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.