Well, it was a big day for Apple fan’s such as myself. Apple made 3 major announcements today at the Apple Cupertino campus event. The event was titled “And now the spotlight turns to Laptops” so it is no surprise that there were minor and significant refreshes across the line for Apples many laptops.
15″ Macbook Pro (Significant Changes)
Today, Apple announced a newly redesigned 15″ Macbook Pro. This thing is sexy! The new Macbook boast a wide range of new technical and design features.
Among the many new features, the most stunning is the new design. The updated design features a brand new glass trackpad that features no buttons. This seems interesting, I use the tap to click a lot, but I also still enjoy some physical feedback from my buttons.
The black chicklet style keyboard currently available on the Macbook Air has also been brought to the new MBP with backlighting. This is one of my favorite new features. I like the current Macbook Pro keyboard, but sometimes, when the backlighting is off, it is hard to see the actual lettering on the keys.
Another additional design feature is the new all glass display, it has a think black bezel around it that looks very sexy. One thing that bugs me about the screen, is that Apple is discontinuing the matte display option which I love and will miss greatly.
Overall, the new design is a huge step in the right direction. Apple has moved all the ports (Magsafe, Ethernet, Firewire 800, USB 2.0 X 2, Mini Display, Express Card, and Audio In/Out) to the left side. The super drive which was rumored to get upgraded to Blu-Ray (didn’t happen) has been moved to the right side. One minor but useful change, is the battery life display has been moved to the left side from its original location on the bottom of the current model.
The new Macbook Pro has received some minor spec bumps including a 250GB hard drive standard with 7200 RPM upgrades, but added today is the option for a 128GB Solid State Drive ($600.00) upgrade. Another new technical feature is the Apple mini display port which is replacing the current full size DVI port. This is cool, because I always thought the DVI port looked out of place on the Macbook Pro. On a negative note, Apple is not including any adapters for this new port, so if you wish to hook it to anything but Apples new 24″ Display, you will have to spend $29.99 on an adapter, this sucks. They should include this in the box!
The big daddy technical feature released to day is the new NVIDIA graphics chips, yes, I said chipssss! The Macbook Pro comes with 2 GPUs, one for regular daily use, and one for advanced gaming that you can switch on and off to save battery life. This is pretty sweet. The daily use chip is the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and the advanced card is the NVIDIA 9600M GT. Both of these chips are “screamers” as Steve likes to put it.
All in all, the new Macbook Pro’s are sexy as can be, and boost some nice added features. I will be purchasing one of these ASAP. I am not a huge fan of the Glossy only option, the new buttonless trackpad will have a learning curve, and I was really hoping for Blu-Ray. Check out http://www.apple.com/mac/ for more information. The 17″ Macbook Pro recieved some minor technical spec bumps, but the old design still stands.
13″ Macbook (Significant Changes)
The Macbook went through a lot of the same changes the Macbook Pro went through. Some of the additions are the new glass display with the black bevel, the glass button less trackpad, black chicklet style keyboard (backlighting on higher end version ONLY) the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M GPU, the the new mini display plug, and the all aluminum shell. They are just as awesome, and just as sexy looking, but I personally need a 15″ screen.
They are still offering the low end white Macbook at a new low price of $999. For more information, see http://www.apple.com/macbook/.
24″ Cinema Display (Significant Changes)
The final thing Apple introduced this morning was a brand new 24″ Cinema Display. The pretty much matched the 24″ iMac, but with out the computer part. As you can see, it has an aluminum swivel stand for easy adjusting. What is new, is the addition of dock like connectors that allow you to really attach it to your new Macbook or Macbook Pro.
It has 3 plugs, a Magsafe, a USB 2.0, and a mini display adapter. The Magsafe is my favorite in that it allows you to charge the Laptop off the Displays power. This means you can leave your laptop power adapter in your bag. The USB allows you to use the display as 3 port USB powered hub, which is great so you can leave your external drives and iPhone dock plugged in to the display all the time. The USB cord also allows you to use the displays built in iSight camera, speakers, and mic. The final plug is a mini display which, you gussed it, allows you to view your Macbook screen on the 24″ display! This display is badass, but it is a little high in price at $899.
For more information check out http://www.apple.com/displays/.
The new Macbook Pro is not all I hoped it would be, but it is still definatly a great step up, and I will be upgrading immediately. Look for a new unboxing by the end of this week.
The new Macbook is awesome to, and I am sure it is going to sell like Bennie Babies did in the 90’s, but for me 13″ is just to small.
The new cinema display is very sweet, but a bit to expensive for me to adopt it right away. Maybe a few months down the line. I love the addition of the dock like connectors which will make a easy 3 plug in solution.