or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Apple notebook lines to see major design changes, sources say
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple notebook lines to see major design changes, sources say

post #1 of 189
Thread Starter 
Apple Inc.'s existing MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks will be the last of their breed, as both product families are destined for major design changes upon their next refresh, AppleInsider has learned.

Of the two, the 13-inch consumer MacBooks will undergo the most significant metamorphosis, shedding their plastic enclosures for ones constructed from more eco-friendly materials such as aircraft-grade aluminum and stainless steel, people familiar with the matter say.

The move, which makes good on a promise by company chief executive Steve Jobs to push towards a "greener Apple," will also mark an end to Macs that come clad in the now tawdry looking white enclosures that began with front face of original iMac nearly a decade ago.

Similarly, the MacBook Pro is also bound for aesthetic revisions, which like their upcoming MacBook counterparts are described by those familiar with the products as borrowing several design cues from the August 2007 aluminum iMacs and all-new MacBook Air. The end result, those same people say, will be a more uniform Mac product matrix in terms of design and material usage, and a MacBook offering that will far outclass its rivals.

Though precise details are admittedly limited given the ongoing revision process, it's presumed this will include instances of matte black on portions of the casings, oversized trackpads, and the adoption of the MacBook Air's keyboard by the MacBook.

While the footprint of the 13-, 15-, and 17-inch systems will remain largely unchanged, Apple will reportedly be free to perform some trimming around the edges, similar to -- but nowhere near the same magnitude -- as what was accomplished with the MacBook Air, and to a lesser extent, the rear of the aluminum iMacs.

Compelling the Cupertino-based firm to introduce radical revisions across its notebook lines at this juncture are two primary factors. The first is the company's industrial design cycle, which typically spans 18-24 months.

Neither the MacBook nor MacBook Pro have undergone an aesthetic or structural revision since adopting Intel chips back in the first half of 2006, meaning both will sport outdated outfits by Apple's design standards come mid-year.

The design of the MacBook Pro is particularly dated, having been introduced in January of that year with a form factor largely reminiscent of the late PowerBook G4, only 20 percent slimmer. MacBooks, arguably the fresher of the two lines, saw the most significant overhaul of all Intel-bound Macs systems just a few months later with their robust, magnetic-latching enclosures. (AppleInsider provided coverage and details of both design revisions (MacBook Pro: 1, 2; MacBook: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) in the months leading up to their respective introductions.)

Also paving the way for redesigned enclosures at this time are logic-board changes on the part of Intel that offer Apple the opportunity to reassess and slightly modify the notebooks' internals. Both the MacBook and MacBook Pro are to receive "Montevina"-based processors from the chipmaker's upcoming Centrino 2 platform, which require a new "Socket B" logic-board. The second-gen mobile Penryn chips will boast a 1066MHz front-side bus and clock between 2.26GHz and 2.8GHz.



Intel's roadmap calls for Montevina to splash down this June, around the same time Apple will host its annual developers conference in San Francisco. However, it's unclear at this time whether the Mac maker will use that forum to showcase its new notebook designs, or reserve their unveiling for a different stage at a slightly later date.

Although Apple has been amongst the first PC manufacturers to adopt Intel's latest mobile technologies over the past two years, there's often a window period of several weeks (or months) between the chipmaker's formal announcements and the arrival of supporting Mac systems. Therefore, it's believed volume shipments of Montevina-based Mac notebooks won't take place until sometime during the third calendar quarter of the year, which spans July through Sept.

Nevertheless, Apple has been on a tear as of late when it comes to notebook sales momentum, and the new models are only expected to accelerate that growth. According to the most recent data from research firm NPD, sales of Mac notebook systems in the US retail sector rose 64 percent year-over-year for the month of February, compared to an average 20 percent increase for the rest of the industry.

While awaiting new MacBooks and MacBook Pros in the third quarter, Apple enthusiasts will have a pair of other major product launches to anticipate. First and foremost will be a complete refresh of the company's desktop computer families, which will include iMac and Mac mini systems built around current generation Core 2 Duo mobile processors based on Intel's Penryn architecture.

