back to article Apple White MacBook Early 2009

Recession or no recession, Apple’s latest set of quarterly financial results saw the company top $10bn in sales for the first time ever. As well as selling zillions of iPhones and iPods, it also increased Mac sales by almost ten per cent. That growth was largely down to the success of its MacBook range of laptops, which were …


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  1. Adrian

    Faster Firewire 400

    Faster than what ? USB 2 is 480 Meg, Firewire 800 is (suprise suprise) 800 Meg speed wise.

  2. Lionel Baden

    ohh quick

    Lets name it a white laptop

    Cause its like the first ever white computer we've made !!!


  3. Robin

    re: Faster Firewire 400

    I'm open to correction, but I believe that Firewire is a *sustained* 400 Meg, while USB 2 works in bursts of 480 Meg.

  4. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)


    Faster than USB 2.0, as any fule kno.

  5. KazR

    @Adrian: Firewire 400

    USB2 con only manage 480 in bursts, in sustained transfers Firewire 400 beats it hands down.

  6. Tom Hawkins

    Yes, faster Firewire 400

    In the real world Firewire 400 outperforms USB2.0.

  7. Rob Davis
    Thumb Down

    No ExpressCard expansion, no Firewire 800

    These are absent from netbooks on the grounds of cost. But left out in a 700pound-plus regular size laptop such as this?

    They are a glaring - and limiting - omission. Particularly for high bus speed audio and video hardware applications and add-ons available for ExpressCard.

  8. Thomas Davie


    Faster than USB2 – while it may have a slower paper speed, it also has a speedy peer to peer protocol that doesn't involve your CPU at all, in practice, a USB2 hard drive will be lucky to see 35MB/s, while a FW400 one will get up to 50MB/s

  9. Sam York

    @ Adrian

    USB2 is theoretically 480Mb/s but in every real world situation I've tried it in, FW400 is much faster (and particularly on Macs, they don't seem to cope very well with USB hard drives for some reason).

    It's because Firewire devices contain their own controller chips where USB relies on the CPU.

  10. Steven Knox


    "The fact that Apple can increase its prices and still rack up significant sales increases during the worst recession in the entire history of the universe says something about the sheer eye-catching quality of its designs."


    "The fact that Apple can increase its prices and still rack up significant sales increases during the worst recession in the entire history of the universe says something about the complete cock-up that is Windows Vista."

    No thanks necessary.

  11. Hywel Thomas

    @ Adrian

    USB has greater overheads and relies on the CPU more. Mbps is just one crude gross measurement. Real world: USB 2 is fine for file transfer, but has the potential to suck compared to FW a bit for real-time video and audio.

    It's a VHS/Betamax thing. Most people don't give a stuff (which is fine) , and pros will use the better tech becaue they need to.


    The article mentions the 'new' mini DVI. Something's wrong there. It's either the old mini DVI port or the new mini Display Port.

  12. FreeTard


    "....the complete cock-up that is Windows Vista."

    Couldn't agree more, I had to unfortunately retire my 6 year old XP box due to hardware failure only last night. My HP pavillion dual core 2GB jobby replaced it, and it is ridiculously slow in direct comparison. Plus I've bloody well disabled almost all the services, including computer browser, spooler etc etc.

    I may buy one of these as the missus is looking for a new lappy.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Here we go...

    ODFO Lionel. How pathetic. Any excuse, eh... Before any of you wintards out there start expressing how you can get a better laptop for less yadda yadda yadda, you can't because it'll be crippled with Windows! Beside, £719 is about on the money, FOR THE SPECIFICATION. Sure, you could buy an Inspiron for less, but it would be less of a laptop, with a poorer spec...

  14. Thomas

    Angels in America

    I used to work with someone who looks exactly like Ben Shenkman. True story.

  15. Bad Beaver

    Should have FW800

    Just as the Alu Macbook should. Even better: The Alubook should have a cardslot so you could add whatever darn port you wish for. In this regard, it would help if Apple just admitted that the Alubook is truly a "Pro" line machine, then it would not have to be castrated. The price puts it up there anyway.

