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Apple ships new metal, glass MacBooks

updated 02:40 pm EDT, Tue October 14, 2008

New metal MacBooks

Apple is shipping a slate of new basic MacBooks, complementing its new MacBook Pros. The lowest-cost model has slid in price from $1,099 to $999, and retains a plastic casing, with no specially-backlit keyboard or display. More significant may be the company's new sub-range of MacBooks, which are being built in a similar fashion to the new MacBook Pros, and likewise use metal bodies, backlit keyboards, glass trackpads and LED screen backlighting.

Graphics are limited to NVIDIA's integrated 9400M chipset, but this is still said to be five times faster than in previous models. Battery life is rated at five hours, and all systems are equipped with a 13.3-inch LCD.

The metal models start with a $1,299 option, which uses a 2GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive, but leaves out the backlit keyboard. The $1,599 machine brings the lighting back, and shifts to a 2.4GHz CPU with a 250GB hard drive. Upgrade options should include up to 4GB of RAM, and a choice of a 320GB hard drive or a 128GB SSD. Critically, none of the new notebooks are equipped with FireWire ports.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +12

    FireWire Ports

    Where the "f" is the firewire port??! My 5 year old book has a firewire port! All of my back-up drives are firewire. Oh well, fast data transfer sucks anyway. Plus I like to spend more money on more stuff.

  1. simdude

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2004

    +4

    watch the video

    Check out the machining video on the apple.com/macbook site. For those that appreciate something well made instead of the lowest cost cheap c*** Dell puts together.

  1. rbsandka

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2002

    +15

    firewire

    as a support technician, i really am worried about the departure of firewire. it is rare if more than a few days pass without using firewire target disk mode. i guess new techniques will be developed to replace this tried and true method; but at the moment, i can't think of what they will be.

    just yesterday, i recovered a system that had crashed during a system update, by putting it into firewire target disk mode, hooking it up to another system, and running the combo update on the non-booting volume. worked great. like so many things related to firewire, it's almost like magic.

    i just can't believe that leaving firewire off is saving so much money that a cost-benefit analysis supports its departure.

  1. rtdunham

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Feb 2000

    +6

    erratum

    the article says "Critically, none of the new notebooks are equipped with FireWire port"

    i believe that's in error. it should have said, "none of the new MACbooks are equipped with f/w..."

  1. rtdunham

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Feb 2000

    -3

    erratum

    "Check out the machining video on the apple.com/macbook site. For those that appreciate something well made instead of the lowest cost cheap c*** Dell puts together."

    that would only be significant in the marketplace IF apple had been having problems with a reputation for poorly-built MBs and MBPs. That's not the case. So the market's not gonna care whether they're carved out of a brick of aluminum or made from spit and gum, figuratively speaking. The market's gonna say "what's the benefit?" the answer SEEMS to be a) stronger than what was already quite good enough; b) half a pound lighter, it appears from before and after specs.

    So the question's gonna be whether the market's gonna think the weight reduction justifies the extra cost. In this economy, i doubt it. I think apple's an innocent victim of an economy that turned after their new products were in development. I'd guess there are a lot of people at Cupertino saying, "oh, s***."

  1. darkelf

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003

    -1

    firewire

    the macbook pro still has a firewire 800 port. for technician work, the drive is really easy to pull, have an external drive case handy.

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007

    -2

    Chill out

    There is a simple way to connect FW400 to a FW800 port using a cheap conversion cable.

  1. not_too_shabby

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2003

    +4

    old 2.1GHz, new 2.0GHz

    How come the white model is 2.1GHz and the new one 2.0GHz? Are the new ones running a different CPU?

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +1

    yeah

    a total non-event in my book.

  1. bhuot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003

    +3

    getting one next month

    I am going to get one next month to replace my aging PowerPC Mac Mini.

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