Mossberg: Apple's iMac, MacBook 'evolutionary, not revolutionary'

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
In his reviews of the latest MacBook and iMac upgrades from Apple, Walt Mossberg has recommended both hardware redesigns, calling them better and brighter.



But despite major hardware changes on both lines of hardware, The Wall Street Journal reviewer said the updates do not offer anything significantly different than their predecessors.



"Though both new Macs sport important improvements, they are evolutionary, not revolutionary, and neither follows the industry trend toward bargain-basement prices," Mossberg said. "The MacBook is still $999 and the iMac starts at $1,199, though the company is giving users more features at those same price points. You can pay much less for laptops and desktops from competitors like Dell and Hewlett-Packard."



Mossberg gave the new 27-inch iMac a test, and found the upgraded internals, including the addition of a SD flash memory card slot and a 1TB hard drive, to be welcome improvements. He also noted the system's ability to act as an external monitor.



"In my tests, using a 27-inch model, the machine was fast and the screen was brilliant and displaying hi-res photos and high-definition video," he said. "Its width allowed me to treat it like two monitors, with, say, a Microsoft Word document on the left and a Web page on the right."



As for the new 13-inch unibody polycarbonate MacBook, Mossberg noted the loss of a FireWire port and the continuing absence of an SD card slot, but felt the shortcomings were offset by the new hardware design and internal improvements. For example, the sealed battery offers superior uptime, as Mossberg said he could "easily top six hours" with the new hardware in a normal use setting.



The new MacBook carries the same 1.08-inch thickness, but is longer and wider than the older model. The weight, he said, has been reduced from 5 pounds to 4.7 pounds.



Mossberg said the new MacBook with a 250GB hard drive is "fast and reliable," and offers a better deal than the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which has a 160GB hard drive.



The review did note that one "revolutionary" new product came from Apple this week: the new Magic Mouse, the first-ever multi-touch hardware pointer. In a brief mention, he noted that the mouse "worked well."



The technology columnist began and concluded his review by comparing Apple's new hardware with Windows 7, which brought about the launch of numerous new machines from vendors on Thursday. When he reviewed Microsoft's new operating system weeks ago, Mossberg gave Windows 7 high praise, noting he believes it has narrowed the gap with Apple's Mac OS X.



"These new models now round out a full line of refreshed Macs," Mossberg said in his review of the new iMac and MacBook, "but they will face stiff new competition from a horde of PCs running the new and better version of Windows."
«134567

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 128
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    It's important to distinguish between a desirable "Industry Trend" versus an undesirable trend. Bargain Basement pricing is not a trend any company wants to follow. Mossberg should know better than to write nonsensical tripe like that.
  • Reply 2 of 128
    neither follows the industry trend toward bargain-basement prices," Mossberg said. "The MacBook is still $99 and the iMac starts at $1,199.



    That sounds like a bargain-basement price to me!
  • Reply 3 of 128
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    I am in the Apple store5th Avenue using the 27"iMac with its Magic MOuse. The screen has way too much glare. As I've stated many times- the larger the screen the more glare- especially when viewing at such a short distance. The Mouse- meh? too small for my big hands

    Off to see the MacBook now- the best in show.
  • Reply 4 of 128
    boogabooga Posts: 1,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    It's important to distinguish between a desirable "Industry Trend" versus an undesirable trend. Bargain Basement pricing is not a trend any company wants to follow. Mossberg should know better than to write nonsensical tripe like that.



    He's reviewing this for customers, not investors, making lower prices definitely a desirable industry trend. Customers seem to agree, as Apple sells much fewer percentage of desktops as most other companies, which points to a weakness in their desktop line compared to their laptop one.
  • Reply 5 of 128
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    Mossberg the Moron.



    These latest two products are perhaps two of the most revolutionary products ever released onto the public. He needs to go back to journalism school.
  • Reply 6 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    It's important to distinguish between a desirable "Industry Trend" versus an undesirable trend. Bargain Basement pricing is not a trend any company wants to follow. Mossberg should know better than to write nonsensical tripe like that.



    I totally agree with Walt on this one. Apple needs to reduce the prices. I've owned over a dozen Macs (and a few Apple IIs) and never bought a PC in my life, I'm about to buy a new Mac, but Apple needs to get some more offerings in the sub-$1000 range. The new MacBook should start at $899, and the new iMac $999. And at the very least, Apple needs to upgrade the base MBP config to 250GB HD immediately (with no increase of price), otherwise it's a ridiculous comparison.



    I wasn't expecting anything revolutionary design & feature-wise (and we definitely didn't get it), but I was at least hoping for a revolutionary announcement price-wise this month, but no go there either! The Magic mouse is the only really innovative news here. I don't even want to count how many Mighty Mouses I've worn out (that darn track ball just won't stay clean no matter what you do or how many times you try to clean it). So while I can't wait to get my hands on one, they're too expensive also considering how many wireless mice are available for so much less.



