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Portables (Apple) Portables Upgrades Apple

New MacBook Pros Launched 411

Art Vanderlay writes "Apple's new MacBook lineup has launched with a refresh to the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air models. As expected, the MacBook and MacBook Air both feature Core 2 Duo processors, as does the 13. The 15 and 17 models come with a choice of i5 or i7. Memory is 4GB across the board, with an optional upgrade. Additionally, the new line may include three different types of screen options: Glossy, High Resolution Glossy, and High Resolution Glossy with Anti-Glare. A second person familiar with the matter adds that at least some models will support 512GB of Solid State Drive (Flash) storage."
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New MacBook Pros Launched

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  • Oh pretty! fwap fwap fwap fwap.

    (What? That's the response this "article" was looking for, wasn't it? Just doing my part)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:46AM (#31832922)

      Whoa, when I saw those I spilled my half-caf double-decaf grande mocha-latte-chino all over my goatee and black turtleneck. The shock caused me to drop my thick black-rimmed glasses into the cup!

      Oh well, it's all good. My hipster friends and I are meeting up to chill in the Apple store this afternoon. Maybe I'll take a look, maybe I won't, or maybe I'll work on my english literature paper due tomorrow. Sooooo hard.

      • You forgot your beret - your beret certainly _must've_ fallen off if you were that overcome.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Wouldn't a hipster be using some sort of Tandy portable with a 386 processor in some sort of display of self-declared "irony"?

  • Still Overpriced? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gladish ( 982899 )
    I would seriously like a serious opinion from other people. Are apple's machines, in particluar their notebooks overpriced?
    • by LBArrettAnderson ( 655246 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:17AM (#31832334)


      And what's the deal with the price of the upgrades?

        8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB [Add $400.00]
      Really? and $900 for a 24" monitor?

      • Re:Still Overpriced? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:31AM (#31832654) Journal

        Actually, for once the RAM isn't that much overpriced. Buying two 4GB DDR2 SO-DIMMs from crucial.com costs $380 more than buying two 2GB ones. That's a pretty small difference. It's a far cry from when I bought my last MBP and it was cheaper to buy it with the minimal RAM configuration, buy new RAM, and throw the RAM it came with in the bin.

        Charging $30 each for adaptors to plug in a VGA or DVI monitor is just cheap though - they should be included as standard, and were on older Mac laptops. Same with charging $20 for the remote. Part of the Just Works(tm) thing you get with a Mac is that it comes with everything you need in the box - making half of the things you need into 'optional' extras detracts from this. They've done the same with the iPod, removing things like the dock, mains charger, belt clip, and so on that used to come in the box.

        Charging $150 extra for the non-rubbish display option is also a bit irritating.

        • Re:Still Overpriced? (Score:5, Informative)

          by LBArrettAnderson ( 655246 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:48AM (#31832976)

          http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010170000%201309139890%201309239101&ShowDeactivatedMark=False [newegg.com]

          That's the total cost of 2x4GB at their specified speed. It's still cheaper to get third party RAM and tossing out the old stuff.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
            That's surprising. Buying directly from Crucial is $500 [crucial.com]. The part numbers match, so NewEgg must have some extra discount. Looking at suppliers in the UK, I can't find anyone who sells it for less than Apple charges for the upgrade, although it still works out slightly cheaper if you sell the old modules afterwards.
      • Same memory from Crucial.com is $499, so that's not a bad deal. In fact, I'm considering upgrading my purchase now. Damn you, Slashdot! :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pojut ( 1027544 )

      In my opinion? Yes. They are very well built, there is no denying that...but the Apple logo demands quite a premium. When you consider that there isn't anything you can do on a Mac that can't be done on a PC, the price gap becomes more noticable.

      If absolutely have to have OSX, I would recommend putting together a hackintosh. [wikipedia.org] You get all the functionality of OSX but at a MUCH reduced price compared to Apple-branded hardware.

      This is just my opinion, I don't speak for anyone else, etc.

