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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:17 pm 
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So what do people think of the new macbook? I keep thinking I need to replace my current primary home computer (12" 1.5GHz Powerbook G4). But everytime seriously start thinking about buying a new Mac Apple manages to demotivate me. A windows machine is out of the question for my main home computer. And, for a primary computer, I don't want to fight with a linux install. So I just keep waiting...

On the new Macbook: I have been wanting a ultra high DPI display for years (really, SGI should have done that with a 1700SW 10 years ago). So that is a huge plus. But I am bummed out by the lack of an optical drive (I use it regularly) and by the lack of upgradeability (yea, I know, join the club).

If it was a new macbook air I would be a lot happier. The entire idea of the air is to satisfy the people that will sacrifice all the extras to save a few grams or cubic centimeters. I have no problem with selling a computer to satisfy those people - there seems to be quite a market if you also offer full featured machines. Personally, I would rather carry around an extra 313.27 grams to have an optical drive, 2.5" hard drive bay, user serviceability, and ethernet. Sadly, it sounds like Macs may stop offering this at all :(

So, any ides on if we will see a high DPI display combined with a full featured laptop? And if I move away from apple what is the best way to go for a home computer?

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:58 pm 
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At this point, I don't really think it is worth paying the considerable premium for the Retina display. It kind of reminds me of the premiums people used to pay for the early, giant flat panel TVs. It took a year or three, but the prices eventually came down quickly. Aside from wealthy folks or people who had very specific, professional needs, I think it's hard to justify paying the premium. If you want a lot of pixels, and size isn't a major factor, just get one of the remaining late 2011 17" MacBook Pros before they are out of new inventory. You'll get native 1920 x 1200 resolution, an optical drive, upgradeable RAM and hard drive, ethernet, a full warranty, and a reasonably current CPU/GPU combo, and some of the retailers are starting to discount them pretty heavily.

I still use my 1.5 GHz 12" G4 PB pretty frequently. It's no longer my daily driver, but I use it often for some of my hobby projects. While I also prefer having built-in Ethernet and a built-in optical drive, it's also true that I rarely use either. I was looking at one of the new 13" MBPs in the local Apple Store, and it would be a monstrous enough upgrade in performance from a G4 that I personally would be willing to spring another $100 or so for an external optical drive and ethernet adapter. I'm more concerned about the batteries in the latest machines. Judging from the teardowns on ifixit.com, it looks like they are almost impossible to remove. I really don't like placing an extremely expensive bit of hardware at the mercy of a non-replaceable battery. Definitely reduces the resiliency of the machines, IMHO.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:45 pm 
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Proprietary, probably-just-about-impossible-to-get-ahold-of battery (that will die in 3-5 years), same deal for the main flash storage (except hopefully longer lifetime - though if you page it might not be), fixed RAM size...

I don't know about others, but on every computer I've owned I've upgraded RAM, upgraded, replaced or added drives, and generally mucked about with them. Sure, the screen looks neat - but I certainly don't want to pay a premium for something that seems to be designed as a "throwaway" system.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:00 am 
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Geeks who like to mess with their computers are not the target demographic Apple is aiming for with these machines.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:23 am 
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Price: Yep, that is a serious concern on the new macbook. And if I wait it should come down.

Battery: Yet another concern. It would be mitigated by Apple replacing the battery for a reasonable price. Not that I expect reasonable to be any part of that price. (The OWC battery replacement in my 12" is great and came with a non-apple price)

17" Humm, I will have to think about it. Reasonable specs. It won't fit in my Pelican 1080 case. Bummer! But I am sure I could find some other case. Oh, and I still think the 17" should offer a 2nd hard drive bay with optional RAID. But that is beside the point. The main issue is I am not sure that it will actually motivate me enough to spend the money. Somehow I think that if I spend over $1000 on a laptop I should get something I really like.

Upgrades: On the new macbook that is a real problem. Both the RAM and hard drive in my current powerbook were upgraded. It was a huge improvement. I would rather go with less RAM & hard drive today, only to upgrade later. 256GB would work for a 1-3 years, and after that I could buy 1TB for half the cost of an upgrade today.

R-ten-K: Yep, this is very true. Actually, I don't think they were ever Apple's target market. At least not since Woz left. They are simply targeting where they think the market will go. And I think Apple is (again) slightly ahead of the game. They realize that computers are quickly becoming disposable. As a friend pointed out years ago: They used to have stores that sold nothing but microwaves and technicians that made a good living fixing them. Computers will go the same way :(

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:54 am 
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huh I did not know there was a new mac out until I read this post... so I scoped it out.

yes, the screen is amazing and to me would justify the price (other new features notwithstanding) if I needed a new computer right now I would get that one. But I don't, so I'm not :D I'm sure apple will bring the retina display to the other models and even as a standalone monitor over time. (The white macbook appears to be missing from the lineup now :( )

you can upgrade the disk in the air without much issue and apple provides a battery replacement service even after the warranty is up, there's no need to be forced to trust a 3rd party battery. its a lipo battery anyways so it can easily last the life of the product (5 years or more)

The lack of a cd drive, ethernet socket, etc doesn't bother me. They dont have a floppy disk or 300 baud modem anymore either. That's how technology keeps improving.

on the other hand, did they really have to change the charging plug? It isn't any smaller, doesn't provide any extra capacity... I have 4 mac laptops going back to 2007 here and all the power supplies are more or less interchangeable.
(edit: added http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD504... lol)

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Last edited by guardian452 on Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:30 am 
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R-ten-K wrote:
Geeks who like to mess with their computers are not the target demographic Apple is aiming for with these machines.

