Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The New MacBook Arrives!

I've yet to read any sort of analysis on the new MacBook Apple released yesterday. At first glance, it looks pretty awesome. Apple is so far claiming performance improvements of up to 5x when compared to the old iBook and PowerBook G4's. Of course, the actual performance will be debated endlessly and numerous hairs will be attempted to be split. The bottom line is that clearly this new laptop is a much more powerful and capable box.

A few things of note: It does have integrated graphics with shared RAM, the bane of all lower end laptops. I've given this some thought, though. I don't like it, but I'm guessing it still offers substantial performance improvements over the old setup. The amount of memory available to the graphics processor has doubled to 64MB. This is coupled with the fact that each MacBook is equipped with a Core Duo Intel processor starting at 1.83MHz. Not too shabby.

I'm still a bit disappointed that we haven't yet seen a more budget-minded model, but I definitely believe that it's possible and that we might even see one in time for Christmas. The new MacBook is priced a hundred dollars above the old one ($1099) for the entry level model and will probably sell pretty well with the new brighter 13.3" widescreen and speedy processor.

The footprint will be a little wider and the unit slightly heavier, but around a quarter inch thinner. As with the Pro versions, there is no modem inside this unit. A USB modem is available separately. I don't believe this will be much of an issue for most users.

All in all, this seems to be a pretty good machine and Apple seems to know what it's doing. Steve Jobs is definitely not an idiot and will continue to aggressively pursue innovation and market share, but on his own timeline.

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