Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

The October 14 Apple MacBook event liveblog archive.

Jason Chen:
Apple's MacBook event starts Tuesday Oct. 14 at 10:00 AM Pacific. Check back early Tuesday for coverage!
10:03 pm ON Oct 10 2008

Jason Chen:
Don’t forget to check out our MacBook Event Bingo, where you can have fun AND win a free pizza.
1:10 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
Everyone print out their bingo cards?
7:15 am ON Oct 14 2008

Mark Wilson:
Remember everyone, printing that bingo card in full color is free on your office printer. We checked with your boss and it’s cool. Promise.
8:19 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
It’s chilly, yet sunny at the same time.
8:35 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
Bingo players ready? First bingo square: Jason in the W.C. with diarrhea.
Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS



8:42 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
Everyone got their predictions? Comments go here. We need your top 3. We're thinking MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Super Pro, a 27-inch laptop that weighs in at a svelte 51 pounds.
8:51 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
My only wish for this event is for my car to not get stolen. Times are tough, and Apple employees are desperate. I may have seen two fighting over a dumpster on the way in.

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Three dudes, yes. But all have hair. No bingo!!
8:54 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
Spotted: first bald guy of the morning. Surprisingly enough, this is the ONLY bald guy we’ve seen all day. What the F Steve? Did you mandate hair plugs for everyone to reduce the light reflection off the audience?
8:59 am ON Oct 14 2008

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Official weaponry of Apple SWAT. You feeling lucky, punk?
9:01 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
The feeling in the crowd here is between muted excitement and pumped apathy. It’s a much smaller crowd.
9:04 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
We’ve just been upgraded from lining up outside in the sun to lining up inside in the lobby. Also, bathrooms are now open.

Jason Chen:
I wonder how Phil Schiller prepares for these things. My thinking is he drives over to Jobs’ house, honks his the crap out of his horn, pees on Jobs’ Mercedes, punches the dog in the face, steals the PennySaver, throws a (real) brick through the window and takes off his shirt, setting fire to it as he peels off into the distance.
9:10 am ON Oct 14 2008

Mark Wilson:
Note: Apple keeps the food outside while we wait inside. Jobs despises pastry crumbs.

Jason Chen:
44 minutes left.
9:18 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
The employees are running around, super excited and somewhat nervous. They have the home court advantage–wonder what they’re worried about.

Mark Wilson:
Headcount: about 65 people. Most have hair.

Jason Chen:
30 minutes left. Anyone check Apple stock lately?
9:26 am ON Oct 14 2008

Mark Wilson:
For a moment I thought a guy was holding a can of Bud Light. Ends up it was just a Diet Pepsi. Kind of a letdown.

Jason Chen:
The wardrobe for these events range from black polos to business casual to porn star dbag to hipster to I’m-about-to-retire wrinkled jacket.

Jason Chen:
Spotted: Phil Schiller. Surprisingly enough, he’s NOT punching a dog in the face here. He may be punching ME in the face if he ever reads these updates.
9:31 am ON Oct 14 2008

Mark Wilson:
Apparently MacBooks have a lot in common with my freshman year of college. Ok, senior.

Jason Chen:
You guys probably don’t know this, but Wilson Rothman of Gizmodo fame was once the nation’s number one consumer of Coors Light. Next time you have one, dedicate it to him with a “this Coors is for you”.

Jason Chen:
Why isn’t he the number one Coors fan anymore, you ask? His esophagus exploded.
9:36 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
Excitement level seems to be rising. People are getting antsy. Tech writers, on the whole, aren’t used to standing for more than six minutes at a time. On the scale of strength, we’re somewhere inbetween arthritic grandma, coma victim and dying jellyfish.

Jason Chen:
Everyone’s getting seated, we’re inside.
9:55 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
They’re playing classical music, NOT Coldplay. Unless this is a track off their new album I haven’t heard. “Lute and Plunder,” perhaps.
Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS


9:57 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
It’s starting! Steve Jobs is coming out on stage, and says they’ve got some exciting stories about notebooks and how they were made.

