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View Full Version : What new features do you want in a powerbook?


Aciddan
Jul 9, 2003, 11:58 PM
Guys,

I'm interested in finding out everyone's opinions on the features they would most like to see in an updated powerbook (heh, excluding the processor G*) over and above the current offerings ;)

Features that I would really like to see include:

- Better FSB
- Radeon 9600
- Better Sound/Audio (no snap, cracle pop I keep hearing about)

From what I understand, a faster FSB would depend on whether they have 7457 Motorolla chips available (the current don't support a faster bus)

The Radeon 9600 would be a fantastic feature - adding this to the Powerbook line will keep it at the front of what can be put into a portable as far as graphics are concerned.

Sound - I cannot comment really too much on this but I hope that when I get a new 17"'er it won't sound like my iBook :P

Do you think any of these things are realistic if they announced a new Al update this month (MWCP)?

-- Dan :D

jbomber
Jul 10, 2003, 12:28 AM
i want built in bluetooth, a slick video card, and a backlit keyboard.

it's a crazy one, but I'd like some kind of video IN port. Impossible, i know, but i miss that kind of stuff from the old days of AV Powermacs

Alte22a
Jul 10, 2003, 12:40 AM
Alu casing
back lit keyboard
Airport extreme
bluetooth
2X firewire 400ports
800 firewire 800

I guess this is the expected, except for I want 2xfirewire 400 ports

FSB & graphics well let see whats on offer

Maybe two button track pad or removable Drives and optical drives. Video editing on the go sucks when you dont have enough HD space and battery life.

I like to see apple make an external charger to charge 2 extra batteries (wish list).

Then I might buy an extra battery or wo

ZildjianKX
Jul 10, 2003, 12:42 AM
Top of my list besides what was previously mentioned is USB 2.0, FireWire 800, Airport Xtreme, 15.4" screen for higher resolutions... ATA 100 Hard Drive, 2X DVD-R burning (RW support!)... and ummm... two button mouse? :p

MacUser1
Jul 10, 2003, 12:43 AM
heres what i would like in a new powerbook:

aluminum casing (pertaining to 15")
minimum of a 1.25 GHz processor
better fsb (200 MHz with the new chip)
DDR-SDRAM (pertaining to 15")
15.4" screen (i guess 15.2" ok too)
Bluetooth built in (pertaining to 15")
2x SuperDrive
AirPort Extreme
USB 2.0
FireWire 800 (pertaining to 12" & 15")
Improved Video Card
Backlit keyboard is a nice extra, wouldn't complain if it isn't included

i hope these new powerbooks come soon. my pismo finally died after years of good use. i'll need one before school starts!!!

WinterMute
Jul 10, 2003, 07:54 AM
Optical audio in/out like the G5, that would be awesome.

The 17" PBook is as close to perfect as Apple have ever come in a portable, but having that optical input would be the mutts nuts.

GrizzlyHippo
Jul 10, 2003, 08:19 AM
Personally, I'd like to be able to draw on the screen and do away with having to plug in my Wacom to a laptop.

Otherwise, all the usual requests.

Grizzly

utilizer
Jul 10, 2003, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by MacUser1


i hope these new powerbooks come soon. my pismo finally died after years of good use. i'll need one before school starts!!!

Wow, I've had my Pismo since the fall of 2000 and it's still chunging along but is showing its age. I'm still debating on which system I want to buy with ADC student discounts: G5 with a display or a new Powerbook 17 in. and save a 1,000 bucks in the process?
I tend to go with the latter in this matter.

tjwett
Jul 10, 2003, 10:38 AM
i want a "Grilled Cheese" button that will spit out a sandwich from the optical drive. if my 12" PowerBook is gonna be this hot i'd like it to go to a good cause. ok, seriously. i'd like a higher screen res on the 12". 1024x768 is just not enough for me. i'd like the rubber feet on the bottom to stay on for more than a week, and if they do fall off, have them replaced for free (not $610 for a whole new bottom case, friggin' Apple). i'd like better cooling. i'd like the entire PowerBook line to switch to the G3 w/AltiVec (Gobi?) because the G4 is a dead horse and it's life is so over. i'd like to see back-lit keyboards on all the PowerBooks, as well as DVI out added to the 12". basically i think all 3 should have identical ports, connections, speeds, etc. the only differences should be the screen size.

Das
Jul 10, 2003, 01:52 PM
What I'd like is

-a screen cover (thin plastic so that nothing can ding or hit it)
-a tougher skin than Al and a handle to make it less fragile
-as quiet of a fan as is possible
-a light-up keyboard
-a hiden port tray on the side for USB
-USB 2
-built in media card support (CF, SD, Mem Sticks)
-a pressure sensitive track pad that is more like a wacom tablet so that you can actually draw with a digital pen instead of your finger only
-a detachable bluetooth keyboard a la Toshiba
-built in microphone or video capture unit
-higher quality speakers

If they get any of the above, I'll be a happy camper.

