This is the sub-notebook Apple should have made.



  • Reply 21 of 109
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    SRX99 specs from

    CPU - 850MHz PIII (100MHz bus speed) 512 Mb cache

    Memory standard/max - 256/384

    graphics - shared memory (11mb)

    hard drive - 20Gb

    weight - >3lb

    battery life - 6hrs (12 with optional battery)

    wireless - included

    price - $1499

    iBook 800 combo drive

    CPU - 800MHz G3 (100MHz bus speed) with 512Mb L2 cache

    memory standard/max - 128/640

    graphics - 32Mb Radeon 7500 mobility

    hard drive - 30Gb

    battery life - 5hrs

    wireless - $99 for airport card

    price - $1299 + $99 for airport + $20 for extra 128Mb mmemory = $1418

    That math makes the iBook a better deal pricewise. The weight factor accounts for the larger screen and the fact that the iBook's combo drive is internal. The 800MHz G3 will easily keep up with the P111 in the Sony and the Sony's also got crippled video along with a smaller screen and cramped keyboard.

    If the smallest form factor possible is your goal then the Sony is a great machine but don't even try to claim that it's a better deal from a price standpoint because it's not.

    The iBook also includes more software standard.

    I'm not in any way trying to start a war. I am a big fan of sony and I like their designs (except for their full size laptops which are vomitous). I do think however that given the specs of these 2 machines that the iBook easily wins *unless* you are just out for the smallest footprint possible and are willing to make the sacrifices that entails.

    disclaimer: the prices quoted are MSRP from apple and sony except for the added RAM price which came from dealmac.

    Sorry this post is long.

    [quote]Originally posted by Crouton:


    How can you say that this doesn't compete on a price/feature ratio? Sure if you compare this Sony to the $999 iBook. But then the Sony is a much better machine. If you juice up the iBook to match the sony, you are within $100 or so, and you STILL don't have all the features this sony has. Do the math.

    [ 12-23-2002: Message edited by: Crouton ]</strong><hr></blockquote>
  • Reply 22 of 109
    quickquick Posts: 227member
    [quote]Originally posted by Matsu:


    ...10.4" screen??? Hello 1024x768, no thanks.

    Keyboard key pitch? Not full size, therefore inadequate.

    Internal Optical? Sorry, anotehr glaring omission. Under any kind of serious interaction/useage you will be handed CD-roms, and using that thing, you'll need to hook up the external drive every time...</strong><hr></blockquote>

    A sub-notebook does not have to serve the same purposes of a notebook.

    If you want a small notebook, I agree with you. A sub-notebook is something completely different.

    [ 12-23-2002: Message edited by: Quick ]</p>
  • Reply 23 of 109
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    You kind of see my mind then, I disagree with the subnote genre (in general) on the balance of usability vs portability.

    While I agree that various subnotes are indeed very small and light, and significant for what they squeeze into tiny packages, I still have to ask, what's the point?

    As I see it, unless it's small enough to go where a notebook won't, then there's no point in making it that small. A 12" iBook will easily go into a briefcase, a small, soft portfolio bag, a nap-sack, even a mid-size purse. And, when you put it in any of those bags, it's complete as can be, the only extra attachment you might need is the small and light AC-adaptor.

    While the subnote category may indeed be smaller, unless they make a machine small enough to fit in your pocket, you'll still need a bag/brief/purse of some sort. At the point you can really only argue that it's lighter. OK, it's lighter, but you've sacrificed an infinitely more comfortable keyboard/display combination to gain said lightness -- lightness and thinness, I might add, that quickly disapears if you add the second battery and optical to your carry config. The iBook even has a shot at being your only machine (if you aren't too demanding) most, nearly all, subnotes can't be used as an only machine without serious comprimise.

    I would say that a 12" iBook makes the best comprimises for a small notebook. It isn't the smallest, but it's small enough to go anywhere a subnote can without the inherent sacrifices OR the extra costs.