Also expected within the next 60 days is an eagerly anticipated update to the company's iPhone handset that will operate on third-generation wireless networks, which promise speed increases of up to 10X for Internet-related functions.
post #2 of 189
interesting! i just got my first mac ever......

last month only
post #3 of 189
Complete refresh of the desktops eh? Make we wait even longer to get an imac.
post #4 of 189
My current 17" MacBook Pro (an original 2.16Ghz) has really turned me off of laptops altogether, and I've anticipated my next computer would be a return to the iMac. The machine itself is just too hot (my keyboard is surrounded by burn marks), the battery life disappointing (my battery has been replaced once already after the computer cooked the first one to death), the wi-fi reception is half that of the consumer MacBooks, and the screen brightness/contrast leaves much to be desired. I believe many of this issues can be contributed to the design of the machine itself, and the materials utilized, which has gone unchanged since the first aluminum PowerBooks arrived in 2003. A totally revamped model, complete with new technologies like LED backlit screens becoming standard across the board, could probably alleviate many of these issues, and make the machines appear far more modern and attractive in the process.

I don't think many people are interested in replacing their MacBook Pro's with a newer model that looks exactly the same and has all the same issues.
post #5 of 189
Is the current white MacBook anti-scratch? If yes, I would rather go for it in the near future before they refresh. I like the white enclosure
post #6 of 189
Very interesting, and long overdue.

My last, and current MBP's have really put me off, but this article seems to indicate that the areas that have caused me so many issues my finally be looked at. Here's hoping...

Interesting times.
post #7 of 189
I wish they'd add more options of screen sizes. A 15" macbook would be great, it doesn't make any sense that you have to go to the premium machine just to get a bigger screen. Plenty of people want a laptop with a big screen just to do basic things like internet stuff and word processing, where more advanced features aren't necessary.

My wife's PC laptop is due for replacement soon, and it's a 15 that cost less than the base macbook costs now. I'd love to switch her to a mac but the only options are downgrading to a smaller screen or paying twice (or more) what a basic 15" PC laptop costs. I'd love to go the mac route, but with the current lineup, it's practically impossible for me to justify a huge cost increase or a smaller screen.
post #8 of 189
All I have to say is: FINALLY. Keeping more or less the same design from 2003 until now (for the current MacBook Pros) is VERY un-Apple. I've been waiting to replace my current MBP until a new design refresh comes out, and it seems like my wait will soon be over. Hooray!
post #9 of 189
Why mess with perfection?
post #10 of 189
That gives AAPL stock 2 months to climb up to frothy pre-crash levels again, only to get hammered on the day of whatever is announced. Go, go, go $200!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #11 of 189
Firewire 800 on all and if possible Firewire 3200.
post #12 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

My current 17" MacBook Pro (an original 2.16Ghz) has really turned me off of laptops altogether, and I've anticipated my next computer would be a return to the iMac. The machine itself is just too hot (my keyboard is surrounded by burn marks)

That's unfortunate. But burn marks!? That's pretty nuts, I've heard of the heat issues with the MBPs but not that.
Actually, given my MBP runs pretty hot (1.83GHz).. but never 'burny' hot. When I use mine on the carpet in my living room it gets quite up there, and the stuff I do is pretty intensive, but it never burns itself! How often do you use it?

Jimzip
"There's no time like the present, and the only present you'll never get, is time." - Me
Reply
"There's no time like the present, and the only present you'll never get, is time." - Me
Reply
post #13 of 189
I think it is very unfair to call the MacBook enclosure 'Tawdry' :-

tawdry = showy but cheap and of poor quality, sordid or unpleasant
post #14 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimzip View Post

That's unfortunate. But burn marks!? That's pretty nuts, I've heard of the heat issues with the MBPs but not that.
Actually, given my MBP runs pretty hot (1.83GHz).. but never 'burny' hot. When I use mine on the carpet in my living room it gets quite up there, and the stuff I do is pretty intensive, but it never burns itself! How often do you use it?

Jimzip

Yeah, burn marks. There were these dark smudges around the edge of my keyboard; I thought it was grime so I tried to scrape it off, and when I did the paint came right off the machine (it had been cooked right off). I use it maybe 3 hours a day.
post #15 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post

I think it is very unfair to call the MacBook enclosure 'Tawdry' :-

tawdry = showy but cheap and of poor quality, sordid or unpleasant

But it is of low quality.

/Adrian
post #16 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post

I think it is very unfair to call the MacBook enclosure 'Tawdry' :-

tawdry = showy but cheap and of poor quality, sordid or unpleasant

My sentiments exactly.

In fact, one might argue that the two tone MacBook Air and current iMacs are more 'tawdry' than the previous all white enclosures.
post #17 of 189
Well, seems like every Apple product gets an upgrade this year.
iMac 20",Core2Duo 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, ATI RADEON 2600Pro
iPod classic 80GB
Reply
iMac 20",Core2Duo 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, ATI RADEON 2600Pro
iPod classic 80GB
Reply
post #18 of 189
"...tawdry looking white enclosures"? What?!

