New Apple MacBooks on Tuesday: ooh and aah time again

In Monday's IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches Apple rumor blogs run at full throttle. Seems as though Steve Jobs will announce new MacBooks tomorrow. Not to mention the Deep Hurting Institute...

Seth Weintraub previews:

Apple invitation
Apple on Tuesday will release a full plate of new portable Macs. In the months leading up to the event, the Internet has been abuzz with speculation about the details of the releases ... we know there will be a MacBook event on October 14th because Apple sent out invites on Thursday.

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The MacBooks are going to inherit a lot of the sexiness of the MacBook Air. Plus, they are going to have DVD drives and better RAM and hard drive options. At the same time, Apple has been building the Air for a while now and all of that high-end cramming of parts into a small shell has been commoditized.
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Arnold Kim has been surfing Chinese rumor sites:

MacX.cn has posted a series of higher quality images of the new MacBook and MacBook Pro cases that were originally posted last week. While there had been some doubts about the details of the blurry photo, these new images show every angle of both the MacBook and MacBook Pro cases.

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All the ports are on the left side (when facing the laptop) ... Case does not appear to be tapered like the MacBook Air ... Large trackpad like the MacBook Air ... Appears to be "latchless" ... No Firewire port?
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Kasper Jade and Aidan Malley talk chipsets:

People familiar with the matter say, at a minimum, the 13-inch systems will adopt chipsets from NVIDIA's MCP79 platform ... [dropping] Intel's stock designs for the first time since the transition to x86 processors in 2006.

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Kept uncharacteristically secret by NVIDIA for most of the year, the MCP79 platform is so far considered a substitute for Intel's Centrino 2 "Montevina" platform, offering support for the same 1066MHz front side bus, optional DDR3 memory and PCI Express 2.0 interfaces ... [and] consolidation of all the controller features into a single chip rather than the two necessary for Intel's current architecture. This reduces the total footprint needed for the mainboard.

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While the performance may not compete with most dedicated mobile graphics hardware, the update potentially addresses a common complaint of sluggish video performance with Apple's 13-inch systems.
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Devin Coldewey told ya so:

Looks like we’ve got confirmation (oh wait, we confirmed it a week ago) of what everyone’s been talking about; Apple is definitely giving the Intel chipset the boot and moving to an NVIDIA one. Hopefully this means not only more power but more battery life (hybrid SLI), more versatility (OpenCL and CUDA), and slightly smaller size (unified chipset architecture). I don’t think anyone’s super surprised at this move, although there had been rumors that NVIDIA was getting out of the chipset game altogether.

I’m happy to hear that such an interesting change is definitely coming over what will likely be my next laptop — let’s just hope we don’t have an epidemic of cracked solder.
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flufflyturtle calls it, "A bittersweet move":

The good news is it will reduce the price of the systems. The bad news is that mobile chipsets are Intel’s specialty ... support and reliability (support being updates etc) are pretty much unsurpassed.

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With anything being on the table one could even assume they went with Nvidia because they were going to be cheaper to make a mac specific locks-out-hackintosh’s-of-the-future motherboard.
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Philip Elmer-DeWitt looks back:

On Tuesday, Oct. 14, Apple will unveil the latest addition to a long line of portable computers that dates back nearly 20 years — to the ungainly, 15.8-pound “Macintosh Portable” that PC World named the 17th worst technology product of all time. Apple’s notebook offerings have come a long way since 1989. They now outsell Apple desktop machines by nearly 65%. In Q3, they accounted for 29% of Apple’s (AAPL) total revenue.

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To commemorate Cupertino’s notebook computers past and present (they run too hot these days to be safely designated “laptops”), we’ve assembled [this] photo gallery.
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And finally...

Buffer overflow: Other Computerworld bloggers:

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 23 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: blogwatch@richi.co.uk.

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

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