What Not To Fix I like my white MacBook with its polycarbonate “legacy” style. Everything is white: I like that. Yes, there are different shades of white, but the entire surface of the MacBook is a simple white. Sure, the aluminum unibody MacBook Pro‘s look cool, but I think it lacks a certain elegance: a single color versus two colors. For instance, the chassis is aluminum (and aluminum color), the keyboard is black, the display has a black border and the back of the display is aluminum. Two colors isn’t that bad, but compared to a mono-color MacBook, I’ll take the later. (Rant: The cover glass on the display has a major flaw: the dust inside the display tend to gravitate in between the LCD and the cover glass. And there is no way to get it out. This happens on the iPhone too. I hate it. Absolutely NO cover glass on the MacBook please–unless Apple and Foxconn decide to assemble these in Class 1 or better clean rooms.) If you want the antiglare option on the 17-inch version you get a black rubber border around the aluminum-colored plastic bezel. I like the antiglare display but I don’t like the rapid color changes within that short distance. The antiglare 17-inch MacBook Pro looks like it got hit with the design-complexity stick, a small one and gently.
Here is the list of 10 fixes that I would like to see in the new MacBook:
- Unibody I don’t mind the polycarbonate material. How about developing a process to make a unibody polycarbonate? That will get rid of the screws that Steve hates so much and the process will yield more sturdy structures. You can also simplify the design and the number of components to eventually have better margins.
- Button-Integrated Glass Multitouch Trackpad This is a must and a no-brainer.
- Thinner, Antiglare Display The display can certainly be thinner. Sony has been doing it for a good long time. One of the most important challenges is to keep the ultra-thin polycarbonate cover to be extremely rigid. And change antiglare from option to standard. Glare is quite unproductive.
- Backlit Keyboard Keep the white colored keyboard. But make the keyboards backlit. Do you think average consumers and students don’t get on the MacBook when it is dark?
- Integrated Battery This can be controversial but I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Integrating the battery certainly involves believing in the assumption that Apple will make sure the battery is of the finest quality and that it will not blow up. If you can take that leap of faith, the integrated battery will allow for less things to break, a more solid chassis and slender design. Of course, don’t forget the most important benefit: a much longer battery life. Make sure the MacBook can last 12 hours. Or more.
- iPhone Camera The camera on the iPhone 3GS and the associated software is very cool. The ability to choose what the camera should focus on is fantastic. Let’s get that technology into the MacBook. Having more megapixels isn’t always going to yield better quality photos but you do need at least a certain amount: boost the webcam to 3 megapixels and make it good.
- SSD Make SSD an option.
- 8GB The maximum RAM on current MacBooks is 4GB: increase it to 8GB. Of course, that will make it the same as the more expensive MacBook Pros. The simple solution: bump the maximum to 16GB in 2010. Problem solved.
- Connection Stick (iStick) I hate looking at all the cables that connect to my MacBook–it looks like my MacBook is on life support! Make an external iStick with another set of connections: getting all the cables out of sight would be such a relief.
- SD All the MacBook Pros have it (well, except for the 17-inch) so why not the MacBook? Heck, the MacBook guys & gals probably use more SD than the Pro folks. Don’t the Pro folks use DSLRs that have CF cards?