As you no doubt heard, Apple today refreshed their MacBook lineup with across-the-board adjustments to pricing. I’ll let other sites comment on the news more generally, as this is a music site, not a notebook site. But the big news for audio in terms of I/O, just so you don’t miss that:
- FireWire on more models: Finally, you can again get a 13” MacBook (now called MacBook Pro) with onboard FireWire – a FW800 connector. That’ll restore the use of audio interfaces and certain high-speed storage, and means the MacBook is again a good choice as an audio machine at the US$1199 base price point.
- ExpressCard on fewer models: Oddly, the addition of a lowly SD card slot (nice for photography and mobile recorders) has supplanted the ExpressCard slot on the 15” MacBook Pro. If you want ExpressCard, you have to buy the 17” – which, in turn, loses the SD card slot.
Now, generally the news here is pretty good. For music, you probably aren’t too concerned about the GPU, so the 15” MacBook Pro at US$1699 is looking like a nice deal. But PC users are no doubt puzzled, given that all of these connections are standard equipment on the vast majority of PC notebooks, including ones that cost less than a grand. And there still aren’t as many USB ports as you’d like – you get two ports on all but the 17” model, which has three, and very often only one of those may actually be usable because of power issues.
MacBook Pro [Apple]
The battery life is also greatly improved, but unfortunately is no longer user-upgradeable. See further comments on CDMotion.