Gigabit Ethernet comes as standard, so you can connect to compatible networks at up to 1,000Mbps. Wi-Fi, of the 802.11a, b and g varieties, makes an appearance, too, as does the faster 802.11n standard. However you may need to jump through hoops to use it. It works fine with an Airport Extreme router, but you'll need to pay a £1.50 activation fee if have a non-Apple router. As before, There's no integrated modem or 3G datacard, so you'll need a broadband router to connect to the Internet.
As before, the MacBook ships with Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger, which includes Spotlight, Dashboard, Mail, iChat AV, Safari, Address Book, QuickTime, iCal, DVD Player and Xcode Developer Tools. You also get Front Row and iLife '06, which consists of iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD, iWeb and GarageBand.
The previous MacBook offered relatively strong performance for a thin-and-light laptop, and as expected, this is slightly quicker. It completed CNET.com's Adobe Photoshop CS2 image processing test in 4 minutes 36 seconds, which is 69 seconds quicker than the 2GHz model. Likewise, it took 2 minutes 17 seconds to encode music in CNET.com's iTunes test -- 13 seconds quicker than the 2GHz model.
Despite being faster, the 2.16GHz MacBook offered slightly better battery life than its predecessor. It lasted 3 hours 36 minutes in the battery-drain test, versus the previous model's 3 hours 30 minutes. Forget about gaming though -- it could only manage 4 frames per second in our Doom 3 test, which is an unplayable rate.
The MacBook is now a more attractive proposition than ever. It's faster, better-equipped and therefore better value than its predecessor. It's not as light as equivalent PC-based laptops such as the Dell XPS M1330, but if you're a stickler for style and you love the OS X operating system, you'd be a fool to overlook it.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Nick Hide