John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Zinc Different

Some last minute grist for the Macworld rumor mill: Word on the street has it that Tuesday’s Macworld keynote address will see the introduction of the 17-inch MacBook Pro that was omitted from Apple’s October 2008 laptop event. As with the machines introduced that day, the 17-inch MacBook Pro will feature a precision aluminum unibody chassis and a multi-touch glass trackpad. But it’s expected to feature something else as well: a fixed internal battery, not unlike the one in the MacBook Air.

While the notion of a fixed power source in a pro laptop will almost certainly send the dueling-battery crowd into paroxysms of indignant rage, the performance of this particular battery pack may be worth the design trade-off, lasting as much as 50 percent longer on a single charge than its predecessors. How is that possible? With silver-zinc rechargeable batteries, which not only offer vastly improved run-time over traditional lithium-ion battery technology, but are safer as well. Recylable too. Over at Apple Ink, Seth Weintraub ably lays out the case for a silver-zinc-powered MacBook, leading one to think that the announcement of such a machine in the near future is pretty much an inevitability.

With the life of the 50-watt-hour lithium-polymer batteries topping out at five hours, my guess is complaints about a fixed battery pack will be few and far between if Apple (AAPL) can deliver nine hours of charge from a silver-zinc battery.

Now if it would only begin offering that matte screen option again…

[Image Credit: ZPower]

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik