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Ultra-portable Apple notebook to splash down at Macworld Expo - Page 3

post #81 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

With 13" no reason to leave out the optical drive as the point of the ultra-portable is to be portable and a 13" screen works against that.

Thickness, weight, and battery life are three other factors that affect portability. 13 inches would be the mininum screen size that's I'd want. That's for sure.
post #82 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

I am #1 on the I want an ultra-portable band wagon but a 13" screen does not meet my definition. I want a 10" or 11" screen 16:9 ratio.

Interestingly, a 13" diagonal makes it about 11.5" wide, which is just enough for a full size keyboard.

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post #83 of 296
I'm very interested to see if this comes to life or not, but if it's "strikingly slimmer" then I wonder if it will have the same appeal and excitement that the Mac Mini brought compared to the size of regular computers.

I don't think anybody expected the new Mac to be that small, as did anyone expect the 1G iPod Nano to be that small. Just a thought.
post #84 of 296
Apple's already shipped half of this - the new bluetooth keyboard. It's tiny, and smaller than it really needs to be just for desktop use - the only reason I can think of that they got rid of the number keypad for the bluetooth version is to make it as portable as possible. However, there's currently little reason to need an extremely portable, wireless keyboard.

So take a macbook and eliminate the keyboard, trackpad, and optical drive. Stuff the rest of the internals behind an LCD touchscreen. Use it alone as a multitouch tablet, or with the bluetooth keyboard and mouse - either way it'll still be lighter and more portable than the current macbooks as well as more ergonomic because the keyboard and display aren't linked. The ultra-portable and tablet are basically the same device.
post #85 of 296
What are we all talking about here? Ever since last January's MacWorld 07, we are in a new world. Haven't we noticed... the world just fell in love with touch, better yet, muti-touch...pinching and squeezing our little personal displays to do our will.

The iPhone is Time's invention of the year! Apple is sitting on a virtual licsence-to-print-money for only a short time. So, it's natural to expect a bigger iPhone-type device for a follow up act this January 08! And Jobs can do it! And I think it's only natural to expect an Apple designed UMPC-like gadget to follow. Once you've played with the iPhone, you're seduced by the touch interface. And who are we kidding? We all know the vision for these touch things started for the love of Star Trek touch pads. They are so cool. So futuristic. The signs are there too: Leopard's you-just-want-to-reach-out-and-touch-me CoverFlow Finder add-on...HELLO...and Spacey, Trekky, OS references like Time-machines and Sci-Fi OSX graphics all point to a new touch device with way more stuff for touch to do.

An ultraportable 13-incher may be nice and all but it is so old-school! All I can say is that something multi-touch had better happen at this MacWorld 08 or APPL will feel the sorrow.
post #86 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

Thickness, weight, and battery life are three other factors that affect portability. 13 inches would be the mininum screen size that's I'd want. That's for sure.

I agree that there are other things to consider but ultra portable means it can move. I can move a MacBook, but I want ultra portability. There needs to be a physical footprint reduction. I am not asking for a 13.3" diagonal, but a 10" so I can carry it like a paper back book. I want 10 hours of battery, will accept core duo 1 GHz as minimum speed, and have 60 GB (preferably 80gb since the iDisk takes up 30 GB right off the bat). Give me a usb, express and firewire port and I am happy. Just offer a nice external optical drive for those times when you have to have one at home for installations. I don't need an optical drive on the go.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Interestingly, a 13" diagonal makes it about 11.5" wide, which is just enough for a full size keyboard.

The MacBook is to big foot print and screen print (if you will). I want one the size of the nice Sony I see around in airports so much.
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post #87 of 296
The is the stupidest product I've ever heard of.

Leave out the optical drive just to make it thinner? WhoGAS if a notebook is any thinner than they already are? Macbooks are already very thin and light. When people talk about "ultra-portable" they mean overall smaller dimensions, a smaller footprint, and a smaller screen. That might justify the lack of an optical drive, but "thinner"? Come on.
post #88 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

I agree that there are other things to consider but ultra portable means it can move. I can move a MacBook, but I want ultra portability. There needs to be a physical footprint reduction. I am not asking for a 13.3" diagonal, but a 10" so I can carry it like a paper back book. I want 10 hours of battery, will accept core duo 1 GHz as minimum speed, and have 60 GB (preferably 80gb since the iDisk takes up 30 GB right off the bat). Give me a usb, express and firewire port and I am happy. Just offer a nice external optical drive for those times when you have to have one at home for installations. I don't need an optical drive on the go.

Yep, that's an actual ultraportable. I find those specs very agreeable otherwise, but I think a good keyboard is a requirement and you can't fit a good conventional keyboard in a 10" laptop frame.

