Back to Article

  • ioannis - Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - link

    Anand, if you are reading this, is it possible to test an anti-glare film with those screens? It might be the only solution for us that can't stand the glare

  • Piyono - Friday, October 17, 2008 - link

    I just saw the October 2008 MacBook and could barely contain my excitement. I felt compelled to write in to let you know how eager I am to upgrade to the Firewire-enabled model which I imagine will succeed this one. I'm warmed by the thought that countless thousands of people won't have to shell out for the Pro model just to continue feeling validated in their decision to invest in Firewire audio interfaces, video cameras, hard drives and so forth. Your commitment to maintaining thriving, modern standards is noted and appreciated.

    See you at refresh time!


  • radguy - Friday, October 17, 2008 - link

    Apple is trying to promote this with.

    Solid aluminum construction "precision aluminum unibody enclosure
    New display "LED-backlit display
    New gpu "next generation graphics"
    No click with trackpad "Multi-touch glass trackpad"
    "Mini Display port connector"
    "Environmentally responsible"
    "very fast memory"

    When was the problem with notebooks structual yeah its cool but how much is this costing me?
    New display: nice but not really that big on glass
    New gpu is good
    No click trackpad. Haven't used it cant tell.
    Mind Display terrible idea unless it comes with converter free and doesn't so TERRIBLE
    enviromentally responsible - nice but not going into the enviromental debate

    Very fast memory- last time i checked ddr3 1066 was totally alot faster than ddr2 800. especially when it came to notebooks.

    So were are we at. Apple this is a heart to heart. Its really cool but I wanted

    better gpu
    blu ray
    1440x900 option on the 13inch
    better battery
    less weight
    lower price

    all in my next notebook. You got the gpu and that was it. To bad you hiked up the price. Wont be going apple on the notebook anytime soon.

  • Griswold - Friday, October 17, 2008 - link

    "When was the problem with notebooks structual yeah its cool but how much is this costing me?"

    It may be the $200 (or most of it) people are complaining about. :)

    At any rate, milling the base from an aluminum block is definitely the more expensive way of doing it. I'm not quite sure why they did it either.. it must be the "coolness" factor they're betting on...
  • charliept - Thursday, October 16, 2008 - link

    It almost looks like a downgrade.

    No FW400?
    No HDMI?
    No E-SATA?
    No Blu-Ray?
    No matte display option?
    The same 2 USB ports?
    DisplayPort but no adapters included???

    In one word only: disappointment!
  • Azsen - Thursday, October 16, 2008 - link

    Can you install Vista on it and do everything as normal ie play games etc? Reply
  • illdefined - Thursday, October 16, 2008 - link

    hasn't the Air's disc interface been upgraded?

    what kind of improvements would that bring, more importantly, is there a user-way to put an Intel SSD in there??
  • Zak - Thursday, October 16, 2008 - link

    Yeah, the decision to kill FW is unforgivable indeed. I like to be able to plug in any portable FW drive without having to worry about insufficient power. I often clone two external FW drives by daisy-chaining them. And then there is the FW Target Disk Mode. And not enough USB ports and poor battery life? I don't know WTF is wrong with Apple, but they seem to be going back to their old ways... Without FireWire and Target Disk Mode Apple laptops have a lot less appeal to me:(

  • Syzygies - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    With the loss of the FireWire port, MacBooks have lost the capacity to attach multiple external hard drives, period.

    One cannot connect multiple high-bandwidth devices to a USB port. Even Apple's own technical notes warn this leads to trouble. I'd be happy if Apple had introduced eSATA connections, but it simply dropped any option for multiple external hard drives. That makes the MacBook a toy. I'm waiting a generation. I'd step up to a MacBook Pro _if_ they ever make one small enough... Alas.
  • SirKronan - Thursday, October 16, 2008 - link

    Yeah. They've really screwed the pooch on this one. Taking the firewire away is unforgivable. Best Buy and other electronics stores have lined the shelves with new firewire 400 and even 800 external drives that have "MAC" stamped all over them. Now only the "elite" pro owners well be able to buy and utilize these new drives. Why will basic Macbook users spend extra to get firewire when they can't even benefit from it? They will buy cheaper (and inferior) USB drives. Or they will buy cheaper (and superior) Windows-based laptops that HAVE firewire or eSATA.

