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Ultra-portable Apple notebook to splash down at Macworld Expo - Page 7

post #241 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Back to Mac View Post

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.

Hey I'm backtomac!
post #242 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I would buy that, but I don't think enough other people would. In 2008, many consumers will want the option of a HDD.

I'd buy it too, but i also think many others would also. There are a few issues working to move the market in this direction. In any event we must remember that the item in question here is an ultra portable which provides for many design constraints not present in other form factors. Here we go:

1.
Harddrives suck in portables. I know the Wind blows machines at work go through a lot of drives and people aren't happy about it. So reliability is a concern.

2.
The speed of the SSD drives is somewhat better. I say somewhat because I don't think it would be a big issue on an ultra portable. One the other hand on an ultra portable the speed difference could be significant due to the limitations of the battery and thus the drive it could power. Not to mention no spin down.

3.
Flash simply offers form factors not possible with other drive technologies.

4.
As long as Apple provides for the ability to add supplemental storage via Compact Flash or SDHC people will have options to expand storage. It is a key concern of many people, maybe justifiably so. It won't be Hard Drive based expansion but I don't think may will care. Especially if the form factor is as slim as it could be. Apple could potentially get the thickness of this portable under 12 mm.

5.
If Apple designs and markets this device as a highly connected machine the need for storage is minimalized.

Dave
post #243 of 296
Assuming, then, that Apple releases a SSD-based ultraportable with either HDD or flash-based expansion options (basically, "use an external drive for larger stuff; if you want more onboard storage then fill up these expansion slots; you can fit up to two 64GB flash cards in."), what is the minimum onboard storage that people will be able to live with? 16GB? 32GB? 8GB? We are talking about a fully capable notebook here, so what is the minimum storage they could reasonably ship with?

I know that Leopard in all its glory has no trouble running on a friend's computer that is ancient and packs a 20GB HDD - but would 16GB not be enough? I'm running Tiger right now and the system takes 1.85GB, I have 6.3GB of applications (I could probably condense it to 4.5 or 5GB if I had to), a 10GB Library (4.4GB for Application Support, mostly Adobe, Garageband, and iDVD; 2GB of printer drivers; 2.5GB for Audio), and 17.4GB of files (10GB of music, 4GB of pictures, a 1.3GB Library, and misc files). I guess I could imagine having a 16GB main hard drive if I could expand twice by up to 64GB.
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post #244 of 296
Will it have the new 45-nanometer chip?
post #245 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

Assuming, then, that Apple releases a SSD-based ultraportable with either HDD or flash-based expansion options (basically, "use an external drive for larger stuff; if you want more onboard storage then fill up these expansion slots; you can fit up to two 64GB flash cards in."), what is the minimum onboard storage that people will be able to live with? 16GB? 32GB? 8GB? We are talking about a fully capable notebook here, so what is the minimum storage they could reasonably ship with?

A very good question and frankly one that can never be answered. There are just to many variables in what people use devices like this for.

The only benchmark we currently have is the ASUS Eee PC. The shipping model has 4GB of Flash on board, I consider that way to small. So 4 GB is below bottom end. Frankly I see 32 GB as the minimum with many users justifiably wanting 64 GB. That is partly due to marketing and partly due to technical reasons.

For system and application files I think it is fair to say that a reserve of 16GB is about right. This should cover a wide range of user applications mixes and provide room required for temporary files. That would leave 16 GB for user data. These are wild ass guesses as you might suspect, one can chew up a huge amount of disk space simply by installing Eclipse.
Quote:

I know that Leopard in all its glory has no trouble running on a friend's computer that is ancient and packs a 20GB HDD - but would 16GB not be enough? I'm running Tiger right now and the system takes 1.85GB, I have 6.3GB of applications (I could probably condense it to 4.5 or 5GB if I had to), a 10GB Library (4.4GB for Application Support, mostly Adobe, Garageband, and iDVD; 2GB of printer drivers; 2.5GB for Audio), and 17.4GB of files (10GB of music, 4GB of pictures, a 1.3GB Library, and misc files). I guess I could imagine having a 16GB main hard drive if I could expand twice by up to 64GB.

I have about 40 GB in my home directory. Much of that large files that could be purged (ISO's for Linux and such).

Another nice feature this laptop could add would be a port for plugging in a iPod. That would be just the nuts in my opinion.

Dave
post #246 of 296
You can't forget about .Mac users. I don't think Apple is going to leave them out on their UP. The stinking disk image for iDisk is 30 GB. I am thinking the minimum they can go with is 64 GB at this point.
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post #247 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by dontlookleft View Post

lets hope they aren't freeze-happy like 30% (personal estimate) of all macs out there now.

Out of the 120 Macs I maintain on and off the job, none are freeze-happy (personal experience).
post #248 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

You can't forget about .Mac users. I don't think Apple is going to leave them out on their UP. The stinking disk image for iDisk is 30 GB. I am thinking the minimum they can go with is 64 GB at this point.

Does this mean .Mac reserves 30 GB on your local harddisk for syncing with .Mac online regardless of the amount of files/storage you're actually using? That's rather stupid would probably need to be changed once there are SSD-based laptops.
Btw I don't know how .Mac works, but it wouldn't appear to me as too bright if say I sync my 10 GB home directory with .Mac and it not only requires 10 GB on .Mac as well as 10 GB in my Home directory but another 10 GB in a special local .Mac directory...
post #249 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

Assuming, then, that Apple releases a SSD-based ultraportable with either HDD or flash-based expansion options (basically, "use an external drive for larger stuff; if you want more onboard storage then fill up these expansion slots; you can fit up to two 64GB flash cards in."), what is the minimum onboard storage that people will be able to live with? 16GB? 32GB? 8GB? We are talking about a fully capable notebook here, so what is the minimum storage they could reasonably ship with?

