To summarise some of the thoughts here:
- We need retina display sizes to come down
- We need SSD storage prices to come down so that 512 becomes the base and 1TB optional
- We need integrated graphics to become a whole lot better so that discrete graphics (and the packing constraints they impose) are no longer necessary
- We need battery life to improve (10-12 hours)
- We want machines that are even thinner and lighter without sacrificing power
- We want 13" machines to sell between $1,000-$1,500 and 15" machines to sell at $1,500-$2,000. (Have you seen the cost of a 13" rMBP with 500 GB hard drive?)
I am sure, in time, all these things will come.
I wonder if a 15" iPad will ever replace the laptop computer? The question behind this is what is the future of the keyboard?
I guess we can expect a haptic keyboard to become part of the iPad reasonably soon. Assuming it works in the way we all hope it will and provide tactile feedback that enables speedier input / typing on touch screens, then perhaps touch screen devices will begin to supplant the laptop as we know it.
So maybe we are headed for an iPad world? If we are, screen sizes will have to grow.
But there's another important ergonomic factor here. Try holding an iPad 3 in your hands for a length of time and it starts to get heavy. Balance it on your lap or on a desk and it also becomes a bit clunky. The really clever thing about the clamshell laptop design is that the keyboard unit serves as a screen support. This format certainly has legs.
So assuming that the clamshell configuration has a future, perhaps we'll see devices with dual screens. One screen will serve as a traditional viewing device, the other as a key board or menu screen with haptic response. If you imagine two iPads facing each other - that could well be a future laptop configuration. Just an idea.