      • Do you know where you can purchase previous generation MacBook and MacBook Pros? The current generation (not these new ones) fit the bill nicely for me and I would imagine that they're discounted since the new models are out.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Pojut ( 1027544 )

          I would suggest either eBay or Craigslist. If you time it right, you MIGHT get lucky and find discounted models at Best Buy...they tend to lower prices on models shortly before the new ones come out (this applies to all electronics there)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ari{Dal} ( 68669 )

          Try their refurb store: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac?mco=OTY2ODY3Nw [apple.com]

          You can get applecare for the refurbs too, which is nice.

          • Yeah... GLHF... I noticed the silicon design fault ridden GeForce 9400M's... Buy that and you can throw it away in a years time. Failure rate is 80% in the first year of regular use.

            I suggest you wait 'till there's a different GPU offering!

    • What price style?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't think they're overpriced as much as they are over-spec'd. The problem is that they just don't have any mid-range offerings; it's top-of-the-line or nothing. I don't know about you, but I never buy top-of-the-line; I'm usually a generation or two behind, which is where the sweet spot (in terms of price vs performance) usually lies. I guess I will never own a Mac for the same reason I will never own a Porsche.

      • You're modded funny, but I have to agree. I bought my girlfriend a Toshiba T110 for her birthday, and ended up getting myself an Acer Timeline 1810TZ a few weeks back, and I get so much more use out of them than my "workhorse" HP that it's not funny.

        Both are 11" screens, with CULV processors, 4GB of RAM and 250GB hard discs, and both cost in the region of £500, after I got over my gag reflex at the mention of the Acer brand - they're small, about 1.5kg each, you get 7-8hrs of web browsing out of a sin

    • Depends. Purists will track down a PC with the exact specifications (which will be an oddball config) and will point to it being of "similar" price, but if you go with tiers (ie, Entry Level product, Desktop Replacement, Ultra-portable) rather than exact specs, then the Mac gets toasted on price. My sister for example uses the cheapest MacBook in the lineup. She got it for Christmas last year from her boyfriend (she'd have never bought a Mac if she was paying for it herself). Total was around $999 (actu

      • by Budenny ( 888916 )
        Good post. Hits the nail on the head. Look at purpose and use, then look at what meets it, and you will generally end up paying double for a Mac. At least. This last post says he paid one third, and it does not surprise me. Don't believe build quality either. Macs do not have better components, and they are not more thoughtfully assembled. The cases are shinier. But no, they are not better components, they're not better cooled, they are no more long lived. In fact, often the components are decided
        • by Sancho ( 17056 ) *

          I think the problem is that in a lot of ways, the design really is very nice. There are a lot of really small touches that make Macs quite enjoyable to work with. It's hard to put a price tag on that. How much is a really good touchpad worth? Magsafe? Weight? Battery life? How much is running OS X worth if you hate Windows and don't have the time to manage/learn Linux?

          Nor are they more reliable or longer lived. So what explains the rave reports on this subject?

          I've done "family support" for decades. My laptops (none Macs, though I tend to get "business-class") get retired after 5 years in ne

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nichotin ( 794369 )

      I would seriously like a serious opinion from other people. Are apple's machines, in particluar their notebooks overpriced?

      Depends on how you are looking at it. If you do comparisons based on hardware alone, you can always find a cheaper PC from Acer or other brands. I write for a local computer magazine, and review a good amount of laptops every year. My conclusion is that Apple is pretty much top of the line when it comes to construction and finish. Magnetic cord for the charger, very thin design (even for 15 and 17 inch), not particularily noisy, a multitouch trackpad that actually works without being a nuisance, resumes alm

    • by jjohnson ( 62583 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:30AM (#31832646) Homepage

      They're overpriced in the sense that an Audi is overpriced. On paper, the quality of some components is better, the overall design is better, and you're paying a bit more for a level of quality that you can't directly point to and say "that piece there is why it's $300 more." A Ford Escort will get you to and from work just like an Audi will.

