.0
1 x FireWire 400
1 x Audio in
1 x Integrated mic
2 x USB 2.0
1 x FireWire 400
1 x Audio in
1 x Integrated mic
Outputs 1 x Audio
1 x mini DisplayPort
1 x Audio
1 x mini-DVI
1 x Audio
1 x mini-DVI
Battery 45WHr 55WHr 55WHr
Price $1299 $1099 $1099
Index The New MacBook Air: Have your Cake and Eat it Too
POST A COMMENT

35 Comments

View All Comments

  • DCstewieG - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    The complaints about the glossy screen are incredibly overblown IMO. I (and many others I've found online) was of the opinion that the glossy screen is terrible. But early this year when I was buying my MacBook Pro, I read a lot online and then went to the store. I decided to go with the glossy screen and I love it. Unless you'll always be using your laptop with a light or window right behind you, you never really notice it.

    I would guess that most of the complaints you read online are from people who've never really used the glossy screen for a serious amount of time and just assume that this reflective finish must suck. But seriously, go see for yourself. What are you listening to people on the internet for? I know mine is beautiful.
    Reply
  • Griswold - Friday, October 17, 2008 - link

    "Unless you'll always be using your laptop with a light or window right behind you, you never really notice it. "

    You make no sense at all. A notebook is a portable device I want to use everywhere - also and especially outside my own house. Glossy screens are a failure there. Glossy screens can work just fine on a desktop system if the environment is right, but its as dumb as it can get for a notebook, because not everyone, like you, will use it on the same table in the same position every day. Period.

    Reply
  • code65536 - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    > Unless you'll always be using your laptop with a light
    > or window right behind you, you never really notice it.
    >
    That's like saying, "unless you find yourself using your laptop far away from a power supply for very long periods of time, 5 hours of battery life ought to be enough for anyone." Sure, that might apply in many cases, but I still want the flexibility and robustness of a matte screen so that when I do encounter adverse lighting, things still work fine.

    And I'm surprised at how many defenders of glossy use the "you must have never seen one before" line. Well, I used to have a glossy screen. And it was so unbearable that I actually went through the trouble (and it was a LOT of trouble) to get the screen replaced with a matte screen.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    Honestly, there's a lot more to an LCD than the glossy vs. matte discussion. In fact, I know Anand is happy to see the new specs, but I'm not convinced the new MacBook will actually have a display that's on par with the Pro - we'll see when he gets a chance to actually test it in person.

    One of my major complaints with laptop LCDs is contrast ratio and color gamut. I have yet to test anything that comes anywhere near the ASUS G2P I tested over two years ago, which still falls behind pretty much every single desktop LCD I've tested.

    I've got an LED backlit LCD right now that one might expect to perform well... but it doesn't. The contrast ratio is about 200:1, because the black level is about 1.0 nits. Sitting next to it is a non-LED laptop with a black level of around .25 nits, and let me tell you it makes a huge difference. I've tested LED lit laptops that do much better, and I've tested non-LED backlit laptops that do worse. Bottom line is that LCD panel technology still has a lot of variation.

    Maybe if I'm lucky, I can get Anand to send me a few Apple MacBooks for some quick LCD testing. I've always heard they're "better" than other models, but have never had a chance to sit down and run some objective tests to prove that. I think they even used to use S-IPS panels on some notebooks, but I'd be very surprised if they still do that - which is really a shame.
    Reply
  • marsbound2024 - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    This is a new glass screen... and Engadget is a pretty respectable site. http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2008...">http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com...8/10/app...

    And this is from Gizmodo: "The glossy screen is what it is, and is bright, fast to light up and a bit too reflective if you position it with the sun behind you (no matte option anymore)."

    But of course I'd be absolutely pleased if the glare isn't so bad. I just know that I'll be using my laptop for what laptops are intended for: mobility. I want to go anywhere... a cafe, a park, the deck, who knows. I am not afraid of the sunlight like many geeks are sometimes stereotypically portrayed, but I certainly don't want my laptop's glare to instill that fear.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now