    Then again, those are all "shoulds". As is, the plastic Macbook is a very nice deal.

  16. Hywel Thomas

    @ Sam

    Aparently USB in the new Mac Books (but probably not this one), since they dropped FW, is much speedier. Apple figured out the problem or relented and took out whatever was crippling USB on Mac ?

  17. Christian Berger

    How long will it work?

    The main critique about Apple I have that their products tend to breakt frequently. So please next time you get one to review, drop it a few times to simulate the abuse of a few years of usage.

  18. Dan


    Would this be quick enough to run XP in a VM for my missus to use? (XP for her while I upgrade and bypass Vista, all in one fluid move!) she wouldn't be running anything heavy, it's just for the familiarity of the UI etc.

    Comments appreciated.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    NOTE : No Multi-touch on the trackpad

    One major thing to note - new Macbook White:

    "Solid-state scrolling trackpad for precise cursor control; supports two-finger scrolling, tap, double-tap and drag capabilities"

    See the Input section :

    Aluminum Macbook:

    "Multi-Touch trackpad for precise cursor control; supports two-finger scrolling, pinch, rotate, three-finger swipe, four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap and drag capabilities"

    See the Input section:

    Now, how essential multi-touch is I don't know, but it's a major selling point on most of the Apple products and I think it's rather neat on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    @Mac Phreak

    When was the last time you heard from a 'wintard' ??

    They were silenced by MS about the time that Vista came out.

    Catch up with the times... Rise Above.. Dont sink Down.

    Now breath and read what you wrote:

    "Sure, you could buy an Inspiron for less, but it would be less of a laptop, with a poorer spec."

    Well Duh!

    It isn't like you can go buy a SCC with LinuXP on for like £250 or anything. no that would be less of a laptop/spec and not a mac!

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @Mac Phreak

    It is entirely possible to find a PC laptop with higher spec (Nvidia 8800, 2.5-3.0 Ghz CPU, etc.) for a lower price. What would be nice would be to be able to legally install OS X on it and go to town. Except that Apple will only let you use their os if you pay out the nose for their overpriced hardware to use it on.

    I like OS X, if they'd be ok with me using on other hardware, I would have paid them for it.

    Pirate because you can see where this is going.

  22. Lionel Baden

    @ Mac Freak

    No not just a reason to moan

    I genuinly get pissed off with all those shitty names !!!

    e.g. iPod iPlayer iphone iOMGwhateverthefuck

    anyway with a name like that not really suprised your getting all pissy and defensive.

    but it wasnt @mac it was @shitty name

  23. Thomas


    Should be more than fast enough for XP in a virtual machine - both Parallels and VMWare now even do things like pipe 3d graphics to the 3d card (albeit at a speed penalty, but nothing like the cost of software rendering). Alternatively, if your wife has no interest in OS X at all, you could install XP in a boot camp partition and have the machine boot into that entirely instead of OS X, giving it full unmoderated hardware access.

    @ all the price people, the hardware is well within the range of similar Window devices of similar build quality; there are cheaper Windows boxes and more sturdy Windows boxes for sure, but I think the hardware alone isn't disproportionately priced - especially when you factor in things like operating volume and the two-finger scroll. Personally I just like the software - not just OS X but iMovie, iDVD, etc.

  24. Jon Eiche
    Thumb Up


    I've got a black MacBook that's a couple years old, with a 2GHz Core Duo (not Core 2 Duo, as the new ones have) CPU, and it runs XP like a champ. It's actually more stable than my old ThinkPad. I'm using Parallels (version 3; 4 has seen its problems), but the folks at the local Apple Store like VMware.

  25. Player_16
    Thumb Up

    @ Dan

    The answer is yes.

    VMware is ideal for the machine. Buy it through the net; it'll cost less. You'll be right. Anyway, get her a cheap mouse.