    If the iBook got .1 or .2 of an inch thinner, and maybe lost a pound along the way, that's just about the best anyone can really hope for. Smaller? the practicalities of a useable screen and keyboard set the limits and the iBook is pretty close.

    To me, the TiBook points the way as far as maximizing screen while minimizing footprint, a 13.3" version, with minimal bezel, and a smaller (shallower) footprint, would probably make the ideal sub-note, and it would put anything mentioned so far in this thread to shame.
  • Reply 24 of 109
    I am also not a big fan of these sub-notebooks. I have one from a couple years back. It's the Sony Z505JE. The case is beautifully designed and surprisingly rugged. However, it's not very practical. The lack of an internal CD-ROM drive is a killer. Plus, it had another separate attachment for various legacy ports like serial and parallel. It had a Firewire port, but it is one of those unpowered 4-pin types. That means you need a power adapter for hooking external hard drives and CD-ROM's.

    I would never want Apple to build something like this. Having all of these separate parts to lose runs counter to Apple's philosphy of keeping things simple for the user. The iBook is just about perfect in my opinion, except I would like to see faster processors and video cards.
  • Reply 25 of 109
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    I agree with the previous two posts, 100%.

    Apple's "sub-notebook" is indeed the 12" iBook, like it or not.

    You got everything you could ever want or need and no lugging any separate components around (to lose or break). The "ooh" factor of owning some 3lb., 10" screen laptop just doesn't bake my tater, if you know what I mean.

    Especially if I'd have to tote other crap around WITH it to make it HALF as usable as a stock iBook.
  • Reply 26 of 109
    [quote]Originally posted by Quick:


    A sub-notebook does not have to serve the same purposes of a notebook.

    If you want a small notebook, I agree with you. A sub-notebook is something completely different.

    [ 12-23-2002: Message edited by: Quick ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Yeah, but the 12" ibook is extremely portable, and just so happens to serve all the purposes... Did you intend to hang yourself on that comment???

    Now, they used to make calculator sized real sub-notebooks... They sported a Pentium 120, and could fit in your pocket. Now those were practically PDA's, even though PDA's hardly existed at the time (Palm only). Anyway, in my book it either fits into one of four categories:

    1) Shirt Pocket / Cargo Pant Pocket (calculator)

    2) Mobile Small Carry / Book Bag ([small] book) (this is where I place both the ibook and Viao in question)

    3) Regular Notebook (heavier, larger, thicker, not really as convenient carry accrossed campus to class, then to place and type an balance around a small class desk, etc. etc. etc.)

    4) XL Notebook. This is for the person who is willing to take this puppy with them, sporting 16+ inch screens, this one is even more unrealistic when it comes to extreme mobility than 3.


    Now, again, when we speak of the Mobile Unit, we can't bring extra pieces because we might not have room, plus it can be inconvenient, more to balance/juggle. For example, maybe you demand a combo drive on the go... or even a simple CD drive... your hands can get quick fast that way, you won't want to just throw all the pieces into a book bag where it might not be so friendly compared to a special notebook bag (but these aren't really designed for your needs either, and do you want to carry 2 bags???)

    The ibook 12" is perfection in my eyes for everyone. The Sony Vaio in question may look good to some, but then may end up being less usable (in reality). A Mobile notebook isn't about having to worry about what to bring with you, what you'll need, what you'll be doing, where you might go...

    it's about being on the go, and already being prepared. The ibook is extremely well sized for just such purpose

    Don't live your life around a device, choose a device that will live around yours...
  • Reply 27 of 109
    quickquick Posts: 227member
    [quote]Originally posted by greg123:


    Yeah, but the 12" ibook is extremely portable, and just so happens to serve all the purposes... Did you intend to hang yourself on that comment???</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Read my post again, please.

    My argument is that the 12" iBook is not a sub-notebook. It just does not fall into that category. This has nothing to do with the quality of the iBook. It's perfect if you need a notebook. I just bought a 12" iBook for my daughter 2 days ago.

