Live from Apple’s Notebook Event

You’ve heard the rumors but it’s almost time to get the straight scoop from Apple on its notebook news. Some say it’s an $800 MacBook—a would-be netbook-killer. Others say it might be a refresh of the entire MacBook and MacBook Pro line. Turns out there is a sub-$1000 system, but it’s the same old MacBook. What’s exciting are the entirely new MacBook and MacBook Pros, which use the same aluminum unibody construction as the Air. Plus, there’s a new all-glass touchpad that doubles as a button. And we love the edge-to-edge LED backlit displays. 11:01 am So far touch screens don’t make a lot of sense to us, as opposed to glass touchpad. Time for hands on. Stay tuned. 10:59 am Question for panel about glossy vs. matte displays and Steve Jobs. And someone asks the netbook question. Jobs says that it’s a nascent market and we’ll see how it goes. Not much guidance there. 10:56 am Steve Jobs saying that we’re going to see a refresh cycle in both the MacBook Pro and MacBook space. But that there’s a chance that more and more people that might move to the mid-end in the new aluminum MacBook. MacBook has dropped in about a half pound of weight. 10:54 am Blu-ray is a bag of hurt…(yikes) according to Steve Jobs. Waiting for cost to come down and licensing to come down. Apple reminding us that you can get HD on iTunes. You don’t say? 10:51 am: Q&A time. Steve Jobs jokes about his blood pressure by way of addressing his health. Jobs saying that Apple may be only company bringing 9400M graphics to market for a while. Good question about HDMI. Jobs saying you need Display Port for higher resolutions like their 30-inch. 10:44 am: Rolling video on new MacBook. Aluminum enclosure background and why it’s so critical. Begins with solid block of aluminum. Goes through 13 separate machining operations. 10:36 am: MacBook…is that one more thing. Entry price has been $1,099. Going to reduce entry price to $999. But these customers also want metal enclosure. Faster graphics. And LED backlit display. And now bringing these things to MacBook line. All new MacBook. Has same unibody construction as MacBook Pro. Goes for $1,299. 13-inch LED display. Nvidia 9400M process. $1,599 model includes backlit keyboard and bigger hard drive. Will have 128GB SSD option. 10:35 am: Introducing new Cinema Display that powers the MacBook Pro. 24-inch LED backlit display. 1080p resolution. Built-in iSight camera. MagSafe Charing Mini Display. And only $899. Companion to MacBook Pro 10:26 am: Nvidia 9600M GT on board with 32 parallel grahics cores. This is in addition to Intel chip and 9400M. Will have special mini DisplayPort connector. Will come in two configurations, $1,999 and $2,499. Less than an inch thick. Putting 9400M in MacBook Air. Now putting 120 GB HDD in that notebook. And 128 GB SSD option.10:22 am Introducing new MacBook Pro. New precision unibody enclosure. Beautiful on outside and inside. Saves Apple have the major structural parts. Passing around the bottom of the system for us to fondle. Sweet. 10:16 am Steve Jobs back on stage talking about Nvidia. New chip dubbed Nvidia GeForce 9400 combines chipset and CPU on one die. Whoa. Up to five times faster than Intel’s integrated graphics. And new trackpad that’s made of glass that supports for silky-smooth travel and mult-touch gestures. Entire trackpad is a button. 10:13 am Today Apple uses rough cutting for removing large amounts of materials and leaving room for keyboard and touchpad cutouts. Aluminum used using precise part that weighs only a quarter of a pound. That single part forms the structure for the MacBook Air. This new way of building a notebook pioneered here has relevance beyond MacBook Air. 10:08 am Steve Jobs talking about a new way to build notebooks. Jobs asking Jony Ive SVP Design to walk us through this “breakthrough.” Today’s notebooks are made of many parts. Have  been looking for better way for building a notebook. 10:06 am Macs at Major University (not sure which one) share has grown to 47 percent. Showing picture of ton of stundents in lecture hall–al with Macs. That concludes state of the Mac. 10:02 am Cook crediting marketing campaign for yet another reason why Mac is taking off. Playing commercial we’ve already seen. John Hodgman from the throne. Retail stores also a big driver. Stores greet 400,000 vistors per day and over 50 percent of customers are new to Mac. That’s a big number. Mac outgrew market 14 of last 15 quarters. Mac now represents whopping 17.6 percent of sales in U.S. retail market share. Revenue share is over 31 percent. 9:59 am Tim Cook saying Mac is growing two to 3x the market rate of growth. Crediting notebooks like MacBook Air. With better computers comes better software. Everyone agrees that Leopard is far ahead of Vista. Compatibility is a big issue. There is less concern over switching now by includeing Boot Camp on every single Macintosh (I think it’s more of a security blanket given that you need to buy a Windows license). Failure of Vista is opening doors for Mac. Oh snap!

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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