If you’re an Apple fan like me, I’m sure you always look forward to new product announcements they make. Of course it’s not just seeing how Steve Jobs presents. It’s also how he makes you think you need their new products to make your life better. What can I say, he’s good in marketing his products!
Today’s announcement just did not do it for me though. I have seen the leaked photos a couple of days ago and again, I wasn’t as excited compared to when they announced the new MacBook Pros back in February.
Here are some reasons why:
- New keyboard – I’m not really a big fan of the MacBook/MacBook Air Keyboard. I find it hard to type there, although I’m starting to get used to it. I have the Apple Wireless Keyboard at home and I had a lot of typos the first time I used it. I’m getting better at it now. The keyboard of the current MacBook Pro that I have is just so easy to type on.
- No Firewire 400 support – another big thing for me. I have a lot of Firewire 400 portable hard drives and if I move to the new Macbook Pro, I might have to buy a Firewire 400 card (Express32) to plug in my other drives. Additional expense 😦
- New 24” Cinema Display and the new Mini DisplayPort – At first I was a bit excited to hear that Apple’s coming out with a new display. However, I was slightly disappointed after seeing the specs. The new display supports the new laptops only because of the new DVI port. Plus, the new display has only 3 USB ports while the current Cinema Display has a total of 4 ports 2 USB ports and 2 Firewire 400 ports. If you ask me, the old Cinema Displays have the advantage in this aspect. Also, if I buy the new MacBook Pro, I’m not sure if I can use it with my 23″ Apple Cinema Display. I think Apple will release a Mini DisplayPort to DVI (I hope they will) to address this. **Update: Apple has a Mini-DisplayPort to DVI adapter…
- Glossy screen – Probably one of the deal-breakers for me. I use my laptop mainly for editing photos and the matte screen is important for me. I have the 23″ Apple Cinema Display (matte screen and my MacBook Pro has the matte screen as well, and they’re both great at displaying photos even when there’s light in the room. Glossy just doesn’t do it for me. I have tried using the glossy-screen iMacs and the MacBooks and because of the glossy screen, there are times that I can’t see a thing on the monitor. Of course, you can always argue that I can eventually get an anti-glare protector. I’m sure that option will be there when I eventually will upgrade.
Don’t get me wrong. These upgrades are great but I just don’t know if they’re going to be suited for my needs. I feel that the changes made by Apple are not triggered more towards professionals (photographers and videographers). Maybe that’s why they really did not refresh the whole Apple Cinema Display line, but instead, they added a new one to match the new laptops. If you think about it, the old laptops can’t use the new Cinema Display. They have to rely on the old Cinema Display line.
On the positive side, some of the good things that I see with the new design are:
- Dual Video Graphics Card Support – it’s a good thing for me, but not really important. I’d hate to think of when to use and not to use this option. I’m perfectly happy with having the dedicated video card but sacrifice the battery life. Although, if Apple was targeting the people who want to watch movies while traveling, this is really a useful feature.
- New Design/Magnetic Lock – what I don’t like about my current laptop is the hinge. As time passes by, the left side of the lid is opening slightly wider than the right side. It’s annoying if you’re O-C like me. The new one should fix this.
- Easy Access to RAM/HDD upgrades – Now you can easily upgrade your hard drive and memory without having to open the machine
Overall, I can say that I’m semi-excited with the upgrades. I’d probably wait for the next line of MacBook Pros before I upgrade, or just sell my current one and buy a newer version (faster, etc) of the current laptop I have.
So – the ultimate question: will I recommend this to photographers who want to upgrade their current machines?
If you still have a fast machine (probably the 2007/2008 MacBook Pro), I’d say, wait for the next version of the MacBook Pro. If you are coming from an older model, check out the good deals on the 2008 MacBook Pros over at Amazon.com. They still have some pretty sweet deals and that’s a big plus. That’s around $500 savings compared to getting these new MBPs. However, if you’re someone who wants to try out new things and have no regard for $$$, then by all means, buy the new machine and share with us your experience! 🙂
As for me, I’ll continue to watch out for news on the calibration experiences and reports on how the new displays and laptops will perform in the professional photography world. I will keep you guys posted once I encounter these.