The two most recent notebooks were tireless workhorses, devoted to duty about six years each, both toted half way around the world a few times, with nothing more than a new disk drive and a battery to show for the wear and tear. Now I’m ready for a new Mac notebook.
Incremental, My Dear Watson
There is little doubt in my mind that if Sherlock Holmes lived in the 21st century, he would be a Mac owner. Why? Holmes paid attention to the little things.
That’s what Apple does with the entire MacBook line. In the post-PC era where traditional PC sales drop steadily year over year, the Mac continues to thrive.
My aging aluminum MacBook (last of a breed) will find a new home and a thankful owner, but I’m officially looking for the next perfect Mac notebook.
The word on the streets says Intel has delayed the next generation of CPUs until 2015. That means any new MacBook models are likely to get modest upgrades. For me, the 13-inch form factor is almost perfect.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is a beautify, but also expensive and heavy (heavy is a relative issue). The 11-inch MacBook Air seems a little too small for comfort, but the 12-hour battery life on the 13-inch model is a stark contrast from the four hours my MacBook gets now.
Other words on the street say Apple has a 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display waiting in the wings. Thinner, lighter, faster and with a Retina display.
That sounds impressive and compelling. But when?
Apple won’t say, of course, so, as always patience is a virtue. Meanwhile, my aluminum MacBook Air nears its sixth birthday, faster than ever thanks to a replacement SSD a year ago.
The entire Mac line represents barely 20-percent of Apple’s business these days, thanks to the runaway success of iPhone and iPad. Even the diminutive Apple TV has sold 20-million units in recent years.
What else could Apple do to a MacBook other than make it thinner, faster, lighter, brighter, and sip battery power through a thinner straw? Are we beyond the days of monumental changes to the notebook? It cannot be a dying breed. One can do so much more on a MacBook Air than an iPad.
So, what’s the next big thing in notebooks?
All the apps anyone needs are free on a Mac. Even OS X ships free these days. Alas, the age of monumental improvements must give way to the golden years of incremental improvements. Is the MacBook form factor simply as good as it can get?