Apple laptops missing the mark

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Soc7777777, May 20, 2004.

  1. Soc7777777 macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2004
    ok so this is my rant about apple and the ONLY reason i did not buy an apple a month ago when i bought my computer...

    there are two trends in laptop computers now
    1. bigger screen, bigger hard drive, more power
    2. smaller everything, longer battery life

    The first trend is satisfied by apples offerings of the 15" and 17" powerbook and more recently also with the 14" ibook

    The second trend is where apple is missing the mark... it seems that dell and ibm and sony and toshiba and gateway are all producing ultraportable notebooks that do very well (aka ibm x40, dell 300m, toshiba portege r100, sony vio gateway 200 or something like that)

    all those notebooks seem to be in the 2.5lbs - 4lbs and about 1" tall with the lid shut... apple does not have an offering that can comptete with these notebooks in that size range... i think that apple should have added a 1.25 Ghz G4 that was in a much smaller form factor... like a 3lb 12" 1" tall form

    They could even call this the powerbook mini and eventually spin it off into its own devision within apple and put ol stevo in charge of it

    this would appeal to the student and business men who are more worried about mobility than power (which is a large percentage of users)
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Yes they are smaller, but you also have to lug around more crap (drives/docking station) if you need to read a CD/DVD.

    Plus these ultra small PCs are competing with PDAs and PocketPCs.
  3. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
  4. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    first off, don't start your threads in caps, it just annoying

    second this are pretty baseless points,
    all of their smaller notebooks have cd drives and reasonable hard drive sizes. Battery power can be improved but that will probably be solved into the future.

    they work around a great compromise between all of these great features which creates a successful has had a very protable computer for a long time in their 12" models. first with the iBooks' and then last year with the 12" powerbook which I own. An extra pound should not matter to the average consumer. And before you give me the do you know speech, i'm a college student whos sucessfully carried books and my 12" powerbook with me and had no troubles. Maybe its time to quite complaning about a pound and a few ounces.
  5. Soc7777777 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2004

    see thats the thing, you really dont, the only time i have ever used my external cd drive is the first time i use the cd, then i use a program called alcohol 120% (wierd name) to create a cd image and a virtual drive to mount this image, so basicly i NEVER need a cd... all the cds i have are stored on my hard drive in the form of virtual cds... these virtual drives run the program at 200x compared to like 24x that actual drives get... i think this is a much better solution to the size problem... i think eventaully cds will be completely gone and dvds will be used, but only in the form of external, and software will come in the form of like a usb flash drive (this is based on the assumption that the flash drives get lowered enough in price to make this beneficial to the software companies)

    i just know from experience that i hardly ever lug around my external combo drive, it goes with me, but never leaves the laptop bag... its there just incase i need to install someting or view someting
  6. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    All apple laptops are 1" except the iBook. But point taken. I saw sony's new 13.3 inch laptop, and even though the price was a little high (even compared to apple) I was thinking...13 inch PB 13 inch PB 13 inch PB!! And since the iBooks are using much slower CPU/HD etc, they definitely should be half as thin and light as they are now. Your not the only one that wants a thinner-lighter apple laptop...I just dont wanna give the CD-Drive up...
  7. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
    i totally agree. thats the reason why i bought a 12" g4 iBook. though i do think the ultra small untra portables are a lost cause, having no optical drive or modem. Creating a lighter and skinnier notebook with an optical drive and modem would be great!
  8. Soc7777777 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2004
    im thinking maybe its time that you go take a economics class and learn that companies are succesfull by offering what consumers want, and if a consumer wants a 2.99lb computer like i have now (enough consumers), then it becomes smart for the company to produce that product... im not complaining about existing lines, i think they are great, i just think they need an ultraportable offering such as toshibas 2.4 lb r100 or my dell 300m 2.99lb or the new sony which is supposed to get down to 2.2lbs... all im saying is that these computers have a strong demand (hence all the companies offering them) and that apple would be smart to make an offering like that

    so dont tell me my points are baseless, because your logic without merit
  9. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    If I were you I'd have done some research before pulling the market research card out of your hat. The 12"PB's are very difficult to keep on the shelves. Remember, even to this day, the 12"PB is the smallest, lightest full function notebook computer on the market. Only required out-of-the-box peripheral is the power cube, which, in itself, is more portable than any of my PC bricks.

    It's just a matter of physics, you want a DVD burner, Wireless, Full-size keyboard, USB, DVI, FireWire, RJ-45, RJ-11, the 12"PB is as small as anything can get. And the PB has one more port that the fullfunction definition: FireWire.

    I can't wait to see what Apple will do when the 1.5" and 1" drives get affordable :O

    Sure, there is a market for the machines you refer to, and it appears that you are one of them, but it's not as bg as the business travelers who cannot afford to chase external components about.
  10. dopefiend macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2004
    Uh....You are incorrect.

    Go have a look around at laptops on cnet. You will find a few that are smaller than the 12 incher that are full function notebooks.
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you bought the Dell, why are you here?

    You should be orgasmically happy with your thinner, lighter, faster, cheaper purchase.

    Plus it should last you far longer than the years people spend with their Macs. [​IMG]
  12. tamara6 macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2004
    My Pismo's dvd drive went out about a year ago, so I know what it is like to have a portable with no optical drive. I didn't think it was much fun. Either I had to tote my external combo drive along (bleh!) or explain to people that I'd have to take their cd home and load it there. I felt like a fool.

    I'm glad the no optical drive solution works for some people, but for me, the primary reason I bought my new PB was so I'd have a functioning optical drive again.

    Just my point of view.
  13. G4scott macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I have a 12" PowerBook, and I wouldn't trade it for a smaller computer unless it had a DVD burner, FireWire, a 60 gig HD, DVI out, and a full size keyboard. Believe it or not, I actually use my DVD burner on the go! FireWire makes it easy to transfer pictures to my computer, and burn them onto a CD, or make a DVD from them. My 12" PowerBook is my desktop replacement, and I do a bit more than surf the internet and chat online. It's powerful enough for me to do the things I need to do at home and on the road without having to carry a ton of crap with me, or get a second, smaller computer.

    I don't think there are too many super-thin notebooks that can easily serve as desktop replacements. Besides, if I wanted something to take with me to take notes on, store contacts, and things like that, I'd get a PDA. It's much lighter, and syncs better with my main computer.

    You may have your reasons for getting a notebook like that other than the Apple notebooks, but Apple's notebooks lead the way in notebook design and technology. The Aluminum PowerBooks (as well as the iBooks) are amazingly durable, and Apple was the first to bring DVD burners, 17" screens, FireWire, and wireless networking to the world of laptops (just to name a few things...) The ultra-portable notebook market is relatively small, because not many people are looking for an underpowered, de-centralized computer as their main machine. Maybe as a second computer, but there aren't too many. Not many people know how to rip their CD's to their hard drive, and you can only rip so many before it fills up. I have a 40gb HD right now, and it's full to the brim with my video projects, music, and applications.

    Besides, Apple's notebooks aren't really made to compete with the no-optical drive ultra thin portables. They're made to be as thin and light as possible with all the features you would want or need.
  14. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop
  15. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    The 12" PowerBook (my computer) is so small and light anyway that it's hardly a chore to carry round. It's only 4.6 pounds. Yours may only weigh 2-3 pounds but the external drive you carry round must bring the total weight to more than the 12" PB. Its size is limited by the screen limite and the full size keyboard. Sure, it could be ever so slightly thinner but it's hardly what I call a thick notebook. It's got a good price and it does everything you want it to.

    So why doesn't Apple give you a choice? Because they believe that a quality computer requires a certain number of minimum features to be functional, and one of those is a full size keyboard and another is an optical drive. So you won't see any underpowered, ultra-expensive, featureless ultra-notebooks from Apple in the near future.

