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H/T Ive

He's done it again. They've done it again.

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To think he once designed bathroom sinks.

To call the new Apple portables 'revolutionary' would almost be an insult. They're so different and so 'outside the bun' in both engineering process and end user experience that the rest of the computer manufacturing world is once again going to have to play a panicky game of 'catch up'.

These models aren't an improvement on an earlier design using enhancements in an earlier process - Apple have quite simply raised the bar on personal computing.

One of the first things people will notice is how the trackpad functions as the touch screen interface on the iPhone. You can brush back and forth, up and down, to browse through things. And it's glass. And evidently the design team went through quite a number of test models until they got just the right feel, the right texture.

The screen's glass too. And it's powered by a backlit LED display. Meaning it comes on instantly. And as they describe it, the colours just 'pop' out at you.

The new MacBook and MacBook Pro combine the black and aluminium look of the iMac; some people may not have liked this on the desktop, seeing instead flashbacks of rows and rows of ugly Wintel portables at Best Buy and Circuit City. But here it seems to work; here it seems to be the obvious choice.

The new MacBook is priced higher by $200; the MacBook Pro stays at the same price as before.

Are we still worried about security issues such as the system login items hole? Of course. Do we at times think the software engineers are asleep at the keyboard? Yes. Undoubtedly. Do iTunes users and iPhone owners think the infrastructure of the company could be improved? Definitely. Even vastly improved.

But this computer trumps all.

It's going to be difficult for people to go back to other machines after using this one. Getting used to tapping a finger instead of thumping a thumb for a mouse click is going to slow people down when they have to use older 'last generation' machines.

And they're going to find those older boxes 'lacklustre', looking for browse motions that aren't there.

But as the Apple blurb says, these new boxes are 'engineered to standards that don't even exist yet'. People are going to notice this. And there's going to be an incredible buzz about these machines in the industry.

Apple and Jonathan Ive have rethought the entire concept, fully cognisant of the inverse proportion between number of components and overall quality and reliability.

It's not just the final product - it's how that final product is made.

The new MacBook goes on sale tomorrow. And despite the current worldwide financial meltdown there's going to be a hysterical rush to get it.

Go here to see it. Don't miss it.

Clipothèque: 'The new MacBook. Watch the video.' (Small Medium Large formats.)

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