My post earlier in the week about Apple and Firewire was inaccurate: Apple is cutting back on Firewire but it is still available for most field graphics work. I noticed this when visiting the Apple Store Friday (to get a repair for a MacBook Air hardware design problem).
To recap, Apple now has five different MacBooks with five different port configurations. Once upon a time, they had a coherent port strategy but now everything is different.
|MacBook Air†||-||Mini DisplayPort|
|MacBook Pro||800||ExpressCard 34||Mini DisplayPort|
|MacBook Pro§||400, 800||ExpressCard34||DVI|
† New model due in November, replacing current model
§ Rumored to be replaced in the next 90 days
On Tuesday, Apple introduced two new laptops: the 13" MacBook and the 15" MacBook Pro. Both have the same black keyboard and aluminum case design (although thicker) than the MacBook Air, and both new latpops (along with a promised update to the MacBook Air) will use the new Mini DisplayPort connector. Two old laptops were kept at the bottom and the top of the line: the old 13" white plastic MacBook is now the entry-level model, while the 17" MacBook Pro is unchanged for now but (store employees say) will soon get updated to look like its 15" cousin.
As I noted earlier, Apple deleted Firewire from its 13" laptop. What I missed was that even though the 15" MacBook Pro looks exactly like a stretched 13" MacBook, it still has a Firewire 800 connector on the side.
So of the new models, 2/3 (15", 17") will have Firewire and 1/3 (13") will not. FireWire is a “Pro” feature but not a “MacBook” feature: you can pay $2000 for Firewire — or get it in last year’s model for $1000.
Deleting Firewire from the 15" is my error. Serves me right from trying to make sense of what was going on from news reports, rather than going to look and the products myself. It also says something about the need for boots on the street rather than merely bloggers surfing the web.