Posts Tagged ‘Macbook’

I’m in the mar­ket for a new lap­top and I pur­pose­fully waited for the new Mac­Books to be released. I priced out a Dell XPS M1330 and once the fea­tures are matched up as close as I can make them, there’s a $60 price dif­fer­ence in favor of the Dell. $1599 vs $1533. The Mac­Book comes out ahead in GPU, FSB, and oper­at­ing sys­tem (OS X > Vista because of Unix) and the Dell comes out ahead in terms of con­nec­tors (HDMI, Firewire, card reader, Express­Card slot, etc.). I tried to con­fig­ure a com­pa­ra­ble Ubuntu machine, but the proces­sor speed is fixed at 2.0 GHz and eas­ily went over com­pared to the $1299 Mac­Book. The only com­peti­tor now is a late model 15″ Mac­Book Pro which for refurb starts at $1349—a very tasty price indeed. The MBP matches the advan­tages of the m1330 and has a bet­ter GPU, screen size, and res­o­lu­tion than the new Mac­Book. How much bet­ter is the GPU? Let’s see.


So the keynote has come and gone. My pre­dic­tion like many oth­ers didn’t pan out as expected. The Mac­Book Air is yet one of Apple’s many love-it-or-hate-it prod­ucts. It appeals to some but cer­tainly not all. I think the biggest prob­lem Apple made is in the pric­ing. The price just isn’t in line with the raw specs. The gen­eral con­sumer isn’t going to care or even nec­es­sar­ily under­stand that a hard drive with a smaller form fac­tor is more expen­sive than a larger one with the same capac­ity. (e.g. The Mac­Book Air packs a 1.8″ hard drive and not a typ­i­cal 2.5″ one.) Espe­cially con­sid­er­ing their own base Mac­Book is 67% faster with 20% more bat­tery life (user-replaceable) for 39% less money and only for 67% more weight (not that 5 lbs is really all that heavy to begin with). Would it really have been that hard for Apple to iMac-ify their entire note­book prod­uct line, upgrade the touch­pads to use the new mul­ti­touch fea­tures, put LED back­lights across the prod­uct line, apply some of the Mac­Book Air design ideas like drop­ping the super-drive? That would prob­a­bly shed a pound off the base Mac­Book in which case it’s 4 lbs ver­sus MBA’s 3 lbs in the same foot­print if not the same vol­ume. Per­haps like the New­ton, the Mac­Book Air is ahead of its time. Then again it may be so off the mark it’ll die a slow death unlike the Palm Folio. Judg­ing from the com­ments at var­i­ous sites and forums, I wasn’t the only one hop­ing for a Mac­Book redesign which is arguably long over­due. Con­sumers weren’t the only ones who were dis­ap­pointed. Wall Street saw a drop in the stock price which I’m sure will be made up sooner or later. On a good note, the Apple TV is more appeal­ing, but I would still rather get a Mac Mini and turn it into a MythTV fron­tend. So much more ver­sa­tile. But before that hap­pens I need to fin­ish out­fit­ting my MythTV server.

Tomor­row is the infa­mous Mac­world keynote. More than likely a new Mac will be intro­duced. As the date slowly approaches, the rumor mill has been buzzing about a poten­tial prod­uct name called Air—Mac­book Air, AirBook, what have you. Of note, is that there was con­fir­ma­tion that Apple had ordered a bunch of 13″ screens. Now, 13″ screens are cer­tainly on the large side when it comes to screen real estate even if a note­book comes in under 4 lbs. Per­son­ally I think it needs to have small dimen­sions, not just be light­weight to be con­sid­ered an ultra­portable. You can’t exactly slip a 13″ note­book as eas­ily as a eeePC into your (man) purse. There’s also the fact that the stan­dard Mac­Book looks so out of place with its brethren right now, even if it got a token hard­ware refresh a few months ago. Per­son­ally, I’m hedg­ing my bets that the new Mac­book will most likely be just a redesigned Mac­book and will be a step­ping stone for design queues to move up into the Pro line. I’m not the only one who thinks this. (Oth­ers spec­u­late that it may turn out to be an iTouch-esque tablet.) It’ll cer­tainly be lighter, faster, and every inch as beau­ti­ful as the other alu­minum SKUs, but cer­tainly no eeePC matchup. Imag­ine Apple putting out a $500–600 sub­note­book. Would that can­ni­bal­ize Mini sales? Prob­a­bly not. As the eeePC has shown, niche mar­kets can work. But still, would Apple even shoot for that price point? And if you can’t wait for Apple to come out with a sub­note­book (assum­ing one isn’t announced tomor­row), you could always hack your eeePC to run Mac OS X.