Jason Chen:
Tim Cook, Chief Operating Officer, is coming on stage to talk to us about the “stage of the Mac.” Steve Jobs is sitting down.

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Cook: Apple has “better computers” and “better software”, saying “Leopard is far ahead of Vista.” The general gist of this part is telling everyone about the entire package of the “Mac”.
10:02 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
Cook says they fixed the fact that people thought Macs wouldn’t fit into a Windows environment by shipping Boot Camp, as well as working with Parallels and VMWare for third-party virtualization.

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
“Another thing we didn’t do, Vista”. “Vista hasn’t lived up to everything Microsoft has hoped it would. It’s also opened doors for a lot of people to switch to the Mac. It’s given us an opportunity, and Apple has been the beneficiary of those.”

Jason Chen:
“The Mac vs. PC ads have struck a chord with many PC users.”

Jason Chen:
They’re showing a Mac vs. PC ad, the one with Hodgman playing a king. Cook: “Isn’t it great?”

Jason Chen:
Cook is showing two international Apple stores, Sydney and China.

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
The Mac has outgrown the market for the last 14 of 15 quarters. Two points that accelerated sales are Vista and Leopard intro.
10:07 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
The Mac now represents 17.6% of unit sales in the US. If you look at “revenue share”, because Apple “focuses on fully featured systems”, they actually have 31.3%.

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Apple has 39% unit share for notebooks in education, surpassing Dell.

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
In one unnamed university, Apple has 47% marketshare. Now Cook is showing the photo of that college lecture with a bunch of Macs.

Jason Chen:
Steve Jobs comes back on stage.

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
First, Steve Jobs is going to talk about a new way to build notebooks. Or Rather, Jony Ive is going to talk about it.

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
First, Ive is going to talk about how they CURRENTLY build their MacBook Pro. One of the challenges of building a MacBook Pro is making it strong and rigid.
10:12 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
The Aluminum structure that you SEE contributes only a small part of the “structure”. The main structure is actually from the internal frame, which holds up the system (and “creates a strong system, a robust system”).

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS



Jason Chen:
Above the frame, there are support plates that are welded to the structure underneath the top plate. All these things work together to give the laptop rigidity. (Ive is saying this in his charming British accent, btw.)

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
“For years, we’ve been looking for a better way in building a notebook. We had a really significant breakthrough that culiminated in the manufacture of [the MacBook Air].”

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Instead of starting with a thin piece of aluminum and adding more pieces to the structure, they’re now going to start from one piece of aluminum and remove pieces. This makes the structure stronger and more rigid.

Jason Chen:
To make the MacBook Air’s wrist rest, they start with one piece, then go through many stages (punch holes, etc).

Jason Chen:
In the manufacturing stage, they start with a 2.5 pound piece of aluminum. The end structure is only 0.5 pounds (for the MacBook Air).
10:17 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
This method of course, extends past the MacBook Air, for some new notebooks. Ive leaves the stage, and Jobs comes up.
Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Jobs: Nvidia came to talk to them a few months ago about a product that would include the chipset and the graphics processor.

Jason Chen:
Nvidia GeForce 9400M is the name of the product.

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
This combimes both the Chipset + the GPU, 70% of the die is the GPU. It has 16 parallel graphics cores, pushes 54 Gigaflops and runs up to 5 times faster than Intel Integrated graphics.

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
In real world performance, you get anywhere from 3x to 8x performance increase. Compared to the Nvidia 8600M GT in the MacBook Pro, this new one is at 55% of the performance instead of 11%, compared to the old Intel.
Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Jobs: We’ve got a new trackpad for notebooks. A large, multi-touch GLASS trackpad.

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
It’s a 39% larger tracking area, has multi-touch gestures, and has a glass for “silky-smooth travel”.


Jason Chen:
The entire trackpad is the button. You can also get multi-buttons via software.


