Ultra-portable Apple notebook to splash down at Macworld Expo

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  • Reply 101 of 295
    Carbon fibre? Now that would be super sweet!! Seriously, that think would take a beating and still survive unscathed.



    Here's hoping that a miracle will happen and we can get >64 GB of solid state disk space. It's not a necessity, but it would be nice for those of us who also use our laptops to watch TV shows from our TiVo during those long, cramped international flights. (Of course we can always use an external hard drive to store the media files if the SSDD isn't >64 GB.)



    64 GB of SSDD is the absolute minimum though to ensure compatibility with future software upgrades and to have decent playing room for multiple applications (Creative Suite, Office, etc.).
  • Reply 102 of 295
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post


    The problem with that is how do you expect this ultraporta-tablet to stand up?



    Keyboard + Bigger Battery + HDD + Optical Drive in the base to offset the weight of the slate tablet part.



    Of course, its only an ultraportable when you aren't lugging around the rest of that stuff...



    In any case, Motion computing has a crappy keyboard+stand setup for their slates. Works kinda.



    More weight and a solid connector is required for a real docking slate.
  • Reply 103 of 295
    pbpb Posts: 4,237member
    Sorry, this rumor looks like total BS to me. By next Macworld Expo, the current Macbook Pro design WILL BE 5 YEARS OLD. How about finally moving to a new form factor? This is a real priority, and not the ultra-super-mega-slim mythical portable coming with one -- oooh -- 13" display. And flash for storage? And no optical? Integrated Intel graphics is what is missing here.
  • Reply 104 of 295
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    If you own a Mac, you already own an external optical drive that you could use with this rumored ultra-portable.



    If you boot your current Mac into target disk mode(by holding down the "T" key during the boot sequence), the hard drive and the optical drive can be used by another Mac by simply attaching a FireWire cable.



    Target disk mode is one of the coolest and most useful features of Macs.



    It's a great feature, but you and apple cannot assume that everyone will have a spare mac around to boot into target mode for a disk repair, or an os re-load.
  • Reply 105 of 295
    pbpb Posts: 4,237member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IanW View Post


    It's a great feature, but you and apple cannot assume that everyone will have a spare mac around to boot into target mode for a disk repair, or an os re-load.



    Not only that, but even if everyone had a spare Mac, they still need to do some preparation before being able to use it for that purpose (shut it down if it running, connect the cable and then boot it in target mode). Not the most convenient that could happen in your computing life. And certainly not more convenient than having a dedicated optical drive.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella


    Target disk mode is one of the coolest and most useful features of Macs



    Yes, but not for the purpose we here discuss.
  • Reply 106 of 295
    takeotakeo Posts: 430member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    One thing to remember... the escape clause for iTunes DRM lock-in is the ability to burn any iTunes content to a CD to strip DRM. For that purpose, the drive may be fairly heavily used by some and seen as a loss.



    Or for ripping CD's that you own. I've never bought anything from iTunes and won't until they offer better sound quality across the board. That said... I think most people would buy this as a second computer... not as their primary machine... so you could probably get away without the drive. The issue would be how to get files from people... since clients, etc. often send files on CD. Also... installing software could be a pain... potentially. You'd have to buy everything online.
  • Reply 107 of 295
    takeotakeo Posts: 430member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camimac View Post


    Yeah, just like a that crap multi-button mouse they call mighty!



    I agree. Worst mouse design ever. Apple hasn't made a good mouse since the Apple Desktop Bus II mouse. I've used Logitech mouse since the days of the HORRID puck mouse... and the pill shaped one's are almost as bad as the puck. Horrible horrible mice. That "the entire thing is a button" design (or two buttons) is amazingly flawed.
  • Reply 108 of 295
    pbpb Posts: 4,237member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Takeo View Post


    I agree. Worst mouse design ever.



    I was going to answer but you did it by yourself:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Takeo View Post


    ...the HORRID puck mouse...



    Difficult to beat that one.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Takeo View Post


    and the pill shaped one's are almost as bad as the puck. Horrible horrible mice. That "the entire thing is a button" design (or two buttons) is amazingly flawed.



