Oct 21, 2008, 08:59AM

Everything You Need to Know About the New MacBook

Ars Technica is one of the best sites out there for everything involving technology as it relates to products, the media and the news (and the world we live in). Here they weigh in (quite heavily) on the newest evolution of Apple's laptop line.

Part I of their review focused on new features:

One of our favorite new features of the MacBook Pro's trackpad is the multitouch support, actually, and we're not just talking about using your thumb to hold onto a file while you're dragging it with your pointer finger. Apple has introduced one, two, three, and four-finger multitouch gestures with this machine—more than any previous Mac laptop. The usual ones are all there—two-finger scrolling, pinch and zoom, document rotation, and two-finger-right-click. But now, if you're using a new MacBook Pro, you can also use three fingers to go back and forth in Safari, for example (three finger swipes do different things in different applications). Four finger swipes let you switch between apps like you would with Command+Tab, and four-finger swipes up and down activate Exposé and/or expose your desktop.


With the new MacBook Pro, Apple has finally eliminated the (annoying) mechanical latch that has been persistent throughout the PowerBook and MacBook Pro lines for so many years. While the MacBook and MacBook Air have gotten rid of the mechanical latch ages ago, moving onto a magnetic closure, the MacBook Pro kept it for way too long... until now. Perhaps one of the most welcome "small" changes to the MacBook Pro, the machine now sports an invisible magnetic closure just like its little brothers. Just open and close the notebook—no button-pressing or latch-hooking needed.

Part II looks at performance:

It's evident that this MacBook Pro is not that much faster than its predecessor as far as the CPU goes. In our testing using GeekBench, the 2.53GHz, late 2008 model was only about 2.5% faster than the previous model. For any real performance gain in this category, the new 2.8GHz model will be your best bet. For that segment of readers who are currently not using a last generation MacBook Pro, however, there may be significant gains to be had in purchasing this edition. Those coming from any model of MacBook or MacBook Pro released before the beginning of 2008 will experience noticeable performance gains. MacBook Air owners will see improvements for a number of factors and those of you still holding on to your last generation PowerBooks (we know you're out there!) will have to go buy new socks.


If you're a power user (or just play one on TV) who depends on your notebook to have a good balance of aesthetics, horsepower, and slick features, the newest MacBook Pro will make a nice addition to your computing family. Heck, you could even use it as your main machine if you're willing to go notebook-only and sacrifice a little bit of the power and features you might get out of a desktop—you won't be losing much compared to if you were to try to go notebook-only with a MacBook or a MacBook Air. However, if you're on a budget or don't need many of the power features—a bigger screen, FireWire support, two GPU units—you might want to consider one of Apple's more consumer-level laptops. After all, the MacBook has received a complete makeover as well, and it shares many of the same features as the MacBook Pro for some significant savings, depending on what you're looking for.

  • I think this is all really super fierce, and i am a mac user. BUT! (and it is a huge but) I do not like the black keys. It looks too much like a PC! I get it: Apple is seeking world domination via iphones, macbooks and imacs. i just dont like when apple compromises what made them such hot bitches in the first place.

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  • i.e. DESIGN

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  • Valid point. I agree appearance and sleekness can mean a lot, (why else would I have bought a low-back, sectional from West Elm). I think their big design focus this time around, though, has been to the interior, basically redesigning how the inside structure is set up, which, apparently, (I say that because I don't know much about engineering), goes a long way.

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