Apple's Sub-Notebook

rice_web

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 25, 2001
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0
Minot, North Dakota
From IBM.com:
The new PowerPC 405GPr embedded processor, also based on IBM's 0.18-micron SA-27e copper process technology, offers a new level of performance with planned speeds of 266, 333 and 400 MHz with typical power dissipation of 1.3 watts for the 333 MHz processor. The 405GPr is a pin-compatible upgrade to the highly successful PowerPC 405GP, and incorporates a PCI interface, an SDRAM controller, a 64-bit on-chip CoreConnect bus, a Fast Ethernet controller and other on-chip peripheral support.

The PowerPC 440GP is sampling today at 400MHz and is priced at $75 (10k volume) with production quantities to be available this summer. The 405GPr is sampling today at 266MHz at a price of $33 (10k volume) with production quantities to be available in June.

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This certainly sounds as though it may be the perfect fit for a sub-notebook for Apple. Look at that power usage: 1.3 watts at 333MHz! Along with a smaller screen (10"), no CD-ROM drive, a new Toshiba microdrive at 10GB, and some low power memory, and this could pave the way to ten hour battery life notebooks! The thought of one of these sounds great, even if it would crawl in OS X.
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
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VA
That's a sweet little chip. Apple's original sub notebook, the emate, had a 25MHz chip (ouch!). This would be great, but even as the potential for a PDA processor it could be better.

I'd not bet on seeing anything soon, though.
 
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iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
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1
I wonder how it'd run OSX??

Unless Apple were to make a stripped down OSX to run on it......:D

But I can't seem them doing that when theres G5's to be perfected.....:p
 
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Taft

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Jan 31, 2002
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Stripped down OS X.

Originally posted by iGAV
I wonder how it'd run OSX??

Unless Apple were to make a stripped down OSX to run on it......:D
Unlike Windows, OS X is pretty modular. You can actually alter your OS X box to boot up without a GUI. All you need to do is alter a few initiallization scripts.

So there is no reason Apple couldn't easily write a smaller UI for the device, trim the fat a little by getting rid of utilities and commands not used, and, of course you'd need to alter the kernel to run on the device.

All in all, it wouldn't be all that hard. It really is one of the benifits of OS X.

Matthew
 
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iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
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Just out of interest......

What would be the use for such a chip?? A PDA would be cool and all, but in a laptop/subnotebook, with peoples computing needs becoming every more complex with the increase in DV, audio, pictures etc, would such a machine be a tad underpowered even running down a stripped down OS..... etc.....??

Would anyone have a serious need for something (outside of a PDA) with such a spec processor??

I know I wouldn't, but that doesn't mean nobody else would...... what would be the target market for such machine?? (excluding the PDA)

just curious.....
 
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Mr. Anderson

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Nov 1, 2001
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VA
Originally posted by iGAV

I know I wouldn't, but that doesn't mean nobody else would...... what would be the target market for such machine??
Embedded processors could be used in smart machines, any number of apps. Think about all the things that have computer controled devices, the list is getting larger every day. Some day your toaster will have one, communitcate to your frig via bluetooth that its lonely on the counter and wants to chat, which will make the coffee maker jealous....
 
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iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
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Cheers dukestreet,

I was being really 1D then...... of course, it'd be cool for making things smart, other than just laptop uses....... this is from the me who rattled on about a smart house in another thread....

I'll put it down to a long, long day........
 
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jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
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smart house, or wired house is sooner than you think

i have a friend at toshiba that feeds me info and i from what i know about cisco, i think we can actually see some forms of smart houses before the end of the decade with the concept catching fire in twenty years

it is kind of like the hybrid cars which we first heard about a decade ago, but are now seeing in limited samples now, and will actually be a force in ten years

technology on this scale takes time and it is a little more sophisticated than a speed bump...but for some, the smart house may look like something that will never reach fruition

i am effectively almost two thirds of the way thru my working life and being a techie now, i am sad that i will probably never get to work with large scale satellite networks (which i believe will replace ethernet or fiber) once telecomm cell phones hit the us like it's hit other countries...or i won't get to see quantum computers...and i certainly won't see artificial intelligence
 
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cb911

macrumors 601
Mar 12, 2002
4,122
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BrisVegas, Australia
sounds good. i've never thought or heard about a sub-notebook before! at 400MHz this would be a really SUB-notebook. this sounds more like a good chip to put in a PDA. maybe Apple has a PDA in the works for MWNY.:D
 
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SPG

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Jul 24, 2001
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In the shadow of the Space Needle.
I don't think that subnotebooks are all that great in reality. Start flaming. The price would have to be pretty low to attract anyone, the size would have to be small to make them portable enough, they would have to run some serious apps to make people want them, and they would need to be able to connect to the internet from anywhere.
I don't think that there is a big market for them. The PDA market has tanked, cell phones will be able to cover most of the internet needs and hell even the ipod can carry your entire address book and any computer files you might need so where does the subnotebook really fit? The only thing I could think of is as an iPod with more input options.
 
