Apple revamps the MacBook line: Sleeker, sexier, slightly more expensive

NOTE: GrowthBeat tickets go up $200 this Friday at 5pm Pacific. VentureBeat is gathering the best and brightest in modern digital marketing to help declutter the landscape, simplify the functions, clarify the goals, and point the way to success. Get the full scoop here, and register by Friday to save!

As expected, and pretty much in line with the rumors, Apple used today’s notebook event to revamp its MacBook family of computers. While the MacBook Pro and MacBook saw the most extensive upgrades, the MacBook Air got smaller upgrade as well.

The new MacBooks and MacBook Pros now look pretty much the same. The main difference aesthetically is that the MacBook has a 13 inch screen, while the MacBook Pro has a 15 inch one. Both are built using Apple’s new manufacturing process, which has been known by the code name “brick” the past several weeks. Basically, Apple take a slab of aluminum and carves from it the frame of these new machines. This makes for a more structurally sound machine, while also trimming it down in size and weight.

Underneath the hood, the devices are also much closer to one another in terms of power. Obviously, the MacBook Pro is still faster, but the MacBook has undergone significant upgrades to literally get up to speed. As such, the price for these new devices has raised slightly, to $1,299 for the new lower-end MacBook.

Of course, Apple’s take on this is that buyers of the MacBook are actually saving $700 when compared to the MacBook Pro, which starts at $1,999. That’s one way to look at it I suppose, but some folks might not be too happy about that. Still, Apple was smart in keeping around one of the older, plastic-framed MacBooks and lowering its price to $999 — $100 lower than the old MacBook’s low-end model.

All of the new devices feature Apple’s new glass multi-touch trackpad. Interestingly, this doesn’t have a button to click. Instead, you actually click the trackpad itself. New multi-touch gestures can be performed on this trackpad which is larger than previous iterations. One new one includes using four fingers to trigger Expose — Apple’s multi-window management system.

The upgrade to the MacBook Air was mostly a small spec upgrade, but it also gets the new gestures for the trackpad (but oddly the trackpad itself is not the new glass one) and new mini display port. The solid state drive option has been doubled in size, which is nice. You can also get the solid state drive option on the MacBook Pro.

I’m going to get my hands on the new systems right now and will report back with pictures.

We're studying digital marketing compensation: how much companies pay CMOs, CDOs, VPs of marketing, and more, with ChiefDigitalOfficer. Help us out by filling out the survey, and we'll share the results with you.