Jason Snell of Macworld live blogged Apple CEO Steve Jobs presentation today:
11:02 PT: And that's it! We've been excused and are going next door to view the new systems up close and personal. Stay tuned for much more today and in the weeks to come at Macworld.com.
11:00 PT: Touchscreens on Macs? Jobs: "We've certainly experimented with it, as you might imagine, and it currently doesn't make a lot of sense to us."
10:59 PT: Tim Cook on the new production process. "We put a lot of energy to lower the price by $700 and put the features in that people have been asking for." Jobs points out that as you learn and grow, prices drop over time. Cook points out that MacBook volumes will help drive down the production price.
10:57 PT: Jobs says he thinks "a refresh cycle" will happen with both the Pro and MacBook models. That's code. Let me decode it for you: Jobs thinks they're gonna sell a lot of these laptops.
10:57 PT: 17" MBP is still available, being refreshed today, but won't get the new features yet apparently. (That was my question. Thank you, thank you very much.)
10:54 PT: Jobs talking about that DisplayPort is better for the computer industry rather than HDMI, which is for more entertainment uses. BluRay? "BluRay is a bag of hurt," Jobs says. "The licensing of the technology is so complex that we're just waiting until things settle down and waiting until BluRay really takes off in the marketplace before we burden our customers with the cost of the licensing and the drives."
10:53 PT: Question about the Nvidia chip. Jobs: "We helped them, and we're first to take it to market, and maybe the only, but that's up to them."
10:52 PT: It's Q&A with Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, and Tim Cook! But first, "we can't answer any questions about the current quarter," because the earnings report is October 21. (Tune in to Macworld for coverage of that.) Jobs: "Second, 110/70, this is my blood pressure. This is all we're going to talk about Steve's health today. If you want to see it go higher, ask him more questions about it." Lights are up and let the questions about Intel stickers begin!
10:51 PT: The MacBook doesn't seem to have a FireWire port. I don't think they mentioned it, but I didn't see it in the video. I wish I could TiVo it back and pause it, but Steve's got the remote.
10:49 PT: A little more detail on the trackpad from the video - it's a physical press, not like the current models, where you lift up and tap. You can press while your finger is down, because it actually presses down when you push.
10:47 PT: Bob Mansfield, Senior Vice President, Mac Hardware, is now on the video, talking about the hardware design and the story about all the parts.
10:46 PT: Dan Riccio, VP of Product Design, now in the video. Showing the factory. It's not every day that Apple details parts of their actual product-building process. They are obviously proud of this system and also see how it's a good way to explain why these new models are different. Pretty clever, and good marketing, but it's also cool to see Apple lift the veil and actually talk about what they're building in their factories, how, and why.
10:44 PT: Roll the video! Jon Ive talking about the design. Coldplay playing in the background -- there we go, now we're ready to rock.
10:43 PT: Summing up now. "We're building both in a whole new way. From a slab of aluminum to a notebook. New graphics. New trackpad, the best we've ever built. And LED-backlit displays that are far brighter, instant on, far more environmentally responsible." And once again he points out the MacBook now has MacBook Pro features but costs $700 less.
10:41 PT: Yesterday these features cost $1999 for a MacBook Pro. Starting today, you can get them for just $1299. Two models: $1299: 13.3" display, 2GHz Core 2 Duo / 3MB L2 cache, 2GB 1066MHz DDR 3 memory, GeForce 9400M, 160GB hard drive, slot-loading SuperDrive. "This is a beautiful machine." Second model, $1599. 2.4GHz processor, 250GB hard drive, and a backlit keyboard - first for the MacBook! Upgrades: more memory, 320GB drive, 128GB SSD, and video adapters, including dual DVI.
10:40 PT: "Eliminates more than 60% of the parts, and it's much stronger." Claims 5x graphics performance over previous MacBooks. 5 hours of battery life. Environmental checklist slide comes out again. Arsenic free, BFR free, mercury free, highly recyclable, and packaging is 42% smaller, and EPEAT Gold certification.
