MacBook design redefined

Alison Young
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October 24, 2008
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I’ve been keeping my eyes open for the last few months knowing it would happen soon ... and finally last week Apple unveiled its new line of MacBooks.As soon as I knew they were on the shelves, I headed to the mall to take a look.

I was drawn immediately to the lower pricing and the smooth-looking aluminum enclosures. In fact, each MacBook enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy-efficient LED-back-lit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. It’s good to know the MacBook family meets the stringent Energy Star 4.0 requirements, contains no brominated flame retardants and uses internal cables and components that are PVC-free.

“Apple has invented a whole new way of building notebooks from a single block of aluminum,” says Steve Jobs,Apple’s CEO.“And, just as important, they are the industry’s greenest notebooks. The new MacBooks offer incredible features our users will love - like their stunning all-metal design, great 3D graphics and LED backlit displays - at prices up to $700 less than before.”

“Traditionally notebooks are made from multiple parts.With the new MacBook, we’ve replaced all of those parts with just one part - the unibody,” says Jonathan Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of industrial design.“The MacBook’s unibody enclosure is made from a single block of aluminum, making the new MacBook fundamentally thinner, stronger and more robust with a fit and finish that we’ve never even dreamed of before.”

The MacBook line features the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M,a new 3D integrated graphics processor that features 16 parallel processing cores and delivers up to five times the 3D graphics performance of previous MacBook and MacBook Air designs. The smooth glass multi-touch track-pad (you have to use four fingers) gives you 40 percent more tracking area than before, making pinching, rotating and swiping easier.

You also can use your fingers to activate Exposé or switch between applications, since the entire track-pad is a button you can push. This makes it easy to enable multiple virtual buttons in your software (i.e. right-clicking).

Each MacBook comes pre-loaded with Leopard and iLife 08. The main difference between the MacBook and MacBook Pro is the physical size. The MacBook is the 13-inch version, the MacBook Pro is the 15-inch version with a little more horsepower,and the MacBook Air is the thinnest, lightest, most-portable one of the three. Here are the basic specifics on all:

* $1,299 MacBook, 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 13.3-inch screen 2GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (expandable to 4GB) 160GB hard drive (5400 rpm serial ATA with Sudden Motion Sensor)

* $1,599 MacBook, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo,13.3-inch screen 2GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (expandable to 4GB) 250GB hard drive (5400 rpm serial ATA with Sudden Motion Sensor)

* $1,999 MacBook Pro, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 15.4-inch screen 2GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (expandable to 4GB) 250GB hard drive (5400 rpm serial ATA with Sudden Motion Sensor)

* $2,499 MacBook Pro, 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 15.4-inch screen 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM 320GB hard drive (5400 rpm serial ATA with Sudden Motion Sensor)

* $2,799 MacBook Pro, 2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 17-inch screen 4GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM 320GB hard drive (5400 rpm serial ATA with Sudden Motion Sensor)

* $1,799 MacBook Air, 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 13.3-inch screen 2GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM 120GB hard drive (4200 rpm serial ATA with Sudden Motion Sensor)

* $2,499 MacBook Air, 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 13.3-inch screen 2GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM 128GB solid state drive

In addition, to complement the MacBook lineup we have Apple’s LED 24-inch LED

Cinema Display. It’s designed specifically for the new MacBook family and has a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution and uses the same LED-backlit technology that the MacBook family has. It comes with a built-in iSight video camera, microphone and speakers in a very elegant, thin aluminum glass enclosure. Since the MagSafe charger, three USB 2.0 ports and the new Mini DisplayPort are at your easy disposal, connecting and charging your notebook to it is painless.I saw this thing for myself,and I was thoroughly impressed with its brilliant display and other features. I say I “need” this too - at the cost of $899.

The MacBook Airs will be available for purchase in November,and you can find the rest of the MacBooks with the 24-inch LED Cinema Display now at Mac Made Easy in Kailua (www.maceasy.com) or your nearest Apple Store. Note Mac Made Easy will open a new store in Hilo next month, and another one on Kauai next spring. Additionally, a new Apple Store opened recently in Waikiki.

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