October 21, 2009

MacBook receives facelift, Time Capsule, Airport Express, Mac Mini, remote receive improvements

The MacBook's design hasn't really been the most flattering. It was chic in '06, but perhaps it was time to move on, and that was the exact same thing Apple was thinking.

Say hello to a new look:

While the MacBook somewhat looks the same but slightly "chubbier", the new design is actually made through the same unibody architecture that the Pro models have. It's still priced at $999 as a result.

The trackpad is also made of the same glass as the Pro models, and it even features a built-in (ahem, non-removable) 7-hour battery which is quite impressive.

The more internal changes include a new charger port ala the MacBook Air, no FireWire 400, and a unified audio in and audio out port. I don't think there's an SD card slot anywhere though.

Aside from the MacBook and the iMac, the lower priced Mac Mini has also received some under-the-hood upgrade, as well as the introduction of a "Server" model which costs $999.

Basically, the "Server edition" features two 500GB drives and no DVD slot to drive the point home. Notably though, it's probably the only Mac left that has Mini-DVI.

Lastly, Apple has announced new and improved upgrades to the Time Capsule and Airport Extreme. The former is basically a 1 terabyte hard drive used for wireless Mac backup that also doubles as an Internet router, while the latter is only a wireless router.

A new antenna design has enabled the devices to send Wi-fi signals over even longer distances. Time Capsule, notably, is "60% faster with Time Machine on Snow Leopard". It's unclear whether Apple has fixed the Time Capsule's controversial 16 month lifespan due to overheating, but I'd be on the market for one of these if it weren't for that issue.

But next up, and this was quite quiet, is the Apple remote. It's sad that Apple doesn't bundle these things with their computers any more (then again, I don't use them often) because this new remote looks much more functional compared to the old one. Hell, it's more attractive too.

It's compatible with any Mac with an infrared sensor and iPod universal docks, and retails for $20. Seriously, $20? For a remote like this?

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