Foxer
Jul 10, 2003, 03:17 PM
Bottle opener

MacFan25
Jul 10, 2003, 03:19 PM
The 15" needs an aluminum case, aluminum keyboard, backlit keyboard, Airport Extreme, and Bluetooth. And it would be nice if the whole line of PowerBooks got speed bumps. :)

PHARAOHk
Jul 10, 2003, 03:21 PM
-DVD-RW support
-more usb ports
-Some lights so you know the hard drive is "thinking"
-A more rugged design
-faster burns

(((k)))

Abstract
Jul 10, 2003, 03:45 PM
I think everything I want has already been stated.

- 1.25GHz G4
- Aluminum case.
-USB 2.0
-APEx
-FW800
-Built-in Bluetooth.

I think this would satisfy many people.

tjwett
Jul 10, 2003, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by MacFan25
The 15" needs an aluminum case, aluminum keyboard...

whoa! alluminum keyboard. you wanna burn your fingerprints off or what? my 12" PB get so damn hot i can't stand to use it sometimes. i couldn't imagine if the keys were that hot all the time. they again, it might make me type faster...:)

PHARAOHk
Jul 10, 2003, 04:24 PM
My 17" gets luke warm like once every couple of days. Less then luke warm even. I am really impressed with this computer.

(((k)))

Chealion
Jul 10, 2003, 05:35 PM
As a soon to be purchaser of a PowerBook:
The funky lit keyboard (like the current 17")
Airport Extreme. That's all I want.

But my guess is that Apple is adding USB 2.0 and FW800 and that could be why its taking so long..

hvfsl
Jul 10, 2003, 06:31 PM
I want/expect the following:

-64 or 128MB Radeon 9600M
-166Mhz bus
-256MB to 1.5GB DDR400 RAM
-Alluminium case
-Airport Extreme
-1.2Ghz and 1.33Ghz G4 + 1MB L3 Cache
-60 to 120GB Hard Disk
-DVD/CR-RW or DVD-/+ Writer
-Illuminated keyboard
-USB2 and Firewire800
-Mini PCI slot

I also want it for the same price or less than the current machines.

Edit: Also hardware sound would be good since the sound is processed by the cpu at the moment which slows the computer by about 15% when using audio.

Tommy!
Jul 10, 2003, 07:06 PM
'How bout an antenna port like on the G5? Then maybe you could get some 3rd party antennas to enhance your range. Of course, standard antenna still included...

jbomber
Jul 10, 2003, 07:22 PM
Originally posted by Tommy!
'How bout an antenna port like on the G5? Then maybe you could get some 3rd party antennas to enhance your range. Of course, standard antenna still included...

that might be a decent idea. i'd be a little worried about snapping off an external antenna by accident if i had to pack up my powerbook in a rush tho.

PowerBook User
Jul 10, 2003, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by jbomber
it's a crazy one, but I'd like some kind of video IN port. Impossible, i know, but i miss that kind of stuff from the old days of AV Powermacs
I'm glad I'm not the only one who misses the AV in/out ports on older Power Macs. I doubt video in would be used in a PowerBook, though. Not that I'd complain.:)

jbomber
Jul 10, 2003, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by PowerBook User
I'm glad I'm not the only one who misses the AV in/out ports on older Power Macs. I doubt video in would be used in a PowerBook, though. Not that I'd complain.:)

I always wondered how those got phased out without so much as a whisper from the mac community. Man, i did so much cool video stuff with my beat-down 8500/150 and a $20 VCR i bought at college.

I agree, it'd never make it's way into a powerbook, but if it happened, i wouldn't complain either. :)

Lyle
Jul 10, 2003, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by Aciddan
I'm interested in finding out everyone's opinions on the features they would most like to see in an updated powerbook...For starters, a release date sometime this year... ;)

jbomber
Jul 10, 2003, 07:38 PM
Originally posted by Lyle
For starters, a release date sometime this year... ;)

and we have a winner!

MacFan25
Jul 10, 2003, 07:55 PM
Originally posted by tjwett
whoa! alluminum keyboard. you wanna burn your fingerprints off or what? my 12" PB get so damn hot i can't stand to use it sometimes.
The aluminum look I mean. :)

mactastic
Jul 10, 2003, 07:58 PM
Well, you have already covered all the bells and whistles I'd like to see, except for better batteries/battery life. But I doubt that will happen. Maybe if it could somehow make and dispense beer...

jbomber
Jul 10, 2003, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Well, you have already covered all the bells and whistles I'd like to see, except for better batteries/battery life. But I doubt that will happen. Maybe if it could somehow make and dispense beer...

or cheese...

