By now, there's probably relatively little you don't know about Apple's new Mac notebooks, but just in case I'll catch you up. All new Mac notebooks, including the $1,299 MacBook, are built from a one-piece aluminum frame. They feature a new Nvidia integrated chip set and GPU silicon, share an LED-lit glass display that is flush all the way to a very skinny bezel, and meet EPA's highest standards for green manufacturing.
The $1,299 MacBook has turned into something akin to a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro. Costing $700 less, MacBook nevertheless sports the most-requested features from MacBook Pro, including the metal chassis and integrated Nvidia graphics.
Apple's MacBook Pro is a real winner in the desktop replacement category. It shares the new MacBook's unibody frame, but sizes up the display to 15.4 inches and incorporates hybrid integrated/discrete 3-D graphics. The hybrid design starts with MacBook's power-efficient Nvidia 9400M chip set with integrated graphics (this uses system memory as graphics memory), but adds a discrete, 32-way Nvidia 9600M GT GPU that users can kick into action for CAD, math acceleration, gaming, or just a way-snappy GUI. By shifting gears from discrete to integrated, Apple claims that MacBook Pro grabs an extra hour of battery life, rising from four hours to five.
The least you can spend for a metal MacBook is $1,299, while the top of the line is the $2,499 MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM and 512MB of graphics RAM. The more modest white plastic MacBook is available for $999, but it's worth the extra money for the metal and the Nvidia chip set. MacBook Air, still in its youth, has been refitted with the Nvidia 9400M integrated graphics chip set as well.