or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Apple may offer external optical drive with new sub-notebook
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple may offer external optical drive with new sub-notebook

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 
Mac maker Apple Inc., which later this month will unveil its first sub-notebook design in over a decade, is likely to offer an external optical drive as an optional accessory, according to a new report.

Corroborating AppleInsider reports dating back to last February, MacRumors this week added that its own sources also believe the company's upcoming ultra-compact notebook design will lack a built-in optical drive.

Instead, Apple will reportedly offer customers a detachable external optical drive capable of both reading and writing CD and DVD media. Such a move would allow users to service and install updates on the new MacBook breed when needed, but otherwise present those users with the option to travel light while on the go.

The omission of a built-in optical drive, as has been reported, is part of the Cupertino-based firm's ongoing efforts to maximize its hardware real estate while simultaneously reducing the size of its notebook offerings. It also represents yet another parallel between the upcoming portable and Apple's much loved PowerBook 2400 sub-notebook design, which bundled an external floppy drive when it made its debut back in 1997.

It should be noted that the Mac maker's original design for the upcoming sub-notebook indeed called for the inclusion of an built-in optical drive through unconventional measures. However, the daunting ergonomics of the task reportedly forced engineers to make a concession early in the product's design process in which the idea was scrapped.

Other features of the upcoming Apple sub-notebook, due to make it's inaugural appearance during a keynote presentation by chief executive Steve Jobs at the Macworld Expo on January 15th, are on-board NAND flash memory, a 13.3-inch LED-backlit display, built in iSight, and a footprint that is nearly 50 percent thinner and lighter than the company's current MacBook Pro offerings.

The Apple PowerBook 2400 with its external floppy drive.

Meanwhile, it was also reported this week that the new sub-notebook may not be the only Apple notebook announcement to come out of the this year's Macworld trade show in San Francisco. While details are few and far between, it has been reported that Apple is also wrapping up development of a new breed of MacBook Pro notebooks that will employ Intel's upcoming 45 nanometer dual-core "Penryn" chips.

Last month, AppleInsider detailed its expectations for the impending updates in a series of configuration charts, which include models with 800MHz front-side buses, 6MB of Level 2 cache, and 2.6GHz and 2.8GHz processors at the upper echelon of the product mix.

In its report this week, MacRumors suggested that at least one the notebooks slated for an introduction at Macworld would include a trackpad with advanced mutli-touch capabilities akin to the iPhone. Apple in the course of the past year has filed for several related patents, including one for wide notebook touchpads with multi-touch capabilities and another for illuminated touchpads.

Much of the work being done on the company's multi-touch technology, which made its debut in June on the iPhone, is believed to draw from resources and engineers garnered through the quiet 2005 acquisition of Fingerworks.



Specializing in alternative input methods, Fingerworks' portfolio included technology for multi-touch hand gestures that could be used by notebook users for optimized cursor manipulation, application switching, web browsing, and more. Several animated tutorials depicting these techniques are still available from the old Fingerworks website and may provide hints at what to expect from Apple's next-generation trackpad and keyboard designs.
post #2 of 82
Cool.... I can't wait. although, I still want a bigger screen for less money than the current MacBook Pros run.

Anyway, I hope the external drive doesn't require a proprietary adapter and uses Firewire/USB connection so you can use it along with other computers.
post #3 of 82
..or the PowerBook Duo, with its Duo Dock, from 1994.
post #4 of 82
Apple will ship a USB optical drive which will connect to it's Airport Extreme and thus, support full playback of DVD and CD media on any 'n' wifi'd device: MacBooks, iPhone, touch, or even Windows!

