“The late 2008 MacBook is a fairly significant leap forward in terms of both functionality and industrial design. Shedding the white, plastic design like the iMac before it, the MacBook’s new aluminum unibody, upgraded graphics, and slightly raised price point make it clearer than ever that Apple has no intention of competing with mainstream PC notebooks. And the fact that it shares the MacBook Pro’s aesthetic design and other hardware features—like a backlit keyboard and a multi-touch, zero-button trackpad—also gives the new MacBook that “coming of age” feel,” David Chartier and Iljitsch van Beijnum report for Ars Technica.
“That said, the line between the MacBook and the MacBook Pro has become thinner or, at the least, it has shifted. While previous MacBook generations shared features with the MacBook Pro but fell behind with far more inferior displays, the new MacBook now lacks any FireWire whatsoever and has gained a much more color-rich (though still not-quite-Pro) display. Toss in a very appreciated shift to a more powerful NVIDIA graphics chipset that still lags behind its big bro, and the decision to spend the extra money may prove even more difficult now for some customers. Photoshop users on a budget, students, and photography enthusiasts can get by better than ever with a $1,299 MacBook. But people who need to work with recent, FireWire-enabled DV cameras can no longer consider a MacBook, and they will be forced to join those who aren’t willing to compromise on portable gaming in spending an extra $700,” Chartier and van Beijnum report.
“All things considered, the aluminum MacBook is a good upgrade, and the new unibody construction is a great choice that brings it in line with the professional aesthetic of the rest of Apple’s notebooks,” Chartier and van Beijnum report.
There’s much more in the full extensive review, including benchmarks, here.