Best. Macworld. Ever.

Well, perhaps that is an overstatement, but I can’t remember feeling so giddy during a SteveNote presentation since the PowerMac G5s were unveiled at WWDC 2003 (and I tend to get slightly giddy during any presentation given by Steve Jobs).

First, I like the iLife and iWork updates. Sure, there is still no dedicated spreadsheet application in iWork, but the additions to Pages and Keynote look great. As far as iLife goes, iPhoto has me the most interested, though the enhancements to the other apps – particularly iMovie and iDVD – will be welcome, especially since I haven’t updated iLife for two years now.

The new Intel iMac is cool. I like the current form factor, so retaining it wasn’t a bad thing. However, it would be nice if there was some way of distinguishing it from the PowerPC iMac other than the specs on the box. Regardless, it seems to be getting quite the performance boost for no more cost. No complaints from this gallery.

What really floored me was the new MacBook Pro. Alright, so no points for the name, but a hundred points for the computer itself. Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with the PowerBook G4 long ago, but this thing just stole my geeky heart. 1.67 or 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 667 MHz frontside bus (as compared to 167 MHz on the G4), Mobility Radeon X 1600, optical audio, dual-layer DVD burning, built-in iSight, backlit keyboard – I could go on and on.

It’s everything the PowerBook was plus one important factor: Power.

Questionably, Apple has removed the FireWire 800 port, which strikes me as odd, and, according to this Infinite Loop post, battery life is somewhat disappointing. It is worth noting, though, that these machines do not ship until February, and progress could be made on the battery front between now and then.

Regardless of these apparent shortcomings, there is little to complain about here. This is one nice laptop, and it is easily the most competitive laptop Apple has released in a while. Sure, a Dell would be still cheaper, but it just wouldn’t be a Mac. Congratulations, Apple, the Intel transition is underway. Here’s to hoping the next several months go smoothly!

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