Apple unveils shiny new things

In Wednesday's IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches bloggers watch Apple launch new laptops. Not to mention how the Argentinians advertise potato chips...

Gregg Keizer, through the looking-glass:

New MacBook (source: Apple)
Apple Inc. today unveiled new laptops that feature improved graphics and a larger all-glass trackpad, but failed to drop prices for its entry-level line as far as some analysts and bloggers had speculated.

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs and chief operating officer Tim Cook, who shared the stage Tuesday at the launch event on Apple's California campus, also touted the laptops' design and manufacturing process, claiming that the new all-aluminum cases for both the MacBook and MacBook Pro are lighter, stronger and more environmentally-friendly than before.

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The new MacBook and MacBook Pro lines feature new graphics processors from Nvidia Corp., said Jobs. The MacBook models use the integrated GeForce 9400M that Jobs claimed delivers up to five times the 3D graphics performance of the chips inside previous models of the 13-in. laptop ... Also new to the revamped MacBook and MacBook Pro is the expanded glass trackpad that features a multi-touch surface that allows for gestures.
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David Chartier charts the products' progress:

Up first is a new MacBook Pro, with a buttonless trackpad, full glass screen (like the iMac), and all ports migrated to one side of the machine. The new buttonless trackpad adopts the iPhone's multitouch functionality ... LED-backlit display, next-gen Nvidia GeForce 9400M and 9600M graphics with 512MB of GDDR3 RAM (and the ability to run them in Hybrid SLI mode), and a "precision aluminum unibody enclosure" that cuts down on parts costs while offering a much more rigid construction ... $1,999 for 15.4" LED-backlit display, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo/3MB L2, 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 memory .... The $2,599 model has 4GB of RAM, 512MB of video RAM, and a 2.53GHz CPU.

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The standard Air model received modest upgrades of an updated Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics chip (throttled for thermal considerations), a 120GB standard hard drive, and a Mini Display Port for its typical starting price of $1,799. The second model gains a 128GB SSD and a faster CPU, available for $2,499 in early November.

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MacBooks now start at $100 cheaper with a just-barely-sub-$1,000 price of $999 (2.1GHz, Intel GMA X3100 graphics), with a $1,299 model (2.0GHz, NVIDIA graphics) available and a $1,599 (2.4GHz, NVIDIA) model that adds a backlit keyboard.
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Brian Dipert waxes telegraphic:

Apple snubs Intel's Montevina, goes with Nvidia instead ... Three months after everyone else went with Montevina (think different?). And on the eve of next-generation Nehalem.

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I see that Apple's wisely whacked the pricetags of first-gen "refurbs", at least some of which I suspect will be inventory-closeout new units.

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In the midst of perhaps the biggest fiscal crisis since the Great Depression. Good luck with that, Steve.
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Ryan Block drools, mostly:

We just got our grubby, oily hands all over this pristine, all glass and aluminum MacBook ... our initial impressions [are] mostly positive: it's small, incredibly, ridiculously solid feeling, and we actually don't hate the all-clicking trackpad much at all. (If your thumb muscle memory makes you click at the bottom where the button used to be, it works and feels pretty much the same.)

Of course, the glare of the glass screen is a MAJOR issue for us, and will be pretty much forever. There's just no way we'll be able to love it, so our eyes will be peeled for after-market add-ons to cut that down a bit. But in terms of the rest, it's pretty clear this is the best MacBook -- and best mainstream consumer laptop -- Apple's made to date.
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Seth Weintraub screams "like a 13 year old girl on fire": [You're fired -Ed.]

I'll be live-blogging here ... Cook: "Apple has “better computers” and “better software”, saying “Leopard is far ahead of Vista.”

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Steve lets Jonny Ive talk about the way they used to manufacture Macbooks vs. the way they do now ... So now they are making the MacBook from a Brick of aluminum.  Who whould have guessed?  With Lasers no less.  OMFG ... GeForce 9400M -  both the Chipset + the GPU, 70% of the die is the GPU....16 parallel graphics cores, pushes 54 Gigaflops and runs up to 5 times faster than Intel integrated ... Multi - Touch Glass trackpad!  Shocker! ... 16:9 screens (also nailed it) ... Those connectors on the side? they are from left to right: Magsafe, Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 800, two USB ports, a Mini Display Port, Audio In/Out (analog and optical digital), ExpressCard 34, and a battery indicator! (nailed).

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Oh and Steve Jobs has a great blood pressure.
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But John Gruber has a go at the wrong rumors:

Jackass of the week honors go to Duncan Riley at Inquisitr, who a week ago launched the “$800 laptop from Apple” rumor ... That’s not close. That’s totally and utterly wrong ... it is dominating post-event news coverage and quite possibly a significant factor in Apple’s stock price dropping 5 points on the day. Bonus jackass points to Sanford Bernstein financial analyst Toni Sacconaghi, who ... published a detailed spreadsheet full of fantasy numbers proving that an $800 Apple laptop would fill the sky with rainbows from coast to coast.

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Over the weekend Kevin Rose told a live audience in London that the new MacBooks would support Blu-ray. They do not. And when asked about Blu-ray support in the Q&A session after the event, Steve Jobs said, “Blu-ray is a bag of hurt.”

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Cleve Nettles at 9to5 Mac ... couldn’t have been more backwards if he’d tried.

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Mike Contaxis, three days ago at Mac Soda: ... "Steve is expected to ... announce the iLife/iWork update with the introduction of the new laptops" ... I called this one out as bull**** before the event even took place.
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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:

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

 
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