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
10/100/1000 Ethernet
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
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  • ioannis - Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - link

    Anand, if you are reading this, is it possible to test an anti-glare film with those screens? It might be the only solution for us that can't stand the glare

  • Piyono - Friday, October 17, 2008 - link

    I just saw the October 2008 MacBook and could barely contain my excitement. I felt compelled to write in to let you know how eager I am to upgrade to the Firewire-enabled model which I imagine will succeed this one. I'm warmed by the thought that countless thousands of people won't have to shell out for the Pro model just to continue feeling validated in their decision to invest in Firewire audio interfaces, video cameras, hard drives and so forth. Your commitment to maintaining thriving, modern standards is noted and appreciated.

    See you at refresh time!


  • radguy - Friday, October 17, 2008 - link

    Apple is trying to promote this with.

    Solid aluminum construction "precision aluminum unibody enclosure
    New display "LED-backlit display
    New gpu "next generation graphics"
    No click with trackpad "Multi-touch glass trackpad"
    "Mini Display port connector"
    "Environmentally responsible"
    "very fast memory"

    When was the problem with notebooks structual yeah its cool but how much is this costing me?
    New display: nice but not really that big on glass
    New gpu is good
    No click trackpad. Haven't used it cant tell.
    Mind Display terrible idea unless it comes with converter free and doesn't so TERRIBLE
    enviromentally responsible - nice but not going into the enviromental debate

    Very fast memory- last time i checked ddr3 1066 was totally alot faster than ddr2 800. especially when it came to notebooks.

    So were are we at. Apple this is a heart to heart. Its really cool but I wanted

    better gpu
    blu ray
    1440x900 option on the 13inch
    better battery
    less weight
    lower price

    all in my next notebook. You got the gpu and that was it. To bad you hiked up the price. Wont be going apple on the notebook anytime soon.

  • Griswold - Friday, October 17, 2008 - link

    "When was the problem with notebooks structual yeah its cool but how much is this costing me?"

    It may be the $200 (or most of it) people are complaining about. :)

    At any rate, milling the base from an aluminum block is definitely the more expensive way of doing it. I'm not quite sure why they did it either.. it must be the "coolness" factor they're betting on...
  • charliept - Thursday, October 16, 2008 - link

    It almost looks like a downgrade.

    No FW400?
    No HDMI?
    No E-SATA?
    No Blu-Ray?
    No matte display option?
    The same 2 USB ports?
    DisplayPort but no adapters included???

    In one word only: disappointment!
  • Azsen - Thursday, October 16, 2008 - link

    Can you install Vista on it and do everything as normal ie play games etc?
  • illdefined - Thursday, October 16, 2008 - link

    hasn't the Air's disc interface been upgraded?

    what kind of improvements would that bring, more importantly, is there a user-way to put an Intel SSD in there??
  • Zak - Thursday, October 16, 2008 - link

    Yeah, the decision to kill FW is unforgivable indeed. I like to be able to plug in any portable FW drive without having to worry about insufficient power. I often clone two external FW drives by daisy-chaining them. And then there is the FW Target Disk Mode. And not enough USB ports and poor battery life? I don't know WTF is wrong with Apple, but they seem to be going back to their old ways... Without FireWire and Target Disk Mode Apple laptops have a lot less appeal to me:(

  • Syzygies - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    With the loss of the FireWire port, MacBooks have lost the capacity to attach multiple external hard drives, period.

    One cannot connect multiple high-bandwidth devices to a USB port. Even Apple's own technical notes warn this leads to trouble. I'd be happy if Apple had introduced eSATA connections, but it simply dropped any option for multiple external hard drives. That makes the MacBook a toy. I'm waiting a generation. I'd step up to a MacBook Pro _if_ they ever make one small enough... Alas.
  • SirKronan - Thursday, October 16, 2008 - link

    Yeah. They've really screwed the pooch on this one. Taking the firewire away is unforgivable. Best Buy and other electronics stores have lined the shelves with new firewire 400 and even 800 external drives that have "MAC" stamped all over them. Now only the "elite" pro owners well be able to buy and utilize these new drives. Why will basic Macbook users spend extra to get firewire when they can't even benefit from it? They will buy cheaper (and inferior) USB drives. Or they will buy cheaper (and superior) Windows-based laptops that HAVE firewire or eSATA.

    And this is freaking 2008. What the elf is Crapple thinking not putting eSATA on there ...

    Apple = "teh suck"

    (and this is coming from an Apple fan with three iPods and a Macbook. I've also owned an iMac and I do a TON of photo and video editing ... Mac's really losing their competitive edge. "Pretty" isn't going to sell to people who still need functionality.)

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