June 8, 2009: Apple promotes its 13-inch MacBook to join the MacBook Pro family, adding a speed bump, new FireWire 800 port, the first SD card slot on a MacBook, improved LED-backlit screen, and backlit keyboard across all models.
Coming the year after Apple radically upgraded its MacBooks with a new aluminum unibody design, the update is more about evolution than revolution. But it still makes for a pretty darn great laptop!
Although standard across Apple’s devices today, the unibody aluminum design was cutting-edge in 2009. It replaced the white plastic of previous MacBooks, which borrowed from the visual look and feel of the iPod.
The push to divide the MacBook clearly into two lines, with the Pro products on one side and the Air on the other, became a necessity when Apple introduced the MacBook Air in 2008. (It’s also the sort of simplified naming convention that Apple seems to be moving away from again.)
In terms of specs, the 2009-era 13-inch MacBook Pro boasted an Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo processor with a choice of 2.26 GHz or 2.53 GHz processor, choice of 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and 160GB or 250GB hard disk. Graphics came courtesy of an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated GPU.
The display brought considerably improvements in terms of color gamut and visibility across different viewing angles.
Best of all, the new laptop offered these improvements while boasting 40 percent longer battery life, thanks to a new built-in lithium polymer battery
In a break from Apple’s current practices, the laptop also received a price cut — despite its new “Pro” title. On launch, the 2009 13-inch MacBook Pro started at $1,199 and ran up to $1,499. Today, you can pick one up on eBay for a couple hundred bucks. With the right patches, it can just about manage the current macOS.
Did you own this laptop? What was your first MacBook (or older Apple laptop) model? Leave your comments below.