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What's the Difference Between the Unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro?

These days $200 is a lot of money, so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of you are wondering what you''ll be sacrificing if you opt for the new unibody $999 MacBook, or what you'll gain if you spring for the $1,199 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Here's a quick summary.

Unibody MacBook: What You Don't Get

  • Aluminum design (though polycarbonate MacBook feels pretty sturdy to us)
  • SD Card reader (deal-breaker for me, but others will be okay with this omission)
  • Display with 60 percent greater color gamut (photo editors may think twice about new MacBook, but it was plenty bright in our early hands-on)
  • No backlit keyboard (bummer, but we can live with it)
  • No FireWire 800 (some video producers demand it, but most peripherals use USB, and USB 3.0 is on the way--so expect a refresh next year)
  • No infrared port (nothing to see here).

Overall, the unibody MacBook Pro looks like a good deal. You get a fast Core 2 Duo processor, Nvidia 9400 graphics, and a rated 7 hours of battery life. All in a stylish package that's under 5 pounds with a DVD drive. Stay tuned for a full review.

Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.