2017-04-28

The Ultimate MacBook for 2018.

As my regular readers know, I love my 2010-vintage A1342 white unibody MacBook.  They are tough as nails - mine have gone through over 6 years of high school and continue to work great.

But the new MacBook and MacBook Pro series are for rich kids only.  They're expensive to buy, and they're expensive to own, and they are absolutely non-expandable once you plunk down your money.   And they're fragile, lacking MagSafe, and readily dent-able.

The poly MacBook had an important place in the lineup, and now there is a void.  I'd love Apple to see that and to address it.

So I don't want a less expandable, more fragile MacBook, but I do want a more modern one.  When Apple originally released the A1342 series, it was technically close to the MBP in power and capability.  It wasn't exactly as sweet as a MBP, but it was no slouch.  This is proven out today - even these machines, 7+ years later, are still capable workhorses.

I don't think my answer is a HomerMobile or an Edsel.  Instead, I think of it as today's Mini Cooper - an affordable and modernized re-think of a classic.

Therefore, without further ado, this is what I'd like from Apple for my MacBook of 2018.

Start with the A1342 unibody MacBook.
  • Modernize the Logic Board and its Ports
    • Upgrade from Core2Duo to a modern CPU chipset
    • Retain use of dual SO-DIMM memory modules, for future expandability.
    • Upgrade wireless to support 802.11ac and modern Bluetooth
    • Add at least two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt
    • Retain Magsafe2
    • Retain or remove DisplayPort, USB2, and Ethernet ports.
  • Modernize Drives
    • Add an internal M.2 PCI-e drive interface to allow for modern commodity SSD drives.
    • Keep SATA interface for a 2.5" drive to allow for high capacity drives (optional).
    • Remove the now-obsolete DVD drive and its drive bay.
  • Improve Appearance, Form, and Robustness
    • Improve display with Retina-class resolution
    • Improve iSight with a modern camera
    • Ensure resultant device is at least as robust as the A1342 series
      • Improve the clamshell hinge to reduce or eliminate the stress cracks that can develop through hyper-extension 
      • Fix the keyboard so it is less prone to water damage and/or more serviceable
    • Thin down the case to account for lack of a DVD drive bay, and/or expand the battery capacity.
    • Retain ability of user service for memory and drives
  • Pricing
    • Retain the $1000 price tag of the 2010-vintage A1342 MacBook.
 And there we go!  Let's hope Apple can meet or exceed this call for great design and engineering!

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