I love my white Macbook-how dare you poke fun of my preference!

Curse you and your opinions!
2.0 GHz Macbook, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB HD
Reply
2.0 GHz Macbook, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB HD
Reply
post #19 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eduardo View Post

"...tawdry looking white enclosures"?

I think the article refers to white MBs that have accumulated a lot of dirt.
post #20 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd051572 View Post

Why mess with perfection?

Yeah - how can the iMac appearance possibly be improved upon. I would like the option to have a matte screen. I am not a fan of the glossy, but either way - the iMac is a truly beautiful object.
post #21 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

My current 17" MacBook Pro (an original 2.16Ghz) has really turned me off of laptops altogether, and I've anticipated my next computer would be a return to the iMac. The machine itself is just too hot (my keyboard is surrounded by burn marks), the battery life disappointing (my battery has been replaced once already after the computer cooked the first one to death), the wi-fi reception is half that of the consumer MacBooks, and the screen brightness/contrast leaves much to be desired. I believe many of this issues can be contributed to the design of the machine itself, and the materials utilized, which has gone unchanged since the first aluminum PowerBooks arrived in 2003. A totally revamped model, complete with new technologies like LED backlit screens becoming standard across the board, could probably alleviate many of these issues, and make the machines appear far more modern and attractive in the process.

I don't think many people are interested in replacing their MacBook Pro's with a newer model that looks exactly the same and has all the same issues.


A lot of those issues are from the original Core Duo line and have been rectified in subsequent revisions. I have a 17" Core 2 Duo model that idles at around 45 degrees Celsius, ramping up to 55 when under medium load--hardly burn-worthy. My dad has an original Core Duo model of your machine, and it's about 10-15 degrees hotter than mine--Apple really cleaned up the heat problem in the later models. As for screen brightness, you're right that LED backlights will help--they're much brighter, and also increase the battery life. The only problem you've mentioned that will probably remain is the poor wireless reception, since aluminum blocks wi-fi signals much better than plastic, which is why MacBooks have better reception.
post #22 of 189
No one has whined about 24-bit color monitors yet, so I'll do it. Uh ... will any new MacBooks have true 24-bit color support, or is this a pipe dream?
post #23 of 189
This is exactly what I expected for the MB and MBP - aluminum design for the MB (white plastic is clearly being phased out at Apple, except for networking equipment and cables & cords), and both MB & MBP taking some design cues from the flat-out gorgeous MBA ...though, as AI reports, obviously more modest than the MBA is able to achieve.

Man, aluminum MBs (with MT trackpads and backlit keyboards?) starting at $1099 in time for the educational season are just going to sell like hotcakes.
post #24 of 189
I have a 17" Macbook Pro that I bought in December of 2006. It has never gotten so hot that it burnt itself and its battery life was actually better than any other laptop I have ever owned and I've used a lot of laptops. As my standards inevitably have gotten higher as time progresses, its still a decent machine. When the new MBP's came out, I bought a new one mainly because I don't like having machines in my house more than a year old.

My new MBP does run much cooler and it does have significantly better battery life. It's best quality is the screen. That LED screen is bright, crisp and has a great resolution.

Now I did find that the new MBP is much better at playing 1080p video better than my older MBP. Other than that, they basically run the same. I actually left my old MBP at my parents house just so I have a Mac to use when I visit.
"Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but..." - Dennis Miller

MBP 17" LED Glossy WUXGA, 2.6Ghz Penryn, 4GB Ram, 200GB 7200 RPM, OSX 10.5.5
Reply
"Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but..." - Dennis Miller

MBP 17" LED Glossy WUXGA, 2.6Ghz Penryn, 4GB Ram, 200GB 7200 RPM, OSX 10.5.5
Reply
post #25 of 189
Mmm, might have to get me one of these to replace my last generation 12" iBook which has served me awesomely well. Will wait and see what summer brings. Mighty tempted by an upgraded Mac Mini + decent monitor combination too.
post #26 of 189
Looks like Apple is pulling out all the stops indeed! Besides, they really need a design overhaul on pretty much everything! The whole rounded-rectilinear schtick isn't quite working for me.

