Is Apple going to update the MacBook Pro this week?

Of course it is. I’ve just had my new one delivered.

[Oops, that sounds like I’ve got a super-secret unreleased MBP. I haven’t – long term readers will know that every single time I replace any Mac hardware, Apple promptly announces a newer, better version days afterwards.] 





0 responses to “Is Apple going to update the MacBook Pro this week?”

  1. I think you can return it during the first week after you’ve ordered if they upgrade. The main tweat to the basic MacBooks (of which I have the middle one) is a 40gb size increase to the HD (that I don’t need as I bung anything I’m not using onto an external 320gb Seagate drive) and a bit of extra poke in the processor. Oh, and they’re £50 cheaper as far as I can tell.

    I’m not going to sweat it, my MacBook is the most used item I own and I’ve already taped a bit of the front up to pre-empt the early signs of ‘MacBook Peel’. It’s a working (and now gigging) machine so I expect it to suffer a little wear and tear. :)

  2. Gary

    Ah, they won’t upgrade the Pros until after the cool-off period is over. Mark my words :)

  3. Careful with the upgrades, Gary. You might get yourself in a mess where hanging around at the docks in a PVC miniskirt might look like a necessary career move ;)

    Oh, how I would love to own a MacBook. Or any other Mac. Tell me how it is – have you been able to find software replacements for PC programs?

  4. Gary

    Haha, so *you’re* the one person who reads the column :)

    As far as the Mac goes, my main machine was a powerbook for the last three, four years so I’ve got all the software I need. It’s a mix of mainstream stuff, apple bundled stuff and open source stuff, so I use Office, Firefox, iPhoto, iTunes for the everyday things, Audacity for audio editing, Skype for podcasts, SnapNDrag for the odd image grab, the (so good I paid for it) netnewswire for RSS and so on. I like MS Office a lot but the last time I looked at the free NeoOffice it was shaping up nicely (I’ve got Office 2007 on one PC, OpenOffice on the other, couldn’t care less which is which ’cause they both get the job done).

    And when I want to play games, I use a PC. Heh.

    If you really want a Mac, you certainly don’t need a big one – I only upgraded because (a) there’s a baby on the way, so the likelihood of me being able to afford anything for the next, ooh, 30 years is pretty slim; (b) with a G4 Mac I can’t review recent releases properly, so for example Adobe CS3 is bloody horrible on a G4, (c) my powerbook’s groaning at the seams – I routinely have to go crazy and delete all kinds of stuff I’d rather keep because I’m down to my last two gigs of hard disk space; and (d) I want to use music software, which isn’t really an option when you’ve barely any room for another two jpegs.

    But I absolutely hammer my computers and make them do things most people don’t, so for example if I’m reviewing video encoding software I need a machine that can not only do that, but do it quickly. Everyone else makes a cup of tea and reads a magazine while the encoder does its stuff. And not having an Intel mac has been a growing problem, so for example I’ve just reviewed Joost – very good, but not currently available for PowerPC. To use a rubbish analogy, I was starting to feel like a truck driver whose wagon can’t go round corners.

    If you fancy a new one but don’t fancy the new prices, the Apple refurb store is a wonderful thing – it’s linked off the main apple store and typically sells as-new kit for a huge discount, anything up to 45%. It definitely takes the sting out of Mac ownership, and most of my Mac kit has come through that.

    That said, while I like the Mac I like PCs too. I’ve got a £380 Acer I use for software reviewing and it’s fine and dandy, or at least it is since I upgraded the memory to a gig. And other than Mac fanboyism – which most Mac users suffer from a little bit, even me – it’s possible to get better PC kit for less cash. Take the £1900 top-end powerbook, for example: you can spec a top-end Alienware that’ll kick its arse and cost £400 less. Yeah yeah viruses yeah yeah less crashy yeah yeah but four hundred quid is a serious wedge of cash. And you’ll be able to play Half-Life 2 and Halo 2 on it.