Jason Chen:
There are also now four-finger gestures.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Jobs is now going through some of the gestures. Two finger gesture = pinch and rotate for zooming and panning. Three finger gestures = swiping between photos. Four fingers = expose and app switching.
10:22 am ON Oct 14 2008


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
“So let’s take these technologies and more and make some notebooks. Today, we’re introducing the new MacBook Pro.”

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
The new MacBook Pro has full glass, an instant-on LED display, all the connectors on one side, and “it’s just gorgeous.”
It’s got a precision aluminum unibody enclosure, next-gen graphics, mini display port connector.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
First, the unibody enclosure is made from one piece of aluminum. Jobs is actually passing around the body down every row to give people a sense of what it looks like up close. Pics coming in a sec.


Jason Chen:
We’ve just held it, and we tried fairly hard to bend it. It was definitely rigid and didn’t bend at all, at least on the places we pushed at.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Lights back down, Steve is talking again.
10:27 am ON Oct 14 2008


Jason Chen:
New graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M in the MacBook Pro. There’s also a 9600M GT, which is the “state of the art mobile graphics”, with 32 parallel graphics cores, 120 Gigaflops and 512MB video memory. They’re including BOTH of these in the MacBook Pro.


Jason Chen:
You can use either the integrated graphics, 9400M, or switch over to the 9600M GT if you want “Turbo mode”.


Jason Chen:
Under the 9400, you get 5 hours of battery life vs. 4 hours on the 9600 GT.


Jason Chen:
The connectors are, in order from the left, Magsafe, Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 800, two USB ports, a Mini Display Port, Audio In/Out (analog and optical digital), ExpressCard 34, and a battery indicator.


Jason Chen:
The Mini DisplayPort is downsized from the full sized DVI connector. The Mini DisplayPort can drive everything the big DVI can (30-inch displays).


Jason Chen:
Both the battery and the hard drive will be easily accessible from the back.
0.95 inches. Thinnest ever.
10:32 am ON Oct 14 2008


Jason Chen:
It’s going to come in two models. $1999, 15.4-inch LED backlit display. 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB L2 Cache, 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 Memory, the two GeForces, 250GB hard drive and SuperDrive.
Second config is $2499. 2.53GHz, 6MB L2 Cache, 4GB memory, 512MB video memory and bigger hard drive.


Jason Chen:
These MacBook Pros are shipping today.
Jason Chen:
Just as important as what they put in is what they left out, for environmentally concerned users. This MBP has 37% smaller packaging and earned the EPEAT Gold rating.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS



Jason Chen:
Next up is the MacBook Air. They’re putting the 9400M into the MBA. 4x faster graphics. They’re upgrading the 120GB HDD (up from 80GB), or a 128GB SSD. Also has a Mini Display port.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Steve Jobs just let it slip that there’s going to be a new display coming!


Jason Chen:
The new MacBook Airs will be available in early November.


Jason Chen:
Also being revealed today is a 24-inch LED-backlit cinema display.


Jason Chen:
Three connectors on this new 24-inch Display: MagSafe connector, USB connector and Mini Display Port.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
The 24-inch display has 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution, a Built-in iSight and mic, stereo speakers and a three port USB hub.
10:37 am ON Oct 14 2008
Jason Chen:
It will be $899 in November.
Jason Chen:
One more thing…and it’s the MacBook.
Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
The MacBook is the best selling Mac, ever.


Jason Chen:
“They are one of the best products in the industry.” The entry price is $1099, but they’re reducing the entry price to $999.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Things people want from the Macbook: Metal enclosure, faster graphics and LED backlit display.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event Coverage

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Introducing a new generation on top of the white plastic MacBook. Corner to corner glass on the display, same aluminum unibody enclosure like the MacBook Pro, LED backlit display, next-gen graphics, multitouch trackpad, Mini Display Port connector and environmental features.

Jason Chen:
Five times the graphics performance with the NVIDIA 9400M chipset.


Jason Chen:
The glass trackpad also has the same four-finger gestures as on the MacBook Pro.


