Well, the rumors were right on target -- new MacBook and MacBook Pros are finally here! Unlike the very minor updates in November, this refresh features across the board speed bumps, bigger hard drives, more stock RAM and for the MacBook Pro, a few new features sure to make every Apple fan's mouth water. Both lines are now featuring the new Penryn Core 2 Duo chipset, with the higher end MacBook Pro models taking advantage of a spectacular 6MB of L2 cache.
The price configuration is the same same (starting at $1099 US for the non-Super Drive white base model, $1499 for the BlackBook), but the base features have received a nice upgrade. The significant changes:
- Processor speeds now start at 2.1 GHz for the base model, 2.4 GHz for the $1299 and $1499 models
- 120 GB drive is standard for the base level MacBook, 160 GB for the $1299 MacBook and a whopping 250 GB drive for the BlackBook. All drives are 5400 RPM
- 2 GB RAM standard for all but entry-level MacBooks (that remains at 1 GB)
- Processor speeds now start at 2.4 GHz, and are available up to 2.6 GHz (2.5 GHz is standard for the 17"); the new 2.5 GHz chip has 6 MB of L2 cache
- The MBP 17" now has an LED backlit screen option
- 200 GB is the starting HD size (this is up from 120 GB in the last revision), 250 GB standard for the upper 15" and 17" models. A 300 GB drive is available BTO, as is a 7200 rpm 200 GB drive
- NVidia 8600GT now starts at 256 MB of VRAM -- 512 for the higher end 15" and stock 17"
- Multi-touch trackpad a la the Air.
All in all, some very nice updates -- particularly for the MacBook. The basic specs for the BlackBook and entry-level MacBook Pro are so similar, I have to think the MacBook is the better deal for anyone who doesn't need the dedicated graphics card.
The Apple Remote is no longer included in the box. That's right, you know have to spend an extra $19, for what I think is one of the most convenient Mac accessories. With $18 billion in cash, you'd think they could throw in something that we all know probably costs $0.30 to make. Oh well.