I did it. After work I marched down to the Pioneer Place Apple Store, and I bravely… put my name on a list to be called when they get the new MacBook Pros in stock.

I didn’t go crazy – I didn’t actually put any money down. But they are going to reserve one for me. That gives me until… whenever… to save up and decide if I’m going to upgrade. Apple says they’ll ship in February, but who knows with Apple.

Of course, one of the reasons given for Apple’s slipping ship dates on new computers has been the slow production of chips from Motorola and IBM. Now that they’ve got Intel supplying their chips and chipsets, hopefully those days are behind them. We shall see.

One thing to worry about is battery life. If you go to the tech specs page for the new MacBook Pros, you will see that the battery is listed as a 60 watt-hour lithium polymer battery. But nowhere does it give any idea, y’know, how long that battery will actually last under normal usage. There’s a footnote at the bottom of the page that explains that “battery life depends on configuration and use”. Duh. And water is still wet.

The PowerBook tech specs show battery life, even if it is in the marketing-speak of “up to 5.5 hours” (my emphasis added). C’mon, Apple, throw us a friggin’ bone here. The marketing page shouts “More power, using less power” but these Intel chips are brand-new (rumor has it that they’re the chips Intel code-named Yonah – I’m going to have to dig into that at a later date) so all we have is what Intel and Apple are telling us. There’s no real-world experience yet. Should we be worried about the damn thing not being able to play a movie all the way through? Or are we going to be so awed by the MagSafe connector that we just won’t mind having to plug the damned thing in every hour or two? Although I have to admit, that MagSafe connector is freakin’ cool.

(By the way, does anyone else find the page design a little… um… hard to read? Gray letters on a black background may be sexy and all, but on my CRT at work (oops!) it’s dim.)

And… the 15″ and 17″ PowerBooks have a dual-layer SuperDrive… it appears the 15″ MacBook Pro doesn’t.

And… I’m also worried about getting bit by the Version 1.0 bug, the stuff that no one foresees. These are brand-new. By being one of the first to buy them, I might be paying a good chunk of money to be Apple’s beta tester. Oh, well. Such is life on the bleeding edge of technology.

Oh, well, at least it appears that there ain’t gonna be no fugly Intel stickers marring its beautiful aluminum frame. Thank goodness for small favors.