January 15, 2015

The next laptop isn’t a laptop

Matt Gemmell makes a solid case for the current slew of laptops, and how far we’ve come already, that we really don’t need much more than this. His laptop of choice is the 11“ Macbook Air, which I used to have (now I use the 13” retina Macbook Pro). With that in mind, this makes perfect sense (sparked by the 12" Air rumors, no doubt):

It’s tough to see what the next step will be, though. My wish list has been exhausted. Every checkbox is checked.

It is, really. The battery life’s there, and the computing power’s been there for years. The keyboard and trackpad are both great, as is – honestly – the value for money. The one thing that’s left to do is to slap a retina screen on the Macbook Air and it’s the perfect computer. Sure, it can be thinner and lighter, and there’s bound to be a ton of things we haven’t thought about, but then what?

Then what indeed. We’ve been amazed and thrilled before, and we will again. I tend to think that when we think we’ve got something figured out in this business, we’ve gotten too old and comfortable to have a shot at guessing the Next Big Thing. For once I don’t think that reasoning applies though, because laptops are over. I’m sorry, but they are, mobile is where it’s at. Microsoft might end up being right, with their hybrid Surface devices (not likely), or we’ll all just have tablets with physical keyboards, as I’m using right now (also not likely), that’s all both up for debate and undetermined as of now. But one thing’s for sure: the laptop as we know it is dead. Not buried, just look at how big the Mac business is for Apple (related), but as the Big Thing in the near future, as the primary tool, it’s past its prime.

Which is fine, because we’re not swapping out our current-gen laptops for our current-gen iPhones and iPads. It doesn’t work that way, there are other things – even if they’re just faster and slimmer and sexier versions of what we have, much like a retina Macbook Air would be – around the corner. Industries takes leaps, and this is no different.

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