A look at the MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) . . . in 2017

MacBook_Late2009

The white polycarbonate unibody MacBooks are officially no more with Apple dropping support for the MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010), the last of this series, along with several other older models including the 13-inch MacBook Pro (Mid 2009), 15-inch MacBook Pro (Mid 2009) and 15-inch MacBook Pro 2.53GHz (Mid 2009). The end of support means Apple will no carry inventory/parts for nor make repairs to these models should you experience any hardware issues. However, you may be able to find third-party repair shops capable of making repairs albeit potentially expensive repairs.

While these models are considered older, outdated and obsolete by today’s standards, some can still run well if kept in good physical condition and with a few upgrades. For instance, let’s look at the MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) series.

At the time of release, the base model MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) came with a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM (upgradeable to 4GB* of RAM), NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of shared memory, a 250GB SATA 5400RPM hard drive (upgradeable to an optional 320GB or 500GB 5400RPM hard drive) and Mac OS X v.10.6 Snow Leopard. Additional features included: 8x Dual-Layer SuperDrive, Gigabit Ethernet, Built-in Airport and Bluetooth, Built-in iSight, Mini DisplayPort, two USB 2.0 ports, 3.5mm audio jack, Kensington lock slot and MagSafe with 60-watt power adapter.

Our MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009), which I coincidentally am using to write this post, was ordered to the base model configuration but customized with 4GB of RAM instead of 2GB of RAM. It’s currently running 8GB* of RAM, a Sandisk 240GB Solid State Drive (SSD) and Apple’s latest operating system, macOS Sierra v.10.12.

While the upgraded MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) is a bit slower than the new MacBook product lines (and quite a bit heavier), it still performs quite well and gives our MacBook some new life. From running the latest applications to surfing the web, streaming audio and video, social media and so forth, the MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) can still deliver and get the job done. And of course, if you need the SuperDrive and all those traditional ports, they are available on this model.

 

*The MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) can support up to 8GB of RAM. The 4GB of RAM limit is based upon Apple’s official specifications at the time of product release. When upgrading to 8GB of RAM (2 x 4GB modules), verify that the RAM modules have been certified to work in the MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009). Some RAM modules may not be supported in the MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) at the 8GB limit.

A Look at Apple’s MacBook 12-inch (2016)

Last year, Apple gave its MacBook 12-inch model a nice refresh. While the outside remained the same, the refresh did provide improvements to the CPU/processor, RAM, flash storage and battery life.

While the MacBook 12-inch model may not meet the needs of power users, it will meet the needs of those looking for a lightweight (around 2 lbs.), small form factor laptop with a Retina Display and decent performance for e-mail, Internet access, productivity applications (ex: MS Office), social media, streaming music & video.

MacBook

Testing a MacBook 12-inch (2016) base model with a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.2GHz), 8GB RAM and 256GB PCIe-based flash storage, the MacBook performed well throughout the initial setup, installation of applications, web surfing, streaming music & videos and file transfers. The general performance was quite impressive and counter to what I thought I might experience (ex: spinning beach balls). While I wouldn’t recommend using the MacBook 12-inch model for Adobe Creative Cloud, audio/video editing and exports (even if you upgrade to the Intel Core m5 or m7 processors . . . though feel free to experiment at your own discretion); for most day-to-day computing needs, the MacBook should work well.

Of course, the starting price of $1299, the single USB-C port and the need for a variety of USB-C adapters to work with existing peripherals and devices may influence your decision on whether to go with the MacBook 12-inch model. Keep in mind that the new 2016 MacBook Pro models also utilize the USB-C ports (either 2-ports or 4-ports) so adapters will still be necessary should you opt for the new MacBook Pro. Apple is still offering as an option the previous generation MacBook Pro in both 13-inch and 15-inch models with the traditional ports as well as the MacBook Air.

MacBook Accessories

If you do opt for a MacBook 12-inch model, there are accessories you may want to consider. While there are certainly plenty of accessories available, here are just a few to consider.

Mosiso Polyester Fabric Sleeve for MacBook 12-inch (Color: Black & Hot Blue)

Mosiso

The Mosiso sleeve is a nice, well-padded sleeve for the MacBook. The material feels both soft and durable. The black & hot blue color is very nice. There is an external zippered pocket to store accessories like the 29W USB-C power cable & adapter and USB-C adapters. The sleeve is available on Amazon for $12.99 – http://amzn.to/2okjsIm.

Satechi Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-port Hub Adapter with Type-C Charging Port, 4K HDMI Video Output (30 Hz) and two USB 3.0 Ports

 

The Satechi USB-C hub adapter is a portable, easy-to-use, plug-n-play accessory. Connect it to the single USB-C port on your MacBook and it will give you a USB-C passthrough port for charging, two USB 3.0 ports for your USB devices and a HDMI port (30 Hz) for video output. Note: The Satechi USB-C hub adapter does not support the Apple SuperDrive.

The Satechi USB-C hub adapter comes in four colors (silver, space gray, gold, rose gold) which correspond to the four color options of the MacBook. While this hub adapter will not solve all your USB-C adapter needs, it’s a nice place to start. The Satechi USB-C hub adapter is available on Amazon for $59.99 – http://amzn.to/2nCurQl.

Apple has a series of USB-C adapters available at discounted prices for a limited time. Note: The discounts apply to USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 accessories for a limited time. For $49.00, you can get the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter (which includes a USB-C port, HDMI port and USB port) or the USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter (which includes a USB-C port, VGA port and USB port) to name a few. For a complete list of USB-C adapters, visit Apple’s website at http://www.apple.com.