The New, Uncrippled Macbook.

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 in Mac, Opinions

With the introduction of the new aluminum Macbooks, Apple has finally dropped their long-standing policy of offering a “crippled” entry-level Notebooks. For years now the iBooks and Macbooks have been limited in one way or another in order to distinguish them from their “Pro” cousins. 

Whether G3 vs. G4, Combodrive vs. Superdrive, Mirroring vs. Screen Spanning, Plastic vs. Aluminum or Integrated Graphics vs. Dedicated Graphics, Apple’s low-end offerings over the years have always included some kind of “gotcha” to keep them from cannibalizing Powerbook / Macbook Pro sales.

But in my opinion, there’s just no way most customers would be “upsold” to a better machine that’s almost twice as expensive. Switchers especially would probably be more likely to reconsider the Mac altogether if something they considered essential was only available on the “Pro” machine.

The new Macbooks finally have the whole package: A sleek look, great CPUs, good enough graphics and a Superdrive. The only feature that’s really missing is Firewire – which is arguably a “Professional’s” standard. The differentiation between the two lines is now really more about size and performance and not about whether you’re willing to make the sacrifice and put up with a crippled machine as it used to be.

In that respect, the new Macbooks are in many ways the spiritual successors to the Powerbook 12″. The clock speeds are much closer to the Pro models, they are only missing one or two minor features and the price points are also comparable. 

This is a good move by Apple and I think we might even see these new 13″ models convince a whole new set of “on the fence” consumers to finally switch.

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