  26. bygjohn


    Haven't tried it, but you could run XP native (ie not in a VM) using Boot Camp (free as part of OSX), just select OS at boot time. I believe it was respectably nippy on the previous generation but one MacBooks (saw a review in Personal Computer World where it got a "recommended" in a group test against a bunch of Windows machines) so should be OK on this one. Others with experience will doubtless confirm/deny but thought I'd respond as no-one else had so far.

  27. Kevin

    Now if they could improve on the plastics...

    Alas, I'm in the market for a new macbook (the 24 screw take-apart to slap in a new superdrive is just depressing enough to consider it)

    My problem with the iPlasticBook (hmm. I'll tm that later) is that in the 18 months I've had it, the edging around the keyboard top has cracked off at the edges bit by bit.

    If it wasn't for the extra cost, I'd consider a UniBody....

  28. Rob Beard
    Jobs Horns

    Re: Apple White MacBook Early 2009

    Am I right in thinking that Apple just keep releasing higher speed versions of the same damn thing and put things like Early 200X, Mid 200X, Late 200X on the model names and expect the horde of iChumps to upgrade to the latest bit of kit?


  29. Anonymous Coward

    @Rob Beard

    "Am I right in thinking that Apple just keep releasing higher speed versions of the same damn thing and put things like Early 200X, Mid 200X, Late 200X on the model names and expect the horde of iChumps to upgrade to the latest bit of kit?"

    You would be wrong in that thinking. Did you even READ the article?

    The updated White MacBook replaces onboard Intel video with the nVidia Geforce 9400M. This is HUGE, it makes a big difference in everything from games to video playback, and will be an important part of their upcoming Snow Leopard (10.6) operating system, which will use OpenCL for at least portions of the UI. The Intel GMA950 graphics used in previous MacBooks was a joke.

    Considering that this unit also has FireWire (unlike the aluminum MacBooks), this is the value-leader in the Macbook line.

    Mines the white Macbook with the Geforce 9400M in it.

  30. Thomas

    @Rob Beard

    No, you're wrong. The 'Late 2008'/whatever additions are used by Apple on the service manuals and other support pages only, and are used there just because the various bits of hardware really do change. If you went into an Apple Store or used the electronic store then you'd just see that it is a white, plastic MacBook.

    As I'm sure you noticed in the text of this article, "in January, with virtually no fanfare at all, Apple went and upgraded the white MacBook".

  31. Anonymous Coward


    "My problem with the iPlasticBook (hmm. I'll tm that later) is that in the 18 months I've had it, the edging around the keyboard top has cracked off at the edges bit by bit"

    That, and the fact there is no multi-touch makes the £200 difference between this low cost machine and the Pro seem worthwhile.

    Plastic really cracking ? I've got solid Dell machines that are older and working fine...

  32. Law
    Thumb Up


    I'm running XP through VMWare... it's really quick, and nice to be able to use XP without having to use XP properly (it's for work... .NET programmer *groans*)... If it wasn't for VMWare I'd probably have an Alienware laptop by now... but I refused to move to Vista... and it seemed pointless paying more for XP to be put on... so I looked into Macbooks... hated Apple the company until I took the plunge, glad I did, been loving OSX, although it's not the solid OS people claim it to be, it's more solid than Ubuntu has been on my previous laptop, and Vista on any computer I've ever touched... so thumbs up.

  33. Mike Moyle

    @ Rob Beard

    No. You're not.

  34. sleepy

    @Lionel Baden

    You may not like "iPod", "iPhone" etc, but at least Apple didn't hijack actual mainstream words as MS did, quite explicitly to further monopolistic ambitions. (Windows, Word, Office etc). Although to be fair, Apple is playing that game now (Pages, Numbers etc).

  35. Brian Whittle


    Missing the SD card port that is on every other (more of less) make of laptop these days

    Do Apple not like the SD interface.

    bit mean on usb's too

  36. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Why care?

