Amongst all the hardware refreshes and OS updates, a small little detail may have been overlooked by some; the MacBook has been quietly removed from the listings on Apple’s Web site, leaving the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air as Apple’s only portable options.
Apple confirmed this with Engadget earlier today.
Hardware-wise, this isn’t much of a loss; the specs on the last version of the MacBook were fairly similar to the low-end model of 13” MacBook Pro released at the same time: same processor, same bus speed, same battery capacity, same screen size, same graphics card, and same maximum amount of RAM. The main differences were the cases (white polycarbonate vs aluminum), number of expansion options (The MacBook Pro added an SD slot and a FW800 port to the MacBook’s offerings) and the price (about $200 more for the MacBook Pro).
It’s that last one that’s going to affect a lot of people. At $999, the MacBook sat as an affordable laptop with a decent screen size, balance of features, and general usability. At that price point, Apple now only has the 11-inch MacBook Air. So for the same money, you get a smaller screen, a weaker video card, less storage and seemingly no upgrade options.
On the plus side, at least the entry model 2011 MacBook Pro 13” is only $200 more at $1199, which makes it the better buy overall, if just for the ability to upgrade memory, upgrade to a super-fast SSD, or even add a second drive.