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Review: MacBook Core 2 Duo/2.1GHz and 2.4GHz

At a Glance

The next-generation of the Core 2 Duo processor -- code-named Penryn -- highlights this round of MacBook updates. The processor upgrade delivers faster speeds than the previous generation, but less shared L2 cache (3MB, compared to 4MB in the previous generation). Hard-drive capacities have also jumped -- this top-of-the-line model offers 250GB of storage, in addition to a black matte finish. Like the white 2.4GHz MacBook, this model now ships with 2GB of RAM.

Price when rated: $1,499

Pros

  • Solid performance
  • 2GB of RAM standard
  • Larger hard drive than previous model

Cons

  • No video adapters or Apple Remote in the box
  • $200 premium for color and larger hard drive
 Compare

At a Glance

The next-generation of the Core 2 Duo processor -- code-named Penryn -- highlights this round of MacBook updates. The processor upgrade delivers faster speeds than the previous generation, but less shared L2 cache (3MB, compared to 4MB in the previous generation). Hard-drive capacities have also jumped -- this model now offers 160GB of storage. And both 2.4GHz MacBooks ship with 2GB of memory installed.

Price when rated: $1,299
Lowest price:

Pros

  • Solid performance
  • 2GB of RAM standard
  • Larger hard drive than previous model

Cons

  • No video adapters or Apple Remote in the box
 Compare

At a Glance

The next-generation of the Core 2 Duo processor -- code-named Penryn -- highlights this round of MacBook updates. The processor upgrade delivers faster speeds than the previous generation, but less shared L2 cache (3MB, compared to 4MB in the previous generation). Hard-drive capacities have also jumped -- this entry-level model now offers 120GB of storage, up from 80GB. However, this model only ships with 1GB of RAM installed; the other MacBooks now offer 2GB.

Price when rated: $1,099

Pros

  • Larger hard drive than previous model
  • Performance comparable to previous high-end model

Cons

  • Only 1GB of RAM
  • No video adapters or Apple Remote in the box
  • No SuperDrive
 Compare

At a Glance

Essentially, this is the same 2.1GHz MacBook Apple introduced in February 2008 right down to its white plastic enclosure and FireWire ports--something Apple abandoned with the rest of its MacBook offerings. The main difference between this model and the one Apple introduced in February is the optical drive -- this MacBook now features a DVD-burning SuperDrive -- and the price tag. This model breaks the $1,000 barrier for the Intel-based MacBooks.

Price when rated: $999

Pros

  • Larger hard drive than previous model
  • Performance comparable to previous high-end model

Cons

  • Only 1GB of RAM
  • No video adapters or Apple Remote in the box
  • No SuperDrive
 Compare

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