Saturday, October 18, 2008

New "iBook/PowerBook" Commentary

I think dropping FireWire from the MacBook is foolish, but the endless pictures of the motherboard going around (at AppleInsider and other places) prove something had to budge. There is no room for additional ports if the logic board is constrained to one quarter of the device. On the Pro, there was room, and a market necessity, so they kept it. Incidentally, Mini DisplayPort is Apple-created, so full-size or Mini/Micro DVI, and indeed, er, Big/Standard DisplayPort, were dropped for size, not because Apple is making moves to artificially differentiate its products (i.e. no new iCal event creation on the Touch, something they quickly reversed.) For once, the 2in (13/15) screen difference, the physical constraints, seem to have actually caused a split in the line. 

The 17 is still old-style, probably because it is hard to mill like its smaller cousins. Or maybe because the Air and 17 (and tablet) will be separated off into some sort of low-volume Apple Oddballs laptop section, with Mac Pro R&D spending, and iPod Classic-alike marketing. "It's here if you want it." At least Apple can afford to indulge in some flights of fancy these days, unlike when its Cube nearly killed it, or it had to bench the fan-favorite 12in PowerBook (indeed, Apple addressing the subnote market means times are fat. Remember the MightyCat and the Duo [particularly the 2300c? PPC model. Decadence.])

In that vein, the new 24in LED Cinema Display is marketed as a MacBook/Pro party booster. It represents the end of the iMac, really. It is about as distant from the actual death as the CRT was from going when the iMac G4 killed it. 

The Apple LED TV rumors were not far-fetched, here we have the TV but come by way of desktop computer, not the other way around. A MacBook makes a killer Apple TV. I wouldn't be surprised to see the LED Cinema Displays get bigger and input-y-er, and for the Apple TV to be renamed "Apple" and shot in the head as a hardware product. There is your Apple TV.

If only they'd make a laser printer or digital camera again. Those products suck in the same way cell phones and music players did.

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