New Macbooks: October 14th

Posted by Scott

brick_mbp.jpgUpdate: The above spy shot of what’s believed to be the new Macbook case showed up on Engadget today. While this seems promising, a lot of sites have been reporting that the release will not happen October 14th as previously anticipated. If and when these new Macbooks come it will most likely be November or January. Guess I’ll have to limp along with my DV9000 hackbook a little longer.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the (supposedly) impending release of the updated Macbook and Macbook Pros. Word has it they’ll be announced and possibly available on October 14th and will feature a case carved from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminum (known as “the brick“) driving down the cost and increasing strength thanks in part to a revolutionary new manufacturing process. This is a pretty interesting theory, but along with all the other theories about what the new Macbooks will look like, it’s just that: a theory. A seemingly unlikely theory at that; last time I checked, solid blocks of aluminum weren’t called “bricks”, they’re called billets and carving them up isn’t cheap (although I wouldn’t put it past Apple to somehow reinvent this process).

Whether or not any of the rumors are true, it’s a safe bet that some form of Macbook updates will be announced next Tuesday. glass trackpad or no. This is pretty exciting because after much deliberation I’ve finally settled on getting a Macbook Pro to handle my laptop duties. I’ve been using a HP DV-9000 running OS X for a couple months now to test the waters and it’s been a very nice experience all around. I still use the PC for all the production work (music, design, etc.) but OS X is just so much better for blogging, quick video edits, and playing live. At this point I honestly wish I could switch over entirely but I still can’t quite go all in for music production. The software I use (Sonar) is PC-only so I’ll have to stick it out at least until I am done with this current album.

Anyways, long story short: If you’re considering a new laptop purchase you might want to hold out until next Tuesday because your choices might get a lot more interesting. Those of you considering upgrading, what new features would it take to convince you?

Above mock-up via Cult of Mac

29 Comments Leave A Comment


zacislost says:

October 7, 2008 at 12:40 am

You know you can use PC on a mac right.. ? (Using Bootcamp)

Been following the blog for a while – besides your design I’m a big fan of the fact you a) use VDMX and b) write downtempo/chilled beats – keep it up! Would love to see a Sydney gig if you’re ever in Aus mate ;)


Scott says:

October 7, 2008 at 12:47 am

thanks… yeah, I know about bootcamp, but the idea is to get away from Windows altogether. I always loved the hardware of Macs but I’ve recently fallen for OS X as well. But like I said, the main tower is still around as a PC for a bit longer, just moving the laptop over.


Simon Jakobsson says:

October 7, 2008 at 1:43 am

I’ve been waiting for the new macbooks a couple of months now, following every day. What’s kept me waiting? Well, since the rumor of the new macbooks having quadcore processor I was hooked. Is it true? Maybe not, but I’m not taking any chances.

Anyway. The biggest issue for me is money, and if the new macbooks aren’t THAT much of an upgrade, you can probably get the old ones even cheaper after this upgrade. (who am I kidding, I’ll probably go so far as selling my soul to get the latest version.)


Scott says:

October 7, 2008 at 2:49 am

I’d have to imagine there will at least be a quad core option, if not they would be pretty far behind very quickly. I also think the MBpros are sorely due for a major overhaul after the last update was somewhat negligible with just a bump in spec and multi-touch I think.


Simon Jakobsson says:

October 7, 2008 at 3:18 am

You are probably right, good thinking. I’m hoping they will be good enough to replace my stationary setup, and just use the mbpro together with a bigger LCD-screen when at home. Gotta wait for those benchmarks though :)


Scott says:

October 7, 2008 at 4:05 am

yeah, a true desktop replacement in a reasonably portable form-factor would be good. let’s just hope they don’t drop the matte screen option on the MBPs. It seems like they are all about glossy screens now (the last MBs had no matte option)


Jon says:

October 7, 2008 at 5:53 am

I’m in a nearly-similar boat to you, Scott, as far as workspace — I’ve been using a “desktop replacement” HP ZD-8000 17″ since ’05, when it rose high above the technical specs of what Apple was offering in a portable. As a designer-developer, I needed to be especially tethered to Windows at all times, but using OSX at work for the last couple years started to grow on me. Windows virtualization got pretty reliable, I eventually learned the OSX keyboard shortcuts (so coding was just as fast), but most significantly, my always-prone-to-overheating HP finally fried its own video card this past summer. (I’ve since been using Linux as life-support while counting the days until the new MBP comes out. Can’t wait to catch up on all my postponed projects.)

Been a fan of this RSS feed for a long time — the stuff on this blog is consistently great. Good luck with the new computer!


Trenton Elkins says:

October 7, 2008 at 7:57 am

Do you have any experience using Logic. I used Sonar and Ableton Live for years and made the switch to Logic recently. Given that you are using analog equipment (all your automation is done by hand?) , I can’t see the leap to Logic Studio being any problem.


Melvin says:

October 7, 2008 at 8:55 am

Keep in mind, Apple products tend to have more serious cosmetic problems (dents, deep scratches). Aluminum isn’t all that durable.


Rob McDougall says:

October 7, 2008 at 9:21 am

The point of “carving” it out of one piece would be that it doesn’t have to be bent, meaning less weak spots and a lighter case… I think it’ll be pretty sturdy :)


st8ic says:

October 7, 2008 at 9:23 am

As for me, I’d think if giving Apple a try in case of appearing some attractive MacOS-powered netbook.


