Originally Posted by Josh.B.
Raw computing power is a very small market. Most folks just want a nice looking, light machine that lasts a long time while doing word processing at the coffee shop.
I think that last statement is a little too general. There are plenty of folks who want exactly what you described, and Apple makes a number of great machines for them. From the newly released iPad, to the MacBook series, and even the iPhone and iPod touch. All perfect for what you describe (maybe not so much for word processing with the iPhone).
However, I doubt few coffee shop users are looking to drop $2,000 to $2,500 on a laptop as it's serious overkill for their needs. These machines are designed for, and marketed to, professionals. Apple promotes the 17" MBP and upper end 15" to photographers, video editors, musicians. Attend any photography or video event, and you'll see Apple there, laptops in tow, promoting the great combination of Aperture, Final Cut, and a MBP. Theses apps are all about raw processing power, and Apple prices the machines accordingly. As such, it's a disappointment to see them allow Dell, HP, and company move so far ahead of them in performance. We haven't seen this kind of performance gap in the professional laptop space since Apple was using PowerPC chips.
Yeah, to some of you professionals are just whiners, but unlike Blu-ray, 1080p, eSATA, etc. basic performance is a huge part of my ability to do my job efficiently. Time is literally money in the creative field. When you're importing a couple thousand 21 megapixel RAW photos, and running batch changes to them in Aperture, we're talking a significant amount of time spent waiting for the computer. Video guys have it far worse. Desktops are an answer, but they're problematic as more and more of us are doing our work outside of the office on locations, in studios, etc. We need, don't want, a top of the line performing laptop from Apple.