Daveman Deluxe
Jul 10, 2003, 08:50 PM
-Better graphics card (64 MB DDR on 12", 64 or 128 MB on 15" and 17")
-Hardware sound
-USB 2
-Better AirPort range
-Faster G4s, preferrably 7457
-Second battery/media bay

I also think Apple would do well to sell an ultralight notebook. Same specs as the 12" PB right now, but without the internal optical drive.

tjwett
Jul 10, 2003, 09:13 PM
Originally posted by MacFan25
The aluminum look I mean. :)

it has the alluminum look right now. the keyboard is now silver, just like the rest of it. the only one that still has black kb is the 15" TiBook. oh wait, you are talking about the TiBook aren't you? now i get it! i was just thinking of the entire PowerBook line as a whole, and mostly thinking of the current AlBooks. oops, slight communication gap going on here. my bad. anyway i'm sure the 15" Alluminum will be around real soon and it will match the others perfectly. cheers.

mstecker
Jul 10, 2003, 09:16 PM
People keep asking for the backlit keyboard. I must admit, this was one of the things that made me really excited when I bought my 17" PowerBook.

It turns out, however, to be almost entirely useless. Why? The 17" screen puts out enough light that even in total darkness, I'm almost never aware of the backlighting. Very occasionally, if I'm playing a DVD and there's a "dark" part, I'll notice it - but when using normal apps, never ever.

Sorry to rain on anyone's parade, but it's just not that important in the real world - at least as it's implemented now. Your mileage may vary.

M.

ozubahn
Jul 10, 2003, 09:33 PM
The usual things, of course, and then a few other items:

Easy Stuff:

- A TouchStream-style gesture pad instead of a trackpad. (but no ugly handprint graphics!)
- A multi-format flash card slot. The USB adapters are very small and very close to free. Why not just build one in?
- A handle like the original iBook, but citrus-free.
- A liquid-proof bulkhead between the keyboard and the important bits.

Rather More Difficult Stuff:

- direct methanol fuel cell
- OLED or e-paper display
- Or better yet, ditch the display and go with direct-to-retina scanning lasers :)

mymemory
Jul 10, 2003, 09:40 PM
I think a real multimedia portable unit (Powerbook) shuld have imput as well as output ports for everything, I'm talking about good video imput capabilities beside the firewire connections. A analog video imput would be so nice because I wouldn't need to get and external device to capture images from my VCR or Hi 8 camera.

That is the feature would be so functional to me, better than bluetooth.

jbomber
Jul 10, 2003, 10:22 PM
Originally posted by mymemory
I think a real multimedia portable unit (Powerbook) shuld have imput as well as output ports for everything, I'm talking about good video imput capabilities beside the firewire connections. A analog video imput would be so nice because I wouldn't need to get and external device to capture images from my VCR or Hi 8 camera.

That is the feature would be so functional to me, better than bluetooth.


ah, another video fan. yeah, i think i would sacrifice the backlit keyboard option in favor of the video in.

Apple should definitely bring the AV features back to the desktops, tho.

XnavxeMiyyep
Jul 10, 2003, 10:23 PM
I'd want them to go back to Titanium as opposed to Alluminum. It looked so much cooler, and sounded stronger. Maybe they could make one that's bullet-proof, too.:D

jbomber
Jul 10, 2003, 10:37 PM
Originally posted by XnavxeMiyyep
I'd want them to go back to Titanium as opposed to Alluminum. It looked so much cooler, and sounded stronger. Maybe they could make one that's bullet-proof, too.:D

I think Panasonic built one a while back. They called it a "Toughbook". It was pretty hardcore and I believe encased in Kevlar. They were for soldiers, police officers, construction workers, basically anyone who may have been exposed to serious occupational hazards.

ozubahn
Jul 10, 2003, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by XnavxeMiyyep
Maybe they could make one that's bullet-proof, too.:D

They could use some of that one-way bulletproof glass mentioned on Ars Technica a few days ago. That way, when someone attacks your PowerBook it can return fire in self defense. True, this idea does have its pitfalls... You would definitely want to be certain that the feature is well debugged before sticking in on the market, and of course public betas are out of the question.

masri
Jul 11, 2003, 07:12 PM
I currently own a PowerBook G4 1GHz w/SuperDrive. This is arguably one of the finest laptops ever made, so I really can't ask for much else. That said, the next time I buy a laptop, here's what I'd like to see (in a few years):

