back to article Apple punts batterylicious MacBook Pros

Apple has slashed MacBook prices and introduced new versions of its 13in and 15in portables, both with beefed-up battery technology to boost plug-less playtime from five to seven hours. Revealed Monday at the company's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), the two new aluminum unibody machines use the same lithium polymer …


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  1. Pierre

    "the most affordable [MacBook] lineup"

    Hey, careful with the price cuts. Some day these things might end up being less expensive than my car!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    will it be cheaper than a car.

    Remember - Apple don't do interesting.

  3. Rob Welsh


    Mind you, you could always buy a really reliable Acer 15.4" with top notch customer support and that super duper operating system Windows Vista..... then again, nah I think I'd rather do some fucking work.

    Also if you're car is only worth £1500 then perhaps you should consider the government scraping scheme, if you're from the UK of course.

  4. michael branagan
    Thumb Down

    Price Drop

    I'm feeling especially good since I bought a 15" MacBook Pro for my wife for $1999 on 5/31/09. $300 price drop to $1699, nice touch. Reminiscent of the good feeling I had after shelling out $600 for a new iPod Video for my wife, only to have Apple lop off $200 a month or so later. (But not as good a feeling as those guys had years ago who saw their Web Objects purchase price drop from $60,000 to $600 overnight. That was one for the books, as reported by El Reg.)

  5. zonky
    Jobs Horns


    Now only need to breakout the screwdriver kit once during a trans-pacific flight if you're unlucky enough to be stuck in a seat/class where the power is missing/not functional!

    What an innovation!


  6. Michael Jarve

    Waa waa!

    Apple's so bloody expensive I have to sell a kidney and a good chunk of liver to buy a mouse!

    ~Apple drops prices to competitive levels~

    OMFG!!!!11 I bought a Apple gadget and I'll be darned if they didn't lower the price and add features during the product refresh!


    It would seem that no matter what they do, Apple's damned if they do, damned if they don't. I could go on how I bought a perky Dell monitor for not a small sum of money only to see it up to 50% off clearance two weeks later, while the model that replaced it was $150 cheaper and sported better specs, but I think I just did.

    But I am p.o.'d that Snow Leopard will apparently drop PowerPC support. Dropping support for 32-bit PowerPC makes a little sense, but my G5s still have life in them.

  7. Andy Bright

    re: price drop

    Perhaps the lesson here is wait until after the conference before buying an Apple product.. I believe iPhone owners felt similarly stung, but then what do you do?

    They can't really afford to stop selling things for 3 or 4 months just to avoid people paying more for something and all electronics go through similar price drops eventually.

    I'm sure someone who shells out for an intel processor a month before the newer model arrives feels similarly irritated. Or someone who buys a Samsung LCD TV only to see newer models push those prices down a couple months later.

    I'm not sure you can play a waiting game with any electronics and win. You'd never own and enjoy any product if you did that.

    The key questions are do you like the product you have and does it do the tasks you bought it for? If the answers are yes to both then you haven't really lost anything. If you want to put a positive spin on it, consider that for the extra $300-$400 you got to use the device a few months longer than you would have if you waited.. and if you like it enough perhaps those extra months are worth the additional 'rental' price.

  8. raving angry loony


    Let me get this straight. You bought a piece of kit a couple of weeks before a time when Apple invariably introduces new products and drops products on older lines, and you're surprised? An event that has been completely over-hyped in the press for a month, so much so that even I knew when it was?


  9. Jean-Paul de Jong

    Just exchange

    @Michael: I you bought it from Apple you are in luck since you only bought it on 31/5/09 ie less than 14 days ago. Just take it back to the apple store and you will get a) the new spec and b) the lower price. I'd like to see all retailers take that approach!

    Don't moan, read the t&c when you buy something.

    To the guy who thinks they are more expensive than a car, well you got to get yourself a decent set of wheels instead. Your idea of a reference framework is totally wrong.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    We all know they're basically Fisher-Price PCs though ;)

  11. jeffrey

    @michael branagan

    Just take it back to apple an swap it for the new one and price drop, as you bought it less than 14 days ago,

  12. Christopher Rogers
    Jobs Horns

    Nothing out of the ordinary here

    This is all about right for apple, so no reason to complain. Personally I think Apple are over priced, but the Jobsian followers who go weak at the knees when they are sold form over function would disagree. Horses for courses. There's better hardware out there, you just have to put function over form...

  13. Rolf Howarth

    computer vs car

    As someone brought up the comparison... I actually spend an awful lot more time using my computer than in my car so yes, it makes perfect sense to spend more relatively on a computer to get one that doesn't frustrate me and get in the way of my work and make me want to throw it across the room every 5 minutes.

  14. John Tuffen
    Thumb Up


    Interesting. The 'old' Aluminium Macbooks (much derided for their lack of Firewire) have now become the new Macbook Pro jr. - *with* Firewire. And the prices aren't much different (can't remember exactly) from the old Aluminium Macbook either.