I played around with a calculator considering a 12" PB as a starting point, and I'm thinking 11.5" 4:3 and 10.9" 16:10 are reasonable minimum sizes for a screen. Below that you are compromising the keyboard.
post #89 of 296
An 11" widescreen sounds good to me. If they could bring that in under $1500, I'd be so in. But even at $2k, I'd probably buy, although I'd grumble.
post #90 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by divergent View Post

So take a macbook and eliminate the keyboard, trackpad, and optical drive. Stuff the rest of the internals behind an LCD touchscreen. Use it alone as a multitouch tablet, or with the bluetooth keyboard and mouse - either way it'll still be lighter and more portable than the current macbooks as well as more ergonomic because the keyboard and display aren't linked. The ultra-portable and tablet are basically the same device.

The problem with that is how do you expect this ultraporta-tablet to stand up? Seriously, you can't use a Bluetooth keyboard with a 13-inch tablet unless you have a stand - which really takes the "port" out of portable. Besides, they call'em "notebooks" for a reason; they're supposed to fold.

I'm sure that the Bluetooth keyboard can still work if you want a nice keyboard. But somehow I think that Steve is coming out with something a little more revolutionary. Their iPod and AppleTV lines are at their height right now, so the natural direction for them to go is to the MB area.

Steve REALLY acts like multi-touch is the most amazing thing ever - and I can't deny that it's really nice (I'm typing this from my iPhone at about 30 wpm) - so if he doesn't put it in this new ultraportable I would be VERY surprised. Multi-touch goes farther than the touchpad, though. Apple has taken out a few key patents lately: independent contact and pressure sensitivity, pixel-embedded cameras, and tactileable screens (Braille-like dots that push up through the screen, articulating keyboard-shaped frames under the screen that are felt and not seen, etc).

All this together is the capability of shipping an ultrathin dual screen notebook with complete multitouch and the ability to tell the difference between touching the virtual keys and pushing on them. If I stretched out my iPhone keyboard, I still wouldn't be able to type like I can on a real keyboard because I wouldn't be able to touch the screen without registering a keystroke. But with a screen that is pressure-sensitive as well as contact-sensitive, I could type just as fast as usual as long as the screen would click so I feel the vibrations through my fingers and I know that the keystroke registered. An articulating frame that allowed me to feel where one key starts and another stops (or anything like that) would be nice too.

Naturally, people would be suspicious of the whole concept, but after you got used to it you would never want to use a traditional keyboard again. This would never work on a pure tablet (imagine trying to touch-type on the same screen that you are working on) but it would be perfect for DS. The nice thing is that it would be 100% configurable via software ... the joys of having a personalized keyboard for each application that needs it. Being able to drag and drop and rearrange keys. Using a stylus and drawing directly on the screen in Photoshop CS3 with custom modifier keys on the bottom.

There is one other really revolutionary thing that this would allow, though. Since there will be a lot of space without the optical drive and HDD, we won't need the giant borders around the screen like the current Macbooks. If the central borders were eliminated altogether, then with a little engineering the whole notebook could fold out flat and snap together, forming a 17-inch tablet. Perfect for watching movies, Photoshopping, taking notes in class, or visiting patients. Tired of carrying around the 17" form factor? Snap it open, fold it back up to 13" (remember, it will be likely less than 20mm thick at this point) and slide it into your briefcase ... or even into the back sleeve of your three ring binder.

The tablet market hasn't taken yet for a simple reason. Either they are underpowered and too small to have any decent keyboard or text entry systems (making them essentially overpriced bulky PDAs), or they are desktop replacement notebooks with convertible screens that are thus too thick and heavy to be at all "portable". With multitouch and pressure-sensitive screens, Apple finally has the opportunity to break through this market and provide a truly excellent portable computing solution.

Now you may drool until January.
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post #91 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein

Detachable keyboard not an option - but what about multi-touch?

It's a notebook, get over it.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #92 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

think different. Apple NEVER releases anything that justs meets the status quo of the market. i'm sure they've waited until it could be done the way they want to do it.

Yeah, just like a that crap multi-button mouse they call mighty!
post #93 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Hurray for Japan who can't seem to want a laptop unless it's a sub-laptop.

This should help that area.

For myself? BFD.

The Japanese don't want computers.
post #94 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Dodel View Post

IBM is really a shell of its former self. They have jettisoned a lot of their software products and unloaded their pc lines. That leaves them their server and mainframe market. Still sizable, but no one buys an all-IBM solution any more. They are mostly a service/support company now with lots of competition from others including m$ft.

Mark

Doh! Get your facts right, IBM supplies Microsoft and Sony with processors for their games consoles. But, you know, that's just peanuts I suppose...
post #95 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

Yep, that's an actual ultraportable. I find those specs very agreeable otherwise, but I think a good keyboard is a requirement and you can't fit a good conventional keyboard in a 10" laptop frame.