      That said, I've switched over to MacBooks from Dells and been totally happy with the change. There are ways to avoid that "premium product" price tag--buy a model behind from Apple's refurb store, for example. My Macbook is a bit lighter and thinner than a comparable Toshiba, it has OSX instead of Windows, and the keyboard and screen are superior. The magnetic power cord has saved me a couple times from yanking it off the coffee table. I'm happy to pay a couple hundred dollars more for those things, just like I paid a couple thousand more to buy a Honda Accord instead of a Civic.

      • All I know is my inexpensive Sony laptop is still running ten years later with no replacement parts (even the battery still works a little). Sure it runs slow now but at a third the price of the Macs at the time it has done more than I asked it to...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SydShamino ( 547793 )

        There are ways to avoid that "premium product" price tag--buy a model behind from Apple's refurb store, for example.

        Alternatively, you can replicate the car model and buy new, then resell, providing the product for those who want to buy used at a discount.

        I bought my previous Mac Mini new for $850 or so and resold it for $600. Yeah my MacBook Pro cost like $2400 new but I could still get $1500 for it easy. Incrementally the costs aren't so bad, and my anecdotal evidence suggests that Macs have a lot higher resale value than generic PCs.

    • Overpriced or underfeatured, depending on how you look at it. The same money to another manufacturer will get you stuff like e-SATA and a decent video card with 512MB. Remember, Apple doesn't target outliers — they figure out what they can sell to the maximum number of people at the maximum premium, continually building their cachet, and thus are profitable. At least, these days...

    • Yes (Score:2, Insightful)

      And no.

      Apple charges a premium because it can. It is not like they are the only supplier in town. It is trivial to buy another brands laptop. If there are 3 brands of cola in the supermarket and one ask $1.000.000 dollars, then it still ain't overpriced, because the other cans can be bought just as easily.

      Something can only be considered overprice if there is no easy alternative.

      And Mac's tend to be a decent price when they launch when their hardware tends to push the edge. It is when they are 1-2 year o

      • Something can only be considered overprice if there is no easy alternative.

        Huh? If there are 3 brands of cola: A, B and C, and cola A cost several orders of magnitude more than colas B or C, then I am going to buy colas B or C. Why am I going to buy colas B or C? Because cola A was overpriced.

        Things don't cease to become overpriced just because there is competition. In fact, competition has very little to do with whether or not I am going to consider something to be overpriced. I don't have a problem w

    • Re:Still Overpriced? (Score:5, Informative)

      by frinkster ( 149158 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:48AM (#31832970)

      I would seriously like a serious opinion from other people. Are apple's machines, in particluar their notebooks overpriced?

      I have owned 3 Apple computers and my experience has been that the resale value more than makes up for any initial price differential. I have never had a problem finding people willing to pay hundreds (in one case $1500) for a 4 to 5 year old Apple computer. Sometimes I have trouble getting people to follow through when I put an old PC on craigslist for FREE.

      My other experience has been that build quality is generally very good and that commands a bit of a premium, much like a good Thinkpad will generally cost a bit more than an equivalent Dell.

    • by Budenny ( 888916 )

      Yes. But not if you try to match an Apple spec exactly, then you will mostly find yourself paying roughly the same. The answer is yes, because if you try to match what you need, instead of matching their price points, you will find that the Apple offering you have to go to a higher model than you need, and because they come out of the box with such a weird mixture of high and low end stuff, you will then need to add options, and you will end up spending about twice as much.

      You can see this pretty clearly

    • It doesn't matter (Score:3, Insightful)

      by copponex ( 13876 )

      $2400 will get you the top of the line 15" MacBook Pro. A similarly specced Dell Precision Mobile Workstation will only have a superior video card (Quadro FX 1800M), and maybe a higher def screen, and certainly vastly superior docking options and ports. Battery life and portability are the big drawbacks to the PC side of the aisle.

      At the high end of things, the computer you buy depends entirely on your main application. For anyone in digital content creation, you have to have OS X in order to have Logic and

  • by viraltus ( 1102365 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:14AM (#31832286)

    I mean it...

