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Ultra-portable Apple notebook to splash down at Macworld Expo - Page 6

post #201 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Can you point us to a portable computer using SSD's that are cheaper than the HDD models?

Well that's easy...the Asus Eee PC at $399 for 4GB flash + a SD slot.

It would be perfect if it only had an expresscard slot vs the SD slot.

I'm waiting to see how much the 8GB model costs and decide if I want one of those vs the 4GB. For $499 it'll be worth it and 4GB flash + 512MB ram isn't an upgrade worth much more than $100.
post #202 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Okay...not quite sure which part of what I said you disagree with.

I can go find the pictures of iPod Nanos and Samsung SSDs that show the internal chips with the same part numbers so I don't think you're disputing that. If you are, then I can go find them if you like.

As far as the new flash being faster and cheaper than the older flash...I think that sentence supports that...the Samsung 64GB SATA is faster and the Super Talent 32GB SATA is more expensive in terms of $/GB. The Samsung is only $1080 (retail from Dell - $1080 + $70 for a 120GB 5400 2.5" HDD from PriceGrabber) for double the storage.

I read that a few times so I'm 99% certain that agrees with my statement...the new flash is both cheaper and faster.

One thing is for sure...that Super Talent drive is not really indiciative of current pricing at $900...wide temp or not. The older Samsung 1.8" 32GB (PATA) are only $599 and the SandDisk 1.8" SSD (UATA) is only $599.

Even in comparison to the previous generation Samsung at $600 the new 64GB Samsung is cheaper.

I guess the point is that even with Vista and Leopard a 64GB SSD is good enough for use as the primary drive. If you're willing to live with iTunes quality a 2hr movie averages only 1.5GB. You can take a few movies with you on you flight and still have plenty of room for the usual array of powerpoint files and email...

Large local storage is nice to have but becoming somewhat less important IF you assume that in addition to SSDs getting larger that WiFi is also more accessible. If I can stash my files on Amazon S3, .mac or my office servers I have as much storage as I want if I have a functioning network connection.

Rental model for iTunes video would also be helpful in this regard. If I could have access to the entire iTunes video library for a $1.99 a viewing I don't need to buy any of it.

For those that need more local storage I find that while annoying on a plane, my tiny LaCie HDD is fine once I get to the hotel. You can have an additional HDD in a form factor not much larger than a bare drive.

I can also use a bunch of ExpressCard SSDs to hold various things like they were 16GB floppies (that cost $190 but I digress). These typically don't stick as much outside the laptop as a USB drive does. USB drives do the same thing although I find them somewhat more annoying because they stick out of the laptop.

I'm certainly not stating that the Talent is "new" generation Flash. It's known to be of the previous generation.

With people not happy about even the 160 Gb iPod, I wonder...

Some won't mind storing online, but I'm still wary of that. Too many incidents for my liking.
But with HDD's going down so far in price, it's still the best storage for volume, and speed.
post #203 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Well that's easy...the Asus Eee PC at $399 for 4GB flash + a SD slot.

It would be perfect if it only had an expresscard slot vs the SD slot.

I'm waiting to see how much the 8GB model costs and decide if I want one of those vs the 4GB. For $499 it'll be worth it and 4GB flash + 512MB ram isn't an upgrade worth much more than $100.

Oh, come on. That's not quite the same thing.

Pick a "real" computer, with a reasonable amount of memory, say, at least, 16GB.
post #204 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

[iPod vs MacBook is] not even close to a comparable market.

All of the reasons (lower weight, smaller size, lower power consumption, and better reliability) why someone would choose flash over HDD for an iPod despite the higher price per GB apply to laptops as well. However, there is an additional reason for consumers to choose flash over HDD for a laptop despite the price per GB: speed. Consumers are willing to pay more to get higher speed and flash offers a big speed improvement over HDDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Nano's (sic) are much smaller as well.

The reason why iPod Nanos are smaller is that they use flash. Notebooks using flash rather than HDDs can be smaller (thinner) too and consumers will pay more for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

As for reasonable sized SSD's (sic), such as the new 64 GB Samsung, much too expensive no matter how you look at it.

