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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