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Resetting the timeline for Apple's ultra-portable initiative

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 
An effort on the part of Apple Inc. to develop an ultra-thin and lightweight notebook with next-generation technologies such as on-board NAND flash may take a bit more time than initially reported.

The Cupertino-based firm's return to the sub-notebook market, as AppleInsider billed it in an exclusive report this past February, had the Mac maker scurrying to complete its initial design around mid-year.

Evidence suggested the Apple World Wide Developers Conference, which invades San Francisco in June, could have served as an ideal venue for company chief executive Steve Jobs to first flaunt the device. That's now unlikely to be the case.

Citing a maturing timeline, people familiar with the initiative now have the chic notebook tracking for the latter half of the year, with a contingency plan in place to transition the device into a Macworld 2008 product should engineers require the additional time.

Those sentiments were recently echoed by American Technology analyst Shaw Wu, who seconded AppleInsider's initial report with one of his own, only putting forth more relaxed expectations that had the diminutive Mac unlikely to surface until later in the year.*

It's unclear whether Apple's delay of Leopard, the company's next-generation version of Mac OS X, will have a renewed effect on the delivery of the sub-notebook -- the Mac maker's first in over a decade.*

The compact portable is expected to draw on software support from the Leopard OS, now slated for October, for managing features such as onboard NAND flash.*

The addition of the solid state memory to the notebook's motherboard should improve power efficiency -- and thus better battery life --* as well as facilitate near instantaneous boot times.

Another trait that may set the new Apple notebook apart from existing MacBook designs, people familiar with the project have said, may be the conspicuous absence of an optical disc drive. Although Apple's original plans for the notebook appear to have called for the drive's inclusion, it was later omitted, those people said.

For additional details on Apple's re-entry into the sub-notebook market, check out AppleInsider's earlier report.
post #2 of 80
1st Post! :P

Me personally I think I could live without an optical drive but I'd really love it if Apple
added a dock. I love the "one click" nature of docking laptops. I could leave an external DVD-R
drive attached to the dock so having one locally wouldn't be much of an issue but I would rather not
have to plug and unplug monitors and other peripherals. Plus Apple could deliver the first sub-notebook with
the ability to run dual monitors along with its integrated screen.
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post #3 of 80
Hot dang, subnotebook is a'comin!... it's just gonna take awhile, that's all. But my sig don't lie.

.
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post #4 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

1st Post! :P

Me personally I think I could live without an optical drive but I'd really love it if Apple
added a dock. I love the "one click" nature of docking laptops. I could leave an external DVD-R
drive attached to the dock so having one locally wouldn't be much of an issue but I would rather not
have to plug and unplug monitors and other peripherals. Plus Apple could deliver the first sub-notebook with
the ability to run dual monitors along with its integrated screen.

I agree, Apple should have a docking station for their sub-notebook, one that is similar to the Apple Duo. Personally I do not need an optical drive or a large HD on the go, but I do need them at home. The Duo was beautifully engineered such that the station had the large memory, and all interface circuitry such as SCSI, Video, etc On the go your light, and at home you get all the desktop features. Yeah DUO should come back.
post #5 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by suhail View Post

I agree, Apple should have a docking station for their sub-notebook, one that is similar to the Apple Duo. Personally I do not need an optical drive or a large HD on the go, but I do need them at home. The Duo was beautifully engineered such that the station had the large memory, and all interface circuitry such as SCSI, Video, etc On the go your light, and at home you get all the desktop features. Yeah DUO should come back.

I think it would make sense to have a docking station for each and every laptop not just for a subnotebook.

The current laptops are a mess of dangling cables. Some from the left, some for the right. Makes for a real messy desk and long time to connect and disconnect all the Sh!%.

Unlike the iMac, laptops used as desktops are a mess of cables.

Oops, sorry they are no longer laptops, they are notebooks..... The more reason to have a docking station.
post #6 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post

I think it would make sense to have a docking station for each and every laptop not just for a subnotebook.

The current laptops are a mess of dangling cables. Some from the left, some for the right. Makes for a real messy desk and long time to connect and disconnect all the Sh!%.

Unlike the iMac, laptops used as desktops are a mess of cables.

I would also like the ability to slide out the DVD drive and replace it with a second battery.
post #7 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post

I think it would make sense to have a docking station for each and every laptop not just for a subnotebook.

Agreed. Not so much on the extra battery but a docking station would be a great help.

Dont expect this beatie before September. The new higher density NANDs wont show up before summer and might get sucked into other things...like the Nano and iPhone...

Vinea
post #8 of 80
Yes you can do so much with a Dock.

I'd like to take a page out of HPs book and have a Dock with built in NAS for storage. That way not only is this content available to you but it's available over a network. Steal and idea from Sony's Dock which charges a second battery for you.

Faster optical drives can be used in the Dock and hopefully easy multiple monitor support. Spend money on the graphics chip in this notebook not adding redundant items for those who cherish power in a compact form factor.

Robson tech would be nice for the speedup and batter power saving.

Theres not much else you can talk about for sub-notebooks. People want them small, fast and light. It's how they interface with the rest of your network that will determine the final value to end users.
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post #9 of 80
I wonder how big the screen will be. I can't imagine a 10" being too usefull even if only for bus trips.
Remember that patent filling a few months back where it showed a laptop which had a screen in the keyboard part with a virtual keyboard onscreen? That'd be amazing especially if you could unfold it out flat, turn it on its side to get a widewscreen picture!
post #10 of 80
I'm not one of the sub-notebook people. I carry a 15" PB back and forth to work evey day and dont mind the heft. I like that it is complete and before I got the intel iMac it was my top computer for photo, video and the like. Just like back in the day when I had a PB160 when the DUOs were about.
That being said, I like the existance of the sub-notebook. I like that they push the envelope in size and change expectations. I don't expect to buy one, but I will cheer when they come out (if they are way cool).
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post #11 of 80
Not including an optical drive would be a mistake IMO, I would think about buying such a laptop from Apple only if it had an optical drive.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #12 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey

That being said, I like the existance of the sub-notebook. I like that they push the envelope in size and change expectations. I don't expect to buy one, but I will cheer when they come out (if they are way cool).

I agree. Apple is a rapidly growing company, and has a ever growing userbase. It's probably time they expanded their computer lineup to a point of pleasing people with more niche needs. ie sub-notebook lovers. There's a number of people who would buy this thing, and even some who choose to go with a Viao and Windows because Apple doesn't currently have that solution. Another thing Apple really needs IMO is a budget 17 display. For say even $199, so people who buy a Mini can just add it at checkout.

I'm thinking about this sub-notebook though, I think with the long/extended timeline that Apple plans to do something more somehow, and not just a smaller, thinner MacBook, but something truly different from what they currently offer. Maybe they'll make it a tablet and not a sub-notebook at all. Now with all this Multi-touch® technology talk maybe this would look like a (very thin) notebook in the closed position, but when you open it the lid swings all the way round the back, magnetically holds to the back, and has subtle MacBook like feet for placing on a desk etc. Maybe this could be the true travel, take-it-anywhere computer, and an Apple eBook rolled into one.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #13 of 80
Howdy neighbour ; )
post #14 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Not including an optical drive would be a mistake IMO, I would think about buying such a laptop from Apple only if it had an optical drive.

They already make laptops with optical drives, buy one of those. The rest of us want a sub notebook so ditching the drive that rarely gets used is a useful saving in space.
post #15 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

They already make laptops with optical drives, buy one of those. The rest of us want a sub notebook so ditching the drive that rarely gets used is a useful saving in space.

I'm not alone. There's lots of other people who wouldn't be interested in it if it had no optical drive. If someone wanted to switch to Mac, wanted something this small that would be their only computer, they wouldn't be able to import music CD's or burn them etc. CD's are staying around for a while yet, so if it's gonna be a tiny notebook, at this point in time it would still need the optical drive IMO.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #16 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by digiology View Post

Howdy neighbour ; )

I'll assume you mean me. Hello to you too. (Occupation = waster, made me laugh).
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #17 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I'm not alone. There's lots of other people who wouldn't be interested in it if it had no optical drive. If someone wanted to switch to Mac, wanted something this small that would be their only computer, they wouldn't be able to import music CD's or burn them etc. CD's are staying around for a while yet, so if it's gonna be a tiny notebook, at this point in time it would still need the optical drive IMO.

A subnotebook with an external drive that also could live in the dock is just fine IMHO.

Typically these machines are judged on size and weight.
post #18 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

A subnotebook with an external drive that also could live in the dock is just fine IMHO.

If it was done in the right way, then maybe. It could be an optional extra as part of the dock.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #19 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post

I think it would make sense to have a docking station for each and every laptop not just for a subnotebook.

