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5 things the MacBook needs in the next generation

Susie Ochs | March 13, 2015
Playing with the new MacBook on Monday, I kept having flashbacks to 2008. Remember the first-gen MacBook Air? It captured imaginations the instant Steve Jobs pulled it from a plain manilla envelope on stage.

So I for one can't wait until Apple offers a laptop with a cellular radio. I buy Wi-Fi-only iPads, but I mostly use them for entertainment. My Mac laptop is for work, and I work online, so I would pay a premium for the peace of mind of knowing I could connect anywhere I can find a cell signal. Perhaps a prepaid Wi-Fi hotspot like Karma is the way to go since that could get my iPad or my Mac online, but that's another thing I have to carry and keep charged.

Make it spillproof

Apple touted a few specific features of the new MacBook's redesigned keyboard. It's too soon to know if the changes — the keys are larger and have a new butterfly mechanism instead of scissor switches — will make it easier to type on. What I do know is that no matter what kind of keyboard you have, spilling a glass of orange juice in there is bad.

The Apple Watch has a water-resistance rating of IPX7, and with its paucity of ports, the new MacBook could be Apple's first water-resistant computer. (Orange juice resistance may still be a few years off...) If Apple could shrink the height of its keyboard by a good 40 percent, making it and the fancy new Force Touch trackpad spill resistant seems like a good next step. I mean, Dell did it.

Light 'em up

I remember being distinctly bummed that the first-gen MacBook Air released in 2008 didn't have the light-up keyboard that I loved in my big ol' 15-inch MacBook Pro. But thankfully, that handy feature came back in the 2010 models. Likewise, in this new MacBook, Apple evicted the light-up logo on the back. It's just a shiny metallic Apple logo, exactly like you'd see on an iPad. And I know it's a small thing, but I want that light-up logo back.

Or maybe it's not such a small thing. Sure it doesn't have a practical application, but that glowing Apple logo is an icon! I've taken a second to look around the crowd when covering big tech events and press conferences at CES, and I always get a little thrill to see a sea of glowing Apple logos perched on the laps of rows and rows of journalists. (Especially if the press conference is, say, Samsung's. Or Microsoft's.) Gold is nice. But it doesn't glow. Please, Apple?

One more thing: a DVD drive

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Just kidding.

 

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