Introduced on October 14th 2008, the 6th generation MacBook included a revolutionary redesign rather than standard evolutionary update process that is seen with previous generations. This redesign brings the MacBook closer to the MacBook Pro in almost all respects, and forced Apple to play the dangerous game of removing key standard features such as Firewire in order to artificially influence consumer and prosumer buying patterns. Due the wide variety of updated (specific updates are listed below) the price of the MacBook – one which usually remains static even when updates are released - has also been updated. The price has now gone up across the board: with two versions of the aluminum MacBook coming in at $1299 and $1599, Apple has also included an older style plastic MacBook for those uninterested in the enhanced version and its higher cost. For $999 users get what appears to be a 5th generation MacBook – with 1GB of DDR2, a 120GB drive and Intel GMA 3100 graphics.
A completely redesigned all aluminum enclosure is the first major change. This change is mainly aesthetic but also frees MacBook users from plastic that gets brittle, discolours or cracks. This also allows internal components to wisp away heat through the case more easily.
The MacBook gets an upgraded LED backlight - a feature already found on the MacBook Pro. This backlight uses less energy (extends battery life), produces darker blacks, does not contain mercury, and doesn't dim over time like regular CCFL backlighting.
Integrated graphics from Intel have always forced OSX graphics driven Expose events to stutter on MacBooks. An updated onboard Nvidia 9400M graphics chip which performs 5x faster than any Intel offering eliminates this – and paves way for future graphical improvements in OSX. This also allows users to take part in GPU driven professional applications such as Adobe Photoshop CS4, however due to artificial limitations and less-than-ideal speed a MacBook Pro is the preferred tool for these applications.
A new glass multi-touch trackpad similar now to those on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is included. This update gives users a larger, nicer feeling trackpad with advanced functionality which accepts multi-finger touch commands much like the iPhone and Ipod Touch.
DDR3 Ram is now available for laptops, and is being used in the aluminum MacBooks. This RAM is faster than previous DDR2.