The current laptops are a mess of dangling cables. Some from the left, some for the right. Makes for a real messy desk and long time to connect and disconnect all the Sh!%.

Unlike the iMac, laptops used as desktops are a mess of cables.

What makes a notebook worse than an iMac for cables? If you had to use a desktop KB & mouse, OK, iMac can have the same. An external drive would be the same either way, though an iMac can have larger drives, so there may be less pressure to have an external drive. The only thing is that the iMac keeps the connectors to the back, and Apple's notebooks put connectors on the side. And I do think that is a valid concern.

Quote:
Oops, sorry they are no longer laptops, they are notebooks..... The more reason to have a docking station.

Have these businesses ever called them laptops in their marketing?
post #20 of 80
Before switching years ago I used the first in IBM's 3 pound X-Series and preferred it when going on long business trips. The lack of the optical drive hit me hard when a suitcase holding the external optical drive was lost and I had to pay a fortune in Auckland for a replacement.

WHile no optical drive is fine for, say, a student at college it can be the pits when taking an overseas business trip - actually even an in-country business trip.

I believe that Apple has the engineering talent to get one included and would far prefer that to a dock. I use an iCurve behind a 23" display for my PB and it only takes a few seconds to set it up. No big deal for me.
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post #21 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Yes you can do so much with a Dock.

I'd like to take a page out of HPs book and have a Dock with built in NAS for storage. That way not only is this content available to you but it's available over a network. Steal and idea from Sony's Dock which charges a second battery for you.

Faster optical drives can be used in the Dock and hopefully easy multiple monitor support. Spend money on the graphics chip in this notebook not adding redundant items for those who cherish power in a compact form factor.

I had a nice dock for my Compaq, it had halfway decent speakers, 3x PCI slots, one standard 5.25" drive bay and two multibay slots (for notebook drives or separate battery charging) plus all the standard IO connectors.
post #22 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I'm not alone. There's lots of other people who wouldn't be interested in it if it had no optical drive. If someone wanted to switch to Mac, wanted something this small that would be their only computer, they wouldn't be able to import music CD's or burn them etc. CD's are staying around for a while yet, so if it's gonna be a tiny notebook, at this point in time it would still need the optical drive IMO.

- I don't think a sub-notebook is a good choice to be your only computer. The idea is to trade off bulk, and features if necessary, for maximum portability. Buy a MB or MBPro instead if you're looking for a do-it-all portable
- I'm sure it would have at least USB, and most likely firewire, to add a DVD burner at home

I'd gladly ditch the optical drive. I very rarely use it. I'm still hanging on to my 12" PowerBook, and would really like to have something smaller still. I'd like to take a laptop with me when motorcycle touring, and space counts.
post #23 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post

Before switching years ago I used the first in IBM's 3 pound X-Series and preferred it when going on long business trips. The lack of the optical drive hit me hard when a suitcase holding the external optical drive was lost and I had to pay a fortune in Auckland for a replacement.

A sub-3lb notebook no longer means sacrificing an optical drive. I think Sony's had one at 2.75lb, with optical drive, for over a year.
post #24 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post

Before switching years ago I used the first in IBM's 3 pound X-Series and preferred it when going on long business trips. The lack of the optical drive hit me hard when a suitcase holding the external optical drive was lost and I had to pay a fortune in Auckland for a replacement.

A few years ago I'd have agreed, but these days a USB memory stick is more useful than a CD or DVD burner and cheap enough. Plus wireless networking is both faster and more common. CDs are nearly as obsolete as floppies or ZIP drives except for playing pre-recorded material.

I've not bought software for a few years now that wasn't delivered electronically either.
post #25 of 80
I do not think you understand how Apple thinks. They will make something that will make people go wow.....

I think they will use the existing form factor of something like the Imac but thinner and you can pop the tablet in and out (which while in the IMAC dock will be the screen) but when popped out it will be your tablet with a simple piece to pop out to prop it up on the table when independent from the IMAC DOCK. I am sure they will use something crazy like a virtual keyboard and a mouse that will be bluetooth etc.....I think that would be truly cool.
post #26 of 80
I forgot to say that this would be more cost effective as they would already have the overhead supplies available in doing that design.
post #27 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexjb80 View Post

I do not think you understand how Apple thinks. They will make something that will make people go wow.....

