I have to get a new MacBook Pro. I need to find a way to convince my wife that one of my kids needs my MacBook and I must therefore have one of the latest MBPs introduced today. Because seriously, folks, if you haven't checked out coverage of the Apple notebook event today, they're just incredibly cool.
Not only do they include some serious graphics horsepower via a new NVIDIA chipset (the GeForce 9400M that provides, according to Steve Jobs, about 83% of the graphics speed seen on the current MacBook Pro in an integrated solution), but have some features that put every other laptop maker to shame. It's almost mean, actually. How can I pass up a glass trackpad with multitouch and no physical buttons, but multiple software-enabled buttons that are part of the trackpad? Did I mention the turbo mode that kicks in a dedicated graphics card (at the expense of battery life) for serious video editing performance? I'm thinking that remastering those old home movies just might be my rationale for this one - iMovie is a bit sluggish on my MacBook.
The base model is only $2000 (plus a RAM upgrade that I'd do after market since Apple is so silly about its memory prices) and it's thinner and more energy efficient than my MacBook (although the $2500 model with 6MB L2 cache and 2.53GHz dual core processor just might be a siren song I can't resist). My tree-hugging wife should appreciate that, right, along with the elimination of BFR, mercury, PVC, and arsenic? The specs are available on all of the live blogging sites now, but suffice to say it's going to be fast, light, strong and efficient with its new unibody construction (solid aluminum blasted out to make the shell, just as rumors have been suggesting lately).
Of course, that's just me. What about those of us in Ed Tech who might want cool stuff like this (or the faster MacBook Air they announced as well), but just don't have the budgets to get them into students' and teachers' hands? After Jobs' famous "One more thing line," he indicated a $100 price cut on current MacBook models. The next-generation MacBook was also introduced and includes unibody aluminum construction like the new MBP's, the multitouch glass trackpad, and the NVIDIA 9400m chipset.
Here's where the Ed Tech just might come in, especially for students looking at a high-performance but reasonably-priced laptop. Performance near that of the previous MBP can be had for $1299 on the next-generation MacBook.
Is this affordable for everyone? No. However, a journalism lab or digital media lab could now be outfitted with these guys for a pretty nice price. We can also recommend MacBooks without reservation for most students now, regardless of what they are doing graphics-wise (with the exception of students headed for serious professional graphics careers).
Geez...I really want a new Mac. That Steve Jobs is a sneaky one, isn't he? Coercing me into the cult of Mac and then making me buy more products that I can't afford because they're just so darned cool and useful. Now if I can just make my wife join the cult, too, I'll be golden (or aluminum, as the case may be, terrible pun definitely intended).