MacBook feedback on iPad's shadow, PC rivalry

Readers chime in with comments ranging from Apple losing its technological edge to the iPad overshadowing the venerable laptop line.

As the world waits for new MacBooks, readers have chimed in with comments ranging from Apple losing its technological edge to the iPad overshadowing the venerable laptop line.

Last week, I offered a combination of both realistic--albeit tame-- predictions (e.g., new Intel processors) and more fanciful hopes (built-in 3G) about upcoming MacBooks. In response, readers offered some thoughtful insights and suggestions.

PC rivalry: One reader suggested that Apple is falling too far behind its PC rivals. "While the PC world is already enjoying the fruits of (new Intel) processors (and) Blu-ray...we are still living in the dark ages in the world of computing according to Apple."

Along these lines, another reader asserted that selling aging hardware at relatively high prices amounts to "just calling your customers stupid."

Not surprisingly, some readers disagreed. One person said that because Apple is more prudent about upgrades, there is more stability on the Mac platform. "(Apple) is simply not going to put anything out there unless they can feel confident the consumer will have minimal issues. So far, for me at least, it has been nice not having any of the old PC issues of the past."

iPad overshadowing MacBooks: Some possibly prescient comments were made about the iPad ultimately overshadowing the MacBook. "For some people, the iPad with the basic productivity suites will be all the computing they will ever need, and therefore the low end MacBooks may be affected," said one reader.

Another chimed in: "I can see the iPad and future versions of the concept taking over home computing. Yes, there probably will still be professionals that will continue to need a 'full' laptop but for everyone else I am convinced that the simplicity of the iPad will see it replace the normal MacBook."

Not so fast, according to this reader. "The iPad is not designed to usurp notebooks. (Steve Jobs') iPad announcement speech clearly indicated that he sees the iPad as a product positioned between an iPhone and a Macbook. And, as the other poster says, unless iPad 2.0 runs full-blown OSX, it can't compete with an actual Macbook."

Lack of 3G: Finally, addressing one my pet MacBook peeves--no option for built-in 3G--the pros and cons seemed fairly evenly divided. This reader suggested adding 4G now, since it's available in the form of WiMax. "Sprint, Verizon and AT&T all offer pay as you go data packages with no contract. It would be nice to know that in a pinch I could pay $10 and get 24 hours of 4G."

But others would rather that Apple stay away from these connection technologies. "I don't agree with the 3G/4G connections. WAN (wide area network) connections should be really be centralized through tethered (mobile devices) or mobile Wi-Fi hot spot, otherwise it's just yet another mobile data contract you have to pay for."

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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