They could extend some of their computer lines to accommodate for a wider range of users. I, for one, would like to see a "Prosumer Mac" (perhaps in the form of an "iMac Pro" or something similar). It does not quite make enough sense just to have only three laptops, two desktops, and one workstation in your arsenal and expect it to run the whole gamut. The average PC maker usually has several of each kind, especially of the tower variety.
post #27 of 189
I hope they lose the open button on the new MBP. The Mag Latch system works great and gives the overall design a cleaner look.
I also wouldn't mind, if the lose they cheese grater look as well and replace it with a more subtle look.
Would love if it were slightly lighter as wel since I carry it around with me all the time. Blu-Ray would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.
post #28 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd051572 View Post

Why mess with perfection?

At least someone here agrees. The MacBook Pro has a timeless look, definitely not dated. Any redesign is only to satisfy superficial desires for something that looks "new."
post #29 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Firewire 800 on all and if possible Firewire 3200.


esata would be better.

Keith

Do you use MagicJack?

The default settings will automatically charge your credit card each year for service renewal. You will not be notified or warned in anyway. You can turn auto renewal off.

Reply

Do you use MagicJack?

The default settings will automatically charge your credit card each year for service renewal. You will not be notified or warned in anyway. You can turn auto renewal off.

Reply
post #30 of 189
One of the great dangers of the rapid pace of technological improvement is that it can become linked with the vagaries of style. The chief insulator against style, though, is quality and thoughtful design, which I think the white enclosures embody; they at least must be said to present the best side of the sleek Jobsian aesthetic to the world. Subjecting it to such dismissive derision because someone's sense of style has moved on shows a profound disrespect for lasting quality. I'd hate to think what you'd say about an SE/30.
post #31 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crtaylor View Post

Looks like Apple is pulling out all the stops indeed! Besides, they really need a design overhaul on pretty much everything! The whole rounded-rectilinear schtick isn't quite working for me.

They could extend some of their computer lines to accommodate for a wider range of users. I, for one, would like to see a "Prosumer Mac" (perhaps in the form of an "iMac Pro" or something similar). It does not quite make enough sense just to have only three laptops, two desktops, and one workstation in your arsenal and expect it to run the whole gamut. The average PC maker usually has several of each kind, especially of the tower variety.

Apple is not your garden variety computer builder and never will be. I don't know if you've been a Mac owner for long, maybe you are, but if your not. Don't hold your breath if you want Apple to be the next Dell.
Apple has always been about doing a few things very well and not do everything but poorly.
post #32 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

Yeah, burn marks. There were these dark smudges around the edge of my keyboard; I thought it was grime so I tried to scrape it off, and when I did the paint came right off the machine (it had been cooked right off). I use it maybe 3 hours a day.

If they were burn marks, you would have gone to the hospital for having burned hands and sued Apple for lots of money. What's more likely is that oil from your hands and dirt accumulated there and stuck, and then you scraped too aggressively. I don't doubt the paint came off due to excess heat, but I doubt there are actual burn marks.
post #33 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrel_Monkey View Post

No one has whined about 24-bit color monitors yet, so I'll do it. Uh ... will any new MacBooks have true 24-bit color support, or is this a pipe dream?

If you mean 8-bit per channel displays without temporal dithering, then yes, it's a pipe dream. No laptops have that.

Although I've still yet to see someone answer this:
8-bit displays fool the eye into seeing more than 266 colours that it actually can only display (255 red, 255 blue, 255 green, plus black) because the RGB elements are so close together. Your display can not display the color yellow, only red + green close together. We're perfectly happy with this limitation though - Apple's displays, CRTs, etc. advertise 16.7 million colours but really only display 766 colours.

Temporal dithering works by rapidly changing from, for example, one shade of red to another very quickly to fool your eye into seeing a shade of red in between.

So why is one form of fooling your eye (close proximity of red, green, and blue elements) ok, but temporal dithering is not?

Can someone answer this?
post #34 of 189
So... though the Montevina refresh may arrive anytime between WWDC in June and Q3 (July-September), depending on volume availability, is it a practical certainty that the MBs/MBPs will be refreshed design-wise?

I ask because I will be getting a MacBook Pro for university in September, and a friend of mine will be getting a MacBook in the summertime but will wait longer if I were to tell him the redesign is coming.
post #35 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crtaylor View Post

The average PC maker usually has several of each kind, especially of the tower variety.

Good god! Thats the reason why apple is NOT an average PC maker. Focus on a few and do em right. Multiple Mac Pro's? LEts just focus on ONE that is fast enough to make me want to give up my MBP. There sure as hell arent any out right now...
post #36 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd051572 View Post

Why mess with perfection?

