updated 04:10 pm EDT, Thu October 22, 2009
Magic Mouse more significant, says columnist
Apple's new MacBook and iMacs are solid but merely evolutionary products, argues Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg. The MacBook is praised for incorporating the MacBook Pro's large trackpad, and being "fast and reliable," booting cold in 22 seconds. It is also described as lighter than its predecessor at 4.7 pounds, and armed with a powerful battery, though likely to fall short of Apple's promised seven-hour lifespan in most cases.
Mossberg also criticizes Apple for dropping FireWire and remote control support, noting too that the computer lacks the SD slot of modern MacBook Pros.
SD slots have been incorporated into the new iMacs, whose main feature is claimed to be size: the base model has been enlarged from 20 inches to 21.5, while the former 24-inch system has migrated to 27. The 27-inch iMac is said to be particularly useful, as in combination with higher resolutions it can effectively be treated as two monitors, for instance displaying Word and a web browser side-by-side. One complaint is said to be that the $1,499 pricetag now nets users a smaller display, rather than the largest.
On a broader level Mossberg complains that Macs continue to be more expensive than their PC counterparts, which may become more of an issue for Apple now that Windows 7 makes PCs a more attractive proposition. The columnist also suggests that the Magic Mouse may be Apple's most significant product at the moment, by being one of the first mice to use a multi-touch surface.