Long Live the Plastic MacBook

By  |  Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Black Apple MacBookAppleInsider is reporting that Apple is working on refreshing the $999 white MacBook that’s its cheapest portable computer–and, AppleInsider, reports, still a best-seller. Makes sense to me. I’m assuming we’ll see one with new (but economical) specs, a better display, a sealed battery with longer battery life, and an SD reader. Timing? Probably early next year, whenever Apple decides to announce the products it’s not going to be rolling out at Macworld Expo.

It’s also only a matter of time until Apple ships a non-Air MacBook with no DVD drive–in part to save money, in part to make the system thinner, and hey, maybe even to encourage consumption of movies and music from the iTunes store. It wouldn’t stun me if the next-generation plastic MacBook were that machine–or if Apple knocked $100 or so off the pricetag to make it into an upscale alternative to a netbook. (No matter how cool an Apple tablet might be, some folks are going to want a traditional portable system at a relatively low price.)

One thing I hope Apple doesn’t do is to give the white MacBook’s replacement an aluminum case. As I wrote recent, I’m not so sure that plastic-clad notebooks don’t preserve their good looks better than their aluminum cousins, at least if you drop computers as often as I do. (Hey, I used to own a Saturn car, in part because of the plastic body.)

And yes, I know I illustrated this post with a photo of the black MacBook, which is already gone. Apple, which invented the idea of selling computers in different colors, doesn’t offer any model in more than one hue at the moment. But if black came back, I’ll bet Apple would once again find people who’d pay a premium for it.

 
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16 Comments For This Post

  1. George Brickner Says:

    I have the original black MacBook from May, 2006.
    Still works fine (except the battery works for 90 minutes max).

  2. Mike Cerm Says:

    At $650, the white MacBook is a pretty nice entry-level system. At $1000 (its actual selling-price), it’s kind of an over-priced piece of junk. I’ve seen a lot of the white ones yellow over time, and it can get pretty gross. Combined with the weak specs, it’s just not worth $1000.

  3. Mike Beato Says:

    The white plastic MacBook does not dent like the rest of the aluminum models.

  4. NanoGeek Says:

    I guessed that Apple was planning on updating the plastic MacBook line with the introduction of the 13 in. Pro. I’m guessing that it will become their “affordable” line of notebooks.

  5. Scikid Says:

    The plastic Macbook rules!!!!! Especially the eco friendly white one and the battery still has like 3-4 hrs!!!!!

    http://helpcooltheearth.wordpress.com

    Scikid

  6. ediedi Says:

    My white macbook has served me well for almost 2 years. If/when i replace it, i would love to have the option of a 15″ macbook. Sounds improbable, but that’s what i’d like to see from Apple.

  7. Joseph Louthan Says:

    Am I crazy or does anybody else get better wifi reception with their plasticbooks then their metalbooks?

    Pay a premium for BlackBooks?
    http://www.colorwarepc.com/p-183-stealth-macbook-pro.aspx

  8. NanoGeek Says:

    @Joseph

    I haven’t noticed a difference, but I’ve heard it’s true.
    I believe that Engadget talked about it in the MacBook Pro review earlier this year.

  9. Double Mvp Says:

    I haven’t completely notcied the difference, either!
    http://www.clubpenguinmasterscp.wordpress.com
    3-4 hours isn’t that bad, Scikid! I agree with you!

  10. Jim Says:

    This is a test …

  11. Backlin Says:

    @Joseph; makes scientific sense.

    Yeah, what’s up with Apple not offering all kinds of kooky colors for their laptops anymore? I don’t want to look professional!

  12. sravan953 Says:

    I really really want to buy a MacBook Pro for myself, hope I get one!

    BTW, nice article

  13. geoffwah Says:

    I loved my white Macbook, until someone decided they loved it more than me a pinched it. Now I’m looking at an alloy one to replace it but it won’t match my mighty mouse :(

  14. Handmade jewellery Says:

    Like they say – black is the new black! I don’t understand marketing departments at times…they try to add a new spin on a design by making it modern & trendy but ….they just ruin it! If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it!

  15. az Says:

    I want to wait until September/October, until they announce any new products, to see if I invest on a mac this year. I want to start developing for the ipod touch ( :) i don’t have an iphone).

  16. scikid Says:

    Hi! Check out my top post!

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