10:39 PT: Corner-to-corner glass (black background like the iMac). Precision aluminum unibody enclosure, LED display, next-gen graphics, multi-touch glass trackpad, Mini Display Port connector, and environmentally responsible.
10:37 PT: "But there is one more thing. And of course, it's the MacBook. The MacBook is an amazing product. It's the best-selling Mac ever. We sell a ton of these MacBooks, and people love them. They are one of the best products in the industry. We're going to reduce the entry price today from $1099 to $999, make 'em a little more affordable. And I think we're going to sell them for a long time. But we've heard from a lot of MacBook customers, and the top three things they'd like are: a metal enclosure. They lust after the MacBook Pro's metal enclosure. Faster graphics -- they want to play games, they're doing a lot of intense graphics applications. And a lot want LED backlit displays, for instant-on. And we figured out a way to bring these to the MacBook line. And so we are introducing a new generation of MacBook, on top of our white plastic MacBook, and here it is. It's an all new MacBook."
10:35 PT: New 24-inch LED Cinema Display. "It's gorgeous. Really, really nice. Thin." Looks like an iMac. One cable for AC, other cable has MacSafe - power your notebook! - USB, and Mini Display Port. "Just plug this into your MacBook Pro and you're all set. No extra cables, power supplies, nothing." 24-inch LED-backlit display, 19200x1200 pixel resolution, built-in iSight camera * mic, built-in stereo speakers, plus the connectors, and a three-port USB 2.0 hub. Available in November.
10:34 PT: Now, "we'd like to update the MacBook Air." So first up, graphics. Putting the GeForce 9400M inside the MacBook air. 4x faster graphics. New Air: 120GB hard drive in, and 128GB SSD option on the Air as well. "In addition to that, we're putting in a mini display port, so you can drive all our new displays." $1799, GeForce 9400M, 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of 1066MHz RAM, 120GB drive. Second model, $2499, 1.86GHz, 128GB SSD. Available early November.
10:33 PT: And for the first time for the MacBook Pro, we've wone an EPEAT Gold rating from the EPA.
10:32 PT: "As you know, we have a major push here to make our products more environmentally friendly, and that involves leaving out toxic chemicals. Here's our environmental checklist." Arsenic-free glass, BFR free, Mercury-free, PVC-free, highly recyclable, and 37% smaller packaging.
10:32 PT: $2499 config: 2.53GHz processor, 6MB L2, 4GB of memory, 512MB on the 9600M Gt, 320GB hard drive. Upgrades: 2.8GHz, 4GB mem, SSD, and more. "Shipping today. They should hit stores starting tomorrow."
10:31 PT: 0.95 inches - "This is our thinnest MacBook Pro ever. And it's going to come in two models." First one: $1999, 15.4-inch LED-backlit display. 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / 3MB L2. 2GB 1066 MGhz DDR 3 memory. Both Nvidia cards. 250GB hard drive. Slot-loading SuperDrive. $1999.
10:30 PT: "We can do everything [the DVI port] can do, and at a fraction of its size. We're building it to everything we make. It's going to be the first MacBook Pro with a Solid-State Drive option. And you can acess the drive and the battery from a door on the bottom." Full accessibility to the battery and drive from that lower bay!
10:29 PT: Slot-load superdrive on right side. Left side, MagSafe, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, dual USB 2 connectors, Mini Display Port. "This is what we're going to for all video out for all of our products." Audio in and out, both analog and optical digital, an ExpressCard 34 slot, and the battery indicator is on the side "so you don't have to turn your product upside-down."
10:27 PT: GeForce 9400M built into the MacBook Pro. "But even that wasn't the best we could do. We've added the GeForce 9600M GT. State of the art for mobile graphics. 32 parallel graphics cores, 125 gigaflops. And we've included both of them in the new MacBook pro." Graphic showing the both connected. "With the 9400M, you get 5 hours of battery life, with the 9600M GT you get four hours of battery life. You choose."
10:27 PT: Lights are back down now. We've seen it and touched it. Very light, very finely detailed part, all in one piece.
