Oh boy, heh heh heh. This is great. I've owned a lot of SAGERS so I have a lot to go on. Mind you, it should be obvious that I love the buggers and I have yet to find anything better, but its not from a lack of searching, at least 3 to 4 hours a week.
1. Get rid of the legacy tech - ie, serial ports, parallel ports, PS/2 ports. Yes, I know some folks like them, but this is my fantasy so I get to do the dreaming. Get a port replicator if its so dang important to use your grandfather's keyboard or mouse.
2. Power the FireWire. Yeah, I know, it'll drain the battery, so what? That's my choice. Most of the time I am on AC anyway so what's the difference. It would be helpful.
3. Two FireWires. Yes, TWO. And no, I don't want to do a port replicator, its my dream, remember. The four USB2s are sufficient.
4. Getting back to 2. and the battery situation. Make all the spare bays fully SMART BAYS that can hot swap media drives, hard drives, batteries, microwaves, intergalactic megaconfibulating retroelectronuclearmagnetic flabbergasters, anything, everything. But especially drives and batteries.
5. While we're on the subject, a nice accessory would be a real substantial external power supply. Something that would boost the battery life by at least a couple - three hours. I don't care if it weighs 5 kg, I move my machine around in a wheeled bag anyway, within reason, weight it not an issue.
6. Better speakers would be nice. There are a lot of options that are not being tried. I am not all that up on speakers any more but they could do something. Either that or leave them out entirely. My point is if you are going to do something, do it right or don't do it at all.
7. I know its a dead end tech, but the same goes for NewCARD or ExpressCARD replacements when they come on-line, more PCMCIA slots.
8. Better cooling systems. Wrapping the case wth a finely ribbed aluminum extrusion would provide a dozen times the raditation surface and reduce the dependency on fans. Or make the lid a cooling fin by adding a second skin out 7 mm with a fine webbing of fins between. The channels would run front to back so when open, they'd run up and down facilitating convection. You could add a small fan at the top to draw it out. But provide a filtration system at the bottom to keep the lint out. My big problem with the current cooling is its too noisy (well not really all that bad but any noise can be distracting) and its too succeptible to getting linted up with insufficient access for cleaning. In the 88xx series, you have to disassemble the entire machine to get to the fans. Should be just a cover plate with four screws. In any case, make the system accessible and provide means to keep the lint out or make it entirely external so its completely accessible for cleaning and you aren't sucking lint into the heart of the beast. Heat pipes are cheap and extremely effective at moving heat. Extremely. A good set of pipes would add maybe $40 to the cost of a machine and if they could eliminate the fans, that cost would be nearly offset but all the rest of the crap the fans take, including space. And it would be passive, almost foolproof. No frying your CPU because the fan circuit failed. A heat pipe will only fail as a result of serious trauma. Somebody who treats their machine that badly doesn't deserve it.
9. The clear, removable wrist rests on the 5680 are an excellent idea. It allows modding your machine without serious cost or trouble, and you can replace them easily, they are one of the major wear points.
10. How about illuminated keyboards. Apple does it. LEDs don't take that much power. Its a nice touch and so very sheek. It would eliminate the need for a laptop light.
11. NO! No! No to the notion of the mini joy stick instead of a touchpad. Guards, behead that man at once and if he ever mentions it again, give him to that funny uncle of yours to play with, what's his name, ah yes, Angus. Again, its my fantasy but believe me Angus aint nobody's fantasy.
12. DVI out.
13. More power, more often. More video power, more CPU power. More battery power. There is no such thing as enough let alone too much. I'd really like to see an Athlon FX in a SAGER with a honking mongo graphics setup. Why limit yourself to just mobile graphics, they are putting P4 desktop CPUs in them, why not just the whole shebang. Frankly, I don't care if its bigger. In fact, the bigger the better. Well, up to maybe a small attache case size. Make the exterior out of aluminum or magnesium, I hate plastic, or at least use composites, lighter and stronger. Weight up to maybe 20# is not a problem either. I have great upper body strength but could always use more. That would also allow a bigger screen. Again, there's no such thing as a big enough screen and forget too big. A nice 22" would be great. Hey, I like to impress folks. Big screens are impressive. Very impressive. Plus my eyes aren't what they used to be and they aren't like to get any better.
I think that's a good start on a list. I'll get back to you with more when I have the time.
Oh yeah, almost forgot, put in a pair of nice little 2 GB Solid State Drive for the OS and swap. With a gig for each of those, that would leave you another 2 gigs for applications. All it would take is a couple of CF chips (or SDs or whatever other Solid State format in 12 months) in an array. That would make a serious difference in performance plus you could swap OS in a matter of seconds.