Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

New MacBook Pro vs. Old MacBook Pro


If you’re debating between getting the new MBP (i.e., the ones with multitouch and Penryn processor) or the old MBP, you’ll find AnandTech’s benchmark tests very informative.

The net: Penryn’s biggest advantage is in battery life. Performance is a tad better (depending on the test) but not a lot. So, for some of you, the reduced prices of the old MBP may be the right option for you.

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Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Reviews

Want to save money on a MacBook Pro?


refurbed-mbp.jpgWith new MacBook Pros (& MacBooks) released yesterday you can save some serious cash on the previous generation models. As I’m writing this I see the following in the refurbished section of the online Apple store:

  • MacBook Pro 2.2Ghz Core 2 Duo (matte or glossy display): $1,449
  • MacBook Pro 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo (matte or glossy display): $1,649

These laptops were originally selling for $1,999 and $2,499 so these are some steep savings…especially on the 2.4Ghz model.

If you’re looking at buying a MacBook you should seriously consider the 2.2Ghz MacBook Pro at this price. I say this because the Intel Penryn processor in the MacBook (& low-end MBP) only has 3MB of L2 cache whereas the previous Core 2 Duo chip (aka Merom) has 4MB. To be honest, I’m not sure if the additional 1MB of L2 cache cache will net any noticeable performance gains but the option to get a MBP for less than the black MacBook ($1,500) it’s definitely worth considering.

There are some additional benefits to Penryn: supposed better battery life (reportedly by 8 – 10%)  and the SSE4 instruction set (this will make application run much faster provided they are designed to utilize it).

Personally, if I were in the market for a high-end MacBook, I would seriously consider getting the 2.2Ghz MBP. In fact, if a friend was going to spend $1,300 or $1,500 on a MacBook, I would most likely recommend getting the refurbished MBP.

Filed under: Apple, Bargains, Deals, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook

MacBook Pro & MacBook updates…FINALLY!!


Apple has finally updated the MacBook Pro and, suprisingly, the MacBook.

I’ve been waiting for over 1 year to replace my Powerbook so I am absolutely ecstatic. I placed my order for the $2,500 version of the 15″ MBP and should have it next week. Cost: ~$1,999 (+ tax) thanks to the Apple Dev Connection discount, which is 20% off on MBPs).

Side note: I love how Apple still showcases a Ducati 1098 motorcycle on the MBP product page! 

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing

MacBook Pro inventory low at Apple Stores?


FWIW, I was at one of my local Apple Stores today and asked them if they had any of the $2,500 version of the 15″ MacBook Pros in-stock.  The answer: no.  Hmm….could the updates be coming this Tuesday or next Tuesday (Feb. 26)??  Man, I hope so!

Post a comment if your local Apple Store is also out of stock.

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook, Rumors

Rumor: Reason why MacBook Pro updates have been delayed?


Here are two interesting posts from someone named “Tailpipe” on the AppleInsider forums (post 1, post 2).

Take it for what it’s worth: a dude posting in a forum for Apple rumors.  😉

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Apple, MacBook Pro, Notebook, Rumors

MacBook Pro updates coming soon?


According to MacRumors, there is some talk of updates coming soon to the MBP…man, I REALLY hope this is true and that these updates happen within the next 2-4 weeks. I know, I know…I’m wishfully hoping it’ll be soon but one can hope, right?

Here’s the quote from this posting at MacRumors.com:

In looking back at the sources of the most accurate rumors, we also find enticing reports of items that didn’t come true at Macworld, but did come from credible sources.

The MacBook Pro updates are certainly coming — and soon. Even without our rumor sources, the MacBook Pros are simply due for refresh. But the most interesting tidbit is that there have been reliable reports that the Pro machines will incorporate Apple’s new multi-touch trackpad.

Also, here are a couple of the posts I’ve seen on MacRumors’ forums:

  • Someone is seeing discounts being offered on the MBP at their university store and that they only do this when an update/upgrade is ~2 weeks away
  • Some people are seeing discounts on MBPs at various retail stores
  • One person claiming that he works for a printing company that prints all of Apple’s brochures, boxes, and banners – he claims that the updates are coming very soon

As always with Apple, these are just rumors and people’s wild guesses but time will tell…but it’s killing me since I’ve been waiting to buy a MBP since August 2007!

