MacBook 2.0GHz review

Apple's announcement of the new MacBook range on 14 October 2008 stunned many Apple industry stalwarts. This model, the MacBook 2.0GHz Aluminium, is in many ways the complete opposite of the kind of laptop everybody else seems to be making.

Prior to Apple revealing the MacBook Aluminium, there was a groundswell rumour that Apple was gearing up to release a cheaper sub $800 laptop. Which we had pegged down with a UK price of £500-600. Many Macworld readers expressed an interest in Apple releasing an even cheaper Netbook-style laptop to compete with the new models being made by companies such as ASUS and MSI.

Instead Apple has refreshed its MacBook range with a more stylish case similar to the MacBook Pro, and an even more expensive entry point. It's also removed some long-standing features such as FireWire. Controversial? You bet it is. Our readers have had more to say about this MacBook than every other Apple product combined. And not all of it's been good...

In the two and half years since the first MacBook model, Apple has tweaked and improved its consumer-level laptop line three times. But the latest (fourth) version is a giant leap for the MacBook, compared to the baby steps of the earlier updates. With the latest design (both inside and out), the MacBook has become a lot more like a MacBook Pro mini.

The new MacBook has a very different look and feel to the model it replaces

Previously, the MacBook was available in three models, with a base model starting at £699, and a high-end, black-encased model at £949. The new MacBooks raise the price of entry to £949, and the top price jumps to £1,149. (Apple is still selling the previous low-end white MacBook for £719, a £20 increase from when it was initially released in March. It now has a SuperDrive instead of a Combo Drive.)

Next: The new MacBook's unibody design

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