Apple takes wraps off rumour-matching MacBook Pros
Mill churns, Apple delivers
Apple today unveiled what CEO Steve Jobs claimed were "exciting" new notebooks, though we're not sure anyone who's followed the rumours will be quite so enthusiastic: they'll have heard it all before.
Yes, the new MacBooks are made from bricks of aluminium, the better to make the machines not only thinner - 0.95in - but also more rigid and more resistant to knocks and bumps too. It also cuts the number of structural parts by half, making the machines cheaper to maker and, stressed Jobs, more ecologically sound too.
Yes, some use Nvidia chipset technology: the GeForce 9400M, to be precise, which Jobs claimed delivers just over half the performance of a desktop GPU like the 8600 GT, and five times what Intel's integrated graphics can do. Not enough? Apple's chucked in a discrete GeForce 9600M GT with either 256MB or 512MB of dedicated video Ram, ready to take over from the integrated chip, if the task at hand needs extra graphical welly.
Yes, there's a new, glass - "for silky-smooth travel" - trackpad that's multitouch and doubles-up as the mouse button. This one has 39 per cent more finger sliding area and four new gestures.
Yes, there's a glossy black screen bezel and black MacBook Air-esque keys - not to mention Air-style curves on the bottom of the box and the lid. It uses the same magnetic lid latch as the Air too.
The 15.4in screen is LED backlit and so is the keyboard. Want to hook up a second display? It'll need to be a DisplayPort monitor - the new MacBook Pros use the VESA-backed digital alternative to HDMI.
Other ports include the usual Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 800 and USB 2.0, plus MagSafe for power. This time round, the slot-loading DVD drive's round the right-hand side, not in front - a much more sensible location. So is the Kensington lock slot. The audio ports are the usual 3.5mm analogue/SPDIF combos.
Why the optical drive move? To make room for the battery, which takes up the entire from of the new Pro's base. Removing it provides easy access to the HDD - or SSD if you have the cash, judging by the pics Apple showed. .
Available from today, prices range from $1999/£1399. They'll come with a choice of Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs: 2.4GHz and 2.53GHz - the slower one has 3MB of L2, the other 6MB; 2GB or 4GB of 1066MHz DDR 3; and 250GB or 350GB hard drive capacity.
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It'd be interesting to see the costs
I'd be very interested to see exactly what it cost to machine & finish that extrusion into the finished product, and also to see what kind of volumes that can produce.
It looks like quite a large amount of milling, plus a lot of laser cutting. Then a few finishing operations on top, and quite a few manual operations if their video is anything to go by. All involving some complex tooling & machinery.
For low volume this kind of thing can be economic, but it's hard to see how it works for volume production. On things I've done in the past you only take this route to avoid tooling costs - surely casting + some finishing operations would work out better (though I do admit the surface finish might be harder to achieve)
Anyway it's smart stuff. I wouldn't buy one, but it does look interesting.
£744 through a currency calculator. £807 taking the VAT off. The rip-off-Britain factor is on 8% or so. How is anyone surprised by his ?
As said above, there really should be eSATA on these machines but no FW means definitely no interest. The lower cost of USB external drives does not make up for the shite performance compared to FW (even 400).
So did you have two bus powered devices then? Else you just daisy-chain with the only bind being that both devices need to be on to use either. Or you could get a FW hub.
"How many people need 4 USB ports on a laptop? Seriously?"
"Gamers, desktop replacements, office laptops - most of these would include at least an external mouse, a printer, an external hard drive for Time Machine and you'll want one port free for things like pen drives etc."
Again, have you ever heard of a device called a USB hub? It's amazing. Means you can plug all your stay-at-home stuff into it and then use a mere 1 port to connect to your lappy (leaving the other for a pen drive maybe?).
Dear Santa, can I have ....
Stunning styling. Hope the build quality is good as they say.
User replaceable HDD on the MBP
No Firewire on the MacBook = EPIC fail
1680x1050 option on the MacBook Pro 15" please
Who cares? (ie Shut Up)
HDMI - pfft get over it. Tis just DVI with audio - wait for the adaptor.
FW800 only on the MacBook Pro - it's backwards compatible so buy a convertor cable.
Glossy only - Eh? It's a glass protected screen. Duh!
All Apple's consumer notebooks since the original white G3 iBook have had a FireWire port.
Even if you don't have a video camera that uses it, there's a good chance you have a couple of bus-powered HDs that do.