As Coldplay’s “Life in Technicolor” reaches its swelling climax, an impossibly slender, silver laptop slowly comes into full view, its gleaming glass screen depicting a brilliant view of an aurora and a dock filled with applications.
This scene is a part of the introductory video for the “next generation” in Mac products — the new MacBook and MacBook Pro. The new MacBook family, constructed from a solid block of aluminum, was unveiled to the world on October 14th—and has Yale students giddy, but not ready to scrap their current laptops.
Declared a “revolution in the way notebooks are made” on Apple’s Web site, the updated MacBook generation promises to be a technological wonder. It features a thin LED backlight display, graphics performance that claims to be five times faster and more realistic, and a glass Multi-Touch trackpad. The new MacBook also earned the ‘green’ stamp of achieving a EPEAT Gold status, the highest environmental rating possible for a laptop.
But a revolution is nothing without followers, and for many Yalies, this laptop just isn’t arriving at the best time.
“I really like it,” David Chan ’12 said. “But not for now. My current laptop is too functional.”
Bryan Kam ’12 agreed: while the new Mac “looks incredible,” it’s just too soon to replace his current Mac.
“I just bought my MacBook this year because of the iPod touch deal,” he said of “a back-to-school promotion” Apple offered to college students earlier this year: a free 8GB iPod touch with the purchase of a qualifying Mac.
Despite their tendency to conserve their budgets and take advantage of their current laptops for as long as possible, many Mac owners said they still feel an allegiance to all things Mac.
“I’ve had so many problems with [my current Mac], but for some reason I’m still loyal to the brand,” Kate Hawkins ’10 said.
Though she plans to buy a new Mac when her old one breaks, she said she will miss her old trackpad. The new one, which has a multi-touch feature that eliminates the need for a separate button, is much harder to use, she said.
Indeed Mac has another captive consumer in Emily Guh ’09, who said that she’d probably get a new Mac in a few years, despite having encountered problems with her current Mac laptop, which she said frequently crashed.
Current PC users interviewed also said they can see the allure of acquiring a Mac laptop at some point in the future — especially with the new generation now on the market.
“I actually think they’re good computers, well-constructed, with a user-friendly layout,” Ross Uhrich ’10 said. “I have no idea why I still have my Dell.”
Esther Nie ’09, another Dell owner, also said she would consider making her next computer a Mac. For Nie, in the decision to switch, form trumped function.
“The new interface is a lot cuter,” she said.
She added, “I like the Photo Booth application. That would be like half the reason I’d switch over.”
Even many of those who don’t own laptops say they have a certain respect for Macs.
Kurt Schneider ’10 — self-proclaimed as one of the few on campus without a laptop — declared, “Mac owns everything.”
That may or may not be true, but for now, it seems the new LED backlight technology and glass display of the latest MacBook may not be enough to entice most Yalies, who are inclined to stick with what they’ve got. Their lives will remain, at least for the time being, in technicolor.