Apple reveals new laptops!


Finally, we can all stop hunting down the rumours, the truth is out there! Apple’s new range of laptops has been revealed.

There is a new 13-inch Macbook and a new 15″ MacBook Pro.

13-inch MacBook showing display.
The new 13-inch MacBook
The next-generation MacBook.

The new MacBook has something for everyone. Less than an inch thin and 2.04 kg (4.5 pounds), it fits your backpack (and your mobile lifestyle). It offers great integrated graphics performance for playing 3D games or creating photo books in iPhoto and making movies in iMovie. And it has all the MacBook features you want at a price you’ll adore. Starting at £949.

At-a-glance specs:

* 13.3-inch LED-backlit display
* 2.0GHz or 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
* 2.04 kg (4.5 pounds); 2.41 cm (0.95 inch) thin
* NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics

MacBook Pro

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro
The ultimate mobile powerhouse.

It’s all about performance. If you want desktop-class graphics and a bigger display, you want the all-new MacBook Pro. With a double graphics punch — both integrated and discrete NVIDIA graphics processors — the 15-inch MacBook Pro is fast enough to run the most graphics-intensive games and professional applications, but portable enough to come along for the ride. Starting at £1.399.

At-a-glance specs:

* 15.4-inch LED-backlit display
* 2.4GHz, 2.53GHz, or 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
* 2.49 kg (5.5 pounds); 2.41 cm (0.95 inch) thin
* NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT discrete graphics
* NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics
* FireWire 800 port
* ExpressCard/34 slot

MacBook Air

The ultrlight MacBook Air

The world’s thinnest notebook

MacBook Air travels light. At just 1.36 kg (3.0 pounds), it sets a new standard for mobile computing — without scrimping on the keyboard or display. With a faster architecture, advanced NVIDIA integrated graphics, more storage, a 13.3-inch display, a full-size keyboard, and breakthrough wireless innovations, MacBook Air is engineered to take on the wireless world. Starting at £1.299.

At-a-glance specs:

* 13.3-inch LED-backlit display
* 1.6GHz or 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
* 1.36 kg (3.0 pounds); 0.4-1.94 cm (0.16–0.76 inch) thin
* NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics

Now, was it worth the wait, I ask? The short answer is, of course, yes. Apple never really disappoints, at least not completely! The long answer is yes there are some disappointments.

Lets take the positive first:

  • better CPU
  • better graphics
  • LED display

Now the negative:

  • too expensive!

There’s no doubt that the most longed for feature is the improved graphics. The switch to NVIDIA graphics is a significant one and with the new GeForce 9400M graphics processor gamers should be able to play all but the most demanding games (Far Cry 2 anyone?).

According to Apple, the new graphics cpu gives 5x the performance in terms of frame rate than the previous model (2.4 GHz CPU/2 GB RAM/250GB SD) when playing Quake 4. However, with Call of Duty, there was only a 1.8x improvement and with Unreal Tournament 2004 its 2.5x. Still, this is greatly welcomed and should help increase market share.

Its not only games that should benefit from all this extra oomph. iLife applicatins, in particular iPhoto and iMovie should see much better performance. the new Mini DisplayPort (allowing connection to 30-inch displays) should help the multimedia experience too and be a boon for those of us working with digital photographs, movies or 3D animation software.

The LED screen is more green and should keep Greenpeace and friends of the Earth happy, as well as everyone who is concerned about the environment.

However, my biggest disappointment is the price. There was specualtion that Apple would release a model to compete with the new netbooks from the like of Asus, MSI and others. Talk was of a sub $800 price for the base model. Seems we were all expecting too much. At  £949  for the 13″ MacBook, Apple has completely failed to capture that end of the market. Everyone I know who is in the market for a laptop for their kids at school or themselves just say that they woudl love to buy Apple but they can’t afford to and in the current financial climate, who can blame them. Indeed, who can really afford to spend this amount of money when you can buy a PC laptop for under £300?

No, unless Apple is holding something back and has something up its sleeve (which I doubt), then they have made a big mistake here. Will the new models increase market share… yes they will. But no way will it help propel Apple into the mainstream to complete with the likes Acer, Dell and others at the entry point of the market. Also, there is the nasty taste in one’s mouth left by the fact that in the US the 13″ model is $1,299 whilst here it is £949. The exchange rate means that $1,299 converts to £746.97, s we are being asked to pay £200+ over the odds…. this is criminal and amounts to daylight robbery! Its enough to make me reconsider sticking with Apple in the current financial climate. I need to replace my first-generation MacBook Pro and a 13″ MacBook is an attractive option and cheaper than what I paid for my MBP. However, to be expected to pay £200 more just because I am a  Brit really erks. What, with the problems I am having with Apple’s Business Leasing department (don’t ask!), the fiasco over the transition to me.com etc and issues with batteries, this is almost the last straw.

Will it stop me buying one…. yes it will, at least for now. Looks like I am in the market for a pc laptop and I never thought I’d ever say that! Oh dear, what have you done Apple?

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