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Greggball

New Laptops (MacBook/MacBook Pro/MacBook Air)

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Am surprised nobody has put anything up about the Apple announcement on Tuesday, so here is my take on the announcement from a UK point of view:

 

MacBook Air was revised better graphics processor, but it's still expensive and a fashion statement. (sorry)

 

MacBook, this is were I get confused. First the black MacBook is gone. The white MacBook is now the starting point of the MacBook range it has the same spec as before (2.1 CPU, onboard Intel GMA graphics, 1Gb RAM, 120Gb Drive) and it is the cheapest at $999 a full $100 cheaper in the US. However this looks like a bit of a fire sale to get rid of old stock, plus in the UK the price has actually gone up from £699 to £719. Not a lot but it's an increase which is a bit of shame.

 

However there two other models which are in aluminum case, it's thinner, same CPU's (2.0/2.4GHz), same RAM 2Gb / 4Gb, but the graphics is the new 9400m GT NVidia chip which will improve things. A glass button less touch pad with upto four finger gestures. Plus the keyboard is backlit. Oh and Firewire is not present on these new MacBooks.

 

All MacBooks come with the standard 13.3" screen, of which the white is glossy, while the new models are glass (glossy).

 

Prices for the new models have risen on both sides of the pond. Here in the UK, what was £829 is now £949 and what was £999 is now £1149.

 

Personally the new models look nice but I would wait to find out what the new glass trackpad is like and if the NVidia chipset boosts performance. If you have firewire then you may want the older style MacBook or go for the MacBook Pro.

Personally I would browse the refurb store of older MacBooks or MacBook Pro instead of buying a entry level one, at least you will get a discount.

 

Anyway Steve & Co also presented us with the New MacBook Pro. Once again only two of the three models got re-newed.

If your looking for a new 17" MacBook Pro you will have to wait, it has slight refresh, I think.

The new two models are both 15" screen which are glass and no Matt versions available. Both come in the new thinner aluminium case, and have the glass button less trackpad. You can now easily swap the hard drive on the MacBook Pro (which I assume couldn't before) and there are options for Solid State Drive (which cost a pretty penny or two). Unlike the new MacBooks the pro does have a firewire 800 port and like the MacBooks they have a mini DVI port for external monitors. The new models come with 2.4/2.53Ghz CPU's, 2Gb / 4Gb Ram. Plus these have the 9600M GT nVidia chips for graphics which boast significant performance increase in Photoshop / Aperture.

 

Once again these look very nice but are expensive. If you want 17" or a matt screen check out the refurb store.

Otherwise these will set you back £1,399 and £1749

 

So overall these MacBook / MacBook Pros look great, run great but you will pay a premium for the new models. And if your in the US, then the new entry MacBook is a bit cheaper.

 

I know we pay more here in the UK, always have and always will. And I know Apple products always are at a premium but if they had kept the entry MacBook the same price, then I think potential customers in the UK would be less annoyed about the premium of the new designs.

 

I think my nearly 2 year old white MacBook (in a Green SpecTec case) is fine for my web browsing, simple photo / video editing needs. So I'll be waiting for the next refresh maybe MacWorld 2010.

 

Remember once you have a Mac you never go back and that price isn't everything, but quality is.

:lol:

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I'd go further than saying the rise in price of the white MacBook here in Blighty is a shame... It's daylight robbery.

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One of things about the MacBook Air is the standard hard drive went from PATA to SATA, which should make it a bit quicker as well. Loss of FireWire is a bad idea, IMO. Apple markets iMovie as an editor for home consumer use, but if you buy their consumer lines you exclude most of the people's camcorders.

 

Good stuff though, love the new MBPros. Not enough for my 7 month old MBPro to be replaced though. :)

 

roog

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I'm totally in love with the new MBPs after having a play on one. I'm just now trying to convince the boss to pony up for one!

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I'm totally in love with the new MBPs after having a play on one. I'm just now trying to convince the boss to pony up for one!

 

I asked my boss.

 

She said no. :-D

 

roog

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I'm also in love with the new macbooks! Especially the new 13" MacBook. I played with one a little today at an apple store and it feels so surdy and strong. I have been eagerly awaiting a 12" MacBook, but the new 13" feels good enough for me. I'm thinking about selling my 2.2 MacBookPro and getting one... The most I use the Pro for in Final Cut Express, but I'm sure the 13" MacBook could handle that easily thanks to the NVidia graphics card right?

 

Anyway, I love it.

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I'd keep the Pro for FCP - the MacBook still won't work quite as well as the MBP for that. The new graphics card is fast, but it's still not (technically) a dedicated chip. You'll notice a difference there.

BTW, check out my website (in my signature) - I wrote an article about the new models. I'm trying to boost traffic a bit since I just started it - spread the word!

Edited by macfan777

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i'm a bit bummed about the loss of the firewire 400 on the MBPs. My audio interface is a 400, and the 800 stuff is way out of my price range and size requirements. i did find an adapter that will convert a 400 cable to an 800 cable, but i'm wondering how well it will function with audio streams.

 

i'm also disappointed with Apple for charging anywhere from $29 to $99 for a cable to connect your laptop to another monitor or projector. Potentially that's another $150 to get the cables you need to connect to your various screens.

