Home Entertainment Core 2 Duo MacBook to launch November 13?

Core 2 Duo MacBook to launch November 13?

Just a couple of weeks after the MacBook Pro was upgraded with Intel’s Core 2 Duo chip, an online vendor is offering a 13.3-inch Core 2 Duo MacBook for pre-sale, upstaging any Apple announcement. Is it for real, just a misprint or a malicious trick?

UK online retailer Play.com are offering a MacBook with a Core 2 Duo chip, available for pre-order  with an expected release date of November 13.

The specifications listed are effectively identical to the existing 13.3-inch MacBook, with specific mention of the Core 2 Duo processor in the listed specifications.

However in the descriptive text below, only the Intel’s older Core Duo processor is mentioned.
Interestingly, it’s not the first time Play.com have offered a Core 2 Duo MacBook for pre-sale.

They did so a couple of weeks ago, only to remove the listing. Now the listing is back, although there’s no word, official or otherwise, from Apple to confirm or deny the new MacBook’s impending availability.

Many current and potential Mac buyers have been waiting for Apple to release a laptop computer with the 64-bit Core 2 Duo, with Apple finally delivering the MacBook Pro’s in the last couple of weeks. But many were dismayed that the MacBook was not similarly updated.

One of those people is me – I’m very keen to buy an Apple laptop, but the larger sizes of the MacBook Pro, at 15.4 and 17-inches don’t appeal anywhere near as much as a black 13.3-inch MacBook, which for me, at least, is far more portable for my liking.

Having a 64-bit Core 2 Duo also means better performance with Apple’s current OS X 10.4 Tiger operating system, and the OS X 10.5 ‘Leopard’ version due in mid 2007. It will also deliver better performance when running Windows XP or Vista on your Mac.

A lot of benchmark testing on the Internet has also uncovered that the Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro’s don’t seem to offer quite the 39% performance boost that Apple are claiming.

Current reports indicate only a 10% performance boost, but that’s also with the current OS X 10.4 operating system. OS X 10.5 should be better optimised for the 64-bit Core 2 Duo, and with Mac users often getting better performance from existing machines when a new version of OS X is released, we can only expect the same will happen again.

And even if it really is only a 10% performance boost, that’s a performance boost I’d certainly want to have. Who wants to buy technology that’s about to be superceded?

As for the veracity of Play.com’s offering... we’ll know for sure in the next week! Stay tuned...

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.