Official Poll: Optical drive, or no optical drive?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
FOR THE ultraportable/macbookpro thin, whatever you want to call it.



edit: ookaayy so the second option doesn't really finish the sentence, but you get the idea.
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Comments

  • bobazumibobazumi Posts: 30member
    it should still have an optical drive. At the very least it should have an external one.
  • bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    The optical drive on my current portable has been used a grand total of two times in over six months (and that data was on an HD, too, anyway). Waste of space and weight if you ask me.



    Separate: fine, but not in the machine.
  • bigcbigc Posts: 1,224member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    The optical drive on my current portable has been used a grand total of two times in over six months (and that data was on an HD, too, anyway). Waste of space and weight if you ask me.



    Separate: fine, but not in the machine.



    Used the winch on my truck 4 times in 10 years and is worth it's weight in gold when your in the middle of nowhere.



    but cityslickers probably wouldn't need one...
  • bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    I use the winch on my truck several times a year, mainly to pull idiots out of the messes they have gotten themselves into, and once to help a friend build a house. Yeah, a winch on a truck is worth having, and nothing can replace it; hand winches just don't cut it.



    Flash discs will be available for any emergency reinstalls of the OS or something like that. They are lighter and have higher capacity (I have a 16 GB flash dic in the form of my iPod nano- sure beats a 4.7 GB DVD), not to mention being a lot faster and having the option to directly boot from the optical drive without all of the weird noises that com from an optical drive while booting.
  • dentondenton Posts: 723member
    Optical Drive -- good for the Macbook, not for an ultra-portable notebook. Just use an external optical drive when you need it, and rip your media to your hard-drive. You'll even save battery life.



    And while Apple's at it, they can toss the HHD, replacing it with 32 GB flash.



    Now if they could only design a notebook without a hinge, then there would really be no moving parts! (my hinge is broken at the moment -- three and a half years of use -- it's being replaced this week).
  • dentondenton Posts: 723member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    I have a 16 GB flash dic in the form of my iPod nano-



    might want to check those specs again.
  • dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    If MacBook Nano is true, then watch Apple drop FireWire 400 as well. The machine would only have two USB 2.0 slots...
  • splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    If an "ultra-portable" has an optical drive, then it's not as portable as it could be, and doesn't deserve to be called an ultra-portable.



    Personally, I would like something that is a practical competitor to the iPhone. The iPhone is too big to fit in my pocket, and I don't mind carrying around a bag if the computer inside is light and actually has a keyboard and a screen that are big enough not be be nearly useless. Beyond sending such descriptive emails as "OK," or "see you at 3," PDA phones are just heavy phones that I have to carry on a belt-pouch, which, by the way, I dislike immensely.



    Whether I have common preferences or not is something I imagine Apple marketing has studied, but from a pure business perspective, I can see Apple to be more eager to build a product that is halfway between the iPhone and a MacBook than I can see them just shrinking the MacBook.
  • electric monkelectric monk Posts: 485member
    The thing is, and I'll readily admit this despite wanting a subnotebook and thinking it would be a good idea to make one, is that Apple's current product line wouldn't fit it. If they added a 15" MacBook and a 13" MacBook Pro then sure an 11" MacBook Nano would be a natural fit. As it is though a subnotebook would be kinda sitting outside their laptop line-up.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    but from a pure business perspective, I can see Apple to be more eager to build a product that is halfway between the iPhone and a MacBook than I can see them just shrinking the MacBook.



    The return of the Newton.



    I think a convergence device like the iPhone is the future. (Didn't used to, but Apple & Japanese mobiles convinced me.) The question is then: is there space between small convergence devices like the iPhone and full on computing at laptop size (even small laptop size)?



