17″ MacBook Air

When I came to Taiwan, I didn’t have a laptop. I had (and still have) a Mac Mini, but the hostel I stayed at didn’t exactly have room for my 24" display. That was one of the things that pushed me toward settling down with my current apartment, even though it leaves a lot to be desired. At least as I travel around Taipei a lot, I learn about where better places to live might be. I haven’t needed a laptop since getting the apartment, but it would be nice to have as backup.

Yesterday, Apple gave its farewell keynote for MacWorld. It didn’t introduce new Mac Minis (though a new one would be something for me to consider purchasing), nor did it release new iMacs. What they did do, is introduce a MacBook with an antiglare display. The new 17" MacBook "Pro" has an antiglare screen as a $50US upgrade option. I don’t really consider it Pro because it doesn’t have a quad-core option and it doesn’t have a removable battery (though with 8 hours of battery life, a removable battery is not really that important). It really does seem like a larger MacBook Air.

I’d like to see the screen on the 17", since in some places they say it offers 60% better colour gamut than the previous 17" MacBook Pro. On the other hand, the antiglare screen could possibly the same as the display used in the last generation MacBook Pro. In other words, glossy displays really are that bad that the biggest technological advancement they can make still falls well short of previous matte screens. According to Displayblog, that probably means around 72% of the NTSC colour gamut. It might even be better, considering the LED backlit, matte 15" MacBook Pro had the best colour gamut on a Mac laptop. Slightly better than the beloved 15" PowerBook G4 I had up until it died.

If the screen were good, I’d consider buying it. It isn’t due to ship in Taiwan for 2 months because of electrical radiation certification. If it is not, the Sony Vaio Z with a matte 106% NTSC colour gamut screen is likely to get my money. Assuming Apple does not release a new Mac Mini. One of the things I definitely need, laptop or desktop, is the ability to play back 1080p video smoothly at all times and the possibility of playing certain games that simply don’t work on an integrated chipset like the current Mac Mini has.


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