    My 12" PowerBook is ultra-portable. I take it everywhere with me. And I have the features to go with it.
  16. Soc7777777 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2004

    i think the point your completely misunderstanding, is that i think the current powerbooks are GREAT for what they are meant for... i just think everyone (well a good number) at this website hear a suggestion/criticism of apple and they immediately go into defense mode and start shutting down all suggestions....

    ONCE AGAIN, i NEVER said that the current models need revisions or changes, i'm suggesting an ADDITION... and for those who think that there isnt a market for ultraportables, you are completely wrong, ibm has done AMAZING with their x30s and x40s and dells 300m has done very well also... there is a reason companies are putting reasearch into making their computers as small as possible, and that is because people are buying them (even without the drives)... all im saying is that the addition of a powerbook mini product would bring a new group of people to apple and their far supperior apps and OS... this group of people isnt even looking at apple because their isnt a product to match their needs...

    final note: read my lips, i like the 12" powerbook, but it is the same argument for making an ipod mini, the ipod was a good size for anything you wanted to do, but they offered a smaller version and people ate it up (i know this is a loose comparison, but it still is an interesting point of view)
  17. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    Well after you get done with your basic econ class, why don't you delve into business strategies.

    Your asking apple to adopt a focus strategy and work toward accodomating a very niche market. I goto a large university, most students who buy laptops get regualr sized or clunky pc laptops. People who saw my twelve in powerbook thought it was tiny. Over the course of the year i'd estimate i saw atleast 500 different people with laptops, like out on their desk, at a library or at a coffee shop. ONE , JUST ONE was a 10" sony subportable with the tiny camera. So don't lecture me that students demand these machines which is obviously not as apparent as you imagine. I'm sure some people would like these for easy of travel at work and to sync with a desktop computer but they would not be using them as a primary work machine whereas the average student does.

    also people way feature sets as a whole not typically by themselves as you seem to think which is the point everyone else is making. and consumer demand isn't quite as fickle as you mention. I would have thought that someone buying an ipod mini at 4gb would desire a lower price, but apple can't take enough preorders for that.
  18. Sir_Giggles macrumors 6502a


    Dec 18, 2003
    Yeah, I think it's pretty ghey to have an ultra-light ultra-thin notebook that sacrifices an optical drive, firewire and modem ports. The new IBM x41 is like .7" thin at one point, but loses all functionality that Apple has with their pb laptop line. An extra pound and .2" extra thickness is not going to kill you if it means you have all the functionality that you'd get from your desktop computer.

    Perhaps Apple can somehow shrink their motherboard to the size of a MiniDisc as what Sony has achieved on one of their notebook lines. That would be ultra cool, and could probably shave .3" off the 12" PB and make it 1/2 lb lighter. My only wish for the 12" PB is if they could make it as thin as the 17", that would be perfect.
  19. tamara6 macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2004
    You could be right, Apple might be missing out on a considerable amount of revenue by not making tiny portables that are missing things like optical drives. I guess we'll know they think this market is big enough to go after when they come out with them.

    Personally, I think they should consider a tablet notebook. They are just the sort of cool innovation that Apple should have been the first to introduce. Now they've been around for a couple of years and Apple still hasn't made one. Probably because the market is not just not big enough.

    I'm guessing that right now Apple is more concerned with just getting a G5 into any size/weight powerbook.
  20. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #20 Soc777777's defense, there apparently is a big enough market for IBM and Dell to go after it. :( But I think you are right that the vast majority of ultraportable users are not: students, home users, SOHO users, etc. They are predominantly business or (maybe?) gov't workers who have very heavy travel schedules. For them it absolutely makes sense. And probably the kind of work they do doesn't need an on-the-go optical drive.

    But I think the question is...if Apple made such a thing, would anyone besides Soc buy it? I tend to reject that there are all that many non-business buyers of ultraportables, so I think you have to ask in terms of the biz buyer.

