MacBook Finally Arrives
No not the MacBook Pro, just the MacBook. This will be the iBook replacement and boy is it looking good. Thinner than the old iBook (the MacBook is 1.08 inches thin) and featuring a 13.3 inch display with 1280x800 resolution, iSight, Front Row, MagSafe and the Intel Core Duo processor - the new MacBook is pretty much the MacBook Pro's little brother. Except for one thing; if you opt for the high-end model, it comes in black.
There are three basic configurations at these prices: 1099, 1299 and 1499. Unfortunately they won't be offering any sub-1000 notebook solutions as people had expected, but rumors had slated the MacBook to only have a Core Solo. Each configuration comes with 512MB of DDR2-667 RAM, Bluetooth, Airport and all of the same ports: Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 400, USB 2.0, Audio In/Out, MagSafe and something, new Mini-DVI out. The 1099 model is white and has a 60GB, 5400RPM SATA hard drive and a 1.83GHz Core Duo processor while the 1299 also has the 60GB hard drive but comes with a 2.0GHz Core Duo. The high-end model features an 80GB hard drive and the same amenities as the 1299 model, except that it is black.
The fact that only the high-end model is black is going to upset a lot of people. Some will want a high-end white MacBook and others will have the urge to pickup a low-end black MacBook. While it is completely reasonable why Apple did this, for logistics purposes, some effort should have been made to please everyone - perhaps a small fee to get the color of your choice at least.
The old iBook had a wimpy 1024x768 resolution. My current laptop has this and getting any real work done on it is a pain. To remedy this, Apple fitted the MacBook with a widescreen, 13.3 inch glossy display. While I have yet to see this in person, I can attest that it will be brighter and easier to read that the iBook's display. This is all great news, because with the integrated iSight and Front Row (remote included), the MacBook is now a mobile media machine. Software-wise, every MacBook comes to the ball game with a copy of OS X Tiger and iLife '06 that makes the MacBook a blogging, podcasting, do-everything-out-of-the-box computer as advertised.
If you scope around the MacBook wireless page you will find a little blurb stating that the MacBook has a 6 hour battery life (2.5 hours with DVD playback and 3.5 hours with Wi-Fi enabled). Six hours sounds appealing but for most users it will likely be around 3 hours with medium brightness, Wi-Fi and maybe iTunes playing something. However, that is still decent - much better than the 90 minutes on my Inspiron 300m's regular battery.
Take a look at some hi-res pictures of the MacBook courtesy of Apple Insider or from the Apple PR department. You can also read MacWorld's first impressions of the MacBook here.