Tuesday, January 15, 2008

MacBook Air, Time Capule and iTune Movie Rentals

Will the MacBook Air meet the pundits’ expectations? I heard two things that the pundits were predicting – an ultra small device that was half way between a Newton and a laptop. As Andy Inatko predicted, imagine a MacBook and cut the screen in half. And, of course there was the idea of a tablet Mac.

Me? I predicted to the BMAC User Group a small laptop that would allow the same touch screen technology as you see on the iPhone. Imagine flipping open the screen 180 degrees and using a MacBook size touch screen. How small a laptop? I always felt you needed to be able to touch type and read the screen with ease. And any decrease is weight is welcomed.

So what happened? The MacBook Air, an ultra thin laptop without sacrificing display or keyboard. I applaud the design and like to addition of gestures to the trackpad. I like everything but the price. So, will I get one? Not now. But I can hardly wait for a $1,000 version with 300GB flash drive.

Why not a tablet version? I suggest the tablet market is too small and too specialized. Tablet PCs have been out for years but they obviously don’t sell well or everyone would be hawking a tablet PC. However, I still believe that a multi-touch display Mac will be a reality. Imagine one set of gestures working on two difference platforms. And that’s exactly what Apple did with the touchpad. Now all they need to do is go one more step and have a multi-touch display display.

Why not a smaller footprint? Easy – two factors – screen size and full size keyboard. Who wants a tiny screen and hard to use keyboard? If I need a smaller form factor then I’ll simply use my iPhone. Does that mean I’ll be typing extensively on my iPhone? No, that’s what the laptop is for. The iPhone is for phone calls, email, contact info and browsing. OK, I don’t have an iPhone yet but I will. I just keep waiting for flash memory to drop in price so I can get a 30 or 60GB iPhone. I really don’t want to carry around an iPod and iPhone when one product should meet both needs.

What else did Apple announce? Time Capsule. Blend together an Airport Extreme, a hard drive and Time Machine and you get Time Capsule. Smart idea. I should have seen it coming. Instead, I purchased a 500GB hard drive a few weeks ago from Micro Center. Oh well.

iTune movie rentals! I have been waiting for this forever. Let’s face it. There really wasn’t a strong reason to buy an Apple TV without the rental capability. Think about it. Compare the number of movies that you own versus the number of movies that you rent. I will definitely be getting an Apple TV within the next 12 months. Now, if it could only record from my cable box. Another thing I find interesting is that video rental stores seem to do great even though you can access movies via On Demand from your cable service? I see it a perception issue. Ever hear of anyone who loves their cable company? Lousy service and high pricing means opportunity. Now add to that the reputation of Apple. That equals Apple TV and iTunes movie rentals and a huge opportunity for success