Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New MacBooks

Very underwhelming. Price points, compared to specs, are slipping out of the acceptable "Apple Tax" level and veering off towards unjustifiable opulence. I'm willing to pay the Apple Tax because I love OSX but I would feel stupid paying $2000 for a laptop just so I could get a FireWire port. That's not acceptable. I've invested in FW gear over the years because it does have some significant advantages over USB2 for certain tasks. For example, being able to power any 2.5" HD off the bus is incredibly useful. Multi-channel audio inputs over FW just work better than their USB2 counterparts. I wouldn't be as puzzled by this move if it weren't for the fact even very cheap PC laptops include FW these days and Apple was a pioneer in FW therefore Mac users are likely to have a bigger investment in FW hardware.

New Cinema Display: Not quite as overpriced as I first thought but, again, just not worth the money. Probably not HDCP compliant either so forget about using it for anything other than non-copy protected content on your computer. The "docking cables" are a nice idea but I already do that. It's called zip ties + MB power cable + USB cable + DVI cable /w adapter. I would much rather have a real docking station option even if it was exclusive to the MBP (at least that's a valid reason to justify the $2000 price tag as most business laptops with docking stations carry a price premium also)

No netbook? Suicide for Apple. Their bread & butter is portables and they're ignoring the fastest growing segment of the market? Given how capable modern cell phones are becoming the need to carry _any_ laptop much less a larger model. I'm hoping they're just saving the netbook for MacWorld 09. It would be a very bad idea to ignore this market.

Overall I think Apple is suffering from too much hype, too many expectations and higher price points just aren't acceptable when the economy is on a downturn. Apple may have some rough times ahead.

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