    And this is freaking 2008. What the elf is Crapple thinking not putting eSATA on there ...

    Apple = "teh suck"

    (and this is coming from an Apple fan with three iPods and a Macbook. I've also owned an iMac and I do a TON of photo and video editing ... Mac's really losing their competitive edge. "Pretty" isn't going to sell to people who still need functionality.)
  • Dennis Travis - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    Anand, if you see this post, is the whole chipset made by Nvidia? Both Northbridge and Southbridge and just an Intel CPU? A few people have been discussing this and I figured I would ask.

  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    The GeForce 9400M is a single chip solution, north and south bridges in one. The CPU is Intel. So it's two chips and you've got the vast majority of the system :)

  • LTG - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    Don't know why they didn't opt for the new Intel SSD drives.

    Will these new MacBooks have the stuttering SSD problem?
  • Griswold - Friday, October 17, 2008 - link

    Arent they using samsung SSDs? They come with their own proprietary controller and not with the jmicron junk. Reply
  • JAS - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    How much money is Apple saving by removing the Firewire port from their MacBook models? Firewire is still the preferred way to connect external drives, and it is virtually essential for importing DV video from camcorders. With no ExpressCard slot on the MacBook, users don't even have the option to add Firewire themselves.

    On the 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple took away the Firewire-400 port while retaining the Firewire-800 port. Yes, Firewire-800 is downward compatible with Firewire-400; but you need an adapter cable to accommodate the two different types of connectors.

    It is odd to see Apple backing away from Firewire in their laptops, especially considering how the company pioneered the Firewire (1394A) protocol in the first place.

    I'm glad that I bought my MacBook Pro earlier this year. I'm not sure that I'd want to buy one of the new models with the non-optional glossy screen and Firewire deficiency.
  • tim851 - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    I love how people continue to bash Apple's pricing. It's not that Apple has ever been anything but high end. And you know what - they are one of the fastest growing IT companies. Their profits are through the roof, unlike most high volume vendors that engage in price wars.

    If you're thinking Apple is too expensive, it's really you (like me), that is just too poor...
  • demiurge3141 - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    Is this a joke? Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    To anyone except those affected by Steve Job's Reality Distortion Field, it is a complete joke. Reply
  • SoCalBoomer - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    not only no LAN, but still only one USB and only the special display adaptor. . .

    Competitor laptops (same size, same weight) from Dell, Lenovo, etc. all have normal VGA (which, at this resolution, is JUST fine and makes giving presentations very easy - no stupid dongles to lose), multiple USB, LAN, etc. etc. etc.

    And for less.

    Yep - I'm laughing.
  • ksherman - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    The MacBook received a pretty sweet makeover. I know its a slight bit pricier, but it sure is a stellar shift for the MacBook.

    The MacBook Pro is an epic fail in my book. I like the chicklet keyboard, I have one of the new Apple keyboards and adore it. NOT a fan of the black. Why not keep it gray like the rest of the laptop? Then, glossy only. I know some will say its fine etc, but I don't like Apple's trend of forcing the glossy screens. They are simply not my cup of tea and interfere with my work as a photographer that works on the go. True, I have a Samsung 24" on my desk for serious work, but not even giving us the option of a matte screen is a step back. Then, the huge black border... yuk! I am fine with the border, but so thick? I think this new trackpad sounds like slick work, look forward to see them. Nice bump in the Video Card (wish they wouldn't have put 256MB in the lower model, should just be 512MB all around) and DDR3 is a nice change.

    Now here is the other big negative for me: the mini-DisplayPort. LAME. I understand that DisplayPort is the wave of the future, okay. But that connector is only capable of 1920x1200 on the $30 adapter (seriously, not included?!) and if you want/need D-DVI, the adapter is $99!!!! WTF?? Big mistake, the way I see it.

