I now know what the specs for the next, ultra-portable MacBook are going to be. Look for:
- 32GB solid state drive
- Intel Core 2 Duo Ultra Low Voltage chip running at 1.2GHz
- 1-2 GB RAM
- 802.11a, b and g wireless; built-in Ethernet
- Carbon fiber case
- 276 x 199 x 29mm
- 1.15 kg
- 11.1 inch screen 1,366 x 768 pixels
- Integrated webcam
- Integrated Dual-layer DVD writer
- USB 2 and Firewire
- 6 hour battery life
- Price (the number I’m least certain of) $2995
No, I don’t have any inside information. These are actually the specs for the new Sony Vaio VGN-TZ12VN (except for the price). Sony’s the only manufacturer that really competes with Apple in the “cool laptop” space; and Apple is not going to let them win.
I was most impressed with the internal DVD drive. I had expected a form factor this small and light would require an external drive, but apparently it is now possible to squeeze in an optical drive, and a writer at that!
The limited 32GB “hard drive” is disappointing. My MP3 collection alone is over 60GB. If only there were some decent sync software for the Mac, maybe I could put together a subset of my files that I actually need to take with me. However, until someone invents that, I was hoping to be able to just blast my 250GB desktop onto my laptop before I leave for the airport. This size means I’ll have to be even more parsimonious than I am now with my old 55GB TiBook. I suppose just possibly Apple might go up to 64GB of solid state memory, perhaps as a configurable (read extra-cost) option, but there’s no way they’re going to the 250GB I want.
The price is the real kicker, and the number that could change a lot between Sony and Apple. Apple is extremely competitive these days when you compare apples to, well, apples. They could easily come in a $1000 or more under Sony’s price (not that this will keep the PC-hordes from complaining that it still costs a $1000 more than a nine-pound plastic monster from Dell).
Nonetheless, I’m expecting a very interesting machine, and I look forward to owning one. (And if I’m wrong and Apple doesn’t come out with a Vaio-killer by MacWorld? Then there’s always Sony.)