how will the ultra-portable compete? (Macbook v Viao TZ etc.)

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I love my Macbook.

However, with the updates this week, I can not reccomend to friends to get one.

After almost a year of waiting to 'inovate,' the specs just don't add up. The extra ram you get is on a second chip, so for 2 GB you need to toss both, the HD size is still minimal per price increase, and the GHz increase is 0.16.



Then Sony starts showing off their tiny TZ model here and I see how they fit DL DVD, better screen resolution, AND a 32GB SSD to augment the 160GB HDD, all within 11.1 inches. Oh and its LED. Has a nice keyboard though







If Apple is going to make an ultra-portable (or whatever) or at least something 'pro' that is not 15" big to fill the gaping hole in their product line, how will they make it compete?



If the Sony I mentioned above does seem to good to be true, it has a 1.0 Ghz processor (U7500), so probably no iMovie HD editing anytime soon...and the thought of running anything OSx at half speed of what i have now is enough to shudder.



So what I"m wondering is, can apple actually compete in the high end, low size/weight market?

Are we too accustomed to zippy aqua and chrunching through Garageband tracks to put up with something sexy, small and useless for media rich applications?

Will the god of Apple design cram enough into 12.01" to make it useful and not a glorified PDA/DVD player?

Or do they even need that funcionality, to go after the ultra-portable market (ie. who edits HD on a 11" screen)?



thoughts?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    My ideas are as follows:



    No Moving parts... No HDD, no Optical Drive.

    Flash Drive for storage instead... Flash Memory chips are damn small so getting 64 GB to fit in wouldn't be that hard.

    LED Display.

    1 Express Card Slot, 1 Firewire 800, 1 USB 2.0, and one Dock Connector (not an iPod sized one obviously, but one for this computer)

    Screen Size: 11.1 or 13.3.

    Maybe the screen will twist (think ThinkPad here) and act as a tablet although I doubt this one.

    WiFi (g/n)+Bluetooth 2.0 EDR+WiMax (this one is especially important)

    iSight

    Audio Out

    No Firewire 400 unless it was in the Dock, No Microphone in because the iSight already has this, and on the Keyboard, no Right Command Key, no Extra Enter Key, and no Right Shift Key.



    There would be no moving parts, it would have a bare minimum of connectors and for the rare occasion you do need an Optical Drive, that would be built into the Dock. It would be damn thin because of the LED Display and the lack of extra parts, it would be durable with the right materials (I don't know anything specific so I can't comment on it, but hopefully something very sturdy and very thin) would have a Firewire 800 and USB 2.0 port so you wouldn't have to dock it every time just to use those, and would be slightly expandable with the Express Card Slot, and would overall, completely destroy what's left of your wallet.



    Sebastian
  • Reply 2 of 28
    jupiteronejupiterone Posts: 1,564member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    ...and no Right Shift Key...







    I take it you are not a touch-typist.
  • Reply 3 of 28
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Don't know why everyone is stuck at 13"...? The Sony is 11.1, which is way smaller than a 13, more portable, less draw, etc, the very point behind a super portable. If it is a 13", it will have to be super thin to make up for the size, and they better find some way of extending the batetry life.



    Something much smaller than 13" is also not useless. I have posted on other threads about the Sony Clie of a few years back that had a thumb pad that worked wonders (for me, at least). Just today I saw three businessmen here in Japan using the latest fold-out smart phones which are smaller than the iPhone; they were working with Excel files and surfing the Net. I asked one about a sub-compact; he said if it was the size of a DVD case, he'd buy it; he had had a compact Sony, but found it too bulky for using on the subway where he spends almost 2 hours a day. Anything larger would be good for window-shopping only.
  • Reply 4 of 28
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post






    I take it you are not a touch-typist.



    I am, I know a Keyboard better than my own apartment, but I absolutely hate the Right Shift Key. It's in my way, I always use the left one anyways, and that key could be put to another use or removed entirely to save some space.



    Sebastian
  • Reply 5 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    I am, I know a Keyboard better than my own apartment, but I absolutely hate the Right Shift Key. It's in my way, I always use the left one anyways, and that key could be put to another use or removed entirely to save some space.



    Sebastian



    how do you type a capital "A" without moving your hands from the home keys?
  • Reply 6 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    Don't know why everyone is stuck at 13"...? The Sony is 11.1, which is way smaller than a 13, more portable, less draw, etc, the very point behind a super portable. If it is a 13", it will have to be super thin to make up for the size, and they better find some way of extending the batetry life.



