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Newton2 Size: 5.5-7" Vs. ~10"

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk View Post

I'd add today a 7" Newton/UMPC device though Ireland would argue for the 10" tablet version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

You know, never say never. Would you care to discuss this a bit?

Sure. Let's go over to this shiny new thread.

First you have to contend with the iPhone—how much can it do? A lot, frankly, but it fails in two areas: long term use[1] & laptop replacement[2].

Then you have to contend with the MacBook—how much can it do? Most anything, constrained by time to crunch CPU/GPU cycles, but it lacks the battery life of a scaled up iPhone & lacks Mutitouch.

So you could have a tablet, which is 10" MacBook - keyboard - OS X[3] + Mobile OS X.

The main problem then becomes convincing customers to accept that this tablet is not like a Windows tablet, and it requires completely different/new/redone programs and you can't just use OS X stuff.

You now also have a very wide gap between the iPhone's power and the tablet's power: do developers target the iPhone or the tablet? Both, but separately? Or are they just locked out of the iPhone despite now having a SDK for Mobile OS X?

You could just stick OS X on the tablet and bolt on Multitouch[3] but it wouldn't work that great I believe (too much UI redesign would be required, and Apple couldn't force 3rd parties to do it), and your battery life is going be the same as a laptop. Still great for vertical markets (and would kick Windows ass, natch) but not something to get people to ditch their laptops for.

Go down to 6-7"—that is Newton size, and certainly lighter—and you have something that is clearly not viewed as a computer so Mobile OS X just makes sense. Furthermore it's much closer in hardware terms to the iPhone, so that helps developers.

It's got power to run iMovie '08 I imagine, or a stripped down version, along with other basic multimedia manipulation and all the other stuff (email, browsing, eBooks, typing) benefits from the much larger screen. Furthermore without the cellular radio always being on you can probably hit 24 hours of battery (as long as WiFi is off, of course) and that is the big difference.

If I could have something that replaces 60% of what I do with my laptop to start, and 90% later as the lightweight versions of OS X programs are ported over and I add an external keyboard, as well as weighing a quarter of my laptop, being smaller in every way, and only needing a charge once a day? I'm sold.

The iPhone price drop and the old Newton shows you can probably hit $700 for this by 2008 (flash prices, mostly) and maybe a bit lower. Once these things sell enough and have a good software library you bring back the eMate (i.e. Mobile OS X in a 10" laptop form, with touchable screen, same 24 odd hours of battery life[4]) & perhaps a 10" tablet form. Heck the eMate2 & a tablet could have the exact same hardware/screen just with the eMate2 having a keyboard.

I remain unsure if the 10" tablet would sell, given the Newton2 at 6" and the eMate2 with a keyboard at the same size, but as long as it and the eMate2 share parts it won't need crazy good sales just solid ones. I'm sure vertical markets would love a 24 hour tablet without the crud of Windows.

My way gets developers on board first for the iPhone and the 6-7" model (maybe 6" would be better, now that I think about it) and then with a solid application base you expand upwards to the 10" laptop & tablet spaces.

A modern subnotebook might be faster then our eMate2, but eMate2 has 3-6 times the battery life and is a third the price. Same difference in the tablet space once you've established the difference between a Macintosh, and an Apple OS X device. I think you have to establish that difference carefully step by step[5], rather then dropping in.


[1] I wouldn't want to read an eBook, or spend a long time browsing websites, or hook up a keyboard and type for a while on an iPhone. I used to think so, but having played around with a friends iPhone (lousy Rogers in Canada not letting me get one) the screen is just too small for longer term use. Great for what it is, not so great to be a laptop replacement.

[2] Email, web use, typing, multimedia, light multimedia manipulation, and games. I'm talking more about the people who do that, over those who actually use the power of their laptop (since that's a small fraction) because of their work.

[3] The level of work it would take to redo the entire OS X interface + programs so they could properly use Multitouch is vast. Multitouch is something very well thought out, most of the time, and to continue to use it like that would require OS X to be completely redone. Otherwise it's a level of usefulness below that of Windows/OS X + pen, since a stylus can simulate a mouse better than a finger.

[4] Yes yes the Foleo. It lacked battery life, applications, and multimedia. With those, plus a good design & not requiring a Treo, it would have been a great machine.

[5] First the iPhone, nothing to do with the Mac. Then Newton2 like a scaled up iPod Touch/iPhone - celluar radio. With the Newton2 you release the SDK for Mobile OS X. Then a little while down the road with an application library and iPhone/iPod Touch/Newton2 doing computer like things without being 'Macs' you can expand towards Macintosh computer size with eMate2 & a tablet.
post #2 of 44
But, as I frequently remark in all such threads, there is this thing about the gap between pocket size and at least ultra portable notebook size.

That thing being is that the entire appeal of a pocketable device is that it's pocket-abiltiy. They're not that small just because the engineers can pull it off, it's because that's the point at which they become something you can keep on you at all times.

Whereas the entire appeal of a laptop, even a very small laptop, is that it is a fully featured computer, with an actual keyboard, that you can do real work on for a prolonged period of time without going blind or having your thumbs fall off.

To my way of thinking, anything between those to kind of natural inflection points ends up including the downsides of both formats and the advantages of neither: not big enough for a "real computer" experience, not small enough to make carrying it with you everywhere practical.

A seven inch device means you have to carry something to put it in, just like a laptop. A seven inch device means you have to compromise a lot of how you interact with the thing, just like an iPhone.

I would much prefer that Apple make a subnotebook, 10" screen, under three pounds, and if they want to incorporate Multi-touch and some kind of swivel screen to configure it as a tablet, that would be fine (although I don't actually see Apple doing this anytime soon, it's still too small of a market).

It's on that latter point that Ireland and I part ways, he's dead set on a "real" tablet, whereas I see the loss of functionality not worth the modest weight savings of leaving off a keyboard.