    Is the space for a Newton still there? UMPC's don't seem to be doing that great in Windows land and that's the space where this thing would exist.
  • splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    I'm thinking more along the lines of a "traditional" laptop form factor than the stuff we see in UMPC land, but with 3G/4G cellular built in and enough battery (plus a low power design) such that the run time is fairly good. The iPhone will be the new "Newton," if it isn't already. The difference is that a larger screen and a keyboard are very good for conducting text-centric business, and an iPhone (or PDA, or UMPC) just isn't. PDA smartphones are "better than nothing" for conducting email dialogs, but that's just it. If there were a subnotebook that's convenient enough to pop open virtually anywhere and has 3G/4G, that's an interesting market, I would think. I'd say the target is 1kg and several hours of battery run time.
  • onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    I don't have any longing for a small laptop, or any laptop other than a convertible Tablet, but for heaven sakes it has to have a CD/DVD drive. How the hell are you supposed to install your applications Genius?
  • onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Apple has the iPhone you wont see the releasing some "ultra palm" stroker device ever anyway. because it sure sounds like that's what about half of you are thinking, and you shit out of luck.
  • splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    I certainly don't want a Palm or a tablet. I don't see that anyone else here does, either. It's also easy enough to install programs via either an external optical drive or, more likely, via a sync program that comes with it.



    As seems to always be the case, it's very hard to predict what Apple will release next. All we have to go on is that Apple has, for the last several years, followed a trend of delivering very focused products. There's not really much evidence that they are even going to release an ultra-portable. But if they do, I think they'll be inclined to go all the way and make it as small and focused as possible. Now that they can use a Flash HD, having an optical drive in there kind of ruins the promise.
  • Actually there is little reason to have an optical drive right now because of good flash based alternatives. But there is still one big reason I don't want to drop the optical drive right now: Burn data on discs! It is still the preferred way of sharing data in many places, so the time is not good to drop the drive yet. But yes, In some years no-one will ever burn a CD or DVD again. Until then, I prefer to have an optical drive with me on the go, and ideally it would burn blue-ray and HD-DVDs as well.
  • mimacmimac Posts: 861member
    I wonder just how well a ultra-portable would actually sell without an optical drive. At a guess I would be inclined to believe that anyone buying such a device would use it mainly for internet access and not much else. There are many other devices (phones/iPod) that can access internet services etc. and do not cost a lot.



    OK, so flash is a handy way of storing data and has become pretty cheap of recent but an optical drive (especially DVD) is so useful and commonplace - music/video/data - I really couldn't envisage average Joe walking into a computer store and wanting a notebook without one. CDR/DVDR may be a relatively 'old' technology but it is a popular and proven one. An ultra portable without an optical drive sounds like a niche product to me. How well do niche products sell? Just a thought.
  • backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    I don't have any longing for a small laptop, or any laptop other than a convertible Tablet, but for heaven sakes it has to have a CD/DVD drive. How the hell are you supposed to install your applications Genius?



    Many apps can be downloaded. Granted that wouldn't work for CS3 but an ultra portable wouldn't be aimed at creative types anyway.



    It should come pre loaded with iWork and MS office that can activated via the internet.



    What apps would you want on an ultra portable?
  • bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    I am a creative type and I think the ultra would be perfect for me because it would allow me to take good notes anywhere and to share my stuff with my colleagues quickly.



    The apps I want on my ultra portable:



    iWork

    Curio

    iPhoto

    iMovie 08 (because I want to throw short videos together fast and add a voice-over and then email them) [this is not a must have, but would be good to have; my Clie had a movie editor]

    Safari

    Mail

    DVD Player (that could work without the CPU operating)

    FlySketch (because I do a lot of quick sketches and also need to capture my screen)

    a few other small apps





    That will do. I can get work done and also make my presentations. If it had 32 GB of flash memory that would be enough... 64 GB would rock; an optional tiny 80GB HD would add functionality for larger files (it should be removable and have a tiny power switch to allow it to be turned off entirely while in the computer so as not to draw any amps at all). The user should be able to transfer apps and files to the flash memory and then shut down the HD.
  • electric monkelectric monk Posts: 485member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    I'm thinking more along the lines of a "traditional" laptop form factor than the stuff we see in UMPC land, but with 3G/4G cellular built in and enough battery (plus a low power design) such that the run time is fairly good. The iPhone will be the new "Newton," if it isn't already. The difference is that a larger screen and a keyboard are very good for conducting text-centric business, and an iPhone (or PDA, or UMPC) just isn't. PDA smartphones are "better than nothing" for conducting email dialogs, but that's just it. If there were a subnotebook that's convenient enough to pop open virtually anywhere and has 3G/4G, that's an interesting market, I would think. I'd say the target is 1kg and several hours of battery run time.