    Something much smaller than 13" is also not useless. I have posted on other threads about the Sony Clie of a few years back that had a thumb pad that worked wonders (for me, at least). Just today I saw three businessmen here in Japan using the latest fold-out smart phones which are smaller than the iPhone; they were working with Excel files and surfing the Net. I asked one about a sub-compact; he said if it was the size of a DVD case, he'd buy it; he had had a compact Sony, but found it too bulky for using on the subway where he spends almost 2 hours a day. Anything larger would be good for window-shopping only.



    Berg.,



    yeah I would hope 13" = much improved battery life (or at least a decent intel chip)



    The thing I"m getitng at though is Mac products aren't sold for those business people "working with excel files". Mac is about creative blah blah blha- (go see the ads). I think this would require 13" + chip with power consumption.



    If we are talking DVD size, the thing would be un-functional as a Mac. I shouldn't have said it would be useless, but I don't think you could use it to the capacity that most mac users demand/ have come to expect from a Mac.



    "what does it do" is the question that needs answering, and if its just a bit bigger than iphone, but doens't answer your calls, and doesn't make your movies what do you have? an eMate with Wifi? SOmething that fits your (man)purse to take notes with in class/meetings?



    specs are great, but functionality is what Apple shoots for in design. And I"m failing to see how a subcompact can fulfill a wide enough functionality for people to actually find it useful.



    For a comparison, although Apple's been toting "video" iPods quite well for a while now, I don't think many people buy one to watch videos on there iPod, its all about the music right?



    What is it "all about" for a subcompact? email and excel? watching ripped movies sans DVD? checking the www that doesn't work on iPhone?



    The 13" Macbook has some room to shrink around that 13" screen - an LED MBP could make a sexy, functional 13.01" notebook, but anything size wise below that I think you'd jsut have an expensive gadget on a shelf....
  • Reply 7 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    My ideas are as follows:



    ... It would be damn thin because of the LED Display and the lack of extra parts, it would be durable with the right materials (I don't know anything specific so I can't comment on it, but hopefully something very sturdy and very thin) ... and would overall, completely destroy what's left of your wallet.



    Sebastian



    haha, looks like your problems were solved!: AppleInsider on Structural Bonding

    other than the wallet bit..
  • Reply 8 of 28
    jupiteronejupiterone Posts: 1,564member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    I am, I know a Keyboard better than my own apartment, but I absolutely hate the Right Shift Key. It's in my way, I always use the left one anyways, and that key could be put to another use or removed entirely to save some space.



    Sebastian



    Yeah, but I would think most touch typists use the right-shift every time they want to capitalize any letter typed with the left hand. And just looking at my (Windows) notebook here, what space would you be saving? You'd have to get rid of not only the right-shift, but also the Enter, backslash and backspace keys to really save space. On my desktop keyboard, the entire keyboard is only 11" wide, my notebook is about 11-1/4" wide.



    But now how many folks really need two sets of modifier keys???
  • Reply 9 of 28
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by admactanium View Post


    how do you type a capital "A" without moving your hands from the home keys?



    Stretch the Pinky and the Ring Finger to the left.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post


    haha, looks like your problems were solved!: AppleInsider on Structural Bonding

    other than the wallet bit..



    I noticed, that was quite convenient.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post


    Yeah, but I would think most touch typists use the right-shift every time they want to capitalize any letter typed with the left hand. And just looking at my (Windows) notebook here, what space would you be saving? You'd have to get rid of not only the right-shift, but also the Enter, backslash and backspace keys to really save space. On my desktop keyboard, the entire keyboard is only 11" wide, my notebook is about 11-1/4" wide.



    But now how many folks really need two sets of modifier keys???



    You wouldn't be saving much space, but the Shift key is the size of 2 keys, and could easily be replaced by 1-2 different keys, or at least make good shortcut fodder (especially in TextMate).



    Sebastian
  • Reply 10 of 28
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post


    I love my Macbook.

    However, with the updates this week, I can not reccomend to friends to get one.



    Why would you say that and then compare the Macbook against an ultraportable that's likely 4 times the price? The Macbook is not in the same category.



    Quote:

    If Apple is going to make an ultra-portable (or whatever) or at least something 'pro' that is not 15" big to fill the gaping hole in their product line, how will they make it compete?



    By making it as thin and elegant as a Sony VIAO ultraportable only running OSX?



    Quote:

    So what I"m wondering is, can apple actually compete in the high end, low size/weight market?



    I dunno...do you expect it to run slower than a G4? Or an iPhone? Tiger still runs fine on my older quicksilver.



