10. 14. 2008
Any Apple event brings about endless speculation and anticipation, which crash sometime during the event when the photoshopped images of fake products don't end up being introduced. Today's Apple event announced new MacBooks and MacBook Pros and a new Cinema display.
1.- Are there significant changes from the prior generation of MacBooks or just small incremental changes in design or speed? Answer: Pretty significant but not killer.
2. Will people be able to tell that you have the newest MacBook, therefore entitling you to a couple months of envious glares? Answer: Yes, but only from pretty serious geeks as the new models don't look dramatically different at a glance.
3. Is there something so ground-breaking and new (like the iPhone, which changed the game for a mobile Internet device) that you should go grab a sleeping bag and camp out in front of the Apple store now, before the shipments even arrive at the store? Answer: No, mercifully no.
Details on the new MacBook Pros:
As rumored, the MacBook Pros are fashioned out of single piece of aluminum, for a sleeker, more streamlined design. The 15.4" backlit LCD is now even slimmer, although it's a glossy finish, which won't please some people who constantly fight glare. Battery life is the same, 5 hours, when you're using the wireless connection. The graphics chip is updated to the NVIDIA Geforce 9600, with 256 or 512 MB of video memory. The Intel Core 2 Duo processor comes in speeds from 2.4 to 2.8 GHz. You can get 2 GB or 4 GB of RAM and a 250 GB or 320 GB hard drive with an option for a solid state drive.
Perhaps the most striking new feature is the larger, glass touchpad which now supports more touch functions and gets rid of the mouse button as the whole touchpad is now a large, hardware button which can be pushed, not merely tapped.
The new 13.3" MacBook also has improved graphics, faster processor, and the larger, glass touchpad. The higher end model also has a backlit keyboard like the MacBook Pros. The MacBook, like its bigger sister, also is made from a single piece of aluminum.
The size and weight of both the MacBook and MacBook Pro remain unchanged. It's a pretty big overhaul, both inside and out, but the end result doesn't look too different.
The new MacBook costs $1299 for the 2.0 GHz model, and $1599 for the 2.4 GHz. The older white MacBook is still available for now.
The MacBook Pro is $1999 for the 2.4 GHz model and $2499 for the 2.53 GHz.
The MacBook Air is also getting a small makeover (insides only) with a faster NVIDIA graphics card and more storage, but they won't be shipping until November. The MacBook and MacBook Pro should be available in stores tomorrow.
Unfortunately, rumors of a lower-priced MacBook, or a possible tablet PC turned out to be just that, just rumors. Instead the lower price point item turned out to be the new 24" LED Cinema Display, specially designed to be used with MacBooks. It supports the new MiniDisplay port for easy plug-in and out, and has a built-in iSight camera, microphone, speakers, and a USB hub. The LED Cinema display ships in November and is $899.