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rice_web

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 25, 2001
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Minot, North Dakota
I do see your point. A sub-notebook would be a niche within a niche. Apple appeals to very few people as it is, so why saturate its market with buckets of product lines?
 
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Catfish_Man

macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2001
2,579
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Portland, OR
Subnotebooks...

...are occasionally useful, but Transmeta has most of the market locked down. I don't think it would be as succesful as some other things they could introduce.
 
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iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
9,025
1
jefhatfield

Smart houses would be so cool.....

I know that Mitsubishi Electric has some kind of system for smart control, but I have no idea what level it's at, or even how advanced it is!!

It's the way of the future though, you can already buy fridge freezers that have a net connection and can actively detect what is in your fridge and re-order automatically when you run out of stuff.......

As for hybrid fuelled cars, they're not overly popular in the UK, although the city where I went to University has the Peugeot  factory and they produce alot of Electric cars (they look normal but make no noise) and they're incredibly eerie because they are silent.....

In Bristol in the UK they have Gas (Gas not being Petrol in the UK) buses, and that really is strange, something as large as a bus that runs ultra quietly.... you really have to look both ways now before you cross because you literally won't now what's hit you as they thing is so quiet......:p
 
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Mr. Anderson

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Nov 1, 2001
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VA
Re: jefhatfield

Originally posted by iGAV

As for hybrid fuelled cars, they're not overly popular in the UK, although the city where I went to University has the Peugeot  factory and they produce alot of Electric cars (they look normal but make no noise) and they're incredibly eerie because they are silent.....
There is a lot in the works for many different types of vehicles. Ford (I think, I know its one of the big American truck makers) is setting up a system that uses pumps to creat compressed air when breaking (aids in breaking) and when excellerating, uses the compressed air to boost the truck from a stop. It will increase fuel efficiency by a great margine because its the stopping and going that eat gas.

But what will really revolutionize the car industry (and many more) is the development of inexpensive fuel cells. That take water, convert to hydrogen and oxygen, combust and turns back to water. No polution, no expensive fuel. A nice closed system.
 
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jefhatfield

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Jul 9, 2000
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at one time, any laptop under five pounds was a sub notebook, so does the 12 inch ibook at 4.9 pounds qualify?

my opinion says it doesn't when compared to the pcs out there under three and four pounds...now that would be really super cool...an ibook model at 3.9 pounds, 10 inch screen, ultra thin form factor, and smaller hard drive with only sound, 1 usb, 1 firewire, 1 ethernet, and a dialup rj-11 jack

something like that would definitely find a market somewhere
 
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iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
9,025
1
jefhatfield.....

I think an Apple sub-notebook would be a cool idea.... and the specs you suggested would be spot-on...... I think that a sub-notebook and dare I suggest a PDA type thing are 2 things that Apple could add to it's production without overly harming sales of other machines...... as an owner of a TiBook I'd like both an Apple subnote and a PDA device....... :D I don't think we'll see either one soon though!! :(
 
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OSeXy!

macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2002
239
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London (or virtually here)
When the 14" iBook was introduced I wondered if it was because the 12" model was going to mutate into something even smaller... I thought it might take the G3 to its logical conclusion, while the 14" is developed as the portable iMac (with G4s). After all, Steve said 'no PDAs', and not 'no really cool sub(sub) notebooks'. I know a lot of students and professional academics who would snatch up something like that (runs Word and sends e-mails in a very strong, lightweight enclosure with day-long battery power). Well, just have to wait and see.
 
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ewinemiller

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2001
445
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west of Philly
Needs to be full power

My father uses one of the Sony Vaio subnotebooks, 10" screen, 800 mhz PIIIm, firewire, usb, 256meg, 10gig HD, ethernet, wireless ethernet, external DVD or CD. It can run up to 10 hours and only weighs 2.5 lbs! About the only thing it can't do is play quake III at high framerates and edit large videos(without hooking up a firewire drive). It's very nice and if Apple could get something with similiar performance (and price) I'd probably go for the Apple. However if they had to strip down OS X to get it to run reasonably well, as some folks have suggested, and I couldn't do all the things I do on my desktop, it wouldn't be nearly as attractive.
 
