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MacRumors
Jan 25, 2007, 11:19 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Unwiredview posts (http://www.unwiredview.com/2007/01/25/apple-wants-to-make-mac-book-smaller-by-putting-optical-disc-drive-at-the-bottom/) a report and photos from Apple's latest patent application.

The newest patent focuses on where to put the optical drive in a notebook computer.

The drive itself is a pretty bulky thing. With all the necessary EMI shielding and structural integrity elements it gets even bigger. It is the biggest component of ultraportable laptop apart from LCD and keyboard. And it waists even more space because it has to be mounted along one side edge of the computer, usually in that precious space in front of the keyboard where a lot of other goodies might be stuffed in. Right? Right?

Not necessarily. Apple thinks that it has found a much better place to put the Optical Disc Drive: at the bottom of the MacBook

In the patent description (http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.php/archive/apple_patents_relate_to_disk_drive_media_access_systems_for_portable_comput/), Apple addresses the challenges of making laptops even smaller, and how the available area on the perimeter of the computer diminishes as the laptops get thinner. They do admit there are challenges to moving the optical drive to a different location however, including user familiarity and access door issues with a bottom mount.



R.Youden
Jan 25, 2007, 11:24 AM
Can't see that working myself. If you want to pop in a CD you have to shut the laptop, turn it over insert disk, turn in back the right way, open the lid, oh balls its the wrong CD....

miketcool
Jan 25, 2007, 11:24 AM
Sounds cool, but probbly wont see the light of day.

I like the old TI PB used in the patent image...

yoak
Jan 25, 2007, 11:25 AM
I wouldn´t mind having to turn the laptop over to insert a disk as long as it´s small.
Great idea me thinks
It´s not that often I need the optical drive on my laptop, but for others it might be a pain.

esaleris
Jan 25, 2007, 11:25 AM
That's just strange.

GenesisST
Jan 25, 2007, 11:26 AM
Although the smaller the better except the screen and keyboard. I wouldn't want to import my CD collection to iTunes like this.

On the other hand, it is already imported in my case. :-)

Over Achiever
Jan 25, 2007, 11:27 AM
Interesting concept, would work in a tablet style notebook than a laptop used predominantly on a surface.

L3X
Jan 25, 2007, 11:27 AM
ehh, i prefer the drives the way they are. i can deal with a laptop being 1 or 2 pounds heavier for an easily accessible drive.

rtdgoldfish
Jan 25, 2007, 11:27 AM
Seems a little strange but if anyone can pull it off, Apple can.

zelmo
Jan 25, 2007, 11:27 AM
I'd rather have a latch that lifts up a section of the keyboard where I can drop in a disk.

abrooks
Jan 25, 2007, 11:27 AM
Note the position of the hinges in some of the images and then cast your mind back to a few patents we saw that we didn't know how they could be implemented, then we met the iPhone.

The point is, this could potentially be implemented in a tablet, where it would work.

j-a-x
Jan 25, 2007, 11:28 AM
I guess it could work in an ultra-portable computer, but in general it seems like a bad idea to have the drive on the bottom like that...

rtdgoldfish
Jan 25, 2007, 11:28 AM
I'd rather have a latch that lifts up a section of the keyboard where I can drop in a disk.

Cool idea, get it patented before someone steals the idea! :D

JFreak
Jan 25, 2007, 11:29 AM
I would prefer a laptop without any moving parts whatsoever. Not counting electrons, mind you. Hard drive is already bad enough and optical drives make it even worse. Could they eliminate those two, the future laptops would be insanely great!

Sea5onS
Jan 25, 2007, 11:29 AM
"...And it waists even more space..."

Spelling error FTL (really, a "homonym" error).

siurpeeman
Jan 25, 2007, 11:30 AM
the picture reminded me of the original sony playstation. :)

Stella
Jan 25, 2007, 11:30 AM
Seems like an OK solution. I don't see the inconvience of having to turn the laptop upside down too bad - how many times do you use CDs?

( personally: i hardly ever use CDs - but that ofc differs from person to person )

lexus
Jan 25, 2007, 11:30 AM
I think the report is BS wastes is spelt wrong.

Object-X
Jan 25, 2007, 11:31 AM
So, I have to pick up my laptop to put in a CD? Seems like a hassel. Weird :rolleyes:

darkwing
Jan 25, 2007, 11:31 AM
I would prefer a laptop without any moving parts whatsoever. Not counting electrons, mind you. Hard drive is already bad enough and optical drives make it even worse. Could they eliminate those two, the future laptops would be insanely great!

Electrons don't move too fast. We did calculations in my 2nd physics class showing how an electron at the socket will take something like 3+ days to reach the lamp through a 6 foot cord. Neat stuff.

nbs2
Jan 25, 2007, 11:33 AM
I'd rather have a latch that lifts up a section of the keyboard where I can drop in a disk.

Like the ToughBooks? Or do you mean actually under the keyboard proper rather than under the palm rests?

corywoolf
Jan 25, 2007, 11:33 AM
Why not have it under the keyboard? Just imagine the MBP keyboard popping up like a trunk and then inserting the dvd and slamming the trunk shut. I suppose it might feel awkward when typing? I kind of like the idea of slot loading drive that is on a slant going down in front of the space bar. Guess the whole slot loading thing would probably take up more space. How about just axing the internal drive and having a second battery bay that can either hold an extra battery for 10 hrs. of total battery life or hold the optical drive with 5 hrs. of total battery life.

Edit: Zelmo beat me to it.

Jasonbot
Jan 25, 2007, 11:35 AM
Huh, no more slot loading, that would really suck. Maybe if it was LCD mounted. that would be another story altogether!

zelmo
Jan 25, 2007, 11:35 AM
Like the ToughBooks? Or do you mean actually under the keyboard proper rather than under the palm rests?

Under the keyboard proper. Of course, I basically only use my CD drive to rip songs or watch a movie, so I'm not likely to use the keyboard while a disk is in there spinning away.

iSee
Jan 25, 2007, 11:35 AM
LOL - This is soooo stupid.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
I can't wait to get my "flip-book."

Geeze, just take the optical drive out of the ultra portable!

And then make a really nice, thin add-on drive available.

ChrisA
Jan 25, 2007, 11:35 AM
Good idea but a better idea is to put the Drive on the back of the LCD. Then you only have to shut the lid, not shut the lid and turn the notebook upside down.

OK so it makes the lid thicker. I don't care because the bottom part can be thinner and what matters is the total.

zim
Jan 25, 2007, 11:37 AM
My MacBook has a CD/DVD drive? Oh it does! I almost forgot.. have had the MacBook for only a few weeks but have not even used the drive yet.. better test it before I am out of the easy to return period. I also have an original G4 Ti book which never saw any CD/DVD drive action except for updating the OS and installing software.. oh and we went on a trip and brought a DVD but never watched it.. so I guess I would be interested in seeing someone experiment with new locations.

eme jota ce
Jan 25, 2007, 11:37 AM
"...And it waists even more space..."

Spelling error FTL (really, a "homonym" error).

and a homophone

Sea5onS
Jan 25, 2007, 11:37 AM
To be totally honest, I only use the optical drive in my laptop when I'm installing software or ripping cds. That's it.

With that in mind, eliminating the internal optical drive in favor of a slick-and-well-implemented external drive would be right up my alley.

TyleRomeo
Jan 25, 2007, 11:38 AM
I have a much better place for it, slot load into the screen. Just like an imac.

Signal Man
Jan 25, 2007, 11:39 AM
This has to be for a super thin powerbook/macbook or tablet dosen't it ?

rockthecasbah
Jan 25, 2007, 11:39 AM
I think is one of those patents that won't see the light of day in a real product... i hope :D

dazzer21
Jan 25, 2007, 11:41 AM
So I'm sitting at home where I've got my MacBook Pro connected to an external 2nd screen, external firewire hard drive, 4-port USB hub, ethernet broadband connection and power cord - and I'm going to have to turn the thing over in order to get to the drive in order to install a new version of <insert software package here>? I can't see this ever being feasible in a laptop. I also can't really see what difference it makes with regards to the physical size of the drive dictating the size of the machine - the laptop can't be any deeper than the size of a CD plus however mm extra it needs, so why can't it just be left on the side or at the front of the machine as it is now - will the difference in engineering really be that much?

longofest
Jan 25, 2007, 11:42 AM
Sounds cool, but probbly wont see the light of day.

I like the old TI PB used in the patent image...

I agree... I noticed the old TiBook image too :) Plus, the idea just doesn't seem very "Apple"

Sea5onS
Jan 25, 2007, 11:42 AM
and a homophone

Now that I check the wikpedia, you're correct and I was mistaken. Homophones are the more general term, for words that sound the same. Homonyms are words that are also spelled the same, like rose (flower) and rose (past tense of "rise").

Hmmm, (insert silly platitude like "ya learn something new every day").

nbs2
Jan 25, 2007, 11:43 AM
Under the keyboard proper. Of course, I basically only use my CD drive to rip songs or watch a movie, so I'm not likely to use the keyboard while a disk is in there spinning away.

One concern might be the space the latch system would take up. I suppose you could use some other system to ensure that it stays closed.

I don't see why typing would be a problem though. The scissor keys, I thought, are designed to minimize vibration. As long as there was some shielding, I couldn't imagine a problem.

Since everybody else is fair enough to do so, most of my optical use is watching/burning DVDs, burning CDs, and playing some of my games (well, just one).

Some_Big_Spoon
Jan 25, 2007, 11:44 AM
Well, that would just break right off (according to the picture).

I'm still confounded as to why Apple, currently, insists that I carry around an optical drive which is useless to me. It's big, it draws power, and I just want it out of my machine. So, give me the optial drive-less laptop, ASAP.

CrackedButter
Jan 25, 2007, 11:57 AM
I have a much better place for it, slot load into the screen. Just like an imac.

I would have thought the mac users here would think more highly of Apple than this, of course they are not going to put it under the laptop, that would be stupid, its an example of what Apple can do. Just like with all the patents with the iPhone, it turned out differently. I doubt it is going under the keyboard as well. MBP's and PB's have high quality sturdy keyboard layouts, they are not going backwards on that front.

Just wait and see what happens.

With regard to putting it into the screen on a laptop, that would be a neat idea but you wouldn't need to patent it would you? It seems a little obvious.

thejadedmonkey
Jan 25, 2007, 11:57 AM
<snip> I also can't really see what difference it makes with regards to the physical size of the drive dictating the size of the machine - the laptop can't be any deeper than the size of a CD plus however mm extra it needs, so why can't it just be left on the side or at the front of the machine as it is now - will the difference in engineering really be that much?

My laptop is xxx cm's thick. I forget how many, but it's actually thinner than the CD drive that's in it, and where the CD drive is, there's a bulge because it's that much thicker than the rest of the case.

Think about it like this.. If you have a CD drive designed so that it only has to take up space where the laser is, and just a few mm's where the rest of the CD is, then you're saving a lot of space.

A brand new optical drive design could save a lot of space, and now that Apple has the volume in MacBook sales, they can easily get one special made without that much increase in their costs probably.

Having said that, I'd rather an ultra thin laptop with an external Firewire 800 drive.

bryanc
Jan 25, 2007, 12:00 PM
If anything, this is for use in a Tablet or ultraportable form factor. For any sort of 'laptop' that design makes no sense, but it's a cool idea for a tablet.

Cheers

L3X
Jan 25, 2007, 12:00 PM
LOL - This is soooo stupid.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
I can't wait to get my "flip-book."

Geeze, just take the optical drive out of the ultra portable!

And then make a really nice, thin add-on drive available.
yeah an external FW drive might be nice...since we don't "use them that much"

Mainyehc
Jan 25, 2007, 12:02 PM
How about pushing for the adoption of 8cm discs in laptops, and even desktops? With the increasing density of optical media, it's conceivable that in the future those smaller discs could gain some widespread use. I know that while Apple's slot-loading drives, desktop and laptop models alike, don't accept them (yep, they actually "choke" on them and have to be serviced :eek: ), the Nintendo Wii's does... If Apple fitted their whole lineup with drives that could accept both 12cm and 8cm discs, with either CD, DVD and BluRay/HD-DVD density, they could fit some select ultraportable laptops and/or tablets with 8cm-only slot-loading or bottom mounted optical drives... It's not like you'd want to watch full HD-quality video (either off a full-size HD-DVD or BluRay disc) on a tablet or an ultraportable anyway, right?