    I am a fan of the construction styling of the lower section, looks impressive! If only Apple hadn't screwed over the Pros...
  • quiksilvr - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Honestly what the hell? The pricing is utterly ridiculous. $100 is what Dell and HP charges, so how is $200 worth it for Apple? Its

    13" Macbook:
    For $300 extra you get a bump to 2.4 GHz and 90 GB. On the base $1299 model, an upgrade from 160 to 250 GB is 100 bucks!...WHY? 1 GB of HDD space was worth LESS than a dollar not MORE. And even worse, if you just want a speed bump and not space, you are FORCED to pay $300 just to upgrade from 2.0 to 2.4. ONLY HAVE ONE BASE MODEL AND CUSTOMIZE FROM THERE AND STOP RIPPING OFF YOUR CUSTOMERS.

    It gets worse: because of their idiotic mini display port, you have to pay 30 BUCKS (instead of the original 20) just to get an adapter to DVI or VGA. You don't get both for 30, EACH cost 30.

    15.4" Macbook Pro
    REALLY? For 500 bucks you get a whopping bump from 2.4 to 2.53, 2 extra GB of RAM and 70 GB of space...oh and 256 MB bump on the video card but its redundant because you have 4 freaking GB of RAM. Who prices these things? Do they even think it through? Oh and its still 2 grand for the base model. Yeah...REALLY affordable.

    The only good that comes from this is the original 13" Macbook costs $999 with a Superdrive standard (but still only 1 GB RAM, and charging you 75 bucks just for an extra GB of RAM)

    17" Macbook Pro
    Not only did they NOT redesign it, they didn't bring the price down. All they did was give it 4 GB RAM and a 1080p LED screen. Which is all well and good, but its still 2800 bucks. How do they expect to make a strong position in the market if they don't do what is expected from a company? HAVE AFFORDABLE NOTEBOOKS.

    You'd think that with such a high price, there is a reason. Is the processor different from PCs? NO. How about the screen? Nope. Do they use special RAM? Nooo. How about video card? No. Hard drive? No. Optical drive? No. BUT ITS MADE FROM A SOLID PIECE OF ALUMINUM AND 33% THINNER and 20% LIGHTER THAN MOST NOTEBOOKS! Ok that's cool, but I'd rather NOT spend an extra 500-1500 bucks just for Aluminum casing and lightness and get a better spec'd computer. If I want a new OS that bad I can get Ubuntu or just buy Leopard and "hack" it so it runs on PCs.

    Simply put, these new Macbook releases always do what is expected (make DVD burning standard, make 2 GB standard, LED back lighting) but not what most consumers want (affordability, one base model to avoid being forced to pay extra just for one thing, some form of an accidental damage warranty, and a fingerprint reader of some kind). The sad part: I WANT to get a Mac (the notebook not the OS), but the price, its lack of game compatibility and continual stubbornness of not releasing the OS for PCs so that it CAN be compatible with everything keeps me away from it. Ubuntu does a better job in that and it has an even smaller footprint in the PC world.
  • SirKronan - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Disgusting .... APPLE, not Anand.

    Pros to Macbook:
    DDR3 (although minor)

    No firewire????
    $200 MORE????

    The four changes above are completely evolutionary. Evolutionary changes in this day and age shouldn't raise the price. The Macbook has been scarcely upgraded at all since its release. The new body style shouldn't be accompanied by a ridiculous hike in price. I am impressed with the nice looking LED screens, but they take away your firewire port and don't even replace it with a third USB.

    I'm skipping this generation for sure. I love my Macbook, but if it died right now I certainly wouldn't be replacing it with one of these new expensive ones. I'm not impressed. The Penryn and DDR3 can't be costing Apple enough to justify a $200 price hike. That's not the way the computer business works. I honestly hope people don't buy them until the price comes down.

    Fail. (sorry if I sound a bit harsh ... long day at work!)
  • takumsawsherman - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    What they have done to these laptops is a travesty. They were awesome, and easy to sell. Firewire target disk mode is one of the most useful features for mac users. I use it all the time. Stripping out Firewire on Macbooks is such a penny-pinching, crappy move. It's bad enough you don't get many ports, and they took away the remote, and raised the price, and now you don't even get a $5 port.

    I don't care if it was Jobs who wanted the firewire port gone, and the Macbook Pro to be stripped to one FW800 port. Smack that person upside the head.

