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back to article Apple takes wraps off rumour-matching MacBook Pros

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 …

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Are apple the new Ferrari?

ie, while becoming technically better, they're getting progressively uglier?

I'm sorry to admit...I might not actually go for one of these for my upgrade this year, and go with the older (and better looking) Pro instead.

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Unhappy

Bye-Bye FW400

I won't miss it, per se, but I will miss a second FW port. I use both of them.

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No HDMI, No Blu-Ray, No Sale!

I use a 2.4GHz MacBook Pro... any reason to upgrade... no... no HDMI for my HDTV, no Blu-Ray to watch the movies I've bought.

Surely the film producers may want to trial a product they build... film onto blu-ray, watch blu-ray film.... oops...can't.

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Good day for Sony

Seems like the whole range increased in price; there was no change to the 17" and it went up by £150 to £1949. The 15.4" seems to have gone up by about £200 to £1749. And there's less choice as all screens (the unchanged 17" aside) are only available in super-shiny-reflect-everything glass.

You need to buy a £69 adapter to connect the 15.4" models to a Dual-link DVI display (which used to be included). Even the remote control is extra.

Phew, they are expensive. Can't see many people upgrading just for the hell of it.

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Jobs Horns

Dissapointing

No FireWire on the MacBook. No update for the 17" MacBook Pro (want a 1920x1200 screen, it's the old design and chipset for you!.) The 15.4" still doesn't offer 1920x1200 resolution (it's 1440x900). No BluRay. Oh and a dual link DVI adapter for that new mini-port isn't included and costs $99. And neither a VGA or DVI (dual link or otherwise) adapter are included either. Oh and still only 4GB of RAM max.

They still sell the old plastic MacBook but instead of dropping the price to $799 or $899 as predicted, it's $999. A bit high for old kit.

And as you pointed out, the Air didn't get a second USB or an Ethernet port which are obvious additions to make.

Here's the deal. I need a new laptop. It needs 1920x1200 resolution. That leaves my only choice the 17" MacBook Pro which wasn't even updated. Arrrrggghhh.

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BOLLOCKS

Glossy display ONLY...

9600M...

Even the bloody new 24" Cinema Display is Glossy...!

WTF drugs are they taking? Clearly, the much touted 'transition' period is the transition from Professional systems to Consumer (while still branding them 'Pro').

APPL is tanking nicely...serves them right. Idiots.

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Jobs Halo

oooo....

... the wintards of Dell and Toshiba have one hell of a yard stick to measure themselves against now! Going to be hard to top that.

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silly price

Yes nice machines, but they are still stupidly overprices compared to the rest of the world.

I do own a macBook but its only worth the 500 quid i paid for it (new) by buying in the US when the dollar was pants.

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Where's the esata connector

These should be standard on anything with a 'pro' moniker.

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Alert

The price...

Lovel bit of kit ... I'm tempted.

There's just one thing. I know all about US sales tax and VAT ... but wtf is the 15" Pro £1399 here and about £250 less (incl. sales tax) in the US? Does it cost £250 to fly each Pro over here?

And wtf is up with the price of the Aluminium Macbook - £949? It's $1299 ffs - thats £742 pre US sales tax.

Are Apple in fact working on currency exchange figures from 1979? Is that how they arrive at the conversion?

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jai
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re: new ferrari

i disagree - i thnk the new ones with the black edged screen, looks better'n the old ones

i want one

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Introducing the new DellBook Pro

Seriously, what's with the fugliness? I thought the other brands tried to copy Apple designs, not the other way around.

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Anonymous Coward

No FireWire on the MacBook

Disappointed to see that the new MacBooks (not Pros) lack any FW connectivity, and rely on the slow cludge that is USB 2.0 instead.

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Underwhelmed

I, for one, am underwhelmed; very disappointing upgrade IMHO. I guess that's what I get for getting my hopes up!

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Jobs Horns

Investors say YAWN! AAPL -6.18 -5.60% on UP market!

As another story stated, MacBook Air is STILL pathetic in userability (no optical drive, missing ports), and anyone with a history of Mac notebook ownership knows ...... expect BUGS, FLAWS and PREMATURE DEATH just after the warranty runs out.

