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.



Don said...

I bought a tricked out 17" 'book in October and am ready to sell it on eBay for one of these. I need Photoshop, though, and that is going to be a deal breaker.

Keller said...

I would kill for a MacBook Nano. Then use my newly acquired credit card to buy one.

But seriously Apple loses out pretty big in the business and Asian markets by not having a subnotebook of sorts, heck even the toilet bowl iBook was considered too big in Asia (their Japanese sales tanked AFAIK) and they lost a lot of ground they had built with the PowerBook 2400c/240.

So a subnotebook would be big in certain markets, and it would let break out of their silly screen size = price that they're stuck in, one of the reasons the 12" PB never measured up. The other being of course, is that it tried to ape the 15/17" so instead of being a high end subnotebook it wound up a slightly shinier iBook.

Skep said...

iBook Nano? Nah, you'd never be able to press the keys. Well, you would, but you'd hit about six at once.

I do like the sound of a 19", though... just not the way you laid it out.

In fact, how about going the whole nine yards, and giving it a modular keyboard/speaker design, so people can lay it out how they want? Individual sections of keys, speakers individual, movable power button... and then metal plates with iCutter, so you can fill in the unavoidable gaps, with more metal plates available from all iStores for when you feel like moving it around again.

brett jordan said...

You'd put custom wheel arches and spinners on a Ferrari, wouldn't you Skep :-)

DWalla said...

19" MacBook Pro...... crack addicts unite!

Sheesh... it's supposed to be a PORTABLE machine... you'd have to purchase to airplane seats in first class to simply open the laptop.... no... 17" is just fine.

brett jordan said...

hi dwalla, thanks for your comments

I guess what i was saying was that if i wanted a portable, i'd have a 15"... however, your point is taken about a 19" being a behemoth... and i notice since writing the article that Dell have shoehorned a 1920 x 1200 screen into a 17" laptop... so maybe i could settle for that :-)

Skep said...

Excuse me! I find that calling me a ricer, and saying my taste lies in 'spinnaz' to be far more offensive than if you were to call me every curse word in every language!
If you must know, I wouldn't buy a Ferrari in the first place (price/practicality), and even if I did, I would keep it stock to preserve the beauty!
Spinnaz indeed... PAH I say! PAH!

My 'modular' thing was merely an attempt at humour, which I thought would be picked up on by the mention of iPlates, iStores and iCutter.

brett jordan said...

it was taken as humour skep, as, i hope, was my reply :-)

all the best


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