64GB SSDDs are still too expensive for most consumers. We're just now at the beginning of their adoption in notebooks. They are now shipping in fewer than 1% of new notebooks. It'll be two more years and two generations of flash chips before that reaches about 50% of the notebook market -- sooner in Japan.
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post #205 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Oh, come on. That's not quite the same thing.

Pick a "real" computer, with a reasonable amount of memory, say, at least, 16GB.

I wouldn't knock the the EeePC quite so much - It is running OSX now too...

http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2007/11/12654/


If the guy reports wifi working, I'm in, especially as the 4G model is running at about £200 here in the UK. It's exactly the size I want. 1024px wide screen would be nice but not so important. I've ran OSX 10.4 on an 800x600 screen and it was passable. He describes Leopard as 'pokey' on the Eee but I've been running 10.4 on a G3 500 iBook for years as I'm too cheap to buy laptop I don't mind beating up, and that's always been fine for me so a 900Mhz Celeron should be ok.

Storage - The EeePC has an SD card slot for storage as well as the built in 2-4GB SSD. SDHC cards are up at 32GB now. There's an 8GB SSD model due with 1GB of RAM too. Internally it has an empty miniPCI-E slot which people have speculated may be usable as additional SSD space.
post #206 of 296
You're moving further and further away from Mel's original question. He never asked whether the Asus was any good or not. He asked for an SSD machine that was cheaper than a comparable HD machine. I think it's a fair bet that an HD-based machine, if one existed, would be cheaper than the Asus. By the time you add in all the extra cards and whatnot, the Asus would be one expensive little toy, certainly more expensive than a cheap laptop with only 40GB of HD space.
post #207 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

You're moving further and further away from Mel's original question. He never asked whether the Asus was any good or not. He asked for an SSD machine that was cheaper than a comparable HD machine.

It was not a useful question. It was like asking for Ferrari performance at a price lower than a pickup truck. To sell masses of Ferraris, they don't need be cheaper than pickup trucks, they only need to be cheaper than Porsches. If someone wants the capacity of a pickup truck or a HDD they will buy a pickup truck or a HDD not because they are cheaper but because they need the capacity. People who want performance will buy the Ferrari or Porsche or SSDD if they can afford to -- regardless of the price of pickup trucks or HDDs. If pickup trucks were free, people would still be buying Ferraris and Porsches in about the same numbers as today. Trying to claim that people will buy HDDs over SSDDs because they are cheaper is absurd. If cheaper were a major factor, people would buy a pencil and paper rather than electronic computers. People want performance and HDDs don't offer it. As soon as SSDDs of useful capacity (e.g. 64GB) are affordable, people wanting performance will buy them rather than HDDs.
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post #208 of 296
[QUOTE=mcarling;1173451]All of the reasons (lower weight, smaller size, lower power consumption, and better reliability) why someone would choose flash over HDD for an iPod despite the higher price per GB apply to laptops as well. However, there is an additional reason for consumers to choose flash over HDD for a laptop despite the price per GB: speed. Consumers are willing to pay more to get higher speed and flash offers a big speed improvement over HDDs.[quote]

If you look at the reviews of these SSD's, yu will notice thay while they are faster, that's not always true.

Besides, we just have your word for it that consumers care that much about a bit more of speed rather than a lot more storage, and a much lower price. Right now, there is no evidence for that, except for a very few.

Consumers are willing to pay a bit more for something that is cheap to begin with. But when the item is expensive, and large, the equation is different.

So, yes, people will pay a bit more for a small amount of Flash for an iPod, but that doesn't carry over the computer drives. You'll have to show that your claim is true.

Quote:
The reason why iPod Nanos are smaller is that they use flash. Notebooks using flash rather than HDDs can be smaller (thinner) too and consumers will pay more for that.

Not in the slightest. The reason why Nano's are smaller, is because the intent was to make them smaller, by using a much smaller screen, for one. Flash fits within that form factor, but it isn't the reason for the form factor, it's only one of several enabling reasons for it.

Quote:
64GB SSDDs are still too expensive for most consumers. We're just now at the beginning of their adoption in notebooks. They are now shipping in fewer than 1% of new notebooks.

That's what I've been saying, though now you seem to finally agree.

Quote:
It'll be two more years and two generations of flash chips before that reaches about 50% of the notebook market -- sooner in Japan.

This one you're wrong about. It will take at least twice as long for that to happen. Maybe longer.
post #209 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

I wouldn't knock the the EeePC quite so much - It is running OSX now too...

http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2007/11/12654/


If the guy reports wifi working, I'm in, especially as the 4G model is running at about £200 here in the UK. It's exactly the size I want. 1024px wide screen would be nice but not so important. I've ran OSX 10.4 on an 800x600 screen and it was passable. He describes Leopard as 'pokey' on the Eee but I've been running 10.4 on a G3 500 iBook for years as I'm too cheap to buy laptop I don't mind beating up, and that's always been fine for me so a 900Mhz Celeron should be ok.

Storage - The EeePC has an SD card slot for storage as well as the built in 2-4GB SSD. SDHC cards are up at 32GB now. There's an 8GB SSD model due with 1GB of RAM too. Internally it has an empty miniPCI-E slot which people have speculated may be usable as additional SSD space.

I've looked at this machine as well. I'm totally unimpressed. Sure, for something really cheap, it does work. But, I'll tell you this, even with OS X sort of working, it will be a terrible experience. And by the time you add one of those 32 GB memory "drives" the price will be too high for what it is worth as a machine.

Now, if Apple came out with something that size that actually was worth it, it would be different.
post #210 of 296
I can't imagine using it. I wouldn't be able to produce the productivity I'd want to. It'd probably drive me insane!
post #211 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

we just have your word for it that consumers care that much about a bit more of speed rather than a lot more storage, and a much lower price. Right now, there is no evidence for that, except for a very few.

Many MacBook and MacBook Pro buyers pay hundreds of dollars more for processors that are 10% faster. They pay hundreds of dollars more for extra RAM to reduce swapping. It is unreasonable to expect that they would not pay a similar premium for storage that is about twice as fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Consumers are willing to pay a bit more for something that is cheap to begin with. But when the item is expensive, and large, the equation is different.

Evidence? Facts? Logic? Anything?

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

So, yes, people will pay a bit more for a small amount of Flash for an iPod, but that doesn't carry over the computer drives. You'll have to show that your claim is true.

Dell would not be offering SSDD options for $1000 more if no one were buying. When SSDDs with useful capacity for a laptop (e.g. 64GB) cost under $500 in 2008, it will become a popular option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The reason why Nano's are smaller, is because the intent was to make them smaller, by using a much smaller screen, for one. Flash fits within that form factor, but it isn't the reason for the form factor, it's only one of several enabling reasons for it.

No, the reason first generation iPods were as large as they were was the size of available disk drives with sufficient capacity, not screen size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That's what I've been saying, though now you seem to finally agree.

No, current market allocation between HDDs and SSDDs in notebooks has not been a point of contention. We've been disagreeing about the future of the market, not the present.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

This one you're wrong about. It will take at least twice as long for that to happen. Maybe longer.

I stand by my prediction that flash will be shipping in 50% of notebooks by the end of 2009.
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post #212 of 296
Obviously a flash-only SlimBook/TouchBook is going to be pretty expensive if there is a decent amount of storage. It might not be $1K for 64GB, but it will still be pricey. What is the thinnest HDD that could conceivably be put into a ThinBook and still be price and storage efficient?
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post #213 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

Obviously a flash-only SlimBook/TouchBook is going to be pretty expensive if there is a decent amount of storage. It might not be $1K for 64GB, but it will still be pricey. What is the thinnest HDD that could conceivably be put into a ThinBook and still be price and storage efficient?

