What Do You Want Out Of The Intel Based Mac Laptops?

by Chris Seibold Nov 07, 2005

Mac rumors are staple of the Mac community but, occasionally, the pleasant background buzz of the rumors ratchets up to the scream of an F-16 just prior to takeoff. With Macworld around the corner and Intel based Machines appearing at some point in the future it was easily predictable that this would be one of those moments. A variety rumors are gaining energy like a tropical storm feeding on the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, particularly noisy is the rumor that Apple will be introducing an Intel based PowerBook during Macworld or shortly thereafter.

A rumor that could be immediately dispelled or trivially obvious wouldn’t be much of a rumor so, as always, there are reasons to believe the rumor and equally valid reasons to dismiss the peek into the future. One reason to put a little faith in the rumor: an early Intel powered laptop would likely provide a boost to Apple’s sales, surely there has to be some amount of pent up PowerBook demand. Providing a counterpoint to the “early rollout” cash grab theory is the likelihood that if PowerBooks roll out, say January 15th, the pro level applications to go with the new sleek new beauties won’t be available for months. A lack of pro applications is compelling reason to hold off a purchase no matter how Intel based PowerBook hungry you are. For example, if you’re a professional Photoshop user the allure of an Intel PowerBook will be severely limited until a native version of Adobe CS is available (Pro’s don’t emulate). So, as always, take the rumor with the proverbial grain of salt.

Rumors aside, we know (where our “certain” knowledge is tempered by the fact that it came via S. Jobs) that eventually PowerBooks and iBooks will be Intel based. Now, for the sake of discussion, let us assume that the Intel powered laptops will feature some level redesign greater than just a new motherboard and processor swap. The scenario seems plausible, both the iBook and the PowerBook are getting a bit long in the tooth by Apple design standards (though it is certainly not a given). This leads us straight to the question: if Apple significantly changes the laptop line beyond the processor what changes would you like to see?

There are a few changes everyone would like to see: longer battery life, cheaper machines and an integrated bagel toaster (many were hoping for bagel toaster integration with the new iPod). While the yearning for increased battery life seems to be likely fulfilled with the revision the idea that substantially cheaper ‘Books will come along for the ride seems as probable as the latest free energy scheme actually making it to market. The bagel toaster is, of course, an absolute no brainer. Realizing that we are now free to leave the arena of solid thinking and ergonomically aware designs we can speculate unencumbered on what we would like to see with new Apple Laptops.

I’ll (using rare first person perspective) start. Personally, I would like to see the iBook line and PowerBook line continue to be differentiated by case materials. I’d like to see keyboard backlighting go standard across the laptop line and, more importantly. no soldered memory. Laptops aren’t going to be the most expandable machines but dropping the soldered memory would allow users to upgrade two memory slots instead of one. I’d also like to see the iBook get a little tougher. You’ll remember that the original toilet seat hello kitty iBook was touted as being much more rugged than the PowerBook. That trend was continued with the iceBook until the Aluminum PowerBooks were introduced. I can’t say which one is actually tougher (Hadley Stern maintains it is certainly the PowerBook) but the iBook can afford to trade a little size for toughness, it is after all, the laptop for the dolts among us. With the advent of the Mighty Mouse, I’d like to see multiple clicks and a scroll device on the laptops (none of that two finger scrolling either) though not if were implemented in Mighty Mouse fashion. Lastly, I would an option in a very dark color that managed to look unlike every fairly ugly Windows laptop on the market.

So those are the things I’d like to see, admittedly my list isn’t too exciting. Apple Matters readers are much more insightful than the Tuesday/Thursday guy so I’m very interested what you’d like to see in Apple’s next generation of laptops.


  • In the hopes that Apple reads these things, here is what I need.

    Since Aperture indexes only images stored on the boot disk (???? ) I need a big one. Think terabyte or more, possibly an array of 2” or micro drives or flash memory cards with some being hot swappable. Use that PC card slot for another hot swappable drive/card array as well.

    Also I wouldn’t mind high speed disk drives as an order-able option. They make a heck of a difference in performance.

    Also, how about quad processors? C’mon, if it has to be a little bigger I can handle that. Or have 2 motherboards with one remaining in a dock so you could leave the power consumption at home.

    And how about a built-in CF card reader?

    How about fold-up legs of different sizes? Ever see those enormous satellite antennas that fold up so compactly? Sometimes its a desk sometimes its a screen lifter, sometimes its a podium…handy.

    Admiral Horrendous had this to say on Nov 08, 2005 Posts: 1
  • Rather than “upgrading” from my 15” AlBook, I’d like a “downgrade” to a much smaller, lighter and slower machine with MUCH longer battery life.