Pretty Great!
post #5 of 82
I hope it supports external monitors at 2560x1600 resolution.
Mac user since August 1983.
Reply
Mac user since August 1983.
Reply
post #6 of 82
I'm with the 1st poster, I am lucky to see 1600 for the base 15 inch MBP and that price is refurb. I really ought to be able to get a 15 inch screen for a lot less than 1600 refurbished. Just because I am not a "pro" doing graphics work all day doesn't mean I don't want a bigger screen.
post #7 of 82
Someone has to explain a multitouch trackpad to me. The current trackpad already does scrolling, right-clicking, dragging, and the like. And how is it really multitouch if it's not on a screen?
post #8 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Mac maker Apple Inc., which later this month will unveil its first sub-notebook design in over a decade, is likely to offer an external optical drive as an optional accessory, according to a new report.

Japanese attack Pearl Harbor!

Man lands on Moon!

Computer without internal optical drive has option for external!
post #9 of 82
There are gestures that could be used to close windows, skip back or forward in Safari, etc.

No screen would function well, but having a screen would be great: I have said for some time that it would be nice to have user-configurable (or at least developer-configurable) interfaces that could be adapted for each particular app. If done right, it could be a real plus. Apple would do it right.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #10 of 82
Someone explain to me why it would be "optional?" If your system goes down for the count, how do you plan to restore your system? Remember, Apple gives you everything out of the box to restore your computer. So if the drive is "optional," how would Apple plan to let you fix your computer?
post #11 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

Japanese attack Pearl Harbor!

Man lands on Moon!

Computer without internal optical drive has option for external!

What side of the bed did you wake up on today?

The external drive would likely be something special (ie, on board HD) as well as the same appearance as the device, thus the reason to sell it. If Apple makes a cool computer, no way am I attaching some lame CD-Rom drive to it; it's gotta play the part.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #12 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Someone has to explain a multitouch trackpad to me. The current trackpad already does scrolling, right-clicking, dragging, and the like. And how is it really multitouch if it's not on a screen?

Can the current trackpad do cut, copy, paste, zooming, escape, back, forward, open document/application, close document, quit application, text cursor control, emulate a five-button mouse, etc? Read the information on the FingerWorks site as linked in the story. Also note that it's called MultiTouch, not MultiScreen. Why do people get stuck on this notion that MultiTouch absolutely positively must be on a touchscreen? Read my lips: Not one FingerWorks product used a touchscreen, and they had the original MultiTouch technology in the marketplace.
post #13 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by macwatcher View Post

Someone explain to me why it would be "optional?" If your system goes down for the count, how do you plan to restore your system? Remember, Apple gives you everything out of the box to restore your computer. So if the drive is "optional," how would Apple plan to let you fix your computer?

You can choose any maker you like, but the Apple one would have an extra enticement (and price tag).

They may make it so you only have to connect to your home computer once by cable (FW) and then can operate completely by WiFi, Blue Tooth.

So, if you do not have a main computer, you need a drive. If you have a computer (a Mac), you can always boot the computer in target mode.

Last year, Steve suggested in pretty direct language that the days of the DVD are numbered, which would lead me to think that something is up. They may go for a dongle for OS installation.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Mac maker Apple Inc., which later this month will unveil its first sub-notebook design in over a decade, is likely to offer an external optical drive as an optional accessory, according to a new report.

Huh? If this 13.3" laptop is it's first sub-notebook in a decade, did I dream of the 12.1" PowerBook and iBooks?
post #15 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Huh? If this 13.3" laptop is it's first sub-notebook in a decade, did I dream of the 12.1" PowerBook and iBooks?

Yes!!
post #16 of 82
@aegisdesign

Were those considered "sub-notebooks"?
post #17 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Yes!!

Hahahaha
post #18 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Huh? If this 13.3" laptop is it's first sub-notebook in a decade, did I dream of the 12.1" PowerBook and iBooks?

LOL. Good point.
post #19 of 82
What would be really cool is, if this external drive could be connected to @TV (through its USB port) for CD/DVD playback.... that alone would make me want to reconsider @TV......
post #20 of 82
They were pretty thick and heavy.

This thread seems to think thickness and weight are the primary considerations in a sub-note. I think screen size (and thus overall size) is critical.

An ultra-thin 13.3 inch notebook is OK, but I agree it ain't sub. Sub would put it at a smaller form factor than the MacBook, which is considered a notebook.

