Apple unveils £750 MacBook laptop

Having wowed the world with the Intel-powered 15in and 17in MacBook Pro, Apple has finally added a budget option to its laptop range. The 13in MacBook

Having wowed the world with the Intel-powered 15in and 17in MacBook Pro, Apple has finally added a budget option to its laptop range. The 13in MacBook is designed as a replacement for the iBook and the 12in Powerbook G4. And, despite starting at £750, it’s a remarkably powerful computer.

Confounding speculation that it would feature the slower Intel Core Solo processor, Apple has announced that all MacBooks will be powered by the nippy Intel Core Duo, which means they’ll be able to run Windows XP and the Mac OS using Apple’s free Boot Camp software.

There are three models of the new MacBook, all available right now. First is the white 1.83 GHz model, costing £750; second is the white 2.0GHz  (£900) and top of the heap is the oh-so-desirable black 2.0GHz model (£1030). Strangely, for the latter model you’re paying £130 more for the measly addition of 20GB extra hard drive space and the lovely paint job. Full specs are below.

All models will feature a glossy 1280x800 pixel 13in screen, with integrated Intel video processor rather than a separate card. Unlike the old iBook, the mini-DVI output can be used to extend the desktop on a second display or plasma screen, rather than just for video mirroring. An integrated videocamera is also standard, and the top two models feature a DVD-burning Superdrive.

Like all of Apple’s new Intel range, the new MacBooks will also feature Front Row media centre software and a remote control, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0.

First thoughts? The new MacBook will be a massive success, especially when you consider it’s less than half the price of the 15in MacBook Pro.  Nonetheless, we’re really hoping that Apple adds a wafer-thin ultraportable to the range – although the new MacBook is 20% thinner than the iBook, it still weighs in at 2.3Kgs.

We’re picking up our review sample tomorrow: check back later in the week for a full review.

Specs

MacBook white £749 (inc. VAT)

• 13.3-inch glossy widescreen 1280 x 800 display

• 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo processor

• 512MB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 2GB

• 60GB hard drive

• a slot-load Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive

• Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950

• built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR

• two USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire 400 port

• one audio line in and one audio line out port, each supporting both optical digital and analogue

MacBook white £899 (inc. VAT)

• 13.3-inch glossy widescreen 1280 x 800 display

• 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor

• 512MB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 2GB

• 60GB hard drive

• a slot-load Superdrive (DVD-RW/CD-RW)

• Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950

• built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR

• two USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire 400 port

• audio line in and out

MacBook black £1029 (inc. VAT)

• 13.3-inch glossy widescreen 1280 x 800 display

• 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor

• 512MB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 2GB

• 80GB hard drive

• a slot-load Superdrive (DVD-RW/CD-RW)

• Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950

• built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR

• two USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire 400 port

• audio line in and out