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Apple's new MacBooks: Worth the upgrade?

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Apple's latest notebook updates have the tech world on fire, but are these upgrades worth your money or will you get a better deal by hitting the Apple Store's refurb bin? We compare the new models to their refurbished counterparts to find out. (Apple's availability of refurbs varies. We used recent prices that may not be in stock right now.)

Apple MacBook (white)
Apple MacBook
Price
$849*
$1,299
Weight
5 pounds
4.5 pounds
Width
(at thickest)
1.08"
0.95"
Screen
13.3" 1280x800 widescreen LCD with LED backlight
13.3" 1280x800 widescreen LCD with LED backlight (glossy)
Processor
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1GHz dual-core processor with 800MHz front side bus
Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz dual-core processor with 1066MHz front side bus
Memory
1GB DDR2 667MHz RAM
2GB DDR3 1066MHz RAM
Hard Drive
120GB 5400 rpm HDD
160GB 5400 rpm HDD
Video Card
Intel GMA X3100 with VGA output
Nvidia GeForce 9400M with Mini DisplayPort
Optical Drive
8x DVD burner
8x DVD burner
Wireless Networking
802.11g
802.11n

Pros: With faster memory, better graphics, and a faster front side bus, the new MacBook is proving its no slouch. The new system also ditches its trackpad buttons for a new, Multi-Touch trackpad that supports two-finger scrolling, three-finger swipes, and four-finger swipes.

Cons: Unfortunately, the new MacBook will only come with glossy displays. Although glossy screens help colors pop (particularly when watching movies), they're also prone to glare, especially when used under direct sunlight. Oddly, the MacBook's CPU has taken a small step backwards from 2.1GHz to 2GHz (albeit with a 1066MHz front side bus). However, our main gripe is with the MacBook's new Mini DisplayPort, which gives it the power to drive displays with resolutions up to 2560x1600, but also requires the need for dongles/adapters that will drive up the price of the overall system. Good move for Apple, expensive move for consumers.

Buy: Though it's $350 pricier than a refurbished version of its predecessor, the new MacBook packs enough cosmetic and internal updates to warrant an upgrade.

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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