EDIT: AppleInsider just reported some more details on the soon-to-be-released updated MBP. The gist of it: the MBP was supposed to be updated and announced at MacWorld but execs decided to delay it by several weeks because they needed the resources to focus on the MacBook Air.

EDIT (January 27, 2008): More rumors of the imminent MBP update.

EDIT (Jan 30, 2008): And some actual evidence(?) that the updates are coming.

EDIT (Feb 27, 2008): Finally!

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook, Rumors

Apple updates MacBook & MacBook Pro notebooks


macbook-pro.jpgApple quietly updated the MacBook and the MacBook Pro today. Here are the deets:

MacBook

  • The clock speed of the Intel Core 2 Duo processors got a small bump: 2.0 -> 2.0Ghz and 2.16 -> 2.2Ghz
  • The architecture has been upgraded to Santa Rosa (finally!), which provides an 800Mhz front side bus (compared to the older 667Mhz front side bus)
  • Upgraded the Intel graphics card to the Intel GMA X3100 w/144MB of DDR2 SDRAM

MacBook Pro

  • Option to upgrade the 2.4Ghz processor –> 2.6Ghz
  • Option to upgrade the hard drive to 250GB SATA drive @ 5400 rpm
  • Option to upgrade from 160GB (5400 rpm) to 200GB SATA drive @ 7200 rpm (previously, 160GB was the only option if you wanted a 7200 rpm SATA drive)

One thing to keep in mind: this is NOT the MacBook Pro processor upgrade that we are hoping to see in January 2008 – i.e., the upgrade to Intel’s Penryn processor.

The Penryn processor will provide 6MB of L2 cache vs. 4MB L2 cache and reduced from 65nm –> 45nm (this means a bit faster and will run a bit cooler). So, if you were waiting for that, keep waiting…like me.

[via AppleInsider]

Filed under: Apple, Computers, Laptop, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Notebook

MacBook Pro processor upgrade in January 2008?


This is a pretty old tidbit but I thought I’d post it anyway since a few friends didn’t know about this rumored update. The processors will be upgraded to Intel’s new Penryn processor. Here are the details of the new Intel Penryn processors. There aren’t any rumors as to which ones Apple will use in the MacBook Pros but my guess will be the 2.4Ghz and 2.6Ghz processors.

The size of the Penryn chips will also be reduced from 65 nanometers (nm) –> 45nm, which should allow the chips to run a bit cooler.

For reference, the current MacBook Pros come with either 2.2Ghz or 2.4Ghz processors.

macbook-pro-penryn-chips.gif

FYI, the price reflects the purchase price in 1,000-unit trays from Intel so it’s not the price we would pay. 😉

So, if you’ve been thinking about buying a MacBook Pro, I’d recommend waiting another 3 months…that’s what I’m doing.

EDIT (January 16, 2008): Well, Steve Jobs did NOT announce any updates to the MBP during yesterday’s MacWorld keynote. Needless to say, I’m extremely bummed b/c I’ve been waiting for 6+ months to upgrade my Powerbook G4. There are rumors that Intel is having/had an issue with the thermal sensor on the Penryn chips and that supply will be tight through February. If this is true, we prolly won’t get updated MBPs until March/April. I’m hoping when the MBP is updated with Penryn we’ll also get the multi-touch trackpad and the revised keyboard layout/design like the MacBook Air.

EDIT (Jan 28, 2008): More rumors that the upgrade will happen within the next 1 – 4 weeks.

EDIT (Jan 30, 2008): Some actual evidence of the new MBP?

EDIT (Feb 27, 2008): Finally!

[via AppleInsider & Engadget]

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Rumors

MacBook Pro updates coming soon


Pretty much all of the Apple rumor sites are reporting that we should see an updated MacBook Pro with Intel’s Santa Rosa chipset and the 15″ version getting an LED backlit display. Rumors are claiming that we should see these updates by WWDC in June, at the latest.

This update should add a faster front-side bus (800Mhz) and new Core 2 Duo mobile processors that run up to 2.4Ghz.

