13-inch MacBook/2.26GHz (Late 2009)
Also new is that the MacBook--like every other Mac laptop other than the Air--now has a glass Multi-Touch trackpad with gesture support. It's larger than the combined pad-and-button area on the old model. After using the new MacBook for a while, I've found the smooth, large trackpad more enjoyable than the one on my earlier-generation MacBook. It takes some getting used to if you've been using the previous design, but the change is a good one.
The 13.3-inch display offers the same 1280-by-800-pixel resolution as before, but as with all other Mac portables, the new MacBook uses LED backlighting on its display instead of CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamps). The display is noticeably brighter than before, and the switch to LED lets Apple finally add the MacBook to its list of arsenic- and mercury-free laptop displays. Viewed side by side with the screen of the older MacBook, the new MacBook's screen shows a yellow color shift when changing your horizontal viewing angle (the previous model simply got more washed out). The 13-inch MacBook Pro suffers from the same color shifting.
The back of the screen has a slight taper that gives it a thinner appearance than that on MacBooks of yore, and a narrow rubber bezel protects the screen from coming into contact with the keyboard when you close the lid.
Overall, the new MacBook is slightly wider and deeper than its predecessor, although it shaves 0.3 pounds from the total weight. That small difference in weight is actually quite noticeable for someone like me, who's been using the MacBook since it first came out. It is slightly larger in all dimensions than the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and weighs 0.2 pounds more than its aluminum counterpart.
Ports and more
The new MacBook has a round iSight lens with only a status light to its right--the microphone has moved to the upper left corner of the keyboard area. The power button in the upper right corner of the keyboard area is smaller than before, which makes it a little harder to press.
On the front edge, the sleep status indicator is longer and narrower than before, but conspicuously absent is the infrared (IR) port that used to sit to the right of it. Without an IR port, you can't use the new Apple Remote (or the older remote, for that matter) to control Front Row, volume, and the like. You can, however, use an iPhone or iPod touch with a remote app over Wi-Fi.
Speaking of ports, there are also some changes to the array of ports on the side of the MacBook. The biggest change is that there's no longer a FireWire port on the MacBook--until now, it was a staple on all polycarbonate MacBooks. If you need a FireWire port--for connecting a camcorder or for using FireWire Target Disk Mode, for example--the MacBook isn't for you. For $200 more, a 13-inch MacBook Pro with the same processor gives you a FireWire 800 port, plus an SD card slot and an aluminum enclosure (although that model includes a 160GB hard drive versus the 250GB drive in the MacBook).
The display connection is now Mini DisplayPort (previously there was a mini-DVI connector), and Apple is using a single audio port for analog/digital output as well as line-in. The Sound preference pane has a Use Audio Port For pop-up menu, from which you can choose either Sound Output or Sound Input. The sound port also supports the Apple Stereo Headset with microphone. The other ports are gigabit ethernet, MagSafe power, two USB 2.0, and a Kensington lock slot. As before, the other side features an 8X slot-loading double-layer SuperDrive.
On the inside