12" G4 owners would you prefer a subnotebook?

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Ok, I have a 15" pbook and a 2x500 G4 tower (with 15 in screen)...

When I'm using my pbook on the run I can't help but think "Damn, I wish this thing was a lot lighter and smaller." When at my desk I think, "Damn, I wish I had a bigger screen."

My take? Screw compromise, go to extremes on both sides. So I keep wondering why Apple doesn't lose the drive and extra weight and make the 12" a subnotebook.

Whaddaya think 12" G4 powerbook owners?


  • Reply 1 of 40
    jadejade Posts: 379member
    sony's 505 series are 4.1-2 w/ optical drive installed, maybe the 12" could drop in weight a bit
  • Reply 2 of 40
    I can't tell you how important it is to me to have a full featured notebook that is extermly portable. the 12 inch hits the sweet spot for me. I'd be happy if they shaved off some weight, but not the expense of features. Who want's to carry around a Combo drive seperately... now that's cumbersome.

  • Reply 3 of 40
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Actually, I want my PB to keep all it's features in tact, gain 50% more battery life and lose 1-1.5 lbs. We'll get there in a couple of years.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    You can take out the space around the bezel, the border on the sides and front, and make the edge keys smaller (they would still be fine.) This would be it almost an inch less each way. Also take a few cm's away from the height. Add battery life. But keep all the features. Lighted keyboard would be awesome. The 12" is just foxy.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    Ok, I understand that everybody would like to have their cake and eat it too, but there is the simple reality that without the built-in optical drive the 12" pbook could be thinner and lighter right now.

    For that matter, no matter how thin and light it gets in the future with an optical drive it could still be thinner and lighter without it.

    That or more battery could be added.
  • Reply 6 of 40
    It comes back to having the option - don't drop the 12", but I for one would love a smaller lighter alternative.

    With wireless networking you're no longer cut off from the world without an optical drive. I reckon all forms of local media will be obsolete in a few years, everyone will store their data on remote servers and access it online when it's needed. The iDisk is just the beginning of something far greater as wireless gets faster and broader.

    95% of the files I use and share are emailed or transfered via FTP sites. I just don't use the optical drive that much.

    So give us the option - can't remember who said it on here before but it rang true - "the only powerbook that's any use is the one you have with you" - so bring on the paperback-weight powerbook.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    jbljbl Posts: 555member
    I would love a real subnotebook or tablet. I do all of my serious work either at home or in my office and I have desktops with nice big monitors in both locations (well, I will as soon as I get my g5 at home). I would like something tiny which would give me access to all of my data other places (demo a program to my boss over lunch, listen to iTunes on the train, show my mother pictures when I go over for dinner, run Keynote when I have to give a presentation...). When I get home or to the office, I want to be able to just plug the thing into a firewire cable and then I can use my fullsize keyboard and my fullsize screen and my SuperDrive. When I am not at my desk, an optical drive and fullsize keyboard are overkill and so is 4 1/2 lbs.
  • Reply 8 of 40

    Originally posted by Nordstrodamus

    Ok, I understand that everybody would like to have their cake and eat it too, but there is the simple reality that without the built-in optical drive the 12" pbook could be thinner and lighter right now.

    For that matter, no matter how thin and light it gets in the future with an optical drive it could still be thinner and lighter without it.

    That or more battery could be added.

    It would be lighter and thinner without the keyboard too, or without the screen.

    I'm sure an optically-challenged PowerBook would be usable by a minority, but in all honesty, with that drive being used for playing DVDs and to implement dumb but all too popular copy-prevention systems, I think much of the usability of such a machine would disappear without it. Why does the 12" PB have to be replaced by such a lobotomized machine anyway? Why can't such a sub-notebook also be available for that minority who'd find it useful?
  • Reply 9 of 40
    well, yes, that's the point. Give us the choice.

    And I don't think that many people install too much copy-protected software on the go. Can't play DVD's? No problem, get some work done instead. I'm not seeing it's usabilty disappearing yet....
  • Reply 10 of 40
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    They won't make one without an optical drive. They aren't a huge company they can't diversify that much. Same reason they will NOT EVER make a "tablet." Sure they may add a touchscreen with hinges on a powerbook or iBook but never a Tablet without a keyboard. People who use subs or tablets are a .001% of the computer buying population. So yes it makes more sense to have your cake and eat it too by just trimming the 12" a little more, then it will for all practical purposes be a subnote, it will be as small as most are. And with a SuperDrive, BT, AE, gigs of RAM, the best keyboard ever, and a full compliment of ports. It will be decades before optical media is obsolete.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    I work on tv commercials and graphics. I already transfer most of my *large* video files from one continent to another without going near optical media. From home.

    Optical media will be coasters within 10 years.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member
    How could I not vote in this poll?

    The 12-inch PowerBook is a fantastic laptop, especially now that it features DVI-out. However, I would drop the optical drive for lower weight any day. As for smaller size, I would make it thinner, but keep the other two dimensions as they are.

