Apple Updates Its Entire Line of Notebooks

By Jimmy Rogers
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Today was the big keynote event Apple fanatics have been waiting for.  Steve Jobs and his team graced the stage once more in order to update the Apple line and get it ready for the holiday shopping season.  While the summer and spring were both big events for the iPhone and the iPods, September or October is traditionally the time when Apple brings out the big guns for its Macs.

This keynote was no exception to the rule.  If you want to know the exact layout of the presentation, I suggest either checking out the Engadget liveblog or simply waiting for Apple to put out an official version through iTunes or the Apple.com front page.

If you’re too impatient, here is the long and short of it, condensed for your convenience:

  • All of the new notebooks are now made out of a single piece of Aluminum that is cut and then anodized for strength and efficiency (a rumor we spoke of last week).
  • They have also upgraded the graphics on the MacBook Pro to NVIDIA’s new GeForce 9400M GPU chip as well as the 9600M GT chip for dedicated graphics.
  • The Macbook Pro has been upgraded primarily in appearance, which you can see above.  It has the black-framed glossy screen that matches their iMac line exactly.
  • The touchpad has been made buttonless with the addition of a glass panel that, like the iPhone, allows for multi-touch controls.  Up to four-finger commands have been pre-programmed in.
  • The Macbook Air is being updated with better graphics and an option for as much as 128GB of SSD disk space.
  • There is a new 24 inch glossy cinema display that looks amazing.
  • The “one more thing” is that the plastic Macbook is being reduced in price by 100 dollars.
  • Also, a new version of the Macbook is being offered (kind of a step between the plastic Macbook and the metal Macbook Pro) that is physically very similar to the Pro but not as robust in terms of features.

I’m not much of a graphics aficionado, but one of the constant complaints about Macs (and many notebooks in general) is their lack of graphics power.  I think this latest update is a serious attempt by Apple to take the worry out of potential consumers’ minds.

The multi-touch trackpad has me worried because not only will the multi-touch controls invariably confuse some people, but I think this is yet another step in Steve Jobs’ quest to destroy all buttons.  Personally, I get irritated when someone leaves tap-clicking on in their preferences because it’s simply not how I prefer to use a touchpad.

I love the move to a new “black and chrome” theme.  I think it makes the MacBook Pro very attractive and will certainly wow potential buyers this Winter.

There were a lot of little bits and pieces to this update, so please check out the liveblog or the link below for a little more hardcore listings of the specs.  Also, be sure to leave your thoughts on these developments in the comments.

[Image from Engadget]

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5 Responses to Apple Updates Its Entire Line of Notebooks

    • I heard one Linux user say they definitely were not getting a new MacBook because it'd have Nvidia junk. I personally only get Intel graphics because ATI and Nvidia both only have closed source drivers that require jumping through hoops with every kernel upgrade (Ubuntu automatically updates them for you if you use their packaged ones, but if you install a newer version from nvidia.com you're on your own) and then only work rather half-arsedly anyway…they have a tendency to write drivers that don't actually play nice with Linux so that Nvidia and ATI on their own can be the sole cause of your lack of working suspend/hibernate/resume. Dual screen Nvidia is harder to set up than dual-screen ATI, but even that is bad compared to using Intel.

      Contrary to that, Intel Just Works. Want Compiz? It just works. Plug in an external projector? It just works.