So true. I got my first Mac last year, and anytime I checked forums and blogs for information about using non standard partitioning schemes (e.g. Bootcamp and a third OS) or more unusual OS settings, the prevailing attitude I saw was often "but apple knows what is best for us, why would you want to do anything different".


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:43 am 
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WolvesOfTheNight wrote:
...256GB would work for a 1-3 years, and after that I could buy 1TB for half the cost of an upgrade today....


I wouldn't be surprised if Apple factored this in, so people have to buy the RAM/drive they think they'll need in a couple of years at today's Apple profit margins.

Quote:
R-ten-K: Yep, this is very true. Actually, I don't think they were ever Apple's target market. At least not since Woz left. They are simply targeting where they think the market will go. And I think Apple is (again) slightly ahead of the game. They realize that computers are quickly becoming disposable. As a friend pointed out years ago: They used to have stores that sold nothing but microwaves and technicians that made a good living fixing them. Computers will go the same way :(


Before the return of Jobs Apple was much more open. After he came back things immediately started closing, and Apple seemed to be actively discouraging tweaks that did not fit with his vision (remember all the INITS you could get to tweak the UI?)

I really like the stability and usability of the Mac System software, it's almost as good as xBSD with much more software, but the hardware is a joke for anything but basic use. I have enough cables on my desk without having a bunch of external disk enclosures, the current keyboards have that awful laptoppy feel (and the wireless one manages to blend the worst of the original Mac keyboard with the worst of a laptop keyboard), and on the Mac Pro they want a top-end price on something that's two+ years old, perhaps to cover the difficulty of actually finding the components. I guess that's why Apple is tolerating "Hackintoshes" as much as they are, so people interested in a Mac but who want something expandable can have one. That's probably the way I'll be going.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:44 am 
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So who else has tried one out yet? There is no setting to actually use the full resolution. By default, the screen runs at 1440x900, and can be scaled up to 1920x1200.

I bet the new OSX coming this summer will support it with proper text sizes, etc, but for now you'll have to use a program like switchresx to set the screen to 2880x1800, and then have to deal with tiny text.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:18 am 
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guardian452 wrote:
I bet the new OSX coming this summer will support it with proper text sizes, etc, but for now you'll have to use a program like switchresx to set the screen to 2880x1800, and then have to deal with tiny text.

It's already shipping with a special, machine-specific version of Lion that is optimized for the higher resolution display. Unfortunately, there are only a couple of third party applications that directly support the higher resolution, but that should change reasonably quickly.

guardian452 wrote:
did they really have to change the charging plug? It isn't any smaller, doesn't provide any extra capacity... I have 4 mac laptops going back to 2007 here and all the power supplies are more or less interchangeable.

It's a good question, but it turns out that since the new MBP is so thin, they really did have to squash down the size of the new Magsafe adapter. There is only a minimal distance between the edge of the new adapter and the edge of the new MBP. Personally, I would much rather have a laptop that is a millimeter or two thicker so that I can reuse my existing power adapters, but I guess Apple decided this is a case where gee-whiz marketing is more important than customer convenience.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:57 am 
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josehill wrote:
... I guess Apple decided this is a case where gee-whiz marketing is more important than customer convenience.


Has this ever not been the case in the last 15 years?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:20 am 
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SAQ wrote:
Has this ever not been the case in the last 15 years?

Only fifteen? :D


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:52 am 
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guardian452 wrote:
So who else has tried one out yet? There is no setting to actually use the full resolution. By default, the screen runs at 1440x900, and can be scaled up to 1920x1200.

I bet the new OSX coming this summer will support it with proper text sizes, etc, but for now you'll have to use a program like switchresx to set the screen to 2880x1800, and then have to deal with tiny text.



Actually the screen is running on the native resolution of 2880x1800. Resolution only appears to be 1440x900 as physical screen resolution does not change, only the size of the pixel that is plotted to screen.

Something similar can be demonstrated with RISC OS.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:08 am 
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theinonen wrote:
Actually the screen is running on the native resolution of 2880x1800. Resolution only appears to be 1440x900 as physical screen resolution does not change, only the size of the pixel that is plotted to screen.

...and pixel doubling is something that depends on the application. For example, see the screenshot of twitterific and twitter running side-by-side in this post - http://9to5mac.com/2012/06/18/on-the-ne ... ay-review/


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:34 am 
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josehill wrote:
theinonen wrote:
Actually the screen is running on the native resolution of 2880x1800. Resolution only appears to be 1440x900 as physical screen resolution does not change, only the size of the pixel that is plotted to screen.

...and pixel doubling is something that depends on the application. For example, see the screenshot of twitterific and twitter running side-by-side in this post - http://9to5mac.com/2012/06/18/on-the-ne ... ay-review/


If I am not mistaken all the raster elements needs to be redone for the retina, or they will be scaled. So essentially if there are higher resolution graphics available for the application, then they can be rendered with higher detail.


If you look the lower picture from my earlier post, you can see that some icons are much sharper than others. That is because there are higher resolution icons provided for some applications and the blurry ones are just scaled to double size. I would assume Apple is doing something similar, but differently.


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