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Manufacturers Exploring Intel Atom-Based Designs

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Toshiba Atom-based prototype from PCAuthority

With persistent rumors of some sort of tablet-based Mac, it is interesting to see what other device manufacturers are working on in their labs. Toshiba revealed last week a prototype device which relies on an on-screen keyboard. The device resembles the Ultramobile PCs that never saw mainstream adoption. This prototype, however, uses Intel's new Atom processor, a 64GB Solid state drive and GPS. Toshiba admits that this version of the device is not commercially viable since it is "too small" but they are continuing to explore the technology.

Atom is Intel's new low-power processor line that was formerly known as Silverthorne. Intel hopes these processors will power a new line of mobile internet devices (MIDs). The Atom processor shares the instruction set as the Core 2 Duo so Mac OS X could theoretically run on these new processors unaltered. Intel is expected to be releasing a 1.6GHz dual-core version of its Atom processor on September 21st.

Apple has been rumored to be adopting Intel's Atom processor for "multiple products" in 2008.

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illitrate23

macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2004
571
129
uk
while that design is "too small" i think that anything much bigger is going to be too big to be portable enough - you might just as well have a macbook instead
(that prototype looks like it's heavier than a MacBook Air too!)

I'm not sure there really is a market for these ultra-portables or tablets until they can be very light, very thin and either a folder or extenable screen
 

steve jr.

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2005
330
4
Akron, OH
"Toshiba admits that this version of the device is not commercially viable since it is "too small" but they are continuing to explore the technology."

HAHAHHAHAHAHA. I thought that was the point of mobile devices - small form factor. People are stupid.
 

Apple Ink

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2008
1,918
0
I dont think Apple's interested in this! Its a strange hybrid product that tries to keep its feet in two boats but drowns! Its performance is sub-par and its TDP and power consumption is far too high!
 

Beric

macrumors 68020
Jan 22, 2008
2,148
0
Bay Area
New MBP's please Apple. :D

And that thing is ugly! However, I wouldn't mind seeing a small, full-featured Mac. But as much as looks aren't that important to me, I can't stand that thing! :eek:
 

wizard

macrumors 68040
May 29, 2003
3,854
571
Just how stupid is toshiba?

Really I have to wonder when they call the device "to small". Obviously they don't understand portable. The espcially don't understand Internet device!!

Let's hope Apple understands.

Dave
 

danielwsmithee

macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2005
1,121
402
Toshiba Fools?

It is interesting that Toshiba thinks that UMPCs were not successful because they were "too small." If anything this thing is still too large to be successful. What really killed the UMPC was the crappy software that ran on it that was designed for a mouse and keyboard. Take an OS similar to the iPhone's with more features in ~7-10" form factor and you would have a pretty cool device. I don't know that it would be all that useful, but it would be an awesome toy.
 

punkybadhip

Guest
May 23, 2008
41
0
iPod without needing a computer or iTunes.

iPod in a matte colour.

iPod with copy/paste function.

But noooooooooooooooo!!!! :mad:

Edit: I really contemplating selling my iMac to a second-hand dealer and buying a PS3. As far as I am aware, I can email my friends in Japan. That, and it can double-function as a HD-player.
 

Beric

macrumors 68020
Jan 22, 2008
2,148
0
Bay Area
Really I have to wonder when they call the device "to small". Obviously they don't understand portable. The espcially don't understand Internet device!!

Let's hope Apple understands.

Dave

Exactly. Small is the entire reason you want one of those things!.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,925
1,235
Washington DC
I'm seeing the gap between the iPod Touch and the Macbook Air as the same as the gap between the iMac and the Mac Pro.

Meaning: No matter how much you may WANT a product that fills those 2 gaps, Apple is not interested in providing it.

I think that as the iPod and Air grow more powerful, the reason to fill this gap becomes even less appealing for Apple.

I have ONE loophole exception. If the App Store becomes a big money maker for Apple then they may desire another market to sell to. Imagine a tablet that runs both Mac apps (like iWork) and applications from the App Store. Then, such a device exists mostly to drive software sales. I can see it happening for this reason alone. It's going to have to be something like this, where they get more money for the product after it's bought. Otherwise I don't think Apple cares about something like this.
 

Beric

macrumors 68020
Jan 22, 2008
2,148
0
Bay Area
I have ONE loophole exception. If the App Store becomes a big money maker for Apple then they may desire another market to sell to. Imagine a tablet that runs both Mac apps (like iWork) and applications from the App Store. Then, such a device exists mostly to drive software sales. I can see it happening for this reason alone. It's going to have to be something like this, where they get more money for the product after it's bought. Otherwise I don't think Apple cares about something like this.

