Yesterday, Apple updated a slew of their products as rumored. Here’s my quick take on them:
1. iMac: The most noticeable difference is the 16×9 aspect ratio of the screen, compared to 16×10 on previous iMacs. That changes the size, with the small one being 21.5″ and the big one being 27″.
Things I like (that makes me want one):
-Aluminum back instead of plastic
-1080p resolution on the 21.5″
-SD card slot
-Support for Apple earbud with mic
-Option of discreet GPU for the 21.5″ (previously, the small iMac only have integrated GPU)
-The 27″ model supports video-in, so it can be used as an external monitor
-Wireless keyboard and the new magic mouse are standard.
Things that I don’t like:
-The option for the new intel Core i5/i7 processor are only available on the 27″ model. This is highly annoying. Not everyone want the giant 27″ iMac, nor have the desktop space for it. Heck, my TV is only 25″. This kind of upselling is typical of Apple.
-Previously, iMacs have been using notebook processors due to the design and thermal concern. Now is the first time Apple is using desktop processor (according to blogs like engadget) on the iMac. Who knows what kind of problems might come up (typical Rev A issues).
A nice update, but I wish Apple push in the Core i5/i7 processor across the board.
2. Mac mini. Just a minor spec bump from the previous mini. Alas, no price drop, and the value of the mini remains questionable. What is interesting is that now Apple is selling a Mac mini server, a mini without an optical drive, but with an additional hard-drive in it. This sounds like a great idea and I would love to get one, except that Apple is selling it for a whopping $999. Why? Because they bundle in Snow Leopard server OS with it. Again, the typical upselling. 😦
3. Macbook. The white plastic Macbook got a makeover.
Things I like:
-Lighter and more sturdy construction
-7 hours of battery life
-Support for Apple headset with mic
Things that I don’t like:
-Firewire is gone. 😦
-No price drop on the price point
-No option for SSD. This wouldn’t be a problem in the past as it was pretty easy to upgrade the Macbook’s hard-drive, but now with the sealed battery, it’s much harder to open the thing up just to upgrade the hard-drive. Boo! Hard-drives are the most likely component to fail, and making it not easily user accessible is highly annoying.
No that impressive. Imo, loosing Firewire makes this Macbook more like a downgrade. Expect more demand on the refurbished older Macbooks (grab one if you must have Firewire).
4. Magic Mouse. With the recent news that Apple lost the “Mighty Mouse” name, the name change is highly expected. Finally, another Steve Jobs’ obsession coming to fruition, a mouse with no buttons. LOL. Instead of a scroll ball, the surface is multi-touch capable. It’s natural to do scrolling on this, but multiple fingers gestures are pretty awkward. It is standard on iMacs, and seems to have better battery life. Oh well, at least you don’t have to clean the stupid ball on the old Mighty Mouse anymore.
Other updates include the new remote, and updated Airport Extreme (thus Time Capsule). Not too exciting. Another typical Apple update, with plenty things to love and hate.
October 21, 2009 at 10:03 pm
Regarding Rev. A problems — that actually argues against including the Core i5/7 across the board. Imagine the heat dissipation!As for Apple's hot-again, cold-again affair with FireWire — I certainly won't be buying any more FW peripherals. Looking forward to USB 3.0 devices (can't believe I'm reduced to saying that).
October 22, 2009 at 8:42 am
USB 3.0? Nah, I'm waiting for Light Peak. 😉
October 23, 2009 at 12:39 am
Read the iFixIt teardown notes on the 27" iMac. The size is needed for several large fans and sinks to deal with the heat of the CPU and GPU. That is likely why the i5/i7s are only in the larger chassis.