    But no...no one with an ultraportable expects it to be a desktop replacement. So don't expect to do much more than iWork, Safari and play movies. Maybe a little iLife.



    Vinea
  • Reply 11 of 28
    irelandireland Posts: 17,796member
    There should have been an option for, ultra-portability while still have a decent, useable screen size.
  • Reply 12 of 28
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    Why would you say that and then compare the Macbook against an ultraportable that's likely 4 times the price? The Macbook is not in the same category.




    Yeah there is quite a gap between the two. I HOPE not a 4X price gap, but room for one more machine. That's why I talked about the Macbook to start: Apple has under-specd the New MacBook for A) a new 'everything in' 13" MBP or B) a svelte MBP (IMHO) or C) the ultra-portable.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post




    By making it as thin and elegant as a Sony VIAO ultraportable only running OSX?




    Running OSX to me includes iLife, iChat, iWork etc. out of the box. Without it, it's OSX lite. Of course Apple will call it OSLight? or something...and it will be a feature not a hinderence.



    Tiger=

    OSLight: iPhone and ultraportable

    OSX: 13" and up?







    who knows...



    I just think it will be really hard for Apple to make a useful enough for 'creative mac types' machine in a 11" form factor. And Iif they prove me wrong I'l buy two!
  • Reply 13 of 28
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post


    Yeah there is quite a gap between the two. I HOPE not a 4X price gap, but room for one more machine. That's why I talked about the Macbook to start: Apple has under-specd the New MacBook for A) a new 'everything in' 13" MBP or B) a svelte MBP (IMHO) or C) the ultra-portable.









    Running OSX to me includes iLife, iChat, iWork etc. out of the box. Without it, it's OSX lite. Of course Apple will call it OSLight? or something...and it will be a feature not a hinderence.



    Tiger=

    OSLight: iPhone and ultraportable

    OSX: 13" and up?







    who knows...



    I just think it will be really hard for Apple to make a useful enough for 'creative mac types' machine in a 11" form factor. And Iif they prove me wrong I'l buy two!



    Now there's a bad idea for Apple: Fork their branding into an OSLight brand name for the iPhone and Ultraportables... OS X is short, simple, and to the point.



    Sebastian
  • Reply 14 of 28
    good point



    edit:

    but think of a touch screen 11" minibook with a keyboard, but no trackpad, using an iPhone-esque UI. Sure, sure its Tiger...whatever Apple PR says, but it's a different beast than a whimpy Macnotebook: you interact with it in a new way, it is something new. Didn't Jobs once say if he took over Apple (again) he'd bleed Mac to the ground to focus on a wholly new product line? Maybe iPod was just warm up...

    meh. I predict summer 2009.
  • Reply 16 of 28
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post


    good point



    edit:

    but think of a touch screen 11" minibook with a keyboard, but no trackpad, using an iPhone-esque UI. Sure, sure its Tiger...whatever Apple PR says, but it's a different beast than a whimpy Macnotebook: you interact with it in a new way, it is something new. Didn't Jobs once say if he took over Apple (again) he'd bleed Mac to the ground to focus on a wholly new product line? Maybe iPod was just warm up...

    meh. I predict summer 2009.



    Or maybe that's the iPod, and now, the iPhone. The iPod has been a tremendous success and iPhone has more mind share than any other phone.



    Sebastian
  • Reply 17 of 28
    maybe it will look like this
  • Reply 18 of 28
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post


    maybe it will look like this



    No.



    Sebastian
  • Reply 19 of 28
    rageousrageous Posts: 2,170member
    How will Apple compete will the smaller ultra-portables?



    If the iPhone is any indication, it looks like a thin tablet with virtual keyboard could do the trick. I'm not really pro-tablet, but I'm also not ignorant of the fact that Apple does take things from successful products and use them where they can. iPod gave us Front Row. iPhone gives us... ?
  • Reply 20 of 28
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post


    maybe it will look like this



    I wouldn't mind at all. That looks like a sleeker, thinner, modern, Apple-ized version of the NEC MobilePro I carried about six years ago. I've always wished Apple would make a machine like the MobilePro, which was too limited in that it had too little storage (8MB), low-res screen, slightly undersize keyboard (not a big deal) and ran Windows (CE, at that). But it also had fully functional if stripped down versions of the Office apps built into ROM, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook (plus Internet Explorer). And it was supercompact and superlight. Anybody who's never owned a WinCE handheld computer just doesn't know how incredibly handy they can be. If only it ran OS X, had WiFi and could run other software like VLC and Pages, I'd still be carrying it around.
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