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MacBook Line-up Refreshed


MacBook Line-up Refreshed

Blurring the boundaries between its consumer and professional lines Apple has refreshed its MacBook range, turning the 13in aluminium MacBook into a MacBook Pro - leaving only the white chassis model as a MacBook - and giving both the 13in and 15in models an internal refresh adding the same seven-hour, internal battery as the 17in model and also dropping prices across the line-up.

First things first, I'm going to point out plain and clear that this is a big negative. Apple, no matter what you say, a built-in battery is not "innovative," it is silly. It just is, okay?

Rant aside, the new MacBook Pro range looks pretty tasty. Rubbish as those internal batteries may be from a user-replace and upgrade perspective, seven hours (claimed) battery life on the 13in and 15in Pros and eight on the 17in can't be complained about too much!

The 13in model starts at £899 and for that price Apple will give you a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive while £1,149 will net a 2.53 GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. A backlit keyboard is now standard and Gone are the ExpressCard slots of the previous models and in their places are SD card readers. Camera users will doubtless find those of more use and as pretty much every peripheral under the sun uses USB these days, I can't see many missing ExpressCard.

The 15in MacBook Pro offers a 2.53 GHz CPU with 4GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive for £1,299, a 2.66 GHz CPU with a 320GB hard drive for £1,499 and a 2.8GHz CPU with a 500GB hard drive for £1,699. The 15in MacBook Pro also forgoes the ExpressCard slot in favour of an SD card reader.

The 17in Pro sees a price drop and now sits at £1,849 for a 2.8GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Battery updates are priced at £99 for the 13in and 15in MacBook Pro, £139 for the 17in. However, Apple reckons the average user should get five years use before the cells degrade, and that's a lifetime in digital years so the likelihood of needing to buy a new battery is low. It's only the inability to swap out the battery on the go that's annoying, therefore.

The MacBook Air still hasn't seen the upgrade it sorely needs, but it has at least received a notable discount. An Air with a 1.86GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive now costs £1,149 and upping that to £1,359 nets you a 2.13GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. Yes, it's still too expensive given the shortfalls, but not by quite so much any more.


Apple UK.

Stewart Clark

June 9, 2009, 3:40 pm

I agree that built in batteries are a sales turn off. I have already decided that I will not replace my Ipod or Iphone with Apple products unless they have swapable batteries and memory cards.


June 9, 2009, 3:52 pm

Does the Apple care include battery warranty for 3 years?


June 9, 2009, 3:57 pm

I really wanted the SD slot for the 17"er as well - but hey, I guess the option for such peripherals is better for the high end, and I can always just use a USB reader.

Barry Ward

June 9, 2009, 4:47 pm

Well I think the only time you'd really need a removable battery is if you are out and about and wanted to use a spare for double the operation time. Otherwise, I am quite happy about it and am not particularly bothered about that aspect.

I really like the look of them otherwise, and shall be upgrading to a 15" pro later this year. It's about time they got rid of that Express card slot, and replaced it with something a lot more people would use. I can't believe I've had to use a USB card reader all this time when many Windows based laptops have SD card readers built in. Better late than never.


June 9, 2009, 4:51 pm

Don't forget the £880 8GB RAM option ;)

Smithfield Building

June 9, 2009, 4:53 pm

The 13" also gets a FireWire 800 port.


June 9, 2009, 6:34 pm


> 'Don't forget the £880 8GB RAM option ;)'

LOL!! That's about £140 worth of RAM. Apple's ludicrous upgrade pricing is legendary, but it makes you wonder how much Apple is gouging from customers for their other products.


June 9, 2009, 7:49 pm

If these new batteries last 5 years as Apple suggested then that's pretty frickin' innovative from where I'm sitting.


June 9, 2009, 9:12 pm

"up to 5 years" doesn't apply to people who like to save their batteries by removing them from the devices when they're sitting at home.


June 9, 2009, 11:07 pm


> 'LOL!! That's about £140 worth of RAM. Apple's ludicrous upgrade pricing is legendary, but it makes you wonder how much Apple is gouging from customers for their other products.'

If you noticed the notebook is using DDR3 RAM. It is also using two 4GB notebook sticks to achieve this. That technology is very new.

Apple= Students can get it for $900

This Ram on crucial runs $800

RAM upgrade on alienware from 4GB to 8GB= $775

Apple is only marked up by around 10%. Stop whining.

Tony Walker

June 10, 2009, 12:02 am

And the minimalistic price drops are in effect a further price rise when compared against the deep drops the US has seen.

Would've been tempted by one of the 13" Unibody's if they'd dropped the price to &850.

Apple, are you listening? Stop ripping UK consumers off. They will vote with their feet and go and buy Windows machines! You don't want that do you?


June 10, 2009, 12:21 am

really do look nice and half decent value. just the battery putting me off.


June 10, 2009, 3:01 am


Nicely put. Bravo.

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