Right now the selection for laptops is pretty good, and you can get a brand new one for a reasonable price! Seriously though, don’t buy a new laptop right now…
It seems right now there are a lot of great products in the pipeline, that have the potential to be revolutionary! It doesn’t even matter what kind of laptop user you are, both Mac and Windows fans have reasons to wait.
Apple has been changing the way they brand their products, now with the latest release of the iPad and likely soon with their next iPhone, they are doing away with the numbers. They also have talked about bridging the gap between OS-X and iOS so that instead of having 2 different platforms, they would combine them into a single streamlined user experience. Developers have already seen previews of this and though there are a lot of changes that need to be made and tweaking, it will be very interesting to see how it comes out.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! Not only are they changing their operating system, but the Mac hardware itself will be getting major improvements this year. Things seem to be heading in more the MacBook Air direction. The MBA was a very different kind of Mac with its lack of optical drive and slim design it was very attractive to many Apple fans, but maybe just not quite beefy enough. So ok, new MacBook Pro… Obviously in terms of performance, they will be getting faster in some major ways. No more HDD since SSD is the way to go, faster more efficient processors and way better graphics. Likely the only IO will be Thunderbolt, USB and probably the card reader – that means no optical drives, no ethernet port and even no more firewire! Lets be honest though, when was the last time you truly needed to use an optical drive or wired internet connection? With the new iPad getting its retina display, its likely there will be a near-retina display on the new MacBook to go with their beefy graphics. The shell itself will likely get a redesign and be much slimmer but probably not quote as slim as the MBA. Battery will once again be improved, and with their new OS being far more gesture and multi-touch based its quite likely we could see a full surface touch pad. Though mostly rumor, it makes perfect sense for Apple to be shifting in this direction, and it makes for a very exciting new line of Macs
Microsoft too has been dramatically changing their OS in the wake of The Tablet Boom, making things more touch friendly and gesture based. It too will finally have a central place to buy and download apps much like the Apple app store. The Marketplace is familiar to those with a Zune or Xbox, and will now finally be built right into Windows. Though Windows has always ran on tablets and mobile devices, they too are streamlining the Windows 7 Phone experience and the Windows desktop experience.
Hardware wise, I will only point out a few but this is an ever growing and changing market that will always have something interesting. First off the Asus Taichi. Its a dual display device so that when the laptop lid is closed, you actually have a full touch screen tablet! Second up is (surprisingly to me) the Acer Aspire S7. It’s only 13 inches but it packs great hardware, awesome form factor, beautiful glass lid and a full touch display! Way to go Acer, I might actually forgive you for my Aspire 5xxx issues… Next is the Toshiba Satellite U845W which honestly I only find cool because of how SUPER wide the display is. The Asus Transformer Book is just like the Android transformer tablet. This powerful laptop can actually detach from the keyboard to turn into a slim Windows tablet. Great job on that one guys, I actually had to see a video to believe it! The last one scares me for a few reasons, the Samsung Series 5 Ultra ConvertibleÂ is basically a laptop with a touch screen. The kicker is, the screen can fold onto the back side of the laptop and be used as a tablet. My first fear is the wear on the laptop hinges and possibility of cracking the screen from doing such an awkward task too quickly. It also would feel strange to hold it with a full keyboard under you hands. Strange, but very neat implementation!
For both Windows and Mac computers alike, The biggest reason to wait is Intel’s new Ivy bridge processor. The integrated graphics capabilities, efficiency and awesomeness of this processor should mean thinner, faster laptops with much longer battery life. So when can we expect Ivy bridge? Umm not sure… And when can we expect new Mac OS? Umm later this year… And when can we expect new Windows OS? Umm probably in the fall… So yeah pretty much just sit tight and hope that Microsoft doesn’t try to have anotherÂ awfulÂ launchÂ party, party.