Oct
17

Hands On With the New Macbook, Macbook Pro, and 24″ LED Cinema Display

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The new MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and 24″ Cinema Display (floor model only) showed up at our Apple store, so we popped in and gave them a good lookin’ over to see if there was anything we couldn’t live without. After nearly getting the book when Ryan set off the anti-theft alarm on the MacBook he was fondling, we noted the following impressions.

MacBook

Paul says: – I like the new, more Air-like design in both shape and finish. Also, this machine definitely feels peppier than our previous-gen MacBook. Still stuck with the same 1280×800 resolution as before, which is a little bit disappointing.

Ryan says: – I really like the new design, more than I thought I would based on the initial pictures.  I, like Paul, wish the display resolution was tighter. Noticeably quicker than previous models and felt like it blew the MacBook Air out of the water speed-wise. This is almost a MacBook Air replacement for my light and portable machine, but not quite. An interesting note, I didn’t find the new trackpad much different than the current one. It’s bigger, but all they’ve really done is created the bottom edge so it tips down effectively hiding the button. That feature wasn’t as impressive to me hands on as it was when Jobs pitched it.

MacBook Pro

Paul says: – I could be drinking the dual video card Kool-aid, but the new MBP definitely feels peppy with all apps that I could open. Again, I like the new sleeker look, and really like the easy access to the hard drive. Since I currently use the 17″ high resolution model, I’m not sure I could move down to the lower resolution of the 15″, but that size factor is always tempting.

Ryan says: – I have similar comments to how I felt about the MacBook. Great design. Gorgeous screen. Love all the connectors on one side. I also like the new keyboard style, picking up the Air and MacBook design. If I were buying today, I think this is what I’d go with given the nice balance between portability and power.

24″ LED Cinema Display

Paul says: – Apple is calling this display ‘the must-have MacBook accessory,’ and I think I’m buying the hype. The new display is bright and crisp, and looks good from a design perspective. I also like the new three-in-one mag safe connector that has power, usb, and mini display port connectors in one dock-like cable. Built in camera, mic, speakers and usb ports are definitely handy, and my wife will love that it’s ‘the greenest display’ from Apple yet.

Ryan says: – Let me just say, I’m in love with Apple displays…yet I don’t own one. I don’t know that this will be the one I’ll buy. It’s a beautiful display. I also love the new connector cable on one hand, and am disappointed on the other. I can’t use this display, out of the box, with any of my current Macs. Also, no 30″ option (my current dream display)…yet.

Hands On Conclusion

Paul says: – When the 24″ displays hit in November, I could be tempted to try them out alongside a MacBook. (You have to get one with the other, since the new displays only use the mini displayport at this time.) Until the MacBook Pros get the 17″ refresh as was noted in the announcement, I probably would not be tempted to go with the 15″ at this time.

Ryan says: – All in all, I was a little disappointed on announcement day. Steve spoke and I was left wanting more. I love the refresh on some of the products, but I really wanted something substantially new. I suppose I could be tempted by a refreshed 17″ MacBook Pro and possibly the 24″ LED display to go on my desk at the office where I’d only use the notebook/display combo, but other than that, there’s not a lot that makes me want to move out of current Macs and into new gear. Other than the usual “new gear happy” feeling of cracking open something fresh





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