MacBook 13-inch Aluminum Late 2008 Explained

Source: – MacBook Aluminum Unibody

The Apple MacBook 13-inch Aluminum Late 2008, a part of the MacBook computer series, was introduced, manufactured, and distributed by Apple from 2008 to 2009. Unveiled on October 14, 2008, this notebook computer carried a starting price of $1,299.

Featuring the innovative NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, a groundbreaking 3D integrated graphics processor with 16 parallel processing cores, the late 2008 MacBook boasted up to five times the 3D graphics performance compared to previous MacBook and MacBook Air models. Developed in collaboration with NVIDIA, this graphics processor marked a significant leap in performance within the MacBook family. Adhering to stringent environmental standards such as Energy Star 4.0, EPEAT Gold, and RoHS, Apple positioned the new MacBook line as an industry leaders in eco-friendliness.

Notably, these laptops were crafted without brominated flame retardants, utilized PVC-free internal components, incorporated energy-efficient LED-backlit displays devoid of mercury, and featured arsenic-free glass.

Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs, lauded the MacBook’s construction from a single block of aluminum, highlighting its eco-conscious design as the greenest in the industry.

The MacBook introduced a sleek glass Multi-Touch trackpad, offering users nearly 40% more tracking area than its predecessors. This enhancement facilitated seamless utilization of Multi-Touch gestures like pinch, rotate, and swipe, with additional gestures enabling quick access to Exposé and application switching. Moreover, the entire trackpad surface functioned as a button, enabling both tracking and clicking functions, including right-clicking via software.

MacBook Aluminum Unibody Keyboard
Source: – MacBook Aluminum Unibody Keyboard

Equipped with LED-backlit displays, the MacBook series offered instant-on performance with up to 30% less energy consumption compared to earlier models. These displays, featuring ultra-thin profiles and arsenic-free glass, delivered vivid colors and crisp images, ideal for viewing photos and videos. Notably, the edge-to-edge cover glass ensured a smooth, seamless viewing experience.

Positioned as an accessible alternative to the MacBook Pro, the 13-inch aluminum MacBook combined a robust all-metal enclosure, high-performance 3D graphics, and LED-backlit displays at an entry price of $700 lower than the MacBook Pro. Weighing just 4.5 pounds and measuring 0.95 inches thin, this compact and durable notebook started at $1,299. With the inclusion of the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor, the MacBook delivered exceptional 3D gameplay on a consumer notebook, boasting up to five times faster graphics performance than its predecessors. Available in two models, the MacBook offered options such as a 2.0 GHz processor with a 160 GB hard drive or a 2.4 GHz processor with a 250 GB hard drive and a backlit keyboard.

The MacBook featured a next-generation Mini DisplayPort, enabling connectivity with the Apple LED Cinema Display, renowned for its 24-inch LED-backlit widescreen display, integrated iSight video camera, mic, and speakers. As part of the DisplayPort industry standard, the Mini DisplayPort transmitted a pure digital signal capable of driving up to a 30-inch widescreen display. Moreover, the ultra-compact size of the Mini DisplayPort complemented the sleek design of the MacBook family, with adapters available for compatibility with older VGA, DVI/HDMI, and Dual-Link DVI displays.

Every MacBook came bundled with iLife ‘08, Apple’s suite of digital lifestyle applications, including iPhoto and a redesigned iMovie, seamlessly integrated with the MobileMe Gallery for online photo and video sharing. Additionally, each MacBook included Leopard, touted as the world’s most advanced operating system, featuring Time Machine for automated backups, a redesigned Finder for efficient file browsing and sharing, Quick Look for instant file previews, Spaces for application grouping and switching, and significant enhancements to Mail and iChat.

MacBook Aluminum Unibody Side
Source: – MacBook Aluminum Unibody Side

Specs for the late 2008 MacBook included a 2 GHz or 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a 13.3″ TFT Display, an aluminum unibody case, 2 GB of RAM, a 160 GB or 250 GB hard drive, a slot-loading 24x DVD-R/CD-RW dual-layer “SuperDrive” drive, built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, an iSight camera, an ambient light sensor, an illuminated keyboard (exclusive to the 2.4 GHz model), and 256 MB NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics in the base model.