    In my opinion the pill shaped ones are much better than the puck. Now the small tit on the mighty mouse may, and rightfully so, ignite much debate, but other than that I think it is overall a good simplistic mouse. Its basic problem is elsewhere: price. Its predecessor though was atrociously priced a few years ago. \
  • Reply 109 of 295
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,334member
    I'm on a 12" powerbook. It's got a thick 1,5 cm frame around the whole screen. If Apple found out a way not needing to use a frame. Perhaps another kind of display doesn't need the frame, then we could see a 1 mm protective frame around the sides, and suddenly it's a 13" in the same size as the 12" powerbook. Somewhat like the newest QuickTime player, that got rid of the side-frames. It looks pretty good.
  • Reply 110 of 295
    I don't really see any benefits over the MB to this for me. 5lbs to me is not super light but it is still a manageable weight. The weight of the MB is not an issue to me.



    I am not one of those people either that has 2 computers one that is underspeced and another more powerful one. This computer would have to function as my primary computer and i would not wish to be bugged down carrying around external drives on the go i also think that they look dreadful as well. Sometimes i travel and it is nice to be able to watch a DVD on my computer and no i have no interest in burning all my DVD's to my computer.



    I also don't like integrated graphics either. By the sounds of this it does not sound like a true 12 inch PB replacement.



    My ideal for a sub notebook would be about 12-13 inches have an LED screen and have a DVD drive and have a mid entry graphics card in an AL chasis.



    The Asus EEE 10 inch seems to offer all what this computer does but at a much cheaper price although the EEE has a smaller HD and a lower resolution and of course no OSX.



    I have read rumours like these many times over nearly the last 2 years. Seeing is believing with me. I do hope that Apple at least can offer a DVD drive and mid entry graphics at least an option but if the notebook is going to be so thin i doubt that this will happen.
  • Reply 111 of 295
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Takeo View Post


    I agree. Worst mouse design ever. Apple hasn't made a good mouse since the Apple Desktop Bus II mouse. I've used Logitech mouse since the days of the HORRID puck mouse... and the pill shaped one's are almost as bad as the puck. Horrible horrible mice. That "the entire thing is a button" design (or two buttons) is amazingly flawed.



    I disagree. I've been using multi-button mice from just about every major brand since Windows 3.11 and Mac OS 7 or 8, whichever started supporting contextual menus (sorry , I forget parts of the past easily.)



    I tried a wireless Mighty Mouse with the new Al wireless keyboard, and I have no problems with it. I use it with Leopard, Tiger, and Win XP (via MS RDC) with no problems at all. It's been responsive and reliable, and I expected to really dislike it after years of 5 button mice and reading all the bad reviews.



    As for all the subnotebook vs ultraportable discussion, it's very difficult to get the mainstream users of technology to plop down significant cash (>$500) and jump into a new paradigm like multitouch as an business solution, the largest part of the IT market that buys those >$500 items. My iPod Touch is not so responsive & reliable that I'd want that interface for doing all my computing work just yet... too immature at this point I believe.



    Road warriors are a significant market, but I think there's a lot more people who will be much more satisfied with a smaller 2lb laptop than they would be if IT spends a couple thousand dollars each for a gee-whiz gizmo. They will not want to deal with the loss of productivity because some gadget-oriented support person though it would be cool to change how they type reports while sitting on airplanes.



    As for the person who types 30wpm on his iPhone, that's pretty quick and seemingly fairly accurate, but it's about 40 to 60 wpm too slow to be considered a productive use of business-class technology, and it's way slower than most people can talk into a telephone (still about the fastest means of interpersonal communication in real time). That won't cut it even in the laid-back firm where I work, and it sure won't be tolerated by the slave-driver mentalities of the corporate giants.



    And for those who think 2lbs is way too heavy to haul for work, maybe they should take a break from the games and muscle up a bit.
  • Reply 112 of 295
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PB View Post


    Sorry, this rumor looks like total BS to me. By next Macworld Expo, the current Macbook Pro design WILL BE 5 YEARS OLD. How about finally moving to a new form factor? This is a real priority, and not the ultra-super-mega-slim mythical portable coming with one -- oooh -- 13" display. And flash for storage? And no optical? Integrated Intel graphics is what is missing here.



    All of the Mac emphasis on graphics and multitouch definitely means more powerful graphics cards. All Mac enthusiasts will be happy about that.



    But I can't imagine Stevie releasing a new MBP at Macworld ... the current line of MBPs are a higher-end model that really can't be significantly upgraded without some very crazy new technology like Minority Report complete with a projection screen. The MBP form factor has remained the same because it works.