I played around with a calculator considering a 12" PB as a starting point, and I'm thinking 11.5" 4:3 and 10.9" 16:10 are reasonable minimum sizes for a screen. Below that you are compromising the keyboard.

I could compromise on screen size a tad to get keyboard size correct.
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post #96 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The Japanese don't want computers.

+1

Thanks for that article you showed me, by the way.
post #97 of 296
Can anyone knowledgeably address the eReader possibility I raised in comment 66?
post #98 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benton View Post

Can anyone knowledgeably address the eReader possibility I raised in comment 66?

Yes, but an eBook reader would likely need to be a Mac tablet rather than a notebook. And as far as this story goes, this wont be an ultra-portable (in the common sense of the term), and it wont be a tablet. I am convinced that a Mac touch is coming later next year, you may well get your eBook reader then.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #99 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benton View Post

Can anyone knowledgeably address the eReader possibility I raised in comment 66?

I thought I already did.
post #100 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishyesque View Post

+1

Thanks for that article you showed me, by the way.

Welcome.
post #101 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by pomo View Post

I totally agree, one thing that I think would put this sub-notebook over the competition would be multitouch technology. Apple jas the technology and it would be silly if they didn't implement it, specially for the japanese market.

This (if such a machine is for real) is a computer, not an iDevice, and re-engineering Leopard enough to include all those features this soon ain't gonna happen IMHO, though it's possible to see a token move in that direction. In fact both the iPhone/iTouch and Leopard systems are brand new. Overlapping them will take a bit of coding (and serious thinking about how they will do so -- since this is a device with a keyboard, existing trackpad, etc. and won't be held in your hands -- so there's also a lot of human factors and UI engineering involved before Apple decides on the ultimate future of its interface designs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by umijin View Post

I welcome an ultraportable - I need it badly and so does the Japanese market. But, dammit, you don't need any new technology to produce an ultraportable. Windoze laptop makers have been doing this for years and coming in well under 2kg, often under 1.5 kg even with an optical drive.

So, it's really odd that Apple had to wait so long, when it could have used existing technology. The flash drives and all that other stuff to lighten the portable is nice - but after years of waiting to replace a 12" Powerbook - it just makes no sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

think different. Apple NEVER releases anything that justs meets the status quo of the market. i'm sure they've waited until it could be done the way they want to do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

At 13", this just sounds like a MacBook with a few less features/weight. Though I'm sure more than a few would buy one, there's not much to get excited about.

There WILL some whiz-bang aspects, if mostly in design, at least enough for the press and public to buy into the RDF as if Apple had just invented the ultra-portable. And it will be the ONLY two (or slightly heavier) pound portable Mac you can buy....

Quote:
Originally Posted by pomo View Post

What if apple waited until now to release an ultra-portable, because they wanted to implement multitouch technology to reduce the size. think about it, the trackpad and the keyboard take space up...so why not just get rid of them. And making it 13 inches would be great if the multitouch technology is added because the screen could then emulate a full size qwerty multitouch keypad.

Just some fruit for thought.

See above. 99% likely premature, except for maybe a feature or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camimac View Post

I for one am not at all excited that this might actually be true, because if it is then it means that we won't have any reasonably-priced tower any time soon.

I can't believe Apple is ready to address a niche market instead of concentrating on filling the gap between the iMac and the Mac Pro. I currently have an iMac Core 2 Duo (white), and I'm not at all happy with the general reliability of the machine, nor the quality of its monitor. If Apple continues to insist in not providing us one of the most popular computer form factors, I will look elsewhere next time I need to renew my hardware and then I'll go and install Mac OS X on it.

Minituratization is the future of digital technology and Apple has the scent. A Leopard ultraportable "done right" (many of them suck, e.g., in performance, readability, typability, etc) could be a reasonably big hit -- partly for the coolness factor, e.g., it will be the natural choice for many CEOs and would-be CEO types who want to make an impression and not be burdened down with the weight and bulk nerds are willing to shoulder. Overburdened business travelers and stylish women (some of whom are the same people) and people like me with bad backs (or bad anythings) will give serious consideration. Could reinvigorate Japanese sales (or not), it'll draw company and jealous glances in coffee shops and college libraries (and be easy to carry around campus).

