MacBook second thoughts; stylus input?

There have certainly been a lot of things said about the MacBook over the last few days. A trip to macsurfer.com can give you an overly comprehensive list. Ars Technica, as usual, has pretty much the best review around (best as in covering details, but they do give it a 9/10).

I’m reassured to read in a number of places that the weird keyboard does measure up; it is weird, but it is as good, or even better, than the more conventional keyboard it replaces. I’ll be interested to see if they can cram backlights into it for the MacBook Pro models.

Here’s something a little interesting:

Touch pad: Yes, there’s still only one mouse button. Apple seems to be overcompensating for it, too, because the touch pad is simply huge—about the size of a Treo—and considerably bigger than the 15-inch MacBook Pro’s. [CNet]

“About the size of a Treo”. Wait a gosh-darn-tootin’ second. What’s stopping Apple from including a stylus for more precise input? That would just be excellent for faux-tablet functionality. And what might be next? Why, a little screen instead of the faceless trackpad.

In all reality, Apple probably just realised that larger trackpads are better, full stop, but sometimes it’s nice to dream. I do think the stylus-on-trackpad thing might work in principle, but I don’t even know if it would be possible to get a stylus to work on a trackpad, given that fingers do but inert objects don’t seem to have any effect.

Here’s an odd point:

Interestingly, when you point the built-in iSight camera at you so that your face is centered in the capture window, you will be outside the range of the optimal viewing angle [Creative Mac].

I wonder if the iSight is just a gimmick “because we can”. I’m guessing that Apple’s foreseeing pretty big things in the future for video conferencing, and they’re just anticipating everyone using iChat or video Skype. All in good time.

Finally, I wonder what it means for Apple’s product matrix to have just, essentially, three notebook computers? I love the super simplification that they’ve done on the product line (although Toni prefers the idea of an aluminium 13 incher: “the black one looks like a regular ‘puter”) but now there’s more space for something a little smaller.

Everyone’s clamoured for so long about updated Newtons, sub-notebooks, Microsoft-style UMPCs, tablets, and what have you that there’s no point discussing the options further. Except to say that I hope now that there’s a bit of space available for Apple to finally release something that will truly redefine small-scale computing. Put it this way: with the MacBook, we’ve got performance well in excess of what came before with the PowerPC iBook and PowerBooks. Don’t you think we would be able to deal with a scaled down processor that could be shoe-horned behind a tiny 8-inch touchscreen? (For example.)

Update: also, I have no problem with the name "MacBook". I haven't even seen people deriding the MacBook Pro name now; both models can be called the same thing ("MacBook"), because there's no overlap.