Either way, the only "in=between" devices I am aware of that have had any success in the marketplace are primarily gaming platforms, with PMP features thrown in.

Consider that it would be trivial for Apple to make a "big iPhone", with more horsepower, a 7" screen, and some additional functionality. The touch keyboard would be easier to use, it would be easier to engineer, could include a much larger battery, etc. For all intents and purposes, such a device is already designed, and all you have to do is drop in some bigger case parts and screen.

But they haven't. I say it's because they know there's no real market there.
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post #3 of 44
the new newton is getting those new processers that apple has been scooping up. that's what will make them better.
MacBook Pro
2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
120GB Serial ATA Drive@5400rpm
SuperDrive 8x
15" Glossy Widescreen Display

with a wireless Apple keyboard

and

iPod Touch
8GB
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MacBook Pro
2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
120GB Serial ATA Drive@5400rpm
SuperDrive 8x
15" Glossy Widescreen Display

with a wireless Apple keyboard

and

iPod Touch
8GB
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post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk

The main problem then becomes convincing customers to accept that this tablet is not like a Windows tablet...

Apple is more than capable of this. There was touch-screen phones before the iPhone, yet consumers knew the iPhone was different from the start. One public demo of multi-touch on a Mac tablet and people would be weak at the knees. I could imagine Steve on stage; "This is just like the iPhone. The coolest interface on the planet is now coming to the Mac." They may even not call it a tablet, as to differentiate it even further from the Windows tablet market. Mac touch anyone? [still reading]
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post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk

...and it requires completely different/new/redone programs and you can't just use OS X stuff.

Never said it was going to be easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk

You now also have a very wide gap between the iPhone's power and the tablet's power: do developers target the iPhone or the tablet? Both, but separately? Or are they just locked out of the iPhone despite now having a SDK for Mobile OS X?

iPhone SDK, iTunes Apple approved 3rd party apps announcement Macworld '08.
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post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk

Go down to 6-7"—that is Newton size, and certainly lighter—and you have something that is clearly not viewed as a computer so Mobile OS X just makes sense. Furthermore it's much closer in hardware terms to the iPhone, so that helps developers.

Point is it's too close. It doesn't give consumers easy decisions. How Many Mac users are going to buy an iPhone as their phone, and a 6-7" PDA ad their PDA? Not many, which is bad business for Apple, and the lines are too blurry between both products, something which Apple generally tries to avoid. As I said I believe iPhone SDK is coming, and that should sort our some of the issues you have here. And it should give it the PDA functionality people have been craving - Newton who? Addabox is spot on about that 6-&" dilemma, it's why the PDA market never really took off, it's to big to fit in your pocket, yet it's too small to be work useful.

This tablet, or slate, or whatever they call it will be a Mac, let's make no mistakes about that, it wont be a phone or a PDA or anything of the sort, it will be a Multi-touch Mac. It will be for all those folks who already have an iMac, a Mac Pro, or a MacBook, and want to carry around some of that data most everywhere. Because they want to edit it everywhere they will need an ultra-portable Mac, which is the big whole in Apple's line-up.

Besides, it's hard to get real work done with only 6 or 7" to play with. The ultra-portableness of this device will be as much about it's thinness and lightness, as its 10" screen size. A Mac you can take anywhere. If you're are going to go to the trouble of carrying around a 7" slab, why not take a far more useful 10" slob.

Neither will fit in your pocket anyway, and the 10" would have a full size keyboard.

The other reason I am so passionate about the 10" tablet is because I desperately want one, I can envision it be very very useful to me, and I think (and hope) Apple is looking at it the same way. I'm literally holding off buying an Apple notebook because of this imaginary device - that's how much I believe on the idea.

Would I hold off on buying a TV because I think Apple's going to make one? Not likely - although I think it's going to happen - I don't think it will happen now until Fall '08 at the earliest.
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post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

there is this thing about the gap between pocket size and at least ultra portable notebook size.

I had a Newton 2100 and while it was a great device (I still miss many of its features) eventually I ended up not using it.

Why was that? Was it not powerful enough? Was it not good at what it was doing? Neither.
Yet eventually I realised it's the size vs. features that bothered me.

It was too big and heavy to be carried in my pockets. And yet it wasn't as powerful as a notebook in regards to data entry (lack of keyboard) and screen resolution. (I actually had a Newton keyboard as well, but carrying both was even bulkier than a small notebook.)

As the Newton didn't fit into my pockets, I had to carry an extra bag to put it in.
And even when carrying a bag, normally I'd just leave it on the floor. As I don't have any valuables in there, I don't mind. But when I had my Newton with me, I was always paranoid about my bag getting stolen. So I ended up carrying the bag on my shoulder all time. Which annoyed me further.

But if I always have to carry the Newton in a bag anyway, I might as well get a small notebook. As fast as the Newton's handwriting recognition was, I can still type much faster on a keyboard. And the Newton's screen resolution isn't as good either.


What's really needed is a device the size of the Newton - when open, but collapsable to the size of an iPhone when closed.
But folding displays are still a little while off.


Until then, any device no matter how clever, will have a hard time establishing itself if its size is between iPhone and subnotebook.
post #8 of 44
10">6-7"

Size does matter .
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT

Until then, any device no matter how clever, will have a hard time establishing itself if its size is between iPhone and subnotebook.

I agree. 10" ultra-portable Mac tablet is the way to go
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post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

But if I always have to carry the Newton in a bag anyway, I might as well get a small notebook. As fast as the Newton's handwriting recognition was, I can still type much faster on a keyboard. And the Newton's screen resolution isn't as good either.

