Upcoming mac "ultra portables" to replace macbooks?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Hey all,



I just read on Macrumors that Apple is going to release a 12" ultra portable laptop at .6 to .7 inches thick.



My question is(providing this turns out to be true)...will this ultra slim laptop be the new macbook?



Or will it be a separate entity altogether? Thus keeping the current macbook and macbook pro line up unchanged?



Or who here thinks that these "ultra" portables WILL become the new macbooks? And that the current 13" size screen size will move to the macbook pro lineup?



I think on the one hand the average consumer WANTS portable. But do ALL the average consumers want to sacrifice the optical drive and larger screen? I think a 12" screen with no optical drive would be pretty useless for a pro user. Unless they just wanted it to surf the web and check email with(which they can do on their iphones or blackberrys).



Thats why I believe Apple will release this as a separate entity like a "macbook lite"...perhaps call it a macbook mini or something.



A pared down laptop with sexy apple appeal would sell as both a consumer AND pro model at the same time. Thats why I think it will be sold as a seperate entity and not replace the macbook.



What are all your thoughts on how an ultra portable will fit in the current line up of Mac portables?



I personally like the 13" size screen of the current macbook...BUT I don't want integrated graphics chip. Because I like to work on projects on the road. So an ultra portable which would be good for your basic emailer and websurfer would not do for me with its too small screen and no optical drive. And since I don't want a larger laptop like the 15" or ugh 17" macbook pro...I'd be stuck with a macbook.



Don't get me wrong. I love the macbooks style. I am just going to wait till September to see if apple gives the macbooks santa rosa with a dedicated graphics chip like the pros.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    irelandireland Posts: 17,538member
    No, cause it will cost a small fortune.
  • Reply 2 of 46
    reganregan Posts: 474member
    Why would it cost a small fortune?



    True, we are talkin about Apple here....but I think It'd be reasonably priced. Yeah, you'd be paying for the cool factor....but there would also be savings in not having to put in things like a optical drive. So it shouldn't be INSANELY expensive.
  • Reply 3 of 46
    dudditsduddits Posts: 260member
    I know I may just be a cat, but I am very much looking forward to the ultraportables for the same reason I love my iPhone. The current laptops at around 5 pounds weigh approximately 50% of my body weight (I am a cat), and are therefore somewhat cumbersome. Try carting around a 75 pound desktop computer in your napsack and you begin to get the idea.



    The comparatively light iPhone, in taking over certain laptop tasks for me, is a delight. An ultraportable taking over every laptop task for me, would be that much more delightful. As with the forthcoming iMac, the sooner the better.



    Meow.
  • Reply 4 of 46
    reganregan Posts: 474member
    Just curious. As an...um Cat....don't you find it hard to type with no segmented digits or opposable thumbs?



    Anyway...I agree that an ultra portable is cool an all.....IF checking email and surfing the web is all you do.



    But as a CAT, I am sure you don't need it for doing heavy graphics work like I do.



    For me...an ultra portable is not on my list. I want MORE computer for my portable laptop. I think if I just wanted to lug around a laptop to surf the web and check email...I'd get the iphone which fits into your pocket!



    Me, I like a slightly bigger screen(not too small not too big 13" is perfect). And I want to be able to watch movies, edit movies and do all my work on the road.



    An ultra portable with no optical, a really small screen...and probably a small flash hard drive would not cut it for me.



    But for a web surfin Cat such as yourself....its purrrrrr-fect. :P
  • Reply 5 of 46
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    If Apple come out with an ultra-portable (and if they ever want to sell more than 2 laptops per quarter in Japan, they're going to have to), it'll be a new product. It won't replace the MacBook.



    The reason it won't replace the MacBook is that it's more of a niche product. You don't take your best-selling machine and replace it with a more expensive, less capable product.