In my opinion, the minimum for Apple would be at least 32GB and probably 64GB. If, as in your scenario, there is no HDD option, then 32GB is even less likely. This makes the idea implausible for a MWSF 2008 launch due to price. At current prices, 32GB is barely affordable and 64GB is too expensive for most buyers. For this to work, Apple would have to consign the low end to the MacBook and the MacBook Nano would be priced like the 17" MacBook Pro. It would sell well in Japan. At the prices Apple would need to charge to maintain their profit margins, it would not sell in the numbers at which other Apple laptops are selling -- perhaps half at best for its first year due to flash prices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corpgov View Post

Will it have the new 45-nanometer chip?

Yes, certainly.
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post #250 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

In my opinion, the minimum for Apple would be at least 32GB and probably 64GB. If, as in your scenario, there is no HDD option, then 32GB is even less likely.

There is no doubt there is a strong preference for 64 GB. The unit would not be objectionable with 32GB installed. Either way the unit needs access to additional user storage, be that flash or traditional hard disk. I'd go with flash as this is the only form factor really suitable for an ultra thin laptop.
Quote:
This makes the idea implausible for a MWSF 2008 launch due to price. At current prices, 32GB is barely affordable and 64GB is too expensive for most buyers.

I'm not sure why their is an issue with price here. Look at the iPod Touch, this guy has 16 GB based on todays flash technology. Lets say for instance that the margins on the Touch are 30%, which would imply 280 dollars for the Touch hardware. If we take a quarter of that as the cost of the Touch's memory we get about $70. So our wild ass estimates have the cost of 16 GB of flash at 70 dollars. Lets now say that Samsung doubles that storage capacity for 115% of that cost or about $80. So 32GB of storage will cost Apple around 80 dollars. Even if Apple went to 64 GB we are only talking about being slightly more than $160 out of the cost of the Ultra Laptop.

One should not confuse the cost of these new to market SSD with the cost to Apple to implement storage on the motherboard.
Quote:
For this to work, Apple would have to consign the low end to the MacBook and the MacBook Nano would be priced like the 17" MacBook Pro. It would sell well in Japan.

I'm thinking $900 dollars or there abouts. That would allow for $300 dollars in additional parts. This is possible if they implement a SOC. It is also doable with more traditional technology, if the bare minimum of features where implemented.
Quote:
At the prices Apple would need to charge to maintain their profit margins, it would not sell in the numbers at which other Apple laptops are selling -- perhaps half at best for its first year due to flash prices.

Err..... It won't sell as well as Apple's other hardware for the simple reason that it would offer to little. As much as many of use are looking for something really small in the way of a portable device it is not a computer for the masses.
Quote:
Yes, certainly.

We can only hope so. The problems with power management demand it though.

Dave
post #251 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by corpgov View Post

Will it have the new 45-nanometer chip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Yes, certainly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

We can only hope so. The problems with power management demand it though.

Dave

You guys understand that the 45nm chips that will be available in january are regular ones (35W). The chipset they will work with is Santa Rosa which is not a light-weight in the area of consumption.

Better (less power hungry) chips will come in Q2 (around may) in the form of 25W models at clocks ranging from 2.13 to 2.53GHz (only 3MB of cache). Those will work with the Montevina GM/PM chipset.

Then in Q3 (summer), Intel will launch 2 new smaller/less power hungry chipsets Montevina GL/GS aimed at smaller/lower cost notebooks and mini desktops. At the same time, LV (17W) and ULV (10W) penryn chips will also be launched. Montevina GL/GS+Penryn LV/ULV are a better solution for a full featured UPN.

I don't think that in january 2008, SSD will be that much affordable, I think that something like Sandisk Vaulter is a cheaper (yet better) implementation of Flash right now: 8/16GB of Flash with a fast PCI-Express interface for system+apps PLUS a regular HDD for data (which in a UPN could be a 1.8" HDD just like the ones in the iPod Classic 80/160GB).
post #252 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm not sure why their is an issue with price here. Look at the iPod Touch, this guy has 16 GB based on todays flash technology. Lets say for instance that the margins on the Touch are 30%, which would imply 280 dollars for the Touch hardware. If we take a quarter of that as the cost of the Touch's memory we get about $70. So our wild ass estimates have the cost of 16 GB of flash at 70 dollars.

I expect the cost of the flash in the iPod Touch is between 50 and 70% of the total parts cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Lets now say that Samsung doubles that storage capacity for 115% of that cost or about $80. So 32GB of storage will cost Apple around 80 dollars. Even if Apple went to 64 GB we are only talking about being slightly more than $160 out of the cost of the Ultra Laptop.

You want twice the capacity for 15% more money? That's very optimistic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm thinking $900 dollars or there abouts. That would allow for $300 dollars in additional parts. This is possible if they implement a SOC. It is also doable with more traditional technology, if the bare minimum of features where implemented.

You want a flash-based MacBook Nano for $900 at MWSF 2008??? I think $1999 would be a more likely price.

Another reason why I expect Apple will first offer flash as a SSD with a HDD form-factor is that it would also be a BTO option for MacBook Pro buyers who care more about performance, reliability, or battery life than about capacity or price.
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post #253 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I expect the cost of the flash in the iPod Touch is between 50 and 70% of the total parts cost.

Possibly I really don't know and can't find any good estimates. I would see 50% as being on the high side though.
Quote:


You want twice the capacity for 15% more money? That's very optimistic.

Assuming the new chips are based on a process shrink I think it is possible. If the higher capacity is the result of some sort of stacked chip process then costs will balloon a bit.
Quote:
You want a flash-based MacBook Nano for $900 at MWSF 2008??? I think $1999 would be a more likely price.

Well remember where this device will be competing in the market place. Also realize that no matter what Apple does it will have a limited feature set as you can only fit so much into the chassis. I don't expect the machine to have the feature set of even a MacBook.