But on the other hand, this could INCREASE the likelihood of a mid-range Mac. As another poster said, or the article (I forget), this promises to be a Mac World focused on new hardware products, since there won't be a new Mac OS or a new multi-touch operating system (though maybe a 1.5 or 2.0 will be announced) or a new iLife or a new iWorks or much new pro software since they've all be recently re-revved -- and one new line of computers isn't enough for a big MW SF. So this is the most likely product. A revamped MBP and/or MP are also contenders, but those will be likely largely refinements. A simultaneous release of an ultraportable and some kind of iPhone on steroids (and/or iPhone lite) are possible, but maybe not until June or later. A 16 gig iPhone and 32 gig iTouch would be nice, but not huge news. So that leaves the door open a crack to also add a new mid-range product appealing to both long-clamoring MacHeads and the small to medium business (SMB) market. And with an ultraporable, neatly fill all of Apple's missing niches.

One more thing: as pointed out elsewhere, Apple's Cinema displays are getting positively ancient. New ACD's AND a new mid-range Mac would make a tasty combo. Unless Apple's getting ready to cede the free-standing monitor business, which would be another reason the current models are so long in the tooth. It is kind of a commodity market. But equally, a 36" super display wouldn't surprise me either.

Ultra portables, mid-rangers and revamped MBP's and MP's would make my (and Apple's) MacWorld from what I think is likely. (Other possibilities: big changes in the iTunes store, Google-related team-ups, an ADVR-TV, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Dodel View Post

IBM is really a shell of its former self. They have jettisoned a lot of their software products and unloaded their pc lines. That leaves them their server and mainframe market. Still sizable, but no one buys an all-IBM solution any more. They are mostly a service/support company now with lots of competition from others including m$ft.

Mark

I beg to differ. IBM has bigger sales than ever before. They have a history of jettisoning lines, programs, and whole divisions (printers, hard drives, PC's and more) going back decades -- sometimes in response to crisis and failure, but also sometimes proactively -- while emerging eventually bigger and stronger. They're all about the plumbing of giant enterprises (and running part or all of their IT operations) that make for MEGO reading, but big business for the biggest businesses. And I believe they still come up with more patents every year than any other digital company, some in very basic and advanced research, and they're at the forefront of supercomputing. You might also want to Google the Eclipse foundation to get a handle on IBM's big play in Open Source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

The is the stupidest product I've ever heard of.

Leave out the optical drive just to make it thinner? WhoGAS if a notebook is any thinner than they already are? Macbooks are already very thin and light. When people talk about "ultra-portable" they mean overall smaller dimensions, a smaller footprint, and a smaller screen. That might justify the lack of an optical drive, but "thinner"? Come on.

Some of us continue to see the world only through our own lenses. Halving the weight of my bag of computing rocks would be huge for me, but as above I also try to see it in the light of the total marketplace, not just my own needs and wants.

But one thing to think about is an update on the dock concept. A one step hook up to optical drive, larger HD (or HD's), extra ports, facility for larger monitor, free standing keyboard and mouse (especially if the device itself is improbably multi-touch and lacks a track pad), with some other Apple touches. Still, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benton View Post

Can anyone knowledgeably address the eReader possibility I raised in comment 66?

I don't know how knowledgeable I am, but you're talking about totally different screen technologies. The ebook screen depends on its not consuming power once a page of data has been rendered. It's also supersharp and only (for now at least in general production) black and white. LED displays need constant power, even when nothing on the screen is changing. They also, as you can observe, don't deliver text that's as readable over hours as paper whereas eBooks almost pull this off. Also, the form factor is wrong for the way most books are formatted, unless the iPhone accelerometer tech could be added. And I also think a 2.5 pound "book" would get heavy on the lap compared to the weight of an eBook reader.

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post #102 of 296
Carbon fibre? Now that would be super sweet!! Seriously, that think would take a beating and still survive unscathed.

Here's hoping that a miracle will happen and we can get >64 GB of solid state disk space. It's not a necessity, but it would be nice for those of us who also use our laptops to watch TV shows from our TiVo during those long, cramped international flights. (Of course we can always use an external hard drive to store the media files if the SSDD isn't >64 GB.)

64 GB of SSDD is the absolute minimum though to ensure compatibility with future software upgrades and to have decent playing room for multiple applications (Creative Suite, Office, etc.).
post #103 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

The problem with that is how do you expect this ultraporta-tablet to stand up?

Keyboard + Bigger Battery + HDD + Optical Drive in the base to offset the weight of the slate tablet part.

Of course, its only an ultraportable when you aren't lugging around the rest of that stuff...

In any case, Motion computing has a crappy keyboard+stand setup for their slates. Works kinda.

More weight and a solid connector is required for a real docking slate.
post #104 of 296
Sorry, this rumor looks like total BS to me. By next Macworld Expo, the current Macbook Pro design WILL BE 5 YEARS OLD. How about finally moving to a new form factor? This is a real priority, and not the ultra-super-mega-slim mythical portable coming with one -- oooh -- 13" display. And flash for storage? And no optical? Integrated Intel graphics is what is missing here.
post #105 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

If you own a Mac, you already own an external optical drive that you could use with this rumored ultra-portable.