The MacBook 13-inch Aluminum Late 2008 was discontinued on June 8, 2009. As of today, it celebrates its 15-year anniversary.

MacBook Aluminum Unibody Lid
Source: – MacBook Aluminum Unibody Lid

MacBook 13-inch Aluminum Late 2008 Details

Introduced October 14, 2008 – 15 years ago
Discontinued June 8, 2009 – 14 years ago
Last Software Update October 18, 2016DateCounter error: Failed to parse time string (2016-19-18) at position 6 (9): Unexpected character years ago
Time on the Market 237 days (7 months)
Time of Support DateCounter error: Failed to parse time string (2016-19-18) at position 6 (9): Unexpected character months (DateCounter error: Failed to parse time string (2016-19-18) at position 6 (9): Unexpected character years)
Model Identifier MacBook5,1
Model Number A1278
EMC 2254
Order Number MB466LL/A (2.0 GHz)
MB467LL/A (2.4 GHz)
Original Price $1,299
Colors Aluminum
Weight 4.5 Ibs.
2.041 KG
Dimensions 0.95” H x 12.78” W x 8.94” D
2.41 cm H x 32.46 cm W x 22.7 cm D

MacBook 13-inch Tech Specs


Processor Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 “Penryn” (2 GHz)
Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 “Penryn” (2.4 GHz)
Processor Speed 2 GHz
2.4 GHz
Architecture 64-bit
Number of Cores 2
System Bus 1066 MHz
Cache 3 MB on-chip shared L2

Storage & Media

Storage 160 GB HDD
250 GB HDD
320 GB HDD
128 GB SSD
256 GB SSD
Media 1 – 8x DVD-R/CD-RW dual-layer “SuperDrive” slot-loading drive


Built-in Memory 2 GB
Maximum Memory 4 GB (Apple)
8 GB (Actual)
Memory Slots 2 – PC3-8500 DDR3 204-pin SO-DIMM 1066 MHz
Interleaving Support Yes


Built-in Display 13.3″ LED-backlit TFT glossy widescreen Display
Pixel Density 114 ppi
Brightness 250 cd/m²
Resolutions 640 x 480
720 x 480
800 x 500
800 x 600
1024 x 640
1024 x 768
1152 x 720
1280 x 800 (native)


Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
Graphics Memory 256 MB DDR3 SDRAM shared from main memory*
Display Connection 1 – Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI or dual-link DVI with adapter)
Display Modes Dual display extended and video mirroring
External Resolution Up to 2560 x 1600 pixels
Camera iSight
*Minimum graphics memory usage is 256 MB


Expansion Slots None
Hard Drive Interface 3 Gbps Serial ATA (SATA)
Optical Drive Interface 3 Gbps Serial ATA (SATA)
Bays None


Wi-Fi AirPort Extreme Card 802.11a/b/g/n
Ethernet 10/100/1000BASE-T (RJ-45 – support for jumbo frames)
Modem Apple USB Modem MA034Z/A (Optional)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Infrared 1 – For Apple Remote Only
USB 2 – 480 Mbps
Audio In 1 – 3.5-mm analog/optical combo jack
1 – Built-in microphone
Audio Out 1 – 3.5-mm analog/optical combo jack
2 – Built-in speakers
Display 1 – Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI or dual-link DVI with adapter)
Security Slot 1 – Kensington cable lock


Motion Sensor Sudden Motion Sensor (SMS)
Liquid Sensor Liquid Contact Indicators (LCI)

Keyboard and trackpad

Keyboard Built-in Full-size 78-key (U.S.) or 79-key (ISO) incl. 12 function and 4 arrow keys, illuminated keyboard*
Trackpad Multi-Touch trackpad
*2.4 GHz model only


Original OS Mac OS X 10.5.5
Later OS Mac OS X 10.5.6
Maximum OS OS X 10.11.6
Firmware Intel Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI)
AirDrop Supported
Bundled Software Mac OS X 10.5
iLife ’08 (includes iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, GarageBand)


System Battery 45 W Lithium-Polymer
Backup Battery None
Battery Life Up to 5 hours
Maximum Battery Cycles 500
Maximum Continuous Power Unknown
Line Voltage 100-240 V AC
Power Adapter 60 W MagSafe Power Adapter

MacBook Introduction Video

Further Reading and References

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