Why does it have to be XOR? I can see Apple making one of those convertible tablets where you can swivel the screen around and and snap it over the keyboard to make it a tablet. Best of both worlds. Fast data entry with a real keyboard and the easy handling of a tablet when you don't need a keyboard. There are lots of tablets like that on the market already. Apple's distinction would be they could probably make it ultrathin, so it really would feel like a dedicated tablet rather than a folded laptop. As for the resolution, displays have come a long way since the Newton. They can pack 1280x768 into a 10" display nowadays, plenty for serious work, although at the cost of a bit of eyestrain.
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

But, as I frequently remark in all such threads, there is this thing about the gap between pocket size and at least ultra portable notebook size.

That thing being is that the entire appeal of a pocketable device is that it's pocket-abiltiy. They're not that small just because the engineers can pull it off, it's because that's the point at which they become something you can keep on you at all times.

Whereas the entire appeal of a laptop, even a very small laptop, is that it is a fully featured computer, with an actual keyboard, that you can do real work on for a prolonged period of time without going blind or having your thumbs fall off.

To my way of thinking, anything between those to kind of natural inflection points ends up including the downsides of both formats and the advantages of neither: not big enough for a "real computer" experience, not small enough to make carrying it with you everywhere practical.

A seven inch device means you have to carry something to put it in, just like a laptop. A seven inch device means you have to compromise a lot of how you interact with the thing, just like an iPhone.

I would much prefer that Apple make a subnotebook, 10" screen, under three pounds, and if they want to incorporate Multi-touch and some kind of swivel screen to configure it as a tablet, that would be fine (although I don't actually see Apple doing this anytime soon, it's still too small of a market).

It's on that latter point that Ireland and I part ways, he's dead set on a "real" tablet, whereas I see the loss of functionality not worth the modest weight savings of leaving off a keyboard.

Either way, the only "in=between" devices I am aware of that have had any success in the marketplace are primarily gaming platforms, with PMP features thrown in.

Consider that it would be trivial for Apple to make a "big iPhone", with more horsepower, a 7" screen, and some additional functionality. The touch keyboard would be easier to use, it would be easier to engineer, could include a much larger battery, etc. For all intents and purposes, such a device is already designed, and all you have to do is drop in some bigger case parts and screen.

But they haven't. I say it's because they know there's no real market there.

actually i could really use an in-between device for around the house. sure i won't necessary take it everywhere with me or really anywhere outside of the house. but as much as i read on the internet as opposed to paper, it makes more and more sense. when i'm not working, my interaction with my laptop computer is >90% reading, <10% inputting. so why do i need to carry that large keyboard around with me all the time? i have a MBP for when i travel and i need to be able to work while away from my workstation. but that doesn't mean there's no space for a reader-type device. in fact, a larger iphone would be just about perfect. it wouldn't preclude me from getting an iphone either. it's just an additional device that would use a similar interface.
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by admactanium View Post

actually i could really use an in-between device for around the house. sure i won't necessary take it everywhere with me or really anywhere outside of the house. but as much as i read on the internet as opposed to paper, it makes more and more sense. when i'm not working, my interaction with my laptop computer is >90% reading, <10% inputting. so why do i need to carry that large keyboard around with me all the time? i have a MBP for when i travel and i need to be able to work while away from my workstation. but that doesn't mean there's no space for a reader-type device. in fact, a larger iphone would be just about perfect. it wouldn't preclude me from getting an iphone either. it's just an additional device that would use a similar interface.

But doesn't that sound like a pretty limited market niche for Apple to invest in? "The Mac you use on the sofa when you're not at your desk but probably won't want to take outside"?

I mean, I get the appeal, wouldn't mind it myself, but I can't quite see actually spending a fair amount of money just to save myself from having to move my laptop around the house.
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post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

I had a Newton 2100 and while it was a great device (I still miss many of its features) eventually I ended up not using it.

Why was that? Was it not powerful enough? Was it not good at what it was doing? Neither.
Yet eventually I realised it's the size vs. features that bothered me.

It was too big and heavy to be carried in my pockets. And yet it wasn't as powerful as a notebook in regards to data entry (lack of keyboard) and screen resolution. (I actually had a Newton keyboard as well, but carrying both was even bulkier than a small notebook.)

As the Newton didn't fit into my pockets, I had to carry an extra bag to put it in.
And even when carrying a bag, normally I'd just leave it on the floor. As I don't have any valuables in there, I don't mind. But when I had my Newton with me, I was always paranoid about my bag getting stolen. So I ended up carrying the bag on my shoulder all time. Which annoyed me further.

But if I always have to carry the Newton in a bag anyway, I might as well get a small notebook. As fast as the Newton's handwriting recognition was, I can still type much faster on a keyboard. And the Newton's screen resolution isn't as good either.


What's really needed is a device the size of the Newton - when open, but collapsable to the size of an iPhone when closed.
But folding displays are still a little while off.


Until then, any device no matter how clever, will have a hard time establishing itself if its size is between iPhone and subnotebook.

I still own and operate a MessagePad 120 (on my desk at home as a sort of pad of paper thingy). Your point that it's too big is spot on. The iPhone would be a perfect replacement if speech recognition were available.

I have my hopes, but I don't expect it any time soon.
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

But doesn't that sound like a pretty limited market niche for Apple to invest in? "The Mac you use on the sofa when you're not at your desk but probably won't want to take outside"?

I mean, I get the appeal, wouldn't mind it myself, but I can't quite see actually spending a fair amount of money just to save myself from having to move my laptop around the house.

yeah, i'll admit it's limited usage. but as our generation and the next look to get their information and news from the internet more and more, i can see it becoming much larger. e-books have never really taken off for one reason or another, probably due to using monochrome lcd displays with low contrast and/or color ones with bad battery life. if apple can come up with a really good reader that has good battery life and contrast in all lighting situations, then they'd have a pretty good winner on their hands.

imagine if they could put it on a wimax or wireless network. you could buy books from the itunes(?) book store and just download them wherever you are. or you could get your magazines delivered to you anywhere you are. just downloaded directly into your reader pad.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


But if I always have to carry the Newton in a bag anyway, I might as well get a small notebook.