I thought Apple said the App store wasn't that profitable for them. That it was like iTunes; simply existing to make people buy their products.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,925
1,235
Washington DC
I thought Apple said the App store wasn't that profitable for them. That it was like iTunes; simply existing to make people buy their products.

A) The store is still quite small, it will surely grow with time so this may change.

B) You can't really trust Apple on statements like these. They don't want the record labels or the software developers to feel cheated, so they will never actually say "we're making a killing!" no matter how well they're doing.

This is why I put that idea last, though. I agree with you and don't think it's a sure thing. But it's the most likely way that I see an Apple tablet coming to fruition.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,346
406
Boston, MA
in order to be successful a device like this would have to be:

much smaller than a EEE-PC
larger than an iphone
have multitouch throughout (like the iphone)
fantastic wifi reception (either wimax or G3)
long battery life
very cheap
integrated in a full OS setup (like the ipod touch with OSX)

i think apple is half way there or even closer. the problem is that device would be an add on to what you have already (e.g. MBP, iphone, mobileme). so this thing would sit in your backpack, your car or on your porch or in your bathroom for occasional surfing, note taking, email and such. not many people would spend 700 bucks for something they can partially replace by an iphone. so the price would have to be less than $400. and there i see the problem.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
1,478
Palookaville
I'm seeing the gap between the iPod Touch and the Macbook Air as the same as the gap between the iMac and the Mac Pro.

Meaning: No matter how much you may WANT a product that fills those 2 gaps, Apple is not interested in providing it.

I think that as the iPod and Air grow more powerful, the reason to fill this gap becomes even less appealing for Apple.

I have ONE loophole exception. If the App Store becomes a big money maker for Apple then they may desire another market to sell to. Imagine a tablet that runs both Mac apps (like iWork) and applications from the App Store. Then, such a device exists mostly to drive software sales. I can see it happening for this reason alone. It's going to have to be something like this, where they get more money for the product after it's bought. Otherwise I don't think Apple cares about something like this.

Good thinking. For certain we know that Apple isn't going to jump into this market with a me-too product. If they do enter it, they'll try to redefine it. But for now, the market for handheld devices that can't be pocketed is a no-man's land. Many bleached bones can be found there.
 

citi

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2006
1,363
508
Simi Valley, CA
iPod without needing a computer or iTunes.

iPod in a matte colour.

iPod with copy/paste function.

But noooooooooooooooo!!!! :mad:

Edit: I really contemplating selling my iMac to a second-hand dealer and buying a PS3. As far as I am aware, I can email my friends in Japan. That, and it can double-function as a HD-player.


you have just became the definition of a "macrumors newbie". Obviously you never deeded a mac in the first place and if you are considering using your ps3 as your commercial browser, good luck. It's decent, but slow rendering.
 

themiracle

macrumors regular
May 7, 2007
116
0
Personally, if Apple made something similar, I would definitely buy it. I was actually looking at getting a UMPC for the longest time, but most places seem to have trailed off in their support(probably because most of their devices were teh suck). I still like the idea, though, and I'm sure Apple could pull it off.
 

punkybadhip

Guest
May 23, 2008
41
0
I thought Apple said the App store wasn't that profitable for them. That it was like iTunes; simply existing to make people buy their products.

Did you believe Apple when they said their new OS is stable and crash free too? :rolleyes:

Their slogan isn't really "Think Different" anymore, they have sold out, and commercialised. Now their slogan is "Money (That's what I want)"

Many a good musicians went down the toilet with that slogan. :(
 

WoFat

macrumors member
May 26, 2008
64
0
Return of the 8 Track?

Toshiba musta got a bulk deal on that warehouse of 8-Track tape deck bezels left over from 1981 after Oldsmobile shut their doors a few years back.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,925
1,235
Washington DC
Their slogan isn't really "Think Different" anymore, they have sold out, and commercialised. Now their slogan is "Money (That's what I want)"

lol

Apple hasn't changed one bit. The only difference between now and then is that there used to be people who thought "Think Different" was more than just an advertising slogan.

Those people have started to wise-up, but they continue to think that it's APPLE that's changed. No...you're just getting wiser, that's all.
 

Beric

macrumors 68020
Jan 22, 2008
2,148
0
Bay Area
Toshiba musta got a bulk deal on that warehouse of 8-Track tape deck bezels left over from 1981 after Oldsmobile shut their doors a few years back.

LOL

Is that thing ugly OR WHAT?!

I am a bit interested about Apple going into the industry, however.
 
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