    I’ll never get the speed that I really want in a laptop without it melting down in my lap, so slower and cooler is better.  I’ll get a desktop for the smoke.

    see some musings at http://girr.org/mac_stuff/upgrades.html

    - gws

    gwschreyer had this to say on Nov 08, 2005 Posts: 23
  • Those new shiny screens you see on Dells at the moment. It makes the screen look STUNNING! I forget what its called though… X- something… X-Black I think, not certain though.

    mcwazza had this to say on Nov 08, 2005 Posts: 6
  • I agree about keeping the 12” model
    My PowerBook 12” is a secondary computer, after my G5. My desktop system has a 23” Cinema Display; for my PowerBook, I want *portability*.

    I was interested in the Intel PowerBooks; if it had to be a 15” system, I’d prefer to keep my older G4 PB.

    Scott_R had this to say on Nov 08, 2005 Posts: 17
  • Hey everyone. I’m new to this forum stuff but I’ll give it a go.

    I’ve never owned a Apple laptop but I’m really hoping to get one. I have a 6 year old G3 iMac 500Mhz. Can you say snail?...I can.

    Anways, here are my prefs for each ‘Book line:

    iBook: 13” widescreen (1280x854 rez.), iSight webcam, Front Row, 1.8Ghz Intel chip, 512MB DDR2 ram, 80GB or more standard hard drive, DL superdrive, GB ethernet, 3 USB, FW 400 (2) and 800, DVI and video spanning standard capability, and MINIMUM of 64MB video memory with an ATI radeon, backlight keyboard

    Powerbooks: 13, 15 and 17 inch widescreens with high rez, iSight webcam, Front Row, 2.5Ghz Intel chip, 1GB DDR2 ram standard, 100GB HD or more standard, 16x DL Superdrive across the board, Gb ethernet, 3 USB, FW 400 (2) and 800, 128MB ATI Radeon on all models with dual external display support, backlight keyboard

    That’s all I can think of for now. I’m sure previous entries have thought of other stuff.

    Big Mac had this to say on Nov 08, 2005 Posts: 1
  • In short, parity with the desktop Macs.

    However, one thing I have not heard anyone complain about is how shortchanged the PowerBook line is with respect to maximum memory.  One eighth the maximum RAM as the current desktop line, and LESS memory than you can put into an iMac!  I do a lot of heavy duty editing on my PowerBook, and with several programs running simultaneously I spend far too much time watching that damned beachball spin while Tiger lesuirely swaps virtual memory off and onto the hard disk.

    No way in hell will I EVER purchase a new laptop which does not accept at least 4GB of RAM.

    RMAC had this to say on Nov 09, 2005 Posts: 3
  • “The New 6gen PowerBook. Now Shipping”:

    > 5GHz CPU
    > 41” fold-out screen
    > unlimited battery life*
    > backlit everything
    > 12GB DDR3 RAM
    > new Apple Invisi™ built-in
    > 6 iSights
    > comes with Mac OS X Chinese Mountain Cat
    > Front Row included. With 6 remotes - enough to share with friends!

    * within reason

    Luke Mildenhall-Ward had this to say on Nov 09, 2005 Posts: 299
  • I hope Apple are keeping a close eye on this article, there are some really great little suggestions in here. I think my favourites have to be:

    > backlit keyboards across the range
    > longer battery life
    > better trackpad ( we know you can do this easily Apple wink )
    > HD screens across the range, my 12” iBook rocks but it would be really great to have some extra screen res
    > More robust power cable
    > And finally, new design! smile

    Alistair Holt // 72 had this to say on Nov 09, 2005 Posts: 1
  • I know what I would not want of an Intel based Mac - Apple actually implementing ‘trusted computing’ , limiting what I and my applications can do.

    As Cory Doctorow aptly put it - ‘My data is my life, and I won’t keep it in a strongbox that someone else has the keys for’.

    David P had this to say on Nov 09, 2005 Posts: 1
  • Apple have been pretty good to us (OS speaking) in relation to DRM. So I can’t imagine them doing anything drastic. But I do agree, I wouldn’t want limits either. But I think Apple knows this. Which is why they haven’t done it previously.

    Luke Mildenhall-Ward had this to say on Nov 10, 2005 Posts: 299
  • I read a news report this morning about how popular PepperPad is as an X-mas present.  Just think of how Apple could dominate the home entertainment space with an Apple branded coffee table tablet bundled with an Airport Extreme.

    Timbucktu had this to say on Nov 11, 2005 Posts: 1
  • My question is this, if the iMac looks like a pb on a stand, why can’t a pb have the same power, etc., that an iMac has?

    I often bring my iMac out to the living room when guests are here.  I simply turn it on and click on slide show of all the photos.  Instead of the t.v. on or passing around photo albums, guests watch the photos as they are displayed.  The iMac is small enough to move to a coffee table.

    SirGeorge53 had this to say on Nov 13, 2005 Posts: 27
  • Page 2 of 2 pages  <  1 2
You need log in, or register, in order to comment