    Sounds good to me.

  15. Bad Beaver

    Whee, the 13"

    They finally found out it's a MacBook Pro, now who would have thought? So it's ok to come with Firewire now? Now thank you very much, it was about freakin' time! One can finally think about buying that book again.

    On the dark side, no Express-Card on the 15" will be a serious bummer for some, if not for me. I am also partial regarding the internal battery aspect. It has very little consumer advantage. You can already buy a host of rather expensive external juice-jobbies for your MacBook, which will then clutter up your setup. Now looking at this issue with the realist's goggles on — who will be really affected by this? In a car you can use a charger, on a plane, train or boat you can use a charger, in a hotel you can use a charger, in a conference room you can use a charger, and up on a mountain you are running a generator anyway. When was the last time you ran out of juice on the go? I think Apple themselves should be offering an external battery at the same price as former internals, that would solve it.

  16. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    About time

    My current MacBook has done good service apart from the battery which became useless pretty quickly but will be amortised by the end of the summer. I've been waiting for Apple to offer a reasonable replacement and was not at all impressed with the first "aluminum" MacBooks. But I think they've got it right now, especially now the ram goes all the way up to 8. Except for the exchange rate £1199 != €1149 Hopefully there will be some correction on this to.

    Jobs is still a bastard, though!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Are mAc users really...

    that dumb? every maC user complaining about PCs claim they have to spend hours on end trying to get it to work or they get fustrated with it and what not. Yet the last 15 years of PCs and I´ve never had these problems.. am i just that good or are MAc users really that incompetent around tech?

  18. Tom

    So the 'macbook' line is looking rather empty

    And that white plastic model is the only non-aluminium mac left. Anyone else reckon there's sometihing coming to fill the gap?

  19. jai

    re: So the 'macbook' line is looking rather empty

    the worry is that the gap in the MacBook line would be very nicely filled with an iTablet

    only, instead of coming in gorgeous aluminium, it'll be white plastic to match the laptop :(

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Enough with the "Form over Function"...

    For the benefit of Christopher Rogers - the form over function argument has been around for centuries, but it has never be so poorly used as it has when arguing against Macs. So what part of the OS OR hardware exactly doesn't look like a computer? Or do you mean that it look pretty, but doesn't work? Well that's your opinion mate. Mine is that Windows is shit, and the only 'new' features is Vista SP3, sorry, Windows 7 are badly done eye candy. It really does smack of bitterness when the form over function line is trotted out . May be something like Godwins law should be employed...

    AC 07:36 "We all know they're basically Fisher-Price PCs though" - but you apparently can't play games on it... How can it be a toy without games? Make up your mind. looking at what 10.6 is capable of doing - *with Microsoft technology* - and having played (being the operative word) with Windows 7 I know which one belongs in Toys 'R' Us...

  21. Steve Todd


    What do you mean you've had no problems with your PC? Your shift key seems to be broken to start with!

    The point about the Mac vs PC isn't that a PC CAN'T do the same work, but rather how MS's design makes the process more intrusive and less intuative. Mac owners generaly don't want to be bothered with popup messages telling you that you've just plugged in new devices (well Duh!, you knew that because you just plugged them in) or animated paper clips etc. The fact that OEMs ship their Windows machines pre-loaded with crapplets, trialware and other such rubbish doesn't help with the experience either.

    There was a time when I wouldn't have even considered a Mac, then, at the urging of a friend, I bought a Mac Mini to act as a media server (tiny, near silent, low power consumption and happy to run 24/7 for months at a time without reboots) and found that I actualy like them. I suggest that you don't dismiss them yourself until you've taken the time to learn what they can and can't do, and how easy many common activities are in comparison to Windows.

  22. Scott Mckenzie

    Shame on the SSD prices

    Otherwise it's perfect.... i think given the relatively minor performance benefits in the real world, a 500Gb HDD will live inside my 13" MBP.... Firewire back is *yay* and the rest of it looks all good!!!

  23. Big Bear

    @Bad Beaver

    “Now looking at this issue with the realist's goggles on — who will be really affected by this?”

    I prefer to take the battery out when opening up the machine to give it a clean – y’know, blow the dust out and stuff like that. I also like to take it out when doing stuff like swapping RAM out and I hit the brown note the last time I forgot to remove the battery pack and sparks and smoke appeared when I accidentally shorted across something. More recently, I popped the batteries out of both machines when my colleague knocked his cup of tea over and it tsunami’d over my laptop and phone…

  24. The Mighty Quin

    Faulty Calculator?

    Seems Apple are having problems with their calculations, when did $1199 = £899? At todays exchange rate it should be coming out at around £750.

  25. Mathew White
    Thumb Down

    Fail, battery, fail.