    Too bad that Apple isn't following the pricing "Trend", because consumers are. Loyal Apple customers who know the value still cringe when they see capable PCs for half the price. No, they're not a Mac, but in today's economy, price matters! ...especially if Apple wants their growth trend to continue to accelerate.
  • Reply 7 of 128
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    It's important to distinguish between a desirable "Industry Trend" versus an undesirable trend. Bargain Basement pricing is not a trend any company wants to follow. Mossberg should know better than to write nonsensical tripe like that.



    Exactly. Cheapest is rarely the best in anything.
  • Reply 8 of 128
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    I am in the Apple store5th Avenue using the 27"iMac with its Magic MOuse. The screen has way too much glare. As I've stated many times- the larger the screen the more glare- especially when viewing at such a short distance. The Mouse- meh? too small for my big hands

    Off to see the MacBook now- the best in show.



    I doubt the lighting in your home is the same as in the store.
  • Reply 9 of 128
    Apple can't be revolutionary every single time, LOL.



    Besides, Apple's demonstrated that they understand the market far better than Mossberg does (or any other analyst, for that matter.)
  • Reply 10 of 128
    Well...the mighty mouse is
  • Reply 11 of 128
    Not to be facetious, by why exactly should they do this other than to make it easier on your wallet? Jobs formula is clearly working, as the profits are rolling in. You don't see BMW or Lexus racing to cut their prices on their cars. Premium products will always demand premium prices. Apple isn't a charity. Sucks for us as consumers, but good for investors.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by daehl View Post


    I totally agree with Walt on this one. Apple needs to reduce the prices. I've owned over a dozen Macs (and a few Apple IIs) and never bought a PC in my life, I'm about to buy a new Mac, but Apple needs to get some more offerings in the sub-$1000 range. The new MacBook should start at $899, and the new iMac $999. And at the very least, Apple needs to upgrade the base MBP config to 250GB HD immediately (with no increase of price), otherwise it's a ridiculous comparison.



    I wasn't expecting anything revolutionary design & feature-wise (and we definitely didn't get it), but I was at least hoping for a revolutionary announcement price-wise this month, but no go there either! The Magic mouse is the only really innovative news here. I can't count how many Mighty mouse I've worn out the track ball (even after dozens of cleaning attempts). So while I can't wait to get my hands on one, those are too expensive also.

    Too bad that Apple isn't following the pricing "Trend", because consumers are (even loyal Apple customers)...especially if Apple wants their growth trend to continue to accelerate.



  • Reply 12 of 128
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caljomac View Post


    Well...the mighty mouse is





    Do you have to use that smiley every time you post? It's a little ridiculous.



    I agree somewhat with what he's saying. There is nothing major, "revolutionary," change wise but these additions are a major step forward. Also, the Magic Mouse is definitely revolutionary, I really want one but it's so expensive.
  • Reply 13 of 128
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    These latest two products are perhaps two of the most revolutionary products ever released onto the public. He needs to go back to journalism school.



    What, exactly, is revolutionary about them? They are simply refinements of existing designs.



    The iPhone was revolutionary. The current crop of Macs are not.
  • Reply 14 of 128
    morkymorky Posts: 192member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by g3pro View Post


    Mossberg the Moron.



    These latest two products are perhaps two of the most revolutionary products ever released onto the public. He needs to go back to journalism school.



    Mossberg is not a moron. He is highly respected by the heads of large tech companies, including Stevo. Also, two of the most revolutionary products ever released? What are you even talking about?
  • Reply 15 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Morky View Post


    Mossberg is not a moron. He is highly respected by the heads of large tech companies, including Stevo. Also, two of the most revolutionary products ever released? What are you even talking about?



    No, but what a high bar Apple has set for itself with the tech writers. Can you imagine anyone actually mentioning whether a new Dell was revolutionary or not?
  • Reply 16 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dlux View Post


    What, exactly, is revolutionary about them? They are simply refinements of existing designs.



    The iPhone was revolutionary. The current crop of Macs are not.



    The current crop of Macs may not be revolutionary but they ARE desireable.
  • Reply 17 of 128
    I quite like Mossberg, but he comes out with this 'evolutionary, not revolutionary' all the time. Does he expect Apple and others reinvent the computer market every time they update their line?
  • Reply 18 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dlux View Post


    What, exactly, is revolutionary about them? They are simply refinements of existing designs.



    The iPhone was revolutionary. The current crop of Macs are not.





    The new iMacs are part of a revolution already in progress... compare them to the Dell all-in-one....the displays are not in the same league, for example.
  • Reply 19 of 128
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Once you reduce prices, its a little hard to go back.



    If you want a cheap machine, by a PC.



    Gawd, how often do we retread over this?
  • Reply 20 of 128
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dlux View Post


    What, exactly, is revolutionary about them? They are simply refinements of existing designs.



    The iPhone was revolutionary. The current crop of Macs are not.



    "involving or causing a complete or dramatic change”



    A display ratio change from 16:10 to 16:9, and desktop-class CPUs over notebook-class CPUs for the first time. I’d define those two things as revolutionary for the iMac line.



    The new MacBook’s unibody polycarb chassis may be revolutionary, but we don’t how it’s made. The milled aluminium chassis was surely revolutionary for mass market computing industry.



    It really depends at what your looking at. The whole widget, a part that, a conceptual change, or even something that changes the way your competitors do business.
Sign In or Register to comment.