++

I'm usually wearing a jacket while traveling, and a 7" screen would easily fit in the inside pocket. I've been doing useful work on an oldish Clie or a Motorola Q for a while, so a 7" screen would be heaven.

Quote:
Originally Posted by admactanium View Post

e-books have never really taken off for one reason or another, probably due to using monochrome lcd displays with low contrast and/or color ones with bad battery life. if apple can come up with a really good reader that has good battery life and contrast in all lighting....

I'd say it was due to their costing upwards of $700. But as part of a multi-purpose device..... Steve purports to dislike convergence, but his products seem to be telling a different story.
post #16 of 44
I'd personally have to say 10" mac, for the sake of the Japanese market. Anyone?
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jouster View Post

++

I'm usually wearing a jacket while traveling, and a 7" screen would easily fit in the inside pocket. I've been doing useful work on an oldish Clie or a Motorola Q for a while, so a 7" screen would be heaven.

not to mention, the keyboard attached to a screen at >90 degree angle isn't always the best form factor. in fact, in many situation it's terrible. using a tablet type device would be preferable on a plane or anywhere with limited space. also, laptops cannot be held with one hand and operate with the other.
post #18 of 44
Multitouch FTW I've played around with typing on a flat surface with no tactile feedback, and i was fine.
Physical keyboards are so out. Except not. Too many people can't give them up. Sighhh
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishyesque View Post

I'd personally have to say 10" mac, for the sake of the Japanese market. Anyone?

Could even be 11". I'm now calling it either 10" or 11". I think that's a perfect size.
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post #20 of 44
True, it's a toss up. I have an interview at the only Apple store in my state in a couple hours, I hope I get the job. I need it to satisfy my lust Haha, ok, Ireland, predict the release. Pick a month, any month. Or maybe a range of two months.
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishyesque View Post

True, it's a toss up. I have an interview at the only Apple store in my state in a couple hours, I hope I get the job. I need it to satisfy my lust Haha, ok, Ireland, predict the release. Pick a month, any month. Or maybe a range of two months.

Firstly I would like to state that just because I think Apple's going to do a multi-touch tablet-type device, it doesn't mean that I automatically think they will never do an ultra-portable notebook.

I could predict a release, but what's the point, we all know Apple's totally unpredictable anyway.

Ok, so I'll humor you if I must then: Second half of 2008, 11" Mac touch, sometime around September.
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post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Firstly I would like to state that just because I think Apple's going to do a multi-touch tablet-type device, it doesn't mean that I automatically think they will never do an ultra-portable notebook.

I could predict a release, but what's the point, we all know Apple's totally unpredictable anyway.

Ok, so I'll humor you if I must then: Second half of 2008, 11" Mac touch, sometime around September.

Do you think the UltraPortable will come before or after the Tablet?
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishyesque View Post

Do you think the UltraPortable will come before or after the Tablet?

If it's going to come at all it will come at Macworld I think. As in January '08.
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post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

If it's going to come at all it will come at Macworld I think. As in January '08.

Thanks.
Haha I don't know why, but you're like my bible of all things Apple. I've got to start forming my own opinion. But I like yours. January? Sounds good to me.
post #25 of 44
Thread Starter 
What if they do a little of both?

10" subnotebook… except that it's running Mobile OS X, you can play with the screen, and it gets 12 hours of battery life? (eMate 2, in other words). Port iLife & iWork (perhaps cut-down versions) and that covers most things until 3rd parties get up to speed with the new Mobile OS X SDK.

I mean I think the Newton2 & a tablet (eventually) are good ideas (I want one), but in terms of logic the eMate2 seems much more appealing.

A subnotebook at $699 instead of $2K is mighty appealing, even if it isn't that powerful and doesn't runs all of OS X's programs.
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishyesque View Post

Thanks.
Haha I don't know why, but you're like my bible of all things Apple. I've got to start forming my own opinion.

Ha! Thanks.
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post #27 of 44
I truly think this device is going to run Leopard. And I desperately hope it comes out in 2008.



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post #28 of 44
double post, sorry,
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post #29 of 44
Well, technically a triple post now..
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

But, as I frequently remark in all such threads, there is this thing about the gap between pocket size and at least ultra portable notebook size.

That thing being is that the entire appeal of a pocketable device is that it's pocket-abiltiy. They're not that small just because the engineers can pull it off, it's because that's the point at which they become something you can keep on you at all times.

Whereas the entire appeal of a laptop, even a very small laptop, is that it is a fully featured computer, with an actual keyboard, that you can do real work on for a prolonged period of time without going blind or having your thumbs fall off.

To my way of thinking, anything between those to kind of natural inflection points ends up including the downsides of both formats and the advantages of neither: not big enough for a "real computer" experience, not small enough to make carrying it with you everywhere practical.

A seven inch device means you have to carry something to put it in, just like a laptop. A seven inch device means you have to compromise a lot of how you interact with the thing, just like an iPhone.

Spot-on. People want a portable device for portability, not lack of screen size.

The average person can learn to type pretty fast on an iPhone using thumbs. I can do 35 wpm in landscape, but that's just me.

The only way to speed it up would be touch typing (having both hands fully on the virtual keyboard). In other words, a full-size keyboard that is angled separately from a screen.

A 7-inch keyboard (eMate2 style)? No. It will be no faster for typing than an iPhone because you'll still be using only your thumbs. And with thumbs there is no difference between a virtual keyboard and a hard keyboard (despite the objections of certain portions of the Treo-happy population).