    [ 12-25-2002: Message edited by: Quick ]</p>
  • Reply 28 of 109
    quickquick Posts: 227member
    I'd love to have a sub-notebook like the Sony PCG-U1 for the following reasons:

    To carry it along when I go out for lunch, to a meeting, to the beach, on a bike-tour etc.

    I want PDA functionality, iPod features, a built in camera (video phone), e-mail and web access and handwriting recognition in such a sub-notebook.

    Now don't tell me to buy a PDA. I hate 'em. PDA's are horrible to handle. Everything is too small.

    There has to be a formfactor between notebooks and PDA. I believe it makes sense.

    Merry Christmas to everyone.

    [ 12-25-2002: Message edited by: Quick ]</p>
  • Reply 29 of 109
    strobestrobe Posts: 369member
    Why even pretend by putting a keyboard on these things? My hand cramped up just looking at this POS.
  • Reply 30 of 109
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Apple will probably wait until display technologies allow you to roll your laptop up like paper Something Insangely Great like that.
  • Reply 31 of 109
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    They could design a keyboard that overlaps when the unit is closed or something like that. They could also just offer an iBook without a built in optical drive and even use the damn 20 GB harddrive in the iPod. Maybe RAID two of them for speed.

    All I'm saying is that if there is a market for sub-notebooks (and there is, even if you've got big hands) Apple could hit it with little R&D as far as I can tell.
  • Reply 32 of 109
    Well, Apple wouldn't make one that ugly.

    Pe-uky palm-of-violets colour. Ble-e-etch!

    Little R&D to make one with mini-me iBook style minus opti-drive?

    Not the kind of thing that interests me. But others on these boards keep harping on about 'em...

    Lemon Bon Bon
  • Reply 33 of 109
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    [quote]Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon:


    Not the kind of thing that interests me. But others on these boards keep harping on about 'em...</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Not my thing either, but it has a place. Anyone think that it could be keyboard-less with just a giant touch pad for mousing & pen input?
  • Reply 34 of 109
    frykefryke Posts: 217member
    1.) Apple doesn't have a subnotebook. If you've ever used a subnotebook, the iBook's much bigger.

    2.) Sony's subnotebooks have a nice style. They have bugs, but a nice style. The SX-series is an almost perfect subnotebook.

    3.) Everyone's losing money on subnotebooks. They're into the market because of the sex, not the money. Ask IBM, ask Toshiba, ask Sony. Although they probably won't tell.

    Apple doesn't have to make a subnotebook, because the small iBook is a good alternative.

    Still, I'd love them to produce an eBook additionally. Remove the optical drive completely, let it have a good graphics system (32 MB 7500 is okay) and a 600 or 700 MHz G3 processor. Make it the same form factor the iBook uses - but thinner (no optical drive, right?). There IS a market for that, because you can use a Firewire CD-RW to install stuff on it, you can make them netbootable for schools (over the next AirPort generation, this would be fun, 11 Mbit is a tad slow, though). And it would make a good portable machine if you don't need the optical drive too much.
  • Reply 35 of 109
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    I think there is a role for a subnotebook in Apple's product spread. I have used a friends Sony subnotebook (with a name I can't remember) that has the 10" or less screen, but in very wide aspect ratio to include an almost full-sized keyboard. It was great. It had a useless camera on the lid, but he used it as a Linux "book" for recording and listening to mp3s and moderate digital photo work while in the field and traveling. No optical drive, but with iDisk, Airport and iSync via Firewire to your other Mac('a la iPod) you shouldn't need no stinking optical drive.

    Obviously my idea of what to do with a subnotebook may be different from others here. I like to think of it as a digital hub iDevice rather than just a smaller version of the iBook notebook. It would be a TRULY travel-oriented device with a keyboard (though I still believe in the utility of a Tablet implementation when the tech is ready) that you sync and use like almost like a Palm device. Something that does more than the iPod or PDA and less than an iBook. And I think there is room in the market for such a device.
  • Reply 36 of 109
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Look, subnote people, this is why a subnote should only go so far in "subness" for the umpteenth time now.

