Worthwhile deals on Apple MacBooks are rare. At most they save you a few
dollars, and in the case of the entry level MacBook 13in notebook, they rarely slip far below its RRP of AU$1299. But a Myer special means
you can purchase one for $1,119, which is a sizable $100 off. So what
do you get for $1,199? The cheapest entry into Apple branded
laptops, with a machine that comes with 2 GBs of RAM, a 250 GB hard
disk, good battery life (5-7 hours) and tough polycarbonate case with sealed-in battery. Powering it is a powerful Core 2 Duo P7550 processor running
at 2.26 GHz (which sits in the top half of the Core 2 Duo range), and a
graphics engine based on the NVIDIA 9400M graphics chipset. While the
graphics aren't discrete (that is, they share the RAM), the 9400M uses
NVIDIA's Ion LE platform, which means that, for a onboard graphics
solution, it's as good as some low end discrete cards.
The eternal question anyone buying a Mac has to ask is what's more
important? Brand cachet and a slick computing experience, or just
bang-for-buck hardware? If it's the former, you get a MacBook, if it's
the second, you get a Windows 7 notebook, which for the same price as this
MacBook 13in comes with a Core i5 processor, 4GBs of
RAM a 500GB hard drive and higher resolution screen.
This also begs the question:
if the MacBook is not just about the hardware but the experience, has
any Windows notebook maker one ever tried to capture the "Appleness" of
a Macbook? Yes, HP, with its HP Envy series. With a 250 GB hard drive
and just one GB RAM more than the Macbook 13in, the HP starts at $3,000! Ouch.