Sub is less than 12 inches. The smaller the better!

Lots of guests are looking at this thread; shows a lot of interest in a sub-notebook. Hello, Guests! (167 of you right now)

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #21 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Sub is less than 12 inches. The smaller the better!

If this comes in at 2.5lbs and .5 inches thick, that is pretty portable. With a 13 inch widescreen, that is really a 12inch normal screen in terms of viable space. Any smaller is just not usable to most users. I have a 12inch ibook, a 12inch widescreen ultraportable, a 10 inch ultraportable from another maker.

Most users need a minimum of 12inch normal or 13inch widescreen.

Please also note that SSD drive, plus no optical drive will mean much more battery life, especially depending on processor configuration. So you'd have a paperthin computer that might last 6 hours... Alternatively, they can adopt smaller battery and save more weight.

Finally, less power consumption will allow a smaller power converter and not a brick...
post #22 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

They were pretty thick and heavy.

This thread seems to think thickness and weight are the primary considerations in a sub-note. I think screen size (and thus overall size) is critical.

An ultra-thin 13.3 inch notebook is OK, but I agree it ain't sub. Sub would put it at a smaller form factor than the MacBook, which is considered a notebook.

Sub is less than 12 inches. The smaller the better!

Lots of guests are looking at this thread; shows a lot of interest in a sub-notebook. Hello, Guests! (167 of you right now)

I'd agree with that. Otherwise the definition of sub-notebook based on thickness is just silly. Where does it stop...?

Is a 3mm thick laptop that has a 30" screen an ultra-compact-nano-sub-notebook ?
post #23 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCMacFan View Post

If this comes in at 2.5lbs and .5 inches thick, that is pretty portable. With a 13 inch widescreen, that is really a 12inch normal screen in terms of viable space. Any smaller is just not usable to most users. I have a 12inch ibook, a 12inch widescreen ultraportable, a 10 inch ultraportable from another maker.

Most users need a minimum of 12inch normal or 13inch widescreen.

With all due respect though, it's not for 'most users'. Ultraportables just aren't for 'most users'. If 'Most users' need a 13" screen then there's a MacBook already for them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCMacFan View Post

Please also note that SSD drive, plus no optical drive will mean much more battery life, especially depending on processor configuration. So you'd have a paperthin computer that might last 6 hours... Alternatively, they can adopt smaller battery and save more weight.

Finally, less power consumption will allow a smaller power converter and not a brick...

So perhaps they can called it the MacBook Econoline or MacBook 'Al Gore Edition'.
post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Much of the work being done on the company's multi-touch technology, which made its debut in June on the iPhone, is believed to draw from resources and engineers garnered through the quiet 2005 acquisition of Fingerworks.

Those are the most Gawd Awful finger combinations imaginable. If that represents the future, then let it pass. Surely they will work off of one and two finger gestures...
OMG here we go again...
Reply
OMG here we go again...
Reply
post #25 of 82
a subnotebook with a docking station that includes an optical drive and a HDD would be excellent.
great use of time machine to backup the SSD onto HDD, and save your movies to.

i don't know the exact definition of subnotebook, but the major tradeoff is and will always be to create a smallest, lightest computer possible, while giving it the largest screen possible.

i'm GUESSING it comes in at 13" / .66" thick, 2.5 lbs, SSD, and of course enough vRAM to run a 30" screen [HDMI OUT?]. it will have one usb, one FW, bluetooth, wifi, ethernet [wish not], headphone jack.

it will include one of three external optical/HDD units with additional USB/FW ports, depending on how much you wanna spend. [120 gb, superdrive / 250 gb, hd dvd / 500 gb, hd dvd+blu ray]

ok, maybe not, but it would be nice.
post #26 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCMacFan View Post

If this comes in at 2.5lbs and .5 inches thick, that is pretty portable. With a 13 inch widescreen, that is really a 12inch normal screen in terms of viable space. Any smaller is just not usable to most users. I have a 12inch ibook, a 12inch widescreen ultraportable, a 10 inch ultraportable from another maker.

