Pay attention now, because there’ll be a test on this at the end. This time last year, Apple’s laptop range consisted of two main product lines. The mainstream, consumer model for home users and the education market was the highly popular MacBook, with its 13in screen, white plastic casing and a price tag of around £700. …
That is not the reason they went from 2.1GHz to 2.0GHz
The nVidia graphics in the 2009 Macbooks use more power than the Intel graphics in the 2008 Macbooks. To compensate and ensure that overall power consumption was about the same, Apple switched from a standard voltage CPU to a low voltage CPU, and the closest available speed for a suitable CPU was 2.0MHz. (The 2.0GHz CPU also has a faster front side bus, so it is probably a slightly higher performance CPU regardless of the slightly slower clock speed anyway).
It may be that Apple also wanted the white Macbook to have a slower spec for marketing reasons, but this reason isn't necessary. It makes perfect sense for purely engineering reasons.
Buy the 13" pro instead ...
I've just upgraded my 3 year old macbook to the 13" Macbook Pro and it only cost me £845 (EPP or Student discount pricing gives a £50 saving) and it was a no brainer compared with the "entry-level" Macbook reviewed here.
The £150 difference in price (£100 if you qualify for the discount) is really worth it for the faster CPU, faster memory and bus speed, backlit keyboard (really good for late night hacks!), SD card reader, 7 - 8 hour battery life and the superbly engineered aluminium "unibody" shell.
The Pro runs really cool and I'm very pleased with it .. best engineered machine I've ever used in 30 years.
I agree with Dr Dick above.
I've always preferred cheaper wintel hardware, but finally took the plunge and got the unibody 17@ MBP a few weeks back (just after the upgrade).. speced up to 7200 HD & 3.06GHz processor.
Sure, it was expensive, but no more than other 'cool' laptops I've owned like sony picturebooks, sony UX series, etc.
It really does feel solid. The screen (matte thank you very much) is awesome. battery lasts for ages, and it just screams through video editing HD, etc. Even PC games play massively fast in vmware, negating the need to use bootcamp anymore.
It's a legacy model that's just being slowly phased out. If they improved it then it would cost the same as the aluminium Macbook.
If they cheapened it more it would tarnish Apple's image.
A reasonable update
I've bought one of these for my other half as her birthday is in a few days and she's been in the market for a new laptop. It far out-performs my mid-2008 macbook, the graphics chipset makes this laptop, for me anyway.
I've discovered I'm slowly becoming an Apple convert, I was brought up on IBM clones with DOS and Windows, but now I'm finding it's worth paying the premium for Apple hardware to get something that acts, looks, and feels a lot better (in my mind). I was slightly concerned about the whispers (read: yells) I had heard about Apple's customer support, but the one time I needed them (for a failed DVD drive in my macbook) they handled everything promptly and efficiently, even offering to replace my damaged media.
Each to their own at the end of the day, personally I don't mind paying the extra for a machine that meets my requirements and looks good while doing it :-) It's certainly better that the 17" Tosh that the other half has been lugging about.
"I've discovered I'm slowly becoming an Apple convert, I was brought up on IBM clones with DOS and Windows, but now I'm finding it's worth paying the premium for Apple hardware to get something that acts, looks, and feels a lot better (in my mind)."
My new 15" MacBook Pro feels very well engineered. The driver support in Windows is unfortunately patchy (and I'd love the option to switch between graphics cards in Windows too), but overall the hardware feels very nice.
Although, I don't fully understand why the Apple UK keyboard layout is different to the PC UK keyboard layout.