My expectation is that Apple have probably designed the MacBook Nano to accept 1.8" form-factor drives and that it will initially ship with only HDD options, but that a BTO option for a 64GB SSDD will appear within about six months.
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post #214 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Many MacBook and MacBook Pro buyers pay hundreds of dollars more for processors that are 10% faster. They pay hundreds of dollars more for extra RAM to reduce swapping. It is unreasonable to expect that they would not pay a similar premium for storage that is about twice as fast.

They can pay a couple of hundred for a faster cpu in an iMac, or about the same for one in a portable. RAM is sometimes requires.

But these drives are far smaller, which is a big problem for most peoplethey want bigger drives, not smaller ones.

And, the prices is anywhere from 40% to 1,000% more. not reasonable for most people.

Quote:
Evidence? Facts? Logic? Anything?

I'm waiting for you to produce some. When you are making the assertive statements, you are the one required to produce it.

Quote:
Dell would not be offering SSDD options for $1000 more if no one were buying. When SSDDs with useful capacity for a laptop (e.g. 64GB) cost under $500 in 2008, it will become a popular option.

I didn't say NO one was buying them. I said that the military, and industrial users were, for the most part, and that there would be small sales other than that.

Quote:
No, the reason first generation iPods were as large as they were was the size of available disk drives with sufficient capacity, not screen size.

We aren't talking about the first generation. We are talking current designs. Do you want to discuss the first HDD's, or the first Flash as well? It isn't relevant.

Quote:
No, current market allocation between HDDs and SSDDs in notebooks has not been a point of contention. We've been disagreeing about the future of the market, not the present.


I stand by my prediction that flash will be shipping in 50% of notebooks by the end of 2009.

Fine, but I disagree with your conclusion.
post #215 of 296
How thick are the thinnest 1.8" form factor HDDs?
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post #216 of 296
I travel alot and work on flash animation, web design and email.

I'm hoping a flash laptop would be able to handle this, because the thinner lighter size would be much welcomed by me.

At first I debated the lack of a optical drive. I sometimes like to watch DVDs, or a music CD or other disc that someone gives to me. Then I thought that I can just download movies now thru Apple or Netflix...so that solves that. Unfortunately if someone gives me a CD or data disc...I won't be able to check it. But maybe I can live with that.

No...what really is giving me pause is the storage space of the flash drive. How big would it be? I know the largest for the ipod touch is 16gigs. That is NOT going to cut it for a laptop.

Even the suggested 64gig HD is too small for my needs.

I need at least 100 gigs of storage space to consider buying this ultra portable...no matter how cool it is or how much I want it. Because if I have to start carrying around ALL these peripherals like external HDs with me...it kinda defeats the purpose.

Personally if I was going to buy a macbook right now, I'd go with the largest 250gig HD option. I don't expect an "ultra portable" to match that...but 64gigs would be a joke. Seriously. Ultra portable or not.

Thats like if the ipod touch didn't have wifi or a touch screen. It was just thinner and did everything an old ipod did...YET with only 8 or 16gigs of flash storage.

I know an ultra portable's selling point is its "portability" and that certain "sacrifices" are to be expected i.e an optical hard drive smaller storage space due to flash drive limitations...but if you limit the storage space TOO much...whats the point? Too low, and it doesn't make sense.
post #217 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

How thick are the thinnest 1.8" form factor HDDs?

it does not matter, it is very slow, 1.8" HDDs not viable for computer, good for MP3 players though,

i guess 4200RPM or less?

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post #218 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanmugam View Post

it does not matter, it is very slow, 1.8" HDDs not viable for computer, good for MP3 players though,

i guess 4200RPM or less?

Exactly, sluggishly slow.
There is not a single 2.5in drive that could beat a 7200rpm 3.5in drive, even if the 2.5in drive is 7200rpm's. I hate the little drives, cuz there too slow.
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post #219 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

How thick are the thinnest 1.8" form factor HDDs?