By definition the Ultra Portable will be a limited machine, designed right it should be rather cheap to produce. Then again we may simply have different concepts of what this device is. I see it as an Eee PC with more modern hardware.
Quote:

Another reason why I expect Apple will first offer flash as a SSD with a HDD form-factor is that it would also be a BTO option for MacBook Pro buyers who care more about performance, reliability, or battery life than about capacity or price.

If people are concerned about battery life wouldn't the Mac Book be the place to put the drives. I understand what you are saying to some extent as many people by the Pro simply because they have the cash to flash around. (pun intended)

dave
post #254 of 296
ummmm

wtf am I supposed to do without an optical drive? Wardrive around town and email my parents? I use my drive about 10 times per week. Sometimes more.

I guess this new product is for people such as pro audio users and video power users who use their desktops exclusively for their trade and want to buy an administrative laptop just for emailing parents and friends on the go. Or the business person who doesn't do anything with their computer except email and Excel.

Yeah I guess if you have money to burn on an email only laptop for that purpose all the power to you.

Maybe if it came with a 500GB HD and a free online 1mbps terrabyte storage option.
post #255 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

ummmm

wtf am I supposed to do without an optical drive? Wardrive around town and email my parents? I use my drive about 10 times per week. Sometimes more.

I guess this new product is for people such as pro audio users and video power users who use their desktops exclusively for their trade and want to buy an administrative laptop just for emailing parents and friends on the go. Or the business person who doesn't do anything with their computer except email and Excel.

Yeah I guess if you have money to burn on an email only laptop for that purpose all the power to you.

Maybe if it came with a 500GB HD and a free online 1mbps terrabyte storage option.

It isn't 'email only.' Goodness. People don't get ultraportables as their main computer. People use them for travel. If needs be, they can bring an external drive to keep at their hotel or where they're staying. But aside from that, they can burn stuff at home. It's not that big of a deal. You weren't planning on this being your main computer, were you?
Actually, I was, and I still wouldn't need an internal optical drive.
post #256 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishyesque View Post

It isn't 'email only.' Goodness. People don't get ultraportables as their main computer. People use them for travel. If needs be, they can bring an external drive to keep at their hotel or where they're staying. But aside from that, they can burn stuff at home. It's not that big of a deal. You weren't planning on this being your main computer, were you?
Actually, I was, and I still wouldn't need an internal optical drive.

Yeah, you got it right. If it had enough battery life, it'd be perfect for me spending most of the day working at the beach. I can get wifi at some points, so that's great. (I already do most of my conference calls from there, just to rub it in on people in New York or London .) Right now my MBP really only gives me about 4hrs, which means I can get a lot of work done, but by lunchtime I have to pack it in for home (and an extra battery isn't worth the trouble). For me, any optical drive usage I could do at home with an external drive. I'd buy one in a second.
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post #257 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.

Well, it depends on the speed of the flash. how many times do we have to go over that/

A top manufacturers 4 GB high speed Flashover 250 speed, is expensive. My SanDisk Extreme IV cost $95. Others, from smaller companies, are cheaper, and others are even more expensive.

Their 4 Gb Extreme III card, which is cheaper, and slower than the Exreme IV, at $80, has a 16 GB version for $300. If they made the faster IV version that size, it would be even more, probably $350.

Slow Flash is cheap though. My IV card will do 43 MB/s.
post #258 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

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

Yes, the ARM would be way out, unless Apple want to align this imaginary machine with the iPod/iPhone lines instead.

But, I would think that Apple would likely prefer to have it as a Mac instead.

And Apple might move the iPhone and iTouch to x86 in a year or so anyway, with Intel's new devices.

That would be best.
post #259 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

A very good question and frankly one that can never be answered. There are just to many variables in what people use devices like this for.

The only benchmark we currently have is the ASUS Eee PC. The shipping model has 4GB of Flash on board, I consider that way to small. So 4 GB is below bottom end. Frankly I see 32 GB as the minimum with many users justifiably wanting 64 GB. That is partly due to marketing and partly due to technical reasons.

And the question about that 4 GB, what speed is it?

This is a pretty slow, low end performance machine, the Flash could just as well be low performance.

After all, we can get 4x speed Flash for very little. Even 40x Flash these days is really cheap.

But, for a fast machine, that won't do. In order to match the speeds of HDD's the fastest, most expensive Flash will have to be used.

And standard Flash is NOT what is being used in these new, and expensive SSD's. Flash doesn't have very fast write speeds, nor does it have the very fast access times that SSD's have. It's fairly fast, esp when compared to a slow HDD, but it's really slow when compared to an SSD.

So, what is being talked about here?
post #260 of 296
It needs repeating: I have had a MacBookPro or PowerBook for nearly four years and have only needed the optical drive on one occasion, and even then I could have done without. It is a waste of space, weight and energy. A portable device needs to be portable.

If they make a dock and re-invent the Duo, then I'm all for it, but the computer itself does not need the SuperDrive or a large HD for that matter. Most people in the market for a sub-notebook already use one or more powerful desktops and are looking for something, well, portable.

 

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post #261 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

It needs repeating: I have had a MacBookPro or PowerBook for nearly four years and have only needed the optical drive on one occasion, and even then I could have done without. It is a waste of space, weight and energy. A portable device needs to be portable.

If they make a dock and re-invent the Duo, then I'm all for it, but the computer itself does not need the SuperDrive or a large HD for that matter. Most people in the market for a sub-notebook already use one or more powerful desktops and are looking for something, well, portable.

Most of you are just going to show it off at your local Starbucks anyway. You won't be doing real work with it :P
post #262 of 296
Gotta impress the girls somehow, ya know.

