We decided to use our travel budget this year to buy the new Mac Pro instead of attending MacWorld Expo SF 2008. So with 100% Kona coffee in one hand and massage chair control in the other, I watched the MacRumors text and photo feed of the keynote.
Now that it's over, I think we made the right choice. The products introduced were, as I guessed, mass consumer oriented and did not pertain to power users. But I do have some thoughts about the products that were announced by Steve.
Great idea not only for laptops but for a home or home office with multiple Macs. If we had a Time Capsule when the wildfires hit San Diego County, all we had to do when the Sheriff knocked on the door was to grab the Time Capsule, jump in the car, and speed off -- knowing we had all our important data with us.
iPHONE SOFTWARE UPDATE
I love my iPhone such as it is, yet I'm glad to see "find me on the map" in lieu of GPS locater. (With all due respect to Skyhook, it was unable to locate the Bare Feats lab when I first downloaded the update. Then a few weeks later it positioned me 4 miles North. The TomTom portable GPS can even show where I'm standing in my driveway. But the feature is still useful.) I won't be "truly, deeply in love" with the iPhone until there is a 3G version. As of February 5th, there is now a 16GB iPhone.
iPOD TOUCH ADDED APPS
The iPod Touch is my second favorite iPod. (The iPhone is my favorite.) But if I could not have an iPhone, I would get the iPod Touch. And in that vein, I'm glad to see applications added like Mail, Maps, Stocks, Notes, and Weather. Maybe they should call it the "unPhone." As of February 5th, a 32GB version is available.
APPLE TV version 2
We played with the first Apple TV and were disappointed that the max quality was 720p. We're getting ready to buy a 1080p 120Hz 46" LCD flat panel to view our Blu-ray and HD-DVD movies (owned and rented). The Apple TV 2 provides new features, but still maxes at 720p. If we bought it for our entertainment center to watch HD Movies, it would be considered a "downgrade."
We currently rent the newest DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray releases from Netflix. They charge $13.99 per month for unlimited rentals, two at a time. Because of the quick turnaround, we typically view 10 movies a month at an effective cost of $I.40 per movie. I can't see paying $3.99 a pop for 30 day old "recently released" downloadable movies from the iTunes Store.
The world's thinnest notebook. I've been campaigning for a smaller, lighter, thinner Mac laptop (in the spirit of the 1992 Duo) for years. This is a very sexy minimalist laptop.
But besides the Mac geek (like me) who has to have one of everything, I'm trying to figure out who the target consumer might be. Is it the traveling executive in first class? Is it the pro photographer who wants to preview field photos? Is it for the college student with rich parents who wants to "neener neener" his classmates?
With only 2GB of RAM and no option to upgrade, I would want the optional solid state drive since I expect to be making a lot of virtual memory hits. If I'm going to spend $3K, I want a CPU core with a higher frequency and a longer lasting battery that's removable.
If the MacBook Air does "trip your trigger," you might want to get the Time Capsule to go with it.
P.S. Since we wrote this article, we were seduced into buying the Macbook Air 1.8GHz with SSD. In spite of the compromises to keep it light and thin, we really like it. It's a keeper.