Home > Uncategorized > MacBook Pro Update 2008

MacBook Pro Update 2008

Many people have claimed this was the MacWorld keynote with the least amount of surprises…i.e. none. Everyone pretty much knew what was going to happen. When this happens, however, it is much easier to look over what was expected that didn’t happen, e.g. 3G iPhone, Leopard 10.5.2, and updates to already existing Apple computers. TUAW and Engadget aren’t reporting on what was missing. This would make Steve Jobs look like a disappointment.

It seems the largest group of people completely left out of the keynote were those of us who already use Apple computers: MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini. The iMac saw a complete design overhaul in August but a speed bump with the new Penryn chips should have been expected as well. Apple completely left us in the cold by offering us nothing. We should have at least seen speed bumps for most of the lines and/or pricedrops.
So what does this mean now for the MacBook Pro which hasn’t seen a real update since June ’07 and what would I like to see? (A lot of this can be applied to the other systems as well, but the MacBook Pro has really been pushed aside as of late). Well since we didn’t even get a speed bump, Apple fans should demand a total overhaul of the MacBook Pro which includes a switch to the Intel Penryn chips at 2.4, 2.6 and 2.8Ghz unless other speeds have been attained since these were announced last fall.

But as I said, a speed bump won’t cut it. All MacBook pros should ship with a 256mb video card standard with higher resolution LED displays (please keep the matte and glossy options). And the one thing I think the MacBook Air can deliver is the multitouch trackpad. I understand a lot of professionals might not use it but it’s a pretty neat feature (especially when web browsing) that should be standard, even implemented last Tuesday. For god sakes, please don’t implement the MacBook/MacBook Air keyboard into the MBP especially with the black keys. 160GB HD should be the bare minimum. 2GB RAM standard as is now in all models.

And what the MacBook Pro line needs the most is a 12″ model. I don’t think it will happen but the lineup needs it and Apple and Intel proved they can make a small computer. Make it 2.1 and 2.4Ghz Penryn 128MB video card with a superdrive and widescreen LED monitor.

How much for all this? Aside from the 12″ everything stays the same price. The MBP line hasn’t even dropped in price since June and we all know how quickly the cost of computer parts declines so all this new stuff should come at no extra cost to the original release of the current configuration.

I’m really curious to hear what you want in your next MBP or MacBook. Apple really left us all in the dark and I think we’re owed something incredible. Perhaps you think my specs are too lame. Let me know!

UPDATE: According to Engadget it looks like we’re going to be waiting until May at least for the new Montevina chips to roll out, rumored to be the next chipset for use in the MacBook Pro. While that is insanely depressing, it gives us time to make it clear what we expect to see and so far it’s nothing that can’t easily be done in 4 months time. 7200RPM drives standard was a great suggestion I just received. So keep your old G4 Powerbooks up and running for another few months.

UPDATE 2: Jaye brought up a really good feature to have on the new MBP: Be able to easily add new RAM. I’m going to take it one step further and say RAM and hard drives should be easily replaced by the user. Apple makes great notebooks but there has always been some bitch of a deal when it comes to adding RAM and/or replacing the HD. Both should be easily accomplished tasks with the new MacBook Pro. My G4 Powerbook has really easy RAM installs but I am not going to even begin to try to replace the HD. Although I have no experience, I hear changing the current MacBook hard drive is really easy. God knows you can’t personally swap out the RAM or HD easily at all in the MacBook Air.

UPDATE 3: After talking with some people, I have changed my stance on the spaced keyboard found in the MacBook Air and MacBook. Apparently a lot of people like it and they can actually type faster with it. And since it is the only system without the new layout, I think it’s safe to say that it will happen with the MacBook Pro update. Keep the suggestions coming, there are a lot of great ideas in the comments section.

  1. bob
    January 18, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I agree 100%. This was more a keynote to bring people to the Apple side rather than telling Mac users what will come out soon.

    No updates on the MBP was a big disappointment to me. I was holding on my purchase hopping the new Intel Penryn would be part of the MBP line.

    It seems that Apple is waiting for the Intel Montevina to come out to upgrade its MBP. Sad since it seems that it will be out only by May.

    It would have been really great to have some input from Steve.

    I agree on the video card spec. It should become standard as well as the RAM. As for the 12″, i am not a fan of super small laptop so no comment.

    Another thing that should have a speed bump is the SDRAM, my understanding is that your frontside BUS does not work to the fastest frequency possible if the RAM frequency is lower. You are usually limited to the slowest component frequency/speed. ( i might be wrong but i think that’s the logic behind it)

    that being said, let’s drop those 5400rpm HD and stick to at least 7200rpm until the solid state memory becomes a standard.


