Apple announced its first Intel-based hardware today. The new iMac and the MacBook Pro. (They can't call the laptop a PowerBook anymore because it doesn't have a PowerPC chip.) I'm pretty excited about the new hardware - looks like the new stuff is much faster, like 4-5 times faster. I'm hoping the laptop won't run as hot either, though I can't find any power consumption numbers yet.
While I'll certainly be getting a MacBook Pro when the rev 2 unit ships (really, I just don't buy rev 1 stuff, especially for a new architecture), there are a few things that have been dropped that I'll miss. No more FireWire 800 - I guess it didn't take off enough to keep supporting it. Bummer, as I have some FW800 backup drives that I'll have to run at FW400 speeds now. Also, no more faxmodem port - and me without a fax machine! I guess the extra pixels on the screen are a mixed blessing - can fit more on the screen, but have to squint more to read the tiny text.
Probably the most annoying loss for me will be the move from PCCard slot to ExpressCard/34. ExpressCard is the successor to PCCard, and comes in 34mm and 54mm versions. The /34 slot in the MacBook won't accomodate my compact flash card from my camera, so I'll have to buy and schlep around an external USB2 compact flash reader. Right now I have a PCCard adapter that lets me plug in my CF card right into the PowerBook. It's the easiest/fastest way to get photos onto my Mac and I'm going to miss that simplicity, not to mention how convenient it is to carry the adapter in my camera wallet.
On the plus column, the new hardware is fast. Spiffy dual-core CPUs. The MacBook has an upgraded ATI x1600 graphics card (it might even be up to running Second Life now). And I can plug in up to 2GB of RAM, which I will definitely do - paging virtual memory sucks. Also has some nifty things like an IR remote control - great for giving presentations or using your Mac as a media jukebox. And a built in iSight camera is cool. I never think to bring my iSight with me so I never use it.
The iMac looks nice too. I probably won't get one, as I'm holding out for an intel Mac mini (hopefully with a decent graphics card).