Looks like those earlier rumors are coming true. 🙂

As you know, I’ve been waiting for the LED backlit 15″ MacBook Pro with Santa Rosa but it looks like I won’t be buying one this year since I just splurged on my Ducati 749 motorcycle. Unless…someone wants to “donate” one to me! 😉

[via AppleInsider & Think Secret]

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, LCD, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Rumors

Performance comparison between Intel-based Macs


Primate Labs released a CPU and memory performance app named Geekbench 2 and they posted test results for almost every Intel-based Mac that’s been released over the past 2 years.

Their conclusion:

There’s not a huge change in performance across most of Apple’s Intel-based Mac lineup (the high-end MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo is only 30% faster than the low-end MacBook Core Duo, for example). The only big changes occur at the low end with the (discontinued) single-core Mac mini, or at the high end with the quad-core Mac Pro.

If you’re thinking about getting a Mac, you might want to check out their results.

[via MacSlash]

Filed under: Apple, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacOSX, Reviews

15.4″ MacBooks in Q2 2007?


DigiTimes is reporting that Apple will release a 15.4″ MacBook in the second quarter of 2007:

“Apple is planning to introduce 15.4-inch MacBooks in the second quarter of 2007, according to industry sources in Taiwan. The new model will fill the gap between the company’s 13.3-inch MacBooks and the 15.4- and 17-inch MacBook Pros that form its current notebook line up, and is expected to boost shipments of Apple’s Intel-powered MacBooks, the sources add.

Prices for the 15.4-inch MacBook models are likely to be more competitive than their 13.3-inch counterparts, due largely to the relatively lower cost of 15.4-inch LCD panels, and will therefore help push further sales of MacBooks,” the publication said.”

I’m going to call b.s. on this one for two reasons: 1.) According to MacRumors and AppleInsider, DigiTimes has not been very accurate with previous rumors, and 2.) A 15.4″ MacBook would cannibalize sales of the 15.4″ MacBook Pro, which I’m sure is more profitable than the MacBook. Honestly, there isn’t a huge difference between the specs of a 13″ MacBook vs. 15″ MacBook Pro (assuming, your needs are just web surfing, email, and digital photo management) so adding a 15.4″ MacBook would create some overlap between the two products.

If Apple were to do this, the only reason I could think of is to attract more ‘switchers.’ For example, I’m sure there are quite a few people out there who would switch to the Mac but want a 15″ screen and will not pony-up $2,000 for a MacBook Pro. A friend of mine was in a similar situation last year – he wanted a 15″ screen but didn’t want to drop an extra $700 to get a 15″ MacBook Pro. He still bought the 13″ MacBook but I’m sure he would’ve spent an extra $200 to get a 15″ MacBook.

Filed under: Apple, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Rumors, Technology

MacBook Pro Getting LED-lit Displays?


Think Secret is posting some more deets on the rumor that the 15″ MacBook Pro will get an LED-lit display in Q2, 2007. Compared to the cold cathode flourescent backlights (CCFL) in most LCDs, the LED-lit ones consume less power (yielding improved battery life), maintain its brightness over time, and provide more vivid colors. They also believe the 13″ MacBook, 17″ MacBook Pro, iMac, and Cinema Displays will eventually be LED-lit in the future.

By the way, Apple Insider also reported rumors of LED-lit displays back on January 22.

I’m waiting for Leopard and a 15″ LED-lit MacBook Pro so here’s to hoping Apple will make this announcement during their rumored February event!

Filed under: Apple, LCD, MacBook Pro, Rumors, Technology

12″ MacBook Pros in June?


Word from AppleRecon is Apple will be announcing 12″ MacBook Pros at the WWDC in June. Some of the deets:

  • LED backlit displays
  • 12″ Widescreen with 1280×800 resolution
  • Intel 2Ghz Core 2 Duo
  • 1GB RAM w/standard configuration
  • ATI Radeon X1900 with 256MB
  • Weight: ~3.5 lbs.
  • Price: $1,799

Let’s hope AppleRecon’s sources are correct.

Personally, if this is true, I think it’s great that the 12″ MacBook Pro will be added to the line-up but I’m waiting for the 15″ LED backlit MacBook Pro with Leopard. What about you – planning on getting a MacBook Pro this year??

Filed under: Apple, MacBook Pro, MacOSX, Rumors, Technology