CW: Multitouch Makes All the Difference on New MacBook Pro

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Apple customers who bought a MacBook Pro just before the new Penryn-based models were introduced in February have nothing to be concerned about, according to Computerworld on Friday. But those who have an older PowerBook should definitely consider making the move because of what the new multitouch trackpad offers.

"Apple is understandably proud of this new feature, which mimics the finger gestures used to navigate around its popular iPhone," Ken Mingis wrote. "It was introduced with the MacBook Air, but itis not included in the new MacBook models also unveiled last month. I expect this feature to work its way down the food chain, so look for it in the next generation of MacBooks."

A video demonstrating the operation of multitouch on the MacBook Pro was included in the Hands On report.

Apple has included an interactive preference pane that shows what motions perform what tasks. "If youire surfing the Web with Safari, you can swipe back and forth between pages using three fingers. No more scrolling around to the back and forward buttons in the Safari toolbar, no more need for the Command-Arrow key combo. You can use the pinch motion to decrease the font size of Web pages, or a reverse pinch to make text size larger. Itis elegant in its simplicity and implementation, and it quickly becomes second nature with regular use -- so much so that I keep trying to swipe between pages on my older 17-in. MacBook Pro. No dice," Mr. Mingis noted.

Developers are getting in on the action as well. MultiClutch, still in beta, translates common keyboard commands into multitouch gestures.

The new Penryn-based MacBook Pros offer a modest increase in overall speed over the Merom-based generation, however the change in user interface is so compelling that users of older Apple notebooks will want to take a serious look at these new MacBook Pros.

"...anyone with a MacBook Pro that dates back to 2006, or whois still clinging to a PowerBook, would do well to check out the latest Apple has to offer -- especially because the multitouch features could come in handy in a pinch," the author concluded.

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