Mark Wilson:
p>

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
It also gets five hours of battery life.


Jason Chen:
The MacBook also meets EPEAT Gold, and has 42% smaller packaging size.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
These new features on the MacBook, you can get today at $1299 (lower than the $1999 for the MacBook Pro). There are going to be two models. 13.3-inch LED backlit display, 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 3MB L2 Cache, 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 memory, 9400M GeForce, 160GB hard drive and SuperDrive.
10:42 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
Second model, $1599, adds 2.4GHz processor, 250GB hard drive and a backlit keyboard.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
To be clear, these two models are going to be on top of the white plastic MacBook which comes at $999.


Jason Chen:
The MacBooks ship today to hit stores tomorrow.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Jobs is showing a video now (Coldplay in the background!)


Jason Chen:
Fill in that bingo square!


Jason Chen:
Jon Ive is talking about how great the new MacBook and MacBook Pros are.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Ive is a handsome, handsome man. Ahem, sorry. Yes, he’s talking about the unibody aluminum construction, which is thinner, lighter and more robust.


Jason Chen:
They’re showing gigantic sheets of aluminum that they carve the body from. It starts with a solid “block” of aluminum, and outputs long strips which then get cut and carved into the MacBooks.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
“In many ways I think it’s more beautiful internally than it is externally” - Ive
10:47 am ON Oct 14 2008


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
The glass display goes up “right to the edge of the product.” Advantages of the LED backlight is that it’s on instantly, it’s 30% more efficient and the colors are brighter (higher intensity).


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
They’re showing a Need For Speed game running on a MacBook.

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Now they’re talking about how the choices they made are the best in the industry from an environmental perspective.


Jason Chen:
A U2 song is being played (that’s not a bingo square, but, you know, just FYI).


Jason Chen:
Relevant side story: Jon Ive once touched me on the shoulder.
10:52 am ON Oct 14 2008

Jason Chen:
Now, Steve Jobs is holding a Q&A session along with Phil Schiller.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
110/70 is Steve’s blood pressure. This is all Steve is going to talk about Steve’s health today.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Apple is the first people to take the 9400M to market, and might be the only one for a while (”We’re going to be using a lot of their chips”).


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Q: Why isn’t HDMI or Blu-ray in there? And Display Port is?
A: HDMI can’t drive our 30-inch display, so we put in Display Port.


Jason Chen:
Jobs: “Blu-ray is a bag of hurt. I don’t mean from the consumer point of view. It’s great to watch movies, but the licensing is so complex. We’re waiting until things settle down, and waiting until Blu-ray takes off before we burden our customers with the cost of licensing.”


Jason Chen:
Q: What’s the status of the 17-inch MacBook Pro.
A: It’s also being refreshed.
10:57 am ON Oct 14 2008

Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Q: Is the MacBook upgrade going to steal some demand from the MacBook Pro?
A: Pros buy MacBook Pros. So we’re going to see a refresh demand in both spaces.


Jason Chen:
Both the MacBook Pro and MacBook are .95 inches, and weight is 5.5 and 4.5 lbs, respecitvely


Jason Chen:
Q: Are you going to have matte screens or just go with glossy glass ones? How about with reflection problems?
A: Just glass, and we’re going to compensate for the reflection from pushing more light through the back. And, since these are notebooks, you can position it any way you want.


Mark Wilson:

Apple MacBook Event CoverageS

Jason Chen:
Q: Did Apple design the motherboard in house?
A: Yes.
11:02 am ON Oct 14 2008


Jason Chen:
Q: How about touchscreens in laptops?
A: So far it hasn’t been a lot of sense to US, but we may see it in the future (we’ve experimented with it before).


Jason Chen:
That’s all! Thanks for reading. Hands on impressions to come in a sec. Check the front page of Gizmodo for more.


Mark Wilson:
Read our hands on impressions of…

The new MacBook
The new MacBook Pro
The new Cinema Display

1:41 pm ON Oct 14 2008