Denki News

May 27, 2006

Flaking black MacBooks?

Filed under: Macintosh, Portables, Rumors — icruise @ 6:01 pm

There has been a fair amount of discussion recently as to the nature of the matte black plastic that makes up the casing off the black MacBook. It has an almost rubberized feel to it, which is quite different from the surface of the white MacBook.

A post on marklemdotcom first brought up the idea that the surface of the MacBook might be coated with something that could easily flake off by scratching it with a fingernail. The discussion in this thread on the MacNN forums (and my own very cursory examination of the black MacBook) seemed to indicate that this was not the case.

But then today another post on the MacNN forums pointed out that someone on Flickr also had problems with flaking finish on their MacBook. The two problems don't really look the same — the first one looks like a clear coating was being rubbed off, while the second looks like black paint has been chipped off by the user's watchband. The interesting question is, why would the chips reveal what appears to be white underneath? Even if Apple used some kind of coating on the MacBook, wouldn't they have used black plastic underneath? It's possible that it's only the frame surrounding the wrist rest that is affected, but it's a little disturbing nonetheless.

Without more evidence, it's hard to say one way or the other. But I do know that my Pismo PowerBook had no such issues with the finish. I hope this doesn't become the "nano scratch" of the MacBook line.

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May 9, 2006

No sign of new MacBooks today (May 9th)

Filed under: Macintosh, Portables, Rumors — icruise @ 9:08 pm

It looks as though the rumor sites were wrong again. As of 6PM Central time, there is no sign of the rumored MacBooks. It did seem a little odd that Apple would release what is probably going to be their biggest redesign of the year to date without some kind of event or fanfare. The other Intel releases so far (MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac mini) have pretty much just used the existing hardware designs with a few tweaks, but the MacBook (again, assuming the rumors aren’t completely wrong) will have a new screen and likely a redesigned enclosure.

It does seem likely that the new models will appear sooner rather than later, though, as Apple will want to have them ready for students going back to school.

May 8, 2006

New MacBooks on Tuesday?

Filed under: Macintosh, Portables, Rumors — icruise @ 9:08 pm

Rumor has it that Apple will be releasing a “MacBook” on Tuesday May 9th to replace the iBook. Although it’s not proof positive, the recent slip-up on Apple’s web site does seem to imply that there will be a product called the Macbook released in the near future. And the existing “MacBook Pro” name certainly did imply that there was be a non-Pro MacBook in the pipeline. Specs are said to include an Intel Core Duo processor, a 13″ widescreen display, and two colors — white and black.

The announcement of the MacBook would mean that most of Apple’s product line has made the transition to Intel processors (with the conspicuous exception of the pro desktops, which Apple is undoubtedly saving for last). If the rumors are accurate, it would also mean a return to multi-colored portables. Black and white color choices seem to be an obvious extension of the iPod’s color scheme — an interesting reminder how important the iPod is to Apple today.

It also seems likely that the introduction of the MacBook would mean the end of the 12″ PowerBook, and that seems a little sad. The 12″ PowerBook is a great little machine (I’m typing this post on one) and I hope that the MacBooks will make good enough replacements. For example, I hope that the extended desktop feature (which allows you to use two monitors with the desktop spread across both of them) will be enabled by default, as it is on the Intel iMacs. Apple needs a small and light portable that doesn’t require sacrificing basic functionality like this.

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