My new project: Tact, a simple chat app.

Initial take on new MacBook Pro hardware

October 17, 2008

I was really anxious to actually go and play with the new MacBook Pro, so I went and messed around with it at the Apple Store for a few minutes. Here are some initial ideas.

I will, of course, get it soon :) especially because recently I have been working with (previous-generation) MacBook Pro + Apple Cinema Display, and it is really great. New versions of both will just make it better, so I will get them together when the new Cinema Display comes out.

The only worry I have about it is the glossy screen. I never liked glossy. I played with a colleague’s Air a bit and the reflection is there, but it’s probably something I can get used to. Subjectively for the time being, I like matte more though.

One thing I haven’t seen mentioned (well I haven’t gone through all the pundit blogs and things yet) that was a problem in the MBP for me and is fixed in the new one, is the angle of how much the display opens up. The new MBP went a little bit beyond 90 degrees, but much less than I would have liked, as I sometimes work with my laptop in a weird position where I would like to really open up the screen. The new MBP of course still does not go to full 180, but it opens much wider.

The new trackpad+button is a good idea. This apparently eliminates the “soft tapping” motion which I have always hated and turned off. One surprising thing for me was how much force the trackpad takes to push down. I really had to push hard to get the click. Ideally this would be automatically self-adjusting (a la screen brightness), but maybe this is something that will ease up over time as the hardware gets “worked in”.

As said above, the Cinema Display is already doing a great job for me, and the new one will only be better.

I’m sad there are no longer USB connectors on the right side. That’s where I used to plug my mouse. Now I have to route the cable all around the laptop (if not using cinema display + keyboard). But I can also see the merits of the new “unibody” case production.

All in all, events like this just make me happier and happier that I switched two years ago. It’s impressive to see the unit market share up to 18% (watch the presentation on Apple site).