Haikus Written During Today’s WWDC Keynote

With much excitement
Today Apple announces
Samsung’s next products.

Dear iPad 1 folk:
No iOS 6 for you.
Best Regards, Apple.

Developers meet.
Let’s stop all this software talk,
Get to the hardware.

Play long video,
Announce whatever they want
After crowd’s asleep.

Apple’s MacBook Pros:
Can competitors keep up?
Dell just peed their pants.

Biggest question now
With Retina display MacBooks:
Will Porn sites upgrade?

iOS upgrades
Get to user base quickly.
Android’s never do.

Samsung design team
Brainstorming, they ask Siri
What do we do next?

iOS 6 adds
Ugly faces everywhere.
FaceTime cellular.

Maps’ navigation:
Users love, competitors
Won’t know where to turn.

This Is One Ugly Rip-Off


Samsung copies Apple’s iOS devices quite well, but their PC designers are not as deft.

The accompanying review says the Samsung Series 7’s will “rival the Apple Macbook Pros in terms of beauty”. Are they blind? This thing looks like the keyboard and palm rest were taken from two different prototypes and then forced to “fit” together.

TAB – Comparing New to Old, Apple 17″ MacBook Pro is Sweet

Today the 17 inch MacBook Pro joined its younger siblings with a unibody construction. While many of the improvements were expected — based on the existing unibody models — and there are some worthwhile performance enhancements, Apple also had a couple of nice surprises in store. Let’s take a look…

Read the rest of this article on theAppleBlog >>

TAB – Comparing New to Old, Apple MacBook is Killer; MacBook Pro Less So

I’m not going to dwell on the base MacBook that’s now $999. It was a fine machine yesterday, and for $100 less it still is. The lower price may also appeal especially to schools, etc. that may be buying in bulk.

No, the real action today is in the rest of the MacBooks and of course the new 15″ MacBook Pro as well. When comparing these models, it’s clear that the new MacBook is a huge improvement over the older model, but that the MacBook Pro is not as significant a change. Let’s take a quick look…

Read the rest of this article on theAppleBlog >>

UPDATED: The New Apple MacBook Pros: What’s With the One in the Middle?

product-15in.jpgWith the new MacBook Pros Apple released yesterday, I’m left wondering about the purpose of the middle model.

First, all three models get a new Penryn processor (2.4 or 2.5GHz) with 6MB of shared cache, a new multi-touch trackpad, and larger hard drives. (One thing to note is that Apple’s laptops — MacBooks and MacBook Pros — no longer come with an Apple remote.)

The third model is the 17-inch, so there’s a clear difference you’re paying for there. But I’m just not seeing a reason to move up from the base model to the one in the middle. This is unusual in Apple’s line-up, where the middle model is usually the most bang for the buck.

Consider what $500 over the base model gets you:

  • 2.5GHz processor instead of 2.4.
  • 250GB drive instead of 200.
  • 512MB SDRAM instead of 256.

That’s it.

The processor difference is non-existent — even the most ardent MBP supporter wouldn’t claim a noticeable difference between 2.4 and 2.5. And you can upgrade to the 250GB drive for 50 bucks. So it would seem one is paying $450 for the extra 256MB of video RAM.

I certainly don’t want to downplay video performance, but we’re not talking about a better graphics engine with more memory, we’re talking about the same GPU. Now that the base model has some “breathing room” with 256MB, will double that make a huge difference? More specifically, will it make $450 worth of difference? The listed support for external monitors is the same as for the old models, so there’s no advantage there.

This is one case where Apple’s step up from the base model might be a misstep. Or maybe we’ll see benchmarks soon that show the extra SDRAM makes more difference than I’m giving it credit for…

On the flip side, the $1,999 MacBook Pro is now an absolute killer pro laptop!

[UPDATE:] On 2/29 ArnandTech published a very detailed review of the new MacBook and MacBook Pro. On page 12 of the review they have this to say, which is applicable to my article:

How much does Apple charge for the average 5% improvement in performance? Unfortunately you can’t just purchase the CPU upgrade, you have to buy the $2499 model instead of the $1999 model. You get another 50GB of hard disk space (250GB vs. 200GB) and 512MB of video memory along with the CPU upgrade but you’re paying an extra $500…

If all you care about is the larger cache, the $500 upgrade cost is a tough pill to swallow. Even the increase in drive space isn’t all that attractive for the money. The increase in video memory is nice but 256MB should be all you need for smooth Exposé performance on the 15″ 1440 x 900 display.

Our recommendation? If you’re going to upgrade your notebook in another 1.5 – 2 years anyways, pocket the $500 and don’t bother with the added cache. It’s not going to do much for you today.

Santa Rosa is Coming to Town. (Apple MacBook Pro Updates.)

Following the MacBook update three weeks ago, Apple today introduced updates to the MacBook Pros.

The MacBook update was disappointing to some, though I wrote that it was a lot better than I think it was given credit for. There were new laptop technologies out, and some were hopeful the MacBook update would incorporate them, but as I noted: “those changes were clearly going to appear on Apple’s professional (i.e., MacBook Pro) line first.”

Well, today the MacBook Pro updates are here, and those technologies are in place: Intel Centrino Pro chipset (a.k.a. “Santa Rosa”), and LED screen technology (on the 15″ model).

The Santa Rosa chipset offers a few things, but the principle ones for Mac users are faster CPU speeds, faster front-side bus (800MHz vs 667MHz), and better power management. Other advantages of Santa Rosa, such as wireless “N” networking and a top memory speed of 667MHz, were already in the MacBook Pros.

So what do you get for your money? Unlike the MacBooks, which improved very nicely in value on the low- and mid-range models, but not on the high-end (black) model, the updated MBPs are better values throughout the line.

First, the entry model gets the following for the same price as before ($1,999):

  • “Santa Rosa” chipset
  • Faster processor (from 2.16 to 2.2GHz)
  • Increased memory (from 1 to 2GB)
  • Maximum RAM increased (from 3G to 4GB)
  • LED back lit display
  • Better video (From ATI X1600 to NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT) with 128MB
  • Faster DVD drive (from 6x to 8x)
  • Weight loss of a few ounces (LED display is lighter)
  • Increased battery life (from 5 to 6 hours)

The middle model gets the same as the entry, except where noted below, for the same price as before ($2,499):

  • Faster processor (from 2.33 to 2.4GHz)
  • Better video (From ATI X1600 to NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT) with 256MB
  • Bigger hard drive (from 120 to 160GB)

The high-end model gets the same as the middle, except where noted below, for the same price as before ($2,799):

  • A 17″ screen instead of the 15″ (note that the 17″ screen is not LED).
  • Increased battery life (from 5.5 to 5.75 hours).

The bottom line is that, at minimum, each model gets the “Santa Rosa” chipset, faster processor speed, better battery life, increased maximum RAM, faster DVD drive speed, and nicely upgraded graphics. Since prices remain the same, those updates alone are very nice improvements.

The 15″ models get the additional benefit of the LED screen, with associated improvements in battery life and lower weight. The entry model gets more memory, the middle model gets more hard drive space.

The 17″ model gets two additional options: A high-resolution display (1920 x 1200) for $100; and a 250GB drive for $150. These options are new, and not available on the lower models.

All in all, a solid set of updates. Faster performance all around, yet with longer battery life, for the same prices as before.