Another glorious day in the core
Intel's new on-chip graphics even thrash the discrete GPU in the old MacBook Pro - at least at running the Mac UI. The 15-incher still wins on OpenGL 3D rendering, but look how far ahead the 13in MBP's Intel graphics beat the previous-generation Intel integrated GPU at OpenGL.
Handbrake 0.9.5 HD Video Encoding Results
Time in Minutes
Shorter bars are better
For a real-world test, video encoding app Handbrake scaling a 720p HD video down using its iPhone 4 pre-set is a good place to start. I timed how long it took to encode the first ten per cent of the film.
Handbrake is CPU savvy: it will grab as many cores and threads as it can, filling each to the maximum. This immediately kicked up the MBP's cooling fan to maximum revs - and it's none too quiet. The same test run on my previous-generation 15in MBP also maxed out the four available threads, but the fans continued to spin almost silently - but it's not as quick.
Longer bars are better
For comparison with a broader array of machines, I used Apple's Bootcamp utility to install Windows on the 13in MBP and run PCMark Vantage. Looping the benchmark program doubles up as Reg Hardware's battery life test.
Next page: Mid-range master
In five years time you'll be able to connect a bluray drive via thunderbolt? Just a thought. Just like you could connect a USB bluray drive now, you know, if you wanted to. Apple's not banning you from having a bluray on this thing, it's just not throwing one in for you.
As for the storage they provide for 'non video' content being excellent, it's a very poor £/GB ratio compared to most USB hard drives, especially given you can effectively only access it in 25/50Gb chunks. And it's slower. And it burns more power, which is a significant issue in a laptop.
There are a number of scenarios where BluRay as a storage medium works. None of those also include a 13" laptop. I'd maybe like to see BR as an option on the 17" model but it's really nowhere near a worthwhile option on the 13" one. It would be a 'box tick' that would only provide a nice feature for marketing but very poor usability. That's not generally the game Apple play, so I don't really see why people have an expectation of it happening in this case.
Bluray isn't just for watching 1080p movies, the storage they provide is excellent. This thing has Thunderbolt so why not Bluray too? In 5 years, yeah you can plug in your Thunderbolt drive but try to access content on a Bluray and you're stuffed.
Could have a long wait
Given that Apple have just taken all of the storage out of the AppleTV, I seriously doubt you'll get you wish for that one.
I'm with you on the iPod Classic, but to be fair the reason why they haven't made a bigger one available is simple: Until recently no-one made a bigger capacity drive in the right form-factor.
There is a drive available now (Hitachi I think), so we might see a storage bump this year, but only to something like 220Gb.
Only other option would be to switch to custom SSD, but then you'd probably end up with a price tag of £700+, which could have an adverse effect on sales.