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Apple MacBooks Get Speed, Memory, Networking Upgrades

Apple's entry-level series of notebook computers--the MacBook--today received performance improvements across the board, including processor speed, memory, hard drive capacity, and networking. The new models are shipping now, with education pricing set below $1,000 on the low end.

Apple's MacBook line was introduced about a year ago. The new models sport dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo processors running at 2.0 or 2.16 GHz. All of the models also get bumps in base memory configurations and storage and now come equipped with 802.11n wireless networking pre-installed.

The MacBook has proved successful for Apple with students and general consumers, helping to raise Apple's portable market share to 10 percent, according to company representatives we spoke with today.

On the low end, the white 13.3-inch MacBook is configured as follows:
  • 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (dual core) with 4 GB shared level-2 cache and a 667 GHz frontside bus;
  • 1 GB RAM base (667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 2 GB);
  • 80 GB internal SATA drive (5,400 RPM, with sudden motion sensor);
  • Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive;
  • Gigabit Ethernet;
  • AirPort Extreme 802.11n (draft spec);
  • Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
  • FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports;
  • Digital optical audio in and out;
  • Analog audio in and out; and
  • Mini DVI out (adapters for DVI-I, VGA, and S-video sold separately).
Education pricing for the low-end configuration is $999 ($1,099 retail).

In the mid-range, the MacBook includes all of the above, but with a faster processor, larger base storage, and a better optical drive:
  • 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo processor (dual core);
  • 120 GB internal SATA drive (5,400 RPM, with sudden motion sensor); and
  • 8x SuperDrive with support for double-layer (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW).
Education for the mid-range MacBook is $1,199 ($1,299 retail).

The top-end (black) MacBook includes all of the features of the mid-range MacBook, but includes a 160 GB internal SATA drive. Education pricing on the top-end model is $1,399 ($1,499 retail).

All of the MacBooks come with a 13.3-inch glossy screen with a native resolution of 1,280 x 800. They're all available today. Apple has not announced any changes to its high-end line of notebooks, the MacBook Pro. We'll keep you posted.

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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