The Macworld Analysis

So what do I think about the new Macworld announcements? A lot of good stuff overall, but I think only one thing that for me is a will-buy.

  1. iTunes Rentals. Shrug. The marketplace wants this I think. I don't think I do. I guess I MIGHT rent a movie and throw it on my iPod before a plane flight. But I'm much more likely to rip a DVD. Still, almost certainly a big deal for iTunes. In theory I have this already on my 360 and I don't ever use it.
  2. Apple TV 2. Meh. I think it's a nice bit of kit overall, but it doesn't seem to offer anything over a Mac Mini connected to the TV. (Actually, according to Daring Fireball the HD rentals are only on Apple TV, likely due to HDCP issues.) Since I've already moved Horton into the living room I don't see buying an Apple TV. Still, nice price drop and it seems like a good feature set if you don't want a Mac Mini for some reason or another.
  3. iPhone & iPod Touch Update. Well, nothing that makes me scream "Oh, NOW I need an iPhone." Seems like good stuff, but until the iPhone has the SDK, a working To-Do list and some sort of reasonable note-taking functionality then it's still not for me. Anything else is just unneeded glitter.
  4. Time Capsule. Oh yes please. I'll almost certainly pre-order one of these in the next few days. Fantastic upgrade to the Airport Extreme and it's a great price. I'll convert all the machines to using a 1TB version for Time Machine and use the current TM drives for more capacity. And this makes Time Machine something useful for a laptop.
  5. MacBook Air. This is the tricky one. I've come to the conclusion that I don't really like the 17" form factor - it's just too damn big. The number of times I'm excited by all the screen space is overwhelmed by the amount of time I find it too big to use on the train or a plane, or even just a pain to carry around. I thought I really wanted one until I realized they hadn't said *anything* about the graphics chip. There's a reason for it - it's crap. A fair tradeoff I suppose, but it won't run World of Warcraft or Spore. Heck, I sort of doubt it would even run Warcraft III very well, but maybe that would be OK. One primary reason I'd like to upgrade Kool-Aid would be to get the ability to code in Windows, and I probably want at least a half-decent graphics chip for that. On the other hand that kicks me all the way over to a 15" MacBook Pro at almost double the weight and about 38% more cost. This is not unreasonable - if I'm going to try to claim I want to code on my laptop saying "Well get the damn MBP then" is more than reasonable. But still . . . . The bigger problem is that the new wider "gesture-enabled" trackpad on the Air looks awesome. I'd certainly want that on any laptop I was buying moving forward. I think I'm not quite the target market for the Air, but I'll probably hold off for a Pro refresh to the new trackpad before buying. But damn it's a sexy piece of hardware!
There are other considerations on the MacBook Air also. It's going to be a little lackluster performance with a slower hard drive. I think I probably really wish they sold the 13" Macbook with a reasonable graphics chip, or a 13" MacBook Pro. But I freely admit I'm probably a small minority there.

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