Apple's MacBook line of laptops has met a dramatic overhaul, moving on to aluminum construction, edge-to-edge glass over LED displays, and oversize multi-touch track-pads. The latest updates have offered more fine-tuning and tweaking including some much-bought-after features.


The 13-inch aluminum uni-body of the Apple MacBook Pro MB990LL / A has been promoted to join the MacBook Pro family. To complete the move, the 13-inch Pro regains its missing FireWire port as well as an SD card slot making things a lot easier in general. The backlit keyboard has also been kept along with a non-removable battery similar to those already found on the MacBook Air and 17-inch Pro. However, Apple promises even better battery life with up to a 40 percent improvement.

Specification-wise the Apple MacBook Pro MB990LL / A offers a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2GB worth of 1066MHz DDR2 memory. The hard disk drive is a standard 160GB version running at 5,400rpm while the chipset is the NVIDIA MCP79. The graphics are the integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M for good overall visuals. The laptop is powered by the OS X Leopard 10.5.7 operating system. While the Apple MacBook Pro MB990LL / A weighs in at 4.5 pounds without the AC adapter this thin and light laptop is more or less the same size as any other 13.3-inch display laptop albeit lighter and thinner than your average non-Apple variation. The design and construction of the system remains the same as last year's model, with its casing carved from a block a aluminum. It's both lighter and sturdier than the older plastic versions of the 13-inch MacBook.

The new Apple MacBook Pro MB990LL / A also retains the same oversize track pad, where the entire surface depresses like a button, although you can also tap like a PC laptop once you turn that option on in the settings menu. The two, three and four-finger multi-touch gestures are also available. Once you get used to this, going back to a regular touch pad is difficult.

According to Apple, the new display offers a wider color gamut, and the screen certainly looks bright and colorful. The 13.3-inch wide-screen LCD offers a 1280×800-pixel native resolution, which is standard for screens this size. The LED screen means a thinner lid and better battery life through more efficient energy usage while the corner-to-corner glass covering the whole display reflects lights easily, making the glossy screen hard to see in some lighting conditions.

Connect-wise the Apple Macbook Pro MB990LL / A offers a Mini-DisplayPort, VGA, mini-HDMI, or Mini-DVI port for displays as well as the standard Stereo speakers, headphone / microphone jacks, stereo speakers and headphone / microphone jacks for audio. The laptop also offers USB2.0 ports, Mini-FireWire 800 ports and an SD card reader as well an ExpressCard / 54 slot for expansion. The laptop connects via standard Ethernet LAN, 802.11 b / g / n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and optional WWAN. The laptop offers a DVD burner as well.

The Apple MacBook Pro MB990LL / A performed as expected, with the 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU roughly on par with the 2.4GHz processor in the late-2008 version of the 13-inch MacBook. This allows it to handle Web surfing, working on office documents, multimedia playback with ease. The NVIDIA GeForce 9400 graphics delivered nearly 60 frames per second in Quake IV at 1024×768-pixel resolution that is respectable in itself. This means that you should at least be able to play World of Warcraft and other 3D MMORPGs with ease.