Lorax is Obsolete?

Say it ain’t so! Ah Lorax, we hardly knew ye! (For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, Apple announced new laptop models.)

Well, I announcing Lorax’s demise is an overstatement in any case. Don’t get me wrong, the new machines look pretty sexy and I think they are going to be great value for the money. But the difference between what they are selling now and what’s inside Lorax is pretty minimal. The changes to the Macbooks (as opposed to the Macbook Pros) are more substantial and I think all to to the good. The Pros get a new shell, a bigger hard drive, and some new video chips. (Actually the Pros can get a CPU boost at the high end as well but the default MBP now is the exact same CPU as what Lorax has.)

The video chips sound nice, but Spore runs just fine on Lorax and that’s all the laptop game playing I’m likely to do in the near future. The chipset in Lorax is good enough for light development work and that’s what I wanted. (I’ll note that when I bought Lorax a large part of my model selection was hinged on the fact that the Macbooks had the shitty Intel “integrated” chipset. It’s a major win now that all the laptops have real video hardware. And this could become more important next year when Snow Leopard comes out and suddenly you can run “general purpose” code on a GPU.)

The new trackpad sounds nice, but I’m not going to buy a laptop for *that*, or even whine too much about it. And Lorax has a multi-touch trackpad anyway. It’s unclear to me whether the new four-finger swipes are only for the new hardware or whether they’ll show up for the older machines, but at the same time I have trouble imagining I want to app switch by using the trackpad anyway. (As opposed to the two-fingers+plus click=right click.I use that all the time on Lorax.)

The new case sounds sweet, and it’s ecologically friendly and all, but I don’t have any issue with Lorax’s case.

All in all I’m happy with the laptop I have now. I mean I wouldn’t turn down a new MBP if somebody offered me one but I don’t lust after one. The new Macbooks are much more compelling to me than the old ones - it’s down to more a question about 13″ or a 15″ form factor. But I like the 15″ MBP. I think for me it was the right choice. The fact that this new model is a tweak as opposed to a major new version I think is more a confirmation about how much about the “mid 2008″ version of the MBP was solid. Except maybe the graphics chip reliability.