Do Apple’s MacBook updates make it better deal than the MacBook Pro?

Posted on May 19, 2010


Apple sneaked in a few minor updates to the basic white polycarbonate $999 MacBook this morning–a move widely anticipated by the Internet rumor mill.

With slightly upgraded processor (still a Core 2 Duo) and a new version of Nvidia’s high-end integrated graphics, the differences between the non-Pro and Pro versions of Apple’s 13-inch laptops are slimmer than ever.

In fact, as neither system has discrete graphics, nor a CPU from Intel’s newer Core i5/i7 range, the main points of differentiation appear to be the plastic vs. metal chassis, 2GB vs 4GB of RAM, and the lack of an SD card slot on the $999 version.

The new $999 MacBook vs. the $1,199 MacBook Pro.

As they start at $999 and $1,199, respectively, we’re left with a slightly different landscape to ponder–is the newly updated basic MacBook a better deal than its “Pro” version cousin?

For your $200, you essentially get identical components, but also an extra 2GB of RAM, an SD card slot, and an aluminum unibody chassis (the plastic version also has a unibody design these days), but not a bigger hard drive, faster processor, or too many other major bells and whistles. Worth noting, however, is that the Pro models all have backlit keyboards these days (and a IEEE 1394 port, but those are becoming increasingly rare in laptops).

Would you fork over an additional $200 for these extras? Or is the $999 MacBook now the best deal Apple offers? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Read our review of the Spring 2010 13-inch MacBook Pro.

By Dan Ackerman

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Posted in: GETGIT