Apple MacBook - Steve Jobs's lost opportunity

We had a moment earlier today on the news desk. Someone was raving about how important this new Apple would be. “Sub $800, that’ll change the market, why buy a PC et etc etc.” Well, as it turned out, Steve Jobs blew it.

He could have really gone to town with a super lightweight sub notebook, a bit like the sort of thing we are seeing from Asus, Advent, Packard Bell, other cheap PC brands and even HP.

Instead, the much hyped $800, turned out to be $999 – a small price reduction  – well it’s not much different to what you’d pay already. There’s also a new line of sleek, aluminium-clad notebooks, with real glass panels!

These new MacBooks have a super-fast 9400M Nvidia graphics chip, according to Jobs. “There are 16 parallel graphic cores, and it delivers 54 gigaflops of graphics performance. It’s a “stunner,” he says.

Oh really. One blogger quotes the Nvidia graphics chipset in a typical PC spec for comparison:

* 9800M GT: G94, 500MHz core clock, 96 shaders (1,250MHz), 256-bit, 360 gigaflops
* 9800M GTS: G94, 600MHz core clock, 64 shaders (1,500MHz), 256-bit, 288 gigaflops
* 9700M GTS: G94, 530MHz core clock, 48 shaders (1,325MHz), 256-bit, 190.8 gigaflops
* 9700M GT: G96, 625MHz core clock, 32 shaders (1,550MHz), 128-bit, 148.8 gigaflops

I’m no fan of Apple, and frankly I’m appalled people are so interested in this kind of stuff. But I would have had a bit of respect if Jobs had released a cheapo Apple NetBook, rather than another shiny, pointless  gimmick. Apple truly is a company that appears to push out style over substance.