    To make an ultra-portable, Apple has to use a special-purpose Intel CPU unless they don't mind the machine having a 5 minute battery life and the casework reaching 120 Fahrenheit. Those special-purpose Intel CPUs (which have much lower power consumption than standard parts - therefore use less battery and don't get so hot) are clocked much lower, so are less powerful (computing-wise) and they are also more expensive than the standard parts.



    According to Intel's price list, the 2.0 GHz Merom in the $1099 MacBook costs $294, whilst the ULV 1.60 GHz Merom costs $316.
  • Reply 6 of 46
    reganregan Posts: 474member
    My thoughts exactly. Definitely a niche product. A cool niche product to be sure, since its apple...but a niche.



    I think thats why they will call it a "macbook mini" or something cute like that.
  • Reply 7 of 46
    irelandireland Posts: 17,538member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by regan View Post


    Why would it cost a small fortune?



    They want it to be thin and light, that means SSD. And it will need at least 64GB of storage if they want it to run OS X Leopard, iLife and iWork '08, and have room to use them.



    64GB SSD's aren't cheap.
  • Reply 8 of 46
    aisiaisi Posts: 134member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by regan View Post


    there would also be savings in not having to put in things like a optical drive.



    MacScoop sources didn't say whether or not the new notebook will include an optical drive. The rumored Mac ultra-portable will be "between 0.6 and 0.7-inch" thick and will weight "less than 3 pounds" according to MacScoop. The article is mentioning Panasonic's 7mm thick optical drive, which is already used in the 12.1-inch Portege R500 (0.77-inch thick, 2.4 pounds), the thinnest laptop ever to include a disc drive.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacScoop


    One thing MacScoop's sources did not clearly specify is whether or not the new notebook will include an optical drive. One hint for the answer to this question is another question: Can any currently available drive fit into such a slim notebook? Well, maybe!



    Apple's MacBook Pros currently include a 0.37 inch (9.4 mm) thick drive, which was the thinnest optical drive in the industry until earlier this year, when Panasonic Communication, Ltd. announced an optical drive which is 0.27 inch (6.8 mm) thick and weights 0.218 pounds (99g). It can play or record CDs and DVDs and could be a good candidate for inclusion in new the notebook.



  • Reply 9 of 46
    aisiaisi Posts: 134member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    They want it to be thin and light, that means SSD.



    Not necessarily, but even with a HDD this thing will be expensive.



    Toshiba's 12.1-inch Portege R500:
    • Core 2 Duo U7600 1.2GHz

    • Intel GMA 950 graphics

    • up to 2GB of RAM

    • 120GB HDD

    • 12.1-inch LED display (widescreen 1280x800)

    • 0.77-inch thick, 2.4 pounds

    • Starts at $2,000 with XP Pro

  • Reply 10 of 46
    jonnyboyjonnyboy Posts: 525member
    current macbook is extremely young and seemingly extremely popular. it would be foolish to jeopardise that success any time in the next 2 or 3 years, i think
  • Reply 11 of 46
    It may be added in addition the the MB and MBP with either low or 'pro' specs, but it definitely will not replace anything anytime soon. Remember,  likes the 3 tier system, and the 12" would be a nice third leg to the notebook selection, but the other two are also needed and fit their niche nicely.
  • Reply 12 of 46
    mrtotesmrtotes Posts: 759member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    They want it to be thin and light, that means SSD. And it will need at least 64GB of storage if they want it to run OS X Leopard, iLife and iWork '08, and have room to use them.



    64GB SSD's aren't cheap.



    Hopefully it'll be part flash and also have 1.8" 80GB HDD.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jonnyboy View Post


    current macbook is extremely young and seemingly extremely popular. it would be foolish to jeopardise that success any time in the next 2 or 3 years, i think



    Quite. There is no way this ultra-portable is going to replace the MacBook.
  • Reply 13 of 46
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    I'm hoping it has a 1.8" hard drive, no optical drive, and at least 1920x1200 resolution.
  • Reply 14 of 46
    it's going to be a 12inch iphone .. lol... no physical keyboard but a muti-touch screen.





