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13″ Macbook Pro: Finally, A Replacement for the 12″ Powerbook

Not even twenty minutes into Phil Schiller’s keynote speech at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple gave the crowd something relatively unexpected. Every single aluminum-unibody notebook is now considered a Macbook Pro, with the “Macbook” moniker only sticking around for the white plastic model.

Since Apple first unveiled the new unibody designed notebooks, they were received very well by the industry and consumers. The design was refined, and the entire transformation into such an evolutionary defining product was successful. However, when Apple showed off some of the configurations available for the 13″ unibody Macbook model, people weren’t pleased. They had removed Firewire all together, only leaving USB built into the notebook, and it seemed that the higher level Macbook Pro’s were what Apple really wanted you to buy. Even though the Macbook is what consistently delivers Apple’s blockbuster Mac numbers quarter after quarter.

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With today’s announcements, any remaining confusion over Apple’s intentions with their notebook family are diminished. By adding the 13″ Macbook to the Macbook Pro family, you can say hello to the 13″ Macbook Pro. Finally, a notebook that can outright replace the 12″ Powerbook G4 so many of us developed a debilitating addiction to a few years ago.

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The new 13″ Macbook Pro comes with a built in SD slot (card reader), alongside the welcome addition of Firewire 800! When Apple initially removed Firewire from the 13″ Macbook, consumers were furious, and many people, including myself, who wanted a new unibody Macbook, held off on purchasing one. Apple is correct in their assertion that digital cameras are standardizing across SD cards, and including a SD slot is a great perk if you’re doing any photo work at all. I’m pulling the trigger on one of these bad boys as soon as possible.

Comments [13]

13 Comments to “13″ Macbook Pro: Finally, A Replacement for the 12″ Powerbook”

What Haveyou @ June 9th, 2009 at 3:45 am
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Uh, yeah, but the new models have the same asinine non-removable battery, and WTF is up with no ExpressCard slot on anything but the 17″?

Not to mention that they are now forcing the idiotic glossy screen on you. Try configuring a 13″: There’s no matte screen option.

So Apple continues to follow the lead of cheeseball vendors that line the shelves of Best Buy with glossy plastic and fake-chrome computers.

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Patz @ June 10th, 2009 at 7:39 pm
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The battery in the 13″ MBPro is easily replaced. A few screws and you’re there. A non-issue, really.

But you’ve got a point with the screen. If there’d at least be an option for a matte screen ,I’d get one right away. In the meantime, I’m still clutching onto my trusty 12″ PowerBook G4.

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Joe @ June 11th, 2009 at 5:23 am
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I finally handed down my beloved 12″ PowerBook to my son when my friend gave me his 2GHz MacBook. The new 13″ MBP looks like a great deal since I take my MacBook everywhere but need a little more powerlifting with photo and video editing. The 13″ MBP hooked up to a 24″ monitor is a very sweet set up and still ready to go on the road.

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MM @ June 12th, 2009 at 3:53 pm
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There’s a website http://macmatte.wordpress.com that reviews online polls on the matte vs. glossy debate, and the overall polls show that around 40% of people prefer matte. Now, if Apple can backtrack to admit they made a mistake on the Firewire removal (I didn’t notice any admissions that they missed it), why can’t Apple bring back the matte screen. (See the comments at http://macmatte.wordpress.com). Furthermore, its going to take several product cycles for the frustration of Apple users to bring back replaceable batteries. No one, not even Apple, produces batteries that match the hypothetical manufacturer’s hour-ratings of batteries. That means after a few years or so, we’re going to be stuck with a low-rated battery that we cannot replace while in the field. For my old MBP, I love it that I can bring 3 spare batteries and get 10+ hours on long international flights. No way will that be possible on these newer MBP’s. Apple no longer listens to its customers. It has developed an arrogance that they are cutting edge and that they know more than their customers. If it is true that Pride Comes Before A Fall, then Apple are setting themselves for a fall.

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JJ @ June 16th, 2009 at 4:43 am
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I have a Powerbook 12, and would dearly love to upgrade to the latest MacBook Pro 13″ — except that I refuse, absolutely refuse to buy a notebook with a glossy screen. (Yes, I had used them, and I love them in some lighting conditions, and loathe them under other lighting conditions). Therefore, I want matte screen, which suits me in all lighting conditions. Just add it as a paid option. Apple, I’m willing to pay $100 extra, or even $150 extra. But without matte, there is no sale. If Windows 7 turns out to be any good, if I am literally shoved out of Apple’s fold by their refusal to offer matte screens, I would consider a matte Windows 7 notebook.

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Alex @ June 16th, 2009 at 7:00 pm
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You can buy anti glare film for $40

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iy @ June 18th, 2009 at 8:53 am
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I tried the anti-glare film and it stinks, buyers beware.

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bill @ October 17th, 2009 at 6:01 pm
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i love my anti glare film

Jonathan @ June 16th, 2009 at 12:21 pm
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Question for you guys… I’m considering the switch from Windoze to the 13″ MBP (over the 15″ for better portability) but I’m wondering if the video editing capabilities are going to be good enough with the smaller video card. The other option is the 15″ with the separate graphics option…

I’m not going to be doing a massive amount of editing, but I do have a digital video cam and I need to edit decent sized projects from time to time..

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Aviv @ June 16th, 2009 at 12:26 pm
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@Jonathan: I recently took the plunge into a 13″ MBP – Got it the other day. I also have an HD cam that I edit with, and it works great! – Prior to this machine, my notebook was a 15″ 2.6GHz beast, but the 2.53GHz 13″MBP is really rocking. It’s smaller, more compact, a lot easier to travel with, and it crushes photoshop files with upwards of 800 layers pretty easily. I think Apple nearly nailed it with machine…

Now, if they gave me an option for a matte screen, without me having to go to NewerTech to get it swapped out, it’d be a perfect computer. But, it’s pretty darn close if you ask me.

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Aviv Hadar @ June 18th, 2009 at 3:45 pm
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Btw, I spoke with some folks over at TechRestore… They do the matte screen full replacements. They’ll be supporting the 13″ MBP as well. Not sure about pricing yet.

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Jonathan @ June 19th, 2009 at 9:00 pm
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@Aviv – thanks that is EXACTLY what I wanted to hear.

Didn’t know about the possibility of an aftermarket matte screen either… I’d be interested to know what that would cost. Cheers.

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RRR @ August 3rd, 2009 at 6:17 am
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@Aviv, if you read the MacWorld review on the TechRestore matte screens, the process introduces minor damage to the lid, which is not evident, but if you examine it, you can see it. NO WAY am I going to let such minor damage occur to my computer. Why should Apple thrust this indignity on us. I agree with @MM above that the http://macmatte.wordpress.com website shows there is a substantial number (perhaps not a majority, but substantial nonetheless) of Mac users who want non-reflective screens. Apple, listen up.

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