Today Steve Jobs hosted a special Apple event for the press. Announced today were the new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and 24″ cinema display. Although the analysis surrounding the latter two is no doubt very interesting, the real groundbreaking changes were seen in the once-lowly MacBook.
The most apparent changes are the new aluminum enclosure (finally leaving the cheap plastic enclosure behind), the glass and black-bordered LED-backlit screen, and the multi-touch trackpad. The insides are much altered as well, with the new MacBooks sporting the brand-new nVidia GeForce 9400M graphics chipset.
Graphics were perhaps my biggest issue with the MacBooks (and before them, the iBooks). Granted, OS X did a pretty good job optimizing graphics load to the computer (it wasn’t the nightmare of Vista’s Aero). But especially with the introduction of a lot of GPU accelerated features in OS 10.5 Leopard, the shortcomings of the integrated graphics in Apple’s consumer-line notebook were beginning to weigh it down. That all changed today.
The newest features of the MacBook have made it, surprisingly, a strong contender for the position of the vaunted MacBook Pro. Now, there are certainly some significant differences between the consumer line of MacBooks and the profession MacBook Pro lines. But this most recent product revision by Apple has surely blurred that line. So much so, that (in conjunction with a tight budget) the MacBook might be my next Apple laptop purchase, NOT a MacBook Pro. And let me tell you, I never would have foreseen myself saying THAT.
So what role could the new MacBook play in my ever-evolving collection of computers? How about one in which it makes the desktop obsolete. That’s right, my desktop might be going the way of the Dodo bird. I’ll go into more depth about my idea for a new “computer ecosystem” I’d like to create at home in my next entry.