If you boot your current Mac into target disk mode(by holding down the "T" key during the boot sequence), the hard drive and the optical drive can be used by another Mac by simply attaching a FireWire cable.

Target disk mode is one of the coolest and most useful features of Macs.

It's a great feature, but you and apple cannot assume that everyone will have a spare mac around to boot into target mode for a disk repair, or an os re-load.
post #106 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanW View Post

It's a great feature, but you and apple cannot assume that everyone will have a spare mac around to boot into target mode for a disk repair, or an os re-load.

Not only that, but even if everyone had a spare Mac, they still need to do some preparation before being able to use it for that purpose (shut it down if it running, connect the cable and then boot it in target mode). Not the most convenient that could happen in your computing life. And certainly not more convenient than having a dedicated optical drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella

Target disk mode is one of the coolest and most useful features of Macs

Yes, but not for the purpose we here discuss.
post #107 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

One thing to remember... the escape clause for iTunes DRM lock-in is the ability to burn any iTunes content to a CD to strip DRM. For that purpose, the drive may be fairly heavily used by some and seen as a loss.

Or for ripping CD's that you own. I've never bought anything from iTunes and won't until they offer better sound quality across the board. That said... I think most people would buy this as a second computer... not as their primary machine... so you could probably get away without the drive. The issue would be how to get files from people... since clients, etc. often send files on CD. Also... installing software could be a pain... potentially. You'd have to buy everything online.
post #108 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by camimac View Post

Yeah, just like a that crap multi-button mouse they call mighty!

I agree. Worst mouse design ever. Apple hasn't made a good mouse since the Apple Desktop Bus II mouse. I've used Logitech mouse since the days of the HORRID puck mouse... and the pill shaped one's are almost as bad as the puck. Horrible horrible mice. That "the entire thing is a button" design (or two buttons) is amazingly flawed.
post #109 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

I agree. Worst mouse design ever.

I was going to answer but you did it by yourself:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

...the HORRID puck mouse...

Difficult to beat that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

and the pill shaped one's are almost as bad as the puck. Horrible horrible mice. That "the entire thing is a button" design (or two buttons) is amazingly flawed.

In my opinion the pill shaped ones are much better than the puck. Now the small tit on the mighty mouse may, and rightfully so, ignite much debate, but other than that I think it is overall a good simplistic mouse. Its basic problem is elsewhere: price. Its predecessor though was atrociously priced a few years ago. \
post #110 of 296
I'm on a 12" powerbook. It's got a thick 1,5 cm frame around the whole screen. If Apple found out a way not needing to use a frame. Perhaps another kind of display doesn't need the frame, then we could see a 1 mm protective frame around the sides, and suddenly it's a 13" in the same size as the 12" powerbook. Somewhat like the newest QuickTime player, that got rid of the side-frames. It looks pretty good.
post #111 of 296
I don't really see any benefits over the MB to this for me. 5lbs to me is not super light but it is still a manageable weight. The weight of the MB is not an issue to me.

I am not one of those people either that has 2 computers one that is underspeced and another more powerful one. This computer would have to function as my primary computer and i would not wish to be bugged down carrying around external drives on the go i also think that they look dreadful as well. Sometimes i travel and it is nice to be able to watch a DVD on my computer and no i have no interest in burning all my DVD's to my computer.

I also don't like integrated graphics either. By the sounds of this it does not sound like a true 12 inch PB replacement.

My ideal for a sub notebook would be about 12-13 inches have an LED screen and have a DVD drive and have a mid entry graphics card in an AL chasis.

The Asus EEE 10 inch seems to offer all what this computer does but at a much cheaper price although the EEE has a smaller HD and a lower resolution and of course no OSX.

I have read rumours like these many times over nearly the last 2 years. Seeing is believing with me. I do hope that Apple at least can offer a DVD drive and mid entry graphics at least an option but if the notebook is going to be so thin i doubt that this will happen.
post #112 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

I agree. Worst mouse design ever. Apple hasn't made a good mouse since the Apple Desktop Bus II mouse. I've used Logitech mouse since the days of the HORRID puck mouse... and the pill shaped one's are almost as bad as the puck. Horrible horrible mice. That "the entire thing is a button" design (or two buttons) is amazingly flawed.

I disagree. I've been using multi-button mice from just about every major brand since Windows 3.11 and Mac OS 7 or 8, whichever started supporting contextual menus (sorry , I forget parts of the past easily.)

I tried a wireless Mighty Mouse with the new Al wireless keyboard, and I have no problems with it. I use it with Leopard, Tiger, and Win XP (via MS RDC) with no problems at all. It's been responsive and reliable, and I expected to really dislike it after years of 5 button mice and reading all the bad reviews.

