How about a new 14-inch Aluminum PowerBook?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Having worked the angles of the PowerBook situation, could it be that one of the unforeseen possibilities is the introduction of a 14-inch PowerBook? *Unlikely, yes* It's fun to think about. Here would be the all aluminum PowerBook product matrix:



12.1-inch TFT Display

? 1 GHz PowerPC G4

? 256MB DDR266 (128MB built-in & 128MB SO-DIMM)

? 40GB Ultra ATA drive

? 32 MB ATi Mobile 9200 video graphics @ 1024 x 768

? No L3 Cache or DVI output

Combo Drive version - $1,599

SuperDrive version - $1,799



14.1-inch TFT Display


? 1 GHz PowerPC G4

? 256MB DDR266

? 40GB Ultra ATA drive

? 64 MB ATi Mobile 9200 video graphics @ 1024 x 768

Combo Drive version - $1,999

SuperDrive version - $2,199



15.4-inch TFT Display


? 1.2 GHz PowerPC G4

? 512MB DDR333

? 60GB Ultra ATA drive

? 128 MB ATi Mobile 9600 video graphics @ 1200 x 800

? No L3 Cache or DVI output

? DVD-burning SuperDrive

? Airport Extreme card

$2,599



17.1-inch TFT Display


? 1.2 GHz PowerPC G4

? 512MB DDR333

? 60GB Ultra ATA drive

? 128 MB ATi Mobile 9600 video graphics @ 1440x900

? No L3 Cache or DVI output

? DVD-burning SuperDrive

? Airport Extreme card

$3,299
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Why? Too close to the 15", you know?



    Isn't needed, doesn't fit, etc. Who'd buy it?



  • Reply 2 of 29
    macsrgood4umacsrgood4u Posts: 3,007member
    I think 14 inch displays may be on the way out. Manufactuers are going to larger sizes. This has been going on for the last two years or so. More profitable making larger screens.
  • Reply 3 of 29
    ensign pulverensign pulver Posts: 1,193member
    14" PB with 1024x768? You're joking right?



    The 14" iBook is enough of a pointless tub as it is.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    I think the current PowerBook line-up is fine as it is, size-wise. The only thing I'd like to see would be shared, core features across all three models of PowerBooks: DVI, L3 cache and, yes, even the backlit keyboard.



    The ONLY thing that should differentiate the 3 PowerBooks is screen size. Perhaps the hard drive size and base RAM might be different in the stock configurations (but they'd all be tweakable via the online store or whatever).



    But if you buy a 12" PowerBook, you should have all the coolness the 17" model does, only in a smaller package.



    If you don't want/need the DVI and cache and all that, there's the iBook line.



    That would be the only thing I'd change in the PowerBook line, making the 12" have all the features/specs/guts of the 15" and 17".
  • Reply 5 of 29
    Quote:

    Originally posted by pscates

    That would be the only thing I'd change in the PowerBook line, making the 12" have all the features/specs/guts of the 15" and 17".



    Exactly. The models should be chiefly differentiated by screen size and only to a lesser degree by processor speed and memory. Bus speed and I/O should be standardized across the board.
  • Reply 6 of 29
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,148member
    There's one thing to remember -- You never know with Apple. I said it was *unlikely*. It's just something to muck around until this week when Apple hopefully releases a new 15.4-inch PowerBook G4. I need something to keep my mind occupies until it comes out.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    I like the idea I brought up this week better:



    Instead of introducing a 14" PowerBook for no good reason and making four models of PowerBooks (and two of them barely different), instead replace the 14" iBook with a 15" model, based on the same screen that'll be used in the upcoming 15" PowerBook!



    That way Apple can do the following:



    - buy tons of the 12" screens for the two small iBook and PowerBook



    - buy tons of the 15.4 screen for the larger iBook and mid-range PowerBook



    - buy tons of 17" screens for the large PowerBook and 17" iMac.



    Not only that, replace the 17" Studio Display with a new widescreen 17" model, using - you guessed it - the same 1440x900 screen already being used on the 17" PowerBook and 17" iMac.



    Discontinue the 15" 1024x768 iMac altogether.



    You'd have a 12" and a 15" iBook, and a matching set of higher-powered, fuller-featured aluminum-clad "big brothers".



    14" is just an odd duck size. Too big to be small, too small to be big.







    Either get a 12" iBook or PowerBook and enjoy the portability and compact design or get a 15" iBook or PowerBook and rejoice in all that screen real estate! Besides, everyone gripes about Apple selling the 14" iBook with 1024x768 resolution anyway, so just dump the model and make a cool new upper-end iBook (kinda like the one I mocked up a couple of months ago that got nothing but praise and high marks and "I'd buy it in a heartbeat!" comments).