    Why shrink a computer? To make it easy to carry, right? OK, but unless you make a subnote that fits in your pocket, you haven't made a subnote that's appreciably easier to carry than a 12" iBook. They BOTH fit into very small bags, but the iBook doesn't require major ergonomic or functional sacrifices.

    A REAL subnote would have to be basically an HP/C like a NEC mobilepro or journada (you remember, WinCE with a keyboard). That at least has a shot at fitting into a large pocket/lab-coat, very small purse. For the rest of you, if 2 lbs makes so much difference, you need to eat some protien and do some push ups.

    IF Apple makes a subnote, they'll take the case of a Ti and wrap a tighter, lighter, skin around a 12" iBook complete with optical and regular HDD, probably shrinking the thickness and weight down to about 1" and 4 lbs resepctively. And be honest, that would be damn good -- a mini Ti. But, if it has to get more expensive to do it, then forget it, macs need to get cheaper not more expensive.

    [ 12-31-2002: Message edited by: Matsu ]</p>
  • Reply 37 of 109
    strobestrobe Posts: 369member
    Lighter is far more important than smaller, at least for me.
  • Reply 38 of 109
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    Look, Matsu-people, you are coming at the subnotebook from the point of view of the computer and coming to the reasonable (in your eyes) conclusion that you can't get the functionality of a iBook down to anything significantly smaller than the current iBook.

    Some of us are coming from the other direction. What is the size of device that people will reasonably carry on a bus, in a lab coat, etc., and THEN what kind of iDevice/subnotebook can have significant functionality at that size.

    The ideal size pretty much comes down to that of a paperback book (or VHS tape case). We have about a hundred years of marketing by the publishing industry backing that up. And we could probably lengthen the size abit to make a useful keyboard.

    I would like to store and hear/view mp3's, digital images and Quicktime movies; run pda-type programs that the phones will never be able to do, like Quicken, Planetarium, foreign language dictionaries, etc.; type or write emails and download webpages. That's it. I don't need an optical drive, just a FW port. I don't need a 12" screen; 8-9" wide screen is fine. I don't need function keys or a keypad.

    Just because no one has done it yet, doesn't mean it isn't worth working toward.

    And yes, the mini-Titanium model would be the way to go!
  • Reply 39 of 109
    quickquick Posts: 227member
    If Apple doesn't introduce a not sub-notebook in 2003 I will be forced to buy Sony's <a href=""; target="_blank">PCG-U1</a> or the <a href=";sid=EYOcyFXhRZuc9mvyC5SWwxruByiirZV3rkI=?Cat egoryName=hp_NXSeries" target="_blank">PEG NX70V</a> instead.

    I know, the NX70V is a PDA and I don't like PDA's in general, but it has almost every feature I demand from a sub-notebook. The screen/keyboard is way too small of course. Apple, let the next iDevice be a sub-notebook, please.

    [ 01-01-2003: Message edited by: Quick ]</p>
  • Reply 40 of 109
    icruiseicruise Posts: 127member

    This is my subnotebook, and although I don't like Windows and I would love to have a Mac if there was one anywhere near this size and weight, there just isn't one.

    You can make all the cracks you want about it, but it is small enough to bring with me wherever I go (without even noticing the weight). I can touch-type on the keyboard and it gets reasonable battery life (not great, but ok). It's about half the weight of the ibook. If Apple were to make a subnotebook I wouldn't really suggest they go this far -- I think if they made a modified ibook with no internal disk drive, a lighter casing and perhaps a smaller screen they could shave a lot of weight off of it.

    For those of you who say that you don't see the point of a subnotebook -- fine. But why do you insist that anyone who wants one is a fool?
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