  2. Lee
    January 18, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    I would love to see a HD and Blue-ray disk drive in the new MBP!

  3. Jaye
    January 18, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks for a well-written article, most espeially since no one else seems to have written about Apple has not announced.

    As for a wish list, I agree with your desireables for a smaller Macbook Pro, though I would also leave out any form of built-in DVD drive as I cannot see where most people would need one most of the time. With 160 – 200+ GB 7200 RPM drives becoming more common, it is no big deal to copy a several DVDs, regular- or high-def to the hard drive. If you are planning to take more than that with you, taking an outboard DVD unit will not add much more to your weight/volume.

    Even in a smaller (i.e., 12″ – 13″) Macbook Pro, I would still like to have a 256 MB video card as I would like to run a 22″ screen while at home. Speaking of which, a decent doc that minimizes the number of cables one has to attach to the Macbook would be nice. I really like the idea of Apple’s new Time Capsule wireless backup drive.

    Another thing that would be nice would be being able to upgrade from 2 GB to 4 GB of RAM without having to bleed through various body orifices.

    Dell was pretty close with their m1330 – included DVD drive and only 128 MB of video RAM the key failures. If Apple could bring out a Macbook Pro in that form factor, I would be happy. Anything “better” than that, with the above-noted specs would be gravy (although, likely expensive gravy).

    PS – It’s MB, not mb, and GHz, not Ghz – too many years in the sciences working with S. I. to let it pass 🙂

  4. Bryn
    January 19, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Personally I don’t care about 12″. I need a big screen. I want to see the 15″ with at least the pixel resolution of the 17″, and my aching sholders would really appreciate it if Apple would put their computer on the AIR diet and shave off a few precious ounces.

    ps: I hope my PBG4 lasts long enough to see the updates.

  5. Slugboy
    January 20, 2008 at 3:45 am

    YES!!! I was holding out for the possiblilty of at least a speed bump on the MBPs being announced at Macworld and we got zilch. No price drop either. Historically, Appl e hasn’t updated any macbook within 2 months of MWSF, so I figure this bump will come in April. I don’t think the screen res will bump though at that time. I also agree that the MBP line is missing the 12″ model, but I don’t see Apple bringing it back either. Finally, what Apple does need to get a grip on is RAM pricing. It sucks to buy with 2 GB and toss both chips to upgrade yourself to 4 GB total. But Apple charging $$$700 for 4 GB is shameful, especially when companies like Crucial charge $100 for the 4 GB. Shame on you, Apple!

  6. ShanEq
    January 20, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Here here! My old PowerBook G4 started it’s rapid decent with component failure. I really wanted to replace it with another 12″, a MBP, but that’s not an option.

    The PowerBook G4 was purchased in the month of March. Come that April (< 6 weeks after purchase), there was an update and a pretty big price redux. I feel like I’m headed for that again. I am not able to wait until April or May. And it’s a crap shoot at that, guessing Apple’s next move.

    The lack of info about possible updates from Apple is a big turn off, to say the least.
    Another disappointment is how much higher the cost is for the 256MB video card and slightly higher processor speed with the 7200 RPM HD upgrade. Whew! Components that should be standard in the base cost.

    Thanks for the nice synopsis and overview!

  7. January 21, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    – 19″ powerbook (HP has one – would love apple to get one)

    – Dont see Apple waiting and not incorporating Penryn/Santa Rosa updates

    – No macbook updates until 2 weeks after macworld. It would take away from the pre-sales hype of airbook. (yes Im a pro and know that pros would not go for the airbook as a replacement, but there are many people who might have bought one that now will go this…and apple doesnt need them to be distracted that for $200 more you get something a lot better than a gutted, light, macbook pro.

    – Tuesdays are launch days…tuesday before macworld for macpros, so watch out for each Tuesday…if it passes by, then your pretty much guaranteed to wait till the following tuesday, etc.

    – Macbook pros will get Penryn Santa Rosa/ and imacs will get it when the macbook pros go Monteniva in 4 months.

    – 15″ – 17″ -19″ (line up…)

    – a led display that does not have the yellow tinting issues of the first generation macbook pros using this. (not worth it)

    – HDMI port (here is wishing, not gonna happen…ever, steve is king of wireless, though I happen to not have anything that is wireless…not even cell phone.)
    – maybe I need an update 😉

    – The delete key deleting files when selected (like on PC), a lot faster than dragging to darn trash.

    – option for solid state drive or normal drive.
    (think future when solid state is cheaper and has larger volume. Nice to upgrade an not have to get the latest ‘book’. But for this reason, aint gonna happen now, well never say never.)