I think they will use the existing form factor of something like the Imac but thinner and you can pop the tablet in and out (which while in the IMAC dock will be the screen) but when popped out it will be your tablet with a simple piece to pop out to prop it up on the table when independent from the IMAC DOCK. I am sure they will use something crazy like a virtual keyboard and a mouse that will be bluetooth etc.....I think that would be truly cool.

And exactly how high were you when you came up with that?
post #28 of 80
If this ultralight is to use flash only and no HD, maybe shipping in the fall is a marketing decision based on component prices. Gotta get the SSD down to a reasonable price. I don't see what Leopard has to do with it unless it needs one of those top secret features to make it work.

I think it'd be fine if it didn't have an optical drive onboard. Just use the external drive to load software and burn discs.
post #29 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post

Before switching years ago I used the first in IBM's 3 pound X-Series and preferred it when going on long business trips. The lack of the optical drive hit me hard when a suitcase holding the external optical drive was lost and I had to pay a fortune in Auckland for a replacement.

WHile no optical drive is fine for, say, a student at college it can be the pits when taking an overseas business trip - actually even an in-country business trip.

I believe that Apple has the engineering talent to get one included and would far prefer that to a dock. I use an iCurve behind a 23" display for my PB and it only takes a few seconds to set it up. No big deal for me.

The dock I have used in the past had PCI slots and I think room for a HD in addition to the optical drive. A built in NAS would be great for an Apple dock. A PCIe slot would be as well.

When I connect my MBP I have to connect power, firewire, usb, ethernet and DVI. It's rather annoying when I'm trying to either set up to check mail quickly or get out the door quickly.

Dealkiller? No. Suboptimal? Yes.

As far as loosing an optical drive these days, while it would be annoying its not like you can't get a reasonably priced USB2 or Firewire replacement.

Vinea
post #30 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo View Post

If this ultralight is to use flash only and no HD, maybe shipping in the fall is a marketing decision based on component prices. Gotta get the SSD down to a reasonable price.

Component prices and availability. The new NAND wont be in full production before July.

Vinea
post #31 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo View Post

If this ultralight is to use flash only and no HD, maybe shipping in the fall is a marketing decision based on component prices. Gotta get the SSD down to a reasonable price. I don't see what Leopard has to do with it unless it needs one of those top secret features to make it work.

I think it'd be fine if it didn't have an optical drive onboard. Just use the external drive to load software and burn discs.

Apple is now trying to lock down more NAND, about 500 million more of them. The makers doubt they can produce all of the NAND Apple and other companies need.

I don't know if Apple would use NAND for this though.

This COULD be another reason for the delay. At least, I hope it is. The idea that they can't get it finished on time because of other projects really bothers me.
post #32 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Hot dang, subnotebook is a'comin!... it's just gonna take awhile, that's all. But my sig don't lie.

.

You need to move house out of MiniTower into SubNotebook.
post #33 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

I'm not one of the sub-notebook people. I carry a 15" PB back and forth to work evey day and dont mind the heft. I like that it is complete and before I got the intel iMac it was my top computer for photo, video and the like. Just like back in the day when I had a PB160 when the DUOs were about.
That being said, I like the existance of the sub-notebook. I like that they push the envelope in size and change expectations. I don't expect to buy one, but I will cheer when they come out (if they are way cool).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I agree. Apple is a rapidly growing company, and has a ever growing userbase. It's probably time they expanded their computer lineup to a point of pleasing people with more niche needs. ie sub-notebook lovers. There's a number of people who would buy this thing, and even some who choose to go with a Viao and Windows because Apple doesn't currently have that solution. Another thing Apple really needs IMO is a budget 17 display. For say even $199, so people who buy a Mini can just add it at checkout.

I'm thinking about this sub-notebook though, I think with the long/extended timeline that Apple plans to do something more somehow, and not just a smaller, thinner MacBook, but something truly different from what they currently offer. Maybe they'll make it a tablet and not a sub-notebook at all. Now with all this Multi-touch® technology talk maybe this would look like a (very thin) notebook in the closed position, but when you open it the lid swings all the way round the back, magnetically holds to the back, and has subtle MacBook like feet for placing on a desk etc. Maybe this could be the true travel, take-it-anywhere computer, and an Apple eBook rolled into one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I'm not alone. There's lots of other people who wouldn't be interested in it if it had no optical drive. If someone wanted to switch to Mac, wanted something this small that would be their only computer, they wouldn't be able to import music CD's or burn them etc. CD's are staying around for a while yet, so if it's gonna be a tiny notebook, at this point in time it would still need the optical drive IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker View Post

And exactly how high were you when you came up with that?

