Don’t want to watch the entire 2009 Macworld Keynote? Here’s a rundown of what was announced and a little commentary.
iLife 09 will be released sometime in late January. iPhoto and iMovie received the largest updates. New organization features Faces (facial recognition) and Places (geotagging) allow you to more easily find the pictures you’re looking for in iPhoto. iPhoto now includes direct upload capability to Flickr and Facebook. iPhoto also includes some pretty sweet slideshow functionality. iMovie now features video stabilization (which looks ridiculously slick), more precision editing, dynamic themes, and a cool travel map feature. GarageBand and iWeb were also updated; iDVD is the same. The cool new feature in GarageBand is the new artist lessons feature. The artist lesson feature is a video where various artists teach you to play their songs. iLife 09 is $79 and $99 for a family pack. You also need OS X 10.5 Leopard to run iLife 09.
I’ll save you the boring details on iWork 09. Basically, increased functionality across all applications. Pages includes a new full screen mode to help remove distractions. Mail Merge is also now included with Pages. Also new is a cool $.99 iPhone/touch application to control Keynote presentations called Keynote Remote (iTunes link). Numbers got a cool linked chart feature when adding Numbers based charts in Pages. iWork 09 is available now for $79 or $99 for a family pack. You can also purchase iWork 09 with a new Mac for only $49.
Mac Box Set
The Mac Box Set is a new product that includes iWork 09, iLife 09, and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard for only $169. Considering Leopard is $129 by itself, this is a remarkably good deal.
iWork.com is a sharing and collaboration site for iWork documents. iWork.com will be available on a subscription basis (price not announced) at a later date. You need iWork 09 to use iWork.com. Though not officially announced, it looks like iWork.com is available for use now.
17″ MacBook Pro
The 17″ MBP looks exactly like the new unibody Macbook and 15″ MBP. The downside of the 17″ MBP is the fact that the battery is not user replaceable, but does get “up to 8 hours” of battery life. The new battery can be recharged up to 1,000 times, “3x the recharges of the standard notebook battery”. The 17″ MBP is available with a new anti-glare option for an extra $50. Video editors will be happy with the new 17″ MBP because it supports 8GB of RAM.
- Beginning April 1st, songs sold on iTunes will be available with variable pricing, $.69, $.99, and $1.29.
- 80% of the songs available on iTunes are now DRM free. The remaining 20% will be available DRM free by the end of this quarter.
- The iTunes iPhone/touch App can now operate over the cellular network. This works over Edge and 3G.
The most important announcement was easily iTunes becoming DRM free. Perhaps this is truly the final nail in the DRM coffin?
Perhaps the most interesting announcement is iWork.com. Though it initially seems limited, could this come to rival Google Docs?
One of the first accessories I purchased for both my Macbook and Macbook Pro is the Incase Neoprene Sleeve. I didn’t have a traditional laptop bag at the time, so I knew I needed some kind of protection when traveling with my laptop. The Neoprene Sleeve proved to be the perfect notebook accessory.
The Incase 13″ Neoprene Sleeve fits the Macbook like a glove. Just slide the Macbook into the sleeve and zip it up. Place the sleeve in your backpack and you’re ready to go.
The Incase 15″ Neoprene Sleeve fits the Macbook Pro well, but not as sleek a fit as the 13″ sleeve with the Macbook. There is a little room at the top of the case, most likely to also fit the 15″ Powerbook . Despite this, the MBP slides in and out of the sleeve with ease. The width is a good fit, it’s just the length that is a little longer than the Macbook Pro.
The sleeves retail for about $35 and come in a large variety of colors. Both sleeves are a great accessory if you own either a Macbook or Macbook Pro. According to Incase, the 13″ will also fit the Macbook Air. One tip if you buy one of these sleeves. Take a razor blade or pair of scissors and take out the tag on the inside of the sleeve. Some users have reported that the tag can scratch the laptop. I took both my tags out just to be sure. I would recommend these sleeves for anyone carrying their laptop inside a backpack or other none laptop bags. They are also great if you want to carry your laptop without any bag at all. Just slide your laptop in the sleeve and carry it like you would a Moleskine journal or other paper notebook.
Unless you were hiding in a secret underground lair, you probably know Apple released some new laptops and other goodies last week. Here is a quick recap of all the changes (all that I could find):
- There are now two different designs for the Macbook and three different price points ($999, $1299, $1599). The white plastic design of before, and a brand new aluminum design
- The white Macbook remains unchanged, except for a new price of $999 (down from $1099)
- The new Macbook received a radical design change. Gone are the days when you could easily spot the difference between a Macbook and Macbook Pro
- The new Macbook has been updated with a new precision aluminum unibody look
- The new Macbook sports a GeForce 9400M video chipset; way more powerful than the previous Intel chipset
- The new $1299 Macbook now has a slower processor; 2.0GHz C2D instead of a 2.4GHz C2D processor available in the previous $1299 white Macbook
- The $1599 Macbook has a 2.4GHz processor and 250GB HDD
- The new Macbook is without Firewire ports
- The new Macbook is sporting a new video port; the Mini DisplayPort
- The new Macbook has a glass trackpad that acts as both the trackpad and trackpad button
- The new glass trackpad supports multi-touch gestures ala the Macbook Air
- You now have a 128GB SSD option on the new Macbook
- The new Macbook has the same keyboard as the Macbook Air
- The new Macbook has a backlit keyboard; but only on the $1599 model
- The new Macbook supports the 30″ Apple Cinema Display
- The new Macbook has an LED Screen
- The new Macbook is lighter, thinner, and slightly deeper
- The new Macbook is rated for 5hrs vs. 4.5hrs in the older white model
- The battery indicator is on the side of the case instead of on the battery itself in the new Macbook
- The MBA sports a GeForce 9400M video chipset; way more powerful than the previous Intel chipset
- The MBA comes standard with a 120GB HDD and also has a 128GB SSD option
- The MBA is sporting a new video port; the Mini DisplayPort
- The MBA now supports the 30″ Apple Cinema Display
- Battery life is rated at 4.5hrs vs. 5 in previous documentation (ed: Could be change in the calculation methods)
- Not shipping until “Early November”
- All models have a 128GB SSD HDD option
- The 17″ MBP remains unchanged design wise
- The 17″ MBP and the $2499 15″ comes standard with 4GB RAM and a 320GB HDD; both increases
- The 17″ MBP now comes standard with a LED display (matte or glossy)
- The 17″ MBP has a standard resolution of 1920 x 1200 (previously was a BTO option)
- The 15″ MBP was updated with the new precision aluminum unibody look
- The 15″ MBP now contains two NVIDIA chipsets; the GeForce 9400M and 9600M GT
- On the 15″ MBP, the DVI port is gone. Now you have the mini DisplayPort
- On the 15″ MBP, the ports are now on one side
- All 15″ MBP are glossy screens. You cannot get a 15″ MBP with a matte screen
- On the 15″ MBP, gone are both the FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 ports. Now you have one FireWire 800 (backwards compatible with FW 400)
- The 15″ MBP has a glass trackpad that acts as both the trackpad and trackpad button
- The new glass trackpad supports multi-touch gestures ala the Macbook Air
- The $2499 MBP received a very slight speed bump, up to 2.53GHz from 2.5GHz
- The RAM and HDD are now vastly easier to replace in the 15″ MBP via a compartment on the bottom of the laptop
- The 15″ MBP has the same keyboard as the Macbook Air
- The new 15″ MBP is slightly thinner, yet heavier, wider, and deeper
- The battery indicator is on the side of the case instead of on the battery itself in the 15″ MBP
- The 15″ MBP now has a magnetic latch similar to the Macbook
- Introduced a 24″ LED display for $899
- Built in iSight, mic, speakers, and three USB ports
- The new display contains a MagSafe connector to charge your notebook
- The new display uses the new Mini DisplayPort
- No adapter available for DVI to Mini DisplayPort available
- The previous 20″, 23″, and 30″ displays are still available; unchanged
- Not currently available for sale; “Coming Soon”
- Apple talked a lot about their new products and how environmentally friendly they are. You can read the Apple 2008 Environmental Update for more information.