An ultra-portable would be useful for: typing, taking notes, mind-mapping, drawing simple images, organizing photos from the day, making a quick movie presentation, giving a presentation with Keynote, viewing video clips and making basic edits, managing a schedule with iCal, working on a spreadsheet in Numbers, surfing the Net, sending email and many other tasks. As long as there is a high-speed internet connection, you are completely set to go.

I already use my iPod as a backup drive while on the road, and sometimes as the presenting device itself when space is a concern (I live in Japan, too, and sometimes meetings are in very cramped offices). I think there will be plenty of third-party items for the device rather quickly, but Apple will likely have a few ready to go at the launch.

Just some ideas:

2 USB
1 FW400 (perhaps also FW800 to connect to desktop for data transfer)
Ethernet
audio out jack (just a tiny speaker)
iSight with microphone
WiFi
video out

Options:
spare battery
battery charger (can charge the battery directly or power the computer)

swappable bay:
flash drive (low power)
mini HD

 

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post #263 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

Most of you are just going to show it off at your local Starbucks anyway. You won't be doing real work with it :P

Maybe at this point you could define what "real work" is, then.

I don't use optical disks for data transfer - I moved straight from using floppy disks to ethernet before writable CD's went mass market. That was during elementary school. Later on, I have used a Firewire cable in rare ad-hoc networking situations and when I have switched Macs, and also used USB keys and the occasional CD briefly at work when we had physically separate networks mandated for security. In any other situation, why would you not use a network?

I don't remember seeing anyone using removable media on my university's computers. Ever. So even the least computer-savvy engineering student recognizes that removable media is suboptimal.

Most of my software developer / computer science friends go for ultraportables or Macbooks for lack of an ultraportable Mac.
post #264 of 296
If it weren't for ripping cds to itunes and HB for dvds my optical drive would never get used. I could easily get by with an external optical drive. YMMV.
post #265 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Well, it depends on the speed of the flash. how many times do we have to go over that/

A top manufacturers 4 GB high speed Flashover 250 speed, is expensive. My SanDisk Extreme IV cost $95. Others, from smaller companies, are cheaper, and others are even more expensive.

Their 4 Gb Extreme III card, which is cheaper, and slower than the Exreme IV, at $80, has a 16 GB version for $300. If they made the faster IV version that size, it would be even more, probably $350.

Slow Flash is cheap though. My IV card will do 43 MB/s.

We need to go over this as many times as you get it wrong.

The speed of the flash in the previous nano...which you erroneously call "slow flash"...is the SAME flash in the 1st gen Samsung 32 GB SSD with 30MB/write and 53MB/sec reads. The SanDisk 32GB (also last gen) has 62MB read and 36MB/s write. These both cost $599 retail.

What you are paying for with the Extremes are a combination of marketing and better interface h/w in a compact flash form factor. The CompactFlash devices are smaller than the SSDs in question which use disk interfaces (SATA, etc).

This has very little to do with either the speed of the flash OR a discussion about SSDs other than some manufacturers have so-so SATA implementations.
post #266 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

But, for a fast machine, that won't do. In order to match the speeds of HDD's the fastest, most expensive Flash will have to be used.

And standard Flash is NOT what is being used in these new, and expensive SSD's. Flash doesn't have very fast write speeds, nor does it have the very fast access times that SSD's have. It's fairly fast, esp when compared to a slow HDD, but it's really slow when compared to an SSD.

So, what is being talked about here?

What is being talked about here is that you confuse your experience with compact flash devices with flash devices in general.

"Standard flash" IS what is being used in these new SSDs. The same parts that go into Nanos and iPhones goes into SSDs.

Sheeh...do I REALLY need to drag out those photos?
post #267 of 296
Here you go:

1st Gen iPod used the K9WAG08U1M.



http://ipodlinux.org/Generations#iPo...n_.28Nano2G.29

Slightly fuzzy picture from PC World of the Samsung 32GB SSD:



I've seen better close ups but you can make out the part number on the flash.

Since these are both old the current drives and nanos use different flash.

The ones you see on DVNation appear to use K9NBG08U5M. These have also been used in MP3 players.
post #268 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

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.

It has to have three things for me aside from being small and light and cheap.

1) a passable screen
2) a passable keyboard
3) a wifi connection.

I've absolutely no need for hard drives or SSDs beyond basic stuff to store an OS. The storage for this kind of ultraportable is online via IMAP/Google.

And if Apple can get reasonable performance out of an ARM processor in the iPod Touch/iPhone then a 900Mhz Celery is plenty.
post #269 of 296
Basically, the question is how much flash memory Apple can afford to put into this device. We can actually get a good idea of this based on the disparity between the iPod Touch 8GB and 16GB.

iFixit dismantled an 8GB iPod Touch and found two Toshiba NAND flash chips stacked on top of each other ... 4GB each. I am assuming that the 16GB model sports two identical 8GB NAND flash chips.

According to the Apple Store, the 8GB Touch is $299 and the 16GB Touch is $399. This means that Apple's cost difference is no more than $100; probably a bit less. They are going to want to make some extra profit off of the larger model's price difference. I am putting a conservative estimate at 15%, which means that their cost for the 8GB component instead of 4GB component would be $85.

Putting in six chipsets like this (48GB of NAND flash) would put Apple's cost at $510. And that's assuming that there is no decrease in price - which is hardly a realistic factor for a larger application like this. Naturally, one 16GB Toshiba flash chip would be cheaper than two 8GB chips, but it might take up a bit more space. It's when you get up around 32GB or more that the cost goes through the roof for putting all the memory on a single chip - hence the $1K price point for a 64GB.

If two 8GB Toshiba or Samsung NAND flash chips cost about $85 each, then we can assume that one 16GB chip costs at least a little less than twice that - shall we say $150? (That's a 12% drop from two 8GB chips to one 16GB chip.)