Most 1.8" HDDs have two disks and are 8mm thick. Some have one disk and are 5mm thick. Obviously, those with two disks tend to be more capacious.
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post #220 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by regan View Post

what really is giving me pause is the storage space of the flash drive. How big would it be? I know the largest for the ipod touch is 16gigs. That is NOT going to cut it for a laptop.

Even the suggested 64gig HD is too small for my needs.

I need at least 100 gigs of storage space to consider buying this ultra portable...no matter how cool it is or how much I want it. Because if I have to start carrying around ALL these peripherals like external HDs with me...it kinda defeats the purpose.

Personally if I was going to buy a macbook right now, I'd go with the largest 250gig HD option. I don't expect an "ultra portable" to match that...but 64gigs would be a joke.

64GB is a capacity most people can live with. You can't. That's ok. 128GB SSDDs will ship in H2 2008.
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post #221 of 296
Because of the added real estate w/o an optical drive, what's to prevent Apple from putting two 5mm HDDs side-by-side, thus enabling a real <1" thick ultraportable? What is the smallest (and thinnest) SSD that will be fast enough for a laptop? Does anyone know price points for an HDD like that?

Would two or three HDDs be more energy efficient because only one of them would have to spin up most of the time?

They will have to do something innovative to make this truly "strikingly slim".
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post #222 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by regan View Post

I know an ultra portable's selling point is its "portability" and that certain "sacrifices" are to be expected i.e an optical hard drive smaller storage space due to flash drive limitations...but if you limit the storage space TOO much...whats the point? Too low, and it doesn't make sense.

Goodness...
They're doing their best, and in a couple years flash will be cheaper. In the meantime, settle with what they offer, or hope that they throw in a HDD and have a bet of flash to contain the OS.
post #223 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

64GB is a capacity most people can live with. You can't. That's ok. 128GB SSDDs will ship in H2 2008.

Good thing he said that he didn't care how much it'd cost.
post #224 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

Because of the added real estate w/o an optical drive, what's to prevent Apple from putting two 5mm HDDs side-by-side, thus enabling a real <1" thick ultraportable?

Cost and reliability come to mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

What is the smallest (and thinnest) SSD that will be fast enough for a laptop?

SSDDs are already faster than HDDs. Most SSDDs shipped in laptops for the next few years will be either 2.5" or 1.8" HDD form-factor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

Does anyone know price points for an HDD like that?

There are no HDDs that can match current generation SSDDs in performance. One could be built, but it would be unreliable due to the extremely high rotational velocity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

Would two or three HDDs be more energy efficient because only one of them would have to spin up most of the time?

No.

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Originally Posted by Fishyesque View Post

Good thing he said that he didn't care how much it'd cost.

$500 to $1000.
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post #225 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

SSDDs are already faster than HDDs. Most SSDDs shipped in laptops for the next few years will be either 2.5" or 1.8" HDD form-factor.

I meant what are the absolute thinnest HDDs that are fast enough for a laptop (since apparently SSDD is currently too pricey for Apple's SlimBook even though it's fast enough and thin enough) and would be cost-effective and not too big of a battery hog, etc.

So when Apple is thinking about slim, is it talking about something as slim as this 19.5mm, 1kg Toshiba? That Toshiba packs a 7mm optical burner and 64GB of flash memory. Granted, it falls apart easily and has a diminuitive processor, but I'm thinking in terms of Apple's overall planned form factor. Without the optical drive, Apple can easily put one or two HDDs in if they are slim enough.
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post #226 of 296
I think a hybrid SSDD/traditional hard disk would be best for those of us who need a lot of disk space. 32 GB of SSDD space for our most used programs, and 64-100 GB of traditional disk space for music, video, and applications that we do not use frequently.

However, space will be a concern, and this may or may not be possible as an option.
post #227 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerndoc View Post

I think a hybrid SSDD/traditional hard disk would be best for those of us who need a lot of disk space. 32 GB of SSDD space for our most used programs, and 64-100 GB of traditional disk space for music, video, and applications that we do not use frequently.

However, space will be a concern, and this may or may not be possible as an option.