Most users need a minimum of 12inch normal or 13inch widescreen.

Please also note that SSD drive, plus no optical drive will mean much more battery life, especially depending on processor configuration. So you'd have a paperthin computer that might last 6 hours... Alternatively, they can adopt smaller battery and save more weight.

Finally, less power consumption will allow a smaller power converter and not a brick...

If this is a notebook with a physical keyboard, and clamshell design, I don't think .5" is possible yet. .75" is possible, if no optical drive is used.
post #27 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

You can choose any maker you like, but the Apple one would have an extra enticement (and price tag).

They may make it so you only have to connect to your home computer once by cable (FW) and then can operate completely by WiFi, Blue Tooth.

So, if you do not have a main computer, you need a drive. If you have a computer (a Mac), you can always boot the computer in target mode.

Last year, Steve suggested in pretty direct language that the days of the DVD are numbered, which would lead me to think that something is up. They may go for a dongle for OS installation.

You missed the point. Apple gives you everything out of the box to start working. Why would Apple charge more later on or afterwards. Everyone would order the external drive when going to store.apple.com. It makes more sense to bundle it. Having a necessity for a computer without an optional external drive doesn't make business sense. Find me a car dealership that sells you a car without tires. "No tires included on this bad boy. We'll put some of our tires on for $400 more, or you can drive it to someone else and pay less." Tell me why would Apple force consumers to buy something that should be included.
post #28 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by macwatcher View Post

You missed the point. Apple gives you everything out of the box to start working. Why would Apple charge more later on or afterwards. Everyone would order the external drive when going to store.apple.com. It makes more sense to bundle it. Having a necessity for a computer without an optional external drive doesn't make business sense. Find me a car dealership that sells you a car without tires. "No tires included on this bad boy. We'll put some of our tires on for $400 more, or you can drive it to someone else and pay less." Tell me why would Apple force consumers to buy something that should be included.

If it's included, you're buying it. I'd rather have the option to NOT buy it, and I'm not sure why someone wouldn't want that option.
post #29 of 82
I'm just hoping for something that will satisfy most users. That's what it's all about, right? What's the point of making a notebook for 5% of users?
I'm hoping for a slimmer MacBook which is so slim that can be considered a sub. \
LED screen, of course... Lit MacBook's keyboard? (as in not MBP's)
External optical drive is fine with me as log as it comes bundled in. But Apple's always had it's own phyosophies that don't make sense. It's been a while since the last one and I'm not too sure they'll resist of making another one on the 15th! \ Fingers crossed!
iHate iT wHen pEople cAll tHe iPod Touch tHe "iTouch"!
MacBook 2,2 GHz - Santa Rosa
iPhone 3G 16GB black...
used to own an iPod video 30GB white and iPod nano 3rd Gen 8GB black
Reply
iHate iT wHen pEople cAll tHe iPod Touch tHe "iTouch"!
MacBook 2,2 GHz - Santa Rosa
iPhone 3G 16GB black...
used to own an iPod video 30GB white and iPod nano 3rd Gen 8GB black
Reply
post #30 of 82
Rather than wonder if the optical drive will or will not be included with the ultra-portable, I am wondering if the optical drive will be sold as a stand-alone product that can connect to the AppleTV.
post #31 of 82
Personally, I like the fact that the optical drive is standard on MBPs. I understand there's a smaller market for sub-notes, but I think Apple would have been better off investing the engineering effort into an elegant dock for their Pro laptop line.