    • by oldhack ( 1037484 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:37AM (#31832764)
      Also, I'm in the market for a new toaster. Can a nerd get some info, eh?
    • I dunno. Why don't you check with a member of that famously rabid Lenovo fanbase...? Or those crazy young people who are always saying, "Once you go Compaq, you can't go back" ?? Why, I believe there's a whole community of bloggers who track every little thing that HP CEO Mark Hurd says or does. It'd be crazy of slashdot to ignore all these hardcore fanatics and tastemakers... wouldn't it? Heck, I think slashdot should send a camera crew out to the Dell Store in Manhattan to interview all those crazy ki

    • Lenovos's new ThinkPad lineup has launched with a refresh to the T, W, and ThinkPad Edge. As expected, the T series and W both feature Core i7 processors, as does the 13" X201. The 15 and 17 models come with a choice of i5 or i7. Memory ranges from 2GB to an available 16GB with an optional upgrade. Additionally, the new line may include dozens of different screen options: Glossy, Glossy with Anti-Glare, Matte, all available in a variety of resolutions, as well as a dual-screen option on the W701 laptop. A second person familiar with the matter adds that at least some models will support dual 128Gb Solid State Drive (Flash) storage.

      And now I feel like a shill just for writing that up, so I'll skip HP, Dell, and Compaq.

  • Low video ram 256m in a $1800 laptop? and a $400 ram upgrade?

    NO E-sata NO firewire 1600 / 3200 NO USB 3.0?

    NO ExpressCard/34 slot in the 15" system as well?

    • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:50AM (#31832998)

      1. Yeah, it's silly to only have 512mb on the high-end models. But most non-gamers won't care.
      2. 4GB DDR3 SO-DIMMs are still expensive. Other PC manufacturers charge about the same.
      3. eSATA isn't "sleek" enough for Apple; it needs a second power cable, has a relatively flimsy plug, has hot-plugging/compatibility issues, etc, etc. They'd much rather people use Firewire.
      4. Firewire 1600/3200 won't exist on consumer gear until at least late 2010.
      5. Intel is dragging their feet on USB 3.0, which means most computers and peripherals won't see it for at least another year.
      6. Most people don't use ExpressCards; they'd rather have a slightly larger battery or other features taking up the space.

      If it's not what you're looking for in a notebook, last time I checked you're still allowed to not buy one. And if your primary considerations are how well it plays games and how many different things you can have plugged into it, might I suggest you look at desktops instead?

      • by Sancho ( 17056 ) *

        3. eSATA isn't "sleek" enough for Apple; it needs a second power cable, has a relatively flimsy plug, has hot-plugging/compatibility issues, etc, etc.

        I was really excited about eSATA on my last laptop. I plugged it in once to try it out, and never have since. My USB drive is perfectly adequate, more portable, doesn't require external power, etc.

        6. Most people don't use ExpressCards; they'd rather have a slightly larger battery or other features taking up the space.

        Damn straight. Who makes ExpressCards, anyway? What can you get in them? I remember talk of things like high-end video cards, capture cards, etc. but has any of it materialized/are they any good? And are you going to actually want one in a laptop?

        I agree with the rest of your points, too, but these two hit h

  • Screens... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:15AM (#31832290) Homepage

    We've gone full circle from matte to glossy to "glossy with anti glare"? Great!

    (anti-glare comes at a premium I assume...)

    • Re:Screens... (Score:5, Informative)

      by oDDmON oUT ( 231200 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:26AM (#31832566)

      No, they implemented the "Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display [Add $150.00]", which brought back what creatives bemoaned the loss of, in the prior rev. of the product line, at a premium price point as you surmised.

  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:22AM (#31832470)

    Mac mini / Mac pro still NOT UPDATED and same price with the mac pro with it way out date and week video card. Also this makes the imacs prices look bad as most of them still have core2 and the lower systems did not get better video like the 13" mac pros did.

    NOW apple where is the I5 / I7 desktop system (head less) with mid range with upgrades to better cards starting at $800 $1000 $1200? The Imacs at $1,499.00 with only core 2 and only 4670 graphics with 256MB is not cutting it for your new gaming push and the mini needs to be alot better at $800.

