Apple recently unveiled its new MacBook Air, along with its latest operating system, Mac OS X Lion. What Apple failed to highlight was that it has also quietly dropped the faithful old MacBook from its store.
If you're after an Apple laptop, your choices are now limited to the MacBook Pro, with its sleek unibody design and powerful guts, or the new MacBook Air, which is slim enough to slice through parmesan.
Alternatively, you could set your sights on a different company's offerings. There won't be a fruit on the lid, but that doesn't necessarily make it a fruitless search. That's right. We went there.
To help in your quest, we've provided five good alternatives to the MacBook, which is now resting peacefully in silicon heaven. Rest your polycarbonate bones in peace, MacBook.
Sony Vaio E series VPCEA3S1E
Sony's VPCEA3S1E is a fancy-looking beast. It's slightly bigger than the MacBook, packing a 14-inch, rather than 13.3-inch, screen. Its dimpled surface is rather attractive, and this machine is available in white, just like the deceased MacBook.
The VPCEA3S1E packs a dual-core Intel Core i3-370M chip clocked at 2.4GHz, along with 4GB of RAM, which should make for better performance than the MacBook offered. With an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 graphics chip, you should be able to tackle some light gaming too.
The machine is available now for around £650. Why not read our full review?
With a 13.3-inch screen, the Samsung SF310 is roughly the same size as the MacBook. It's also available with a glossy white shell, although the interior is more of a slate colour. Under the hood, you'll find a dual-core, 2.53GHz Intel Core i5-460M processor and 4GB of RAM.
The SF310 performed well in our benchmark tests, so we're confident it will cope well with multitasking, video streaming and even photo and video editing.
It can be yours for around £680. Check out the full SF310 review here.
Another Samsung offering worth checking out is the Q430. It's a 14-inch machine that's slim enough to slide easily into a bag. The shell is black, rather than white, but Michael Jackson always said that doesn't matter.
Its dual-core, 2.26GHz Intel Core i3-350M processor delivered good performance in our tests, and this machine makes a fair stab at gaming too, although don't expect it to run the latest titles brilliantly. The Q430 also offers long battery life, so you can confidently venture away from a wall socket for at least a few hours at a time.
The Q430 costs around £660, but don't buy it before you've read our full review.
The U36JC looks nothing like the MacBook, but some would argue that's a bonus. It has a 13.3-inch screen and it's wonderfully thin and light. It's very sturdy too, so you can lug it around in a bag all day without worrying about caving its lid in.
At the U36JC's heart, you'll find a dual-core, 2.53GHz Intel Core i5-460M processor teamed with 4GB RAM. They provide enough power to stream 1080p video while multitasking, and you can expect this machine to handle photo and video editing too. Overall, its performance is surprisingly good for such a thin and light laptop.
If the U36JC floats your boat, you can pick it up now for around £700. Make sure to check out our full review first.
Sony Vaio C series VPCCA1S1E
If you just can't stop contemplating the white plastic shell of the MacBook, check out Sony's VPCCA1S1E. Its plastic shell is also available in white, along with a whole host of other retina-melting colours. It has a 14-inch screen, but it's pretty chunky, so you may need a strong bag to carry it in -- or a strong servant.
Inside, you'll find a dual-core, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M processor with a stingy 2GB of RAM. You can double the RAM for only 20 quid or triple it for 60 smackers. With higher RAM, the VPCCA1S1E will put in a decent performance.
The version of the VPCCA1S1E with 4GB of RAM costs around £650. Check out our full review to see if you think this machine is worth your wonga.