But the stupid Apple Kool Aid Drinker MacTards will still throw their money down the Apple Rat Hole.

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No Firewire at all on the Macbook

..and just FW800 on the MacBook Pro.

They're going to lose a *huge* number of sales in Music. A very stupid move.

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Alert

Not so great in France

Apple's French web site was pretty harsh about the changes:

http://fasmz.org/~pterjan/blog/?date=20081014#p01

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Jobs Horns

Significantly unimpressed

Where are the quad core chipsets? Still 2 USB ports where there could have been 4, and no HDMI compatibility - won't be hooking one up to my TV then to watch the occasional movie.

Don't like the look of the photo's either ... very disappointing really. The only upside is I was irritated that I had (beer / mac interface problem) to get a new MBP last month ... I'd been waiting for these - but am pleased I didn't wait.

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Boffin

and

2.8 GHz option, pfffffff...

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Not a particularly good effort.

HDMI is *not* a problem. With an adaptor DisplayPort will run most things.

Lack of FireWire on the MacBook *is* stupid. There's way too many Camcorders out there that still require Mini DV connectors, and with the heft price jump on the MacBook, I doubt most buyers will have change left over to replace a camcorder that may only be a few years old.

The price? Meh. The old form MacBook needed to drop at least another $50 USD, if not a full hundred. Adding SuperDrive (finally, just as DVD writing is starting to look obsolete) hardly justifies the pricing of what is effectively old kit. As for the Pro-Lite 13"s, they're far too expensive for what they are. I'd be quite happy with a few extra screws and a significantly cheaper to manufacture case, next time Apple.

So-so battery life still too. Apple have the facility, and the margins, to knock one out of the park. They've squandered a lot of chances here, whilst making many of their products less desirable than the versions they are replacing.

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Anonymous Coward

@Dan Harris

How many people need 4 USB ports on a laptop? Seriously?

How many people need HDMI to hook their laptops up to a TV to watch 'the occasional movie'?

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Anonymous Coward

@Webster Failtard

You might like to know that i've got a 1993-vintage PowerBook 100 that still works beautifully.

You might also like to know that I've got an Air which is possibly the most perfectly designed notebook that i've ever owned.

Now run along and update your AV software or something.

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Various...

@Webster

You convey the impression that you don't like Apple that much. Strange that you're always commenting on them. Me thinks you doth protest too much:- you're not a closet MacHead perchance?

>No Firewire at all on the Macbook

Apparently the FW800 is backwards compatible with FW400 - just need an adapter cable. So it shouldn't be too bad.

Maybe the 17" will get a serious update later and have a quad-core CPU, more RAM and a bigger hard disc, no doubt with a price to match.

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Paris Hilton

The trackpad...

"...has 39 per cent more finger sliding area, and four new gestures."

Hopefully not including one that downs a QANTAS jet.

Paris, because she knows how to slide fingers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re Firewire Comments

As he said in the keynote, all you need is a cable changer and firewire 400 can plug right into the firewire 800 port, so YES firewire 400 *is* supported.

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joe
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Yes it seems a bit flacid

Webster in his warped way may have a point "expect BUGS, FLAWS and PREMATURE DEATH". Na, most people who have a Mac knows this is very rare more rare than the Ballmer infected majority. Maybe he's projecting his windows DELL/HP/MS reality on the rest of us. I also wonder if he wants one but he has to lash out because he is surrounded by closed minded windows users. He needs to show the norm that he is indeed a PC user by lashing out in public display; but deep inside he covets the Mac user sitting beside him waiting at the airport or coffee shop. So while his PC friends aren't looking, he slips off to Best Buy and stands 1 isle away from the Apple display lingering at a mouse that he isn't even interested in. Picks up the mouse package, holds it up and pretends to look at it at eye level but his focus is past the box in front of him, salivating over the shiny new Mac Book like a dog at a juicy steak.

Webby, can i call you Webby? Just get it over with and go an buy one! If you really don't want to run OS X then use boot camp and run Vista. Mac Books, on average, are better build than the Windows H/W competitors; deep down you know it to be true. It shows with all the stats you know about Apple products from other posts.