    Why do people care what other machines people buy? It's not like they live with you. Apple has been around for 25 years. Maybe it's time people should just realise like there's more than one type of car in a market there's going to be more than one choice of OS in the computer market. If you hate their product you are not being forced to buy Apple. Choose the OS that you love and stick with it and be happy in life. Not that I expect fan bois of any hue to care since they're always well er.....special?

  38. Jasmine Strong
    Jobs Halo

    There's a good reason it has firewire

    Since the new video system clearly necessitated a board respin, they could easily have dropped the FireWire port, but then all the schools and colleges that need FireWire to connect their DV camcorders would not have bought these machines.


  39. Bounty

    @ Hombre sin nombre

    "The 9400M is, truth be told, a sh*t graphics card." yes, but not when you compare it to the Intel GMA 950. Also, I doubt you can get a better MOBILE graphics card + chipset for under 50$.

  40. Jaimie Vandenbergh
    Jobs Halo


    Take it into an Apple store, or ring the support line, and they'll replace the dodgy case parts for you, warranty or not. Apple tend to be good about that sort of thing (when they've screwed up).

  41. Patrick
    Jobs Halo

    The future is even hairier

    Apple owns ARM license, has a crack pot dev company for low power CPU designs, has its own battery design+fab capabilities, and has OS X running on ARM on the iPhone and iPod variant. And the longest battery life 8 1/2+ hours per charge on their largest beefiest hardware laptop.

    Now watch Apple drop an ARM cpu on the next round of Mac laptops and let you run for 3-5 days on a single battery charge doing all your normal web browsing / email consuming tasks or switch to the Intel cpu and 2nd Nvidia GPU 9600GM for super crunching for 8 1/2+ hours on a single charge.

    The futures bright, the other side only has flimsy plastic or chromed plastic creaky boxes and Vista, low battery life, poor thermal design, minimal thermal management, and a whole mess of hurt of bad stigma to overcome from the Vista days.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    'best value' mac?

    Remember the best value of any lump of white plastic is still terrible compared to a proper computer.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    Where you have overheating laptops that can't legally be called laptops as if you put on on your lap you would get burnt, nasty white plastic (I have my aluminium and steel PC cases, much nicer than any mac I have ever seen), non-replaceable batteries in your laptops and portable devices, a propietary OS filled with useless 'features' for their own sake and a lack of customisability and software support, and you are tied to apple's overpriced hardware out of misguided loyalty...

    Oh yes, an ARM CPU... I'm sure if you overclocked it you might just be able to run something resembling a modern desktop OS, as long as you don't to to run more then 3 applications. If you want a low power CPU, look no further than intel Atom (although that is only useful for netbooks), although for real laptops, modern CPUs have plenty of power saving features.

    As for desktops, to quote the BOFH, "A REAL computer has ONE speed and the only powersaving it permits is when you pull the power leads out of the back! In fact, a REAL computer would have a hole in the front to push trees into and an exhaust pipe out the back for the black smoke to come out of."

  44. mario

    buy and acer

    get a decent spec acer for a lot less, load linux on it and watch your i-tard and win-tard friends weep with envy.

  45. Giles Jones Gold badge


    The CPU is laden by USB2, Firewire's chipset does more work which results in less CPU overhead.

    USB 2 in reality is about 240-280meg BPS.

    It's such a shame USB won the legacy replacement war. Licence fees for Firewire in the early days were the killer. Firewire even provides a decent amount of bus power for external devices.

  46. Philip
    Jobs Halo

    Getting a complex?

    A read of pretty much any Reg comment thread will reveal what many have long suspected - that there is far more hydrophobic fanboy behaviour from the anti-mac contingent than the ones that are actually being accused of fanboy-ism.

    And really, mario - *no-one* weeps with envy for penguintards. Really, um, no-one.

    Get yourself out the house a bit more.

  47. Terry Cresswell

    Cars v PC

    The one question that always bugs me is:

    All those who post "I can buy (name cheap PC maker here) for (name huge price difference) less and that anything from Apple is overpriced junk" comments. Do these same people turn around and say "I can buy a Chevrolet Epica for £6-20,000 less and anything by BMW is overpriced junk"?

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