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jefhatfield

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Jul 9, 2000
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Originally posted by OSeXy!
When the 14" iBook was introduced I wondered if it was because the 12" model was going to mutate into something even smaller... I thought it might take the G3 to its logical conclusion, while the 14" is developed as the portable iMac (with G4s). After all, Steve said 'no PDAs', and not 'no really cool sub(sub) notebooks'. I know a lot of students and professional academics who would snatch up something like that (runs Word and sends e-mails in a very strong, lightweight enclosure with day-long battery power). Well, just have to wait and see.
i try and follow these threads and apple news elsewhere and talk with macheads, but didn't steve jobs say no pdas for a certain macworld in 2001...he never ruled out pdas forever, did he?

i think the no pdas statement was a way to entice us and keep us guessing right before the release of the ipod and in many ways, the ipod was as shocking and revolutionary as anything apple has made since steve jobs' comeback...the rest of the stuff has been desktops, laptops, a major os, and some freebie software (stuff we would expect from a computer company) but cool nonetheless
 
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Timothy

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2002
473
0
Seattle, WA
PDA

PDA...PDA...PDA...PDA...PDA....PDA...PDA

Oh, and perhaps a ...PDA!

The PDA market has not "tanked" as was stated earlier...it's just that the PDA market has yet to deliver a good PDA. The technology now exists to build extremely useful and powerful PDA's. Palms aren't PDA's, they are electronic rolodexs that cost too much for the level of functionality that they provide.

Once PDA's provide power, large storage, and ease of use, the PDA market will explode.
 
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mcrain

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
1,772
11
Illinois
All this talk of smart cars and smart houses, I just want a smart toilet. Release air freshener when needed, keep the rim clean, wipe my "arse" when I'm done, maybe a bidet feature, a smart flush (bigger when necessary to avoid double flushing.)

All it would need is a couple of embedded powerpc chips and a infrared butt cam.

This sort of speculation is silly as can be.

Apple could easily make almost anything, and make it well, including sub sub zero notebooks, pda, smart farts, whatever, but the question is why?

I wouldn't be interested in making PDA's at this time, not with all the hybrid devices on the market, or soon to be (phone/pdas).

Heck, the iPod is a hybrid device, so why would Apple paint itself and a new product into an already predefined segment?

I'd expect a "new" device to be exactly that, new. Not an apple rehash of something everyone else has already done, even if the apple rehash is "better." (The ipod isn't a rehash, it was the first or one of the first [to my knowledge] hybrid hard-drive mp3 players)
 
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Jackonicko

macrumors newbie
May 10, 2002
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High Key to Hades
A handheld doesn't have to be a PDA (I agree that most existing PDAs are little more than electronic rolodexes). Surely there'd be a market for a firewire based note-book equivalent to iPod, with great natural handwriting recognition. (Using graffiti makes the Palms unuseable for any more than 'single sentence notes'). No diary, no address book, no extraneous bull$hit at all. Just an electronic jotter. iNote? iJotter? iPad?

A device which would take what you scribble, convert it to simple text and then squirt it down the firewire cable into 'iNotes', from where you could export it into an e-mail, or MS word, or Works, or Quark, or Publisher, or whatever. You should also be able to import MS word and simple text documents into 'iNotes' to then be worked on using the device - perhaps as you commute to work on a crowded train. Maybe you could have a facility to draw pictures or graphs on it which would be stored as GIFs, maybe not. Maybe you could have some facility for linking to a phone so that you could send SMS text messages or even eMails, maybe not. Perhaps Bluetooth would help here? Maybe (like the iPod) it could double as a hard drive? Crucially, because nothing like it exists, it would be a powerful reason for buying a Mac rather than a PC, just as the iPod is.

Who'd use it? Journos, secretaries, teachers, doctors, even school kids. (Even my wife, doing the shopping list!). In short anyone who ever has to write a note on a piece of paper, a notebook, or an exercise book and then work with that data on a computer.

It would have to be light, cheap, and portable, yet with a big enough screen and writing area to be useful. Small enough for a big pocket. Like a thin Newton, perhaps, and probably with a separate screen and writing area.

But the key to it would be foolproof natural cursive handwriting recognition.
 
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Gus

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2002
1,078
0
Minnesota
Wait, Wait, Wait

Ok, technically, the eMate was not a sub-notebook. It was a Newton OS-based device that had a keyboard built in. It was in no way a sub-notebook. The first true sub-notebook that Apple made was the PowerBook 2400 ( I know, I know, the Duo was a sub-notebook{at a whopping 25mhz}, but the 2400 was real power) . Ok, that said...

I do wish Apple would make a PDA, but only if they do what everyone else here has said: Don't just make it a dang e-Rolodex. It's gotta do something great in order to be a hit. This post, plus the Blutooth and Inkwell news really make me strt to think that Apple has something up their sleeve.

Time will tell (and Steve):)

Gus
 
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