    – Blue ray drive would be cool, I suppose. (thinking back up, though steve thinks back up as ‘time capsule’. Solid state or something will bypass blue ray in future.

    And lastly, come on steve, my book (powerbook 667) is on its last legs. The screen doesnt work, its hooked up to an external monitor…and I dont plan on buying the macbooks currently out there…nor the airbook.

    – peace


  8. OG
    January 23, 2008 at 5:06 am

    completely agree with 99% of what you said dAlen. And I’m sitting here on my pbG4 hooked up to a 17inch studio display because the backlight on my powerbook monitor is dead.

    The catch is that I just purchased a MBP 2.6 and it’s already been shipped. I just bought it because after no MBP news at Macworld I figured it would be a while before it was updated. I need a new machine pronto, but all the sudden there’s talk all over the place of the updated MBPs coming soon with Penryn, plus multitouch trackpad, etc. ,etc. ≈

    I’ve seen quotes like
    – “due for an introduction in the next several weeks,”
    – dAlen here says “Macbook pros will get Penryn Santa Rosa/ and imacs will get it when the macbook pros go Monteniva in 4 months.”

    Does anyone have solid info on when this update is going to happen? I can’t wait six months for a new computer

  9. January 26, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Amen and Awomen,

    I cannot believe I have nothing to buy. I may have to go to another line. Been mac from the beginning and the customer service has always been terrible but at least I had a great computer. Now I have an old imac and need a new computer. I need to get a laptop and am not willing to pay a high price for an old machine.

    No thanks apple. Your stock price is too high and you are not taking care of the people who have bought your wares all along.

  10. AAPL
    January 29, 2008 at 8:06 am

    All these rumors will drive you crazy. I bought a new MBP before Christmas and then started reading all the rumors of the new one possibly coming I was really beside myself. So I returned it. Luckily one of the Mac “Genuises” screwed up and told me that I could swap the hard drive out of the MBP easier then a regular macbook which was totally untrue so I stated my case to them and they took it back no problem and didn’t charge me the open box fee. Now Im still sitting here on my pc waiting for the next damn MBP to come out. I should have just kept it cause now I really can’t justify buying it. I might just by the macbook till the new MBP comes out and then sell it cause I can’t afford to take a huge loss on the MBP, especially after I just took a huge loss on the stock AAPL. I waited to late to buy that too! hahaha

  11. Insane
    February 3, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    As well as the obvious jump to Penryn, there is a real need for the 15.4″ model to jump to 1680×1050 screen resolution. The current offering, 1440×900, is hopelessly outdated. Especially since you pay top dollar for a MBP.

    As for the jazzed up trackpad, it’s not something I’d use.

  12. February 5, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    well, we got new iphone and ipod touch updates today – wait…not what we wanted. lol
    Yeah, it can drive you crazy all the rumors for the Macbook pro.

    Whats crazy is knowing that Intel has released the chip, and now its Apple we are waiting on. (In the old days it was the other way around, or so it seemed…we were waiting on IBM to deliver the chips.)

    All said and done, it will be interesting to see how Apple plays this out – seeing Montineva is coming out in March (isnt it?) Worse case scenario would be them waiting until then to give the macbook the Montineva chip and then the Penryn/santarosa to the imac. Again, i would call this worse case scenario, as all the ‘chips’ are currently in place…for an update.

    Guess we will find out soon enough…(hopefully). Macrumors has some post hinting that a release is tied to the 10.5.2 update. Not sure why it would affect the macbook pro and not the mac air.

    Anyways…My mouth is officially shut on all of this, Im speculated out (if that can term can be used.)

    Dude, OG, read your post…to bad your monitor died. Was it natural causes?
    Mine had some help. 🙂
    (clumsy hinges on the old powerbooks. They are aluminum supposedly…on a ti book. go figure. lol)



  13. jag
    February 12, 2008 at 10:07 am

    hi will it be announced today wether the new macbook pro is released?


  14. Bubba
    February 12, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    The update for MBP will be
    Peryn Chips
    2.4-2.8 GHz

    Larger Cache (currently 4MB will be 6MB)

    touch pad will be updated via software down the road.

    Will happen last week in February

    Note: MBP and MB were both updated some in November 2007.

  15. Ian
    July 16, 2008 at 6:02 am

    Here are some things I would like to see:
    Faster FSB speeds
    Slimmer, lighter, ergonomic, smooth edge design similar to air
    New colors to choose from
    Faster gaming capabilities
    Better sound card.

  16. March 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm

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  17. February 9, 2011 at 8:53 am

    its fantastic as your other blog posts : D, thanks for posting .

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