Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Macbooks

The Apple Notebook event happened today, with all 3 laptop incarnations receiving some updates with the Macbook being the most significant. A switch to a machined aluminum unibody and glass over a backlit LCD display, a significant bump to a new NVIDIA GPU (gaming on a Macbook, finally!), and a multi touch trackpad without buttons (I dig that) - well, the trackpad IS the button. The Air got the new NVIDIA graphics as well - should help with that lag watching YouTube videos. The Pro finally got a new look with a new keyboard (same as the Macbook and Air - black chicklet keys), and the 15 incher is now only available in glossy glass screen - no more 15” matte. With the new GPU’s, they’ve switched to a Mini Display Port that will be standardized over all new products and can even power 30 Inch Dual Link displays. Apple also debuted a 24 inch Cinema Display monitor that basically looks like a new iMac display and comes with built in iSight, speakers, mike, 3 port USB hub, a magsafe power adapter to power you laptop when hooked up and the Mini Display Port. So basically, you won’t be using this monitor with anything other than a Mac product unless there’s a way to rig cables to it through the port.

Anyway, the Macbook is definitely the major change, with 3 different models. They are keeping the base level, white plastic Macbook everyone already knows and loves at $1149 ($999 US). The new beauties start at $1399CA for the 2.0 GHZ and $1749CA for the 2.4. Looking at it, it’s interesting that the high end Macbook is now almost the same as the low end Macbook Pro - only $400 cheaper and smaller screen and no Firewire.

I can’t wait to get my hands on these and play with them for a bit, but after reading around the web, here’s some of the thoughts that caught my eye:

- The glass, glossy displays. Reports are that they aren’t just reflective, they’re downright mirrors.
- The Macbook is thinner and a half pound lighter.
- The MacBook and the Air finally get a decent graphics chip. About time Apple.
- The new unibody case design (made from a single block of aluminum) is reported as feeling incredibly solid, and yet the unit is lighter.
- The buttonless trackpad. I really dig this, and I like the whole idea of multi touch. The pad itself will click down when you press it, but with the buttons gone you have more room for the multi touch gestures. I think it’ll be one of those things you love or hate, but if you love it you’ll really, really miss it when you move to another laptop.
- Price. Almost seems to me prices went up a bit, but I could be wrong. Even so, there’s no price break here. However, this day should mean lower refurbed prices, so if you want a matte screen, that’s where you’ll find it.
- A much overdo update to their Cinema Displays, but then only with a Mini Display Port and at $899? Seems a bit much. For that price, I could buy a Sharp 32” 1080P HD TV with multiple inputs and hook up (if I had them) a laptop, PS3, Apple TV, cable box, and more. And watch Blu-Ray.
- No Blu-ray drives. No real surprise, but still. Quote of the day goes to Steve Jobs who said “Blu-ray is a bag of hurt” in regards to licensing and passing the cost to consumers. They’re waiting for better, mass adoption apparently. Still, it’d be nice to backup 50 gigs to one disc.

Well, that’s it for now, but maybe I’ll have more once the local Best Buy brings in the new machines. That usually takes a week or two or three. Then I’ll see just how reflective these cool looking machines are. That’s about the only drawback I can see. Oh, that and the money I can’t afford...

Comments on "New Macbooks"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (October 16, 2008 1:44 PM) : 

I don't see how a new graphics card would help youtube videos, but it should do wonders for games. :-)



Blogger The Texican said ... (October 16, 2008 3:48 PM) : 

I've been on the road for a day or two. Good to see you posting again. Pappy


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