Even 32GB would become unseasonably pricey. At current costs. For a dual configuration.

If Apple goes with a SSDD/HDD combo, then 16GB for the OS and basic programs would be the max.

Which begs the question - could one live on a mere 16GB of storage for OS and programs if you had 120GB of HDD storage in a slower 1.8" form factor? Speed isn't as much of an issue when one is only storing files on it, not running programs off it. I know that I could make that work beautifully ... especially if a Leopard update released special support for it so that the HDD was fully indexed and only spun up when it was needed.

Say - if they went with the 1.8"HDD/16GB combo, perhaps they could fit the whole thing in a 2.5" enclosure so that customers could sub in a fast 250GB HDD or 64GB SSDD if they wanted to upgrade! I'm sure that Apple can get a thin enough 2.5" HDD for the one option and customers could pay the premium for the SSDD if they wanted it.
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post #228 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

Even 32GB would become unseasonably pricey. At current costs. For a dual configuration.

If Apple goes with a SSDD/HDD combo, then 16GB for the OS and basic programs would be the max.

Which begs the question - could one live on a mere 16GB of storage for OS and programs if you had 120GB of HDD storage in a slower 1.8" form factor? Speed isn't as much of an issue when one is only storing files on it, not running programs off it. I know that I could make that work beautifully ... especially if a Leopard update released special support for it so that the HDD was fully indexed and only spun up when it was needed.

Say - if they went with the 1.8"HDD/16GB combo, perhaps they could fit the whole thing in a 2.5" enclosure so that customers could sub in a fast 250GB HDD or 64GB SSDD if they wanted to upgrade! I'm sure that Apple can get a thin enough 2.5" HDD for the one option and customers could pay the premium for the SSDD if they wanted it.

The right way to do that would be to build the flash into either the HDD circuit board or as a daughter card attached to the motherboard. In either case, it would be used as cache, not as a separate drive.
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post #229 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

You're moving further and further away from Mel's original question. He never asked whether the Asus was any good or not. He asked for an SSD machine that was cheaper than a comparable HD machine. I think it's a fair bet that an HD-based machine, if one existed, would be cheaper than the Asus. By the time you add in all the extra cards and whatnot, the Asus would be one expensive little toy, certainly more expensive than a cheap laptop with only 40GB of HD space.

No, it wouldn't. 4GB of flash is cheaper than a 1.8" 40GB HDD and smaller than a 1.8" drive. A 40GB 1.8" HDD is $80. A 20GB 1.8" is $50.

There's a reason the Classmate, OLPC, and Eee all have SSD vs HDDs.
post #230 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Most 1.8" HDDs have two disks and are 8mm thick. Some have one disk and are 5mm thick. Obviously, those with two disks tend to be more capacious.


4.1mm for the 32GB Samsungs with the casing removed. Even less if you go the "stick it on the motherboard" route.

http://www.dvnation.com/18ssds.html
post #231 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

SSD's are smaller than a 2.5" drive by a good deal when cubic volume is considered. But, they aren't much smaller than a 1.8, esp if you are talking about a 64GB SSD.

This will change, of course, as they get bigger in capacity, but they are sold in these configurations. The 2,5 will end up in desktop models, and the 1.8 will remain in portables.

The other thing to consider is that Apple could just solder the "DRIVE" into the mother board with flash. That is very doable and frankly makes a lot of sense for Apple volumes. It would be much different than what we are seeing on the Touch.

This would do a number of good things. One it would reduce the area required for a system "drive". It would be more reliable. Finally if they can conserve space well enough they would still have room for a user bay, likely a 2.5" SATA bay. It would also reduce costs a bit. This is very sensible as the machine could be very usable with 32GB of flash.

Apple could also take an all solid state approach and make the expansion bays flash also. They could provide for a number of Compact Flash or SDHC slots for example.