    Didn't say that to be boastful at all...instead, saying it to illustrate that people would probably buy the living crap out of them if they existed!







    Students or people on a budget could get the 12" iBook at the current $999 or $1299 price (or perhaps even lower, as time goes on) and this new 15" model could occupy the $1499 spot where the current 14" (that no one seems particular fond of or impressed by) sits. I think a cool 15" widescreen iBook for around $1500 or so would sell LIKE CRAZY!!!



    Apple could buy, in bulk, three separate screen sizes (12", 15" and 17") that each get used in at least TWO of their products (three in the case of the 17")!
  • Reply 8 of 29
    thats very good thinking. the imac should definately drop the 15" screen...looks pathetic next to a 17"
  • Reply 9 of 29
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Thank you. Just makes sense to me: consumers and pros both get a choice in 12". And a choice in 15".



    Then consumers could get a 17" iMac, others could get a 17" PowerBook and G5 people could get a 17" Cinema Display.



    I just never quite "got" the 14" thing...too large to be considered compact and "luggable", but too small to be considered a "large, roomy notebook screen", especially at the 1024x768 resolution. I've always felt, from the day it was unveiled, that the 14" was a solution in search of a problem and a sort of "yeah, we might as well...I guess...why not, we'll sell a few, I suppose..." type of product. Didn't seem to be this big clamor or desire for it.



    Just kinda fell out of the sky and into our laps, so to speak. I don't recall there being this huge push or general feeling of "what we REALLY want is a 14" iBook!" among the Mac community.



    I'd LOVE to see it replaced with a 15" widescreen model, making it enough of a clean distinction between a 12" 3:4 screen to give people the sense of of "hey, I've got a real choice here...a couple of inches AND a 16:10 vs. 4:3 ratio...lemme think on it for a bit!".



    I think there would be plenty of customers for each.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    14" iBook -



    it's the evolution of the pismo...



    what a powerbook G3 should be - the iBook term is only marketing.



    "USE" one for your daily work (sans rendering / comparabe) and tell us honestly that it's underpowered / screen size is awkward...
  • Reply 11 of 29
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Well you probably have one, so...



    In and of itself, it probably ISN'T "awkward" (relax), but tying in with other Apple stuff, wouldn't you like a 15" even MORE?







    And I have used one, thanks. It's big and square and at that size, I'd appreciate something more than 1024x768.
  • Reply 12 of 29
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    I never understood the fetish of widescreen. Squarer -should- be better for computer usage. I wish there were truly square screens.



    Why would anyone want a shortened height relative to width? Just because TV and movies are 4:3 and now 16:10 why would I want my computer to be limited to that?



    Hell give me IMAX's 1.44:1 or plain old 1:1.



    The old complaint about square film format of "6x6 offers no real advantage over 6x4.5 and in fact cheats you out of 4 extra frames of film per roll." doesn't cut it nowadays for me when I look at my 1GB IBM MicroDrive and its vast capacity. (Quote Source)



    I know paper and book aspect ratios are similarly rectangular (although usually portrait orientation) but where did the widescreen craze come from?



    Similarly I'm annoyed by cameras being 4:3, always forcing one to rotate the camera landscape or portrait (and forcing you to later deal with this during editing & usage).



    I'd much rather have a square digital camera format. Then we can crop later if we must, or not. (Okay, those spherical VR cameras are the utimate as far as capturing the entire screne in one shot )



    Oh well, probably will never happen



    More status quo ad nauseum...
  • Reply 13 of 29
    frykefryke Posts: 217member
    I still hope the 12" PB will be replaced by something better. Only slightly larger (wider only) with a 13.5" widescreen display (1152*768, like the first TiBook had, only smaller). And, of course, DVI, two RAM-slots and a PC-Card slot.



    I don't see any reason why there should be a 14" 1024*768 PB any time again...
  • Reply 14 of 29
    gargar Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ligature

    14" iBook -



    it's the evolution of the pismo...



    what a powerbook G3 should be - the iBook term is only marketing.



    "USE" one for your daily work (sans rendering / comparabe) and tell us honestly that it's underpowered / screen size is awkward...




    you're right, when the 15" G4 pb and later the 12" ibook dual usb where released. a lot of websites where whining about a son of pismo because the 12" ibook was to small and the 15" pb was to big (?). that was in the summer of '01. a taiwanese oem talked about 14.1" inchscreens they where building for apple and a lot of people expected a son of pismo and a new imac (maybe with a 14.1" tft screen) @mwny2001. what did they got: only quicksilver... bummer

    Quote:

    Originally posted by fryke

    I still hope the 12" PB will be replaced by something better. Only slightly larger (wider only) with a 13.5" widescreen display (1152*768, like the first TiBook had, only smaller). And, of course, DVI, two RAM-slots and a PC-Card slot.



