Archive | October 2008

A solid, green multimedia machine

It’s been over a week now since Apple launched it’s latest additions to the macbook and macbook pro line. We got a shipment at the store soon after they were announced, so I’ve had a chance to take them for a quick test drive. 

The pro’s:

  • Unibody casing: the body of the machine feels very sturdy and looks gorgeous, it’s clear the design is based off of what Apple learned by doing the macbook air. 
  • Trackpad: Apple laptops, in the last few years, have had the best trackpads out there because of their comfort and ease of use. But this new one is even better and it feels great! Apple even researched the friction and it feels really smooth. The fact that the trackpad is now one big button makes it even easier to control your computer without the burden of carrying along an external mouse.
  • NVIDIA graphics chips: they finally got the message: integrated graphics are not the way to go. It’s great for standard computing, but for those who wanted to play games or run some more graphically intense apps … the macbook is finally up for the challenge. The macbook pro has the same chip plus a monster of a chip for when you want to do some serious intense graphical computing, this last one does however shorten you battery life by an hour when you’re on the go, so you might want to switch back to the standard chip when you don’t need it.
  • Backlit keyboard: useful, but most of all geeky ! Now the high-end macbook also ships with a backlit keyboard.
  • Green: I don’t care what Greenpeace says, Apple is doing a lot for the environment with it’s latest notebooks, so much that they got the EPEAT gold label for it.
In between (some will like it, some will hate it with a passion)
  • Glass display: it makes your colours pop, but the glare might spoil it for some of you.
The con’s:
  • Firewire: where the hell has the firewire 400 gone on the macbook? I can’t get over this. Apple is probably trying to set a new standard, but for years they have called it the most reliable connection and a whole lot of external HD’s and DV-camcorder work via firewire … not cool, Steve ! I’m under the impression that besides that monster of a video-chip, the firewire 800 port is one of the distinctions between macbook and macbook pro.
  • Price: the macbook had gotten really affordable and now that the price has gone up 300 dollars from 999 to 1299, I think the rate of switchers is going to go down. I know, the plastic white one is still available at 949, but I don’t think they’ll be producing them much longer.

KATG live in London

Het is weeral even geleden dat ik op deze blog iets van me heb laten horen. Dit is te wijten aan combinatie van een geheel nieuwe studierichting, werk, StampMedia en voornamelijk de vergetelheid van yours truly. Op 11 oktober was ik in Londen (Clo en de kinderen helaas niet na een hele farce met de Britse customs). Ik was er voor een live show van Keith and The Girl, de podcast waar ik de laatste 2,5 jaar zo goed als elke morgen mee startte. Ziehier twee beelden met een hoog starstruck-gehalte: samen met Keith en Chemda.

KATG London

 

KATG London

RIM makes a bold move

RIM is slowly launching it’s latest and greatest model, the 9000 aka bold, throughout the world. After having a closer look at the OS in online video’s and holding a dummy these are my first impressions.

  • form factor: the bold has the classic form factor you’ve come to expect from a blackberry. A nice and crisp widescreen display and a full-on keyboard. It’s a bit thicker than the 8800 series but packs way more features. I personally love the “leather” backplate, nice move from RIM and gives it just that bit more cachet. Currently using an 8707v, I’m used to a “clunkier” device but I can imagine some people disliking the 9000’s dimensions.
  • features: as with every blackberry, the bold comes with RIM’s awesome Internet Services providing what I still find to be the best mobile (PUSH) e-mail solution out there.
  • OS: from what I’ve seen it looks like OS 4.6 is a big improvement from 4.3. The desktop and applications look very nice in that blackberry/business way.
  • media features: the bold is, however, more than a business phone. Like with the curve and pearl, the 9000 packs a 2megapixel camera and has an audio/video player. RIM also offers a free app on it’s website that allows you to sync your blackberry with iTunes. The memory can (for now) be expanded up to 16 gb of microSD and supports bluetooth stereo headphones (one of the features I’m most keen to try out).
  • browser: since the launch of the iPhone, standards for a mobile browers have literally sky-rocketed. It looks like RIM has greatly improved the browsing experience. This does, however, ask for a test run. more to come when get my hands on one.
  • wifi: in a country like Belgium (ie with horrible data limits) having wifi on a smartphone is a serious plus for when you need to download large attachments etc …

Overall the bold is a nice and solid smartphone that won’t let it’s owner down. In the past week images of RIM’s latest project “storm”, featuring a touchscreen, leaked and they have me wondering if the bold is going to be one of the company’s last tack-tile smartphones.