Less than 24 hours after Apple revealed its latest MacBook updates, we've got three of them here, ready to undergo rigorous testing in the CNET Labs. The most notable news developments are the unexpected promotion of the unibody 13-inch to the MacBook Pro family, and the addition of a long-awaited SD card slot to several models.
You can catch up with all the changes across the entire MacBook line in our New Apple MacBooks demystified post, and stay tuned for full reviews, videos, and more later this week.
Apple's announcements this week expanded the range of the MacBook Pro product line, which now covers starting prices from $1,199 to $2,499.
In effect, the Pro line has absorbed the aluminum-cased models from the MacBook line, which is now reduced to a single model with a white plastic case, a look that debuted over three years ago.
Some "Pro" models now have features that used to be hallmarks of the basic MacBook notebooks: integrated graphics and no ExpressCard slot. I think of these as consumer-oriented choices, and I'll throw in the standard glossy screen finish on the 13-inch and 15-inch models. A glossy screen looks better for movies, but it's unacceptable for some professional users.
Consumers should be happy to migrate to the MacBook Pro line, since they can now get features and options never before offered on MacBooks: FireWire 800, for example, and support for up to 8GB of DRAM.
Professional users, on the other hand, are now reduced to just one good choice: the 17-inch MacBook Pro, which includes an ExpressCard slot and can be ordered with an antiglare screen.
So in a way, Apple's newly expanded notebook line is narrower than it used to be -- there's room both above and below, especially if the plastic MacBook is allowed to fade gracefully into history.
Updated, June 17: The sandboxing of plug-ins, such as Flash, in Safari 4 will be limited to users running Mac OS X 10.6, which will be available this fall. The feature is currently not available, nor will it be available to Windows users. Windows users should also note that changing the default search provider is limited to either Google or Yahoo.
The public version of Safari 4 was released Monday amid all the iPhone noise at WWDC, and Apple confirmed what those who played around with the beta version already knew: Safari is now a serious browser for serious … Read more
One of the most attractive aspects of the new iPhone 3G S is the pricing; $299 for the 32GB model and $199 for the 16GB model isn't bad. Even better is the $99 for the old iPhone 3G with 8GB. But beware; not everyone qualifies for the announced pricing right off the bat.
The truth is, these prices only apply to new customers, new lines of service, and contract renewals. If you're still under contract, including existing iPhone 3G owners, you're probably not eligible for the upgrade. AT&T claims that most iPhone 3G owners will … Read more
Editor's note: This First Take includes only the features that will be unique to the iPhone OS 3.0 in a separate post.S. I've revisited
iPhone fans got what they were waiting for June 8 when the third-generation model of Apple's popular handset made its debut during the WWDC 2009 keynote. The iPhone 3G S, which will hit stores June 19, promises a faster iPhone with an extended battery life, more memory, and improved features. It looks exactly the same as the previous model, but both the 16GB ($199) and new 32GB ($299) models will come in white and black versions.
Though the jump from the iPhone 3G to the 3G S isn't quite as big as the jump from the first- to second-generation models, this latest handset still adds enough new features to make it a compelling upgrade for some users. And when you add in all the new features that will come with the iPhone OS 3.0 (available June 17), we finally get an iPhone that can run thousands of snazzy applications and do something as basic as send a multimedia message.
Yet, we still have some concerns. A faster AT&T 3G network isn't going to happen overnight, and some features, like tethering and the aforementioned multimedia messaging, won't happen right away. We also came away from the keynote without any mention of call quality, which, as any iPhone owner can tell you, remains far from perfect. But most importantly, the iPhone 3G S's price will vary widely depending on your eligibility. If you can get it at the lowest prices, it's worth your while. But if you're not yet eligible for a discounted upgrade, we suggest that you wait. … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--The big knock on Apple--whether or not it's always been accurate--is that its products are more expensive than most of its competitors.
But in the keynote speech Monday that opened Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, it became clear the company is tackling the price question head on.
The best example of this new attitude is the decision to keep the 8GB iPhone 3G, but sell it at $99. That was the most aggressive price move it made Monday. But Apple was price conscious in other ways, too: It upgraded its 13-inch unibody MacBook to specs worthy of its … Read more
We recap all the announcements from Apple's WWDC keynote, especially ruminating on what the tethering app will cost for AT&T customers. We also rant a bit about the new prices for current iPhone conferences. And don't forget Snow Leopard people. That looks like a good upgrade for a very affordable price.Listen now: Download today's podcast Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 992
WWDC coverage http://news.cnet.com/2702-1041_3-116.html
New 15-inch MacBook Pro Non-replaceable battery. No Express Card slot (SD card instead) Up to 3.06 GHZ processor … Read more
Editors' Note (April 13, 2010): Apple has updated its line of MacBook Pros with new Intel processors and improved Nvidia graphics. See CNET's coverage of the Spring 2010 MacBook Pros for more information.
Amid all the buzz about Apple's new iPhone 3G S, MacBook fans were also treated to an impressive set of component upgrades and price drops across Apple's laptop lines. With select systems changing names, others changing specs, or sometimes both, it can be a little confusing to get a clear picture of the current MacBook family. To that end, we've rounded up the key spec, price, and feature changes in one handy spot.
MacBook, 13-inch $999 Core 2 Duo 2.13GHz, 2GB RAM, 160GB HDD, Nvidia GeForce 9400M
This is Apple's basic white plastic MacBook, and the last one left to carry the standalone MacBook name. It's always been a good deal for under $1,000, although the new entry price on the 13-inch aluminum models makes this less clear-cut.
Until today, it was the only 13-inch model with FireWire, and it remains the only one with a removable battery and a non-LED display.
MacBook Pro, 13-inch $1,199 Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz, 2GB RAM, 160GB HDD, Nvidia GeForce 9400M
$1,499 Core 2 Duo 2.53GHz, 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD, Nvidia GeForce 9400M
Previously known as the MacBook, the basic 13-inch aluminum unibody laptop has been promoted to the "Pro" series, and with good cause--the line between these and the 15-inch Pro models has been very thin since they moved to the all-metal construction and added GeForce 9400M graphics.
More importantly, the 13-inch unibody systems have regained their FireWire ports, and have added (drum roll, please...) an SD card slot. We've been bugging Apple for years to add this basic feature, and digital photographers everywhere are no doubt celebrating. … Read more
Editor's note: This review has been updated from its original to include source information.
Among the news and announcements at the WWDC Keynote this morning, Apple previewed the next iteration of Mac OS X Leopard. Snow Leopard, as Mac OS X 10.6 is known, appears to pack a lot of new features and is slated for release in September, though no hard dates were announced during the Keynote.
The goal of Snow Leopard, according to Apple, was not to reinvent Mac OS X, but to refine, simplify, and speed up the overall experience. They were careful to point … Read more