Apple's longstanding laptop workhorse, the 13-inch white MacBook, has been revamped with a new polycarbonate unibody enclosure and updated specs. While the new casing is probably stronger and stiffer, the design maintains the same thickness of its predecessor of 1.08 inches (2.7 cm), though it does shed 4.8 ounces (136 g) to weigh in at 4.7 pounds (2.13 kg). The bottom of the casing also no longer sports rubber feet in the corners, but is instead coated entirely in non-slide rubber.
In addition to its sleek new body, the new MacBook also now features an LED-backlit glossy display with a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, a Multi-Touch trackpad with full gesture support, and a self-contained non-swappable battery with a claimed 7-hour battery life - up from 5 hours on the previous model. (We don't believe that real world usage bears out either number.)
In its base configuration, the new MacBook features a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (up from 2.13 GHz), 2 GB RAM (expandable to 4 GB), a 250 GB hard drive (up from 160 GB), and an Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics processor. The latest version, like its predecessors, also features an 8x double layer SuperDrive, built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports, and a 60 watt MagSafe power adapter.
The MacBook has a Mini DisplayPort for use with an external monitor or projector, but unlike the previous $999 white MacBook model, drops the FireWire 400 port, whose absence from the 13-inch aluminum MacBook sparked such a ruckus. (Its departure from this MacBook model marks the end of Firewire 400 ports anywhere in Apple's lineup.) Those who want a FireWire port will need to step up to the 13-inch aluminum MacBook Pro that was introduced at WWDC in June (see "Apple Refreshes MacBook Line at WWDC," 8 June 2009).
The new MacBook maintains its $999 price tag and is available immediately.