Grab bag: People power

Notebook lust: the new MacBooks

My first generation MacBook Pro, purchased back in 2006, is starting to look a little long in the teeth. The basic machine has been just fine, but I knew when I bought it that 80 GB wouldn’t be enough disk space, and the battery is coming perilously close to the end of its lifecycle; I now get maybe 30 minutes on a full battery.

More damningly, there’s a power cord issue (and if you’ve followed my Mac experience through three Apple laptops over the past eight years, this shouldn’t be a surprise). MagSafe eliminated the problem I had on old machines, where the cable would break or fray. Unfortunately, I found a whole new problem with the design: small beings can knock the laptop off the table or chair where it’s sitting, and if it falls on the side with the MagSafe connector, the case dents around the power cable and makes it much harder for the power connection to complete successfully.

All of which means that the new MacBook Pro looks pretty good right now. Killer graphics, more capacity, AND a case carved of solid aluminum that I would bet is much more dent resistant.

But you know? The new MacBooks are also solid aluminum cases, have more capacity than what I have today, and are about $700 cheaper than the MacBook Pro. And increasingly what I’m thinking is a lower end laptop and a dedicated home media computer (or appliance) is the way to go rather than trying to drive everything off one machine. Unfortunately, this is the wrong part of the stock market cycle to make that happen, but it’s a dream I can have.