Macworld SF 2009

This year's MacWorld had a different feel than most other MacWorlds in recent history -- with this being the last show that Apple plans on attending, and with Adobe pulling out of the expo, the show seemed a little more empty than usual; Adobe's usual space was filled by, which managed to bring in a good two dozen iMacs to sign people up and demonstrate their online learning materials. The emphasis on MacWorld in recent years has been heavily centered on carrying cases of late; this year's was no exception, though with some of the more familiar vendors missing (such as timbuktu and crumpler). While MacWorld used to find many different independent producers with booths, this year most booths were not by indies, but rather larger name corporations such as iSkin and Brenthaven.

Apple's announcements this year were fairly low-key; while some analysts expected items such as a new Mac mini or new LED monitors, the actual announcements were simply iWork '09 and iLife '09 and the 17 inch MacBook Pro. While I'm glad to see that they added the option of a non-glossy screen, I'm not thrilled that it comes with a $50 surcharge as it involves cutting out the bevel of the MacBook Pro.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro is a curious beast, as it also includes an integrated battery that is Apple serviceable, but not user-servicable. While this means that the 17-inch MacBook Pro probably won't be used by those who swap batteries, Apple claims the battery will last for 8 hours, and will be good for 5 years, which should make it extremely usable for all but the most power-needy of road warriors. My concern with the integrated battery is simply that a battery replacement will require the user to be without their computer for a certain length of time; this is not only inconvenient, but a complete deal breaker for some people.

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