Not being able to seamlessly dock my MacBook Pro with a monitor, keyboard, mouse and Time Machine-enabled backup drive will be the worst part of the Mac laptop experience in 2008.
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
Reply
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
Reply
post #32 of 82
You know, I really would like an Apple laptop with a proper docking station. I use my machine at home and at work and being able to dock it at work would be truly useful. The dock could house the optical drive and perhaps even another hard disk (or not). This rumored ultra portable seems like an ideal candidate.

edit: Frank777 snuck in ahead of me and touted an "elegant dock" as an appealing feature. I must say I agree with him 100%.
Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
Reply
Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
Reply
post #33 of 82
Why don't they just put a bootable SD slot in it and give everyone OS X on some kind of Secure Digital ROM card? Anyone make ROMs in that size these days, ~4GB? I wonder what the cost would be like. DVDs are obviously quite cheap.
post #34 of 82
The "sub notebook" will probably be roughly 10% thinner than the Macbook, almost 10% lighter and include an external drive (prohibitably priced) and of course this will come with with the well versed proprietory adapter... wait and see.
This is the company which expects UK customers to shell out nearly £300 for a phone and pay out £360 more a year to use it.
post #35 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by telekon View Post

The "sub notebook" will probably be roughly 10% thinner than the Macbook, almost 10% lighter and include an external drive (prohibitably priced) and of course this will come with with the well versed proprietory adapter... wait and see.
This is the company which expects UK customers to shell out nearly £300 for a phone and pay out £360 more a year to use it.

What reason would there possibly be (other than unbridled pessimism) for Apple to use something other than USB or Firewire for the drive connection? If they do, then what's to keep people from just buying drives that *do* use USB or Firewire? In a pessimistic world I guess you'll suggest that they don't include either of those interfaces on the machine.
Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
Reply
Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
Reply
post #36 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

If it's included, you're buying it. I'd rather have the option to NOT buy it, and I'm not sure why someone wouldn't want that option.

So when you need to reinstall your operating system, how do you plan to do this?
post #37 of 82
I just can't believe that there is a market for optical-less (sub-) notebooks.
I just won't believe. Apple proves me wrong anyway, I guess.
One question springs into my mind immediately . How the heck they gonna distribute
their very own software? On USB sticks? Online only? Please enlighten me.

Carrying a second device (ext. optical) around you is plain silly. IMHO.
(Maybe this is just me)
" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
Reply
" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
Reply
post #38 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

What reason would there possibly be (other than unbridled pessimism) for Apple to use something other than USB or Firewire for the drive connection? If they do, then what's to keep people from just buying drives that *do* use USB or Firewire? In a pessimistic world I guess you'll suggest that they don't include either of those interfaces on the machine.

No reason. He's rehashing the 90s. The iPhone to support his hypothesis is a Red Herring. He'd have some basis for complaining if Apple were both the phone maker and telephone carrier.
post #39 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vox Barbara View Post

I just can't believe ...

In all honesty, I do not use the optical drive in my macbook on a daily, or even weekly basis. I'd be happy with some elegant form of dock with a built-in optical drive, or a small bus powered portable one (that I could take along, or not, if I wanted).
Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
Reply
Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
Reply
post #40 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

What would be really cool is, if this external drive could be connected to @TV (through its USB port) for CD/DVD playback.... that alone would make me want to reconsider @TV......

Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts View Post

Rather than wonder if the optical drive will or will not be included with the ultra-portable, I am wondering if the optical drive will be sold as a stand-alone product that can connect to the AppleTV.

This seems a much nicer way of allowing DVD playback on the AppleTV. I wonder if Apple would consider this, and how much a simple DVD drive would cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nofear1az View Post

Anyway, I hope the external drive doesn't require a proprietary adapter and uses Firewire/USB connection so you can use it along with other computers.

As above, that'd be interesting in a few ways. I hope they do this, but they may go an entirely different route with an external drive.
ie: The DVD drive could also act as a hub for all the cables the ultra portable requires.
Just plug the ultraportable into the DVD drive for power, a USB hub (external hard disks, or keyboard, mouse), gigabit ethernet, and 2nd screen.

Still... I'd prefer a separate external hub for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pk22901 View Post

Apple will ship a USB optical drive which will connect to it's Airport Extreme and thus, support full playback of DVD and CD media on any 'n' wifi'd device: MacBooks, iPhone, touch, or even Windows!

Interesting idea. I have no idea if it's plausible. I'd like to share a DVD between devices just like I share movies though....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Future Apple Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › Apple may offer external optical drive with new sub-notebook