Apple announces shiny, "new" laptops (and 2008 decided)

Boom! It's IT Blogwatch: in which Apple unveils refreshed MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Not to mention our shadowy puppet-masters...

Gregg Keizer reports:

Apple Inc. ... refreshed its laptop lines by shifting to faster, more power-efficient 45-nanometer Penryn processors from Intel Corp. and bumping up the size of the systems' hard drives. Prices for the new MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops remained unchanged ... The high-end MacBook Pro line, which features models with 15-in. and 17-in. LCDs, [also] received ... the gesture-based multi-touch track pad first introduced last month in the ultralight MacBook Air ... also sport double the video memory of their predecessors, and the 17-in. system now includes an LED-backlit screen ... The MacBook lineup ... now boasts Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1-GHz and 2.4-GHz processors. [more]
Ryan Faas keeps score:
Chalk up another correct prediction for the Mac rumor mill ... One surprise according to Apple's specs is that multi-touch trackpad is only being offered on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air - not the more consumer-focused MacBook line. Whether this is an intentional decision similar to the illuminated keyboards that both the Pro and Air feature to differentiate the pro and consumer lines remains to be seen ... All MacBooks now come with 2GB of RAM standard (expandable to 4GB) ... and storage bumps to 160GB and 250GB hard drives ... Though it is a little surprising to note that the low-end model still continues to ship with a CD-RW/DVD read-only combo drive as opposed to the SuperDrive. [more]
John Paczkowski says it's about time:
It’s been 267 days since Apple last updated the MacBook Pro. That’s 81 days longer than the company historically takes between updates. Which means it was high time for an upgrade ... New Macbooks are priced from $1,099 to $1,499, new MacBook Pros from $1,999 to $2,799. [more]
But Seth "fanboi" Weintraub is a tiny bit disappointed:
I am in the market for a new laptop. I currently own a Revision A 15" MacBook Pro that I bought when it was announced at MacWorld 2006 ... I still would have to use an Express Card to get 3G internet access. Still no Blu Ray for HD movies or storage. No eSATA port connector. No SSD options. Higher density screen? New case design? Nada. In fact, if it wasn't for the dents, my two year old machine would be virtually indistinguishable from the just anounced MacBook ... it will have to wait until the next revision or when this thing starts dying ... Don't get me wrong, though. My decision not to upgrade isn't because the new MacBook Pro isn't an incredible machine. It is really because the Rev A MacBook was way ahead of its time. [more]
And Brian Solis shouts:
Even though fanboys and fangirls hoped and prayed for a MacBook Air inspiried design, THEY DIDN’T UPDATE THE LOOK AND FEEL OF EITHER MODEL. Instead, notebooks were buffed-up with the latest and greatest innards and also now feature the Multi-Touch trackpad introduced in the MacBook Air. I have to say, I do appreciate the functionality of the Multi-Touch interface and playfully pretend that I had swipe, resize, and rotate capability on every remote control and monitor that I use (it’s very Minority Report). Am I going to run out and update my MBP? Nope…I’ll wait for the redesign - for a bit anyway. [more]
Eric Savitz runs the numbers:
The Street is feeling chatty today about Apple (AAPL) today, and there’s lots to talk about. The analysts are musing on the announcement today of a refresh of the MacBook and MacBook Pro line, indications of January iPod demand in data from market research firm NPD, plus the recent weakness in the stock. And there is the question of why Steve Jobs has been spending so much time in the air. [more]
To which, Fake Steve has this riposte:
I spent $550,000 traveling last quarter. Who knew? I mean I knew I was on the road a bit last fall. But jeez, a half million bucks? And that's just for the plane? Wow ... Great news is that while other CEOs might get hammered for running up an outrageous travel bill, when I do it the Apple faithful see it as a positive. Apparently some stock market analyst found this number in our SEC filings and says it's way higher than usual which must mean I've been on the road a bit which in turn must mean we're working on cool new products which in turn means people should be buying our stock. I'm cool with that. [more]
Jordan Golson ponders PR:
Apple has rolled out a minor update to its notebook line this morning. And yet the news has garnered 1,836 headlines on Google News. Why the crush of coverage for such a relatively small announcement? One could simply say "because it's Apple," but that's lazy, tautological thinking. Joshua Weinberg, a consultant who "has never worked for Apple, but observes the company closely," explains Apple's advantages in an essay on AllThingsD: Well-designed products, coordination, theater, knowing the difference between a small announcement and a big one, great product names, secrecy, and prompt fixes to major problems. [more]
And finally...

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You too can pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

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