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Mid-2007 13-inch Black MacBook: 15 Years Later

Picture of the Mid 2007 Black MacBook while closed

This post is another in the series of me looking back at the technology related events that occurred during the year. The reason for the is because 2007 turned out to be a big year for me technology wise. This is the seventh in the series. the previous articles are:

Mid-2007 13-inch MacBook

Back in March I posted about the fact that I purchased a Late-2006 20-inch iMac. While that was both my first Mac overall, it was also my first desktop Mac. A mere 4 months later, I ended up buying a MacBook. In fact, the one that I ended up purchasing was the 13.3-inch Black MacBook.

Price

The 13-inch Black MacBook was more expensive than the regular MacBook. In fact, it was quite a bit more, it started at $1499. The model that I got was the base model, because any upgrades would significantly add to the cost. The second reason I chose that model was because the base specifications were enough for what I needed. On the topic of specifications, let us look at the specifications.

Specifications

Picture of the back of the 2007 MacBook box

What was interesting with the 13-inch Black MacBook was that it had most of the same specifications as the Late 2006 20-inch iMac that I had purchased. It had a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, with 1GB of RAM. The only difference between that and 20-inch iMac is that the MacBook only had a 160GB 5400 hard drive, whereas the iMac had a 250GB 7200 hard drive.

These specs go along with the two USB 2.0 ports and single Firewire port. Along with this, the MacBook had a first-generation MagSafe power port.

OS X

The MacBook came with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The last version of OS X that the 13-inch MacBook supported was Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. The reason that it did not support any newer operating system is the fact that the Intel 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo is a 32-bit processor, and the logic board was 32-bit as well. Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion dropped support for 32-bit processors.

Having multiple Macs, I know I ended up buying the family pack of macOS Leopard so I could install it both of my Macs. The upgrade price of $199, so for $70 more than the single price you could install it up to five computers. This was a great thing to have at the time. Now, of course, macOS upgrades are free, so no special licensing is needed.

Picture of the Mac OS X Tiger DVD
Mac OS X Tiger DVD

On the topic of upgrades, let us look at upgrading the hardware next.

Upgrading Hardware

Even though I purchased just the base model, it was inevitable thaT I would upgrade the MacBook, because it was still possible with that model.One of the best features of the 13-inch Black MacBook was the simplicity of upgrading. The upgrade process was pretty quick. The steps were:

  1. Turn off the MacBook.
  2. Unlock the battery using a coin.
  3. Remove the battery.
  4. Unscrew the four screws holding the memory and hard drive cover.
  5. Remove the memory and hard drive cover.

Once you have removed the cover, you had access to the memory and the hard drive. For the hard drive you could easily remove it with the tab on the hard drive enclosure. The memory could easily be removed by pressing on the two tabs next to the hard drives.

I do not know when, but I know I upgraded both the hard drive and the memory. I know I ended up installing a 250GB 7200 RPM drive and 3GB of memory.

Usage

The MacBook was designed to be portable. At the same time, it was not an inexpensive item. Because of the price, I went looking for a way to protect it, even while I traveled with it. I went looking for a good solution. I ended up buying two things. The first was an Incase 13-inch Laptop sleeve, which I still use to this day, but for my 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Th second item I purchased was a Pelican case. Specifically, it was the Pelican 1450.

Image of the Pelican 1450 case
Image of the Pelican 1450 case

The reason I chose this case was two fold. The first reason is that, as mentioned above, I wanted something that I knew could protect the laptop and a Pelican case definitely could do that. The second reason I went with this model was that it included an insert system that consists of tiny blocks. The blocks can be removed individually which would allow you to customize the function of the case.

Therefore, what I ended up doing was creating a layout for being able to transport just about anything that I could possibly need to transport with it. This included the power brick, the extended charging cord which would go into the power brick, a Mini-DVI to VGA adapter, a Mini-DVI to HDMI adapter, an ethernet cable, and other various cables that I might need, like USB to 30-pin cables.

Was the Pelican case excessive? Looking back now, yes, it was. I definitely did not need such a rugged case. I still have the case today, but it not really used for anything, but I am reluctant to get rid of it, because If I want to use it for something else, I simply need to get a replacement foam set and reconfigure it as necessary.

Now, let us look at how I use the 2007 Black MacBook now.

Usage Today

I no longer really use the 13-inch MacBook. It still functions, but the battery ended up swelling, so I removed it. Furthermore, my brother needed a replacement power cord for his MacBook Pro, so I gave him mine, along with a MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adapter that he can use for his 2012 MacBook Pro.

After initially writing this, I ended up buying a replacement power adapter and a NewerTech battery from MacSales.com. After I powered up the MacBook there were a few updates that needed to be installed, and the last version of macOS that is supported on the Machine is Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which was released in 2011 and the last update was in October of 2012, so it’s been a while since I booted up the MacBook.

Therefore, if I need any data off of the hard drive, I can either copy it directly on the MacBook, using File Sharing, or even use Screen Sharing to copy data.

Closing Thoughts

Even though the 13-inch Black MacBook was more expensive, it did have some higher specifications when purchased. I used the 2007 Black MacBook regularly from 2007 until April of 2015 when I purchased an early-2015 13-inch MacBook Pro, which coincidentally, I am actually using now to write this post, so almost a full eight years of usage of the 2007 MacBook before it was replaced.

I miss the pure black color on the 2007 MacBook. I understand why it is not possible to get a pure black MacBook Pro these days, but it would be really nice to get a MacBook Pro that is darker than the current Space Gray, even if it would cost a bit more for the color.

Apple Newsroom: Apple Updates Popular MacBook – May 15, 2007

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