Now, Apple does have plans for a virtual touch-typeable keyboard. Here's why:
  • This patent describes multitouch that can tell the difference between typing, pointing, handwriting (apparently whenever you hold your fingers like you're holding a pen), 3D manipulation, and scrolling.
  • This patent shows how a touch screen could have tactile ability - articulating frames or Braille-like bumps.
  • This patent/ has touch screens that can tell the difference between contact and pressure - so you can rest your fingers on the virtual keys and only type when you push down.

So I'm sure that the iPhone 2 will have further multitouch capability, but most of this power would come into play with a keyboard that's large enough to touch type on. Anything much larger than an iPhone wouldn't be pocketable. So, like addabox said, any Newton2 would have to be large enough to have touch typing keyboard capability.

I can't see anything smaller than 10". Almost anything that you can do without touch typing you can do on the iPhone with an SDK. So if that's true, the question is the most efficient way to have touch typing on a 10" device. I'm guessing they would use a large virtual keyboard.

What configurations would a touch typeable virtual keyboard on a Newton2/eMate2 work with?
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post #31 of 44
Being Apple, this is what I predict:

Slimmest PDA in the market
New touch screen technology ( the one they patented sometime mid of the year)
Similar interface with the iPhone but with more features
Similar looks with the iPhone/iPod touch
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post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

Being Apple, this is what I predict:

Slimmest PDA in the market

It's called the iPhone. PDA's died with the dinosaurs.

They're either going to make what I suspect, a Mac touch (10 or 11" tablet), or what others think, a notebook-convertible. I think they could make an ultra-portable notebook too, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the only ultra-portable Mac we see from Apple in the next two years is a slab / tablet with an OS optimized for fingers.

Think this:

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post #33 of 44
Well it would be cool if Apple release a MacBook which is a laptop and tablet convertible, but I doubt they would apply it on the MacBook before MBP
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post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It's called the iPhone. PDA's died with the dinosaurs.

They're either going to make what I suspect, a Mac touch (10 or 11" tablet), or what others think, a notebook-convertible. I think they could make an ultra-portable notebook too, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the only ultra-portable Mac we see from Apple in the next two years is a slab / tablet with an OS optimized for fingers.

Not sure the PDA is dead yet as I'm realizing while I consider a replacement for my PDA. The iPhone's advanced utilities don't include some of the key applications I use a PDA for in the first place: to-do lists, spreadsheet/word-processor document editors. My PDA is not a powerbook replacement, but a complement. Countless times I write down an idea or two; I update my grocery list; I re-calculate mortgage numbers in a spreadsheet; I write (formatted) summaries of .. whatever. I presume ( and hope) the iPhone will soon catch up to include such utilities.

If the rumored ultra-portable happens to be a tablet, I will be instantly in line/online to grab one unit. No way I'll miss this opportunity.
post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Monk View Post

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My way gets developers on board first for the iPhone and the 6-7" model (maybe 6" would be better, now that I think about it) and then with a solid application base you expand upwards to the 10" laptop & tablet spaces.
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[5] First the iPhone, nothing to do with the Mac. Then Newton2 like a scaled up iPod Touch/iPhone - celluar radio. With the Newton2 you release the SDK for Mobile OS X. Then a little while down the road with an application library and iPhone/iPod Touch/Newton2 doing computer like things without being 'Macs' you can expand towards Macintosh computer size with eMate2 & a tablet.

If Apple takes seriously the idea of a newton replacement they need to consider it as a family of devices because one size doesn't fit all. For me the goal is something that can still fit in the pocket, but at the same time I realize totally that the size you are suggesting above is vary salable.

The bigger problem is that you seem to want to create a distinction between the iPhone and the Touch "Newton2", I really don't believe this needs to happen. In fact I think there would be big advantages to have a cellular radio in your 6" model. The problem is there is two very distinct markets and Apple really would have to cover them both, that is WiFI only devices and devices that also contain Cell or WiMax. At least that is the way I see it, there are just so many good applications that would never make use of the cell capacity and probably an equal amount that would demand it.

AS I've sort of indicated in other threads I'm looking for an iPhone that is on steroids. In other words a device with a larger screen that remains viable in the pocket. Throw in beefed up I/O and a lot more flash and I'd have one tomorrow. As you alluded to the big issue is that the iPhones screen is just to small. However I don't think it needs to expand to irrational size to become much more usable. Some place between a 1/2" to 3/4" in height would make for a very nice iPhone2/Pocket Newton. If Apple was really smart they would release this right along with your larger tablet. The hopefully will also have gotten a hand writing recognition capability up and running as I think this is key to tablet acceptance.

By the way handwriting recognition needs to be a facility that work in conjunction with the current virtual keyboard technology. I say that because some of us have hand writing that well SUCKS. I wouldn't blame any device for not being able to read my handwriting as sometime it isn't even possible for me to do so.

Dave
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

But, as I frequently remark in all such threads, there is this thing about the gap between pocket size and at least ultra portable notebook size.

I don't see it as a gap but rather a more rational alternative to the ultra notebooks. The primary issue being that the ultras just don't work that well due to keyboard size so there is opportunity to come up with something better. I believe Apple has the capability to do this.
Quote:

That thing being is that the entire appeal of a pocketable device is that it's pocket-abiltiy. They're not that small just because the engineers can pull it off, it's because that's the point at which they become something you can keep on you at all times.

Exactly!!! Bingo and a lottery ticket for you. It isn't just a modest appeal either but there is a big conflict here with what is the optimal size. But slipping into the pocket and being comfortable there is huge.
Quote:

Whereas the entire appeal of a laptop, even a very small laptop, is that it is a fully featured computer, with an actual keyboard, that you can do real work on for a prolonged period of time without going blind or having your thumbs fall off.

