Replacing the iBook, Apple's MacBook--the little sibling to the more powerful, feature-rich, and expensive MacBook Pro--features a 13.3-inch wide-screen display and a new color choice. It corrects a handful of the iBook's shortcomings, hits a reasonable price point, and makes a great compromise between size and portability.
No press conference or mysterious invitations this time. Instead, Apple simply added the new MacBook to its Web site. Replacing the 12- and 14-inch iBook models, the new MacBook is available in but a single size, splitting the difference between the previous iBooks with a 13.3-inch screen.
It's available in three models and, in a new twist, a color other than white. Borrowing a line from the iPod Nano, the MacBook now offers a black version in addition to the traditional glossy white. It'll cost you, though; the black MacBook is $200 more expensive than the white version. Aside from color, the only difference between the two models is the black MacBook's slightly larger 80GB hard drive--only a $50 upgrade from the white model's 60GB drive.
The entry-level MacBook costs $1,099 and comes with a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 512MB of memory, a 60GB hard drive, and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive. For $1,299 you can upgrade to a 2GHz Core Duo chip and a SuperDrive DVD burner (read our review here). The black model costs $1,499.
Like the MacBook Pros, introduced back in February, the new MacBooks come with Apple's MagSafe quick-release power adapter to prevent fatal cord snags. All three new models also come with a built-in iSight camera and Apple's now ubiquitous Apple Remote and Front Row media management software. It's also worth noting that the new 13.3-inch display has a wide-screen resolution, making these midrange laptops as movie-friendly as their MacBook Pro counterparts.
For coverage of Apple's current MacBook models, read our overview of the 2007 MacBook models.