Today Apple refreshed its Macbook Pro line with twin nVidia 9400M / 9600M GT GPUs, a glossy LED-backlit glass screen, the new multi-touch glass trackpad, and a slimmer .95″ thickness. The aluminum Macbook Pro body has been enhanced using Apple’s “precision aluminum unibody enclosure” design.
The regular consumer Macbook line has also been upgraded almost enough that even Apple’s own comparison charts show few differences between the inexpensive Macbooks ($999-$1599) and the Macbook Pros ($1999-$2799). For example, comparing the best 15″ Macbook Pro with the 13″ Macbook, I find little to distinguish it:
2.53GHz MacBook Pro (MB134LL/A) – $2,499
2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 6MB L2 cache, 1066MHz System Bus
4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 memory
320GB 5400 rpm HDD
NVIDIA GeForce 9600M graphics processor, 512MB GDDR3 memory
2.4GHz Macbook (MB467LL/A) – $1,599.00
2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 3MB L2 cache, 1066MHz System Bus
2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor, 256MB GDDR3 memory
When would you buy a Macbook Pro now? The $1,000 premium gets you a slightly bigger screen, another $50 worth of memory, a slightly bigger hard drive, and a much faster graphics card. For most people, the Macbook is the new Macbook Pro.
I got the following advertisement in my inbox just now for an Apple mac. It’s part of their student campaign, so I receive the emails to my old Cornell address. At first glance, it seems innocuous, but think carefully about the contradiction inherent in the panels:
A free iPod touch. Another reason to get a Mac for school.
Reminder: A free iPod isn’t the only reason a Mac makes sense.
1. Runs Office, Vista, and XP.
2. Has built-in WiFi.
3. Doesn’t get those PC viruses.
4. Comes ready to video chat.
5. Does so much more with photos and movies.
6. Delivers course materials and more via iTunes U.
Let’s put this together. According to Apple, the number one selling point for marketing their Macbook computers to students is that existing Microsoft software–Office, Windows Visa, and Windows XP can all be run on the Macbook. Don’t tell me that somehow magically, when Windows is running on Apple’s hardware, that all the malware, viruses, worms, and spyware written for Windows will suddenly stop working or infecting your PC. Yet their #3 point is that the Macbook “won’t get those PC viruses.”
Sorry Apple, the Macbook will definitely get PC viruses if it’s running Windows–which you suggest it should be.
We’ll combine the overall results from these benchmarks together:
We find that depending how you look at it, Safari can actually be considered 3x slower than IE7, or roughly of equal speed. Here is an overall performance chart, with two columns–one is the raw average score, the other averages the worst-test group (three results) into one result and averages it:
Safari doesn’t break much ground here
Here’s the per-test chart, which shows Safari kicking ass in the first test, losing the next three, tying the fourth with IE, and doing well again on the last test:
Interestingly, Apple tries to bundle Safari with not one, but three separate Apple products: Quicktime, Bonjour, and Apple Update. On top of that, they break the back-mousebutton click that I’ve become used to using in IE/FF, and use tons of my RAM main memory up. No one sums it up better than Dev Hints who notes that “Safari Isn’t the Beauty That Apple Likes To Claim.” It’s not bad, and it’s getting better, but there are still bugs to be worked out.