I see this as a good opportunity for Apple to break away from the system architecture of the past. It isn't a question of embracing solid state drives but looking at the need for a drive at all. Frankly there is very little that one could call value added in the so called SSD that we see on the market right now. Rotating media drives have value added in a way that putting components in an enclosure and calling it a SSD don't. The reality is that those components can simply be soldered in place on the mother board, avoiding the middle man and the extra connections.

dave
post #232 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

... the machine could be very usable with 32GB of flash.

I don't think Apple will offer a laptop with only 32GB of storage and no realistic prospects of upgrading that as higher capacities become available and drop in price. I see 64GB as the minimum for most users. Next year, 64GB will be an affordable options for many users.
Mac user since August 1983.
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Mac user since August 1983.
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post #233 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I agree. In 2008, prices would too expensive to go all the way to a SSDD directly implemented on the motherboard. It has to have a HDD form-factor. That means that there will be HDD options (probably standard due to price) and a 64GB SSDD might be a BTO option. I'm hoping that Apple have chosen 1.8" rather than 2.5" for this new MacBook Nano (I'll call it that until Apple release a name). That would help keep down power consumption. Anyone needing more than 160GB can buy a MacBook Pro.

I have to respectfully disagree with this assessment. First; the price of SSD drives are the result of their newness to the market place. Second; soldered in secondary storage offers both the user and Apple some pretty significant benefits.

Now I will agree that the provision for user expanded secondary store is needed. The thing here is that there are options for Apple here also. Sure a HD bay could be provided but so too could flash storage bays be provided. An HD bay is a safe move for Apple, flash bays more leading edge. In any event the ASUS Eee PC is already showing the way here. The biggest problem with the Eee PC is that ASUS simply doesn't have enough primary flash storage, 4 or 8 GB just doesn't cut it even if user data is on another device.

If Apple where to solder about 32GB of flash to the motherboard and give me at least 2 compact flash slots I'd be very happy.

Dave
post #234 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I don't think Apple will offer a laptop with only 32GB of storage and no realistic prospects of upgrading that as higher capacities become available and drop in price. I see 64GB as the minimum for most users. Next year, 64GB will be an affordable options for many users.

For an ultra portable this is exactly what they need to do. As to the capacity increases and the drops in price that is a real life thing. It will happen and as we are speaking Samsung is expecting to ramp new technology flash for the new year. The point is that 32 GB should be dirt simple for Apple to do in an ultra portable and 64 GB in January of 2009. If approached correctly the motherboard rev's would be extremely minor over two years.

As to expansion there is no denying that people will want to do that. The big thing here is that Apple has a lot of options to offer up to the masses. We are talking SDHC, Compact Flash, SATA "drives', daughter cards, ATA "drives" and a host of others. For an ultra portable the right answers are the ones that are primarily flash. Like it or not this is not a full scale laptop, rotating media and the power it requires is simply out of place here.

Dave
post #235 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Dumb question. What cpu is Apple going to use on this machine? I didn't think the mobile Penryns would be available till later next year. Will it get a low voltage core 2 chip?

It all depends on what Intel and Apple have been up to. There has been more than a little talk about Intel building SOC possibly for Apple. This potentially could have the vast majority of the logic board on one IC. This would be ideal for a ultra portable if done on Intels 45nm process.

The question would be what core and what GPU. X3100 for the GPU core would be my guess, but the CPU is much harder to pin down. They will need maximum power savings so this points to a newer core. Then you have the issue of how many cores, frankly I suspect one.

If the SOC is no go, then the only options are what Intel has with respect to its ULV lines. Which is another way to say slow clocked current tech.

The way out there possibility would be an ARM SOC. This for excellent battery performance. I don't think this will happen as Apple needs the object code compatibility on any thing perceived to be a laptop. If the new device is a tablet they may be more inclined to go the ARM route.

In any event it comes down to what does Apple want to accomplish. If Passive cooling is a design requirement it will be very interesting indeed to see what goes into the box.

Dave
post #236 of 296
I have been waiting for a Mac Ultralight notebook for the last 18 months since I came back to Mac (after my Dell died & I have since bought 4 Macs).

