What Does it Take to Separate You from Your Money for a Laptop?

Weeks later, The MacBook Air debate is still going strong. Fans compare it to other high-end laptops and argue that the price is more than comparable for a laptop that is thinner than thin. Detractors lament the loss of hard drive space and optical drive, among other complaints. Bottom line question: “Is it worth it?” The answer depends on your definition of “it.”

As a web working Mac-loving road warrior, if you don’t care how thin your notebook is, then $1,800 seems like a ridiculous price to pay. If you need to squeeze every ounce of heft out of your portable’s profile and you can’t handle a cramped keyboard and undersized display, then $1,800 is nuthin’.

But fear not Apple, the tech-loving web worker can be bought. If it’s not for a notebook that can fit in a manila envelope, what would get you to race for the credit card?

Here’s what might make me rationalize underfeeding my children for a while to purchase:

Cutting-edge power: Not speed or performance, I’m talking the AC/DC kind of power. When I was a smoker 15 years ago, I measured time by how long until the next cigarette. Now I measure time by how many minutes my MacBook Pro has between charges. Even with Wifi off, virtualization software safely stowed, and brightness all the way down it’s never enough. A battery that can do 5 hours is great until you need it for 5.5 hours.

With remote disk and cloud computing becoming reality, can we finally cut the last cord to the power adapter and the battery that drains at just the wrong time? Aren’t we tired of scoping the room for outlets? It’s time for Apple to put their engineers to the test and design a laptop that makes a non-replaceable battery a non-issue.

Spill-proof, smudge-proof & crumb-proof: How about the style of Apple combined with the durability of the Panasonic Toughbook line?

Think of the Southpaw: As a lefty, I mouse and trackpad with my left hand. I want control and option keys on the right side of the spacebar so I don’t have to perform finger gymnastics to use modifier keys.

If you’re a fan of mobile computing and the MacBook Air left you feeling underwhelmed, what would get you reaching for the wallet?