As for all the subnotebook vs ultraportable discussion, it's very difficult to get the mainstream users of technology to plop down significant cash (>$500) and jump into a new paradigm like multitouch as an business solution, the largest part of the IT market that buys those >$500 items. My iPod Touch is not so responsive & reliable that I'd want that interface for doing all my computing work just yet... too immature at this point I believe.

Road warriors are a significant market, but I think there's a lot more people who will be much more satisfied with a smaller 2lb laptop than they would be if IT spends a couple thousand dollars each for a gee-whiz gizmo. They will not want to deal with the loss of productivity because some gadget-oriented support person though it would be cool to change how they type reports while sitting on airplanes.

As for the person who types 30wpm on his iPhone, that's pretty quick and seemingly fairly accurate, but it's about 40 to 60 wpm too slow to be considered a productive use of business-class technology, and it's way slower than most people can talk into a telephone (still about the fastest means of interpersonal communication in real time). That won't cut it even in the laid-back firm where I work, and it sure won't be tolerated by the slave-driver mentalities of the corporate giants.

And for those who think 2lbs is way too heavy to haul for work, maybe they should take a break from the games and muscle up a bit.
post #113 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

Sorry, this rumor looks like total BS to me. By next Macworld Expo, the current Macbook Pro design WILL BE 5 YEARS OLD. How about finally moving to a new form factor? This is a real priority, and not the ultra-super-mega-slim mythical portable coming with one -- oooh -- 13" display. And flash for storage? And no optical? Integrated Intel graphics is what is missing here.

All of the Mac emphasis on graphics and multitouch definitely means more powerful graphics cards. All Mac enthusiasts will be happy about that.

But I can't imagine Stevie releasing a new MBP at Macworld ... the current line of MBPs are a higher-end model that really can't be significantly upgraded without some very crazy new technology like Minority Report complete with a projection screen. The MBP form factor has remained the same because it works.

A lot of people want to see an Apple UMPC, but I don't think that's going to happen. The UMPC is a nice sexy form factor, but the lack of decent screen real estate and the difficulty with simple efficient text input (no, detachable keyboards don't count) make them not much more than a happy little Windoze diversion. About all you can do is media and web browsing, which can be done beautifully with the iPhone. There isn't much you can do easily on a UMPC that you can't do already on most smartphones.

The release of the iPhone SDK in January (if it is liberal enough) will make it capable of a lot -the high-pixel density screen means that you can pack a lot of application in. The only reason you want anything besides an iPhone is for a bigger screen and faster text entry and more control - which places you in the ultraportable range.

Here's what would be best for Apple and what Stevie must be dreaming of - each serious Apple user has a third-party-app-customized iPhone 2.0 (3G, pressure-sensitive, iWork Mobile, cut-and-paste) for mobile web browsing, media, and networking, a multitouch DS ultraportablet/subnotebook convertible that runs full Mac OS X and does everything portably (but without a HDD or optical drive), and a full-power iMac or MacBook Pro that provides HDD storage (1-2 TB) and optical capability (CD, DVD, HD, BRD read/write) for the iPhone and subnotebook as well as providing ample processing power for the more data-intensive work (much easier to dual-boot Vista on a 24" iMac than on an ultraportablet tailored for OS X.

This is naturally quite far into the future. But the process (releasing products successively) will be just as profitable as the end result, and the next logical step is the release of the most powerful and dynamic portable subnotebook that the American mass market has seen.

Just think how very small a .5" thick 13" diagonal (that's form factor diagonal, not screen size) notebook is. Now imagine it folding out into a gorgeous 17" touch screen tablet that's only seven millimeters thick. What could be better?

And no, I'm not an Apple sales and publicity rep.
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post #114 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

...it's very difficult to get the mainstream users of technology to ... jump into a new paradigm like multitouch as an business solution, the largest part of the IT market that buys those >$500 items. My iPod Touch is not so responsive & reliable that I'd want that interface for doing all my computing work just yet... too immature at this point I believe.

As for the person who types 30wpm on his iPhone, that's pretty quick and seemingly fairly accurate, but it's about 40 to 60 wpm too slow to be considered a productive use of business-class technology, and it's way slower than most people can talk into a telephone (still about the fastest means of interpersonal communication in real time). That won't cut it even in the laid-back firm where I work, and it sure won't be tolerated by the slave-driver mentalities of the corporate giants.

And for those who think 2lbs is way too heavy to haul for work, maybe they should take a break from the games and muscle up a bit.

Ditto on the "muscle up a bit" part of things. Those ultralight highpowered notebooks that Panasonic makes (yeah, the 12-ounce ones) are $4,000+. Hence the reason that Apple can't offer anything like it. No one would buy it.

