Originally Posted by rwhite77802
Just as a note regarding the potential redesigns, and as an avid Apple equipment owner, there are some concerns I have.
Everybody has concerns. My hope here is that Apple sees a clear line between the AIR like machines and the MBP.
Firstly, removing the optical drive does have limitations and problems, and "Cloud" doesn't solve them.
The could doesn't solve half the issues people think it solves. When ever I see people offering it up as a storage solution I have to cringe a bit.
Our local ISP, the incumbent cable company is starting to put data transfer caps on connections on a monthly basis that seem quite low, especially if one's software and media are now distributed solely via said connection.
I really don't worry about caps for software installations. Seriously I just drive down to the local library, especially if it is a rather large install. For business that won't work but I just see software installs as a non issue.
On the other hand relying on any sort of network for access to critical media, data or other files is just stupid. Even at work, at a relatively large company, the network can be very congested and at times unusable.
Beyond that, I have had to install Final Cut Studio a few times (at a previous employer). Let's just say that the full install, with stock loops and such is NOT something I'd care to wait to download or have count against my monthly tally.
Unreasonable data caps do suck. I'm not sure what can be done about that. Right now it is the only way to deal with network congestion in a non discriminatory way.
Secondly, the company I work for now manufactures networking equipment. The removal of a native Ethernet port means no new equipment for my almost-entirely Mac shop.
For a MBP it would be stupidity beyond belief. I work in another industry and find that a network port is more important than any other port on my MBP. This would be automation in industrial settings. Between the lack of a ethernet port and room for secondary storage these are the big reasons I haven't gone the AIR route.
Dongles and adapters, while adding measures of latency and even errors in some situations, are also a poor design. USB dongles are even worse; relying on the CPU and active backend to handle the most basic of tasks, rather than a smarter chip that interfaces on the normal accessory-device bus.
The big issue that I have observed with USB is the issue of reliability. In that regards USB can't be relied upon for network use. In fact it is pretty much terrible for RS232 use. In automation circles RS232(or various other serial flavors) and ethernet are still the biggest interface standard going, if you can't drive them reliably then your goose is cooked.
We see this effect in USB hard drives (crap most often) versus the superior (if, sadly, only technologically) FireWire and ostensibly ThunderBolt (haven't tested TB yet myself). Having a TB adapter would be more palatable, but there are a NUMBER of issues that having an adapter changing from one data format to another, before going through another translation to get to the heart of the machine is problematic. One of the key benefits when I was able to chuck the crap Dell laptop that I had for a 17" MBP was that my Gigabit Ethernet actually could do a gigabit's worth of throughput. The Dell's crapped out around 430mbit.
Apple does an excellent job with their ethernet interface, I would suspect that it is best in the class. Again I see indications that people really don't understand the importance of a well done ethernet interface, probably because they have never used one.
To me, were I imagining an ideal device
1) Drop ODD ONLY if a proper TB or (God Forbid) USB drive could be used to view a movie. Many USB CD drives I've used on my home theater Mac Mini work great for data but won't show a DVD movie
Given a choice between a SSD & HD combo and no optical and an optical without the potential of a combo I would go for the SSD & HD combo without pause. The reason is pretty simple, right now I carry an external drive with me where ever I go, but I seldom use the internal.
I agree with the issue with regards to the playing of movies but honestly I didn't know that was such an issue. In any event a TB based dock would take care of that issue I would imagine.
2) GigE and FireWire should stay. Or, TB can replace FireWire if TB can be used in TDD mode and (ideally) a TB <-> FireWire adapter can be had. As the IT guy, Target Mode has saved many a system from HDD death.
GigE has to stay, you will get no argument there.
I've never made extensive use of Firewire. I can see TB gaining far greater acceptance than Firewire ever did. In that regards I'd like to see it implemented as two ports on future MBP's. That is a bit of gamble but I just see TB going much farther than Firewire ever did.
3) Why SSD or Spinning drive only? Hybrid SSD + Spinning drive. 1TB + 128GB SSD in 9mm thick drive would give the best of both worlds. Perhaps a bit of smarts to let it know what to store and where... But, as a person who keeps over 500GB worth of virtual machines on my laptop (ready for a number of testing scenarios), going to a small SSD would be killer for me.
That would be the most economical choice right now. The combo would give us the best performance at the least cost for bulk storage.
4) Dear God, please let us few who like it still have an option at least of a matte screen. I snagged a 17", 2.8GHz with a matte screen and thank my lucky stars every time I have to work on a glossy or even look to my secondary screen (A 27" Core i7 Quad iMac via mDP) that I don't have to do that every day.
After owning one I'm not a big fan of matte screens at all. Implemented on a high-resolution screen they would be a joke.
5) WiFi, 802.11ac as an addition 802.11n backstopping with a 3x3 or 4x4 diversity antenna system would pair really well with a AirPort Pro or TimeCapsule Pro. Hint hint. More antennas also allows for the beamforming and steering portions of multi-diversity WiFi systems to deliver data more reliably.
I'm all for better Wifi, but where does one put al of those antennas?
6) Whole Screen AirPlay out. Neat feature and could easily help to eliminate problems with projectors and dongles and could sell the hell our of current AppleTV devices, and be a nice play for a home Apple television. Not a big fan of congesting the WiFi airwaves anymore than they are, but properly done, it could be.
Apple is a little behind on implementing this tech on the Macs. This is mostly a software issue right now though.
7) Retina display. Lofty but who wouldn't want a 4k display. Not to mention, I'd get a second one and probably start looking for ways to drive it in a home made projector.
This would probably be more useful than on an iPad. So looking forward to it.
8) Get rid of third USB port on laptop. Hell, maybe even second too.
No! No. no. As much as i hate USB for its reliability issues I use two ports every day and find my self wishing I had another on my MBP.
I've used two at a time max on my 17" MBP. I'm sure there are some using all three at once, but really, rare is the set of USB keys and USB cords that can all fit at the same time. Unpowered USB hub would work, and since timing/latency critical anything should never go over USB, it wouldn't be terrible for USB as a whole.
Actually it would suck royally. I have a HD disk connected all the time to my MBP plus my iOS device intermittently, USB storage sticks of various flavors and other assorted dongles.
9) Cellular/GPS/LTE optional. I probably wouldn't get it myself, but I know some ballyhoo over it. Personally, Hotspot sharing over the iPhone works great for me...
Interesting as at one time I was really hoping for that feature to be built into the notebooks. These days Id rather see them offer an expansion bay / port, that could be sued for multiple purposes. Why an expansion port instead of USB, mainly for the speed and reliability of PCI-Express. Granted that speed isn't needed for LTE but it could be put to use for other options.