    A lot of people want to see an Apple UMPC, but I don't think that's going to happen. The UMPC is a nice sexy form factor, but the lack of decent screen real estate and the difficulty with simple efficient text input (no, detachable keyboards don't count) make them not much more than a happy little Windoze diversion. About all you can do is media and web browsing, which can be done beautifully with the iPhone. There isn't much you can do easily on a UMPC that you can't do already on most smartphones.



    The release of the iPhone SDK in January (if it is liberal enough) will make it capable of a lot -the high-pixel density screen means that you can pack a lot of application in. The only reason you want anything besides an iPhone is for a bigger screen and faster text entry and more control - which places you in the ultraportable range.



    Here's what would be best for Apple and what Stevie must be dreaming of - each serious Apple user has a third-party-app-customized iPhone 2.0 (3G, pressure-sensitive, iWork Mobile, cut-and-paste) for mobile web browsing, media, and networking, a multitouch DS ultraportablet/subnotebook convertible that runs full Mac OS X and does everything portably (but without a HDD or optical drive), and a full-power iMac or MacBook Pro that provides HDD storage (1-2 TB) and optical capability (CD, DVD, HD, BRD read/write) for the iPhone and subnotebook as well as providing ample processing power for the more data-intensive work (much easier to dual-boot Vista on a 24" iMac than on an ultraportablet tailored for OS X.



    This is naturally quite far into the future. But the process (releasing products successively) will be just as profitable as the end result, and the next logical step is the release of the most powerful and dynamic portable subnotebook that the American mass market has seen.



    Just think how very small a .5" thick 13" diagonal (that's form factor diagonal, not screen size) notebook is. Now imagine it folding out into a gorgeous 17" touch screen tablet that's only seven millimeters thick. What could be better?



    And no, I'm not an Apple sales and publicity rep.
  • Reply 113 of 295
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zanshin View Post


    ...it's very difficult to get the mainstream users of technology to ... jump into a new paradigm like multitouch as an business solution, the largest part of the IT market that buys those >$500 items. My iPod Touch is not so responsive & reliable that I'd want that interface for doing all my computing work just yet... too immature at this point I believe.



    As for the person who types 30wpm on his iPhone, that's pretty quick and seemingly fairly accurate, but it's about 40 to 60 wpm too slow to be considered a productive use of business-class technology, and it's way slower than most people can talk into a telephone (still about the fastest means of interpersonal communication in real time). That won't cut it even in the laid-back firm where I work, and it sure won't be tolerated by the slave-driver mentalities of the corporate giants.



    And for those who think 2lbs is way too heavy to haul for work, maybe they should take a break from the games and muscle up a bit.



    Ditto on the "muscle up a bit" part of things. Those ultralight highpowered notebooks that Panasonic makes (yeah, the 12-ounce ones) are $4,000+. Hence the reason that Apple can't offer anything like it. No one would buy it.



    My 30wpm is in landscape mode with two thumbs. It's decently fast, but no where near what corporate business requires (70-80 wpm) or what I can do on a conventional keyboard (100+). That's why Apple definitely isn't making a pure tablet with iPhone-like multitouch - no one would be able to break 40 wpm.



    Professionals can type at speeds in excess of 60 wpm without much trouble because they can rest their fingers on the keys. The current gen of multitouch doesn't allow this. But the patent that Apple took out for pressure-sensitive screens will. As long as you can feel the keys under your fingers and the screen knows the difference between "I'm on the home row" and "I'm trying to type, you d--n key!" (remember, since the new patent allows the screen to differentiate between contact and pressure, this is easy), you can type nearly as fast as on any conventional QWERTY keyboard. It would be essentially like this, except smooth and a bit more stiff.



    The keyboard is going to go. People just haven't found a decent way to get rid of it yet. Chorded keyboards suck (and besides they take so much training), voice recognition is nowhere near where it needs to be and it requires people to speak out loud (who wants to do that on a plane??), and laser projection keyboards are notoriously difficult to use efficiently. Smartphone keypads have been quite efficiently matched by the iPhone/iPod Touch multi-touch soft QWERTY keypad, so the next natural step is a soft QWERTY789 keyboard.



    And if you are talking about the lack of a mouse, then that's not a big deal at all. You can have a virtual touchpad even easier than a virtual keyboard. But you have multitouch in case you want to interact with the screen.



