Just when we thought the polycarbonate MacBook was due for its pension, up comes a revised unibody model with faster 2.4GHz processor, better video (GeForce 320M, same as the basic MacBook Pro) and the same 10-hour battery life claimed for the 13-in MacBook Pro. Despite having only 2GB of RAM, it offers good value for money at £849, including UK VAT. It weighs in at 2.13 Kg compared with the aluminium Pro's 2.04 Kg.
I've always rather liked the polycarbonate MacBooks and owned one of the first of the black models. In some ways it feels sturdier than the aluminium Pros and probably withstands more mistreatment without showing marks. The aluminium is rather prone to scuffing. I can see that for students, especially, this new MacBook could be the laptop of choice. Presumably in the wake of this update it is going to be around for a time and I am sure buyers will flock to buy now the uncertainty has been removed.
Yesterday new data from market research company NPD showed that Mac sales were up 39 percent in April compared with the same period last year. Wall Street expects Apple to sell 3.1 million Macs in the June quarter. And, it seems, iPads are not impacting on Mac sales in any significant way. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says that from the early NPD data, it appears that the iPad has had minimal cannibalisation impact on mac sales, and it could be slightly cannibalising iPod Sales. He argued that Apple has successfully limited the functionality of the iPad to ensure that it serves primarily as a content consumption device, whereas the Mac remains the best for content creation.
With the latest refresh to the MacBook line, probably to be followed by a facelift for the MacBook Air, the whole of the MacBook family is looking fresh and appealing.