    • Also, do not forget the 2009 Mac Pro is a dog.

      It has problems with Firewire, PCI Express, RAID to name a few. At least they sorted out the overheating issue while playing audio (which was a software problem). We do not just want a spec update (which last years spec update was woeful), but a machine we can use as a workstation and know that they are reliable.

      • Other than the overheating issue, I haven't had a single problem with my 2009 Mac Pro's Firewire, PCI Express, or RAID performance. If the 2009 Mac Pro is a dog, it's an insanely fast dog.
    • I don't think the Air or Macbook were updated either because I can't seem to find anything about it and the store still has the old ones.
    • by King_TJ ( 85913 )

      Well, yeah.... because Apple historically does updates of only one product line at a time. Today is Macbook Pro update day... NOT Mac Mini or Mac Pro or iMac update day.

      If you've kept up with the rumors sites at all (or even "tech" site that occasionally discussed it), it sounds like a new Mac Pro has been in development for a while now, and most likely is coming pretty soon. Among other things, it will supposedly feature Intel's new "Light Peak" cabling technology (http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-103703

  • by richdun ( 672214 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:25AM (#31832524)

    A second person familiar with the mattered[sic] adds that at least some models will support 512GB of Solid State Drive (Flash) storage.

    Er, so it took a second person to go to the Apple Online Store and find that out?

    Oh, and for those without a second person around to check for them, the 512GB SSD comes up as a BTO option on all models (at the low low price of $1300 - $1450!).

  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:36AM (#31832756)
    so we're still due two more Apple articles today. Unless these new MacBook Pros run iPhone OS, then I suppose it would count, sort of.
  • which fooled many into believing they would offer quad core processors in their laptops.

    Granted Intel needs to be slapped for having both share the same names. The angst over this little issue on some boards is truly hilarious

  • I use a MBP daily and a big problem for me is the sharp edge on the bottom where your wrists naturally rest when you type. I've seen videos where guys have taken a Dremel to bevel the edge themselves. Anyone know if they fixed that in the new version?

    • big problem for me is the sharp edge on the bottom where your wrists naturally rest when you type.

      ??? Did someone who dislike you put some razor blades there? You might want to check carefully next time you use the machine. The duct tape would be a big give away.

  • by Xoltri ( 1052470 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:47AM (#31832948)
    I've had a MacBook Pro for a couple of years now and overall I'm not impressed. The aluminum case dents super easily, there are only two USB ports, I am on my second power adaptor and second battery, and my DVD drive no longer burns DVD's. Furthermore, it gets so hot you cannot have it on your lap without a layer of asbestos between it and your legs.
    • That's because His Jobness doesn't like noisy fans. Or fans (the spinny kind) at all. MacBooks actually have reasonable cooling if you get the damn fan off of idle. I recommend smc fan control [eidac.de]. Unfortunately, you can't alter the OS X temperature / fan control algorithm to be a bit more aggressive, but the little program lets you set it manually. In most environments, I can't hear the fans at 2500 - 3000 rpm, but that speed cools the system quite a bit better. If your cranking on that 2 GB Photoshop pan
  • Can somebody translate this bit into English for me please?

    ".. A second person familiar with the mattered adds that .."

    Maybe I am tired but I don't understand this bit....

  • Only MacBook Pro (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jonathan A ( 1584455 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:19PM (#31833578)

    Apple's new MacBook lineup has launched with a refresh to the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air models.

    I'm pretty sure that only the MacBook Pro models have been updated. The MacBook and MacBook Air seem the same.

  • by cmattdetzel ( 1067146 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @01:15PM (#31834578)
    Still no eSATA. No USB 3. No SATA III (6GB/s). No Blu-ray. SSDs are still Samsung models which do not use any of the top 3 controller technologies (SandForce, Intel, Indilinx Barefoot). 1920 x 1080 or 1920 x 1200 resolution still not available on 15" models.

    All the things I'd been hoping would make it to the next MBP didn't. Looks like I'll be sticking with my 2006 Core2Duo 15" MBP a while longer.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.