Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
New MacBooks: where's the beef?

I have a ton of open tabs I need to close because right now my laptop is running like a snail through molasses... The trouble is, I have more to say about a number of these than a simple 'links list' entry would cover, so you get a flurry of short posts.

First up on the docket is Apple's release of new MacBook Pros earlier this week. Seeing the new specs, I found myself with a flashback to those ads from the 80s: "Where's the beef?" The new Santa Rosa chipset is a welcome addition, as are the minimum of 2GB of RAM per machine and the mercury-free LED displays, but I'm not only disappointed that the new machines don't have more to offer but that they dropped only a week shy of GDC. This suggests that if there is a new-and-seriously-improved MacBook in the works, then it won't show up until 2008 at the earliest. Now, it's possible that this is just a kludge solution until a new machine shows up with a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive (support is rumored to be included in Leopard), a flash memory hard drive (as has long been rumored to be included in the even longer-rumored subnotebook – MacBook Nano?) and dear sweet Jesus come on an industrial design refresh.

Many Mac fanatics out there will scoff, "Why mess with perfection?", but that's the role that Apple should play, and used to play – to lead the industry and show what's possible. Take the Intel-sponsored concept laptop, for example; it's barely thicker than a Motorola RAZR phone, offers a screen in the back of the lid for quick access even if the machine is closed, has a crazy battery life of 14 hours, is really lightweight and is freakin' gorgeous. C'mon, Apple – this used to be your department. Someone call Ive and remind him that even though 'Computer' is no longer in the company's name, that's no reason to ignore the company's core business. I don't care if iPods are the company's growth leader at this point – they were suppoed to serve as a Trojan horse to convert more Windows people to the Mac platform, and it's worked. Now give them something amazing to convert to, dammit.

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