Ultra-Thin iBook or PowerBook

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by riwanami, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. riwanami macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #1
    Recently, there's been a revival of ultra portable laptops in Japan. I know the market for those is pretty small in the U.S, but for those who commute on sardine-packed trains in Tokyo will know that even the 4.6 pound PowerBook 12inch is too heavy to carry around all the time.


    Sony came out with a 1.7 pound notebook last month, and IBM just came out with the ThinkPad X40 in Japan (not a replacement for the X31), and etc. What do you think about the chances that Apple would release such a notebook? Probably comparing it with the competition, the specs would be similar to a 12 inch PowerBook, but with no optical drive (except for HD) and must be smaller, thinner, and weigh less... Maybe they can make it a Tablet design. It would be a great companion to a G5...
     
  2. MoparShaha macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #2
    I see your point of the revival of these ultra-slim notebooks, but I really don't see Apple doing it. Apple prides itself on a complete notebook. Not having the optical drive just kinda sucks. I remember the days of the PowerBook Duo's, and while they were small, they were just inconvenient. Super small notebooks will always be a small, niche market -- perfect for Sony. Also, PDA's are becoming more and more viable as "real" computers. You can pretty much do anything on a PDA that you can do on a laptop, so I think we might just see more powerful PDA's come out, as opposed to smaller laptops.
     
  3. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #3
    Re: Ultra-Thin iBook or PowerBook

    when the original white ibook came out at 4.9 lbs, it was considered a subnotebook weight laptop at the time, but now with a lot of offerings under three and a half pounds from most PC makers, it's about time apple comes up with something that light to cover the ultra light market...the ibook can be made in a thinner form factor and with today's miniaturized technology being more affordable, i think a three and a half pound ibook is in order since the 12 inch powerbook is just a pound more in weight at 4.6 lbs

    i don't know if a professional level powerbook at that low weight would be needed...who needs full on pro features in something so light on a mac platform? it would do well in an ibook, which for a long time, was the lightest apple portable on the scene until the slightly smaller 12 inch powerbook hit the shelves

    ...then what about an ibook at two and a half pounds or lighter?...now that could challenge the sony picturebooks or tosiba libretto laptops but at that weight or under two pounds then starts to cost a lot of money and i couldn't see apple offering an ibook that light for under 1599 usd...basically the price of a professional 12 inch powerbook...i am sure apple can build a machine like a sub two pound ibook, but how many people would buy such a machine?

    it's tough enough that on a good year, macs are only five percent of the market...but i do like a compromise of a smaller ibook which is not too small...shave off a pound or pound and a half and see what happens first

    it could be a huge hit and surprise everybody...the way the ipod has exceeded all expectations
     
  4. slipper macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #4
    who says the small notebook shouldnt have an optical drive? remember the thinkpad 240's?
     
  5. ITR 81 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    #5
    Re: Ultra-Thin iBook or PowerBook

    I could see Apple making Japan or Asian market only subnotbook.
    With Apple Stores in the area this would be easy for them to do as well.

    Then if they become really popular they could always import them to the US and other countries.
     
  6. Icekey macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #6
    It's a really tough choice to make whether there is a market out there for such a thing. It's quite easy to use your FOMA or PHS signals to connect to the net on the trains and stuff, but really, that's only to check your mail what not. That can pretty much be done on a pda, and Apple has so far decided that they won't want to do that. The 2400c was annoying cause you had to connect it everytime you wanted to use an optical drive. I guess nowadays though, firewire is become more main stream so it might make sense to get rid of all the optical drive and just sell a bare, but thin laptop, or one with double the battery. Cause most of us I think would rather have more battery life then a combo drive. People who want to watch DVDs can copy some onto their HDs before leaving on a trip or something.
     
  7. hob macrumors 68020

    hob

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    my ibook is the 4.6lbs one, and I use it for school. It's lighter than any laptop that anyone at school (student or teacher) or anyone outside of school I know uses!! I get ooos and ahhhs everytime I give it to someone to hold!

    But... I would certainly buy a lighter one at the drop of a hat. If they halved the weight it would be lighter than a textbook, and much more conveinient!!

    Hob
     
  8. cubist macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Location:
    Muncie, Indiana
    #8
    Actually, there have been many of these small laptops in Japan for some time. IBM, for example, sold a machine (I think it's called the C110) with all the features of bigger Thinkpads in a 4"x6" package. In another thread, a MR user posted a photo of a Sony Vaio with a 6" diagonal screen. It has a full-travel keyboard.

    For some reason, these things have never been sold in the U.S. and the only way to get one is to have it exported from Japan at very high cost. I guess people think that only Asians appreciate small but powerful things.

    Obviously you can't touch-type on something that small. But I still wouldn't mind a 4"x6" sub-notebook with a multi-shift keyboard, low-power G3 processor, running Mac OS X. Who would want a PDA then?
     
  9. hob macrumors 68020

    hob

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    That could be the next Newton! Apple could buy Psion or something :p
    Hob
     

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