    (yes, macs run windows – and do so very well. But you need to buy windows first, unless your chosen program is supported by Crossover. So that’s another £180 for Vista Home Premium)

    I’m mildly pissed off about the MacBook upgrades announced today, mind you – the biggest disk available in the Pro is 160GB, and obviously the slower but bigger 200GB ones are on their way. That extra 40GB would have been extremely handy.

  5. Gary

    Take the £1900 top-end powerbook

    I meant MacBook Pro. I still think Powerbook’s a better name, though.

    Also, the great thing about PCs is DIY. I built a PC for a book project recently and it was an absolute piece of piss to do – and the end result is mighty. I tried speccing an iMac and couldn’t get vaguely close to the DIY spec, but when you take everything into account (decent monitor, operating system etc) the closest I could get on the Mac was twice the price of the homebrew PC – and it would have a slower processor, slower RAM, much worse graphics performance etc.

    Also also also, if you want a truly portable laptop then PCs are once again the way to go. The little Sonys are amazing. Amazingly expensive too, but that’s Sony for you.

  6. Powerbook is a much better name. “MacBook Pro”? What were they thinking?

    I got my Macbook (not Pro) from the Refurb Store at a lovely price. A few years ago, I went through a very long and highly improbable spate of buying tech kit that didn’t work and having to take it back to the shop. Considering the quality control standards in the firms that make this stuff, the chances are astronomically against any one person buying (and, in one case, even winning) seven or eight separate items all of which have faults, but, hey, it happened to one person, and that was me. So I really like the refurb store because everything you buy from it has had a fault and been sent back to Apple because of it, and Apple have fixed it and checked it over. As far as I’m concerned, that’s worth more money, not less: I’d much rather buy something that has been thoroughly checked than something that’s just come straight off the production line. But that’s just me.

    > if you want a truly portable laptop then PCs are once again the way to go.

    Really? The Macbook’s astoundingly portable. I can’t imagine needing anything significantly lighter than that without going down to below-laptop sizes. For which, I have my Nokia 9500.

  7. Gary

    It’s still too big for aeroplane seat trays, unless you’re flying first class :)

  8. mupwangle

    >>everything you buy from it has had a fault and been sent back to Apple

    Technically they also resell stock returned under the cooling off period that was perfectly OK. It’s still checked though in case the original owner has filled it with porn.

  9. Gary

    And if they don’t check thoroughly enough, hey! Free porn!

  10. tm

    >the chances are astronomically against any one person buying (and, in one case, even winning) seven or eight separate items all of which have faults

    ah random chance, now try and explain that to the people who think power lines and wi-fi cause cancer….

    Sucks when you’re the person it happens to though.

  11. Gary

    That’s what’s so frustrating about it. Again and again you run up against people shouting “precautionary principle! Precautionary principle!” and calling you a child killer, again. It’s impossible to argue with someone whose watched a close relative become horrendously ill because of something we know know to be dangerous, but didn’t then.

    I do feel like a right shit when I have those conversations, but despite the genuine horror of people’s situations that doesn’t mean we should automatically assume that everything we currently believe to be safe is going to turn out to be lethal.

  12. According to the precautionary principle, we should avoid using the precautionary principle. You know, just in case.

  13. if you want a truly portable laptop then PCs are once again the way to go.

    Being a PC notebook user for several years and seeing the experience my girlfriend has with her black MacBook, I really have to disagree. I’ve tried HP, Dell, Acer, and Vaio and see horrible problems with each. Granted, the MacBook series has proven to have problems – but the majority of them aren’t nearly as bad as PC laptops. But hardware and software aren’t the only selling points for a Mac – their customer support through Apple Stores’ Genius Bar is rather incredible. Break your Mac, bring it in – and they’ll fix it. No questions asked, as long as your warranty or AppleCare is still in order.

  14. mupwangle

    I have to admit that my experience of apple customer service so far is quite irritating. I’ve had 2 phone calls so far (in 6 months) giving me hard sell on extended warranty. The only other company I know of that does that is the Dixons group – and they are bastards.

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