- Apple is now the # 1 notebook seller in education
If you’re in the market for a Mac notebook, you might want to hold off for a few days. Multiple sources have confirmed a special event Apple has scheduled for 10AM Pacific time on October 14th. The tag line, “The spotlight turns to notebooks” accompanies the invitation to the event.
The rumors about an October 14th notebook event have been circulating for some time. Indications are the the Macbook and Macbook Pro are getting a redesign. While the Macbook Air hasn’t been often mentioned in this rumor, I would be surprised if the Air didn’t get at least a processor refresh.
In related news, the Inquisitr website is reporting that Apple will release an $800 notebook. This could be either a significant price drop for the Macbook or an entirely new device. This would be Apple’s first foray into the sub $1000 notebook category. Apple has one of the healthier margins in the computer industry, so it would be a little shocking if they were to hit this price point with the Macbook. I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday.
It’s been a few months since I last picked an “Apple Office Of The Month“, but I’m at it again.
tipclapper’s Home Office 3.1 has been chosen as the winning office this month. The red backlight creates a peaceful mood lighting to the picture. I’m not sure I’d be able to do much work in his office, but I would definitely be relaxed! The two Apple pictures on each side of the corner desk add to the Apple goodness of his office. It certainly didn’t hurt that tipclapper is sporting two 23″ Apple Cinema Displays either. Though you can’t see it, the two ACD’s are hooked up to a Mac Pro sitting just below the desk. Rounding out a common theme in the office to the first winner back in February, an iPhone. You can see some more details about his setup in this picture. Thanks for tipclapper for submitting his office! You can find more of tipclapper on one of this websites.
If you would like to submit your Apple office, just add your photo to the Apple Office Flickr group and it will automatically be considered for future posts. Every month or so I’ll pick a winner and feature his/her office here. Don’t forget to update your Flickr profile so I know where to send our readers to find out more about you. Thanks to everyone who has submitted photos so far!
The often rumored Macbook Pro updated came true today on Apple Tuesday (that’s my new name for Tuesdays). In addition to the new MBP, the Macbook also saw an update. Of the two updates, the Macbook Pro sees the most significant changes. So what’s new?
- Base model now features the 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo and 200GB HDD
- Mid 15″ and 17″ come with 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo and 250GB HDD
- The base model now has 256MB video RAM and the other two have 512MB RAM
- 4GB RAM upgrade is now cheaper, but still not worth it ($400)
- You now have a 300GB HDD option on the 17″ MBP
- The 17″ now sports an LED display
- Multi-Touch trackpad added to all models
- Base model now features the 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo and 120GB HDD
- Other model now features a 2.4GHZ Core 2 Duo, 160GB HDD, and 2GB RAM
- Price for the Black option now down to $100 (from $125)
- 4GB RAM upgrade is now cheaper, but still not worth it ($400; $500 if you’re buying the base model)
Both updates are available immediately with the same pricing as previous models. I’m glad to see Apple is keeping up with the changing hardware, but when will they just make 2GB of RAM standard across their entire notbook line? The entry model Macbook is the only model that doesn’t come with 2GB of RAM.
Update: I made a few corrections to the earlier post to reflect the 17″ LED display and the wording on the video card update. In addition to that, the Apple Remote is now a $19 paid upgrade. I hardly ever use mine and I suspect Apple is trying to cut cost/waste with the move.
Update, August 2009: Apple now has their own laptop comparison chart (scroll down a little on the linked page) with even more data. I’ll no longer be updating the comparison chart linked below.
Choosing the right Apple notebook is an important decision for first time and seasoned Mac users. While there are only three notebooks to choose from, each product has its own strengths and drawbacks. I thought I would make it easier for you to choose the proper Apple notebook.
I’m compiled a detailed chart listing every possible option I could find or think of based on the current notebook offerings. If you see that I missed something, please lease a comment and I’ll update the chart. I present to you, the Apple Notebook Comparison Chart (pdf).
Update: I’ve updated the chart to reflect the recent Macbook and Macbook Pro updates.