I’m a touch angst-ridden.
Another year, another XPS that is the laptop to beat if you don’t want a MacBook.
You can likely tell that from the intemperate headline.
It’s not just that it’s Full Moon next week and that always winds me up like a painfully lucky, umpire-assisted Los Angeles Dodgers win.
Or, as some describe it, a redesigned MacBook Pro.
Or, as others prefer to have it, an updated MacBook Pro.
This takes my feelings to darker places.
I’ve been using a MacBook Air for an unhealthy period of my life.
For the longest time, it’s looked the same and felt the same.
Other than its Butterfly Period, when the keyboard fell apart like a cartoon character’s teeth after a hefty punch.
My MacBook Air has always drifted somewhere between silver, silver-gray and chipped silver-gray after I dropped it a couple of times.
It’s always had slightly sharp edges.
It’s always been highly practical.
Yet it lost its visual appeal somewhere in the middle of the second Obama administration.
It was as if Apple couldn’t be bothered to create anything even vaguely more interesting.
Visually, that is.
At one point, it seemed as if Apple really didn’t care about laptops at all, so great was its fascination with the iPad — which it insisted was a computer and even a laptop replacement.
For those like me, strange people who use a MacBook up to 14 hours a day or more, you’d think Apple would have provided a little more spectacle.
A touch more variation.
Instead, you could have the MacBook Pro with the highly silly, frightfully pointless Touch Bar or the Microsoft Air without the highly silly, frightfully pointless touch bar.
I chose the latter, as there’s quite enough high silliness and frightful pointlessness in my life already.
But then along came the pandemic.
Suddenly, tech companies began to sell far more laptops than they’d even conceived possible.
It seems reasonable, then, to have loftier expectations of Apple.
Yet the wisest commentators – they’re all at ZDNet, you know – speak of a bigger screen size.
They mention the M1X chip, the return of MagSafe and a better camera. They wonder about an SD card slot.
This is all most delightful, but what about the looks? What about the form? What about the joy?
Am I really going to have to live, yet again, with a MacBook that looks like the old MacBooks, with hardly anything changed at all? (A better screen doesn’t count.)
Am I really supposed to stare every day at something that resembles the one before and the one before that?
Is there no hope for visual drama?
Should I not dream of something that both looks and feels, well, different?
Should I not even think of an expanded choice of colors?
Am I condemned to more under-the-hood updates with the body staying more or less the same?
To hell with you, updated MacBook Pro.
I want a totally new MacBook Pro (and MacBook Air). I want surprising. I want shocking. I want uplifting.
It’s odd that no definitive physical details of this purported new/redesigned/updated MacBook have emerged.
All those supposedly brilliant leakers have seemingly offered nothing to create frissons of a revived visual modernity.
So what is one to think?
Could it be that Apple has given up on that kind of thing, preferring to focus on the mundanities of so-called productivity?
Could it be that thinking different involves not dreaming different at all?
It’s going to look pretty much the same, isn’t it?