This can't be done at all on a ultra. Those little keyboards don't put you any farther ahead then the virtual screens and other entry techniques.
Quote:

To my way of thinking, anything between those to kind of natural inflection points ends up including the downsides of both formats and the advantages of neither: not big enough for a "real computer" experience, not small enough to make carrying it with you everywhere practical.

I hate to say this but it all depends. If Apple can get the feature sets right such a small tablet could be very tempting for many. For personal use I would want a pocket capable device. For use at the plant I believe that a larger tablet in the 6" range would be very handy. It is big enough to be far more usable yet small enough not to be come intrusive.

A key element here is alternative data entry. If Apple can harness a good handwriting recognition facility much of the complaints that ultras and tablets get would disappear. In any event, commercially, industry does use what amounts to specialized tablets for all sort of things from inventory control to work order management. These devices are way expensive. The market is open for a more generic platform the is reasonably rugged.
Quote:

A seven inch device means you have to carry something to put it in, just like a laptop. A seven inch device means you have to compromise a lot of how you interact with the thing, just like an iPhone.

Sure that is a given but for some such a device would be huge especially if Intel compatible*. I often see engineers and so forth carrying huge laptops cases AND brief case home every night. Many of those guys would love to cut their daily load of crap.
Quote:
I would much prefer that Apple make a subnotebook, 10" screen, under three pounds, and if they want to incorporate Multi-touch and some kind of swivel screen to configure it as a tablet, that would be fine (although I don't actually see Apple doing this anytime soon, it's still too small of a market).

They could try but I suspect it will go the same way as many of the other ultras if it attempts the standard interface for these devices.
Quote:

It's on that latter point that Ireland and I part ways, he's dead set on a "real" tablet, whereas I see the loss of functionality not worth the modest weight savings of leaving off a keyboard.

I don't think you really understand where it is possible to go with this. I suspect that with current technology apple can get such a device under 12 ounces. That would be a package not much thicker than a 1/2".
Quote:

Either way, the only "in=between" devices I am aware of that have had any success in the marketplace are primarily gaming platforms, with PMP features thrown in.

Plus a huge number of units targeted at the industrial market. The big issue here is the interface. Industrial systems can be highly optimized for a specific usage. Apple on the other hand needs to find a UI that can cope well with the tablet format. MultiTouch is very close to acceptable right now.
Quote:

Consider that it would be trivial for Apple to make a "big iPhone", with more horsepower, a 7" screen, and some additional functionality. The touch keyboard would be easier to use, it would be easier to engineer, could include a much larger battery, etc. For all intents and purposes, such a device is already designed, and all you have to do is drop in some bigger case parts and screen.

Well considering how unfinished the OS for iPhone is I'd have to say there is lots of work to be done. In many ways you are right though Most of the STUFF needed to make a tablet is already there. This is why I think Apple will go after this market. It is slightly more than just a a bigger screen and case though. Enhanced functionality of the device is needed hardware wise along with the software fix ups.
Quote:

But they haven't. I say it's because they know there's no real market there.

I don't know about that. Personally I think Apple was taken by surprise when it came to the acceptance of the Touch and the iPhone along with the heavy up take of "third party" apps. Right now I suspect that they are trying to evaluate the best way to address the demand.

Dave
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

I had a Newton 2100 and while it was a great device (I still miss many of its features) eventually I ended up not using it.

Why was that? Was it not powerful enough? Was it not good at what it was doing? Neither.
Yet eventually I realised it's the size vs. features that bothered me.

So you out grew a devices capabilities and consider that a reason to dismiss the whole concept? I've out grown many of my PC's, a VIC 20, a S100 bus machine, a MacPlus and several Intel systems including a laptop. That doesn't make any of the concepts embodied in the units obsolete. Apple still has all in ones for example and laptops are hot sellers. In any event what many of us are after is something just a bit larger than the Touch to allow it to reside in most pockets.

The point I'm trying to make is that the TOUCH right now is effective more capable than the Newton of old in many was. It doesn't hurt either that people have a big incentive to carry the device around due to its music playing abilities.
Quote:

It was too big and heavy to be carried in my pockets. And yet it wasn't as powerful as a notebook in regards to data entry (lack of keyboard) and screen resolution. (I actually had a Newton keyboard as well, but carrying both was even bulkier than a small notebook.)

This is the whole point of a new device, it won't be that heavy. The iPhone and Touch pretty much prove it is possible.
Quote:

As the Newton didn't fit into my pockets, I had to carry an extra bag to put it in.
And even when carrying a bag, normally I'd just leave it on the floor. As I don't have any valuables in there, I don't mind. But when I had my Newton with me, I was always paranoid about my bag getting stolen. So I ended up carrying the bag on my shoulder all time. Which annoyed me further.

So your paranoia is another reason to condemn a concept? Not that concern about having things stolen is unwarranted but a note book is an even more obvious target.
Quote:

But if I always have to carry the Newton in a bag anyway, I might as well get a small notebook. As fast as the Newton's handwriting recognition was, I can still type much faster on a keyboard. And the Newton's screen resolution isn't as good either.

Do realize we are talking about modern technology here. Any Newton 2 will likely have multiple processors some of them running orders of magnitude faster. Same thing with the screen, why fret over what was state of the art technology ages ago.
Quote:

What's really needed is a device the size of the Newton - when open, but collapsable to the size of an iPhone when closed.
But folding displays are still a little while off.

Technology for folding displays is progressing at an alarming rate. I don't know when or if Apple will go that route but I would be surprised to see such displays commercially in a year or two.
Quote:

Until then, any device no matter how clever, will have a hard time establishing itself if its size is between iPhone and subnotebook.

This I disagree with. First; a extended capability device is needed for the pocket. I think everybody can agree with that. Second; a device is needed that is slightly smaller than a steno pad, it is to exist mainly as a PAD to be used on the run. The goal is low weight and thinnest. A Third device that is 10 inches or so in size has the least chance of success of any of the three mentioned, but I think Apple will go for not knowing any better.

