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Sunday, January 17 Front Page >> Random Rants >> Apple drops the ball.

Jan 17, 2003, 8:35pm

Yeah, I said it, Apple dropped the ball.

Everyone is going gah gah over the two new PowerBooks that Apple introduced at MacWorld last week. There's the 17 inch, widescreen (16:9 ratio) PowerBook, and the 12 inch, normal ratio PowerBook.

The 17 inch one. Okay, I guess it has its place, and some will want the gargantuan size, but I doubt it would even fit in my backpack. I see that notebook as an example of excess in America. It's a metophor.

But it's not bad for some folks.

Where I really think Apple dropped the ball is on the 12 inch PowerBook. Apple. Apple. Apple. Sigh.

You know what they could have done? Maybe what they should have done?

They should have come out with a 13.3" inch, wide screen (16:9) Powerbook in a single spindle design with a firewire based superdrive. Make the computer sub 3.5 pounds, and less than an inch thick. It's doable, and would have been completely unique in the computing world.

At the very least, the screen size should have been a widescreen, either 12 inches (but shorter than standard 12 inch screens) or 13 inch. Keep the optical drive in the machine, but you deliver a machine with a wider keyboard, and not as tall (hint - seating in Economy in airplanes is very tight).

It would have been the only kind in the industry - a wide screen 13 inch notebook computer. Instead, they have a cookiecutter that isn't much different from an iBook design, with the exception of slot load and the G4 chip which, frankly, should have been in the iBooks a year ago (but Apple zealots have blinders on - I rarely see a stink raised about the ancient chip technology Apple continues to put in their iBooks, for both the processor and video).

What I want from Apple is this: A 1 Ghz (or faster) Powerbook that is less than an inch thick when closed, a 13 inch, 16:9 wide screen, and move the DVD to a slice or firewire device, so I can remove it when I want. Make the thing weigh 3.5 lbs or less, and oh yeah, while I'm at it: LIST REAL WORLD BATTERY TIMES Apple!!! I challenge anyone to get 5 hours of normal use out of an iBook!

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