Tuesday, April 25, 2006
17" MacBook Pro. Not big enough?
Apple has released its latest PowerBook (sorry, MacBook Pro!).
Powered by a dual-core Intel processor, it runs up to five times the speed of a PowerBook G4 and has eight times the graphics bandwidth. It's got a built-in webcam, a higher resolution screen and it weighs just over 3kg.
So how come I'm not desperate to replace my two year-old 17" 1.33MHz PowerBook?
Partly it is because Adobe isn't going to be releasing its Intel-optimised applications until next year.
Partly it is because my current PowerBook is plenty fast enough for most situations (and, yes, I know that if I actually tried one of the new 'Books I would probably change my tune on that one).
Partly it is because Apple still aren't implementing the new 160GB 2.5" hard drives as a build option (I installed one in my current 'Book, and it was like moving into a much larger house! 70GB of iTunes songs, a full suite of apps, and I still have nearly 50GB of free space!).
But mainly it's because I would have liked it to have been just that BIT bigger!
Don't get me wrong, I know the 17" form-factor is already pushing the definition of 'portable'. But to me, screen real-estate is very important. Aesthetics-wise, the 15" 'Book is nearly perfect, a brilliant balance of performance and portability, but I'm quite willing to carry a weight/size penalty to enjoy a screen that has room for three application windows side-by-side, and to have a decent-sized Photoshop or InDesign window along with the myriad of palettes that I use with them.
So Steve, when next Spring rolls along, why not demo that Intel-optimised Adobe Creative suite on a 19" 'Book, say with a 1920x1080 pixel screen (perfect to view those H.264 encoded videos at full screen), and maybe get rid of those speakers to the left and right of the keyboard and slot in a numeric keypad and forward delete key.
And while I'm living in a fantasy world, why not release a worthy successor to the much-loved 12" PowerBook, in the shape of the MacBook Nano? A sexy, super-portable notebook running OSX on a healthy-sized flash memory-based hard drive with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a super-bright, high-resolution screen.