You know what really grinds my gears? I bought a new laptop four years ago, and now I’m in the market again, and the market hasn’t improved. Yeah, so Mac introduced a backlit keyboard four years ago - I’m sure someone else did it first, but it was the first one I saw - and now, four years later, backlit keyboards are still not mainstream. My first laptop, a 17” Dell monstrosity, had a 1920x1200 (WUXGA) display. Guess what? Today, you can get a 1920x1080 display in a five-inch cellphone, but there aren’t many options in a reasonably-sized laptop. If you add those three requirements together - high resolution, 13-14” screen size, and backlit keyboard - you’ve got a product that no one makes. That really grinds my gears. And don’t even get me started on PC touchpads….
So anyway, moving on, here’s what I’d like to see in a new laptop (click here for what I wanted four years ago):
- 13.3-14.1” matte display (Worst Macbook feature? Glossy screens.)
- 1600x1200 (UXGA), 1920x1080 (1080p), or 1920x1200 (WUXGA) resolution
- Long battery life - I get four-ish hours right now, and I’m not going to give that up
- 8 or 16 GB RAM
- 3.0 GHz quad-core processor, or faster
- Discrete graphics with at least 1 GB RAM onboard
- Worthwhile multi-touch touchpad (see MacBook for definition of the category)
- Backlit keyboard
- 512 GB or larger SSD
- USB 3.0 (at least two ports), 802.11a/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
- DVD±RW drive (why on earth anyone buys an “ultrabook” is beyond me)
- Linux (Arch) compatible
Anybody know of any good options? (If I had to buy a new one right now - thanks goodness I don’t - I’d buy a Lenovo ThinkPad T430 and max out all the internals. But the resolution still isn’t high enough, the SSD isn’t big enough, and I’ll bet money the trackpad sucks.)
- If you want to know what I think should come next in laptop technology, how about making a laptop where the screen doesn’t have a ginourmous (technical term) bezel around it? The chart at the right shows the dominant screen resolutions along with estimated dimensions of an actual screen of any given resolution in 13.3”, 14.1”, and 15.4” screen sizes. How awesome would it be to have a 13.3” laptop, at 1600x1200 resolution, that’s the same dimensions as a sheet of paper (8.5"x11”)? It’s possible!!!