10:24 PT: "The unibody saves us half the parts from the old model. So we're really happy about this, and I'd like you to see it." He's going to pass around the unibody part.
10:22 PT: "Today we're introducing our new MacBook Pro. Our current MacBook Pro is the best in class in the industry, and today we're going to replace it with this. And it's gorgeous. Full glass, instant on LED displays, you can see how thin the display is. All the connectors on [the left] side." Black front like an iMac. "Precision aluminum unibody enclosure, LED display, next generation graphics, a multi-touch glass trackpad, a mini displauy port connector -- we're putting that on all our systems -- and environmentally responsible." Also the usual stuff, like backlit keyboards, magnetic latch, motion sensor, speakers, iSight and microphone.
"Today we're introducing our new MacBook Pro. Our current MacBook Pro is the best in class in the industry, and today we're going to replace it with this. And it's gorgeous. Full glass, instant on LED displays, you can see how thin the display is. All the connectors on [the left] side." Black front like an iMac. "Precision aluminum unibody enclosure, LED display, next generation graphics, a multi-touch glass trackpad, a mini displauy port connector -- we're putting that on all our systems -- and environmentally responsible." Also the usual stuff, like backlit keyboards, magnetic latch, motion sensor, speakers, iSight and microphone.
10:21 PT: Steve is recapping the gestures from the prior models, one-fingure ones, two-finger spreads and pinches and rotations, and three-finger slides forward and back. And now the new four-finger gesture, sliding four fingers up for Exposé activation, and sliding to the side to bring up the app switcher, then one finger to move between the apps in the app switcher.
10:20 PT: "We've got a new trackpad for notebooks. It's a gorgeous, large, multitouch glass trackpad for notebooks. It's 39 percent larger tracking area than before, it's multi-touch for gestures, it's glass for silky-smooth travel. And we've optimized the coefficient of friction on the glass, so it's really beautiful. And the entire trackpad is the button. It gives you more area on the trackpad and keeps you from hunting for that button. You can get multi-button support from software. And we've added some new four-finger gestures that are really nice."
10:19 PT: Showing 55 percent performance versus the 8600M GT in the current MacBook Pro, and for general performance it's up at 86 percent.
10:17 PT: Jobs is back. "We also have some new graphics for notebooks. Nvidia came to us many months ago and talked to us about an amazing graphics part they wanted to build, that would combine the chipset and an extremely powerful embedded graphics processor, all in one part, for a desktop computer. And we said, 'This is fantastic, but we'd like to use it in a notebook. Can we work together on this?' And we've worked with them and... it's really great. It's the Nvidia GeForce 9400M. It's an amazing chip. It combines the Chipset and GPU on one die. 70 percent of the die area is the GPU. There are 16 parallel graphics cores on it, and they deliver 54 gigaflops of graphics performance. So this thing's a stunner in performance. And in our tests we've found it's up to five times faster than integrated graphics." Slide showing performance: 2.8x in World of Warcraft, up to 6.2X for Call of Duty.
10:16 PT: "At each of these distinct stages, we're continually collecting the material, and cleaning it, and recycling it. So we started with a solid slab of aluminium that weighed over 2.5 pounds, and we end with this remarkably precise part that ways less than a quarter of a pound. It's also very strong. That one part forms the structure for the MacBook air. It's the highly precise enclosure that makes the product possible. So this new way of building a notebook that we pioneered here obviously has relevance beyond the MacBook air. And we've been working hard to build new unibody enclosures for new notebooks."
At each of these distinct stages, we're continually collecting the material, and cleaning it, and recycling it. So we started with a solid slab of aluminium that weighed over 2.5 pounds, and we end with this remarkably precise part that ways less than a quarter of a pound. It's also very strong. That one part forms the structure for the MacBook air. It's the highly precise enclosure that makes the product possible. So this new way of building a notebook that we pioneered here obviously has relevance beyond the MacBook air. And we've been working hard to build new unibody enclosures for new notebooks."