In other words, it would most likely cost Apple about $450 to put 48GB of NAND flash memory into this SlimBook/ThinBook/TouchBook (directly onto the motherboard). While 48GB is certainly not perfect, it will definitely hold OS X, many applications, and quite a few files without any trouble. Offering two SD card expansion slots would allow users to put movies, music, and other files on SD cards so that they could expand as far out as necessary. In fact they could even have an SD card for work, for high-density media, and for home and switch them out however they wanted.

If memory is only $450, then I could definitely see Apple pricing the new MacBook at under $2K and still making a beautiful, "let's-make-Jobs-happy" profit.



See? Imagine how nice it would be to have a keyboard "floating" on the lower half of the screen. Since the space is fully customizable, you could even drop a virtual implementation of the iPhone's Safari application or iPod application in the lower half of the screen to make multitasking easier than ever.

And the thickness would still be amazing. If Apple can stack a battery, two flash chips, and a touch-sensitive screen in the 8mm iPod Touch, then surely it can make the lower half of the new MacBook less than 10mm (assuming a virtual keyboard, of course). The upper screen thickness would naturally be less than 8mm unless they decided to put some light hardware up there. So basically we are looking at an extremely slim notebook ... probably less than 16mm ... which blows Toshiba's upcoming Portégé® R500 and Intel's promised Metro out of the water.

Price that at $1,399 and we're SELLING.
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post #270 of 296
Incidentally, iSuppli put the cost for 8GB of Flash at only $70 (that's a 30% profit margin for Apple based on the 16GB iPod Touch). That means that using the same figures as above, Apple could probably purchase 48GB worth of 16GB NAND flash chips for as low as $370. That's with current prices, not July 2008 prices (which will probably be significantly lower due to market progression and supply/demand).
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post #271 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post


While this is a fantastic design idea - and I'd buy one in a second without hesitation - the problem is this:

As far as I am aware there is no LCD technology on the market yet which allows 2 large LCD panels to be flush with each other with virtually no bezel. They need at least a 3-5mm wiring edge.

Or in other words 2 LCDs next to each other will always have a 5-10mm gap in the middle.
And with that the whole design idea falls apart IMHO.
I don't want 2 touch screens with a gap in the middle. How awkward would it be to move your cursor/finger from one LCD to the other over that 'bridge'?

There are smaller LCDs with as little as a 1mm bezel, but AFAIK these do not yet exist in large panel displays.
http://www.akihabaranews.com/en/news...s.php?id=14952

And these still need a tiny metal frame around them probably resulting in 1.5 mm bezel on each LCD with a total 'bridge' of 3mm. A 3mm dead zone in the middle is still a bit awkward for 'one' touch screen.
Maybe in 2009.
post #272 of 296
I am in the market for a smaller and lighter computer to replace my Windows laptop now and I will be disappoint if the specs on this one are true. First, 13-inches is not ultra portable. Sony makes a 10 inch laptop which I would consider ultra portable and it comes with a optical drive. I am not really sure why the inclusion of an optical drive is such an issue. Dell just released a new light 13 with a optical drive. The lack of that would be a deal breaker for me. I use it for numerous reasons and wouldnt want to have to pack one around. If the specs dont change I will just have to buy another windows laptop and stick with my Powermac.
post #273 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

And the question about that 4 GB, what speed is it?

This is a pretty slow, low end performance machine, the Flash could just as well be low performance.

If 4GB is to small what difference does the speed make??? In any event the indications I'm getting is that the Eee PC does pretty damn good when loading programs from flash.
Quote:

After all, we can get 4x speed Flash for very little. Even 40x Flash these days is really cheap.

But, for a fast machine, that won't do. In order to match the speeds of HDD's the fastest, most expensive Flash will have to be used.

It doesn't really matter as they will need to buy the latest technology to get the mass storage area they need.
Quote:
And standard Flash is NOT what is being used in these new, and expensive SSD's. Flash doesn't have very fast write speeds, nor does it have the very fast access times that SSD's have. It's fairly fast, esp when compared to a slow HDD, but it's really slow when compared to an SSD.

You seem to think that the technology world is a static place with no improvements in any thing taking place. Your argument makes about as much sense as arguing that a new CPU with twice the performance is more expensive than a 3 year old design. The only thing that counts is if they can get the flash into the box at the right cost for a given performance level.
Quote:
So, what is being talked about here?

Uh an Ultra portable with flash secondary storage?

Dave
post #274 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

Basically, the question is how much flash memory Apple can afford to put into this device. We can actually get a good idea of this based on the disparity between the iPod Touch 8GB and 16GB.

Somewhat maybe. While you could argue that the part can't cost more than the $100 difference that doesn't really help use with the real cost to Apple.
Quote:
. 4GB each. I am assuming that the 16GB model sports two identical 8GB NAND flash chips.

While not unreasonable there is always the possibility that Apple went with a higher density chip.
Quote:
This means that Apple's cost difference is no more than $100; probably a bit less.

If you go over to digikey you can find at least one type of 8 Gb Nand flash for about $23, 4GB for as little as $13.
Quote:
They are going to want to make some extra profit off of the larger model's price difference. I am putting a conservative estimate at 15%, which means that their cost for the 8GB component instead of 4GB component would be $85.

I'd be surprised if they are paying that much. There is a huge range of Flash technologies available and a corresponding wide range of prices. The only way to get a good handle on the price is to find a distributor with online prices.
Quote:

Putting in six chipsets like this (48GB of NAND flash) would put Apple's cost at $510. And that's assuming that there is no decrease in price - which is hardly a realistic factor for a larger application like this.

I'm thinking more like $200.
Quote:
Naturally, one 16GB Toshiba flash chip would be cheaper than two 8GB chips, but it might take up a bit more space. It's when you get up around 32GB or more that the cost goes through the roof for putting all the memory on a single chip - hence the $1K price point for a 64GB.

