Apple Released MacBook, Starting from AUD$1,749

Apple MacBook Apple Store was off-line when I was browsing it. Then it came back on-line. Wow!

Apple MacBook

Finally it is out. The replacement for the aging iBook G4.

Here's some highlights:

  • Comes in both white and black. Is Black the new Apple White?
  • 1.83Ghz or 2.0Ghz Intel Core Duo, i.e. fast.
  • Up to 2x SO-DIMMs DDR2, 2Gb maximum. iBook only has one memory expension slot.
  • 60Gb or 80Gb 5,400RPM drive. Up to 120Gb optional.
  • Slot loading combo or 4x dual layer super drive.
  • 13" LCD at 1280x800 native resolution. Nice.
  • Intel GMA 950 graphics processor 64Mb shared with main memory. What happened to the good old Radeon?
  • DVI with extended desktop. Something you can't do on iBook without a hack.
  • Gigabit ethernet / 802.11g Air Port Extreme / Bluetooth 2.0 -- very well connected.
  • 1x Firewire 400 + 2x USB 2.
  • Digital/analog line in and digital line out/headphone out. Again better than iBook's headphone output.
  • MagSafe power adapter! No more trip over and "oh my Mac!!"
  • Built in iSight camera at 640x480 resolution.
  • Bundled with Apple Remote
  • Mac OS X 10.4
  • 2.36kg, which is a bit heavier than iBook G4 12", but lighter than the old 14"

Apple MacBook Black

It is in fact a very impressive list which is far better than the old iBook G4 that it is replacing. It is faster (up to 5x faster according to Apple), better video (DVI + extended desktop), better audio, better connectivity, better peripherals (remote + iSight). And yes -- it comes in Black as well, which makes perfect match to your U2 edition iPod.

And it is how Apple advertised it:

Introducing the superfast, blogging, podcasting, do-everything-out-of-the-box MacBook.

Clearly demonstrated whom Apple is trying to market to. Wanna be hip? Get that MacBook!

At the same time, it is a bit more expensive. These prices are from Apple Store Australia:

13" White 1.83Ghz 13" White 2.0Ghz 13" Black 2.0Ghz
1.83Ghz Core Duo 2.0Ghz Core Duo 2.0Ghz Core Duo
60Gb hard drive 60Gb hard drive 80Gb hard drive
Combo drive Super drive Super drive
$1,749 $2,099 $2,399

Not sure why the black 2.0Ghz with 80Gb hard disk is $300 more expensive than the white equivalent with 20Gb less storage, but I guess someone will pay for the privilege for having a different colour. I think the price, especially the base 1.86Ghz model, is quite fair, in comparison with the old iBook G4 -- MacBook is a much bigger package, and it probably does more than the old PowerBook 12" but just in the more durable plastic enclosure.

Man. I have just noticed that it has been 3 years since I bought my iBook G3 900Mhz (which I still remembered how excited I was). It still runs fine (after the logic board is replaced), although Vivian is the person who is using it now. The Apple Care has just expired...

Maybe it is time to upgrade?