The thing is the technology, both hardware and software has caught up with the concept of a Newton. Put that technology into a device the approximate size of a steno pad that is under a half inch thick and is as easy to use as a steno pad and Apple will be raking in the dough. The user would be the person on the go that would find any sort of laptop cumbersome.

Dave
post #38 of 44
If Apple decides to come out with something to fill the "Newton2" slot, then it will most definitely be a tablet form factor unless they could pull off a folding display (which won't be for a while).

Quote:
The thing is the technology, both hardware and software has caught up with the concept of a Newton.

You're absolutely right.

A steno pad sized device would probably be perfect - except 6"X9" is 13.5:9, not 16:9. Also, a 6"X9" is a 10.8" diagonal. So you could probably go a bit smaller - as low as 5"X8.5" (16:10, which is Apple's preferred aspect ratio).

For a portable device intended to do as much as a Newton2 would be expected to, people will need a little bit of screen real estate. For real productivity, windows (not Windows; windows) are a must - and that requires enough space to move things around in. The one-application-visible UI failed to work for desktops and it will eventually fail to work for mobile devices. 5"X8.5" would be quite good, I think. Only a slight bit of letterboxing for widescreen video (in keeping with Apple's current aspect ratio). Were it not for the (assumed) lack of an Intel processor, this would be big enough to run IntelOSX with a hardware-specific update.

And think how gorgeous Safari would look on that!

Yes, it would be anything but pocketable (though I have a few pockets I could fit it in). That wouldn't be the point. The point would be having most of the usability of a notebook without the inherent clumsiness of a notebook. A notebook has one configuration. This would have any configuration you want.
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post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

If Apple decides to come out with something to fill the "Newton2" slot, then it will most definitely be a tablet form factor unless they could pull off a folding display (which won't be for a while).

Yep I have to agree. However I still see the need for a family of devices. One for the pocket not much larger than the current Touch and one hand held device. This just to start and get buzz going. Importantly neither of these devices can give up its iPod functionality, in fact that feature will need to be better than ever. I'm still up in the air as to them being cell compatible. I see a situation where the slightly larger than Touch machine would make an excellent cell phone to bookend a range of cell pocketable cell phones (iPhone 2). Even the larger tablet would potentially be a better product with cell support built in.
Quote:
You're absolutely right.

A steno pad sized device would probably be perfect - except 6"X9" is 13.5:9, not 16:9. Also, a 6"X9" is a 10.8" diagonal. So you could probably go a bit smaller - as low as 5"X8.5" (16:10, which is Apple's preferred aspect ratio).

Yeah that is starting to sound about right. It should fit well into the average guys hand.
Quote:

For a portable device intended to do as much as a Newton2 would be expected to, people will need a little bit of screen real estate. For real productivity, windows (not Windows; windows) are a must - and that requires enough space to move things around in. The one-application-visible UI failed to work for desktops and it will eventually fail to work for mobile devices.

I'm not convinced of that. The problem is windowing eats screen pixels. Now we can all hope for really dense displays but practical reality comes into play. I believe if this became an issue it is a place where innovation is needed not more of the same. The Touch does well as it is, but I suppose a machine with much more RAM could be effectively multi tasked.
Quote:

5"X8.5" would be quite good, I think. Only a slight bit of letterboxing for widescreen video (in keeping with Apple's current aspect ratio). Were it not for the (assumed) lack of an Intel processor, this would be big enough to run IntelOSX with a hardware-specific update.

I'm not convinced that Intel hardware would ever be suitable for this type of machine. the difference between an ARM processor and an Intel processor is 25 watts or more. Process shrinks don't really help Intel here as ARM can easily follow right behind. Apple could go dual core on ARM and still beat Intel's single core attempts.
Quote:
And think how gorgeous Safari would look on that!

Yes and movies. Everything that involves on the go media handling in fact. Safari of course on the go would also be outstanding.
Quote:
Yes, it would be anything but pocketable (though I have a few pockets I could fit it in).

The important thing is that people have options. Woman might actually look at something like this and say that is purse size or it isn't. I look at how much room this frees up in the brief case going back and forth to work or in a camera bag when having fun.
Quote:
That wouldn't be the point. The point would be having most of the usability of a notebook without the inherent clumsiness of a notebook. A notebook has one configuration. This would have any configuration you want.

Yeah I know exactly what you are saying with respect to notebooks, they simply don't have the utility for on the go usage. I'm not sure why people mis the potential utility in such devices.

Funny thing happened today. I got called into work today to deal with a machine failure. Along the way I noticed teams from the local utility apparently doing some sort of pole inspection. The team was strung out along the road for a couple of miles but each guy had some sort of hand held tablet like computer. I was zipping along pretty fast but a guess would be something from Trimble. In any event not the place for any sort of laptop. I see different variants of hand held or tablets computers all over the place in industry and do believe that Joe average consumer could find a consumer oriented analog just as compelling. Sure the focus changes from running tasked focused applications to running personal productivity and media centered applications, but the big deal is getting rid of the clumsy laptop which in many cases is a real pain to work with.

All it really requires is a good man machine interfaces and Apple has Multi Touch which is coming along pretty good.


Dave
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I still see the need for a family of devices. One for the pocket not much larger than the current Touch and one hand held device. This just to start and get buzz going. Importantly neither of these devices can give up its iPod functionality, in fact that feature will need to be better than ever. I'm still up in the air as to them being cell compatible. I see a situation where the slightly larger than Touch machine would make an excellent cell phone to bookend a range of cell pocketable cell phones (iPhone 2). Even the larger tablet would potentially be a better product with cell support built in.