Lets say that Apple can get a 16 GB chip for $50 that is still $200 for a 64 GB "drive". That doesn't include support electronics but that could very well be part of a SOC.
Quote:

If two 8GB Toshiba or Samsung NAND flash chips cost about $85 each, then we can assume that one 16GB chip costs at least a little less than twice that - shall we say $150? (That's a 12% drop from two 8GB chips to one 16GB chip.)

I'm not sure we can assume anything. Some of Samsung 16GB "chips" are in actuality stacks of 4 GB devices. So the cost could be slightly more per GB. Even so I don't see a huge problem with costs here.
Quote:

In other words, it would most likely cost Apple about $450 to put 48GB of NAND flash memory into this SlimBook/ThinBook/TouchBook (directly onto the motherboard). While 48GB is certainly not perfect, it will definitely hold OS X, many applications, and quite a few files without any trouble.

Well obviously I think you are way high in price here. The question is are my values way off or not.
Quote:
Offering two SD card expansion slots would allow users to put movies, music, and other files on SD cards so that they could expand as far out as necessary. In fact they could even have an SD card for work, for high-density media, and for home and switch them out however they wanted.

User accessible expansion slots are very important. I would prefer Compact Flash myself, but that is me.
Quote:

If memory is only $450, then I could definitely see Apple pricing the new MacBook at under $2K and still making a beautiful, "let's-make-Jobs-happy" profit.

I'm still thinking they could do it under $800. In fact they will almost have to other wise it will suffer in the market place because people will not see the value in the "expensive little computer".
Quote:

And the thickness would still be amazing. If Apple can stack a battery, two flash chips, and a touch-sensitive screen in the 8mm iPod Touch, then surely it can make the lower half of the new MacBook less than 10mm (assuming a virtual keyboard, of course). The upper screen thickness would naturally be less than 8mm unless they decided to put some light hardware up there. So basically we are looking at an extremely slim notebook ... probably less than 16mm .

I think the big gating factor here is the battery and the processor/chipset. The battery has to be big enough for extended run times of course. The problem with the processor and chipset is removing heat from them. Even then a heat sink is not a problem but a fan is.

This is why I at times think the ultra Mobile is in fact an ARM based tablet. Currently it is the only way to get any sort of reasonable horse power into hand held or very small form factor devices.

So what does this mean. Well I don't think the device will be 18mm total thickness if it is running an Intel processor. Much as we would want it to be.
Quote:

Price that at $1,399 and we're SELLING.

One of the reasons the Ultra Mobil PC segment never took off in the USA is the fact that they are just to darn expensive. This is especially the case when one tries to use the device after using a regular laptop. The small form factor decreases he value of the product to the consumer. Now Apple can add some of that value back with Multi Touch and other innovations but still the argument will be made that the keyboard is to small and the screen is hard to read. The products are simply niche hardware for a certain class of user.

Note that I indicated that Apple should be able to sell these for under $800. That is based on the cost of hardware at extremely deep discounts, the sort Apple likely gets. Just because Apple can make and sell the thing for that price does not imply though that people will buy at that price. In the end if this guy is to small, and not a tablet, Apple will be lucky to move them for $500.

Dave
post #275 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

ummmm

wtf am I supposed to do without an optical drive?

The same exact thing you do without a girl friend.
Quote:
Wardrive around town and email my parents? I use my drive about 10 times per week. Sometimes more.

I feel sorry for you, it must be hard on your drive to get abused like that.
Quote:

I guess this new product is for people such as pro audio users and video power users who use their desktops exclusively for their trade and want to buy an administrative laptop just for emailing parents and friends on the go.

Errr Yeah you got it just like the iPhone is only used for Cell connections.
Quote:
Or the business person who doesn't do anything with their computer except email and Excel.

So tell use what do you do with your PC?
Quote:
Yeah I guess if you have money to burn on an email only laptop for that purpose all the power to you.

If I had money to burn I'd not be interested in what is coming from Apple. There would be no need to budget my next PC purchase nor a need to evaluate its cost effectiveness.
Quote:

Maybe if it came with a 500GB HD and a free online 1mbps terrabyte storage option.

This is not the market that this laptop is targeting at all. In any event I suspect that your a simple troll.

DAVE
post #276 of 296
Wizard69, way to own. Seriously though.. anyone who is so dependant on an optical drive that they cant survive by doing burning and such at home, and HAVE to do it while traveling.. this simply isn't for you.
You can still keep an external one with you.. leave it in the hotel room or whatever.
post #277 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

As far as I am aware there is no LCD technology on the market yet which allows 2 large LCD panels to be flush with each other with virtually no bezel. They need at least a 3-5mm wiring edge.

Or in other words 2 LCDs next to each other will always have a 5-10mm gap in the middle.
And with that the whole design idea falls apart IMHO. I don't want 2 touch screens with a gap in the middle. How awkward would it be to move your cursor/finger from one LCD to the other over that 'bridge'?

There are smaller LCDs with as little as a 1mm bezel, but AFAIK these do not yet exist in large panel displays.
http://www.akihabaranews.com/en/news...s.php?id=14952

And these still need a tiny metal frame around them probably resulting in 1.5 mm bezel on each LCD with a total 'bridge' of 3mm. A 3mm dead zone in the middle is still a bit awkward for 'one' touch screen.
Maybe in 2009.

You've got a good point, and this is definitely where the design idea has the potential to fall. Maybe in 2009. However, there is a chance that Apple could surprise us here; here's why:

If there are LCDs with a 1mm bezel, then if they CAN be applied to a 13-inch LCD then Apple would have access to it. Or at least know about it. On the outside chance that Apple can get a screen with a .7mm bezel, then they could have a translucent plastic frame instead of a tiny metal frame around it that goes OVER the wiring bezel. That would put a total "bridge" at 1.4mm - which, if it is translucent plastic, would be partly illuminated by the glow from the pixels around it and wouldn't be too noticeable. You could definitely watch a DVD on it; who really cares about a 1.4mm strip down the center that isn't quite as bright as the rest?

