Waiting for the other MacShoe to drop

January 12, 2006

I’m not convinced the “Macbook Pro” is really what we’re being led to think it is…

I’ve been living on a Powerbook for the last couple of years, and let me tell you, I’ve got serious lust for the idea of a replacement that runs 5 times faster.

But I’m going to try to hold off…

It’s not entirely about $2500 being a lot of money, especially just after Christmas (although it is), nor is it entirely about being cautious about buying 1.0 of anything from Apple (although I am.)

A lot of it is about this machine not quite making sense…

To me, a lot of things about the Macbook Pro introduction don’t add up correctly — it just doesn’t feel like it’s got the right Apple “Zen”.

Dumping the PC card slot for the Express card slot isn’t surprising; Apple is always on the interface bleeding edge.

But why do that, and then lose the Firewire 800 port in favor of a single Fireware 400 port? I can see dropping one just for chassis real estate, but why drop the newer, higher-end port? That’s not very Apple-like.

I’m also not sure why we didn’t have a case redesign; the aluminum Powerbook case is sexy, but it’s got some real durability problems. It’s also what — 4 years old? Not what you’d expect from the “Flagship” notebook in the brand new line of machines from Apple.

No, what this smells a whole lot like to me is the compromise product that could make it for a January introduction and a February ship date.

In fact, I’m not really convinced that the Powerbook is dead at all.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see a new Powerbook show up in the next 3 – 9 months, with as many sexy high-end features as they can pack into it — a new case design, a higher resolution display, and a faster version of the Intel Dual Core chip — maybe even the 64 bit version.

Whether this would leave the Macbook Pro as an intermediate machine, an iBook replacement, or an “orphan” product line with only one or two versions I can’t guess.

Which is not to say that I wouldn’t take a Macbook Pro if one landed on my doorstep next month — just that I’m not sure that the Powerbook is as dead as we’ve been led to believe, and if it isn’t, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings all that much to wait a few months for it to show….

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