The last reminder I have of my Windows experience is my excellent Fujitsu Lifebook P5010 10.4" screen which has served me very well indeed. If Apple do not bring out a suitable replacement, I will have to keep it in operation or worse look to a Windows Machine for my business requirements

When out of town on business I am a standalone operation - I need an optical drive to receive data and or to provide data. Many systems (inc Dept of Defence) do not allow USB thumb drives.

I opted for an all in one machine - without the mess of having separate external components (eg external drives, optical drive etc). External components are a complete false economy.

I hope Apple provides an option for an integrated optical drive - like the Toshiba r500. If Toshiba can do it, surely the true masters of design at Apple can as well.
post #237 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The other thing to consider is that Apple could just solder the "DRIVE" into the mother board with flash. That is very doable and frankly makes a lot of sense for Apple volumes. It would be much different than what we are seeing on the Touch.

This would do a number of good things. One it would reduce the area required for a system "drive". It would be more reliable. Finally if they can conserve space well enough they would still have room for a user bay, likely a 2.5" SATA bay. It would also reduce costs a bit. This is very sensible as the machine could be very usable with 32GB of flash.

Apple could also take an all solid state approach and make the expansion bays flash also. They could provide for a number of Compact Flash or SDHC slots for example.

I see this as a good opportunity for Apple to break away from the system architecture of the past. It isn't a question of embracing solid state drives but looking at the need for a drive at all. Frankly there is very little that one could call value added in the so called SSD that we see on the market right now. Rotating media drives have value added in a way that putting components in an enclosure and calling it a SSD don't. The reality is that those components can simply be soldered in place on the mother board, avoiding the middle man and the extra connections.

dave

Finally !
As long as you just use a standard form faktor SSD instead of an ordinary HD it doesn't really make any sense because you don't get the main advantage of smaller size (ie thickness) and, this is the essential point, design freedom. As many people have pointed out here and elsewhere, there's not much energy to save over 1.8" HDs and not even a lot of performance to gain in average read-write scenarios.
Take a look at the old Sony VAIO X505 http://www.trustedreviews.com/showImage.aspx?id=1490 and http://www.trustedreviews.com/showImage.aspx?id=1491. I don't think a lot thinner than this, but also note the design constraints in the X505: With SSD soldered directly onto the board, Apple would have almost total freedom with the design while at the same time keeping the laptop very slim.

Now that with the MacBook thin there wouldn't be a choice between HD and SSD, the actual price compared to HD is less of an issue. Only the price for the whole package matters. Apple has shown that the price of the total doesn't always equal the price of the sum of the parts but is also driven by marketing considerations. Of course they can't neglect the component costs of the SSD entirely, but with a custom design etc they might come down a bit more compared to standard-HD-enclosure drives.

Therefore, I believe we'll the a 64 GB SSD MacBook thin in Q1/2008 (with no choice to upgrade to 128 GB or use a standard HD because both would defeat the custom design). The 64 GB would eventually be upgraded in a Thin Mark II in late 2008. Price would probably just below $2k, depending on the CPU and RAM configuration (although I doubt there will be much to choose from). And it would definitely have to be considered a Pro series model, price- and design-wise. It might even start a new Pro series design more resembling the iPhone / iPod touch black and shiny design.
post #238 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

If Apple where to solder about 32GB of flash to the motherboard and give me at least 2 compact flash slots I'd be very happy.

I would buy that, but I don't think enough other people would. In 2008, many consumers will want the option of a HDD.
Mac user since August 1983.
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Mac user since August 1983.
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post #239 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

No, it wouldn't. 4GB of flash is cheaper than a 1.8" 40GB HDD and smaller than a 1.8" drive. A 40GB 1.8" HDD is $80. A 20GB 1.8" is $50.

There's a reason the Classmate, OLPC, and Eee all have SSD vs HDDs.

What part of "comparable" do you find difficult to understand? Since when is 4GB comparable to 40GB?
post #240 of 296
I just want a 12" MacBook Pro that's similar to the 12" powerbook, and maybe a little thinner, but it ain't gonna come.
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