Apple has refreshed its MacBook model, incorporating a new faster 2.4GHz processor, and NVIDIA GeForce 320m graphics processor.

These changes bring it into line with recently released MacBook Pro model, and were initially rumoured by Macworld UK yesterday.

Apple is claiming that the new MacBook provides 80 per cent faster performance, largely due to the the improved graphics NVIDIA GeForce 320m graphics processor.

Like the NVIDIA 9400m graphics chip it replaces, the 320m shares its memory (256MB) from the main system RAM, rather than possessing the discrete graphics memory found on the NVIDIA 330m (used by the MacBook Pro).

Currently, Apple is the only manufacturer to be using the NVIDIA GeForce 320m, although our understanding is that the chip has not been exclusively made for Apple, and other manufacturers can begin using the chipset.

As well as offering faster performance, the NVIDIA 320m is 40 per cent more efficient than the 9400m chip it replaces. Apple is claiming a fairly hefty 10 hours of wireless productivity from the new MacBook.

Another new feature (albeit a small one) is that the DVI socket now supports the DVI to HDMI adaptor, enabling you to connect the older monitors to the laptop.

Aside from that the rest of the specifications, sockets, and features remain the same. Not that this is a bad thing, with its unibody casing and glass trackpad the MacBook offers most of the functionality of the MacBook Pro at a lower price.

MacBook Unibody

However, this is slightly tinted by the price rising again in the UK, this time from £819 to £849. In what is a familiar story, the price of Apple products continues to rise as the UK exchange rate continues to fall against the US dollar.

The UK price is also considerably higher than the US price due to the 17.5 per cent VAT added on to the price in this country. Potential customers might also want to consider the mooted rise in VAT (sales tax) from 17.5 per cent, to 20 per cent by the new government. The new government has announced that an emergency budget will take place in the next 50 days, and it is likely that VAT will rise at this point (this would take the new MacBook to approximately £870).