Unibody Macbook Review Roundup

The new $999 Unibody Macbook from Apple, which launched October 20th, has been out long enough for reviewers to pass judgment on the new curved white exterior and beefed up internals.

Overall, the new design, additional power and glass trackpad have impressed reviewers; though many note that it is prone to scratches and close enough in price that the Macbook Pro may be worth the upgrade.


Laptop Magazine -“With its new $999 MacBook—a slightly stripped down MacBook Pro in a plastic chassis—Apple has delivered a notebook that not only offers similar performance to its higher-end cousin, but is now price competitive with Windows 7 machines that have similar specs. Considering its long battery life—not to mention Apple’s excellent Snow Leopard operating system and first-rate customer support—the new MacBook is a strong buy. You just have to be willing to sacrifice some features.” – Michael A. Prospero

Gizmodo -“It’s Basically a White Macbook Pro.  To illustrate just how good the internals are on the MacBook, just compare them to the current base 13-inch MacBook Pro. Both have a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo with a 3MB L2 cache, a 1066 MHz frontside bus and a 2GB default RAM.”

“In general, the build quality is more solid and more “Pro” than ever before, despite the material being polycarbonate instead of aluminum. It’s like trading up from a Toyota Yaris to a Camry—not luxury, but it’s a noticeable difference.” – Jason Chen

SlashGear “If you’re weighing the new MacBook or the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, unless you require high color accuracy (in which case you’re likely using a larger, external display) right now we’d plump for the MacBook. Apple will inevitably roll out an updated Pro range reasonably early into 2010, but as it stands you’re getting pretty much the same key specifications in the MacBook, only for $200 less. That’s a fair chunk of money, and while you don’t get the SD card reader or the FireWire port, you do get a larger hard-drive.” – Vincent Nguyen

Engadget – “On the other hand, we’ll just come right out and say we’re in love with the keyboard, which is about as solid as a chunk of granite — we pounded away pretty hard writing this review, and there was absolutely zero flex anywhere. Chalk up a big win for unibody construction.”

“And… that’s it. The MacBook is an extremely competent, utterly boring laptop that doesn’t have enough ports. If you’re desperate for a new Mac and you’ve only got a grand, it’ll do you fine, and the unibody upgrade and nicer screen are certainly welcome — plastic laptops simply don’t come any more solidly built than this.” – Nilay Patel

All Things Digital – “In my tests, this MacBook was fast and reliable using a wide variety of programs. It started up cold in a mere 22 seconds, and was ready to go after a restart, with several programs running, in 44 seconds. For anyone on a budget, it’s a better deal than the 13″ MacBook Pro, especially considering its larger hard disk.

These new models now round out a full line of refreshed Macs, but they will face stiff new competition from a horde of PCs running the new and better version of Windows.” – Walter S. Mossberg

It’s great to see the Unibody design come to the Macbook, especially with Engadget’s observations on sturdiness that come from this design, but most reviewers felt that, if you’re paying retail, you should look at the Macbook Pro.

However, the new Unibody Macbook is already on available below the $999 list price at several locations, dropping as low as $920 in several occasions! As of this roundup you can purchase the unibody Macbook for $944 at MacMall after mail in rebate.

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