Is it worth $200 more for a black MacBook?

by Derrick Story

Black MacBook

In the world of DSLRs, black means business. Apple must have observed what's going on in other areas of consumer electronics. The white iBook has always been a great machine, but its cute exterior may have deterred macho users. Now with Intel inside, the new MacBook comes in both black and white... but going macho will cost you an extra $200. Is it worth it?

I did a quick poll among our Mac DevCenter bloggers. I've heard everything from, "I Just want the Darth Vader MacBook" to "I really like the look of the black one, but I don't think I'll be spending money just for that," to the more practical, "I am inclined to buy the black one as well... I want to check out the keyboard, the surface (does it scratch easily?) and the screen (can I bear the reflection?) first."

It's not uncommon to charge a bit more for the "pro" look. It's been happening for years in the camera world. It's not the money that tops my concern list, rather, will the black surface be covered with oily finger prints...


2006-05-19 09:01:23
In person I was much less impressed with it than I thought I was going to be (it being the black MB). I'm getting the white. Why couldn't it have been glossy!

2006-05-19 09:22:28
Personally I'm amazed at how much discussion this has generated on this site as well as other "Apple" sites. It is Apple's right to set the prices as they wish and the market will determine if a $200 price difference is warranted.
2006-05-19 10:14:18
The black ones may be flaking.
2006-05-19 11:16:53
We're talking about it because it's fun :)
Ryan Parman
2006-05-19 11:29:08
Let's not forget that the black one also comes with a larger hard drive, which is a reason for the higher cost.
2006-05-19 11:39:48
I prefer the black matte. Aesthetics are not only a part of my purchasing criteria, they are a preference. E.g. given the choice between two pens that perform the same, I'll shell out a little more for one that I like seeing in my hand. It's not really a subjective criteria for some. Apple knows this and that's why they got my money.

If you've got more information on flaking, do tell. I've been using my MacBook for over 24 hours now with nothing to indicate the finish will deteriorate.

2006-05-19 11:57:37
The hard drive upgrade from 60 to 80 GB is only $50 on Apple's online store. So that's still a $150 increase just for the black color, with all else being equal. If Apple included more RAM (1 GB single stick) in the "BlackBook", then the price increase would be more reasonable.
2006-05-19 20:17:39
I don't think they could incude the 1GB of RAM without bumping up the low end MacBook Pro's ram. I think their profit margins could handle it (if the absurdly awesome price of the $1299 MacBook is any indication), but that would still be a pretty big hit on the profit margins they are getting now. And not to defend it, they are getting away with the prices.They are a company out to make a profit. I like them, but they are out to make a profit, not to make me happy (although they do generally make a profit BY making me happy, the profit is still the priority).

My impressions of the black one is that the black matte finish looks very durable, and not prone to scratching. Closed it only looks marginally better, open it is much more attractive then the white one. The black keyboard is rather pretty.

Chris Howard
2006-05-20 00:54:52
I could never justify paying more for a specific color. What's more, being black makes it look like a ThinkPad or a Dell.
Tomas Sancio
2006-05-30 10:32:14
The rightful successor to the Pismo can only be black and made from plastic ;-).

The good news is that it should be quieter than the Pismo. The bad news is that it runs much hotter. I'd buy a BlackBook if I were in the market for such a machine.

Francis Pressland
2006-06-03 14:31:46
When I buy Apple products I think on two levels. On one level I'm being practical and decide on the machine that keeps my workflow smooth and fast. On the other level I'm thinking of the aesthetics of the machine. With a portable computer aesthetics takes on a higher priority than would a desktop machine. In the case of the macBook I just ordered for instance. I decided I won't be needing the extras available in the MacBookPro, and I wouldn't be seen dead with a white laptop computer, so it really is a no-brainer for me.

2006-10-06 19:58:48
It seems absurd that they would charge $150 more for a different colour when their other products (the ipod nano now comes in a variety of colours all for the same price, and the older version of the nano and ipod videos etc all came in black and white at the same price) it just seems like bad business sense to discourage people from buying your product because they feel like they are being cheated. I wanted to buy a black macbook but after looking learning of the price differential between the colours I don't know if I'll buy one in any colour.
2006-10-26 17:15:14
i have the same thing. ive been saving for a while to get my first computer and i really like the black mac book but is it worth the money?? and why does it cost more?
2007-02-21 16:34:12
If we're talking about color, get the refurb. $1299 model ($1099) and make it colorful.
Aaron Abajian
2007-07-11 18:48:47
I realize that this is a pretty old thread but I wanted to point something out. I have just acquired two macbooks: one white, one black. The black one is noticeably heavier than the white one. I believe this suggests that the casing material may be different.
Aaron Abajian
2007-07-11 18:48:59
I realize that this is a pretty old thread but I wanted to point something out. I have just acquired two macbooks: one white, one black. The black one is noticeably heavier than the white one. I believe this suggests that the casing material may be different.
2007-09-16 22:05:00
Suggestions that the black mac weighs more is silly - all macbooks weigh 2.31kg!
I'm a PC user and decided to swich to mac (for several lengthy reasons). I'll be purchasing the black mac from an online store and found that with all the upgrading and to have the same specs (as the white) the black works out to be only $29 AUD more expensive. Absolutely worth it.
Also having played around with both the white and black at a comp store....with the black it was easier to focus on the screen; i found the white casing just blended into the background....thouroughly annoying if your working on images for lengthy periods.
so if you're tossing up between the two...have a look at online computer stores because the difference in price is dramatically reduced than buying it from a retailer.