Steve Jobs has just announced Apple's new laptop computer: the MacBook Pro. Two Intel processors inside; 15.4" LCD (up to 1440x900 resolution, smaller than the latest PB model, which had 1440x960); built-in iSight camera; slightly wider and deeper than the latest PB model (and slightly thinner); 4-5 times faster than the PowerBook (by some measure, at any rate); 5.6 pounds (same as the latest PB model). Zowie. I wasn't expecting an Intel-based pro notebook Mac for another six months. They're taking orders today, shipping in February.
I'm guessing later in the year the iBook will be replaced by a MacBook non-pro.
There've also been rumors of an upcoming ultra-light ultra-thin subnotebook Mac, but those are still rumors.
I'm dubious about buying the 1.0 release of anything, especially hardware. And the speed advantage may well be offset by having to run everything under the Rosetta translation layer. And presumably some old apps will stop working because of that.
Still, pretty tempting--especially since my PB is over 3 years old, so the speed of Intel-native apps without Rosetta will be more like 10 times what I'm used to. Although my work PB is at least double the processor speed of my home PB, and I don't really see much difference in speed or responsiveness in daily use; I don't use any of the really processor-intensive apps.
Think I'll wait 'til February and see the new machine in person before I make up my mind.
Thanks to MacRumors.com for providing a live text feed detailing all this! Especially cool that they used the new "Ajax" technology to update the page without having to do a full page reload; slick. I imagine Apple will be providing a webcast version of the Jobs keynote sometime soon, but it was cool to be able to "watch" the text version.
A few more notes, added after the apple.com page went live:
Looks pretty much just like the PowerBook.
No idea whether the screen will have the alternating-dim-lines problem the last PB model had.
One FireWire 400 port, two USB 2.0 ports. No FireWire 800! Weird.
Built-in 802.11g wireless, Bluetooth, and Gigabit Ethernet.
. . . On further reflection, this looks like it's pretty similar specs to the last PowerBook model, except with two Intel chips inside instead of one G4. Which is nothing to sneeze at, but maybe my old PB will carry me through 'til the next revision. Give them a chance to work the bugs out. Or maybe the latest-model PB will drop in price so much that I'll grab that one to tide me over 'til the next MacBook revision. We'll see.