Why not? Of course, most DVD and CD-ROM drives wouldn't be compatible with this new "standard", but if you think about it, high-density 8cm-media would be just a subset of the BluRay/HD-DVD standard (like the 8cm CD-ROM of today), and thus, 100% compatible with every new computer or device which ships with one of those.

If there's a company that can push for the adoption of new standards, it's Apple. First USB, then the end of floppy drives... And besides, it's not like most PC manufacturers would spend much more on optical drives, as most PCs come with tray-loading models which have no trouble reading 8cm discs. It would only be a matter of waiting a bit for some settlement on the "HD standards war", and convincing software vendors to distribute software on that new media, especially by giving the example. Apple has already shrunk their product packaging, so why not extend that trend to its actual content?

Of course, with the increasing adoption of broadband connections and subsequent on-line media distribution, this may just be an exercise of futility :D ...

Cinch
Jan 25, 2007, 12:03 PM
get rid of this 20th century technology, already!

put OSX on NAND flash memory as well as other applications purchase via the internet (office, creative suite etc.). I have no use for this thing now in my black MacBook. What use will I have have for it in the future? It should be done away with like the 3.5 inch floppy disk!

If you watch DVD on your laptop, then you definitely needs to get laid!!!:D

Cinch

jrzshor
Jan 25, 2007, 12:04 PM
You can patent where things go?

Well, I"d like to patent a hole between two folds of skin. It will be located either at the top of the body or somewhere in the middle. I will call it earnosemouthbellybuttonanus or earnosemouthbellybuttonanusvagina. It can be used to load stuff or excrete stuff and/or maybe both.

bearbo
Jan 25, 2007, 12:04 PM
Electrons don't move too fast. We did calculations in my 2nd physics class showing how an electron at the socket will take something like 3+ days to reach the lamp through a 6 foot cord. Neat stuff.

er.. care to share how did you slow electron down?
i dont reckon you think the electrons natually move that slow, do you?

i see the problem with this design.. for instance you are installing a software that require two or more discs (hey, future software could take more than one DVD).. and in the middle of the installation, you have to close the lid (and thus sleep the computer, which in some case interupt the software instalation) turn it over, remove the disk, put in another disc, turn laptop over, wake the computer to find the software installation interupted?

i think this is just one of "those" patents.

You can patent where things go?

Well, I"d like to patent a hole between two folds of skin. It will be located either at the top of the body or somewhere in the middle. I will call it earnosemouthbellybuttonanus or earnosemouthbellybuttonanusvagina. It can be used to load stuff or excrete stuff and/or maybe both.

i laughed in tears.

you can patent anything that's unique, useful, and non-obvious. (and they don't even have to be that useful and non-obvious, but it can't be stuff ppl already patented.)

bourdieu
Jan 25, 2007, 12:10 PM
If anything, this is for use in a Tablet or ultraportable form factor. For any sort of 'laptop' that design makes no sense, but it's a cool idea for a tablet.

Cheers

Thing is that I dont see this making any sense even in a Tablet. IMO its just weird. As others have pointed out the lid would make a much better place.

Having to close the lid and turn the laptop over just to insert a disc seems like an utterly un-apple-ish way of solving a problem.

I just cant see this happening.

product26
Jan 25, 2007, 12:14 PM
the picture is of a powerbook titanium....

if they are indeed planning on using this, they will for sure be implementing it in something way different. tablet is the best guess... ultra thin, easily flipped over to access the ODD.

szark
Jan 25, 2007, 12:18 PM
I agree that this will most likely be used in a tablet computer, if it is used at all. Implementing it in the way depicted on a standard laptop seems very disruptive.

dashiel
Jan 25, 2007, 12:23 PM
I would prefer a laptop without any moving parts whatsoever. Not counting electrons, mind you. Hard drive is already bad enough and optical drives make it even worse. Could they eliminate those two, the future laptops would be insanely great!

indeed. my dream laptop from apple would be the height/width dimensions of the macbook two-thirds to half the thickness. LED backlit screen and a 32gig non-volatile flash drive and no dvd/cd at all. apart from installation i never use my cd/dvd drive. other than OS installations i don't use the CD/DVD drive on my laptop.

i could never really see apple releasing it, but if they did it could be sold with a "dock" that included a CD/DVD drive, or maybe it's just marketed to existing mac owners who just need an occasional laptop.

as long as i'm dreaming, an integrated iphone dock in front of the keyboard. the iphone when docked would add 4-8GB of memory, act as a replacement for your DVD player on long hauls and work as a larger trackpad.

Superhob
Jan 25, 2007, 12:24 PM
I think Apple is looking to design something similar to this:

Panasonic Toughbook-W5
12.1" 1024x768 XGA anti-glare TFT Active matrix Color LCD
60GB HDD(shock-mounted and removable)
Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) standard
Secure Digital (SD) Card
Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG ntwk. connection 802.11a/b/g
Lithium Ion Battery Pack (10.65V, 5200mAh)
Battery Operation: 8hrs
Wide Area Wireless Solutions : EVDO, HSPDA
3-year limited warranty, parts & labor
1.0/1.8'' x 10.6'' x 8.3''
3.1 lbs

I wonder if Panasonic has a patent on that optical drive placement and design?:cool:

iMeowbot
Jan 25, 2007, 12:26 PM
The "it has been unexpectedly discovered" stuff in the door application sounds like something out of 19th century patents. Pay no attention to that orientation-dependent secondary user interface behind the, um, round magnetic curtain!

atsang
Jan 25, 2007, 12:29 PM
You can patent where things go?

Well, I"d like to patent a hole between two folds of skin. It will be located either at the top of the body or somewhere in the middle. I will call it earnosemouthbellybuttonanus or earnosemouthbellybuttonanusvagina. It can be used to load stuff or excrete stuff and/or maybe both.

how about earnosemouthbellybuttonanusweenyhole?

hilarious man

Hattig
Jan 25, 2007, 12:30 PM
eSATA port on laptop + external drive (which is the internal drive in a matching casing). This will make Apple's smaller laptops far more appealing - the larger laptops can keep a drive built-in of course, or Apple can sell you a Mac Mini as a home server to rip music and video and so on.

Result: Lighter, thinner, laptops without junk that is used very rarely anyway. I can install CDs at home. I can plug in external eSATA hard drives if I want instead, and so on.

tjwett
Jan 25, 2007, 12:31 PM
personally i'm waiting long and hard for an ultra portable mac laptop to replace my 12" PowerBook. i've had it over a year and have NEVER inserted a disk into the optical drive. i could do without it altogether, but if it was hidden away and would allow the machine to be that much lighter/smaller then i'm all for it. i say bring it on!

orbital
Jan 25, 2007, 12:32 PM
this would be cool though cool only on a mac tablet:D

stoid
Jan 25, 2007, 12:32 PM
er.. care to share how did you slow electron down?
i dont reckon you think the electrons natually move that slow, do you?

Electrical current moves at about 1/2 the speed of light under good circumstances (IIRC). However the actual electrons barely move. Think of it like a water hose. You push water in one end and it causes the water throughout the hose to move forward and pushes out the water at the other end.

An outlet pushes an electron in one end and it bumps into an electron next to it and starts a domino effect that pushes an electron at the other side of the cord out the other side. The domino effect is fast, but the dominoes themselves don't move very fast.

twoodcc
Jan 25, 2007, 12:35 PM
Can't see that working myself. If you want to pop in a CD you have to shut the laptop, turn it over insert disk, turn in back the right way, open the lid, oh balls its the wrong CD....

yeah, i don't see how it would work either.......but i guess we'll see

rdrr
Jan 25, 2007, 12:35 PM
why do we need cds or dvds anyway? they are an outdated concept. you can easily put the contents of a dvd on a sd card. if software distributors embraced a flash type solution it would eliminate the need for a optical drive all together.

phungy
Jan 25, 2007, 12:36 PM
I think Apple is looking to design something similar to this:

I wonder if Panasonic has a patent on that optical drive placement and design?:cool:

I immediately thought of the Toughbook when I saw the drawings. It'd be interesting to see the specs as well as final product.

Maybe there will be a 12" Macbook Pro? :eek: :D :apple:

Off-topic: Did the smilies get rearranged?

Sprung
Jan 25, 2007, 12:38 PM
This is what appeared in my mind as I looked at the description:

MMP MKIII Tablet Edition ©
http://homepage.mac.com/peter_green/MMP_MkIII_Tablet/

NorCalLights
Jan 25, 2007, 12:38 PM
I'm still confounded as to why Apple, currently, insists that I carry around an optical drive which is useless to me. It's big, it draws power, and I just want it out of my machine. So, give me the optial drive-less laptop, ASAP.

If you don't like your optical drive that much, they're pretty easy to remove. That would save some weight. There is also a company somewhere on the web that makes kits to replace your old optical drive with a second hard drive... maybe that would be more useful in your case? (no pun intended).

Clive At Five
Jan 25, 2007, 12:38 PM
Wow. How ridiculous are some of those pictures? Garage Door? I can see it already: "Now you can burn your Garage Band tunes straight to your Garage Door!"

In all seriousness, I don't know anyone, even infrequent users, who would want to flip over the laptop to insert an optical disk. Also, by the looks of it, both the MB and the MBP have plenty of "perimeter real estate." Thus, I have two theories.

1) This is one of those all-encompassing patents that Apple wanted to get their hands on, even though they may never use it, or

2) As others may have surmised, this is for a new product.

I'm not ready to vouch for a MacBook Mini or a tablet (iPad?) just yet. Why? Seriously, check out the side of the MB and MBP... they're very thin already, and all the ports on the perimeter are laying on their sides (as to take up less height).

Let's propose this example, where Apple produces a device so small that ports consume the entire perimeter. Either this device will have 10 USB, 10 Firewire, dual DVI, dual Ethernet, and redundant power supply ports, or the perimeter will be small. If the perimeter is small, this implies the area/volume of the device is also small... likely too small for the need of a centered ODD. Thus, we can likely rule out this possibility.

So then let's consider Apple that Apple is doing one of the following: developing an ultra-portable, thinning existing notebooks, developing a tablet. The explanation above rules out the need for a centered ODD in two of these devices: the ultra-portable, and the MacBook trimming project. How about a tablet, though?

Many people would consider Apple's tablet to be much like a combination of the iPhone and a MacBook: a screen with a touch interface. The ports, then, could be positioned the same as the MacBook, seemingly ruling out the need for a centered ODD, as per the same rationale as the first two proposed projects. Imagine, however, holding this device. Either your hand covers up ports and your thumb sprawls across the touch screen, or there is a section of border designed for holding onto the deice, free of ports and ODD bays. If this is the case then Apple might just be running out of perimeter space, therefore necessitating a centered ODD.

Of course this is only speculation, but I think it adequately rules out its use in an ultra-portable or thinner MacBook. I think that IF Apple chooses to apply this technology, it will be for a tablet. I am not, however, holding my breath.

And if anyone asks me, I'd go with the iris. It makes me think of the MST3k view screen. :D

-Clive

slffl
Jan 25, 2007, 12:41 PM
Looks like a great idea. Hope they implement this at some point.

Rocketman
Jan 25, 2007, 12:41 PM
I wouldn´t mind having to turn the laptop over to insert a disk as long as it´s small.
Great idea me thinks
It´s not that often I need the optical drive on my laptop, but for others it might be a pain.

One of the advantages to that format is those smaller discs will also work.

I say a year after this public release we will see something. Maybe even a ultra-combo drive Blu-Ray/HD-DVD/DVD/CD.

Rocketman

N10248
Jan 25, 2007, 12:41 PM
eSATA port on laptop + external drive (which is the internal drive in a matching casing). This will make Apple's smaller laptops far more appealing - the larger laptops can keep a drive built-in of course, or Apple can sell you a Mac Mini as a home server to rip music and video and so on.

Result: Lighter, thinner, laptops without junk that is used very rarely anyway. I can install CDs at home. I can plug in external eSATA hard drives if I want instead, and so on.

They could make it USB2, same styling as the new Airport bases and with Airport Disk mode it would become a wireless optical drive, make it stackable so more than 1 disc can be used at a time. the "N" standard would make it fast enough for dvd watching and burning.

Some_Big_Spoon
Jan 25, 2007, 12:44 PM
Yeah, I've looked into that too, but the 2nd HD sucks juice too and adds to weight. I can remove the opti drive, but the machine is still larger due to the intended optical drive. A really thin, light notebook would be very useful on a number of levels. I just think it doesn't mesh with Apple's Media Empire aspirations.

If you don't like your optical drive that much, they're pretty easy to remove. That would save some weight. There is also a company somewhere on the web that makes kits to replace your old optical drive with a second hard drive... maybe that would be more useful in your case? (no pun intended).

Chrispy
Jan 25, 2007, 12:54 PM
LOL - This is soooo stupid.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
I can't wait to get my "flip-book."

Geeze, just take the optical drive out of the ultra portable!

And then make a really nice, thin add-on drive available.

Agreed!

intlplby
Jan 25, 2007, 12:58 PM
i don't see a reason to go much thinner.... just yet.

the goal should be lighter and lighter.... and if we go thinner we also have to reduce the thickness of the battery.....

although this is something to be pursued eventually, there are bigger fish to fry.

i think one thing that adds unnecessary thickness is the different connectors: RJ45, USB, FW400/800, DVI etc.

i'd like them to adopt maybe industry-wdie standardizations for all these that are smaller and thinner. if they were smaller and thinner we could reduce the space they take up in the machine which would allow for other stuff or more connections (goodbye USB and FW hubs)

The DVI connection is unnecessarily thick.... they could move towards hdmi which would also carry sound too.

could you make the motor have less volume and thickness by rotating the disc at the edges.... i.e. you use the center hole to pull the disc out but the motor becomes a thin periphery and the disc snaps in.... i don't know much about motors but it's a possibility to explore. i assume a motor would have to be thicker if it is center mounted than distributed at the edge of the whole disc....

smaller discs based on Blu-ray

movement towards flash memory as a replacement for optical discs- i would love if 4-8GB flash memory got cheap enough to replace DVDs/CDs... this one isn't happening for a while.

eenu
Jan 25, 2007, 12:59 PM
would be better on the top facia the keyboard sits on or the lid but it is certainly interesting.

Aeolius
Jan 25, 2007, 01:00 PM
So long as they get rid of slot-loading, I'm happy. Slot-loading drives are NOT designed for families with children. Have you ever seen a strawberry iMac with 3 DVDs crammed into the slot-loading drive? ;)

Clive At Five
Jan 25, 2007, 01:01 PM
why do we need cds or dvds anyway? they are an outdated concept. you can easily put the contents of a dvd on a sd card. if software distributors embraced a flash type solution it would eliminate the need for a optical drive all together.

I've been saying this (http://csci.morris.umn.edu/UMMCSciWiki/bin/view/IS1091f03/PaulsBlog#Dec_12_Entry_Keychain_Media_into) for years.

The above link is a blog commentary that I made December 12th 2003. It was for a "ethics and implications of technology" class.

Optical media is barbaric. End of story.

-Clive

briantology
Jan 25, 2007, 01:02 PM
It seems as if some people are getting the idea that Apple would consider applying this design to all of there laptops, but there is no way. This concept is one that should only be applied to an 'ultra-portable' 'tablet' or whatever you wish to call it. It does seem very awkward to shut your lid, flip over your machine, insert disc upside down-like, then reverse the process just to use a CD/DVD. I like the idea of no ODD, but instead including a portable one with the package for those rare instances you need it. One must remember here too that this is Apple, and Apple does not make ugle products; therefore, if there is going to be a 'lid' to the ODD, it will not be visible (or highly concealed with 'make up').

1984
Jan 25, 2007, 01:03 PM
I think Apple is looking to design something similar to this:

Panasonic Toughbook-W5
12.1" 1024x768 XGA anti-glare TFT Active matrix Color LCD
60GB HDD(shock-mounted and removable)
Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) standard
Secure Digital (SD) Card
Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG ntwk. connection 802.11a/b/g
Lithium Ion Battery Pack (10.65V, 5200mAh)
Battery Operation: 8hrs
Wide Area Wireless Solutions : EVDO, HSPDA
3-year limited warranty, parts & labor
1.0/1.8'' x 10.6'' x 8.3''
3.1 lbs

I wonder if Panasonic has a patent on that optical drive placement and design?:cool:


God that looks awful. Please don't do it Apple.

mashinhead
Jan 25, 2007, 01:03 PM
I also think it's a genius idea, but at the same time insanely impractical. Some people say that "it's not that impractical i mean how often do i use my cd drive." that's probably true but all this is for is making it thinner and the converse argument is how much thinner and isn't it pretty thin to begin with. Seriously how thin does it *need* to be. Plus i don't care if you're a mac or pc guy, you're gonna look pretty stupid being the guy in starbux who has to turn his computer over to put in a cd. It will be the ultimate in vanity over function.

1984
Jan 25, 2007, 01:04 PM
I'm still confounded as to why Apple, currently, insists that I carry around an optical drive which is useless to me. It's big, it draws power, and I just want it out of my machine. So, give me the optial drive-less laptop, ASAP.

Because they don't make products for one specific person. Most people still use optical drives. Now maybe they could offer a BTO option to leave out the optical drive.

eenu
Jan 25, 2007, 01:04 PM
I've been saying this (http://csci.morris.umn.edu/UMMCSciWiki/bin/view/IS1091f03/PaulsBlog#Dec_12_Entry_Keychain_Media_into) for years.

The above link is a blog commentary that I made December 12th 2003. It was for a "ethics and implications of technology" class.

Optical media is barbaric. End of story.

-Clive

Really an you get an '80GB Blu Ray SD Card'??? NOPE

So to you sir and to the gent you quoted i whole heartedly disagree!

nagromme
Jan 25, 2007, 01:10 PM
If I see a touchscreen patent from Apple, and the picture shows an eMate, I'm not going to take it TOO seriously :)

I'm as happy as anyone to grasp at "ultrathin MacBook" straws though! Preferrably with 9" widescreen and smaller keys... and a GPU! Make the optical drive external for all I care--or make it snap on the bottom in a chassis that offers extra battery and ports.

1984
Jan 25, 2007, 01:11 PM
I also think it's a genius idea, but at the same time insanely impractical. Some people say that "it's not that impractical i mean how often do i use my cd drive." that's probably true but all this is for is making it thinner and the converse argument is how much thinner and isn't it pretty thin to begin with. Seriously how thin does it *need* to be. Plus i don't care if you're a mac or pc guy, you're gonna look pretty stupid being the guy in starbux who has to turn his computer over to put in a cd. It will be the ultimate in vanity over function.

Yeah, it would make Macs look absolutely ridiculous. I really don't get why there is a "need" for super-thin laptops but if they are going to make one then just leave it out. Presumably it would use NAND RAM instead of a hard drive so why even bother with an optical drive?

briantology
Jan 25, 2007, 01:12 PM
I've been saying this (http://csci.morris.umn.edu/UMMCSciWiki/bin/view/IS1091f03/PaulsBlog#Dec_12_Entry_Keychain_Media_into) for years.

The above link is a blog commentary that I made December 12th 2003. It was for a "ethics and implications of technology" class.

Optical media is barbaric. End of story.

-Clive

There is also the little fact the CDs tend to get dirty and scratch, which is an annoying problem for almost anyone. The switch to a common data storage form, USB, Flash mem., whatever, would be very nice. We would go to BlockBuster and get a new-release on a mini-USB stick... :rolleyes:

dernhelm
Jan 25, 2007, 01:12 PM
Interesting. I can see this working on a tablet computer, but not on a laptop. Seems like the hinge and latch mechanisms would be up for a little too much abuse in the case of a laptop.

And really, I can't see a benefit to turning my system over to put in a new CD. If I'm backing something up, or ripping a bunch of albums, or whatever, you'd be driven near insane.

On a tablet style PC, this might work well, and would help address the weight issue that most tablets suffer from.

Sam0r
Jan 25, 2007, 01:16 PM
A laptop optical drive s wat, 1.2cm thick? I would HATE to use a laptop that thin.

Also, how, exactly are they going to make the macbook thinner by popping it on the bottom? I really can't see how thats going to make it thinner, it'll just be annoying.

evilgEEk
Jan 25, 2007, 01:24 PM
Definitely an interesting idea.

I just don't see this happening to a standard laptop computer. Like others have said, I don't see this in anything but a tablet.

Dale_Nx26
Jan 25, 2007, 01:25 PM
if this was microsoft's idea, you would all shun it. But it's apple, which makes it a good idea. Seriously, this is such a bad idea. How is this convenient? Lift up a 5 lbs notebook, scratch back of lcd when turned over, open then close drive, and flip it over again (not to mention open and close screen), VS. push button, insert disk, push button. If you want to argue, fine. I really want to read how this is a great idea.

steve_hill4
Jan 25, 2007, 01:29 PM
I currently have a 15" MBP and am looking to get a 24" iMac this year. In the future, I want to diversify more and perhaps go Mac Pro with up to 30" display and ultra-portable.

With the ultra-portable, I would possibly be using it for things that did not require an optical drive, but occasionally I may need one, so I would always choose external over an awkward or Fugly™ design. Most using an ultra portable would have a home system, so disc related usage is more likely on that system and want it small and light as possible. Sony's TX series is an ideal size for me, but the optical drive takes up too much space I imagine, so make it external, (possibly included in the box), and the extra space gives us more battery space. That way rather than an ULV processor, you could go for a C2D, but still get 8 hours+ out of the battery.

Clive At Five
Jan 25, 2007, 01:35 PM
Really an you get an '80GB Blu Ray SD Card'??? NOPE

So to you sir and to the gent you quoted i whole heartedly disagree!

If it was all about capacity, we would all be using tape drives. They make 200 GB tapes about the size of a modest power brick. Those are reliable enough, plus not susceptible to scratching. Why don't you use one of those?

Very few people require transportable storage over a few gigs. If you're going to be transporting raw HD movie content for the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended edition), I'll grant you use of your blu-ray technology, but for most uses, (installing software, listening to tunes, watching movies, etc. keychain media is much safer and FASTER than optical media.

-Clive

ziwi
Jan 25, 2007, 01:36 PM
How about dumping optical and getting Scotty to pump out some isolinear chips...;) small, can store a ton of data and just so damn useful - why do we continnually haveto think is circles for storage?

guzhogi
Jan 25, 2007, 01:37 PM
I don't like it on the bottom. Everytime you insert/eject a CD, you have to pick up your laptop. Why not add some of the ports to the back of the laptop and put the ODD on the side as it has been? That sounds easier to do than putting the ODD on the bottom.

excalibur313
Jan 25, 2007, 01:42 PM
I'd rather have a latch that lifts up a section of the keyboard where I can drop in a disk.

That is an excellent idea. The only thing is that a cd i wider than the width of a keyboard right?

QuarterSwede
Jan 25, 2007, 01:43 PM
Also, how, exactly are they going to make the macbook thinner by popping it on the bottom? I really can't see how thats going to make it thinner, it'll just be annoying.
The slot loading mechanism is what makes up most of the bulk of a slot loading optical drive.

iW00t
Jan 25, 2007, 01:48 PM
I really think Apple is making a tablet that doesn't even have a keyboard like usual PeeCee tablets. It'd be just a smaller version of an iMac with a battery basically, and of course a touch display.

For that kind of design such a mount makes sense.

Stridder44
Jan 25, 2007, 01:48 PM
I think Apple is looking to design something similar to this:

Panasonic Toughbook-W5
12.1" 1024x768 XGA anti-glare TFT Active matrix Color LCD
60GB HDD(shock-mounted and removable)
Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) standard
Secure Digital (SD) Card
Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG ntwk. connection 802.11a/b/g
Lithium Ion Battery Pack (10.65V, 5200mAh)
Battery Operation: 8hrs
Wide Area Wireless Solutions : EVDO, HSPDA
3-year limited warranty, parts & labor
1.0/1.8'' x 10.6'' x 8.3''
3.1 lbs

I wonder if Panasonic has a patent on that optical drive placement and design?:cool:

Wow. Yep that's pretty ugly. I agree with the others tho, this seems like a move for something ultra-portable. Personally, I think the whole drive door thing seems like a step backwards. Everything's moving/moved to slot-loading...and having a big old door to open up seems kind of archaic.

briantology
Jan 25, 2007, 01:50 PM
No no, I've got it! Why don't they just pull the ole' Marry Poppins, then they won't have to worry about space at all! :p

CJD2112
Jan 25, 2007, 01:56 PM
I don't necessarily care about smaller laptops, I'm more concerned with improving the overall speed and quality of the notebook. One of the main reasons I refuse to buy a 13" Mac Book is that it's TOO small. I don't want a tiny keyboard and a small screen to limit my work, my 23" monitor is small enough. I think Apple needs to get over this obsession with "small" (see iPod Nano, etc.) and start focusing on quality and speed (and when I mean quality I am referring to the many issues the first batch of Mac Book and Mac Book Pro's encountered). I love Apple, always will, but I don't think mounting an optical drive at the bottom of a notebook in order to make them thinner and smaller is paramount to improving laptop computers. :(

gnasher729
Jan 25, 2007, 01:58 PM
Having said that, I'd rather an ultra thin laptop with an external Firewire 800 drive.

And since many people have an external harddisk drive anyway (even the largest laptop drive isn't quite big enough), why not build an external harddisk with an optical drive included? And maybe a wireless base station with file server capability? (That's because my MacBook is usually on the move somewhere in the house; I would rather have the slow speed of a wireless network compared to Firewire, than the inconvenience of carrying the harddisk around as well, but that's just me. Others will prefer Firewire).

iW00t
Jan 25, 2007, 01:59 PM
I don't necessarily care about smaller laptops, I'm more concerned with improving the overall speed and quality of the notebook. One of the main reasons I refuse to buy a 13" Mac Book is that it's TOO small. I don't want a tiny keyboard and a small screen to limit my work, my 23" monitor is small enough. I think Apple needs to get over this obsession with "small" (see iPod Nano, etc.) and start focusing on quality and speed (and when I mean quality I am referring to the many issues the first batch of Mac Book and Mac Book Pro's encountered). I love Apple, always will, but I don't think mounting an optical drive at the bottom of a notebook in order to make them thinner and smaller is paramount in improving laptop computers. :(

So true.

Those who buy the Rev-A versions of these are going to get shafted in a big way.

JMax1
Jan 25, 2007, 02:01 PM
If this device is on a tablet where the screen flips around to the back, then the optical drive would really be easy access. What would be the bottom of a closed tablet could really be the inside when the screen is flipped around - just lift up the screen to have access to the "bottom" and insert the disk.

My question is if the pressure on the actually computer by the user would interfere with the rotation of the disk?

iPoodOverZune
Jan 25, 2007, 02:02 PM
I dont think it is meant for macbooks (although they have used powerbooks in illustration, but that does not mean that is where apple may intend to put it). It will rather find its way into ultraportables like 9 or 10 inch ones where they cannot put optical slots on one side. and anyway since such ultraportable ones (think iPhone but a little bigger on each dimensions) are meant for handy use, turning them on opposite side like for macbook (like many folks are pointing out here) does not hold any meaning there. therefore, optical slot can be put right on the opposite side of the screen. So this makes me wonder if they will come out with 9-10 inch slate for ultraportable purposes with OS X lite or full version on it with touchsensitive screen !! :)

segfaultdotorg
Jan 25, 2007, 02:02 PM
I have an idea. It's even better than the Jump to Conclusions Mat (http://www.geocities.com/dougsmithtraining/office_space.html).

How about they make an ultraportable with the optical drive an external peripheral, so that you don't have to carry it with you all the time? I'm looking for a sub-3-pound laptop, like the Toshiba Portege I used to have. The 12" PowerBook I now have is 4.6 pounds, and has a similar size display. If it weren't for that pesky optical drive, it'd be thinner and lighter. People who need the optical drive frequently are not in the target market for an ultraportable.

ghall
Jan 25, 2007, 02:04 PM
why do we need cds or dvds anyway? they are an outdated concept. you can easily put the contents of a dvd on a sd card. if software distributors embraced a flash type solution it would eliminate the need for a optical drive all together.

SD Flash cards are too expensive for that kind of use. I bought a 250MB SD card and it was 30 bucks.

if this was microsoft's idea, you would all shun it. But it's apple, which makes it a good idea. Seriously, this is such a bad idea. How is this convenient? Lift up a 5 lbs notebook, scratch back of lcd when turned over, open then close drive, and flip it over again (not to mention open and close screen), VS. push button, insert disk, push button. If you want to argue, fine. I really want to read how this is a great idea.

I think the idea sucks. So your not the only one. But Apple has bee known to apply for patents, then never do anything with them.

dllavaneras
Jan 25, 2007, 02:07 PM
Geeze, just take the optical drive out of the ultra portable!

And then make a really nice, thin add-on drive available.

Exactly. I've used CDs like 5 times in the last year... Pen drives are much better to transfer data

awinn233
Jan 25, 2007, 02:08 PM
I'd rather not have an optical drive at all if it was going to work like that. You could always get an external for the few times you'd need one.

nsayer
Jan 25, 2007, 02:08 PM
Has anyone ever thought to make either the entire keyboard or a portion of it hinge up as a door for an optical drive?

ghall
Jan 25, 2007, 02:10 PM
Has anyone ever thought to make either the entire keyboard or a portion of it hinge up as a door for an optical drive?

Yes, actually the idea was stated at least once in this thread.

Maccus Aurelius
Jan 25, 2007, 02:13 PM
Bleh, this idea isn't particularly attractive. Tablets would be the only ones to really see any benefit, but even still it's much better to load the media on the side, not the bottom. I doubt this will see the light of day, and Apple doesn't always use its patents. A hinged lid seems flimsy to me. It's going to be one of those things that can easily break off in the hands of the "right" user. Apple doesn't have to make an ultraportable WITH an optical drive. UMPC's don't require them, as opticals do little else for that category except suck batteries. An ultraportable macbook can simply be a smaller laptop with all of the necessary ports (USB, FW, mini-DVI-DVI) and be a good stand alone system as it is.

Basically, they can make a laptop without the drive, and provide larger systems like regular MB's and MBP's with them.

p0intblank
Jan 25, 2007, 02:14 PM
This sounds really interesting. I can't wait to see what it turns into.

QuarterSwede
Jan 25, 2007, 02:16 PM
SD Flash cards are too expensive for that kind of use. I bought a 250MB SD card and it was 30 bucks.

Um, you can get 2GB SD cards for $30 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820163158). When did you get yours?

Flash memory is one of those technologies where price decreases while storage increases.

tarkeybear
Jan 25, 2007, 02:26 PM
Although the slot load is elegant, if forces us Mac users to eschew the small size CDs, or business card CDs, since they would never load correctly in a slot loader.
If this access panel allowed me to read these "exotic" optical form factors, I would buy a new laptop.

To be quite honest, I rarely use the optical drive, so closing the lid and flipping it over go gain access to myriad optical form factors would be no skin off my nose!
Key thing is the drive better be high end (DVD or BluRay) to get me to bite.

OdduWon
Jan 25, 2007, 02:28 PM
if apple makes an ultra portable, would it not be of interest to accommodate people who will use it for watching movies? And if so accommodating, to which market? Download or bought disc? This design suggests a push for Download. Will this be the device to drive the Movie store?



new! :apple: cool:apple:

Clive At Five
Jan 25, 2007, 02:29 PM
I dont think it is meant for macbooks (although they have used powerbooks in illustration, but that does not mean that is where apple may intend to put it). It will rather find its way into ultraportables like 9 or 10 inch ones where they cannot put optical slots on one side. and anyway since such ultraportable ones (think iPhone but a little bigger on each dimensions) are meant for handy use, turning them on opposite side like for macbook (like many folks are pointing out here) does not hold any meaning there. therefore, optical slot can be put right on the opposite side of the screen. So this makes me wonder if they will come out with 9-10 inch slate for ultraportable purposes with OS X lite or full version on it with touchsensitive screen !! :)

No no no. This post (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=3288411&postcount=63) will explain to you why an ultra portable does not need this feature. The synopsis: NOT ENOUGH PORTS (to fill the perimeter). Also, placement of the drive has no bearing on the device's thickness. It'll be just as thick placed on the edge as it will if centered.

-Clive

avalys
Jan 25, 2007, 02:29 PM
Although the slot load is elegant, if forces us Mac users to eschew the small size CDs, or business card CDs, since they would never load correctly in a slot loader.
If this access panel allowed me to read these "exotic" optical form factors, I would buy a new laptop.

To be quite honest, I rarely use the optical drive, so closing the lid and flipping it over go gain access to myriad optical form factors would be no skin off my nose!
Key thing is the drive better be high end (DVD or BluRay) to get me to bite.
So, you rarely use optical drives to begin with, but you would buy a new laptop in order to be able to read obscure CD formats that hardly anyone uses anyway?

dllavaneras
Jan 25, 2007, 02:36 PM
So, you rarely use optical drives to begin with, but you would buy a new laptop in order to be able to read obscure CD formats that hardly anyone uses anyway?

Hehe, good point :)

I still think it's an awkward idea

OdduWon
Jan 25, 2007, 02:40 PM
what if apple imbeds a multi touch screen in for the track pad and gives it the ability to scan a DVD and play it from memory :eek:

GodBless
Jan 25, 2007, 02:48 PM
SD Flash cards are too expensive for that kind of use. I bought a 250MB SD card and it was 30 bucks.Yeah but it is a good idea anyway. I want flash USB thumb drives to overtake CDs as the standard but right now it is too expensive--but in the future there is hope. :)

Flash will replace CDs, DVDs and probably HD-DVDs and Blu-ray disks sooner than you might think.

JonHimself
Jan 25, 2007, 02:52 PM
So I'm sitting at home where I've got my MacBook Pro connected to an external 2nd screen, external firewire hard drive, 4-port USB hub, ethernet broadband connection and power cord - and I'm going to have to turn the thing over in order to get to the drive in order to install a new version of <insert software package here>? I can't see this ever being feasible in a laptop. I also can't really see what difference it makes with regards to the physical size of the drive dictating the size of the machine - the laptop can't be any deeper than the size of a CD plus however mm extra it needs, so why can't it just be left on the side or at the front of the machine as it is now - will the difference in engineering really be that much?

I don't know how anyone has called you on this since you posted it, but I don't think that you're getting the point of the ultra-portable laptop. I don't think they would make a UP laptop or tablet with the intention of taking it home and hooking it up to an external monitor, usb hub, firewire drive, etc etc... it strikes me as something that would integrate wirelessly with your home computer... I also doubt that an ultra portable would be built to replace a laptop or home compuer but rather aimed at people who have desktops and need something to take on the road, or to school, or to the local coffee shop... not for someone who needs to run an external monitor and a lot processing power.
Personally, I'd rather have like an iMac and and UP laptop than a mbp that I have hooked up to an external monitor, etc at home.

Paul Turpin
Jan 25, 2007, 03:13 PM
Gosh - I think a lot of you don't quite get this direction things are going in.
Just think of this "tablet" as a larger iPhone/ipod with a bigger screen rather than as a smaller laptop. Perhaps the keyboard part is a red herring. They are considering an optical drive so you can enjoy DVD/cd/bd media on your ipodPhone without having to rip them in first / or so you can rip them in without having to attach to a larger computer. Personally I agree with the whole no drive at all thing up to a point. The iPhone has no drive, nor does the iPod - this thing might not need one either. If you have enough wireless speed, a usb port and maybe an expresscard slot - you could have plenty of I/O and storage options. I enjoyed my apple Duo and used the duo dock when I needed too. In fact just thinking about it makes me pissed that I broke the screen (when I kneeled on it onstage at a show - dammit!).

sishaw
Jan 25, 2007, 03:15 PM
I seriously doubt Apple is going to actually produce a computer you have to turn upside-down to insert or remove a CD. Maybe in a satire in The Onion, but not in real life.

A door on the back of a future rendition of the iPhone to accommodate a memory card and/or user-replaceable battery? Now THAT I'd (barely) believe.

Dagless
Jan 25, 2007, 03:16 PM
Tablet - yes
laptop- no

Good concept but it seems a little awkward for a hinged laptop.

I love how quick n easy it was just using the slot drive on my iMac to rip my whole music collection. Insert > rip > eject. Such a smooth experience.

guzhogi
Jan 25, 2007, 03:16 PM
get rid of this 20th century technology, already!

put OSX on NAND flash memory as well as other applications purchase via the internet (office, creative suite etc.). I have no use for this thing now in my black MacBook. What use will I have have for it in the future? It should be done away with like the 3.5 inch floppy disk!

CinchA few problems with that:

1) Not all software can be gotten from the internet. Some software still needs CDs or DVDs.

2) What about backup? (I know, external hard drives would work, but some may use CD-r or DVD-rs)

3) You might not have a use for ODDs, but other people might.

4) Remember HD-DVD & Blu-Ray?

5) NAND storage is still pretty small compared to hard drives. The biggest amount of NAND I've seen is 8 or 16 GB. Biggest single hard drive I've seen is 750 GB. Huge difference.

I find that a lot of people forget about #3 very often. Why do so many think that if they don't have a use for something, nobody does? Most people might not have a use for a scalpal, but doctors performing surgery do. Same thing here. You might not need a CD player in your computer, but other people do!

In some ways, it would be a good idea if Apple custom designed a computer & software to each specific person, but that's a lot of work, would take a long time, and cost a lot to do. Plus, every time what you need changes, you'll have to get a whole new computer or something.

miniConvert
Jan 25, 2007, 03:20 PM
Sounds fantastic. Best to have a drive than none at all. Who cares where it is!

If it means Apple can make something smaller than my Sony T2XP then more power to them.

nsbio
Jan 25, 2007, 03:21 PM
They should come up with a way to read CD/DVDs "wirelessly", that is, without touching the computer. I can read a book without touching it - why can't a CD-rom read a CD at a distance? :rolleyes: Wouldn't it be nice to be able to watch a DVD movie without actually unwrapping the DVD package ;)

shadowfax
Jan 25, 2007, 03:38 PM
If you watch DVD on your laptop, then you definitely needs to get laid!!!:DSay, you know, I watch DVDs on my laptop + 20 inch ACD... I don't really own a TV, because TV sucks--a bunch of crap, except the Colbert Report and the Daily Show. But it's a minor loss, anyway. The point to this being, I am also married, and I do "get laid." So there! ;)

MrCrowbar
Jan 25, 2007, 03:39 PM
and a homophone

Didn't the trademark homophone for the pink iPhone? :p

briantology
Jan 25, 2007, 03:44 PM
2) What about backup? (I know, external hard drives would work, but some may use CD-r or DVD-rs)



Maybe throw in a discounted .Mac membership?

shadowfax
Jan 25, 2007, 03:49 PM
Maybe throw in a discounted .Mac membership?

Backing up to a tape drive would be faster.

XForge
Jan 25, 2007, 03:51 PM
Electrons don't move too fast. We did calculations in my 2nd physics class showing how an electron at the socket will take something like 3+ days to reach the lamp through a 6 foot cord. Neat stuff.

How is that possible? Electrons move at the speed of light, I thought.

eenu
Jan 25, 2007, 03:54 PM
Backing up to a tape drive would be faster.

Is it me or is .Mac stupidly slow? I'm on a 100mb connection so it isnt my connection.

thehype31
Jan 25, 2007, 04:18 PM
Electrons don't move too fast. We did calculations in my 2nd physics class showing how an electron at the socket will take something like 3+ days to reach the lamp through a 6 foot cord. Neat stuff.

Correct, kinda. The drift velocity of the electrons as a whole will take that long to travel that far, however electrons vibrate back in forth in place at a rapid pace, causing collisions with other electrons, causing the energy to transfer "down the line" at a very rapid pace; hence the light not taking 3 days to turn on. *points to Physics degree on mantle*

Anyways...:p

Krevnik
Jan 25, 2007, 04:29 PM
How is that possible? Electrons move at the speed of light, I thought.

Close to the speed of light... but electricity doesn't mean all your electrons are free-flowing all the time, or traveling in the same direction. With AC, electrons don't travel very far, as the direction of electron flow switches 50-60 times a second.

Even with DC current, electrons can get reattached to atoms, need to be freed again, and so on. The volume of electrons passing point X is the important part about current... not so much how far electron Y travels, especially with AC current.

Bonte
Jan 25, 2007, 04:44 PM
Can't see that working myself. If you want to pop in a CD you have to shut the laptop, turn it over insert disk, turn in back the right way, open the lid, oh balls its the wrong CD....

hm, ok but it would be perfect for a tablet, no? :) :apple:

Rocketman
Jan 25, 2007, 04:45 PM
"In the patent description, Apple addresses the challenges of making laptops even smaller, and how the available area on the perimeter of the computer diminishes as the laptops get thinner."

If you look at the iPhone (Apple Tablet Nano) there are NO ports except the docking port (and the sim card slot).

So if you had an Apple Tablet Not Nano (ATNN) with a CD requirement, the back face makes sense for optical drive placement as the front face is a display with a home button, and the sides, all but one, are free of any ports.

Centering it improves the Center of Gravity (CG).

Rocketman

Hunabku
Jan 25, 2007, 04:47 PM
Forgive me i haven't read all the posts in this thread so i might be redundant when i say - apple will not use this in a laptop that is a decoy to keep attention away from its (potential) application in 2008 for the tablet-esque device. The patent is worded in a fashion to cover that sort of device.

The only reason why i question wether or not it might be useful in the tablet device is that apple is not into disk based access for movies and is promoting the online movie access model.

synth3tik
Jan 25, 2007, 04:51 PM
yeah, I see no issues with having to turn your macbook over everytime you install a disk.


this is stupid:mad:

Tymmz
Jan 25, 2007, 05:06 PM
under the keyboard and the keyboard is hold down by "electric-magnetic-switches" if something like this exists.

the eject button "turns" the magnets off.

sounds good? i don't know.


even if i don't use the drive that often, but i don't want to turn that thing around, too much of a hassle, i guess.

PoonLagoon
Jan 25, 2007, 05:16 PM
Does Apple not realize how inconvenient this is???????

elppa
Jan 25, 2007, 05:25 PM
To answer all those people who question how often they use their optical drive in their laptops:

You'd use it even less if it was on the bottom of the machine!

Like it or not, many people do like to watch DVD's on their computer whilst travelling.

And they don't all live in America and only like films from Disney of Paramount.

I can see this is in the Apple Store now —


Sales Assistant:
It's a fully featured portable and only ½ inch thin

Customer:
Ah, but how do I burn DVDs/CDs?

Sales Assistant:
Easy, with the built in drive.

Customer:
What drive?

Sales Assistant:
The one on the back, here look —

**goes to life up and turn it but can't because of the security loop, customer looks on bewildered**

Sales Assistant: Well trust me, it's there.



Seriously, this would only work on a tablet, and even then it would probably be more elegant to slot load from the top or side.

karlfranz
Jan 25, 2007, 05:35 PM
I would prefer a laptop without any moving parts whatsoever. Not counting electrons, mind you. Hard drive is already bad enough and optical drives make it even worse. Could they eliminate those two, the future laptops would be insanely great!

No moving parts whatsoever? What about the hinge for the display? What about the keys in the keyboard?

:D

oldwatery
Jan 25, 2007, 05:54 PM
Me thinks Apple needs to be spending more time on getting the current products working as advertised rather than wasting time on dumb ideas like this.

Chef Medeski
Jan 25, 2007, 05:56 PM
I don't necessarily care about smaller laptops, I'm more concerned with improving the overall speed and quality of the notebook. One of the main reasons I refuse to buy a 13" Mac Book is that it's TOO small. I don't want a tiny keyboard and a small screen to limit my work, my 23" monitor is small enough. I think Apple needs to get over this obsession with "small" (see iPod Nano, etc.) and start focusing on quality and speed (and when I mean quality I am referring to the many issues the first batch of Mac Book and Mac Book Pro's encountered). I love Apple, always will, but I don't think mounting an optical drive at the bottom of a notebook in order to make them thinner and smaller is paramount to improving laptop computers. :(
What are you thinking off? Intel's fastest mobile processor is in the MacBook Pro. They cant put any faster CPU in there. Maybe a faster graphics card but the heat already is tremendous off this thing. And its not Apple's trend of miniaturizing things, its the consumer trend of wanting smaller things that makes sense. I bought a 12" PB, why? Well because I wanted something to take notes with in class. Anything more than 3-4 pounds, roughly the weight feel of a medium textbook would be bothersome. A heavy textbook is too much and I know that there isnt much out there smaller than a 12" that is usable. So it was perfect. Now, if I'm going to buy another Apple, I doubt its going to be a 5.2 lb. 4.6 was nice, much bigger would start getting bothersome. Plus if I'm going to carry more weight I rather take the 15" for .4 lbs more. Atleast it has a much bigger display. But clearly small is good for many, so I there are few that don't appreciate a small Apple and even fewer than agree with you.

oldwatery
Jan 25, 2007, 06:07 PM
But clearly small is good for many, so I there are few that don't appreciate a small Apple and even fewer than agree with you.

Maybe.
But count me as one who agrees with CJD.
As stated above I think it is way past time that Apple addressed the MB and MBP problems.
If they can't get the full size machines to work properly what chance these minis?
I have returned 3 MBP's so far and have been told that it is the last time.
Either keep it or take a refund.
That really helps me:(

Soisauce001
Jan 25, 2007, 06:08 PM
I think it makes the macbook more complicated.. it makes the optical drive almost in accessible.. Form is taking over the function... I like how apple's design are simple.. THIS IS COMPLICATED!

lomolomo
Jan 25, 2007, 06:09 PM
Apple never uses real design drawing to patent an innovation-remember the multi touch interface? Apple used an old ipod, like here, they used an old titan powerbook.
Where would a back optical drive come in handy?

-A very thin product where you can't integrate a slot in drive
-when a design is a solid piece, with no moving parts such as an ipod or a screen
- when you need to access a discs for music or films

My guess is , Apple is planning a portable device, like a portable TV, small, fin with only a big touch screen(23x13cm) in the front and the possibility to play (maybe record) any sort of CD/DVD

if it's portable and around this size (23x13) a user wouldn't mind turning it to its back to load an optical medium
The size is based on a 12cm CD and the 16:9 Format
These are mere logical conclusion based on design principles and Apples media strategy

Chef Medeski
Jan 25, 2007, 06:18 PM
I really think Apple is making a tablet that doesn't even have a keyboard like usual PeeCee tablets. It'd be just a smaller version of an iMac with a battery basically, and of course a touch display.

For that kind of design such a mount makes sense.
A lot of things point to this. Firstly this patent is only relevant to a computer whose perimeter real estate is small. Look at a PB 12" if you have one. It has the smallest perimeter of any Apple computer in the past 7 years. The ports dont even take up the whole left side. The right side is filled up even less with only the slot loading. There is plenty of room if you want more perephials. If you are getting to the point that you need that perimeter space where the CD slot is in it has to be one of two things: a much smaller computer (useless) or have a lot more ports (what! 5 FIREWIRE. :rolleyes: )

OR.....

Like someone earlier wrote. You would have to take up the perimeter by something entirely knew. Mainly hand rests to hold the computer like a tablet. That takes up tons of perimeter space if its to be comfortably held. Hold your 12" PB one hand over the CD drive and the other at the bottom left hand corner. To comfortably hold it you have to block the CD slot plus a port or two. If you move those ports to the bottom right hand corner. It fits perfectly that is if you remove the CD drive.

So, this seems only useful for a tablet also because thats the only computer that is not always left on its bottom.

Now why a super thin 12/13" Tablet without keyboard makes sense.

1. Apple has some great multi touch technology that would go great for a dynamic keyboard a la the UMPC, the kind that while holding the screen you can type with just with your thumbs.

2. There have been plenty of rumors of a super thin 12/13". Which is hard to do since less than 1" like the current Macbook Pro is very very slim. The only way to go slimmer is to ditch the keyboard and the hinge. Thats really the only way to go thinner, theres only so small components can get.

3. Unlike much talk on how the tablets dont sell. That was the first genertion. Clunky things with no batteries and pen based input. Fingers was the point of a touch screen, who wants to use a pen. Its only slightly more natural than a mouse and useless in normal laptop fashion (keyboard on table, screen tilted up). Its only useful in a slate mode either flat on the ground or cradled in your arms (hands need support to write, trying writing on a peice of paper at an angle like a laptop screen.

But the second of generation of tablets with 4-5 hours battery life. Plus touch screen start to up the ante. When you add the new flexibility with UMPC software and more slates and tablets coming out. You start to get a feeling that there is a resurgence. I used my friends pen based tablet and it still gets me giddy inside to use a pen based UI (its also in french, which freaks me out... but....). Its still very interesting to people and fingers are even more interesting. To play around with a Slate style touch screen like the Safari iTouch from TabletKiosk is a little dream of mine. Fingers on the natural next step for computers and with multi-touch the possibilites are endless. This can really catch people's attention. If its actually usable and has atleast some cool features that dont get old like feel; you will be good to go.

4. iPhone development took forever. Its going to have 3 yrs of development behind it. Apple cant let all that development energy go to waste. And it knows it wont be hard to translate into a 12" tablet, since the only hardware difference would be to make a bigger iPhone. And the tough part software design has already been developed.

5. Axiotron will be a test run for Apple to see whether there is market. They know they can make. It wont be hard. But what worries them the worst is a market. If Axiotron sells out, well then expect to see Apple going.... hey looks like there is a place for this stuff in actuality.

After G
Jan 25, 2007, 06:20 PM
If you've ever opened one of the slot-load laptop drives, they are THIN (I had to so I could get a stuck CD out). I can see Apple removing the top from one of these things and letting you top-load them. I'm all for this if it makes laptops more sturdy and thinner. I'm sure Apple will have a really good implementation of this thing that deals with people's complaints about usability.

excalibur313
Jan 25, 2007, 06:20 PM
Did anyone notice that in the pictures for the patent the hinges look an aweful lot like the old tibooks. How old is this patent exactly?

willybNL
Jan 25, 2007, 06:27 PM
Apple patented a multi-layer thing to replace keybords, with joysticks etc.etc. a while ago (see history here) now they do this:

don't you see the obvious:

- keybord up, cd in, keybord down.
- keybord up, cd out, keybord out, joystick in.
- joystick out, cd in, mixer in: we have a turntable mac
- keybord up, dvd in, piano keybord in: we have a piano mac

man... this is easy working!

(or else "I HAVE INVENTED IT HERE", so i get the patent)

scrambledwonder
Jan 25, 2007, 06:29 PM
This makes perfect sense. . . but only if you've seen Apple's OTHER patent for its laptop levitation system. You see, the laptop always hovers between two and five feet off the ground, allowing constant access to the bottom CD compartment! It's bloody brilliant!!

Shintocam
Jan 25, 2007, 06:35 PM
So I'm sitting at home where I've got my MacBook Pro connected to an external 2nd screen, external firewire hard drive, 4-port USB hub, ethernet broadband connection and power cord - and I'm going to have to turn the thing over in order to get to the drive in order to install a new version of <insert software package here>? I can't see this ever being feasible in a laptop. I also can't really see what difference it makes with regards to the physical size of the drive dictating the size of the machine - the laptop can't be any deeper than the size of a CD plus however mm extra it needs, so why can't it just be left on the side or at the front of the machine as it is now - will the difference in engineering really be that much?

Somewhat off topic....but that reminds me - why the heck doesn't Apple develop a decent (or any for that matter) docking station and forget worrying about where to put the stupid optical drive.

bloodycape
Jan 25, 2007, 06:36 PM
I like the way Panasonic has it on their ultra thin laptops. It works well and keeps the size down, plus it is DL dvd burner.

shawnce
Jan 25, 2007, 06:49 PM
Personally leave the CD/DVD drive out of the "thin" laptop and give us a docking station with drive bays connected via a well hidden connector on the bottom of the laptop and provide firewire and/or eSATA ports so we can hook up a portable drive as needed when on the road.

Really I seldom ever use the CD/DVD drive in my laptops (only for the occasional install) and even more seldom when on the road (except when dropping on the next great thing when at WWDC).

photomaniac
Jan 25, 2007, 07:00 PM
Horrible! Very un-apple like!

However, I see this only being practical on a tablet

cynerjist
Jan 25, 2007, 07:30 PM
i don't see how putting it on the bottom saves space at all.

Grakkle
Jan 25, 2007, 07:35 PM
ehh, i prefer the drives the way they are. i can deal with a laptop being 1 or 2 pounds heavier for an easily accessible drive.

I'd tend to agree, for a normal notebook. I'd be willing to deal with an awkward location if my main concern was that it be ultra-portable, though.

I can't see it being too popular in a normal notebook, but if they could pull off a tablet-type notebook with optical drive, I imagine it could be quite successful.

CTYankee
Jan 25, 2007, 08:08 PM
Once againt:

Patent=you make money

or

Patent=them not making money

Far more often than not its about keeping others from making money than you actually using the idea. There are many organizations that actually do nothing other than buy really good ideas (IP..patents) and then sue people who use them. One such company sued the Blackberry people and made billions. They merely owned the patents and a file cabinet to store them in. They never could and never would use the technology.

eXan
Jan 25, 2007, 08:09 PM
Well, this S@CKS.

I dont want to flip a computer every time I want to insert/take out a disk :mad:

Just leave the drives where they are now. I wont mind a 0.3 cm thicker laptop, but with with the drive at the proper place and easily accessible.

If Apple wants to make an ultra-portable, they should drop the drive out to achieve good results.

EagerDragon
Jan 25, 2007, 08:16 PM
Under is plain dumb. People don't want to stop what they are doing to load a dvd. Makes no sense besides there maybe even more chances of dust and spills getting to the inside of the machine.

Sorry a non-starter.

fixyourthinking
Jan 25, 2007, 08:18 PM
Interesting concept, would work in a tablet style notebook than a laptop used predominantly on a surface.

The iris closing design is particularly stealthy and useful in that regard.

EagerDragon
Jan 25, 2007, 08:24 PM
Good idea but a better idea is to put the Drive on the back of the LCD. Then you only have to shut the lid, not shut the lid and turn the notebook upside down.

OK so it makes the lid thicker. I don't care because the bottom part can be thinner and what matters is the total.

Sounds great but it may make the screen easier to damage as there would be less distance between components inside the lid.

EagerDragon
Jan 25, 2007, 08:34 PM
What I could really use is a docking station. Having wires coming out of the left and right on a laptop is not a clean design. I rather have a dock or a single wire with one head on one end and multiple heads at the other end, and it connect on the back somewhere.
A lot cleaner and only one wire to connect/disconnect.

SiliconAddict
Jan 25, 2007, 09:06 PM
why not have the keyboard pop up an inch or so to insert a disk instead.

shadowfax
Jan 25, 2007, 09:18 PM
why not have the keyboard pop up an inch or so to insert a disk instead.

that would mean even more machinery, I would imagine, than they use for a slot-loader, and it would probably make the keyboard a lot less sturdy than it is now, which would suck. that's one of my favorite things about the macbook, the keyboard feels like it will last awhile, and it's super-easy to clean.

SiliconAddict
Jan 25, 2007, 09:20 PM
What I could really use is a docking station. Having wires coming out of the left and right on a laptop is not a clean design. I rather have a dock or a single wire with one head on one end and multiple heads at the other end, and it connect on the back somewhere.
A lot cleaner and only one wire to connect/disconnect.

Amen for that. My MBP looks like a fracking spider what with all the crap coming out of it. Lets see. On the right side you have my DVI cable, my FW 800 cable for the external HD, FW 400 for my iPod Photo, USB2 for the USB hub that is integrated into my monitor along with the USB plug that powers the cooling pad for the laptop. On the left you have power and audio out to my speakers.

I'm waiting for the day I bend one of the pins on the DVI cable when I'm in a hurry to get out the door.

IMHO apple is retarded for not having a very simple docking port on the bottom of their system with a slick docking station. I'm 100% sure this is a Jobs's neuroticism. :mad:

that would mean even more machinery, I would imagine, than they use for a slot-loader, and it would probably make the keyboard a lot less sturdy than it is now, which would suck. that's one of my favorite things about the macbook, the keyboard feels like it will last awhile, and it's super-easy to clean.

That is a heck of an assumption for someone I'm assuming isn't an engineer.

ywshang
Jan 25, 2007, 09:47 PM
It's more than obvious to me that the only sensible solution toward this problem is switching to smaller size disks. With today's technology, it's too easy. I'm always amazed by the prolonged existence of 5' optical disks, which is incredibly obsolete, often reminding me of those 360KB bulky floppies.

ywshang
Jan 25, 2007, 09:53 PM
that would mean even more machinery, I would imagine, than they use for a slot-loader, and it would probably make the keyboard a lot less sturdy than it is now, which would suck. that's one of my favorite things about the macbook, the keyboard feels like it will last awhile, and it's super-easy to clean.

I'm sure he's right, at least for the more machinery part. After all, if the keyboard pops up an inch for loading, it still has to go back in. I don't see how it can save you any space.

jade
Jan 26, 2007, 12:58 AM
The first thing I thought of was having the cd on the back of the screen. It is already upright anyway...and well if the total package is skinny, no one cares whether the screen is thicker, then you shut the notebook, pull it our, or just fold it down a little.

MacNut
Jan 26, 2007, 01:53 AM
I would think that someone would leave the door open flip the book and rip off the hinge.

(L)
Jan 26, 2007, 02:13 AM
LOL - This is soooo stupid.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
I can't wait to get my "flip-book."

Geeze, just take the optical drive out of the ultra portable!

And then make a really nice, thin add-on drive available.

Yes. The way I use my PB, I never carry around CDs/DVDs anyway. For people like me, it's just not that important to maintain an optical drive within the laptop. I think most users wouldn't mind having a separate optical drive.

But, that presents an interesting point - if putting it on the bottom doesn't make the laptop considerably thicker, people like me that don't mind having the bother of an add-on optical drive wouldn't mind the bother of having it on the bottom, either. Think of it that way, and I think it makes some good sense. Just, like you say, this would be something to do on the smallest model, not anything bigger or stuff for pros that use the drive more often, generally speaking. And even for normal folks, ripping cds to iTunes would be a hellish pain if you had to flip the mac over every disc. That's why I hope this never sees the light of day.

MacFly123
Jan 26, 2007, 03:13 AM
I'm so sorry, I am a HUGE Apple fan, but that is the dumbest idea I have ever heard of. Thats like having to get under your car to fill it with gas or something. If they ever really did that I would be beyond mind boggled. Tell me that near perrfect Apple is joking about this. How could they even consider that?

P.S. One my my favorite things about Apple laptops is the slot loading drives, I think it sets them apart in elegance from all others, I hope they don't move away from that. I mean how much more thin do we need our laptops really???, the other components will keep shrinking in size anyway.

:) I still LOVE you Apple :)

dnedved
Jan 26, 2007, 03:44 AM
With all the other ways to get data on / off the computer:

- firewire
- USB
- ethernet
- airport
- bluetooth

Why do we still need to waste valuable space and battery life spinning little plastic disks around? Flash memory is cheap, getting cheaper by the day, doesn't scratch, and doesn't waste so much space and power.

If you want an optical drive you can always plug in a USB one!

PLEASE apple, make a 12" or smaller laptop without a stupid optical drive built in!!! Tablet preferred, but just a 12" MBPro with extra battery instead of optical would get my credit card out in record time. Or do what Dell was smart enough to do 10 years ago and give us a choice on what we put in that bay!

Chosenbydestiny
Jan 26, 2007, 04:00 AM
Horrible! Very un-apple like!

However, I see this only being practical on a tablet


Indeed, this would be a very comfortabe design for a tablet. I don't feel too comfortable with my disc spinning upside down though... Just my imagination perhaps but it feels like it will skip or have errors because of unnatural positioning.

NewSc2
Jan 26, 2007, 04:27 AM
With all the other ways to get data on / off the computer:

- firewire
- USB
- ethernet
- airport
- bluetooth

Why do we still need to waste valuable space and battery life spinning little plastic disks around? Flash memory is cheap, getting cheaper by the day, doesn't scratch, and doesn't waste so much space and power.

If you want an optical drive you can always plug in a USB one!

PLEASE apple, make a 12" or smaller laptop without a stupid optical drive built in!!! Tablet preferred, but just a 12" MBPro with extra battery instead of optical would get my credit card out in record time. Or do what Dell was smart enough to do 10 years ago and give us a choice on what we put in that bay!

Until Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD's, SACD's, DVD-A's, CD's, CDRWs, and CDR's die, this isn't a legitimate argument. When that happens (if), I will be very happy though :)

dazzer21
Jan 26, 2007, 05:37 AM
Somewhat off topic....but that reminds me - why the heck doesn't Apple develop a decent (or any for that matter) docking station and forget worrying about where to put the stupid optical drive.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the diagram show a Ti Powerbook? By my way of reckoning, the MacBook Pro comparison would appear to be an on-topic opinion (it is, after all, an opinion). And what's more, what percentage of people solely use their laptops without anything plugged into it?

My slant on this is that for a full sized laptop (like the one shown in the diagram), it's a crap idea... but I would agree that for an ultra-portable, it's probably right on the money.

Dazzer21

Warbrain
Jan 26, 2007, 08:18 AM
Personally leave the CD/DVD drive out of the "thin" laptop and give us a docking station with drive bays connected via a well hidden connector on the bottom of the laptop and provide firewire and/or eSATA ports so we can hook up a portable drive as needed when on the road.

Really I seldom ever use the CD/DVD drive in my laptops (only for the occasional install) and even more seldom when on the road (except when dropping on the next great thing when at WWDC).

Are you serious? Do you not know what Apple's mantra is? A computer is shipped to be able to be used right out of the box! To include a dock is to make the computer a cripple and will ultimately make the computer less marketable.

Amen for that. My MBP looks like a fracking spider what with all the crap coming out of it. Lets see. On the right side you have my DVI cable, my FW 800 cable for the external HD, FW 400 for my iPod Photo, USB2 for the USB hub that is integrated into my monitor along with the USB plug that powers the cooling pad for the laptop. On the left you have power and audio out to my speakers.

I'm waiting for the day I bend one of the pins on the DVI cable when I'm in a hurry to get out the door.

IMHO apple is retarded for not having a very simple docking port on the bottom of their system with a slick docking station. I'm 100% sure this is a Jobs's neuroticism. :mad:

That's all your choice. You choose to have all those wires connected. I use my iBook without any wires the vast majority of the time. Apple isn't going to make a computer that caters to you and your brethren, which is probably around 1-3% of all Mac users.

andiwm2003
Jan 26, 2007, 08:22 AM
The first thing I thought of was having the cd on the back of the screen. It is already upright anyway...and well if the total package is skinny, no one cares whether the screen is thicker, then you shut the notebook, pull it our, or just fold it down a little.


yeah, and when the dvd isn't 100% balanced your screen starts shaking from the vibration. great user experience:rolleyes:

Warbrain
Jan 26, 2007, 08:23 AM
yeah, and when the dvd isn't 100% balanced your screen starts shaking from the vibration. great user experience:rolleyes:

Hell, it would happen all the time, especially during burning.

andiwm2003
Jan 26, 2007, 08:25 AM
That's all your choice. You choose to have all those wires connected. I use my iBook without any wires the vast majority of the time. Apple isn't going to make a computer that caters to you and your brethren, which is probably around 1-3% of all Mac users.

i'm not so sure about the 1-3%. i guess 50 % of all mac sales are notebooks. and i guess half of that are desktop replacements. so maybe 25% of all users could use a docking port.

Warbrain
Jan 26, 2007, 08:28 AM
i'm not so sure about the 1-3%. i guess 50 % of all mac sales are notebooks. and i guess half of that are desktop replacements. so maybe 25% of all users could use a docking port.

I still don't think so. If those computers are desktop replacements, how many of them are using an external monitor? Probably less than 1/3 of those that bought a laptop for that manner. And even then, they most likely have all the necessary things to expand their capabilities without a dock.

Shintocam
Jan 26, 2007, 08:33 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the diagram show a Ti Powerbook? By my way of reckoning, the MacBook Pro comparison would appear to be an on-topic opinion (it is, after all, an opinion). And what's more, what percentage of people solely use their laptops without anything plugged into it?

My slant on this is that for a full sized laptop (like the one shown in the diagram), it's a crap idea... but I would agree that for an ultra-portable, it's probably right on the money.

Dazzer21

Dazzer - you misunderstood me - I meant that I was the one who was off topic - not you.....

i'm not so sure about the 1-3%. i guess 50 % of all mac sales are notebooks. and i guess half of that are desktop replacements. so maybe 25% of all users could use a docking port.

I completely agree....I seriously doubt it is 1-3% of users. Now perhaps you could say that only a small percentage of MacBook users may opt for a docking station - but the MacBook Pro is often used by people that don't want to have to buy a notebook AND a desktop. And when it is being used as a desktop replacement, it is plugged into a lot of stuff.

Seriously, how hard would it be for Apple to put a port on the bottom and a nice little port replicator - does not have to be a full docking station. Something very Apple like - cool design that lets you plug everything in and just one cable coming out. Or even simpler - just make the CinemaDisplay into a port replicator. Everything plugs into the Cinema display and when you plug it into your laptop - you are all set to go. Seriously it would not be that hard.

dejo
Jan 26, 2007, 08:57 AM
I like the old TI PB used in the patent image...
What makes you think it's an old Ti PB? Seems fairly generic to me.

Geeze, just take the optical drive out of the ultra portable!
And then make a really nice, thin add-on drive available.
Ultra-portable. Add-on. Isn't that a conflict of terms?

dazzer21
Jan 26, 2007, 09:01 AM
Dazzer - you misunderstood me - I meant that I was the one who was off topic - not you.....

Could have read it either way, but my mistake - sorry about that...

WilliamLondon
Jan 26, 2007, 09:05 AM
LOL - This is soooo stupid.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
I can't wait to get my "flip-book."

Geeze, just take the optical drive out of the ultra portable!

And then make a really nice, thin add-on drive available.

AMEN!

My gawd, why must every device be required to perform every possible task?

Are you serious? Do you not know what Apple's mantra is? A computer is shipped to be able to be used right out of the box! To include a dock is to make the computer a cripple and will ultimately make the computer less marketable.

Not at all - it would make it appropriate for its form factor. Why lug around an optical drive the life of the machine just so you have the option of popping a disk in when you take it out of the box? Either a port replicator or slim external device for those that absolutely need it. For the rest, there's a firewire cable connection to our other machines, there's ethernet to our existing networks, there's this new fangled wireless world out there.

That's my wish.

Warbrain
Jan 26, 2007, 09:16 AM
Not at all - it would make it appropriate for its form factor. Why lug around an optical drive the life of the machine just so you have the option of popping a disk in when you take it out of the box? Either a port replicator or slim external device for those that absolutely need it. For the rest, there's a firewire cable connection to our other machines, there's ethernet to our existing networks, there's this new fangled wireless world out there.

That's my wish.

But again...you're not following the philosophy of Apple. That computer is supposed to be totally usable EVERYWHERE. To not do that is to create something that isn't Apple.

steve_hill4
Jan 26, 2007, 09:18 AM
I don't necessarily care about smaller laptops, I'm more concerned with improving the overall speed and quality of the notebook. [snip]

Well, if we all took that attitude, no progress would be made in the world of technology. "I'm not bothered about an easier to use GUI based machine, I just want a faster DOS, command line offering." Where would we be if we had have listened back then? The GUI may have been slow to take off at first, but eventually few are using machine without it. It's about catering for a market when it becomes worth it, whether it's a small market or potentially large. Sure, sub-notebooks are a small market and tablets are even smaller, but they both show signs of huge potential growth.

Apple would be foolish to completely ignore them just because a lot of their current customers say they're not interested. If they weren't, and they already use Macs, what's the point? They want to sell these to Mac owners who are currently after something smaller, but nothing is there for them, or those who want to use a Mac, but Apple doesn't offer what PC manufacturer X does.

Are you serious? Do you not know what Apple's mantra is? A computer is shipped to be able to be used right out of the box! To include a dock is to make the computer a cripple and will ultimately make the computer less marketable.

Like the PowerBook Duo.

We probably sell PC laptops anything up to 5 to 1 to desktops in our shop these days, and we ain't a small retailer. Maybe even more. Macs sell at more like 2 to 1, but that's MacBooks and MBPs against iMacs. We don't sell that many Mini's or Mac Pros. The reason we sell so many portables across the board these days is more often than not space. If there was a dock option for these, or even one in the box like Sony have previously done, people would use it. I know this, I sure would and I know personally many more people that would too.

Again, things like this are all about niches.

gauriemma
Jan 26, 2007, 09:44 AM
Hmmmm...this might be the single most ridiculous thing I've heard all week. Even worse than the "Cingular is giving away a year and a half of service to anyone who buys an iPhone" story.

BigPrince
Jan 26, 2007, 09:48 AM
With the cheapness of Flash Drives, CD-ROM's maybe going out the door. Instead of totally removing the CD-ROM cause that is not yet reasonably possible to do, they could be phasing them out. Other then burning iLife stuff to DVD's and some installations, although now many of those installations can be found online, by drive sits idle.

WilliamLondon
Jan 26, 2007, 10:10 AM
But again...you're not following the philosophy of Apple. That computer is supposed to be totally usable EVERYWHERE. To not do that is to create something that isn't Apple.

I don't believe that at all. It has to be usable for its *intended* purpose. One argument I see over and over here is that every machine must address every person's needs for every conceivable task - that ludicrous. For my home machine, yes it needs an optical drive - for my laptops (I have two, neither of which are Apple), not so much, and for an ultraportable, not at all.

The requirements for machines to support external media is changing because we have too many other options for getting data onto a machine.

zblaxberg
Jan 26, 2007, 12:11 PM
Can't see that working myself. If you want to pop in a CD you have to shut the laptop, turn it over insert disk, turn in back the right way, open the lid, oh balls its the wrong CD....

yea I don't see how they would fit something like that in there...isn't the goal to make the laptops less bulky?? and what if your MBP fell or was tapped...oops there goes the $500 adobe photoshop install cd all scratched up:eek:

shawnce
Jan 26, 2007, 12:15 PM
But again...you're not following the philosophy of Apple. That computer is supposed to be totally usable EVERYWHERE. To not do that is to create something that isn't Apple. That is an overstatement of Apple's philosophy... it also isn't supported by the feature set of MacBooks, Mac minis, iPods, etc. they are devices targeted as specific markets with a specific subset of feature most appropriate to that market.

morespce54
Jan 26, 2007, 12:52 PM
why do we need cds or dvds anyway? they are an outdated concept. you can easily put the contents of a dvd on a sd card. if software distributors embraced a flash type solution it would eliminate the need for a optical drive all together.

...therefore, eliminate a very usable backup solution... I don't know... I do agree that I don't use the CD/DVD drive that much but for backup purpose (when your HD is 40GB), I still do... :confused:

combatcolin
Jan 26, 2007, 01:01 PM
the picture reminded me of the original sony playstation. :)

Years ago my mates old PS would only play games if turned upside down and a heavy book placed on top to weigh down the CD drive.

That was fun changing game discs over.

Yvan256
Jan 26, 2007, 01:02 PM
But again...you're not following the philosophy of Apple. That computer is supposed to be totally usable EVERYWHERE. To not do that is to create something that isn't Apple.

A DVD-less MacBook would still be usable out of the box, you just need an external drive (USB or FireWire) to install CD/DVD software, read/burn CDs and read/burn DVDs.

I can't burn DVDs with my Mac mini, does it mean it goes against Apple's philosophy? I mean, why do I get iDVD if I can't burn DVDs?

Ultra-portable = drop the damn optical drive already. It's not like you can't access CDs/DVDs, just connect an external unit - there's plenty of those on the market.

Aldyn
Jan 26, 2007, 01:44 PM
omg. i would probably have that door bitched up within a week if i had to close the laptop, turn it over, push an eject button to pop the door open.

uNext
Jan 26, 2007, 02:30 PM
How annoying.

I hope is redefined but then again apple is claiming re-invention a whole lot this days and far from actually REINVENTING something worth the title.

I hope it evolves to something revolutionary-if 1 company can slim down any product is apple.

For now this goes into the "WHAT THE FU(K" section.

janstett
Jan 26, 2007, 05:14 PM
It's an innovative, if unusable, solution. This just bolsters my argument that an ultraportable laptop doesn't even need an optical drive anymore. Just eliminate it completely ala the Thinkpad X60.

If it's needed so rarely that it's on the bottom of the laptop, it really isn't needed much at all, is it, so what's the point of having one at all?

Chef Medeski
Jan 26, 2007, 05:36 PM
It's an innovative, if unusable, solution. This just bolsters my argument that an ultraportable laptop doesn't even need an optical drive anymore. Just eliminate it completely ala the Thinkpad X60.

If it's needed so rarely that it's on the bottom of the laptop, it really isn't needed much at all, is it, so what's the point of having one at all?

I dont use mine much. Maybe once or twice a month. But if I didnt have it those times I would really have been poed. Usually its to burn a file quick off my computer or to upload a CD at school of my friends. Definetly not going to carry an external around, but this owuld be perfect. Very slim device that still has one even though its a bit touch to reach, its ok by me.

bilbo--baggins
Jan 26, 2007, 06:08 PM
My thoughts:

Impractical
Vulnerable to breaking
Why should this allow it to be any thinner than a slot loading mechanism?

This is the kind of thing I'd expect on April fools day.

BigPrince
Jan 26, 2007, 06:16 PM
If it had an 11-13 inch matte screen and they dropped Santa Rose in there, I am buying it. Again, with the FLASH drives being so easily accessable, I no longer need CD-ROM's except for some iLife burning. If you do alot of iLife burning then you probably own your own quicker external drive. This labtop does not have to meet everyones needs. I am sure that when Apple dropped the floppy drive as a standard feature on their computers, people were up in amrs then too.

I think that this is a unique idea that seems a little ugly, but I think if it helps make the small form factor more possible, then I am all for it.

panoz7
Jan 26, 2007, 06:16 PM
My thoughts:
Why should this allow it to be any thinner than a slot loading mechanism?


I don't think thinness is what they were necessarily after. I think they were suggesting that as laptops get smaller the amount of surface area available for ports, latches, and the hinge gets smaller as-well. Placing the optical drive on the bottom would leave a few more inches of space around the perimeter that could be used for ports, the hinge, etc...

waltchan
Jan 26, 2007, 06:27 PM
Stay away from bottom-mounted DVD drives. They tend to wear out and break down faster, because they play discs upside-down. I work in an electronic business and I know.

BigPrince
Jan 26, 2007, 06:36 PM
Do you know the reason for that?

cho
Jan 26, 2007, 08:27 PM
I don't think this bottom-loading CD/DVD drive is a good design.

Here's one scenario that makes this method unsuitable:
Imagine that your laptop is hooked with Firewire cables, USB cables, Magsafe power plug, along with a USB light to illuminate a bookstand that sits to the left of the laptop. That's my computer! Now, when I want to watch a DVD on this laptop, I have to turn the whole laptop upside down with all those wires and contraptions stuck to it (or if not, unplug everything and then flip it over) and then insert the optical disk?

Horrible idea!

I only own one computer (a laptop) which is why along with using it as a work computer, I also use it for music, videos etc. It is my media station.

BigPrince
Jan 26, 2007, 08:41 PM
If you have all that, then why do you need an ultraportable? I think this design is not meant for every computer....


It seems like you all are thinking "OMFG HORRIBLE HORRIBLE I CANT TAKE IT" because you think that every computer will have this. There will still be the "standard" notebook computers with the "standard cd-rom." This is for people that want something thats considered ULTRA PORTABLE, which this design could help facilitate, if you don't like it and give all these reasons about this and that, then you obviously don't need an ultra portable.

Proto Media
Jan 26, 2007, 09:40 PM
Although to picture shows otherwise for purposes of the patent filing, no one said that the optical drive had to be placed on the bottom. What if this was just a general patent with disregard for placement, concentrating more on the actual mechanics used in the drive itself.

There is no reason why I can't see them putting this behind the display, when you need to pop and disk in or out, you just close the lid of your laptop, open the optical drive, swap whatever you need out, and re-open the laptop. Viola, you are ready to rock!

so, I am sure there are some engineers out there, what do you think? Do you think it is feasible to install the optical drive behind the display, maybe make the screen a little thicker and the base a little thinner, so that each piece is even in thickness (as opposed to current laptops which seem to be about 20 - 80. thoughts? Doesn't seem that ridiculous to me after thinking of it in this light.

andrewwong
Jan 26, 2007, 11:11 PM
An under laptop optical drive could work !

You press a button, and four mini air jacks lift up your notebook 1/2" .. just enough for the optical drive on the edge of the notebook to spit your disc or for you to slide the disc in.

The you could pimp your notebook with a custom hack - gangsta style :rolleyes:

WilliamLondon
Jan 27, 2007, 06:33 AM
I don't necessarily care about smaller laptops, I'm more concerned with improving the overall speed and quality of the notebook. One of the main reasons I refuse to buy a 13" Mac Book is that it's TOO small. I don't want a tiny keyboard and a small screen to limit my work, my 23" monitor is small enough. I think Apple needs to get over this obsession with "small" (see iPod Nano, etc.) and start focusing on quality and speed (and when I mean quality I am referring to the many issues the first batch of Mac Book and Mac Book Pro's encountered). I love Apple, always will, but I don't think mounting an optical drive at the bottom of a notebook in order to make them thinner and smaller is paramount to improving laptop computers. :(

I totally disagree. I want an ultraportable from Apple, and I'd rather go smaller and longer battery life than have the optical drive. There are enough laptop variations out there - I've got two. I want one that is super small, lightweight and battery lasts eons. This won't be my primary machine - I've got a desktop, and an ultraportable shouldn't be seen as a desktop replacement. It's for travelling, pure and simple, making it easy to cart around.

I don't know how anyone has called you on this since you posted it, but I don't think that you're getting the point of the ultra-portable laptop. I don't think they would make a UP laptop or tablet with the intention of taking it home and hooking it up to an external monitor, usb hub, firewire drive, etc etc... it strikes me as something that would integrate wirelessly with your home computer... I also doubt that an ultra portable would be built to replace a laptop or home compuer but rather aimed at people who have desktops and need something to take on the road, or to school, or to the local coffee shop... not for someone who needs to run an external monitor and a lot processing power.
Personally, I'd rather have like an iMac and and UP laptop than a mbp that I have hooked up to an external monitor, etc at home.

A-effing-men! Thank you. I don't want an ultraportable machine's features dictated by people that would use it as their only machine and expect it to do everything - it's a second machine, one you travel with, one you cart around. Next thing you know it people are going to be advocating an optical drive on the iPhone, because they want it to do everything, out of the box. Sheesh!

kc0re
Jan 27, 2007, 08:30 AM
I'm not saying that they WOULDN'T design this, because obviously, this is a patent application which means the thought has taken place... it just doesn't seem like a "easy" Apple design.

tshakey
Jan 28, 2007, 01:33 PM
what about NO optical drive, i know i hardly ever use mine, if i wanted an ultraportable, it would be a sacrifice i was willing to make for increased portability.
usb flash drives are so common and have much greater capacity so the optical drive is not essential for every user on each of their computers

shadowfax
Jan 28, 2007, 02:33 PM
usb flash drives are so common and have much greater capacity so the optical drive is not essential for every user on each of their computers
Not to mention they are more easily reusable and a lot faster!

Cobaltplasma
Jan 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
I skimmed over a few pages, sorry if this has already been posted. But what if this patent isn't going to be applied to a traditional laptop? A lot of the nuisance and difficulty that would arise would come if you were actually using this laptop as a normal laptop would be used.

What if it's an application towards a tablet mac, instead?

Discussing real estate of an ultraportable, what if it were one step further and an ultraportable tablet design? Instead of fidgeting with a top/side/front-mounted slot load (or ugh, tray heh), you could just flip it over and pop open the drive to insert another disc media in and continue without missing much, I mean you're holding it like a tablet, anyways.

Apple showed off something pretty impressive with their iPhone's touch interfacing. I wouldn't be surprised if they were looking at replacing a keyboard on a laptop completely and just using a touch-interface for an ultraportable tablet....but alas, where would the CD drive go? Right in the back :)

Just my 2¥-worth of thought heh.

DogCowRPH
Jan 29, 2007, 11:06 AM
I bang and abuse the bottom of my MacBook so much that the failure rate would be 100%.

That AppleCare three year warranty would seem like a tremendous purchase now.

BigPrince
Jan 29, 2007, 11:08 AM
I bang and abuse the bottom of my MacBook so much that the failure rate would be 100%.

That AppleCare three year warranty would seem like a tremendous purchase now.

So you obviously wouldn't be buying this computer...

zblaxberg
Jan 30, 2007, 01:51 PM
I guess it could work in an ultra-portable computer, but in general it seems like a bad idea to have the drive on the bottom like that...

I agree completely. I think this would be a bad move on apples part. I'm waiting to get a MBP before college and if they were to implement this, I would give up on getting a mac laptop.

shadowfax
Jan 30, 2007, 03:35 PM
I agree completely. I think this would be a bad move on apples part. I'm waiting to get a MBP before college and if they were to implement this, I would give up on getting a mac laptop.Eh, even if they did, they will probably never have ONLY "ultraportable" machines. the MBP will probably be slot-load until CDs/DVDs go the way of the dinosaur. You're safe.

BigPrince
Jan 30, 2007, 07:14 PM
Again, lets stress that we DO NOT believe that EVERY Apple notebook computer WILL have this type of drive, so for God's sake calm the **** down people.

typecast.nz
Feb 5, 2007, 06:03 AM
Now perhaps you could say that only a small percentage of MacBook users may opt for a docking station - but the MacBook Pro is often used by people that don't want to have to buy a notebook AND a desktop. And when it is being used as a desktop replacement, it is plugged into a lot of stuff.

Seriously, how hard would it be for Apple to put a port on the bottom and a nice little port replicator - does not have to be a full docking station. Something very Apple like - cool design that lets you plug everything in and just one cable coming out. Or even simpler - just make the CinemaDisplay into a port replicator. Everything plugs into the Cinema display and when you plug it into your laptop - you are all set to go. Seriously it would not be that hard.

i'm all for the ultra portable without optical drive.

every time i plug in at home i have to connect all the cables from my cinema display into my laptop to get all my necessary gadgets going. apple really has to look into sorting out a docking solution - think about that extra hard-drive you'll need to connect everyday to fully appreciate time machine. (although i could do with a bigger ipod!)

optical drives take so much space and drain so much power when in use. more space for a bigger battery would make me much happier or so would a smaller form factor!

i feel it doesn't make sense putting in an optical drive into a laptop anymore until the world decides which next-gen format they want. blue ray/hd-dvd are apparently the last physical media formats, maybe apple should just design the computer of the future today!

i say make the optical drive part of the dock!

blouis79
Feb 21, 2007, 07:43 AM
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20070019374.html
"Abstract: A disk drive media access system opens a media access door to the interior of a disk drive sufficiently for ejection of disk media from the disk drive but insufficiently for manually engaging and removing disk media that is operationally positioned within the disk drive. The disk media is kept substantially laterally stationary during the opening of the media access door. The disk media is moved sufficiently for manually engaging the disk media for removing the disk media from the disk drive."

From this, it seems the idea is:
* a door that opens a little (not like a playstation 1)
* lateral stability of disc when the door opens
* manual removal of disc

Something akin to a cassette tape mechanism perhaps. Means the drive mechanism could be reduced to 3mm or so thick compared to the current 10mm.

Is this for a smaller thinner pocket-sized Mac mini or for an ultraportable????

blouis79
Feb 21, 2007, 07:50 AM
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20070019374.html

From this, it seems the idea is:
* a door that opens a little (not like a playstation 1)
* lateral stability of disc when the door opens
* manual removal of disc

Something akin to a cassette tape mechanism perhaps. Means the drive mechanism could be reduced to 3mm or so thick compared to the current 10mm.

Is this for a smaller thinner pocket-sized Mac mini or for an ultraportable????

PS I'm hoping for an ultraportable the size of a thin paperback - perhaps 10x15x1.5cm with a touch screen and no keyboard. A bit like a stretched out iPhone. Maybe a PSP killer if i takes standard DVDs.