    Ah. Let's seperate everything out:



    At the pocketlevel we have smartphones using a mobile embedded operating system. This is the Treo or iPhone. It's the Swiss army device designed to replace phone/iPod/camera/PDA and is mostly about content, communication, and scheduling. The evolution of the PDA into the smartphone, and now into multimedia (or, the PDA/multimedia Sony Clie crossed with a phone).



    Technically speaking PDAs live here as well, but the smartphone has taken over the PDA market.





    At the freakishly large pocket level, or small bag level, we have:



    -UMPC: Small tablet using a full operating system (should be using an embedded operating system).



    -Newton: Small tablet using an embedded operating system (aka a UMPC done right).



    -eMate: embedded operating system in tiny laptop form, like a useful Palm Foleo[1].



    -Subnotebooks: full operating system in mini laptop form, with limited computing resources.





    Above that is the usual line-up of laptops & the larger tablets.





    No one is proposing a Newton/UMPC device (I meant, earlier, something that lives in the same size space) as the iPhone basically has that area covered (As TheAppleBlog argues). Furthermore I'd love a subnotebook (11" MacBook Nano) but it would require (IMO) a major expansion of the laptop line-up to the 15" MacBook and 13" MacBook Pro and I don't know if Apple sells enough to do that yet. Plus it would be at least 2K.



    That leaves the eMate slot. jkOnTheRun recently argues for exactly this and I tend to agree. It would run Mobile OS X just like the iPhone, but adding an SDK means it would also be able to port over regular Mac OS X programs easily enough (redesign the user interface, basically). Combine a real keyboard with multitouch and you have something really nice. With WiFi+3G (maybe a 3G card slot so it can use both UMTS and EV-DO high speed, plus future 4G tech) it has, or will have, internet pretty much anywhere.



    Please note this is not a subnotebook, and runs Mobile OS X. Therefore, like the iPhone, you download the programs and OS updates directly OTA (like the eMate, no optical drive). Expand the WiFi iTunes store to include video & podcasts (+access over 3G).









    [1] The eMate had 24 hours of battery, the Foleo had a couple hours. The Foleo needed a Palm Treo, the eMate had a card slot. A modern eMate could do multimedia (as it would be a scaled up iPhone, basically) and the Palm Foleo couldn't.
  • backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Electric Monk;1147099





    That leaves the eMate slot. jkOnTheRun [URL="http://jkontherun.blogs.com/jkontherun/2007/09/we-need-a-real-.html";



    recently argues for exactly this[/URL] and I tend to agree. It would run Mobile OS X just like the iPhone, but adding an SDK means it would also be able to port over regular Mac OS X programs easily enough (redesign the user interface, basically). Combine a real keyboard with multitouch and you have something really nice. With WiFi+3G (maybe a 3G card slot so it can use both UMTS and EV-DO high speed, plus future 4G tech) it has, or will have, internet pretty much anywhere.



    Please note this is not a subnotebook, and runs Mobile OS X. Therefore, like the iPhone, you download the programs and OS updates directly OTA (like the eMate, no optical drive). Expand the WiFi iTunes store to include video & podcasts (+access over 3G).









    [1] The eMate had 24 hours of battery, the Foleo had a couple hours. The Foleo needed a Palm Treo, the eMate had a card slot. A modern eMate could do multimedia (as it would be a scaled up iPhone, basically) and the Palm Foleo couldn't.



    I'm not familiar with the eMate, but what you suggest seems like a toy and not capable of serious work.



    Where I think a ultra portable is useful is for road warriors who use MS office and for and app like keynote. When I go to medical conferences this is where I see a lot of pc ultra portables and I think there is a real market here for Apple.
  • ajayajay Posts: 117member
    given

    (a) the popularity of thumb (USB) drives,

    (b) their relative inexpensiveness, and,

    (c) wide range of storage capacities,

    would it be possible for apple to provide the OSX installation files on a read-only thumb drive?

    this could also probably contain various other apps, e.g., iwork, ilife, etc.



    just a random thought... arguments/agreements welcome!
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