The new polycarbonate MacBook released today has gained some tantalizing new features, but in the process of redesigning the case to accept the new integrated battery, it's also lost two ports.
Just like the unibody aluminum MacBooks released last year, the latest version of the plastic MacBook has no Firewire port. This also means that the last Firewire 400 port in the Mac lineup has vanished – all new Macs, save the Firewire-free new MacBook, now have Firewire 800 only. Farewell, Firewire 400, we hardly knew ye.
But that's not all that's been lost: in a more puzzling omission, the MacBook has also lost its dedicated audio out port. Now one port does the job of both audio output and input.
I don't imagine the loss of Firewire will go down well with many people (it certainly didn't the last time this happened), but the audio port seems like less of an issue. If you're going to do any serious audio work, you're generally going to want to use a USB peripheral anyway, and having one port do everything makes it impossible to plug your headphones into the wrong port and unintentionally blast your potentially embarrassing iTunes playlist to passersby. Not that that's ever happened to me...
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