Summary: Apple's latest version of the popular $999 white MacBook gets an upscale makeover, while keeping the price the same. It's a strong alternative to the more expensive Pro line, if you can live without extras such as an SD card slot.
Pros: Sleek unibody design; LED display; big multitouch trackpad; long battery life.
Cons: Loses FireWire; no SD card slot; nonremovable battery.
Conclusion: With improved battery life and more graphics power, the Apple MacBook (Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz) is a nice value proposition for those who don't need the extras—like SD card slot, backlit keyboard, or aluminum design—offered by the MacBook Pro.
Pros: Bigger battery delivers longer life. Twice the graphics power of the previous MacBook. Unrivaled touchpad experience. Superior software bundle. Sturdy. Great design.
Cons: No SD slot. Skimped with 2GB starting memory configuration. Using last year's processor technology.
Ars Reviews the 2008 MacBook: weighing the Pros and cons
16 December 2008
Conclusion: Miscellaneous Tests We ran a few other tests to cover the gamut of tasks that users are likely to do on a MacBook. Converting a DVD to a QuickTime file, unzipping large archives, and compiling MySQL for some nerd cred should fill in some of the random blanks. These tests were performed on both the MacBook and MacBook Pro. The Handbrake test involved converting a feature-length DVD film with the recently-released Handbrake 0.93 .
Summary: Verdict: If you are willing to overlook its high price, Apple’s new MacBook is an awesome notebook purchase. It’s stylish, quick and very easy to work with.
Pros: Excellent finish, screen is a huge improvement over the older MacBook, fast as an application’s machine, ultra-responsive trackpad, finger gestures work well, stable, keyboard is great to work with.
Summary: Apple's redesigned 13-inch MacBook is essentially a shrunken version of the more expensive 15-inch Pro line. With its new aluminum body, new trackpad, and Nvidia graphics, it's an even more attractive choice for mainstream laptop buyers than was the plastic model it replaces.
Pros: New aluminum construction looks good, feels solid; giant touch pad; attractive edge-to-edge glass on display; improved integrated graphics; backlit keyboard on some models; thinner than previous version.
Cons: Still no ExpressCard or SD-card slot; loses FireWire port; all-clicking touch pad is a bit awkward, at least initially; $1,299 now gets you a slower CPU than it did before; no matte-screen option.