 

Over all, however, i like the new models a lot. i was thinking of getting a new laptop this next spring, and if i can figure out the audio stuff by then the new MBP might be perfect (not like i have much choice, really).

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i'm a bit bummed about the loss of the firewire 400 on the MBPs. My audio interface is a 400, and the 800 stuff is way out of my price range and size requirements. i did find an adapter that will convert a 400 cable to an 800 cable, but i'm wondering how well it will function with audio streams.

 

i'm also disappointed with Apple for charging anywhere from $29 to $99 for a cable to connect your laptop to another monitor or projector. Potentially that's another $150 to get the cables you need to connect to your various screens.

 

Over all, however, i like the new models a lot. i was thinking of getting a new laptop this next spring, and if i can figure out the audio stuff by then the new MBP might be perfect (not like i have much choice, really).

 

This is a trend Apple has continued over the years. iPods used to come with FireWire and they used to include charging bricks. iPhones used to come with docks. Now everything is extra.

 

Have you noticed that the Apple Remote no longer comes with the MacBooks or MacBook Pros standard? $19 please. Need display connectors? Fork over some more cash. Not cool for the premium price Apple charges for it's products.

 

roog

Edited by roogie

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The remotes i can almost understand. My wife has a MBP and never uses her remote. The firewire cable for the iPod i can almost understand. USB is smaller and more universal. A connector for a display blows my mind.

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I could understand it if it was like with the "old" MBPs where you get a standard dvi connector (I've only ever needed the VGA dongle once), but on the MacBooks and new laptops with their funny proprietary connector, it's ridiculous.

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It's also ridiculous that a $3000 computer can't include the $19 remote. Really lame.

 

I am really happy that they finally updated the macbook pro's. I have been waiting a long time to upgrade and now that they have the new models out I think I will get a new one in January. The ability to update the hard drive your self is also an AWESOME feature as that is the one thing that is really getting into the red zone o my current macbook pro. Now that I can upgrade it myself later I can always get something smaller, for less money, then upgrade later.

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I found this on the processors in the MB/MBP:

 

http://www.macrumors.com/2008/10/15/intel-...evina-benefits/

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10065878...g=2547-1_3-0-20

 

Apparently, they should provide a little more processing punch, not sure how much though. I asked about the lack of firewire at the apple store, and was disappointed to get a "well, we don't know" answer regarding this issue. The rep i spoke to told me that they will received training on these new laptops next week, but as of right now, don't know much.

 

I would like to think that there is a reasonable solution for those of use that still need firewire 400 but can't pony up for a MBP, but only time will tell. Meanwhile, there is always the refurbs and closeouts on the old models...

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I checked out the new Macbooks this weekend, and I was really disappointed that that screen on the MacBook is NOT the same screen that's (for instance) on the Air, or indeed a smaller version of the screen on the Pro. It's got a shallower viewing angle. It's just like the old Macbooks. sigh.

 

The screen on the Air really does it for me - it's beautiful.

 

On the plus side - the build quality is bomb-proof. A huge improvement over the crack-prone, creaking cases of the old Macbooks.

 

 

Having used a Macbook for 2 years I've come to the conclusion that the Air is all I need from a laptop. It's my secondary machine, so power and ports are not an issue. I just want something that's really portable. I hardly ever use the USB ports on my Macbook, never use the Firewire, and very rarely use the disk drive. So, yeah, I'm one of the rare cases where an Air is an ideal machine.

 

There are some stonking bargains on the Apple Refurb store at the moment, if you're happy not to have the latest and greatest. So I bought a refurb Air at a massive > 45% discount :D

Edited by Gee4orce

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DOn't even get me started on the firewire. That is the biggest complaint for us who image machines all day long via firewire drives. We can do it via usb but takes twice as long. Now i am playing with netinstall to image machines via our xserve. I guess people just have to learn to do things differently but would love to know apple's explanation of why get rid of it on the macbook but have it on the macbook pro??

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To differentiate between the lines. If you want firewire, get the pro. I bet that 90% of people with macbooks don't use firewire anyway.

 

You should be moving to netinstall images anyway. They work well, we've used them for quite some time.

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Took a really good look at the new macbook in the apple store and the glossy displays are a disaster for a portable -major reflection issues. As to the pricing , compared with Sony they are 100% more expensive for a laptop of a similar specification (with blue-ray). I've been waiting to upgrade my powerbook G4 but I can say that the new macbook come over as ill conceived and very-expensive , a big disappointment phil

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The display is fine really. The apple store is the worst environment ever for it really. I've been using the new macbooks and macbook pros since they were released and the screen is bright enough to cope with any reflections. If you're used to the dull powerbook screens then it will be a bit of a jump, but coming from the last generation of LED backlit macbook pro it's not that different.

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The new MacBook family has improved as far as style. They are now completey made out of alunimum right? Plus the trackpad has a new design.

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Ive got the same display in my imac and its ok where you can control the lighting but not for a laptop , and the UK pricing is not good ., I tried buying a 2008 macbook but day two the screen developed a zebra stripping coming from the bottom of the screen , It also had a really nasty yellow blue cast to the screen so its back to the trusty powerbook 17" G4 . phil

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It's not the same display. The new laptops have an LED backlit screen. Might look the same, but it's not.

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