    In any case, as my signature says, "until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do." Very well, I might add.

  • Reply 13 of 40
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    I would not, and I would also not touch the keyboard, all future evolutions MUST move around those two hard points. Keyboard and optical. That is, for it to be "full featured" notebook. I do not want to lug a portable drive around, nor do I want to dock it.

    That in mind, they could recut the footprint to wrap tighter arund the keyboard, thus making the book shorter, and perhaps moving to a slightly wider 3:2 ratio -- the original 1152x768 resolution of the first Ti would do well, the screen would still be about 12" but a little shorter and a tad wider.

    Lately, I've been craving a small writing device, something like the first HPC computers, something like a digital diary with a half VGA screen and hours/days of battery life, not quite PDA small, but small, small enough to shrink the keyboard down to 90% of full size key pitch and fit in a lab coat, something that's instant on, very light, and durable.

    I don't see that as a computer, though. It wouldn't run a mainstream OS, just an office client that transfers documents to a real machine, and reads all the relevant formats.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    Why are people so hung up on having optical media available to them at all times? Even the humble home DVD player has to be doomed in the not so distant future with VOD services that are already widespread. Need to install software? Download it. Want to watch a movie? Stream it. Swap files? Wirelessly. What's left?

    I'm not saying this is all convenient now, but in a few short years the bandwidth will be there, as will a billion petabytes of server space where everyone will have an account like they have bank accounts. Remote access will be a fast as your hard drive, who wants to waste time burning a disc then? Discs litter my desk and my life, I hate them. They get lost, they get scratched, they get left at home when I'm somewhere else, or somewhere else when I'm at home.

    The ITMS is just the beginning of the end for CD's, the rest will follow.

    (ok, I don't hate CD's, it's just annoying when you can't find one)
  • Reply 15 of 40

    you make a good point a point so good in fact that i am gonna write my dissatation about it for my software engineering degree i also think that within 10 years optical media will be used by only maybe 5% of the public i think there will always be a use for it for backup etc of data of large companies and such but i think from a normal consumers point of veiw it's days are almost numbered.

    i would like to hear more of your idea's so that i could incorporate them into my project
  • Reply 16 of 40
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    People will always want their own storage and archival media. That may not be opticals in the future, but at the moment it is. I know that I do not want my files sitting on some other computer where I can't get to them, and if I buy music/movies, then I DEMAND a physical copy of my own that I may do with as I wish (within the limits of the law).
  • Reply 17 of 40
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    If you're going to be carrying a bunch of CDs with you, what's so bad about also carrying an external optical drive? And if you're not carrying CDs, then there's no need for the added weight. I agree with jasonfj.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    I don't totally disagree with Matsu - storage and archival are just fine, but I can do that at home. I don't need to be archiving when I'm out or on a plane.

    We're talking about getting the most portable mobile computing experience here.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    I agree with Escher. Really, how often do you use the optical drive on a portable? There are lots of nice looking thin external drives of all kinds, and with firewire they are fast, I see no real tradeoff here. I would like the option of basically keeping the 12", but getting rid of the optical drive and making it thinner and lighter. Though to be honest, for simple writing/email work, even a 10" screen would be ok, but it is sort of pushing it.

    [edit: well, I take everything back, except the 10". After seeing this: Looky!, not only do I want a subnotebook, but I want a optical drive too. Very sweet unit, too bad about the OS!]
  • Reply 20 of 40
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Bull, you use the optical of a laptop justa as often as you use the optical on a desktop. Having to plug in an external drive is just tedious and clumsy. Having it integrated is seamless, elegant and simple.

    If you want to question how often you use an optical on a computer that is merely a "sub" (not just as in "small", but also as in mobile "substitute" for a main computer) then sure, you can sacrifice the optical and not lose much in terms of the generally accepted limitations of such a machine.

    And so we return to the original question: would you prefer a subnote over a fully functional computer?

    Apple only makes fully functional computers, in the case of the 12", they make one small and light enough to go anywhere that a "subnote" can 95% of the time. In that light, Apple is justified in selling the PB12 as a superior solution (one with real battery life and real computing power)

    To make it smaller, they'd have to chuck a lot more than just the optical drive. The battery has to get a LOT smaller/lighter. To make that possible, the chipset has to be less demanding (to consume less power), and a smaller screen. All the components have to get lighter and smaller, AND SLOWER in order to get a true sub. And once you do all that, you get down to 2.5-3.5 lbs. Once you get down to 2.5-3.5 lbs, you STILL need a bag, it's not like you can slip the machine into your pocket or purse. At the least, you still need a brief case, except now the machine you use has a comprimised keyboard, comprimised screen, comprimised performance, comprimised battery life, and comprimised media (drive) functionality. A questionable philosophy.

    Besides, chucking the optical, only saves you a few ounces. Any subnote you can make without an optical, you can make with one, and make it just about as small and light, though all the other comprimises remain.
Sign In or Register to comment.