I'm sure that within a few years, every so-called "portable solution" will have an EDGE and 3G (eventually 4G) radio built-in. That way VOIP can take care of cell functionality (via the handset for smaller devices and via A2DP bluetooth for tablets, etc). I would really like to see the ability to route the same 3G account (with whatever provider) through the same family of devices, so that you would have a 3G radio in your iPhone/iPhone2 and in your ultraportable tablet. Both radios, though, are on the same unlimited data account, so you can only use one at a time unless they are within a few feet of each other (i.e. talking on the phone while surfing on your tablet).

For the people who didn't want to get both an iPhone/iPhone2 and a tablet (businesswomen, for instance), they could have a small third-party or Apple-manufactured headset/handset just for taking calls that used A2DP bluetooth with the tablet that was in their purse or business bag. Of course you can't take that jogging, but.... In any case, I'm sure that automatic sharing of 3G connectivity between the iPhone/iPhone2 and a synced tablet will be coming soon. Everyone is saying that the first thing anyone will write for the iPhone SDK will be VOIP. I'm sure that within a few years conventional cellphone plans will be gone and everything will be data-based.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm not convinced {that windowing will work}. The problem is windowing eats screen pixels. Now we can all hope for really dense displays but practical reality comes into play. I believe if this became an issue it is a place where innovation is needed not more of the same. The Touch does well as it is, but I suppose a machine with much more RAM could be effectively multi tasked.

I'm not convinced that Intel hardware would ever be suitable for this type of machine. The difference between an ARM processor and an Intel processor is 25 watts or more. Process shrinks don't really help Intel here as ARM can easily follow right behind. Apple could go dual core on ARM and still beat Intel's single core attempts.

Now, Intel just released a much smaller and more efficient Intel processor (the Silverthorne) for ultramobiles. Although windowing does eat screen pixels, it doesn't eat too many of them; I could see two or three windows easily working on an 10" screen in landscape and probably two in vertical. Besides, most of the rumors about the upcoming ultraportable talk about a 13" screen, which is, of course, perfectly suited for windowing.

Another potentiality is using Spaces on a graphical basis - somewhat akin to Minority Report. For your 10" device, have a 3' virtual workspace that you can move around in and even zoom in and out of independent of the actual applications you are working in. Apple's latest patents talk about differentiating between scrolling, pointing, zooming, etc by seeing which hand parts are in contact with the screen (thumb, fingers, or palms). Users could point and move around within an application just like they normally would with a mouse (two fingers in the same place relative to each other for scrolling scrollbars, tap on buttons and links) and zoom in within an application (like Safari, iPhoto or Maps) with the two-fingered pinch, but they could also move around in the whole workspace by using three-finger guestures (pinch or move) in the Minority Report fashion. With a little practice, you would quickly become accustomed to working within one application and pushing the screen over to work in another one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Woman might actually look at something like this and say that is purse size or it isn't. I look at how much room this frees up in the brief case going back and forth to work or in a camera bag when having fun.

I know exactly what you are saying with respect to notebooks, they simply don't have the utility for on the go usage. I'm not sure why people miss the potential utility in such devices.

Presently there isn't a lot available in the consumer marketplace for devices that maximize utility and portability. Mostly because people need reliable text entry and a notebook is the only configuration that even theoretically allows text input greater than 40 wpm. With the level of touchscreen integration that Apple is planning, it is finally becoming possible to have touch typing on a tablet device (through sensitivity to hand position and pressure/contact differentiation).

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I got called into work today to deal with a machine failure. Along the way I noticed teams from the local utility apparently doing some sort of pole inspection. The team was strung out along the road for a couple of miles but each guy had some sort of hand held tablet like computer. I was zipping along pretty fast but a guess would be something from Trimble. In any event not the place for any sort of laptop. I see different variants of hand held or tablets computers all over the place in industry and do believe that Joe average consumer could find a consumer oriented analog just as compelling. Sure the focus changes from running tasked focused applications to running personal productivity and media centered applications, but the big deal is getting rid of the clumsy laptop which in many cases is a real pain to work with.

All it really requires is a good man machine interfaces and Apple has Multi Touch which is coming along pretty good.

Dave

I looked up what that probably was on Trimble - pretty nice. 7"x4"x2". Ouch on the 2". But that's including the keyboard.

If Apple's patents are as good as they sound, then they could tell the difference between the thumb on your left hand that's holding the device (think about how you would hold a 6"x9" photo at arm's length with one hand) and the hand that is actually applying input. I can see Steve Jobs demonstrating this at the MacWorld - being able to hold it in virtually any position without compromising the ability to interact with it.

Let's see - an iPhone-style intro. First he demos it as the ultimate media device (give it some decent speakers, for crying out loud!) showing its full power to run Front Row/iTunes. Basic iPhone-like interface for iTunes and YouTube and iPod+Video. Everyone is in awe over the gorgeous high-resolution widescreen video and cover flow. Then he hits a button on the side of the device (there's a few buttons similar to the Apple Remote on one side) and Front Row sinks back into the screen to reveal Mac OS X Leopard. Crowd goes wild, etc, etc. Demos Spaces, etc. Orders movie tickets on Fandango on the bottom half of the screen while the Bourne Ultimatum is playing on the top half. Shows both one-handed typing (someone needs to invent a decent one-handed keyboard layout similar to DVORAK but for one hand) and two-handed typing (using the video feed to show how he can rest it on the podium and type). Shows off iWork '08 and iLife '08; shows how he can send email and do full multitasking. Mentions that it will be fully compatible with the iPhone Bluetooth headset for VOIP, and that it comes with a built-in 3G card unlocked for any carrier.

Announces price. $649. Release date: February 14, 2008.

Is immediately mobbed by the entire horde of attendees begging to touch it.

Maybe Apple should splurge on security at the '08 MacWorld.

-David
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