My 30wpm is in landscape mode with two thumbs. It's decently fast, but no where near what corporate business requires (70-80 wpm) or what I can do on a conventional keyboard (100+). That's why Apple definitely isn't making a pure tablet with iPhone-like multitouch - no one would be able to break 40 wpm.

Professionals can type at speeds in excess of 60 wpm without much trouble because they can rest their fingers on the keys. The current gen of multitouch doesn't allow this. But the patent that Apple took out for pressure-sensitive screens will. As long as you can feel the keys under your fingers and the screen knows the difference between "I'm on the home row" and "I'm trying to type, you d--n key!" (remember, since the new patent allows the screen to differentiate between contact and pressure, this is easy), you can type nearly as fast as on any conventional QWERTY keyboard. It would be essentially like this, except smooth and a bit more stiff.

The keyboard is going to go. People just haven't found a decent way to get rid of it yet. Chorded keyboards suck (and besides they take so much training), voice recognition is nowhere near where it needs to be and it requires people to speak out loud (who wants to do that on a plane??), and laser projection keyboards are notoriously difficult to use efficiently. Smartphone keypads have been quite efficiently matched by the iPhone/iPod Touch multi-touch soft QWERTY keypad, so the next natural step is a soft QWERTY789 keyboard.

And if you are talking about the lack of a mouse, then that's not a big deal at all. You can have a virtual touchpad even easier than a virtual keyboard. But you have multitouch in case you want to interact with the screen.

Here are the specs I am hoping we'll see:
  • 13" diagonal form factor (12.9" diagonal screen)
  • <.66" thick when shut
  • FULL Mac OS X Leopard but with certain features "unlocked" for the ultraportablet system
  • DS subnotebook
  • Pressure-sensitive multitouch on all screen surfaces
  • Fully configurable full virtual keyboard and virtual touchpad, usually on the lower screen
  • Stylus and finger support
  • Folds out to 17" diagonal form factor at 7-8mm thickness
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am pretty sure that all the techology exists to make that happen, and all of those things would work in the mass market.
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post #115 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerndoc View Post

Carbon fibre? Now that would be super sweet!! Seriously, that think would take a beating and still survive unscathed.

Here's hoping that a miracle will happen and we can get >64 GB of solid state disk space. It's not a necessity, but it would be nice for those of us who also use our laptops to watch TV shows from our TiVo during those long, cramped international flights. (Of course we can always use an external hard drive to store the media files if the SSDD isn't >64 GB.)

64 GB of SSDD is the absolute minimum though to ensure compatibility with future software upgrades and to have decent playing room for multiple applications (Creative Suite, Office, etc.).

how much are you wiling to pay for this?

Right now, the new Samsung 64GB SSD costs the OEM (it's not available to end users) $1,000. That would translate to at least $1,500 for you in the computer. Compare that to a bigger capacity HDD for about $125.

I'm sure you would just run out to buy one of these things.
post #116 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post

Ditto on the "muscle up a bit" part of things. Those ultralight highpowered notebooks that Panasonic makes (yeah, the 12-ounce ones) are $4,000+. Hence the reason that Apple can't offer anything like it. No one would buy it.

This new vaporware we're blue-skying about IS unlikely to be anywhere near $4,000. Apple will want to "re-invent" the ultraportable hopefully combining 2 pounds of machine (sans optical and HD, reduced bezel, etc.) with a truly useable screen and keyboard at a price that when design, performance and features are compared will still cost a tidy sum (say $1599 - 1999 depending on memory, and which fits between current MB and MBP prices, as Apple loves distinct price points) but seem both ground-breaking and a good value.

Quote:
My 30wpm is in landscape mode with two thumbs. It's decently fast, but no where near what corporate business requires (70-80 wpm) or what I can do on a conventional keyboard (100+). That's why Apple definitely isn't making a pure tablet with iPhone-like multitouch - no one would be able to break 40 wpm.

Professionals can type at speeds in excess of 60 wpm without much trouble because they can rest their fingers on the keys. The current gen of multitouch doesn't allow this. But the patent that Apple took out for pressure-sensitive screens will. As long as you can feel the keys under your fingers and the screen knows the difference between "I'm on the home row" and "I'm trying to type, you d--n key!" (remember, since the new patent allows the screen to differentiate between contact and pressure, this is easy), you can type nearly as fast as on any conventional QWERTY keyboard. It would be essentially like this, except smooth and a bit more stiff.

The keyboard is going to go. People just haven't found a decent way to get rid of it yet.

And Apple may give them one, much as you suggest, but Jan. '08 seems a little premature for physically keyboardless.

Quote:
Chorded keyboards suck (and besides they take so much training), voice recognition is nowhere near where it needs to be and it requires people to speak out loud (who wants to do that on a plane??), and laser projection keyboards are notoriously difficult to use efficiently. Smartphone keypads have been quite efficiently matched by the iPhone/iPod Touch multi-touch soft QWERTY keypad, so the next natural step is a soft QWERTY789 keyboard.

