Grilling the MacBook Pro

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Despite its now-famous unibody design, the MacBook Pro looks much more similar to its predecessor than the MacBook. This includes the speaker grilles that flank the keyboard. Perhaps some prefer the perforation, but it seems that the prevailing design trend has been to hide the grilles, at least if certain televisions that were introduced at CES 2008 were any indication.

And speaking of elements hidden, I thought there might be a bit of learning curve to the buttonless trackpad, but there isn’t. Clicking occurs in he same area to which the thumb is naturally drawn. It’s not like the whole pad moves uniformly, though. It’s hinged a the top so you’ll get  the most travel toward the bottom. I also thought that Apple would allow more flexibility about defining trackpad click zones but, no, there’s just the option for a right click on the corner of the keyboard. I was also impressed with the new swipe gestures. They are more intuitive than I thought they might be.

And speaking of surprises, Apple’s DisplayPort-based 24″ Cinema Display has a few of them. Apple is branding the monitor as the first one designed for notebooks, and backing that up with a few nice touches such as a MagSafe connector that allows the moniitor to charge a nearby MacBook and automatically transferring the Webcam functionality to the monitor using USB.

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