The Apple notebook event is now behind us and we can share the new product line with you as presented. We had a thunderstorm roll through the area which knocked the power out for the entire event but due to the technology of batteries and EVDO I was able to follow four live blogs for the entire event. The experience was pretty funny, sitting with no power using a notebook on 3G connectivity covering a notebook live event. That’s mobile tech. Here’s what was unveiled by Apple by product line:
The entry level Macbook is a white plastic model that will start at $999. Not quite the $800 notebook we were hoping for but not too bad. The $999 will get you a 13.3-inch white Macbook with Intel processor (2.1GHz/ 800 MHz bus), 1 GB of RAM, 120 GB hard drive, SuperDrive, Intel GMA integrated graphics, Glossy display (1280×800), iSight, WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, Firewire, 2 USB. This model is rated at 55 Watt/hr for 4.5 hours battery life.
The newest Macbook is basically a 13.3-inch Macbook Pro without the Pro part and is the same brushed metal chassis, black bezel screen and the new glass trackpad (up to 4 finger multi-touch). The trackpad has no buttons, the entire pad is pushed to click the mouse button. The keyboard of this and all the metal Macbooks is the same black chiclet style introduced with the Macbook Air. This new Macbook will start at $1299 which gets you a 2 GHz/ 1066 MHz bus Intel, 2 GB of RAM, 160 GB hard drive, SuperDrive, NVidia 9400M (256 MB), 13.3-inch Glossy screen (1280×800), iSight and all the connectivity features of the white model. This model is only rated at 45 Watt/hr for 5 hours battery life which is too optimistic I’m sure. I’d expect only 4 hours tops.
The only new Macbook Pro that Apple showed today was the 15-inch model. This is basically just like the 13.3 Macbook above but in the larger size. The starting model of the new Pro has a starting price of $1999 you get a 2.4 GHz/ 1066 MHz bus Intel processor, 2 GB of RAM, 250 GB hard drive, SuperDrive, both a NVidia 9400M (256 MB) and 9600M (512 MB), 15.4-inch Glossy screen (1440×900), iSight, ExpressCard and all the connectivity options of the other models. The new Macbook Pro is rated at 50 Watt/hr for 5 hours of "wireless productivity" according to Apple.
The Air is not changing much, primarily a bigger hard drive of 120 GB (128 GB SSD option) and a faster graphics function (NVidai 9400M). The pricing is $1799 for the hard drive model.
Configuration options for all of the above can add hundreds of dollars at the buyer’s discretion and include the usual processor bumps, memory and hard drive bumps in size. All of the metal Macs above come with LED backlit screens. Interestingly, Jobs said in a Q&A after the event that the 17-inch was also being refreshed but it still has the same specs as before other than starting with 4 GB of RAM. He also was asked about an Apple netbook and his reply was that the netbook market is a "nascent market" and that Apple doesn’t play in those.
The preliminary part of the event was showing off the new "brick" manufacturing technique that Apple is using on all the aluminum Macbooks. They make the chassis out of a single block of aluminum and carve away everything that doesn’t look like a Macbook. Jobs said that all systems introduced would be shipping today from the online store and in Apple stores tomorrow. Apple also introduced a new 24-inch cinema display.