MacBook PROS: new features over the MBP

Summary:Yesterday Apple announced the long-awaited iBook successor, the MacBook and there are a couple of things worth noting between it and the MacBook Pro.

Yesterday Apple announced the long-awaited iBook successor, the MacBook and there are a couple of things worth noting between it and the MacBook Pro.

Video: The MacBook uses Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950 with 64MB of shared video memory versus the MacBook Pro's dedicated ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 (running on the PCI Express bus.) The MacBook isn't going to be a screaming game machine, nor will it be chosen by high-end graphic or video professionals. These users will chose the MacBook Pro just for the video processor.

Color: The high-end MacBook is the first Apple notebook available in black since the PowerBook G3 Pismo was released in 2001. Some people will complain about the black case only being available in the high-end model - most likely to eliminate inventory problems, and the fact that it fetches a US$150 premium, but that's just product differentiation. I'm most worried about it scratching, let's hope that Apple learned from the iPod nano fiasco.

Weight: The MacBook weighs in at 5.2 pounds which is almost exactly where it should be. Here's a breakdown of recent Apple notebook weights:

    PowerBook G4 12-inch    4.6 lbs
    MacBook 13.3-inch      5.2
    iBook 12-inch                  4.9
    iBook 14-inch                  5.9
    MacBook Pro 15-inch       5.6
    MacBook Pro 17-inch       6.8
Memory: The MacBook ships with 512MB of RAM in two 256MB SO-DIMMs, which means that if you want to upgrade to 1GB of RAM, you'll need to remove both chips and replace them with two 512MB SO-DIMMs.

Hard drive bay
: The MacBook sports a user-accessible hard drive via the battery bay. The MacBook Pro requires opening the case (a non-trivial task) to access the HDD.

Battery Life: The MacBook's 55 Watt Hour battery is spec'd to run for "up to 6 hours," while the MacBook Pro's 60 Watt Hour battery is spec'd to run "up to 4.5 hours." Four and three hours respectively, is probably a lot closer to reality.

Keyboard: The MacBook sports an entirely new keyboard that is not backlit. It looks pretty futuristic from the pictures.

(Photo Courtesy: Apple Insider)

What do you like/dislike about the new MacBook? 

Topics: Hardware


Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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