MacBooks Debut, Drool Erupts

Gallery4Black20060516Apple today announced the 13-inch MacBook, the Intel-powered replacement for the iBook. As rumored, it also comes in black (which, naturally, is only offered at a higher price). I’ll let my TidBITS colleague Mark Anbinder nail the details:

Like its 15-inch and 17-inch counterparts, the new MacBook features an Intel Core Duo processor, here at 1.83 or 2.0 GHz, with a 667 MHz bus. It includes a built-in iSight video camera, infrared port and Apple Remote, Gigabit Ethernet, AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth wireless, and Apple’s innovative “klutz-proof” MagSafe power adapter, designed to separate easily from the laptop to avoid accidents. The Apple Remote controls not only the included Front Row media software, but also presentations in Keynote.

The company says the new wide-format 13.3-inch MacBook display is 79 percent brighter than that on the iBook or 12-inch PowerBook, with a glossy screen cover. The built-in display’s resolution is 1280×800, and the MacBook’s miniDVI port can support Apple’s 20-inch or 23-inch Cinema Displays (or other displays up to 1920×1200 pixels) with the use of a miniDVI-to-DVI adapter (not included).

I’m becoming more and more convinced that Apple is sending information to existing models surreptitiously before new machines come out. The iBook G3 I purchased four years ago, as a backup machine/general living-room Mac/computer for my wife, just last week stopped charging its battery (and it’s a newer battery, not the original) and started flaking out a bit. Its hard drive is also awfully loud, it’s slow, etc. etc, but it’s been a great machine.

With today’s announcement, though, I may donate the iBook and replace it with a MacBook. Since it’s our main music playing device (streaming music from a server upstairs to an AirPort Express connected to the stereo), having Front Row would be handy. It also gives me an inexpensive Intel machine for testing until I finally replace my 1.25 GHz PowerBook G4 later this year or early next year with a MacBook Pro (which also got a speed-bump today).

Update: Here’s a great chart comparing the various MacBook models.

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