Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Macbooks and more

Like last month's iPod event, Apple held a conference today to display and discuss their new line of Macbooks and Macbook Pros. Also, it could be seen as away for those of us who bought Macbooks and iPods in the summer to feel like crap, who knows.

First off was the newly redesigned Macbook Pro, which finally recieved a major exterior upgrade, ditching the Powerbook G4 design it has retained since 2003. This new design features a 39% larger, glass trackpad, which also doubles as a button. This new trackpad will also feature 4-point touch gestures, a step up from the previous 3-points of the current Macbook Pros. It features black keys like the Macbook Air, and all of the connection points appear on the left side, while the disc slot is now on the right. As for these ports, you'll get: Magsafe, Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 800, two USB ports, a Mini Display Port, Audio In/Out, and ExpressCard 34. This means there is no more FireWire 400 support, and no more regular DVI port, not a huge loss, but a loss none the less.

The screen is LED, and encased in glass; so to those, like myself, that enjoy the matte-screen, tough luck (sigh). Also, these new Macbook Pros will feature TWO graphics cards, one NVIDIA GeForce 9400M for most of the time, and one NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT for when you really need it. There are two models available as of today, the entry model at $1999, and a more powerful one at $2499; both are 15.4" screens. The 17" is still available, however it's essentially the previous design (at $2,799) but actually is less powerful than the new 15" higher model. For more info see Apple - Macbook Pro

Next up is the new Macbook Air, since the model is still new, there isn't anything major like the Pro. However, the Airs will now have a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card, a mini-DVI port, and a 120GB hard drive (a step up from the current 80GB). However, unlike the Pros, these won't be available until early November. For more info see Apple - Macbook Air

The next product is not a Macbook, its a new 24" Apple moniter. It resembles the current iMac, and new Macbook Pros with is glass screen and black trimmings. But it's has a pleathora of features to boot that the current Apple displays dont have: 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution, a built-in iSight and mic, stereo speakers and a three port USB hub. And it connects to both the Pro and Air via their new mini-DVI ports. For more info see Apple - LED Cinema Display

Lastly is the biggest announcement, the all new Macbook. It has the same design as the new Pro, but obviously things are scaled down. Same glass LED screen (13.3"), same metal casing, same multi-touch track pad, mini-DVI port, 160GB Hard drive, and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics. So now those without a need to go Pro still get a feel of power. And for those that dont care, the white plastic Macbook will still be available for a new entry price of $999, though will obviously not have all the features of the new model. The first of the new models will be $1299, with a more power, 250GB, back-lit keyboard model at $1599. For more info see Apple - Macbook

At the end of the conference there was some Q&A. Things lke the 17" Pro are said to be in the works, and the status of Blu-Ray and HDMI came out, and were shot down. Sadly they also shot down matte screens, saying that the LED backlighting would make up for reflection on the glass.

And that pretty much does it, make sure you check out the provided links for each product to really get to know what's new. Personally, I won't be interested in these new models because I just got a Macbook Pro in the summer, and it's the best computer I've ever had. For practicality's sake, there's just no need for me to upgrade for another few years. And I'm sure by then there will be another redesign or two.

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