    ...anyway...



    why can't they mount the optical drive on the top left or top right of the notebook screen?

    i don't care if 3/4th of my dvd is spinning outside of the laptop..





    this is a must buy for me.. i don't care what name they come out with for it.
  • Reply 15 of 46
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    at least 1920x1200 resolution.



    Keep dreaming!
  • Reply 16 of 46
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Nothing's gonna replace Macbooks but Apple could surely use a 12" MBP to compete with the likes of Thinkpad X60s.



    I'd leave optical drive out and make it really light. Thinness isn't a real-world problem in laptops, it's more for marketing. ULV processors too please, and discrete graphics with low battery consumption and good hardware video decoding.



    I don't think SSD is truly ready for the only drive on a general-purpose computer.
  • Reply 17 of 46
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by regan View Post


    Why would it cost a small fortune?



    True, we are talkin about Apple here....but I think It'd be reasonably priced. Yeah, you'd be paying for the cool factor....but there would also be savings in not having to put in things like a optical drive. So it shouldn't be INSANELY expensive.



    Thin and low voltage parts cost a small fortune. Another reason they won't replace the iBook, the LV core 2 Duo tops out at 1.6ghz.
  • Reply 18 of 46
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gon View Post


    I don't think SSD is truly ready for the only drive on a general-purpose computer.



    You're right. solid-state drives are not reliable enough yet to fully replace hard drives. However, it is time to switch to 1.8" hard drives in notebooks.



    I realize that 1920x1200 is optimistic in a 12" notebook. It is, however, what I want. Resolution Independence will make it practical.
  • Reply 19 of 46
    kareliakarelia Posts: 525member
    I'd rather see a 12" MacBook Pro, with something like:



    2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (800MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)

    1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM (1x1GB module)

    120 GB 5400 RPM Serial-ATA Hard Drive

    NVIDIA GeForce Go 8600M GT (128MB VRAM)

    12.1-inch widescreen display (1280x800, glossy or antiglare)

    8x dual-layer optical slot drive

    Price: $1699



    ...or a new MacBook lineup, like this.



    $1099 MacBook

    2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (667MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)

    1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM (2x512MB module)

    80 GB 5400 RPM Serial-ATA Hard Drive

    Intel GMA X3100 Integrated Graphics Chipset

    13.3-inch widescreen display (1280x800, glossy or antiglare)

    24x CD-RW/DVD-ROM optical slot drive

    Available in glossy white OR matte black finish



    $1299 MacBook

    2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (667MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)

    1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM (2x512MB module)

    120 GB 5400 RPM Serial-ATA Hard Drive

    Intel GMA X3100 Integrated Graphics Chipset

    13.3-inch widescreen display (1280x800, glossy or antiglare)

    8x dual-layer optical slot drive

    Available in glossy white OR matte black finish



    $1499 MacBook

    2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (667MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)

    1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM (2x512MB module)

    160 GB 5400 RPM Serial-ATA Hard Drive

    Intel GMA X3100 Integrated Graphics Chipset (128MB ATI Mob. Radeon X1600 optional)

    15.4-inch widescreen display (1440x900, glossy or antiglare)

    8x dual-layer optical slot drive

    Available in glossy white OR matte black finish



    So essentially, making the black an optional choice on ANY MacBook, rather than a high-end model. To make the high-end MacBook worth it, bump the screen to a 15.4 to appease the consumer-level users who want a bigger screen. Also, a mid-range GPU option on it wouldn't hurt.



    Of course, these specs (especially the 12" MBP) are assuming Apple wants to keep the current price points without bumping the specs too much.
  • Reply 20 of 46
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,901member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by regan View Post


    Just curious. As an...um Cat....don't you find it hard to type with no segmented digits or opposable thumbs?

    :P



    A cat's paw does have segmented digits, but the cat can't use them individually.
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