Apple refreshed their entry level MacBook today holding its price at $999. The new laptop adds a lot given they didn’t raise the price: NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics, 10 hour battery, a display connector that will convert to HDMI and an upgraded Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz processor. Given the similarities to the 13″ MacBook Pro and the $200 price difference, most folks may just opt for this sweet ride (the MacBook is heavier than the Pro at 4.7 lbs).
This have definitely given me some second thoughts on which laptop to buy. I had recently been looking at the Dell Vostro v13: Aluminum, lightweight (3.5 pounds) and a great entry price point at $550 but with an underpowered processor. It costs $800 to upgrade to the upgrade to a decent configuration with a strong-enough processor (Intel Core Duo SU7300).
The other contender has been the Lenovo IdeaPad U350 which appears to be a well rounded choice at $599 (it goes on sale often). It includes the SU7300 processor, a nice keyboard, 4 GB of RAM and only weighs 3.5 lbs as well.
So, it will be interesting to see how what price other on-line merchants offer the new MacBook at (MacMall is already offering it at $950). My biggest dilemma with the Windows machines is not being able to check them out in person. When I think about the true cost of ownership, it appears there is not that much of a price difference between them and the new MacBook (I rarely have to deal with “maintaining” my iMac). Add on top of that the extra processor and graphics power the MacBook has, it makes me think I will have to go to the Apple store to check it out.