Next MacBook update a yawner; Ultra-portable to get 13-inch display

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A forthcoming update to Apple Inc.'s 13-inch line of consumer MacBooks won't deliver much in terms of new features, AppleInsider has learned. Meanwhile, the dimensions of the company's ultra portable sub-notebook initiative are taking shape.



MacBook update



People familiar with the Mac maker's portable plans tell AppleInsider the Cupertino-based firm is looking to absorb a bit more from its initial 13-inch MacBook design.



Unlike an upcoming revision to its professional 15-inch MacBook Pros, the next version of Apple's consumer MacBooks is unlikely to benefit from architectural enhancements recently presented as part of Intel Corp.'s "Santa Rosa" notebook platform.



Similarly, the 13-inch notebooks won't reap the benefits of an LED-backlit display until a successive revision later in the year.



As it stands, the MacBook remains the most rigorously-redesigned Mac system to break free from Apple's industrial design labs in recent years -- an accolade it will soon surrender to a pair of radically restructured 20- and 24-inch iMacs.



MacBook Pro update



For the time being, Apple will reportedly focus on boosting the grade of its professional MacBook Pro line which, unlike the MacBook, is expected to draw an enhanced set of features from Santa Rosa.



These should include faster front-side bus speeds of 800MHz, and second-generation Core 2 Duo mobile processors that scale up to 2.4GHz.



As reported by AppleInsider, a new 15-inch MacBook Pro model will also signify the first Mac to trade in its cathode fluorescent-backlit display for one that uses LED backlighting.



MacBook ultra-portable



At the same time, Apple continues to pound away on an ultra-thin portable designed to capture a slice of the growing sub-notebook market and boost sales in Japan.



In what's sure to be a warmly received move, people familiar with initiative tell AppleInsider that the Mac maker plans to go easy on our eyesight and is building the model around stunning, ultra-thin, 13-inch LED backlit display.



That's right -- it appears those recent Apple orders for 13-inch LED backlit panels are destined for the firm's ultra-portable initiative and not its impending 13-inch MacBook update.



Combining this latest tidbit with information presented in previous AppleInsider reports, here's a summary of what we know and don't know about the next-gen Apple sub-notebook:



What we know:

13-inch ultra-thin, LED-back lit displayNo optical disc driveOn-board NAND flash for faster application launching and boot timesBuilt-in iSight webcamThinner and lighter than existing MacBook offeringsAirPort Extreme 802.11n enabledMagSafe power adapterTarget launch late '07, early '08

What we don't know:

Precise Intel architecture (but appears to be Santa Rosa-based)Target price pointRAM and HDD storage capacity and expandabilityI/O port breakdownOperating system software (appears to be Leopard)Expected battery lifeEnclosure makeup

Additional reading (backstories):

Next-gen MacBook Pro to shine brighter

Apple to re-enter the sub-notebook market

Apple's next-generation iMacs to add a touch of grace

Resetting the timeline for Apple's ultra-portable initiative

Steve Jobs confirms first Macs with LED backlighting due this year

Apple delays Leopard release until October

Apple moves to certify LED-backlit panels for 13-inch MacBooks

Intel rolls out Santa Rosa notebook platform
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 238
    amac4meamac4me Posts: 282member
    In my view, it would make sense for Apple to build "separation" between the MacBook Pro and MacBook lines. This would ensure that people who need the enhanced features will have no choice but to buy the MacBook Pro. It would be better for Apple's bottom line and it should reduce the number of people who have historically asked:



    Should I get a MacBook or MacBook Pro?



    Presonally, I'm waiting for the new MacBook Pro models and will buy the day the are released. I'll be heading to grad school soon so I'm in need of a new portable.
  • Reply 2 of 238
    shanmugamshanmugam Posts: 1,200member
    MacBook Mini on its way,



    my guess Storage will be on Flash Memory 16GB, with out support for Bootcamp and Vista dual booting. 16 GB is more than sufficient for lightweight travel note book with OS X.



    too many confusion over updates of MacBook and Pro, WWDC has all the key!.
  • Reply 3 of 238
    rich-mysterrich-myster Posts: 771member
    i was going to get a 15 inch macbook pro for school, but i didn't get accepted to the course i wanted, mabye i'll check out the sub notebook if it has a good processer ( santa rosa ) and has minimum 2 gb ram.





    Quote: my guess Storage will be on Flash Memory 16GB





    That's too small in my opinion. They should have like 40 80 and 100. and if they can fit it, more.
  • Reply 4 of 238
    pbpb Posts: 4,232member
    I am ultra-skeptical about this ultra-portable Macintosh. Hmm.
  • Reply 5 of 238
    macsrgood4umacsrgood4u Posts: 3,007member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PB View Post


    I am ultra-skeptical about this ultra-portable Macintosh. Hmm.



    I am too, but Appleinsider has been pretty reliable when it comes to this stuff, I must say. I think one of the analysts also vouched for a tiny macbook later this year.