    Here are the specs I am hoping we'll see:
    • 13" diagonal form factor (12.9" diagonal screen)

    • <.66" thick when shut

    • FULL Mac OS X Leopard but with certain features "unlocked" for the ultraportablet system

    • DS subnotebook

    • Pressure-sensitive multitouch on all screen surfaces

    • Fully configurable full virtual keyboard and virtual touchpad, usually on the lower screen

    • Stylus and finger support

    • Folds out to 17" diagonal form factor at 7-8mm thickness

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am pretty sure that all the techology exists to make that happen, and all of those things would work in the mass market.
  • Reply 114 of 295
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,144member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by southerndoc View Post


    Carbon fibre? Now that would be super sweet!! Seriously, that think would take a beating and still survive unscathed.



    Here's hoping that a miracle will happen and we can get >64 GB of solid state disk space. It's not a necessity, but it would be nice for those of us who also use our laptops to watch TV shows from our TiVo during those long, cramped international flights. (Of course we can always use an external hard drive to store the media files if the SSDD isn't >64 GB.)



    64 GB of SSDD is the absolute minimum though to ensure compatibility with future software upgrades and to have decent playing room for multiple applications (Creative Suite, Office, etc.).



    how much are you wiling to pay for this?



    Right now, the new Samsung 64GB SSD costs the OEM (it's not available to end users) $1,000. That would translate to at least $1,500 for you in the computer. Compare that to a bigger capacity HDD for about $125.



    I'm sure you would just run out to buy one of these things.
  • Reply 115 of 295
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,397member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by appleeinstein View Post


    Ditto on the "muscle up a bit" part of things. Those ultralight highpowered notebooks that Panasonic makes (yeah, the 12-ounce ones) are $4,000+. Hence the reason that Apple can't offer anything like it. No one would buy it.



    This new vaporware we're blue-skying about IS unlikely to be anywhere near $4,000. Apple will want to "re-invent" the ultraportable hopefully combining 2 pounds of machine (sans optical and HD, reduced bezel, etc.) with a truly useable screen and keyboard at a price that when design, performance and features are compared will still cost a tidy sum (say $1599 - 1999 depending on memory, and which fits between current MB and MBP prices, as Apple loves distinct price points) but seem both ground-breaking and a good value.



    Quote:

    My 30wpm is in landscape mode with two thumbs. It's decently fast, but no where near what corporate business requires (70-80 wpm) or what I can do on a conventional keyboard (100+). That's why Apple definitely isn't making a pure tablet with iPhone-like multitouch - no one would be able to break 40 wpm.



    Professionals can type at speeds in excess of 60 wpm without much trouble because they can rest their fingers on the keys. The current gen of multitouch doesn't allow this. But the patent that Apple took out for pressure-sensitive screens will. As long as you can feel the keys under your fingers and the screen knows the difference between "I'm on the home row" and "I'm trying to type, you d--n key!" (remember, since the new patent allows the screen to differentiate between contact and pressure, this is easy), you can type nearly as fast as on any conventional QWERTY keyboard. It would be essentially like this, except smooth and a bit more stiff.



    The keyboard is going to go. People just haven't found a decent way to get rid of it yet.



    And Apple may give them one, much as you suggest, but Jan. '08 seems a little premature for physically keyboardless.



    Quote:

    Chorded keyboards suck (and besides they take so much training), voice recognition is nowhere near where it needs to be and it requires people to speak out loud (who wants to do that on a plane??), and laser projection keyboards are notoriously difficult to use efficiently. Smartphone keypads have been quite efficiently matched by the iPhone/iPod Touch multi-touch soft QWERTY keypad, so the next natural step is a soft QWERTY789 keyboard.



    And if you are talking about the lack of a mouse, then that's not a big deal at all. You can have a virtual touchpad even easier than a virtual keyboard. But you have multitouch in case you want to interact with the screen.



    And you don't have donuts or a greasy hamburger in hand.



    Quote:

    Here are the specs I am hoping we'll see:
    • 13" diagonal form factor (12.9" diagonal screen)


    • a virtually no bezel screen would cut the form factor and weight and might allow the MB's 13.3"
      Quote:

    • <.66" thick when shut

    • FULL Mac OS X Leopard but with certain features "unlocked" for the ultraportablet system

    • DS subnotebook



      ??????? I guess you defined "DS" above but I don't see it.
      Quote:

    • Pressure-sensitive multitouch on all screen surfaces

    • Fully configurable full virtual keyboard and virtual touchpad, usually on the lower screen

    • Stylus and finger support



      I doubt all of the above at once. but one never knows....

