Last night, I commented to my girlfriend that I had to have a new Apple laptop immediately due to the increasing decrepitness of my poor, old iBook G4. As if on cue, the laptop’s battery indicator dropped below 70%, and the computer lost power. This poor little thing has served me very well over the past few years, but it is more than ready to be put out to pasture. One of the feet on the bottom is missing, the laptop won’t last more than 20 minutes on battery, and this poor thing chugs along while trying to run Xcode, Interface Builder and Mail in tandem. One of the key issues I have with my iBook (affectionately named Beep 2) is its pathetically small screen resolution. At 1024x768px, this poor guy stumbles at displaying applications like Quartz Composer, Microsoft Word, Interface Builder, Xcode, and a whole host of other applications. I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t beef up the screen resolutions on their laptops.

My Acer Ferrari (also known as the space heater, during the winter) has a wonderful, 15.4”, super-glossy screen that kicks out 1680x1050 pixels of Vista-y goodness. In order to get a commensurate screen resolution on a Mac laptop, you’d have to shell out a minimum of $2800 for a 17” PowerbookMac Book Pro. If you decide to pick up a Mac laptop with an equivalent screen size, you’ll be stuck with a resolution of 1440x900px. For a while, I had been considering replacing poor Beep 2 with a MacBook, but the screen resolution on those laptops is a paltry 1280x800, which is barely larger than what I’m using today! As it stands, in order to be able to effectively use Quartz Composer, you need at least a 1280x1024px display. Trying to build compositions on anything smaller is a frustrating experience at best.

too much stuff

I have no idea why Apple’s laptop screen resolutions don’t measure up to their Windows equivalents. It makes me sad, especially considering how beautiful Apple’s hardware is.  Nevertheless, Apple still makes some of the nicest laptops available, even if they do have their occasional failing (I won’t get started on the one button mouse thing).

With any luck, Apple will release new MacBook Pros on Tuesday featuring Intel’s new Santa Rosa platform. I’ll be first in line to pick one up, unfortunate screen resolution or not.