Apple has very quietly upgraded the white unibody polycarbonate MacBooks to more closely match the shiny aluminum MacBook Pro line. This update was so quiet that it does not even warrant a ‘new’ tag on the front page of the Apple Store; however, there is a ‘new’ tag on the product page.
The outside of the MacBook has not been altered in any way. The processor has been upgraded to the same 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo as the 13″ MacBook Pro. Although the processor has been upgraded, you do not receive a choice in terms of processor speed. There is only the 2.4GHz processor option, but this is an upgrade from the older 2.26GHz processor on the previous generation.
The base RAM is still the same 1066MHz speed. The memory is still using the older DDR2 memory instead of the DDR3 seen in the MacBook Pro. They’ve even upgraded to DDR3, which was long overdue. The maximum supported is limited to 4GB. Despite this limitation, the base memory is 2GB. To upgrade to the maximum is still the same $100 price.
The biggest improvement is in the graphics. The old NVidia GeForce 9400M has been replaced by the NVidia 320M graphics chipset. This chipset is the same one found in the 13″ MacBook Pros. The graphics memory is still limited to 256MB and this is still shared with the main system memory.
The most notable change is the battery. The battery life is now a whopping 10 hours. This is achieved by using a 63.5-watt-hour battery instead of the older 60-watt-hour battery. My guess is that this battery is the same as the one in the 13″ MacBook Pros as well.
This upgrade, although quiet, is a significant improvement for those looking for an entry level portable Mac system. This upgrade is also good for those who want to purchase a system with all-day battery power.