    This is in addition to the probable continuation of making the laptops and iMacs more and more difficult to service. Just today, I had to disassemble a White Intel iMac to replace the HD. With the earlier iMac G5 (same form factor) you could unscrew 3 or 4 screws, which were trapped, and open the back. Then you could replace memory, hard drive, power supply, optical drive, or anything else. With this unit, I had to remove the front bezel using a bent, cut credit card (Apple provides a "tool" to ASPs, which is a plastic card that they literally tell you to bend and cut) due to Apple trying to prevent smaller shops from servicing the units out-of-warranty. Then disconnect the iSight camera. I had to then remove an EMI shield that likes to tear, then remove a display connector, then remove EMI tape around the display, then 4 T10 screws (this model uses T6, T8, AND T10), then remove the display, then detach 2 display cables, then remove a HD thermistor cable, then remove the HD, exchange the bracket and plug screws into the new drive, replace the thermistor with the remainder of sticky tape onto the new drive, screw that back in, then replace the display cables, display, T10 screws (for which I do not have a magnetic driver, and yes, the holes are set down within the chassis, that was fun), then try to replace the tape, then the other cable had to be screwed in (T6), then the shield replaced, then the iSight reconnected, then the bezel back on. I was being careful, granted. But it took a freaking HOUR!!!

    Now, the real solution for that is physical pain inflicted on the idiot who decided that one should have to go through all of that to replace a hard drive, or even the clock battery (a little less work for one of those).
  • v12v12 - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    Yeah I've got a GLossy-FLossy PC lappy and the reflection is definitely an issue! I mean it's not enough for me to relinquish it for a matte, b/c the colors, esp watching vids, are leagues above matte... then again, the scratches and nicks are VERY easily seen and that drives me nuts more than anything. Gloss attracts the joe-blows/zealots alike with the cleverly, and tactile marketing: thus never showing the negatives of it.

    My advice is to the cautious: decide what you can and CANNOT tolerate, from the small list of pro's and cons from my exp. I have both a McPro (matte) and a glossy PC... I find myself using + tolerating the gloss, while silently complaining about it still.
  • Doormat - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    "You do pay for all of this, the updated configuration will run you $1299 up from $1099 (although you can still buy the entry level MacBook at $1099). The display alone is worth the $200 price premium honestly."

    I beg to disagree. The res is the same, and I have no problems with my CCFL-LCD on my 2.5 yr old MacBook. I would have been happy if they would have kept it for another 6 months and waited until the price came down on both the display and DDR3 RAM.

    The $200 price increase really grinds my gears. I went from expecting to fork over about $1500 for a new MB to find that I would have to spend $1700, and the processor is only 133MHz faster than the one in my 2.5 yr old MacBook (May 2006).

    Apple screwed up IMO. May they find that their ASP goes south the next few months as people buy MBs instead of MBPs and $999 plasti-Macs instead of "Premium" MBs.
  • vexingv - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    While my Powerbook has become anemic running Leopard, with its max RAM of 1.25 gb, and those superfluous flash-filled webpages, I still feel it had one of the best form-factors of an Apple portable. Disappointments with this new generation of MBP/MB:

    1.lack of a matte option; while they may look nice, glossy screens don't have the truest color representation and have issues with glare. I also feel that my eyes strain/fatigue faster when using a glossy screen.

    2. Apple is also nickel-and-diming users on these new adapters. When I bought my Powerbook, the mini-DVI to VGA and DVI adapters were included standard; the new Mini Displayport adapters $30 each. There is also no mention of any type of adapter for FW800 to FW400.

    3. lack of any mouse buttons: multitouch is an interesting feature, but why remove the mouse button to make the trackpad clickable? I don't see why the mouse button couldn't be left there.

    4. "chicklet" keys: I think the Powerbook/MBP keyboards were top notch and always hated using the keyboard on my friend's Macbook.

    5. Macbook and Macbook Pro lines have very few features separating them. As far as I can tell, the only two features it lacks are a discrete gpu (9600M GT) and firewire. But given its size, this new generation of Macbooks could fill the role that has been left by the 12" Powerbooks.

    6. Price: Macbooks have gotten more expensive and I only expect those plastic Macbooks to be around for $999 until supplies are out.

