Apple briefly cuts student price of MacBook to $728

Apple on Tuesday reduced the price of its least expensive notebook to $728 for students, teachers and educational staff.

The company's educational online store yesterday listed the MacBook for $728 , a 19% reduction from the new $899 standard price for students and teachers -- earlier, the educational price was $949 -- and 27% less than the $999 price tag for other customers.

It was the lowest price Apple had slapped on the MacBook since the machine first appeared in May 2006 for $1,099.

The MacBook sports a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive and integrated Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics.

Apple's entry-level laptop was revamped Oct. 20 , when Apple started shipping the 13.3-in. notebook with a sleeker "unibody" enclosure, similar in look to the more expensive MacBook Pro line. Apple's MacBook remains the only Apple portable that uses a polycarbonate case; all others feature a more stylish and sturdy aluminum enclosure.

Computerworld 's Michael DeAgonia called the MacBook "a solid deal" in his first take review last month, but noted that at its full price, it was only $200 less than the $1,199 low-end MacBook Pro, which features the aluminum case, a FireWire 800 port, an SD card slot, and backlit keyboard. The educational price for the entry-level MacBook Pro is $1,099.

Apple did spell out how long the MacBook's $728 educational price would last and by late Tuesday, the price was listed at $899.

College students, as well as teachers, administrators and staff at both college and K-12 levels, are eligible to purchase Apple products at the company's educational discounts.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld . Follow Gregg on Twitter @gkeizer , send e-mail at or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed .

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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