And if you are talking about the lack of a mouse, then that's not a big deal at all. You can have a virtual touchpad even easier than a virtual keyboard. But you have multitouch in case you want to interact with the screen.

And you don't have donuts or a greasy hamburger in hand.

Quote:
Here are the specs I am hoping we'll see:
  • 13" diagonal form factor (12.9" diagonal screen)

  • a virtually no bezel screen would cut the form factor and weight and might allow the MB's 13.3"
    Quote:
  • <.66" thick when shut
  • FULL Mac OS X Leopard but with certain features "unlocked" for the ultraportablet system
  • DS subnotebook
    ??????? I guess you defined "DS" above but I don't see it.
    Quote:
  • Pressure-sensitive multitouch on all screen surfaces
  • Fully configurable full virtual keyboard and virtual touchpad, usually on the lower screen
  • Stylus and finger support
    I doubt all of the above at once. but one never knows....
    Quote:
  • Folds out to 17" diagonal form factor at 7-8mm thickness
Quote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am pretty sure all the techology exists to make that happen, and all of those things would work in the mass market.

And maybe some of them will.

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post #117 of 296
Quote:
I guess you defined "DS" above but I don't see it.

DS is Dual Screen - as in "Nintendo DS". The sort that I'm envisioning wouldn't have a border at the bottom of the top screen or the top of the bottom screen, which is what would allow it to fold out to the 17" full screen beauty. Tricky, but doable.

And ditto on greasy fingers - but maybe one day people will learn to eat with style. Or at least without too many extemporaneous lipids.

Quote:
Jan. '08 seems a little premature for physically keyboardless.

That's the bad thing - if anyone is going to do it, Apple definitely could, but I just don't know if they would take that risk yet. I certainly hope they do, but you never know. It would be the only way to make a truly portable and yet powerful tablet.
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post #118 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

This new vaporware we're blue-skying about IS unlikely to be anywhere near $4,000. Apple will want to "re-invent" the ultraportable hopefully combining 2 pounds of machine (sans optical and HD, reduced bezel, etc.) with a truly useable screen and keyboard at a price that when design, performance and features are compared will still cost a tidy sum (say $1599 - 1999 depending on memory, and which fits between current MB and MBP prices, as Apple loves distinct price points) but seem both ground-breaking and a good value.

The only thing Apple is known to give groundbreaking prices on is new monitors. But, they then allow the competition to overtake them

Elsewhere, you can't point to a single major product where Apple has low prices.

They are subject to the same pricing for their products as are anyone else.

In fact, their luxury image requires that they don't compete at the low end.

I can't understand why you would think differently. It was also thought by a small few, that Apple would price the low end Intel Macbook at $7999, but look at what it actuall came out at.

Apple simply will not accept the 10 to 15% margins that other manufacturers are happy to get. They will insist on 30% or higher. That will add several hundred to the price right there.

We've been through this pricing argument too many times, and have seen the reality.

Assuming that they do come out with something, it will be priced where Apple will make good money. That's not to say that it will be overpriced, just not below what comparable machines will cost.

Apple competes on style, OS, and usability, not price.
post #119 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The only thing Apple is known to give groundbreaking prices on is new monitors. But, they then allow the competition to overtake them

Elsewhere, you can't point to a single major product where Apple has low prices.

They are subject to the same pricing for their products as are anyone else.

In fact, their luxury image requires that they don't compete at the low end.

I can't understand why you would think differently. It was also thought by a small few, that Apple would price the low end Intel Macbook at $7999, but look at what it actuall came out at.

Apple simply will not accept the 10 to 15% margins that other manufacturers are happy to get. They will insist on 30% or higher. That will add several hundred to the price right there.

We've been through this pricing argument too many times, and have seen the reality.

Assuming that they do come out with something, it will be priced where Apple will make good money. That's not to say that it will be overpriced, just not below what comparable machines will cost.

Apple competes on style, OS, and usability, not price.

you meant to say $999???

Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

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Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

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post #120 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The only thing Apple is known to give groundbreaking prices on is new monitors. But, they then allow the competition to overtake them

Elsewhere, you can't point to a single major product where Apple has low prices.

In my opinion, I can think of three: iPod. iPhone. Mac OS.

Considering the consumer appeal, the professionally developed and supported UI (and hardware), and the pure core functionality for their purpose, I don't believe anybody has caught up with these products, therefore, nobody sells the same thing for less. Some people believe they have suitable substitutes, but they really don't compare, feature-wise.

Remember, since becoming Apple, Inc., they're not just about pcs anymore as the primary business.
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