Or Apple could order an LCD screen where the edge of the screen was just slightly angled relative to the other part; enough to cover with transparent plastic so that the bezel would be inside the screen rather than at the edge. Then it could come together quite nicely.

Either way it would be awesome - especially if it comes before 2007. Can you think of any other way to have a decent Mac Tablet? I'm sure they won't do the convertible option. And if you don't have a keyboard (touchscreen or otherwise) that can be angled independently of the screen, then text entry is simply atrocious. Not that I don't love my iPhone's keyboard, but I can't type a report on that.
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post #278 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

You've got a good point, and this is definitely where the design idea has the potential to fall. Maybe in 2009. However, there is a chance that Apple could surprise us here; here's why:

If there are LCDs with a 1mm bezel, then if they CAN be applied to a 13-inch LCD then Apple would have access to it. Or at least know about it. On the outside chance that Apple can get a screen with a .7mm bezel, then they could have a translucent plastic frame instead of a tiny metal frame around it that goes OVER the wiring bezel. That would put a total "bridge" at 1.4mm - which, if it is translucent plastic, would be partly illuminated by the glow from the pixels around it and wouldn't be too noticeable. You could definitely watch a DVD on it; who really cares about a 1.4mm strip down the center that isn't quite as bright as the rest?

Apple could surprise us but it won't be with LCDs. First no matter how small and transparent the border would be it will be distraction to have it in place. So that rules out LCDs pretty much for ever on a folding display.

What we shouldn't rule out is the alternative display technologies coming on line. Many of these are extremely thin and very flexible. Earlier this year Photonics/Spectra had a very interesting article on what was coming out of the various research labs. There are competing technologies for flexible display that might make you device very doable. The question is how soon are these technologies going to leave the lab.

Since I don't know all I can offer you is hope. What you imagine is very possible in the near future.
Quote:

Or Apple could order an LCD screen where the edge of the screen was just slightly angled relative to the other part; enough to cover with transparent plastic so that the bezel would be inside the screen rather than at the edge. Then it could come together quite nicely.

I don't ever see a folder based on conventional glass LCD technology making an acceptable display.
Quote:

Either way it would be awesome - especially if it comes before 2007. Can you think of any other way to have a decent Mac Tablet? I'm sure they won't do the convertible option. And if you don't have a keyboard (touchscreen or otherwise) that can be angled independently of the screen, then text entry is simply atrocious. Not that I don't love my iPhone's keyboard, but I can't type a report on that.

Well if it is going to come before 2007 it had better hurry up.

For a Mac Tablet though I'm not sure a folder display makes sense. Primarily because you would want a screen ratio somewhere around 16:9 for HD display. I guess an argument could be made for a longer narrower device but I think there are limitations here too, mainly PC board area.

As for the issue of typing that is sure to come up from time to time. Obviously on board keyboards are of limited use for extended data entry. Ultimately Apple will have to support Bluetooth keyboards for the rare occasions where extensive text entry is required. For most users though I don't think there will be the intent to due the Tablet for extensive data entry. Rather the data entry usage will be modest at best. I see Tablets as consumers of information for the most part.

By consumer I mean a device that receives far more data than it transmits. Web and E-Mail being two examples. Even things like financial applications where one receives more info on stock market activities than he does sending out buy or sell orders. A tablet isn't the place to write the next great novel. There are many other examples including the consumption of media.

Dave
post #279 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

If 4GB is to small what difference does the speed make??? In any event the indications I'm getting is that the Eee PC does pretty damn good when loading programs from flash.

I'm happy you're happy. But the difference between 600 KB/s and over 40 MB/s does matter if the Flash has a lot of info on it you need to get to.

{quote]
It doesn't really matter as they will need to buy the latest technology to get the mass storage area they need.[/quote]

The cheapest Flash is being made in larger increments as well. Why would they use Flash that costs almost as much as the machine, or more?

Quote:
You seem to think that the technology world is a static place with no improvements in any thing taking place. Your argument makes about as much sense as arguing that a new CPU with twice the performance is more expensive than a 3 year old design. The only thing that counts is if they can get the flash into the box at the right cost for a given performance level.

You are totally wrong about that.

But, we are talking about what is available now, not a year from now. In 2005, a 2 GB Flash card at 60 speed was several hundred dollars (Ultra II), now, I bought one for my daughters digital camers for $29.95 at Staples. Sure, I'm very aware of what's happening.

When you go and re-buy you computer in a year, fast Flash will be much cheaper, but it isn't now.

Quote:
Uh an Ultra portable with flash secondary storage?

Dave

You missed the discussion on that.
post #280 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Somewhat maybe. While you could argue that the part can't cost more than the $100 difference that doesn't really help use with the real cost to Apple.

If you go over to digikey you can find at least one type of 8 Gb Nand flash for about $23, 4GB for as little as $13. I'd be surprised if they are paying that much. There is a huge range of Flash technologies available and a corresponding wide range of prices. The only way to get a good handle on the price is to find a distributor with online prices.

Hey, I'd be totally excited if that was the case. I was just trying to demonstrate that unless Apple is losing money on the 16GB iPod Touch, then there is no way that 64GB of memory is going to cost $1000. Probably a lot less.

Quote:
I'm thinking more like $200.

Exactly. I think that Apple can make a no-HDD laptop that's priced reasonably. Hence the discussion of the iPod Touch's prices in re chip costs.

Quote:
I'm still thinking they could do it under $800. In fact they will almost have to other wise it will suffer in the market place because people will not see the value in the "expensive little computer".