I agree! No other laptop manufacturer has come close to the awesome design and performance of the Macbook Pro. We may see a big difference in the Macbook's going to a colored aluminum like the newer iPods but the Macbook Pro should stay relatively the same just a little sleeker with new features! I can't see APPL taking too big of a detour you know the Macbook Air does resemble the Macbook Pro for a reason. It's sexy and sex sells.
post #37 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokken View Post

Is the current white MacBook anti-scratch? If yes, I would rather go for it in the near future before they refresh. I like the white enclosure


The current MacBooks are not scratch resistant but if you treat it alright it does not get scratched very much. I have a MacBook that is almost a year old and it has almost no scratch marks on it. Although whenever I carry it around I have it in a sleeve that protects it quite well. I can only see some scratches on mine if I get light to reflect off it.
Addicted to a Mac since the Mac Plus
Reply
Addicted to a Mac since the Mac Plus
Reply
post #38 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by green-bee.salsa View Post

Well, seems like every Apple product gets an upgrade this year.

I, for one, would be terribly disappointed if they didn't. Even though the furious upgrade cycle of the recent past seems to have slowed down (3 year old machines are still in front line use) failure to update regularly and significantly upgrade periodically can bite any company.

Apple knows that the notebooks are where they're making all their gains just now so those have to remain the freshest products in the lineup. The MacBook never really did interest me in its current form so I hope it gets a new look a la the Air my wife dreams of.

On the desktop side Apple's machines look fairly stale and the company really doesn't seem to care. Perhaps rightly they believe the desktop computer is a dying breed. The Mini's role as a media center is one Apple never intended. They would rather you get an AppleTV and buy all your content through the iTunes store than use BitTorrent and a Mini. Businesses who buy offices full of minis to hide under desks or in tiny corners are already leasing them on fixed terms and don't need regular upgrades to entice an upgrade cycle. Thus the Mini is the neglected runt of the litter.

The iMac, once the poster child of the new Apple, is also languishing as switchers opt for notebooks or look in vain for something in Apple's lineup that begins to compare with today's PC tower bundles. Double the processing power, triple the RAM, double the HD, more ports, larger displays, etc. can all be had for less than the entry level iMac.

Another issue that affects most of Apple's lineup is the growing prevalence of mini DVD based camcorders. The MacPro is the only Apple product capable of reading those discs because Steve Jobs steadfastly refuses to accept that slot loading optical drives aren't perfect.

I, for one, will always see the most value in a desktop system. I want a large desk with room for a large display and speakers, ergonomically placed input devices, room for printers, scanners, external drives and a MIDI keyboard. I don't want to be constantly unplugging and re-plugging all the peripherals. If I need to move data between home and work I have USB flash drives, external HDs, Leopard screen sharing and VPN. If I really need to have my work environment at home my employer will provide me with a notebook computer.

I know I'm a dinosaur. Everything is supposed to be wireless. I'm supposed to network wirelessly, print wirelessly, back up wirelessly, even KB and mouse wirelessly. I'm supposed to sell or give away my old hardware instead of accumulating 4 external FireWire drives and 2 USB drives. I'll probably go to my grave hoping Apple releases a consumer priced mini tower. C'est la vie.
post #39 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

At least someone here agrees. The MacBook Pro has a timeless look, definitely not dated. Any redesign is only to satisfy superficial desires for something that looks "new."

Precisely.

And you have to wonder if the same need to reinvent things has affected the design of Leopard. I like Time Machine, but it seems every week I discover some little annoyance with Leopard. I bounce back and forth between a work iMac (Tiger) and my personal MB (Leopard) and sometimes forget the OS-specific way to navigate from the dock to a file or folder. (Hold down the mouse key ... oh, no, wait! I just click once this time!)

As for heat dissipation, I carry two postcard-sized notepads in my laptop bag, and the MB rests on these, so as to provide for more heat dissipation. At home I use, on each end, two VHS videos.
post #40 of 189
oops, sry.
Cut-copy-paste, MMS, landscape keyboard, video-recording, voice-calling, and more... FINALLY
To the 'We Didn't Need It' Crowd/Apple Apologista Squad : Wrong again, lol
Thanks for listening to your...
Reply
Cut-copy-paste, MMS, landscape keyboard, video-recording, voice-calling, and more... FINALLY
To the 'We Didn't Need It' Crowd/Apple Apologista Squad : Wrong again, lol
Thanks for listening to your...
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Future Apple Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Apple notebook lines to see major design changes, sources say