Apple introduces new MacBook lineup with glass trackpads and alumimium enclosures


Today, Apple unveiled its latest MacBook notebook refresh with new MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and MacBook models. Aside from the typical processor and system upgrades, Apple showed off some new features that the new notebooks will come with.

  • The presentation kicked off with a quick racap of the current Mac situation. Apple sold about 2.5 million Macs last quarter and Apple’s growth is outpacing that of the overall market. Reasons for success include better computers, better software, compatibility with Windows (Bootcamp, Parallels), marketing (I’m a Mac ads for example), the Apple retail stores, and how Microsoft’s Vista OS has pushed people towards Apple.
  • Before introducing new notebooks, Jobs and team focused some attention on some new technologies that will be found in the new notebooks.
  • Apple has come up with a new process to manufacture notebook enclosures. Some of the practices started with the MacBook Air but have now been expanded upon. Essentially, a solid piece of aluminium is machined down into a piece of what Apple calls the unibody enclosure. The process will reduce the number of parts needed by about 50 percent and improve notebook rigidity.
  • Apple is also partnering with NVIDIA for its graphics. The new NVIDIA GeForce 9400M features both the graphics processor and chipset on a single die. It is capable of delivering 54 gigaflops of graphics performance and is significantly faster than the integrated graphics used in MacBooks today.
  • Apple has also developed a new multitouch glass trackpad. It delivers a larger tracking area (by 39 percent) and four new gestures. Instead of having hardware buttons, the whole trackpad can act as buttons (you press on the trackpad). Software manages the multiple button configurations and settings.
  • The first new notebook to be introduced today is a new MacBook Pro. It features a glass display with instant-on LED backlight, connectors on the sides, and the new technologies just unveiled. It will come with both a NVDIA 9600M GT for better graphics performance and the 9400M as the integrated graphics when performance is not as much of an ssue. It will also come with a slot-load SuperDrive on the right side, a mini display port, 802.11 n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
  • Two MacBook Pro models will be offered: The first for USD$1999 will come with a 15.4-inch display, a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB RAM, 256MB 9600M GT and 9400M, and a 250GB hard drive. The second, selling for USD$2499, will come with a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB RAM, 512MB 9600M GT and 9400M, and a 320GB hard drive.
  • The MacBook Air also set to get some updates. It will now come with the NVIDIA 9400M graphics, a choice of 120GB hard drive or 128GB SSD and a mini display port. It will sell for USD$1799 with 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo processor. A second model, selling for USD$2499 will come with a 1.86GHz processor and SSD. The latter will be available in early November.
  • A new 24-inch Cinema Display was also unveiled. It is the first to feature LED backlighting. Running at a resolution of 1920 by 1200, it also comes with an iSight camera and microphone, stereo speakers and a three-headed cable with MagSafe, a USB hub with three ports and a Display port. It will sell for USD$899 starting in November.
  • One more thing: The MacBook. It will continue to sell in its current incarnation but with a lower price of USD$999. It will be joined by a new MacBook with the new features announced today (aluminium enclosure, NVDIA graphics, glass trackpad).
  • The new MacBook will be available in two models: A USD$1299 will come with a 2GHz core 2 Duo processor, NVIDIA 9400M graphics, 13.3-inch LED backlit display, 2GB RAM, 160GB hard drive, slot-loading SuperDrive. The USD$1599 comes with 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 13.3-inch LED backlit display, 2GB RAM, NVDIA 9400M graphics, 250GB hard drive, slot-loading Superdrive and LED backlit keyboard.
  • Options for the new MacBook include additional memory, a 320GB hard drive, a 128GB SSD and additional video adapters.
  • The 17-inch MacBook Pro will also be refreshed but will not have the new features announced today.

The Apple Store is open once again – Happy shopping!