Joseph says:

October 7, 2008 at 9:32 am

I use a MacBook Pro for my main machine and I love it. I use VMWare Fusion to run windows and it’s fast and seamless. I design for the web, so all I want windows for is to test the various demonic versions of IE. But I’m sure Fusion would run your app better than bootcamp. (ie no restart required)


Newton Poetry says:

October 7, 2008 at 9:36 am

Scott, one of the rumors I’ve heard is that MacBooks and MBP will come closer and closer to matching specs, meaning a plain ol’ MacBook will be just about as powerful as a MBP. The same thing is happening with iMacs these days: they aren’t the workhorse machines the Pro models are, but they’re pretty darned close. I think I’d rather save some money when I finally decide to upgrade my iBook G4.


Andre Anjos says:

October 7, 2008 at 10:00 am

Hey Scott,
I love your music..

I used PC’s for music for many years with Cubase SX and just recently I’ve switched over to Mac’s and Ableton Live. It opened so many doors, not only for DJ’ing, but as my main DAW. As long as you have the outboard gear, synths, etc.. which I assume you do, it’s a nearly perfect setup.


Rapallier says:

October 7, 2008 at 10:51 am

If/when you switch over to the Mac, will you be using all of the same applications as you use on the PC, or just functional equivalents? If it’s the former, I’m curious about how the OS X environment will enhance those applications in the course of daily use.


Horacio says:

October 7, 2008 at 11:14 am

I just got a Sony Vaio a couple of weeks ago. Great notebook. Apple products are so expensive in this part of the world, that sometimes is not an option. But is always good the see new products :)


Ben says:

October 7, 2008 at 12:09 pm

To beat Scott to the punch, RE:Rapallier:

Scott runs OSX86, which is a community altered version of OSX that runs on the x86 platform. He won’t be switching the operating system he uses on his laptop, just the hardware.


Scott says:

October 7, 2008 at 1:33 pm

exactly. and it’s the hardware I need now since OSx86 never quite got sleep right for my particular hardware, it’s not really a practical solution going forward. also, the DV9000 is a clunky, plastic, tank of a computer with a glossy screen that you can’t see if there’s any light in the room. I am sold on the OS, now I just want the slick hardware to go with it.

as for switching, I do all of my sound generation outboard, so moving to logic wouldn’t be a huge pain, but I would lose some of my favorite plugins, a lot of the VSTs that are core to my process just don’t exist for Mac. Thankfully Waves SSL has a Mac version so it wouldn’t be so bad.


Jefta says:

October 7, 2008 at 3:00 pm

first of all, the ‘new’ macbookpro picture looks horrifying. I surely hope its not going to be like that. I still feel that the powerbookG4 is the coolest designed notebook ever, so i hope for small perfections, like the glass trackpad and better design curve, like the macbookpro did with powerbook.

secondly, i’ve been waiting for the new mpb now, just like Simon, because everything else will drop in price. But -Simon says-, “who am i kidding…” same for me. lets hope the price of the mbp is going to drop to compete more with the pc market, and that the macbook might go down in price even further to really hit the pc market.


Scott says:

October 7, 2008 at 3:13 pm

yeah, that’s just a mock-up from someone who’s guess is just as good as ours, so no real relevance. From what I’ve gathered, the case will have the new tapering like the iphone style but will still be aluminum. apparently it’s going to have a black bezel this time a’la the imacs. as for price, from what I’ve heard the macbooks will see an initial cut of around $200 and will eventually come down $300-400 in the coming year or two to compete with the PC market.

yeah, it seems like with the last macbook update they came really close to the pros, so I’d imagine they keep with that trend. I think the pros will always stand apart mostly on the case, screen size, and extra options and not really on all out performance.


bryan says:

October 7, 2008 at 4:28 pm

for everyone considering their FIRST mac purchase right on the release of these things, i’d suggest waiting for the next revision (usually comes pretty soon). first revisions, though exciting, usually have the most flaws. exploding batteries and whatnot.

if you can hold out, it’s ALWAYS worth the wait, as far as your sanity goes.


Glenford says:

October 7, 2008 at 9:33 pm

i’m waiting for apple to produce laptops that have no border on the screen…a screen that is the complete inside face of the panel. perhaps it’s a manufacturing challenge technically speaking..still.. i’m surprised it hasn’t reached the market yet, apple or not. why not maximize your screen space, whilst providing a kick ass industrial design?


Rob McDougall says:

October 8, 2008 at 6:26 am

What are the odds of me walking into an Apple Store somewhere in London on Tuesday or Wednesday next week and picking up a new MBP? I bloody hope they get them pushed out to the stores asap!


brooklyn electro says:

October 8, 2008 at 7:27 am

logic 8 is awesome.

i switched from live and have no regrets.
I also am mostly outboard based, seq on mpc.

the stock effects are surprisingly good.


Colin, Hard Format says:

October 9, 2008 at 7:41 am

On skimming through the comments, I’m struck, but not surprised by the lack of ideas on innovations for the new MBP. I’ve owned Apple laptops since the first G3 iteration through to now (I’m on my third AlBook). For most of that time it’s been primary machine and I’ve generally been happy with it. My current MBP is a couple of years old now and beginning to struggle with Lightroom 2 and CS3 being open at the same time. So I guess power is the main thing. Any lightening of the load would always be welcome as well, but other than that what else does the vast majority of people need? Still, I hope it is next Tuesday as my employer’s getting impatient with me not buying my laptop already. Fingers crossed…


ME says:

October 10, 2008 at 9:57 pm

I really dont like the black key aluminum either. The only reason im interested is because im waiting for a price drop on the current macbook.