    Would IT departments really give a PB to travelling users, when the rest of the network is PC? Would travellers at companies where the criteria to use Apple on the desktop are actually met be able to live with the ultraport compromise?

    Of course, I personally was drawn to the 12" apples *because* of how Apple worked the compromise. I wanted a small laptop but didn't want any external pieces beyond the power brick (a very nice one at that).

    Personally I think this compromise seems to work much better for Apple's target market, although if they had an additional ultraportable, who knows? Besides which, looking at Apple's mix of desktops to laptops and so on, it seems hard to say they're really not doing this right. My impression is that their ratio is the envy of most of the Windows market....
  21. Soc7777777 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2004
    here is the problem here, most students who bought their computers bought them BEFORE they went to school, and they DO NOT buy new computers every year or the computers you were looking at were ranging from 1-4 years old, and the ultraportable market has just started to take off, you call it a niche market, yet sony makes enough money in it to focuse their research on it... you cannot argue that its too small of a market to worry about when sony and dell and ibm do excellent in the market, AND apple already has like 1.5-3 percent of market share and 5-7 percent of computers in use due to their greater longevity, the thing about apple is once you go apple its impossible go to back to pcs, so why wouldnt apple try to take advantage of a market that they could dominate and get those wealthy students and busnessmen to use the apple ultra portable and maybe buy a powermac to go with it and hold down homebase... but anyway, ultaportables WERE a niche market, but just wait, they are becoming more popular
  22. GiantsFan macrumors member

    May 15, 2004
    san jose OR riverside, Cali
    i'm a student and i love my new 12" pb. i researched other laptops before i decided on the apple. it costs waay more money to configure pc laptops to be thin but with "same" specs as the 12", ie 60 gig drive, built in ethernet, builtin wireless. i also like that macos x is based on unix and i just install the developer package and i can code on it. anyways, some of those thin and mobiles from dell n other companies have bad performance (reading the reviews by ZDnet). Why are you on this forum if you do nothin but hate on apples?
  23. Soc7777777 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2004
    also..... Apples business strategy

    i think apples strategy of attracting students is a great strategy b/c like i said before, once you go apple, you never go back...

    i also think that there should be mabye a first time buyers discount also, or maybe the first time you buy an apple you get the applecare free, or half off or something like that to encourage people to switch...

    also offering more of a slection would help also (although they really do a good job)

    the last thing i would like to say is that i think apple should run a promotion to inform people that the "incompatability of macs" is a myth and that the new apples are compatable in everywhere anyone can think of... to many of my friends when i told them i was thinking of getting an apple said "eww, apples arent compatable with anything and are overpriced"... two myths that apple needs to address...

    finally i would just like to say that garage band would have to be the most fun application to just play with that i have ever used (thank you apple store in MO)

    i just think that too many people in this site (95 percent or so mac users) tend to believe that what they want is what everyone wants... but you are the people who have already switched so something about the laptops attracted you to buy them instead of windows machines... the people who are looking for ultraportables dont look at apple so no apple users are ultraportable fans... so that is why we could poll this site and 99 percent would disagree and say that no one wants an ultraportable...

    eventually i imagine that those mini dvd disks that some dvd camcorders use will be the standard for optical drives (i do not know much about those disks, but i do think that people would want an optical drive it if were that small, me included)

    btw ive used my cdrw/dvd drive 2wice since i bought my computer (2 months)

    apple does a good job, im just giving suggestions
  24. Apple of my eye macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2004
    Fresno, Ca
    Smaller than 12" inches, why?

    As soon as anyone types on the mini-keyboard of one of those "smaller laptops" they soon realize an immense sense of frustration. This post would be peppered with typos if I was using one of those mini keyboards. The 12" is amazing and uses a near full sized keyboard (that fills the entire width of the notebook!)
  25. Soc7777777 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2004


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