The MacBook chasm expands

Summary:Apple's announcement of the new Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro did more than raise the performance bar for their portables. The addition of the new, faster Intel chip only in the Pro model serves as a key differentiating factor between the consumer MacBook and the professional MacBook Pro.

The great MacBook divide

Apple's announcement of the new Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro did more than raise the performance bar for their portables. The addition of the new, faster Intel chip in only the Pro model serves as a key differentiating factor between the consumer MacBook and the professional MacBook Pro.

Prior to the announcement of the Core 2 Duo, the MacBook easily had the best price/performance ratio of any Mac in history. For US$1100 you get a screaming Intel-based Mac portable. The only advantages in the twice-as-expensive MacBook Pro were a larger screen (15.4 v. 13.3-inches), a dedicated video card (which drives 30-inch displays), an ExpressCard/34 slot and the Aluminum skin.

Now that the Core 2 Duo is shipping in the MacBook Pro the gap between the two portables has widened considerably. For about an extra US$1,000 MacBook Pro buyers get a Core 2 Duo (with 4MB of L2 cache), FireWire 800, a 6x (or 8x) double-layer SuperDrive, up to 3GB RAM and up to a 200GB hard drive. Pretty impressive.

I have to admit to feeling slightly burned buying the first-generation MacBook Pro after the MacBook came out - there just wasn't enough of a difference in features to justify the price of the Pro model.

Apple's upgrade of the MacBook Pro to Core 2 Duo is exactly what the product line needed and is certain to make the decision to buy a MacBook much more difficult. 

Topics: Apple

About

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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