I was meaningfully distracted most of the day yesterday with some wonderful lectures and conversations at my summer school in Santa Fe. When I finally got back to my room, I discovered Apple made several major product announcements. Most notably for me, they improved both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros (the 13-inch is now considered a Pro) with the following significant changes:
- Built-in 7 hour battery. (This is a huge plus in my book.)
- Adding in an SD card slot. (A big improvement for me. Unfortunately, the new 15-inch lost the Express Card slot.)
- All 13-inch models now have better screens (another huge plus!), backlit keyboards, and a Firewire port.
- The higher-end 13-inch now comes with 4 GB of RAM.
- An increase in processor speed on both units.
- A $300 price drop on the base model 15-inch (which loses the discrete graphics card).
Apple made some minor updates to the MacBook Air and dropped the price to $1,499.
In addition to all of this, Apple also announced a new iPhone which will be available on June 19th -- a 16 GB model for $199 or a 32 GB model for $299. One of the coolest features of the new iPhone is the ability to use MobileMe to find your phone using GPS if you lose it and the ability to remotely wipe it clean. Other new features include:
- 3.2 MP camera- autofocus, macro mode, low light improvements, video recording, edit video on the phone
- Voice control — music playing and phone calls via voice
- Digital compass
- Improved battery life — 9 hours web surfing, 5 hours talk time
If I were to buy one of these new Macs, I'd probably either go for an upper-end 13-inch or lower-end 15-inch. Basically the only difference is in the size of the screen and an increase in cost is $200. Normally, I'd never consider a 15-inch over a 13-inch, but after using several of them, I really love the extra real estate the 15-inch screen gives and could just about make do without my 24-inch monitor at home. (Similar to how Tim Ferriss uses his 17-inch MacBook Pro.)
Does anyone have any thoughts on the trade-off between size and portability between a 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook? Also, does anyone have any have a perspective on how much user maintenance the typical Mac takes relative to the typical PC and how frequently a Mac locks up relative to a PC? (Overall, I probably lose several days a year doing maintenance on my PC.)