Wishy Washy: That’s what seems to be happening with the FireWire port on the white MacBook. The latest unibody white MacBook has lost the FireWire port. Again. And again it will annoy a lot of potential customers of the most affordable MacBook, starting at just US$999. The FireWire port allows for the MacBook to act simply as an external FireWire drive and makes troubleshooting significantly easier. Do you have a camcorder with FireWire and want to record directly into the MacBook? You’re out of luck. The audio-out port has been eliminated too in favor of an integrated port with audio-out and mic-in. Not such a terrible idea since you can use the iPhone earphone/mic for communicating via Skype. Of course, if you’re a musician and require both audio-out and mic-in, you might have to get one of those USB microphones. Oh, and no SD slot.
Unibody The unibody design certainly reduces complexity and helps to increase rigidity. It also means that the battery is integrated and no longer easily replaceable. But you do get more battery life: Apple rates it at 7 hours. Engadget took delivery of the new MacBook and found the unibody design led to a much more solid feel: “there’s zero flex when you pick it up by a corner, and the keyboard is nicely rigid.” The white bezel is still there–no edge-to-edge cover glass for the white MacBook. The LED backlit LCD is still the glossy kind with a 1280 x 800 resolution. According to Engadget, the LCD is brighter than the prior version. iFixit confirmed that the display looks really nice (more below). The glass trackpad swallows the buttons and the entire surface can be used as a button, just like the new MacBook Pro‘s trackpad. CPU power has been slightly increased from 2.13GHz to 2.26GHz. Other features include:
- RAM: 2GB DDR3 1066MHz (4GB max)
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
- Hard Disk: 250GB 5400RPM SATA with Sudden Motion Sensor
- Optical: Superdrive (8x DL DVD+/-RW, CD-RW)
- Connectivity: mini-DisplayPort, WiFi N, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 (2)
- Other: iSight
- Battery: 60Whr Lithium Polymer
- Weight: 4.7-pounds (0.3 less than the previous version)
The base of the MacBook makes use of a soft-touch, non-slip surface treatment so it doesn’t slide around. There are no rubber feet. Another interesting omission is the lack of an IR port: the remote won’t work with this MacBook. Battery indicator? Nope. Teardown after the jump.
Teardown Kyle Wiens and folks at iFixit already tore the MacBook apart and revealed some interesting tidbits. First, the lower case is actually made of aluminum. The battery is held by three tri-wing screws. The hard disk is much harder to get at than the previous version so you’ll need to put aside some time if you want to upgrade it with a SSD. iFixit’s conclusion is that the new MacBook’s internals are quite simple, elegant even. Inside the LCD casing, there are three wireless antennas on the left and a single display data cable on the right. A single cable transmits all data and power. The display assembly is now 50 grams lighter than the previous version.
- “MacBook Loses FireWire Again; Audio-Out Port Gone, Too” – Wired Gadget Lab
- “Apple’s new MacBook unboxing and hands-on!” – Engadget
- “MacBook goes unibody, available today” – Engadget
- “Apple Updates MacBook With LED-Backlit Display, Multi-Touch Trackpad & Built-in Seven-Hour Battery” – Apple
- “Apple – MacBook – The $999 notebook, completely redesigned.” – Apple