Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Wish list for Intel-based Mac laptops

AppleMatters ran an article asking what we want in the upcoming Intel-based laptops. Here's my list. Thoughts, any other Mac users?

Firstly, I'd hate to have the 12" PB discontinued without an equivalent offering (a 13" WS would be nice). There are certain features on the PB models that I like (DVI, better graphics, faster drives, the general look) - but I do like to have a true portable which I can plug into an external monitor at home or in the lab.

I have a 1.5 GHz 12" PB that I bought in February and some things that I'd really like to have in later releases:

1. Two buttons for the mouse. Its about time, guys - the mighty mouse is now standard on iMs and PMs, its only fair that the books get two clicks too.

2. Much better performance. It pains me that this 12" is still the fastest Apple model I can buy today and it gets its ass kicked in numerical computation by a Dell centrino (on Linux). Hopefully a switch to a newer CPU architecture will fix that. Can't believe that G4 1 GHz came out nearly five years ago with the TiBook.

3. Better graphics, even for the 12" - as good or nearly as good as the bigger models. A GF 5200 is trash especially compared to the 9700. After switching to the Mac I found to my pleasant surprise that there's a fairly decent complement of games for the Mac - a lot of which are unfortunately useless with a GF 5200.

4. Better-powered USB ports. The 15" PB can't connect by default to an external USB powered drive. My 12" thankfully can (I live on that drive) but the moment I plug in a hub - and with just 2 USB ports, you almost have to - I can't connect multiple powered devices to it - like my iPod Shuffle. A real annoyance in a world where you have USB powered drives, speakers and device chargers. And while I'm on the subject, could we have more than 2 USB ports please?

5. Region-free DVD drives! Please!

6. An SD-card slot for us photographers.

7. A decent dock connector will be extremely helpful. I use my Powerbook as my exclusive system, and I'm sure a lot of others do as well.

I'm pretty sure this is not too much to ask. All of these features can be had in a Wintel notebook today and its about time Apple caught up.