    I don't see any reason why there should be a 14" 1024*768 PB any time again...




    not larger, it will come to close to the 15"pb and lose it's sub-notebookisticall karma. but maybe indeed a widescreen could be fun something between the current 12" and the 10"sub escher wants; a 11" widescreen pb



    btw, pscates: what about your 14.1 inch widescreen G4 ibook idea? is it dead and burried?
  • Reply 15 of 29
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Not really a "fetish", johnq. In my line of work, I like the widescreen for the simple fact that I can have my document or project open. THEN, because it is a wide screen, I've got PLENTY of room for any palettes I may need and they're not sitting on the document itself.



    Very simple.



    Not only that, having a widescreen let's me spread things out so I can get a peak at various things in the background without having to close windows and so forth.



    Example



    In my case, I assure you it's not some goofy, surface-only need to "look cool" or have something wide for the sake of having something wide. It would actually serve a purpose and come in very, very handy for the way I - and I suspect many others - work and use their Mac.
  • Reply 16 of 29




    Please stop this madness...
  • Reply 17 of 29
    peharripeharri Posts: 169member
    14" PowerBook? Pah, I'm still waiting for the 17" iPod...
  • Reply 18 of 29
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ensign Pulver

    14" PB with 1024x768? You're joking right?



    The 14" iBook is enough of a pointless tub as it is.




    I don't think so. [email protected]" is about right. On a 12" it's at the acceptable limit, which is fine for a portable (with spanning) since the moment I get to my desk I hook up either a 17" CRT or 19" LCD.



    But for a consumer machine, notlikely to get used with two displays, and which does not officially support spanning, the bigger screen, AND the bigger pixels are welcome to many.



    In fact, if Apple didn't overcharge for the 14" iBook, it would handily outsell the 12". But since the main motivating factor of iBook sales is cost, the cheaper models tend to do better.



    In reality it is now the 12" powerbook which is a pointless tub. The 12"PB, while costing more, is a superior portable machine, with a better/stronger case/hinge the same screen and still smaller and lighter than the iBook.



    Every single market study shows that consumer in the budget category favor a larger screen over portability. AS per usual, Apple has put a price penalty/psychological barrier on the entry level choice, lotsa consumers think, "Hey, same res, and cheaper!" If the 14" were 1299, as it should be, it would clearly be the better machine for users in that category, where they would then think, "Hey, same res and more legible."



    Mac users are slightly different, but for the most part iBooks are still sold into markets who prefer a larger screen, AND THAT INCLUDES schools!



    Those who want ultimate portability will buy PB12's which will get smaller and lighter still as time passes.



    The protability of the iBook 12" was more an accident of component costs, and while a small model **might** stick around in the future, larger screens are the future for the iBook, if Apple hopes to keep it competitive.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by pscates

    Example



    I thought you had a 15" iMac???



    although that apple page is a bit dated...
  • Reply 20 of 29
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by pscates

    I think the current PowerBook line-up is fine as it is, size-wise. The only thing I'd like to see would be shared, core features across all three models of PowerBooks: DVI, L3 cache and, yes, even the backlit keyboard.



    The ONLY thing that should differentiate the 3 PowerBooks is screen size. Perhaps the hard drive size and base RAM might be different in the stock configurations (but they'd all be tweakable via the online store or whatever).



    But if you buy a 12" PowerBook, you should have all the coolness the 17" model does, only in a smaller package.



    If you don't want/need the DVI and cache and all that, there's the iBook line.



    That would be the only thing I'd change in the PowerBook line, making the 12" have all the features/specs/guts of the 15" and 17".




    I agree, the only thing i would like to have is wide apsect screen, maybe across the line, where the ibook has standard screen ratio. What do most schools buy, 12 or 14"?? There are many in the business world that want portablility with power. My question is not that apple will put out a 15' PB but what processor and the powerbook line should have the same features maybe as a custom build, but i should be able to get a 12 similar to the 17 and differentiate by screen size. All should have the superdrive option, whether the ibook has a superdrive option with standard screen....hmmmm



    We keep discussing around the market and inventory issues, what would be a reasonable "line" 3 PB and 3 ibooks, can apple sustain this many lines and screens....
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