Why Are Apple's Laptops A Year Behind Dell's?

Funny thing about Macs. Not only does processor power lag behind Wintel. Thatis OK. We Macfaithful can deal with that--just. But other problems arenit so easy to overlook. I do a fair amount of graphics work on my laptop, and my biggest problem with Apple right now is the pitiful screen resolution on Appleis high end Powerbooks.

"What? Pitiful? XGA resolution of 1024x768? Are you crazy?"

Yes, thatis just what I mean. In case you havenit noticed, Dell and IBM have had laptops with much higher screen resolution for a couple of years. 1280x1024. 1400x1100. And finally, this fall, one of the mythic milestones was passed. Dell introduced a laptop whose 15-inch screen boasts 1600x1200 resolution.

And thereis another laptop trend Apple is way behind on: For about a year now, Dell and Toshiba have offered extended no-fault guarantees on laptops, for an additional fee. These guarantees offer you spill and drop protection--what every laptop owner dreams of. But not Apple.

I vastly prefer working on the Mac OS to working on Windows. But right now, if I had to buy a laptop, Iid buy a Dell. I can use many of the same professional graphics programs like Photoshop, Freehand and Fontographer. And the inconvenience of working in Windows pales beside the stunning reality of working at 1600x1200 resolution on a laptop--and knowing I wonit have to pay if I drop the thing.

When will Apple offer me a laptop screen that is not a year (or two) behind what Dell is offering me today?