For quite some time now I have been waiting for Apple to revive the 12-inch Macintosh laptop, to use as a portable image storage device and on the road computer for website maintenance, photographic image workflow and for keeping up with my personal and business e-mail.
Apple MacBook MB466LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 2 GB RAM, 160 GB Hard Drive, Slot Loading SuperDrive)
To be honest I would even buy a used 12-inch PowerBook G4 if it was in good condition (and offered to me at a really low price). Unfortunately the few that I can find available (used), are still selling at from US $700 to $1000. With netbooks selling for from US $300 and the G4 processor now being officially listed as an “antique” (which Apple no longer supports), it would be kind of silly to spend that much money on the 12-inch PowerBook G4.
(Even though it is now “obsolete”, if someone would like to donate a 12-inch PowerBook to this site (for me to play with), I would not refuse. Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyway to get back to the problem at hand. I need something lighter for traveling and working in the field and the MacBook Air, as nice as it is, does not really fit my bill. The single USB port for all external storage and communications needs is not adequate for my needs. As a matter of fact the whole thin edge (design over function) design of the MacBook Air, is the opposite of want I want in a portable computer. Not to mention the issue of price (I could buy Netbooks for the whole family at the price of one MacBook Air).
I want a square boxy looking little machine that can be opened easily and upgraded to larger disk drives (when they become available) and also has every storage and communications connection known to man available, without having to buy (and schlep around) a bag full of dongles and adapters.
The current MacBook Pro is actually the computer I need and the MacBook almost (unfortunately it has no firewire ports) fits my needs, BUT they are TOO BIG and TOO HEAVY. The new (old style) plastic MacBook actually is the best fit (performance and price wise) for my purpose at this moment. If only it came in a smaller size (10 to 12-inches), I would buy one immediately.
Just one small note to Apple though, sorry but there is just never going to be room for a glossy white plastic computers in my camera bag. If you want to sell us (photographers) a smaller, lighter and less expensive portable computer, it better be available in basic black (or aluminum), or we well may switch to the other side.
And just in case anyone is listening, there are a number of Netbooks on the market that are very interesting (and I may end up buying one just for use on the road, as a photo image storage device) but they have a couple of very big shortcomings when it comes to photographic image workflow and other serious work. One is of course the processing power, but much more important to me is the ability to hook the currently available Netbooks up to a larger monitor for higher resolution display. You can hook them up of course, but you are still looking through a very narrow and relatively low (less than 800 pixels vertical) resolution window (for me this is a deal breaker), I need access to higher resolution when I sit down to work (even when I am on the road).