    I just hope that Apple can come out with better hardware revisions when it transitions to the Nehalem/Core i7 mobile platform, which is when I anticipate on upgrading my portable.
  • steveyballme - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    The glare is so bad that most people mistake this thing for a mirror!">
  • blufire - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    The previous (2.1GHz white) MacBook is available for $999, not $1099 as stated on page 2.

    Thanks for the thorough comparison!
  • marsbound2024 - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    I've seen articles on other sites (such as Engadget) talking about how annoying the glare was on the screen. Why is there no mention of this? Is it just that the glare isn't that bad? Or I suppose since the article is merely a discussion of specifications there really isn't a need to discuss the fact that this glass screen might be rather annoying for use under lights or outside? I really like the new design and specs, but the display's glare might prevent me from considering it. Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    Let the man get his hands on the new ones first, review it and be sure to get an indepth analysis then. Reply
  • DCstewieG - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    The complaints about the glossy screen are incredibly overblown IMO. I (and many others I've found online) was of the opinion that the glossy screen is terrible. But early this year when I was buying my MacBook Pro, I read a lot online and then went to the store. I decided to go with the glossy screen and I love it. Unless you'll always be using your laptop with a light or window right behind you, you never really notice it.

    I would guess that most of the complaints you read online are from people who've never really used the glossy screen for a serious amount of time and just assume that this reflective finish must suck. But seriously, go see for yourself. What are you listening to people on the internet for? I know mine is beautiful.
  • Griswold - Friday, October 17, 2008 - link

    "Unless you'll always be using your laptop with a light or window right behind you, you never really notice it. "

    You make no sense at all. A notebook is a portable device I want to use everywhere - also and especially outside my own house. Glossy screens are a failure there. Glossy screens can work just fine on a desktop system if the environment is right, but its as dumb as it can get for a notebook, because not everyone, like you, will use it on the same table in the same position every day. Period.

  • code65536 - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    > Unless you'll always be using your laptop with a light
    > or window right behind you, you never really notice it.
    That's like saying, "unless you find yourself using your laptop far away from a power supply for very long periods of time, 5 hours of battery life ought to be enough for anyone." Sure, that might apply in many cases, but I still want the flexibility and robustness of a matte screen so that when I do encounter adverse lighting, things still work fine.

    And I'm surprised at how many defenders of glossy use the "you must have never seen one before" line. Well, I used to have a glossy screen. And it was so unbearable that I actually went through the trouble (and it was a LOT of trouble) to get the screen replaced with a matte screen.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - link

    Honestly, there's a lot more to an LCD than the glossy vs. matte discussion. In fact, I know Anand is happy to see the new specs, but I'm not convinced the new MacBook will actually have a display that's on par with the Pro - we'll see when he gets a chance to actually test it in person.

    One of my major complaints with laptop LCDs is contrast ratio and color gamut. I have yet to test anything that comes anywhere near the ASUS G2P I tested over two years ago, which still falls behind pretty much every single desktop LCD I've tested.

    I've got an LED backlit LCD right now that one might expect to perform well... but it doesn't. The contrast ratio is about 200:1, because the black level is about 1.0 nits. Sitting next to it is a non-LED laptop with a black level of around .25 nits, and let me tell you it makes a huge difference. I've tested LED lit laptops that do much better, and I've tested non-LED backlit laptops that do worse. Bottom line is that LCD panel technology still has a lot of variation.

    Maybe if I'm lucky, I can get Anand to send me a few Apple MacBooks for some quick LCD testing. I've always heard they're "better" than other models, but have never had a chance to sit down and run some objective tests to prove that. I think they even used to use S-IPS panels on some notebooks, but I'd be very surprised if they still do that - which is really a shame.
  • marsbound2024 - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    This is a new glass screen... and Engadget is a pretty respectable site.">

    And this is from Gizmodo: "The glossy screen is what it is, and is bright, fast to light up and a bit too reflective if you position it with the sun behind you (no matte option anymore)."

    But of course I'd be absolutely pleased if the glare isn't so bad. I just know that I'll be using my laptop for what laptops are intended for: mobility. I want to go anywhere... a cafe, a park, the deck, who knows. I am not afraid of the sunlight like many geeks are sometimes stereotypically portrayed, but I certainly don't want my laptop's glare to instill that fear.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now