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RealTime IT News

Apple's entry-level laptop on sale (briefly)

Apple has had a very long historical connection to the education market, dating all the way back to the Apple IIe. I know, that was the first computer I used in a serious way in high school (we had some TRS-80s but they didn't last long).

The latest news for the education market is a bit of a head-scratcher. On Tuesday, Apple temporarily reduced the price of its low-end MacBook from $899 to $728 for students, teachers and educational staff, a 19 percent reduction. Apple products aren't known for going on sale, so this makes it an especially big bargain.

Within a day, it was back up to $899. Why they did this is not clear, and Apple is closed for the holiday week so there is no one to ask why.

The MacBook comes with a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive and integrated Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics. It uses a solid plastic body case instead of the unibody aluminum design of its big brothers.

Apple's educational discounts apply to college students, teachers, administrators and staff at both K-12 and college levels.

Apple's got quite a foothold on higher ed: at the 2008 MacBook launch, COO Tim Cook said Apple had 39 percent of the higher ed market, and the embrace is mutual. The University of Missouri's Columbia School of Journalism earlier this year passed a requirement that its students to have an iPod Touch or iPhone (although that turned into a headache) and there's this infamous photo from a Columbia classroom.

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Sure explains a few things I've seen over the years...