G5 (low power when available; multi-core if possible)
OLED Display
DVD-RW
Built-in videocamera for videoconferencing (think Minolta DiMAGE Xi for a lens mechanism)
REALLY strong -- power of a PowerBook, durability of an iBook; think DROPPABLE, possibly water resistant, top surface waterproof for coffee, softdrinks & kids.
Great speakers, not the tinny things we listen to today on laptops.
USB2
A handle like the original iBook

That should keep them busy for awhile. :)

- Adam

FusionMachine
Jul 12, 2003, 01:26 AM
I may be mistaken, but aren't the HDs on current PowerBooks only 4200 RPM? If so, I'm surprised that no one has taken issue with this, since 5400 RPM HDs are fairly common (at least as an option) on most Windows notebooks. I think that Apple needs to catch up here. I'm into audio production on a "prosumer" level, and many articles I've read have mentioned that hard drive speed has noticeable impact on a computer's performance in that field. I'm assuming the same would apply to video production and other types of multimedia as well. Anyone agree? On the other hand however, 7200 RPM is really the standard for most of those applications, so maybe the jump from 4200 to 5400 wouldn't be too significant. Then again, I thought I read somewhere that IBM had developed a 7200 RPM notebook hard drive, and since Apple and IBM are now partners, perhaps it would be feasible to hope for the 7200 RPM drives to make it into the powerbooks. Of course, I'm sure all sorts of heat and battery life issues come into play here, so it's hard to say. The bottom line is that I want faster hard drives in addition to everything that people have posted so far.

jefhatfield
Jul 12, 2003, 01:38 AM
dual chips...but i am not holding my breath
more ram in 12 inch model...this i see one day

jbomber
Jul 12, 2003, 02:48 AM
Originally posted by FusionMachine
I may be mistaken, but aren't the HDs on current PowerBooks only 4200 RPM? If so, I'm surprised that no one has taken issue with this, since 5400 RPM HDs are fairly common (at least as an option) on most Windows notebooks. I think that Apple needs to catch up here. I'm into audio production on a "prosumer" level, and many articles I've read have mentioned that hard drive speed has noticeable impact on a computer's performance in that field. I'm assuming the same would apply to video production and other types of multimedia as well. Anyone agree? On the other hand however, 7200 RPM is really the standard for most of those applications, so maybe the jump from 4200 to 5400 wouldn't be too significant. Then again, I thought I read somewhere that IBM had developed a 7200 RPM notebook hard drive, and since Apple and IBM are now partners, perhaps it would be feasible to hope for the 7200 RPM drives to make it into the powerbooks. Of course, I'm sure all sorts of heat and battery life issues come into play here, so it's hard to say. The bottom line is that I want faster hard drives in addition to everything that people have posted so far.


Interesting point. With all the fairly unreasonable stuff we keep trying to stuff into these notebooks, no one has made a point of asking for faster HDs. Fat lot of good dual G5s will do you if the machine can't read the drive at a reasonable clip....

7200 or bust!

blogo
Jul 12, 2003, 03:17 AM
What about that geforce gpu that is supposed to be faster than the 9600, I want that one. :rolleyes:

Marble
Jul 12, 2003, 03:39 AM
My most anticipated feature for the new Powerbooks will simply be them shipping before the school year starts, whatever their new gadgets entail.

jzieske
Jul 12, 2003, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by Marble
My most anticipated feature for the new Powerbooks will simply be them shipping before the school year starts, whatever their new gadgets entail.

I agree as long as it is brought in line with 12" & 17" models. Ship before August 7th PLEASE!!!! :D :D :D

QCassidy352
Jul 12, 2003, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by tjwett
i'd like a higher screen res on the 12". 1024x768 is just not enough for me.

That resolution is also used on the 14" ibook and the 15" imac... I don't think there's any way Apple is going to push it higher on a 12" screen. Those would be some tiny icons!

A 1.25 Ghz g4 and Radeon 9600 would make me very happy. :) Oh, and those back lit keys... :D

Raiwong
Jul 12, 2003, 02:25 PM
I've borrowed a powerbook 17" from my friend for a few weeks for some work. That backlight keyboard thing is cool but useless. It only activates when its very dark, and its barely noticible until you tell someone to look at it. In addition the screen is bright enough to light up the keyboard.

My request feature, is 2x superdrives, video in, tv tuner :P in addition a touchscreen would be very nice...precision for rotoscoping

CrackedButter
Jul 12, 2003, 04:04 PM
A "Power" user should be entitled to a 2 button mouse on the PowerBook.

I would prefer it as an option anyway.
I have a MX700 logitech mouse but it isn't something you take with you since you need a plug socket for the adapter which connects to the mouse dock. A second button would be nice.