      Quote:

    • Folds out to 17" diagonal form factor at 7-8mm thickness




    Quote:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am pretty sure all the techology exists to make that happen, and all of those things would work in the mass market.



    And maybe some of them will.
  • Reply 116 of 295
    Quote:

    I guess you defined "DS" above but I don't see it.



    DS is Dual Screen - as in "Nintendo DS". The sort that I'm envisioning wouldn't have a border at the bottom of the top screen or the top of the bottom screen, which is what would allow it to fold out to the 17" full screen beauty. Tricky, but doable.



    And ditto on greasy fingers - but maybe one day people will learn to eat with style. Or at least without too many extemporaneous lipids.



    Quote:

    Jan. '08 seems a little premature for physically keyboardless.



    That's the bad thing - if anyone is going to do it, Apple definitely could, but I just don't know if they would take that risk yet. I certainly hope they do, but you never know. It would be the only way to make a truly portable and yet powerful tablet.
  • Reply 117 of 295
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,144member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigpics View Post


    This new vaporware we're blue-skying about IS unlikely to be anywhere near $4,000. Apple will want to "re-invent" the ultraportable hopefully combining 2 pounds of machine (sans optical and HD, reduced bezel, etc.) with a truly useable screen and keyboard at a price that when design, performance and features are compared will still cost a tidy sum (say $1599 - 1999 depending on memory, and which fits between current MB and MBP prices, as Apple loves distinct price points) but seem both ground-breaking and a good value.



    The only thing Apple is known to give groundbreaking prices on is new monitors. But, they then allow the competition to overtake them



    Elsewhere, you can't point to a single major product where Apple has low prices.



    They are subject to the same pricing for their products as are anyone else.



    In fact, their luxury image requires that they don't compete at the low end.



    I can't understand why you would think differently. It was also thought by a small few, that Apple would price the low end Intel Macbook at $7999, but look at what it actuall came out at.



    Apple simply will not accept the 10 to 15% margins that other manufacturers are happy to get. They will insist on 30% or higher. That will add several hundred to the price right there.



    We've been through this pricing argument too many times, and have seen the reality.



    Assuming that they do come out with something, it will be priced where Apple will make good money. That's not to say that it will be overpriced, just not below what comparable machines will cost.



    Apple competes on style, OS, and usability, not price.
  • Reply 118 of 295
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    The only thing Apple is known to give groundbreaking prices on is new monitors. But, they then allow the competition to overtake them



    Elsewhere, you can't point to a single major product where Apple has low prices.



    They are subject to the same pricing for their products as are anyone else.



    In fact, their luxury image requires that they don't compete at the low end.



    I can't understand why you would think differently. It was also thought by a small few, that Apple would price the low end Intel Macbook at $7999, but look at what it actuall came out at.



    Apple simply will not accept the 10 to 15% margins that other manufacturers are happy to get. They will insist on 30% or higher. That will add several hundred to the price right there.



    We've been through this pricing argument too many times, and have seen the reality.



    Assuming that they do come out with something, it will be priced where Apple will make good money. That's not to say that it will be overpriced, just not below what comparable machines will cost.



    Apple competes on style, OS, and usability, not price.



    you meant to say $999???
  • Reply 119 of 295
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    The only thing Apple is known to give groundbreaking prices on is new monitors. But, they then allow the competition to overtake them



    Elsewhere, you can't point to a single major product where Apple has low prices.



    In my opinion, I can think of three: iPod. iPhone. Mac OS.



    Considering the consumer appeal, the professionally developed and supported UI (and hardware), and the pure core functionality for their purpose, I don't believe anybody has caught up with these products, therefore, nobody sells the same thing for less. Some people believe they have suitable substitutes, but they really don't compare, feature-wise.



    Remember, since becoming Apple, Inc., they're not just about pcs anymore as the primary business.
  • Reply 120 of 295
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by webmail View Post


    When Apple does Ultra-Portable, they do it right. This is the company that invented the #1 selling ultra-portable computer in the world, back when Macs weren't nearly as popular (the Duo).



    Apple will do it right, not with what is off the shelf, but something that is thinner than you thought possible.





    Think about the fact that the iPhone has a 600mhz processor in it and runs OS X. Then use your imagination.





    ??? Just like Apple did it right with the original snail -paced toilet seat iBook?
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