If you feel that this release/refresh was kind of a let down i will agree with you on that. I would have loved to see quad mobiles, 8 gigs of memory and more USB ports. A 2 button or sensor trackpad. A better cable for the Magsafe power (cable pulls away from the mag connector). maybe a right side power port?

I was thinking of giving my Pro to my mom and get a new one, but if this is what Apple calls a refresh, i will wait.

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@Glenn Gilbert

Haha -- you're so right! There's definitely a touch of Col. Frank Fitts about Webster's increasingly derranged posts.

I wouldn't take anyone who uses the word "userability" too seriously though.

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Heart

@Mad Hacker

You need a new laptop - there are hundreds on the market.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: re firewire comments

FW800 is indeed compatible with FW400, so no problems there.

The problem, however, is the lack on *any* FireWire connectivity on the new MacBook.

Hard to plug something in if the port isn't there.

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Stop

@AC

"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.

"How many people need HDMI to hook their laptops up to a TV to watch 'the occasional movie'?"

Isn't that what a lot of people do on Macs - make and watch their movies? Also usefull for giving presentations on modern displays & projectors.

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17" update?

no 17" update and no C2Quad CPUs?

Coincidence?

I think not.

Watch this space (or, er, rather, the space on the apple web page.)

Allow me to register my disgruntlement at dropping FW on the MacBook tho - Stevie dahling, if you're reading this - that was a dumb dumb dumb idea.

And whats with the under whelming CPU options?

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Paris Hilton

Some people just like complaining...

I think that because this is Apple, people expect too much. Apple products have always been about evolution, not revolution. More Porsche 911 than Nissan GTR (and I know which of those I'd rather have).

Personally, I like the look of the new laptops. And I think, with the new manufacturing process, they'll look and feel fantastic in the flesh. Unlike seemingly everyone else on the internets, I'll reserve judgement on the display until I see them. Yes, I ordered my MBP last year with a matte screen; but my main issue with glossy is that they smear when you try and clean them (at leaste, the Sony ones do). Being glass, I don't expect this to be a problem for Apple.

Regarding the Firewire whingers: how many other consumer laptops (aside from the occaisional Vaio -- and they're usually more expensive too) have Firewire?

I like the look of the new keyboards too. My wife has a Vaio CR with the 'chiclet' style keyboard, and I prefer it to the last gen MBP. I think when her CR dies, she'll upgrade to a Macbook. Even after upgrading the Vista OS to XP, the CR is still pretty flakey (Sony and their weird drivers, as usual). I like the way Macs are just so well integrated, and everything just works as it should. It turns out that you don't need to keep fiddling with your OS to keep you computer running!

@Webster Freaktard. Don't stop posting. Ever. You're hilarious!

Oh, and re. the Air complaint about lack of optical drive. My work Thinkpad X-Series doesn't have an optical drive, and I've never missed it. It and the Air are not consumer laptops. Get it?

Paris, 'cos she likes multi-touch too.

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Unhappy

Merde... Trops cher!

Was all set to pick up an entry-level MacBook for around £700. Think I'll wait a few months and see what crops up at the Refurb store...

Now, how about a Mac Mini refresh? I can't bear another 3 month rumour-fest until MacWorld only for it to be left out again!

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Jobs Halo

Dear Santa, can I have ....

The good

Stunning styling. Hope the build quality is good as they say.

Glass trackpad

Proper graphics

User replaceable HDD on the MBP

The bad

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!

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Anonymous Coward

@Richard Speight

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.

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@Justin

"4 USB ports? 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."

Well... I've been using my laptop as a desktop replacement for years and years. I don't use an external mouse (I infinitely prefer the trackpad on my MBP to a mouse) and I have a wireless printer and network drive. The only thing I use USB for is memory sticks.

"How many people need HDMI to hook their laptops up to a TV to watch 'the occasional movie'?"

That I do quite regularly, but only because my stupid DVD player is region locked and there's no hack available, and my laptop is set to region 1.

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Happy

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.

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Price

£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 ?

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Jim

Missing ports...

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).

@Alacrity Fitzhugh

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.

@Justin

"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?).

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