    I've had my macbook pro now for a year and its battery needs replacing already. Looking at the system profiler its had over 700 charge cycles.(!) {i think magsafe might have something to do with that}

    5 year life? Pfffft!

  26. Rob Davis
    Thumb Down

    NO EXPRESSCARD/34 SLOT on 13/15inch models! High speed eSATA for HD video edit not possible

    Not having ExpressCard/34 on the 13 and 15 inch models will exclude them from full true 1920x1080P high definition video editing using high-speed 10000+rpm external eSATA hard drive stotage and arrays via a eSATA connector ExpressCard/34 card. Or anything else that would benefit from such high speed storage.

    This would have been possible using ProRes422 codec in final cut pro.

    I would like to benefit from their smallish size on the move and plug them into a large full HD external monitor for full HD video editing at home.

    Only the overgrown 17" supports ExpressCard/34.

    Why? How silly of Apple to do this. One can pay for PC laptops of similar price and get this feature.


    Maybe the Firewire 800 will work but it is no match for the theoretical maximum of 1.5Gb/s or 3.0Gb/s on eSATA. The ExpressCard interface is 1Gb/s+ so Firewire800 is not exploiting this fully.

    In anycase the expansion potention for 13/15 models is limited with ExpressCard absent.

  27. Brian Whittle


    according to the apple store the cheapest unibody now comes with a back lit keyboard, about time

  28. Steven Gray
    Jobs Halo


    I have the older style Macbook Pro complete with a Windows XP install for, yes, games. One of the many annoyances about Windows that really grinds my gears is the little notification (and this has been touched upon already) that I've just plugged in my headphones. Really? You don't say!

    The action of grasping the headphone jack betwixt thumb and forefinger, positioning it in the hole that is the audio out port and pushing it home hadn't quite registered on my brain and I so needed that little message to tell me (which, incidentally, I have to dismiss with a click - however will I do that since Windows already believes that my motor functions have become disassociated with my cognitive processes). It reminds me of Clippy, but with "Hey, you're a dumbass that needs constant reminding!".

    I imagine there was a meeting about this in Redmond in 2001:

    "Wouldn't it be SO cool to tell the user the OS is, like, REALLY looking after things by notifying them of tiny, insignificant, everyday stuff like, hey, plugging something into the audio port?"

    "Hey wow that would be SO neat!"

    "Yeah, and it would show how we really know our stuff!"

    "And with a footprint of only 30Mb it's a tiny addition the 3Gb install!"*

    "I think I just peed myself!"

    "Is there a notification for THAT?"

    "Oh. My. God. That would be inSANE!"

    "Windows could say 'Hey, it looks like you just peed yourself!'"

    "And provide a link to an incontinence website!"

    "Sweet Lord, Bill and Steve are going to go ape over this! Steve especially."

    "High five man!"

    "I love you man!"

    Did I mention it annoyed me?

    * I made that bit up

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Steven Gray

    You, sir, I will use as an example of geek humor at its finest! Though I worry that some people here will actually believe you!! Of course, those we will call iDiots...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Mathew White

    Total utter bullshit. If you are going to post troll bait at least make it realistic. It isn't physically possible to make the battery of any MBP undergo 700 ***full*** charge cycles in that time unless you (a) don't sleep, (b) max the CPU constantly and (c) recharge it immediately then discharge it immediately again in a constant loop.

    If your post is remotely legit, then your battery or laptop is self-evidently faulty and you should ask to get it replaced for free under warranty.

  31. JeeBee

    @ The Mighty Quin

    "Seems Apple are having problems with their calculations, when did $1199 = £899? At todays exchange rate it should be coming out at around £750."

    Actually when you add on 15% VAT it comes out at £850. £50 is quite a small "non American country" tax for Apple to be charging. Not that I am happy about it. Try and find a friend in academia to get the educational discount via them.

  32. Scott Mckenzie

    @The Mighty Quin

    For the nine billionth time.... US prices exclude Sales Tax, UK prices as shown on the website include our Sales Tax - namely VAT... so take 15% off the price of £899 and you're a lot closer, £31 off your exclamed price in fact.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ The Mighty Quin

    "Faulty Calculator?

    By The Mighty Quin Posted Tuesday 9th June 2009 11:02 GMT

    Seems Apple are having problems with their calculations, when did $1199 = £899? At todays exchange rate it should be coming out at around £750."

    Around about the same time you failed to notice that Britons get charged with VAT on electronic products, perhaps?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Want 12" back

    I liked my old 12" G4 for a lot of reasons. It fit easily on rack shelves for use in installation work. Might have a look at the 13" though ---

  35. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Up

    RE: Want 12" back

    I never gave it away in the first place ;) just put in a new battery.

  36. Robert E A Harvey
    Thumb Down

    1000 charge cycles?

    That's about 3 years, surely? And they call that a /good/ thing?

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