Apple has just updated their entry-level MacBook models to match the recent 13″ MacBook Pros in terms of speed, battery life, and graphics performance, whilst maintaining a fair-sounding USD$999 (SGD$1488) price point.
That money will get you a 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of memory, and a non-removable battery capacious enough to last 10 hours of typical use. That’s really the best feature here; five years ago you’d be happy to get three hours out of a low-end machine.
But if you upgrade a MacBook to have 4GB of RAM ($1648) and compare that to a 13″ MacBook Pro (with 4GB of RAM as standard, $1788), it looks like a much poorer deal. $1648 vs $1788, for a difference of $140.
Here’s what that $140 gets you:
- A sturdier aluminium body that’s slimmer all around and just a bit lighter
- The option of upgrading to a maximum of 8GB of RAM, instead of 4GB for the MacBook
- An illuminated keyboard that dims in response to ambient lighting conditions
- Firewire 800
- An SD card slot
- The appearance of not being a cheapskate/noob/student.