LOL ... Hmm... I am in luuuv with my MacBook Core[1]Duo 2ghz 2gb RAM, 13.3" 1280x800. Just nice for me. a MacBookPro is too "serious" for me right now. And too big.

But I defer to Bergermeister, after watching TokyoDrift I am definitely in the Apple needs to come up with subnotebook to compete viably in the Japan portable computing space.
post #34 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexjb80 View Post

I do not think you understand how Apple thinks. They will make something that will make people go wow.....

I think they will use the existing form factor of something like the Imac but thinner and you can pop the tablet in and out (which while in the IMAC dock will be the screen) but when popped out it will be your tablet with a simple piece to pop out to prop it up on the table when independent from the IMAC DOCK. I am sure they will use something crazy like a virtual keyboard and a mouse that will be bluetooth etc.....I think that would be truly cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker View Post

And exactly how high were you when you came up with that?

WORD. Full 3d-spatial holographics etc. The next frontier after resolution-independent UI and touchy-feely gesturing-stuff.
post #35 of 80
Oh man! Ive been praying for a sub 15" notebook that would replace the old 12" G4....All I ask is for the option of a graphic card upgrade and preferably optical audio I/O. (macbook 64mb non dedicated vram? whats with that?....people said it would never happen.

All other specs should be enough for my needs, the way things are now.

bring it on and Im there with cash in my pocket!!!!!

(a dock sounds good+who needs an intergrated optical drive theese days )
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post #36 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by atmospac View Post

Oh man! Ive been praying for a sub 15" notebook that would replace the old 12" G4....All I ask is for the option of a graphic card upgrade and preferably optical audio I/O. (macbook 64mb non dedicated vram? whats with that?....people said it would never happen.

All other specs should be enough for my needs, the way things are now.

bring it on and Im there with cash in my pocket!!!!!

(a dock sounds good+who needs an intergrated optical drive theese days )

If they are seriously considering dropping the optical drive, then I don't see why they would have graphics card options, which they really don't offer on any of their models right now. A discrete graphics module would take more space, weight and battery power, all three are demons to an ultraportable. Besides, I haven't seen an ultraportable that has discrete graphics, the 12" Powerbook doesn't fit current ultraportable standards. Hopefully the graphics chip in the new chipset will be as fast as Intel says it is.
post #37 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

If they are seriously considering dropping the optical drive, then I don't see why they would have graphics card options, which they really don't offer on any of their models right now. A discrete graphics module would take more space, weight and battery power, all three are demons to an ultraportable.

oh, foul vanquisher of wishful thinking

...u know if external vidcards exist?
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post #38 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by digiology View Post

I wonder how big the screen will be. I can't imagine a 10" being too usefull even if only for bus trips.
Remember that patent filling a few months back where it showed a laptop which had a screen in the keyboard part with a virtual keyboard onscreen? That'd be amazing especially if you could unfold it out flat, turn it on its side to get a widewscreen picture!

My guess is same as yours; at least 13" wide screen with the iPhone's ability to auto rotate screen when you hold horizontally or vertically. USB for Keyboard and mouse if required or use on screen version and gestures. Imagine a pen too and you have a graphics tablet with 'paint on picture' ... drool.

And I agree with most everyone else, keep this baby light on extras and supply a dock. It may have a built in iPhone option too ... you never know!

With an AppleTV this is also a neat sit in bed and watch a movie device too ... oooh the possibilities are endless
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #39 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by atmospac View Post

oh, foul vanquisher of wishful thinking

...u know if external vidcards exist?

Yes, I think they do. You have to have an ExpressCard slot in order to use it, but that type of slot only includes a x1 PCIe lane. I'm not optimistic that Apple would include that slot.
post #40 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Apple is now trying to lock down more NAND, about 500 million more of them. The makers doubt they can produce all of the NAND Apple and other companies need.

I don't know if Apple would use NAND for this though.

This COULD be another reason for the delay. At least, I hope it is. The idea that they can't get it finished on time because of other projects really bothers me.

Looks like the iPhone has claimed another victim. Talk about putting all your eggs into one basket.

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     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

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iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

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