    -MRG
  • Reply 6 of 238
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Really? I understand no LED-backlit screens right away for the MacBook (they're still pricey) but no GMA X3100?



    If not, why not?



    That's the one upgrade the MB really could use.
  • Reply 7 of 238
    bizmacbizmac Posts: 20member
    I would have prefer a MacBook Pro 13"....a real pro laptop....not a iphone/ipod on steroids
  • Reply 8 of 238
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    In what's sure to be a warmly received move, people familiar with initiative tell AppleInsider that the Mac maker plans to go easy on our eyesight and is building the model around stunning, ultra-thin, 13-inch LED backlit display.



    This makes sense to me, a 13" screen is easily the smallest I'd ever go with a notebook again. Personally I think the 15.4" is the sweetspot, and the fact that we're now gone widescreen 12" would be non-productive IMO. The thinness and the weight reduction is what will make this thing a take anywhere notebook, not the small reduction of a couple of inches off the screen size, this makes sense. I was discussing this with a friend recently, we held up that tiny Sony (11" widescreen) and we both remarked (at the same time);"the screen is too small".
  • Reply 9 of 238
    glossgloss Posts: 506member
    I'm going to be so tempted by the new Macbook Pro.



    But I must resist.
  • Reply 10 of 238
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gloss View Post


    I'm going to be so tempted by the new Macbook Pro.

    But I must resist.



    Do you need it?
  • Reply 11 of 238
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by amac4me View Post


    In my view, it would make sense for Apple to build "separation" between the MacBook Pro and MacBook lines. This would ensure that people who need the enhanced features will have no choice but to buy the MacBook Pro. It would be better for Apple's bottom line and it should reduce the number of people who have historically asked:



    Should I get a MacBook or MacBook Pro?



    Presonally, I'm waiting for the new MacBook Pro models and will buy the day the are released. I'll be heading to grad school soon so I'm in need of a new portable.



    Actually, the have the option to stay on the PC side and get them from HP. Sticking users with old tech in the Macbooks will help get extra money out of existing Mac users pockets, but it could seriously hamper its growth among switchers and notebooks is where Apple is getting the vast majority of its converts.
  • Reply 12 of 238
    glossgloss Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Do you need it?



    I have a PC desktop I'm itching to get rid of, as well as a Core 1 Duo Macbook. The only real reason I still have the PC hanging around is for gaming. If I bought a MBP I could transfer all my docs and settings from the Macbook, get a Windows installation up and running, install the few remaining games that I play, and donate my PC to someone else in the family, where I'll never have to deal with it again.



    It's very tempting.



    I may hold on to see what the new iMacs have in store, though.
  • Reply 13 of 238
    pbpb Posts: 4,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacsRGood4U View Post


    I am too, but Appleinsider has been pretty reliable when it comes to this stuff, I must say.



    Yes, this is true even when it is a bit off in time frame. But this rumor raises some questions. How this portable is going to be positioned between the existing lines? Will be a supplement to the pro line, probably a replacement for the extinct 12" Powerbook? A species of its own? If so what would be the point of the Macbook? Price choice only?
  • Reply 14 of 238
    xflarexflare Posts: 199member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by amac4me View Post


    In my view, it would make sense for Apple to build "separation" between the MacBook Pro and MacBook lines. This would ensure that people who need the enhanced features will have no choice but to buy the MacBook Pro.



    You mean go back to crippling the cheaper hardware to make the more expensive offerings look better? God knows what this means for the severely neglected Mac Mini.
  • Reply 15 of 238
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,840member
    I can see no logic in such a small form factor. Keyboards are already cramped enough. Stop the madness!... and no CD/DVD drive? Whaaaaaat?



    Only way this makes sense: Apple's trying to get more of the "$100 computer" customers worldwide.
  • Reply 16 of 238
    syklee26syklee26 Posts: 78member
    I think it may look like that Sony Vaio X505 notebook.....that is still the thinnest notebook I have ever seen.



    http://reviews.cnet.com/Sony_VAIO_X5...-30886049.html
  • Reply 17 of 238
    xflarexflare Posts: 199member
    Also, from the wording of the rumour, it looks like the MacBook will receive NO changes at all. Which simply can't be true.
  • Reply 18 of 238
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    13" + ultra-portable = oxymoron



    Seriously, if that's what Apple equates to "ultra-portable", I'll just get another 15" Mac notebook. Guess I can keep hoping that they have an reasonably sized iTablet design to follow from the iPhone.
  • Reply 19 of 238
    mugwumpmugwump Posts: 233member
    An excellent, good ole fashioned Appleinsider article trying to bring some visibility to the murky waters of potential Apple products.
  • Reply 20 of 238
    direwolfdirewolf Posts: 11member
    I wonder if the idea of upgrading the Pro line is to accelerate buys among the those who who use Creative Suite and want to exit the desktop form factor. Laptops are gaining share across all types of users so at a minimum this might get the true professional users to finally start buying intel macs.
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