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Mossberg: New MacBook, iMacs just minor improvements

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.

by MacNN Staff





  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't care...

    what Walt or anyone else says.

    I make my decisions based upon my needs and the specs of whatever product I'm in the market for.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who is this...

    .... f*cktard named Mossberg?

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Common sense

    I would love folks here to use common sense before posting. ...cough Erigmjh....

    Anyway, I agree that the new Macbook is cool, but I really question the lack of SD card support in addition to combining the line-in and headphone jacks. I don't really care about firewire, but I am sure there are those who do. I don't know if it is worth the extra funds for the aluminum body. I am tempted, but 1st iteration Apple products scare me.

    It would really be nice if Apple dumped the white color and just make the Macbooks in black...but of course we all know that black plastic is significantly more expensive (/sarcasm).

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The MacBook is larger in all dimensions except hei

    The new MacBook is thinner by a sliver, but other than that, it's larger in the other two dimensions.

    FireWire may come back. At that time, this pile of junk will be marked down to $799.

    Why not pay $120 more ($1119 at Mac Connection) and get the MacBook Pro? Granted, the hard drive is smaller (160GB), but who wants a 250GB anyway? Rip it out and put in a 320/7200 for $70.

    MacBook Pro, at $120 more, you get:

    backlit keyboard
    IR remote
    FireWire 800
    lighter body
    SD card slot

    No brainer. This is a dead product for sure.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Who is this...

    So, are you saying that the computers Apple released yesterday were kick-a** new models featuring huge improvements and are must have updates? Because if you are, you really need to get out more.

    All he's basically saying is that if you have last years iMac, mini, or MB, there's nothing here to warrant immediately putting it up on eBay, and then standing in line overnight at the Apple store to pick up one of the new models.

    The updates were fine, more or less. No one expected anything but minor improvements, anyways, being that Apple didn't hold one of their famous unveilings and just sent out a press release on the things.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iMac minor?

    ...with quad core & dual link LED resolution...? In my book the iMac/mini just became Pro caliber capable and am a bit surprised by the Mossberg downplay - and FW 800 is kept on all but the most basic 'starter' portable, which seems like a reasonable compromise...

    I recently priced the Dell Alienware laptop (quad core) & when I matched screen, ram & processor the cost was the same as a 17" MacBook Pro and the Dell is fundamentally made of plastic...

    My current sense is Apple has made huge upgrades into pro categories despite even Ive's modesty suggesting only evolution...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Based on his comments about the Magic Mouse being their most significant product at the moment (I'm sorry, the only company that can consider a mouse a 'significant product' should be the likes of Logitech, not a multi-billion dollar computer and entertainment company), one has to wonder what is he smoking.

    Although the magic mouse has one thing going for it. It will take a lot of effort to be as bad as the Mighty Mouse.

  1. JTh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    About what I expected

    Why cannibalize sales of the MBP if you include every last of the same feature on the MB?

    Apple dropped what is probably the least-used features, but improved nearly every other one. I'm more than willing to give up a remote (I use my iPhone anyway), SD Card slot and FW port for the LED-backlight screen, larger HD, and better battery any day.

    I can afford (and don't mind spending) the $200 or so dollars to get the MBP if I really need those extra features.

    Testudo, we'll have to chalk it up to one of those times we agree :-).

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Time to retire old man...

    Your judgement belongs in the toilet my friend....

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mossberg is amazing...

    He finally figured out that Apple has not been able to put a warp drive into the Macs or that they can't turn lead into gold. What the heck can any manufacturer put into a computer that isn't somewhat evolutionary? I'm afraid that merely building solid products doesn't rate with pundits anymore. So he wants FW, then let him spend the extra money to get it on a MacBook Pro. Apple needs to keep profit margins high and products differentiated. I'm curious to see what computer Mossberg is going to buy. I gather he's leaning towards a BTO Windows 7 netbook.

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