Some non-tablet announcements we'd love to see from Apple

The MacBook line of laptops are a big part of the company's product mix, and though we're generally very fond of the last several generations of Apple laptops, there are still a few missing features that should be added.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
3 min read

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If Steve Jobs and company are paying attention, we've got a handful of requests for the upcoming Apple press event. I know we're all very excited about the mythical, but still unconfirmed, Apple tablet, but there are some other Mac products that could use a little attention as well.

The MacBook line of laptops is a big part of the company's product mix, and though we're not going off the reservation by saying we're generally very fond of the current generation of systems, there are still a few missing features that should be filled in.

So, Steve, if in the midst of announcing the all-powerful uberslate, you could find a few minutes to address a handful of MacBook issues, we'd sure appreciate it.

New Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs
We're not saying that any laptop without Intel's new mainstream CPUsis ready for the recycling bin, but now would be an ideal time to update the processors inside the entire line, to take advantage of the improved power efficiency and other advantages of the new Core i-series chips.

SD card slots across the board
Even a $299 Netbook has one of these useful little media card readers. And finally, after years of gentle ribbing from us and others, Apple added an SD card reader to the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. But, it's still not on the most popular MacBook, the $999 base model.

Blu-ray drives
For a high-end laptop with plenty of media cred, it's a bit awkward for MacBooks to not at least offer the option of adding a Blu-ray drive. It's clearly not a cost issue, as expensive SSD options have been available from Apple for some time. At this point, many high-end PCs in the MacBook's price range include a Blu-ray drive by default.

Mobile broadband options
With the sheer number of Mac laptops we see at coffee shops and airports, having an always-on Internet connection seems like another natural fit. It's widely available as a built-in option from most PC makers, and newer antenna hardware can work with more than one carrier. Sure, using a USB key antenna is always an option, but why mess up that sleek Apple silhouette?

HDMI outputs
While the mini-DisplayPort is Apple's video connection of choice, actually hooking it up to monitors besides the ones Apple sells is a bit of a hassle. Some laptops, especially larger desktop replacements, offer a combo of HDMI, VGA, and even DVI. We'll settle for a single HDMI, which carries both sound and video, and would make getting iTunes videos up on our big-screen TVs even easier.

Make a low-cost Netbook-style system
Nah, never going to happen...

If any of these sound familiar, that's because we've mentioned several of them before. Interestingly, while most of these have been on our wish list for some time, a few of our long-time MacBook suggestions have made their way into real life, from the SD card slots on select models to the inclusion of the large multitouch track pad filtering down on the base $999 white MacBook.

Got anything on your own MacBook wish list? Sound off below and let us know.

Related reading: >A modest proposal: Detente between Mac and PC laptop fans
>Will the Apple tablet be a full-fledged computer?
>Apple laptop family album
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