Under $800? That's awesome but I doubt they would do that; probably not enough profit. The deal with this computer will be usability/portability/portable power, not cheapness. I don't think they are marketing it as "get a sortaMac for ultra cheap that's ultraportable" as much as "this full-power MacBook will do everything you ever needed in the realm of portability and more." But I agree that it should be under $1200 or they will have trouble getting people to buy it. We are talking about a full-featured computer without an optical drive or HDD and ostensibly multitouch - pricing that at $749 would totally upset the market. Not that THAT would be a bad thing. For Apple, that is.

Quote:
I think the big gating factor here is the battery and the processor/chipset. The battery has to be big enough for extended run times of course. The problem with the processor and chipset is removing heat from them. Even then a heat sink is not a problem but a fan is.

Yeah.

Quote:
One of the reasons the Ultra Mobil PC segment never took off in the USA is the fact that they are just to darn expensive. This is especially the case when one tries to use the device after using a regular laptop. The small form factor decreases the value of the product to the consumer. Now Apple can add some of that value back with Multi Touch and other innovations but still the argument will be made that the keyboard is to small and the screen is hard to read. The products are simply niche hardware for a certain class of user.

Note that I indicated that Apple should be able to sell these for under $800. That is based on the cost of hardware at extremely deep discounts, the sort Apple likely gets. Just because Apple can make and sell the thing for that price does not imply though that people will buy at that price. In the end if this guy is to small, and not a tablet, Apple will be lucky to move them for $500.

The biggest problem with tablets is that they are niche products. Apple needs to change that.

Quote:
What we shouldn't rule out is the alternative display technologies coming on line. Many of these are extremely thin and very flexible. Earlier this year Photonics/Spectra had a very interesting article on what was coming out of the various research labs. There are competing technologies for flexible display that might make you device very doable. The question is how soon are these technologies going to leave the lab.

But how flexible is flexible? I have been keeping track of polychrome e-paper development, etc, but I have yet to see anything that can actually do a 0 degree angle in a >1mm radius of curvature. And unfortunately that's what my model would require. I think. What's the maximum radius of curvature that you can have with something like that?

Quote:
I don't ever see a folder based on conventional glass LCD technology making an acceptable display.

Well if it is going to come before 2007 it had better hurry up.

LOL - I meant before 2009. I agree that it will be hard to have a basic glass LCD folder, but could you have a glass LCD (hence no new multitouch technology) with the central 4mm or so a flexible epaper display that doesn't require a bezel? Sure, you would probably lose the touchscreen sensitivity there, but since your finger is bigger than 4mm wide the screen would still be able to tell where your finger was. Granted, data entry with a stylus wouldn't be perfect but we've been dealing with two monitors on Photoshop for a while now.

Quote:
For a Mac Tablet though I'm not sure a folder display makes sense. Primarily because you would want a screen ratio somewhere around 16:9 for HD display. I guess an argument could be made for a longer narrower device but I think there are limitations here too, mainly PC board area.

Incidentally, a 16:10 display (what Apple's been using) folded is a 10:8 display, which translates to 16:13. So you won't have trouble with an open tablet that is too long; just a closed notebook that is a bit long.

Quote:
As for the issue of typing that is sure to come up from time to time. Obviously on board keyboards are of limited use for extended data entry. Ultimately Apple will have to support Bluetooth keyboards for the rare occasions where extensive text entry is required. For most users though I don't think there will be the intent to due the Tablet for extensive data entry. Rather the data entry usage will be modest at best. I see Tablets as consumers of information for the most part.

By consumer I mean a device that receives far more data than it transmits. Web and E-Mail being two examples. Even things like financial applications where one receives more info on stock market activities than he does sending out buy or sell orders. A tablet isn't the place to write the next great novel. There are many other examples including the consumption of media.

That's one of the reasons that the tablet market has failed to take off, IMHO. Smartphones are becoming the easiest ways to consume information (I find myself using my iPhone on WiFi to look something up on Wikipedia while I'm sitting at my computer since it's just more convenient than using the computer) and so it doesn't make much sense to have a "tablet computer" for doing the job of a smartphone. It's bulky and it requires mobile broadband or WiFi.

I think that the people who want a Tablet Mac aren't looking for something to help with information consumption. It's not much easier to sit on my couch and read Engadget on a tablet as opposed to my MacBook, and it's a lot bulkier than my phone. In order for Apple to maximize on the tablet idea, they'll need to make extensive data entry possible. Very possible. People want to be able to travel with a tablet instead of their laptops, and so they don't want to sacrifice versatility for mobility. Unless a tablet can do as much as a real notebook, people will just say "if I wanted that I would get an iPhone." Especially with the upcoming SDK.

Here's one reason I think this upcoming ultraportable will feature a multitouch on-board (and thus naturally independent-tilt) keyboard. This U.S. patent that is explained here by Engadget specifically talks about knowing the difference between finger contact, multi-finger contact, resting, palm contact, scrolling, and even "handwriting" (apparently by figuring out if you are mimicking the action of holding a pen).

This is a multitouch keyboard and touchpad combination. And it wouldn't make sense to have a touchpad like this without a screen behind it; you would never know where the keys were. \

If Apple is planning on applying this, the greatest place to do so would be on an ultraportable. And if you are going to take advantage of a keyboard, you have to be able to rest your fingers on it. So I would hope that it would be able to be tilted separate from the screen so that you could actually use it sensibly.

So assuming that the folding tablet idea doesn't work, what other innovative ways would there be to have a two-screen (at least one of which was ultramultitouch with keyboard) tablet? Or something with the functionality of a tablet (holding it at a 90 degree angle and writing on the screen, carrying it like a legal pad, etc). You know, an Apple-worthy concept.

Of course I naturally hope that they can pull something together using flexible displays or something. 'Cause that would quite literally pwn. The rest of the market, that is.
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