informa
/
2 MIN READ
Commentary

New Mac Laptops Coming - Maybe Cheap Ones

Apple is holding a product launch event next week to focus on its notebook computers. The Oct. 14 event is expected to see dramatic changes in the entry-level MacBook line, as well as upgrades to the MacBook Pro and lightweight MacBook Air.
Apple is holding a product launch event next week to focus on its notebook computers. The Oct. 14 event is expected to see dramatic changes in the entry-level MacBook line, as well as upgrades to the MacBook Pro and lightweight MacBook Air.Updates to the MacBook have been widely anticipated for months. It's the last of Apple's computers to still have the polycarbonate plastic cases, and so it stands out in a sea of aluminum.

Exactly what will be inside the new MacBook remains a secret, but the newest rumor is that Apple will dramatically drop the cost of the least-powerful model, to compete against bargain-priced Windows notebooks.

Currently, the cheapest MacBook costs $1,099, and contains a 2.1 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB memory, 120GB hard drive, and 13-inch display.

Rumors have the price for its replacement being as low as $800  a $300 drop. Other sources say that the price cut will be smaller, to $999.

Other changes to the MacBook line, beyond a new aluminum housing, would likely include faster processors, biggest hard drives, longer battery life, and perhaps a thinner profile. It will probably have the new LED-based screen backlight that Apple is rolling out across its product line.

It's unclear what changes might appear to the higher-end MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models, assuming any changes materialize  most of the buzz has been around the revised MacBook.

However, it would seem reasonable to expect a new MacBook Pro to have the new-style keyboard that's found on the iMac, MacBook and MacBook Air. Beyond processor upgrades, the MacBook Air would likely have larger amounts of storage on both rotating hard-disk and solid-state memory options.

Other upgrades that we might see on the higher-end models are a Blu-ray optical drive, quad-core processors and WiMax wireless networking capabilities.

Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer