MacBook mini - UMPC for Apple

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by evopanop, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. evopanop macrumors member

    evopanop

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    #1
    Here's an interesting idea (at least, I think so lol) that just popped into my head a few hours ago while I was taking a shower...

    A UMPC that runs OSX. After looking at information about the Modbook that OWC/Axiotron are coming out with, it got me thinking... Why not take a Sony Vaio UX90 (Japanese version, with the ultra-low voltage 1.2GHz Core Solo, 32GB solid-state HDD, and 1GB of RAM), modify the ROM (not sure how, but I saw that someone posted that this could be possible with some Intel setups) so that OSX can be installed on it, and then all that would be left is to create some sort of a custom housing for this creation. The first idea I've had so far for a custom housing is a large Nintendo DS Lite look-alike design. Of course, on the top of the unit (while closed) you wouldn't see a Nintendo DS Lite logo, you'd see the Apple logo, lol.

    What do you all think? It'd be a great little project, I think, lol. Anyone else have any other ideas to add?
     
  2. grafikat macrumors 6502a

    grafikat

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    Dec 5, 2003
    #2
    Alas, If you do a search for UMPC, you'll see that this is a great dream of mine.

    (Hey, Steve...are you listening???!) Make it under $500 and they will sell (yeah, right!)


    Someone is already running OSX on an Asus R2H UMPC
     
  3. evopanop thread starter macrumors member

    evopanop

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    #3
    Wow, that is just awesome. That gives me even more hope now. Heck, I'll hack up a Sony UX90 myself, if I have to. :)
     
  4. grafikat macrumors 6502a

    grafikat

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    #4
    There are several UPMC sites and blogs out there...you might get some hack tips, too!
    I had hoped to use a Pepperpad, but it won't handle OSX.
     
  5. evopanop thread starter macrumors member

    evopanop

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    #5
    Awesome. I'll definitely be trying this out ASAP. I've just gotta get my hands on a Vaio UX90 now, lol. Mac UMPC, here I come! :)
     
  6. evopanop thread starter macrumors member

    evopanop

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    #6
    What do you think of this quick Photoshop mock-up? :)

    [​IMG]

    I basically just slightly modified a DS Lite, and stuck a UX screen and keyboard on there. Obviously it still has quite a ways to go... but it's a start. :) lol
     
  7. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I wonder how practical OS X on an UMPC would be if Apple made it.

    I would think it might require a bit of work on their part software-wise. OS X Intel has never really needed to deal with extremely low spec systems... the lowest it got was one core solo mac mini. And we all know OS X doesn't like being RAM-deprived.

    It wouldn't be so bad on a 1.2GHz Core Duo ULV, but the TDP is higher (9W) than the Pentium M ULVs (4-7W older models like the 900MHz in one of those aforementioned UMPCs, 3-5W in the more recent ones). A Core Solo ULV would fit in more or less the same envelope, but would be single core 1.2GHz with a lower FSB speed.

    Assuming Apple comes out with a 'light' version of the OS that will be optimized to run on lower-spec mobile hardware such as this, it wouldn't be as much of a problem, but I wonder how much of the typical feature set could be ported over (e.g. iLife functionality etc.)

    Naturally, I feel obligated to point out that whoever runs OS X on existing UMPCs not produced by apple (read: the people in the links) are in direct violation of the Mac OS X license agreement. That's not exactly legal.
     
  8. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #8
    Why do so much work for a product that sells for $500 when Apple can just sell 500 songs on iTunes or a single Mac Mini for way more money?

    Once you get easy ways of making money like Apple does, you won't see them try to be "competitive" in the usual sense of the word anymore.
     
  9. Kane.Elson macrumors regular

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    Jul 27, 2006
    #9
    I was thinking about doing this but it would be a pain in the arse.

    Not only the getting it installed and making it work on low specs but just the fact that osx doesn't have the functionailty to make a ultra portable very useable atm...

    I still hold home for an ultra portable at MWSF ;)
     
  10. evopanop thread starter macrumors member

    evopanop

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    #10
    Thanks for the comments and suggestions, everyone.

    I'm still holding out for an ultra-portable direct from Apple, as well, but until that happens... I'll settle for the next best thing. And, in some ways, possibly even better. You've got to admit, though, that little Sony Vaio UX running Mac OS X sure would be a hot little machine. :p

    Also, even though OS X obviously isn't optimized for such a small screen, I'm sure that at 1024x600 resolution it would look just fine. Given that the sizes of everything are completely adjustable (visually) in OS X, I'm sure that it'll look just fine. :)

    Here is an image of the UX running Windows XP:
    [​IMG]
    There are also several more images, along with an article about the UX at this link.
     
  11. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #11
    And Leopard's Resolution-independence would likely make it easier for them to release an UMPC that is usable on such a small screen (even if it is high-res). Spaces, too.

    Nevertheless, hardware concerns might make us lose some wonderful features... unless Apple manages to create a version so highly optimized for its specific hardware that it runs all the cool eye candy etc. smoothly.
     
  12. evopanop thread starter macrumors member

    evopanop

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    #12
    Excellent points, Silentwave. I'm sure, as well, that Leopard would probably make the usability of such a small screen/resolution that much easier.

    Here is a photochop I just did real quick... Just chopped a capture of my desktop onto the screen of the UX. :)
    [​IMG]
    What do you all think?

    Edit: Keep in mind I photochopped my 1280x1024 screen onto a screen that only displays 1024x600, lol.
     
  13. RichP macrumors 68000

    RichP

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    Motor City
    #13
    If you read that article, they state that OSX runs almost unusably slow on the UMPC platform. We would definitely need an "Apple" solution to have one of these machines (ignoring of course that it would be illegal to run OSX on non-Apple hardware to begin with)
     
  14. evopanop thread starter macrumors member

    evopanop

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    #14
    True, but the Asus R2H is only running a Celeron M ULV running at 900MHz with 768MB or RAM, a 60GB HDD that is only a 4200rpm drive, and the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 with 128MB of shared memory. Plus, the 7" screen on the Asus R2H only runs at a native resolution of 800x480.

    Whereas the UX90 has a Core Solo U1400 ULV running at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, a 32GB Solid State HDD (a lot quicker than a conventional HDD, espcially a 4200rpm drive), and it also has the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 with 128MB of shared memory. Also, the screen size may only be 4.5" but the native resolution is 1024x600.

    Edit: Another bit of interesting information is that, supposedly, in Q3 of this year Intel will be releasing Core 2 Solo ULV processors. Namely the U2200 model, running at 1.2 GHz with 1MB L2 cache and 533MHz front-side bus, and U2100 at 1.06 GHz with 1MB L2 and 533MHz FSB. They are set to replace the current U1500 (1.33GHz) and U1400 (1.2GHz) Core Solo ULV processors. These new Core 2 Solo ULV processors will also support 64-bit processing. The only downside that I see to this is that the new processors will only be sporting 1MB of L2, whereas the previous/current models sported 2MB of L2. It'll be interesting to compare the two side-by-side, as far as performance is concerned, to see if that deficit of 1MB of L2 really makes much of a difference at all.
     
  15. DavoMrMac macrumors 6502

    DavoMrMac

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    #15
    That Sony sure would be nice if it were an Apple made product running OSX without any hacks or PShop work.
     
  16. evopanop thread starter macrumors member

    evopanop

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    #16
    It sure would, my friend. It sure would... :)
     
  17. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #17

    Still, it's single core and Core Solo/Duo still used the same Pentium M microarchitecture, so while it has a 25% clock speed advantage, it's still a low power single core with essentially the same efficiency per clock. The Core 2 will slightly improve this, but again, it'll be significantly slower than even the least powerful intel mac.
     
  18. evopanop thread starter macrumors member

    evopanop

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    #18
    While it may be true that the Core Solo is less powerful than the least powerful Mac, I wouldn't say that it's significantly slower. Let us not forget the Mac mini Core Solo 1.5GHz. The majority of the XBench scores that I've seen for the mini Solo are in the 80's, which is fairly higher than the XBench scores that my Dual 450MHz PowerMac G4 that I'm on right now can post up, and I would say that this machine is far from slow.

    Given a direct comparison between the Asus and the Sony, based purely on specs alone, it leads me to believe that the Sony would be able to run OSX far better than the Asus can. You've got to look at the bigger picture. I don't believe that it's fair to discard the Sony, and possibly all UMPCs in general, just because of the processor alone. Look at everything else that it's packing. I won't relist specs, because they are already in my previous post. Quite a difference between the two as far as hardware is concerned, I'd say. Also, I urge you to look up the benefits of a solid-state HDD.
     
  19. mojohojo macrumors regular

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    Nov 24, 2006
    #19
    is this the modbook?
     
  20. evopanop thread starter macrumors member

    evopanop

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    #20
    I don't believe that it is. It does seem to have a sort of pre-production housing around it, but it's still the Asus R2H. The modbook is going to be based around the MacBook.
     
  21. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

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    Jul 26, 2005
    #21
    The white thing in the video?

    You might want to see this:
    http://homepage.mac.com/peter_green/MMP_MkIII_Tablet/
     
  22. evopanop thread starter macrumors member

    evopanop

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    #22
    Wow, that's crazy. It's also exactly what I was hoping for! Awesome. All of this is just giving me more and more inspiration. :)

    The new OQO Model 02 looks very promising, as well. VIA processors run on X86 code, as well, correct? So if OSX can be made to work on Intel or AMD-powered setups, I'd think it'd be possible to get it working on a machine powered by a VIA processor, too.
     

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