Saturday, February 16, 2008

I know I'm going to offend someone but...

I know I'm going to offend someone, but why does Apple ship their laptops with 13 inch screens? Is it because their engineers fondly remember the 5 inch screen on the original Mac? After all, if your target audience thinks 5 inches of black and white screen is retro cool, then they'll be amazed at a whole 13 inches of genuine colour! I'm thinking of buying a laptop, and I'm wondering if a 15 inch screen is enough. So mostly I'm looking at 17 inch screens, though I might cave and buy a laptop with a 15 inch just to save some money. But why would I pay tons more for a Mac with a puny 13 inch screen?


Blogger Ed LeBlanc said...

A good question, Shawn. The new Macbook Air is the 13-inch version you are talking about. It supplements their existing laptop line of the 15-inch Macbook and 17-inch Macbook Pro. The Air has come under much criticism for its lack of features and its smallish screen size. However, it has three things going for it: small size, light weight (3 lbs), and thinness (its goes from about .8 to .16 inches.
If you intend to have a laptop as your only or primary computer, then the Air is not for you. Apple's engineering team designed it as a secondary computer for people who want something light, thin and small.
I've never had an interest in getting a laptop because I find them too heavy. I see a desktop as my main machine and view a laptop as a compliment computer. Before, I've used a PDA with a portable keyboard and was quite happy with that arrangement. To me, a 13-inch screen would be just peachy in comparison!
The Macbook Air is expensive but, believe it or not, it is cheaper than some other subnotebook computers that have 12-inch screens, such a few of the Sony lines.
If I had the cash available, I'd buy an Air as I like the idea of putting an ultra thin laptop in my briefcase with the rest of my papers and not feeling the weight of a brick when I pick it up.
It all comes back to what you want. I think that the Air will find a healthy market segment to thrive in but time will tell if enough people are willing to live with its limitations. From what you are saying, I don't think an Air would be what you are looking for. Probably a 17-inch Macbook Pro.
By the way, I think the original Mac screen size was 9-inches.

9:46 p.m.  
Blogger Shawn Abigail said...

Thanks for the thoughts Ed. I certainly agree with the target market for the MacBook Air.

The MacBook has a 13 inch screen, like the MacBook Air, and starts at $1249 Cdn. The MacBook Air has a 13 inch screen and starts at $1899. The MacBook Pro is available with a 15 or 17 inch screen, and starts at $2199 ($3099 for the 17 inch).

By way of comparison, a Dell Inspiron 1720 17 inch laptop starts at $699 Cdn. Now some people will say there is no comparison between the products, but even if I loved the Mac and thought a 13 inch screen Mac was superior to a 17 inch Dell Vista machine, I still couldn't afford it.

1:18 p.m.  
Blogger Ed LeBlanc said...

Hi Shawn;
Yes, I stand corrected. The Macbook is 13-inch also.

The Sony Viao TZ is in the same class as the Air with an 11-inch screen and more ports, a DVD drive, etc. and comes in at $2500US.

Although laptops have fallen dramatically in price over the years, such as the Dell systems you mentioned, it appears the price of the smaller, lighter subnotebook class are still way up there. I'm sure as time goes on, this will change. It wasn't long ago that most standard laptops were going for what the Viao and the Air are priced at now.

8:45 p.m.  
Blogger Shawn Abigail said...

I looked and you were right about the screen on the original Mac; it was a 9 inch monochrome.

It would be nice if Apple produced a laptop with a 15 inch screen for under $1K. I think a lot of Apple fans would snap it up.

9:22 p.m.  

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