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Back in 2003 I bought my first Mac, a PowerBook G4. I’ve been very satisfied with the laptop, but it’s starting to get a bit old. Even though I don’t find an upgrade urgent since the computer still runs fine, it’s always nice to get some change once in a while. The only problem though is that I don’t find they new MacBooks improved enough for me to upgrade (sure, they’re faster, but that’s basically it).

In order for me to upgrade I’d need a better reason than just an increased CPU speed, because the speed of my laptop is currently not something that bothers me. However, there are some features that I miss on the MacBook.

Battery Life
Come on Apple, the battery life on the PowerBook and MacBook is pretty sad. When Sony can get their Vaios to run about 6-8 hours on the same CPU, I fail to see why this wouldn’t be possible on Apple’s laptops. Even the old Sonys (3 years old or so) has at least 4 hours of battery life.

I certainly see a big market for this. Sure, the Windows Tablets might not been as successful as the PC vendors hoped, but I believe in the idea. Right now I often end up taking notes on a plain sheet of paper, since certain type of data (graphs etc) is too time-consuming to record with only a keyboard and mouse.

There is certainly a demand for a Mac Tablet, since a company named Axiotron actually developed a modified MacBook (named ModBook), which was modified into a tablet. However, it would be nice if Apple could release this themselves.

Biometric reader
There are plenty of different standards available, but I guess finger-print is the more widely used technology. Wouldn’t it be convenient to log into the computer without having to type a long (secure) password every time? I don’t know how well the BSD-kernel supports these kind of devices, and how it would be solved, but I’d sure love that feature.

If Apple can implement these features in the next generation MacBook, I’d be the first one to sign up on the waiting list (assuming it’s not too much more expensive than the current MacBook).

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  1. phlo says:

    Hey there

    Judging from your suggestins, what you are looking for is actual quality hardware like real vendors sell it. Take a look at Lenovo’s current offerings, especially the X60 tablet. It’s smaller and sleeker than all that Apple stuff, runs (depending on the battery pack) some 4-5 or 6-8 hours, has a fingerprint reader and a great touchscreen. Aditionally you get to run real operating systems like Windows and Linux on it. And even better: you don’t have to sign up for some kind of waiting list because it’s about the actual device and not some cult of The Steve! :)

  2. Viktor Petersson says:

    Thanks for your input. The Lenevo X60 does seem to be a nice laptop. The hardware-specs looks nice, but the design could have been better.

    The problem is this though – it doesn’t run OS X. I’m totally pro-Linux, but I feel that I spent enough time in my life tweaking linux on laptops to work with all the hardware that they come with. I bet running Ubuntu would be cool on this laptop, but after googling a bit, it appears to have some problems. Even though most hardware (after a bit of tweaking) seems to work, other pieces such as the biometric-reader and ACPI/APM features (suspending to RAM/disk and blank screen) seems to be missing.

    Don’t get me wrong, I really love Linux, but there are still some problems with hardware that needs to be resolved. I might be wrong about this, but as far as I know, it’s still a hassle to get Bluetooth devices to properly sync with Linux. This is a feature I really need. However, I’m sure the developers are working hard to make this better.

    Personally I would rather buy a laptop from System76 which sells laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed, and therefor you _know_ all hardware is working out of box. Unfortunately System76 do not offer any tablet at this point.

    The bottom line is that OS X gives you the power and almost all benefit from Linux or FreeBSD, but with the extra bonus of the time you save from not having to tweak your configs for a couple of days to get it all to work. Surely you might loose a bit of flexibility and ability to customize everything, but time is money for me. 5 years ago I used to enjoy that tweaking, but today my time is too valuable.

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