Over/under on iPad hitting a pound or under in next gen or two

Discussion in 'iPad' started by sebseb81, May 17, 2011.

  1. sebseb81 macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pure speculation here, but was wondering if people thought the iPad could get to a pound or under in the next generation or two. I know there is talk about the iPad getting a new (carbonite?) back, but would that be enough to shave off 0.2 pounds? I imagine the batteries and the glass screen make up the greatest portion of the ipad's weight.

    Again, just speculating. I doubt the 0.2 pound difference from the current generation will make much of a difference in real life. But I'm sure the ad team at Apple is salivating at the prospect.
  2. JBG87 macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010
    i think it will stay the same for a while imo

    no one wants it to be as thin as a sheet of paper id think
  3. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    I do.

    But I think it'll take more than two generations to get there.
  4. macingman, May 17, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011

    macingman macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2011
    It would be incredibely hard to use if it was as thin as a piece of paper. I like my gadgets to have some sort of weight to them, it gives some substance and makes it fulfilling to use them.
  5. Born Again macrumors regular

    May 12, 2011
    Better energy optimization could mean smaller battery size

    Smaller battery and less weight - smaller battery smaller beZel

    What do u think?
  6. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    It wouldn't be any harder to handle than a metal clip board. Easier even, because it's smaller. Not saying that tech will get there anytime soon at all, but I think that's a nice form factor.
  7. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    I wouldn't be surprised to see them hit a pound or less I'm two generations. There's constant pressure to make these things lighter and thinner from both usability and marketing perspectives. There will no doubt be advances in power optimization and screen technology, using lighter materials, etc.

    Getting to kindle 3 weight is a different story though. I think that's quite a ways off for ten inch tablets
  8. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Get rid of the Aluminium back will save a bit of weight.

    Changing to a Super AMOLED screen would save a bit of weight also.

    They would be the two major things Apple can do NOW that would make the biggest difference.

    The only bits that are left are the Logic Board CPU/GPU/RAM etc, which is very little. And the batteries which can't change till some new tech comes along, out of the lab and into mass production.
  9. Mac.World macrumors 68000


    Jan 9, 2011
    In front of uranus
    Carbon fiber backing and a slimmer battery pack could get the iPad very close to a pound. Doubt it will get under a pound any time soon though.
  10. rekhyt macrumors 65816

    Jun 20, 2008
    Part of the old MR guard.
    It won't. Unless there are major changes/innovations in the screen and battery technology (Battery technology has been stagnant for quite a while, I've heard. The unibody MacBook Pro batteries don't count though - they just changed the shape while the core battery retained the same properties.), it just won't get any lighter. The screen and the battery are the main parts of the iPad that contribute to its weight.
  11. macingman macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2011
    Yes but do you use the metal clipboard like an iPad as in tapping it, pinching to zoom, and holding it on the bezel. There is a good thin and a point where it is so thin it hurts your hands to hold it for longer than two minutes.
  12. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    This is what the different components weigh, you decide.

    Aluminum back 138g / .3#s
    Battery 148g / .33#s
    LCD 153g / .38#s
    Glass (and frame) 193g / .43#s
    Speaker: 17g / .04#s
    Main board: 21g / .05#s
    Everything else: 27g / .06#s
  13. Janet1 macrumors member

    May 9, 2011
    Outside the Star Wars saga, I'm pretty sure carbonite doesn't exist, at least not yet.

    As far as using carbon fiber? There are bike frames made from carbon fiber. It's lighter weight, but to maintain the strength, the material is somewhat thicker. Even so, carbon fiber can (and does) crack/break. Once a carbon fiber frame is damaged, it can not be repaired and safely ridden.

    High quality carbon fiber is also extremely expensive. I have racing wheels with carbon fiber rims. I only use that wheelset for racing though because aside from the risk of damage, that wheelset costs $1,600, and that's not including the tires. For training and pleasure, I use an aluminum wheelset, which still cost more than the starting price of an iPad, and it's a little heavier, but far more durable. Carbon fiber is also susceptable to UV sun damage, and is considered to have a "finite life" which probably wouldn't be relevant to it's use in an iPad.

    Carbon fiber doesn't have much "give" but also has superior shock absorption, so it might make a fairly suitable replacement, providing it could be produced cheaply and thinly enough.

    There's probably greater potential for weight reduction in the screens and batteries.
  14. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    it would be as hard to hold as... a clipboard.
    you usually hold it buy the bezel, some tap to keep track of line items.
    i know people who use them for hours at a time, with a pencil, flipping pages, standing up, sometimes even walking!
  15. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    The battery accounts for a lot of weight. I think if we see a new chemistry out there then that would possibly signal a big weight change.
  16. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    i believe the battery and aluminum shell account for ~50% of the weight. it's going to take a lot to reduce those significantly.
  17. sebseb81 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Thanks all for your responses on this! It definitely satisfied my speculation habit, just couldn't respond earlier because of lack of Internet access.

    I sympathize with this view, but I think it originates in the fact that we just don't know what it will be like to use an iPad that's thinner and lighter than what the current model offers. For one, the lightest tech we use is usually made out of cheap materials (i.e. plastic, like the Kindle), and thinner items tend to be hard to grip. But will a future iPad that's significantly thinner and lighter feel cheap or hard to hold onto? I don't think Apple would put something out like that.

    Maybe it would help to think about the latest iPod Touch and the MBA in this regard. The fourth gen of the iPod Touch was thought by some to be too thin and too hard to hold onto. I have the latest model, having upgraded from the second generation. At first I had the same impression of the fourth generation, but now that I'm used to it, I find it to be just fine (haven't dropped it yet!). The design of the new iPod Touch is already embedded into the new iPad model, but I can't see the iPad getting that much thinner without it being difficult to use, as you say. (The iPhone, on the other hand, I would hope stays roughly the same in its form factor. I could see thinner models easily falling out of people's hands. Using the iPod Touch as a phone is not that great on the hands - feels sharp when gripped like a phone, and also feels liable to be dropped. Other hand positions on the iPod Touch aren't that bad, though.)

    The MBA on the other hand can get as thin and as light as possible and I don't think it will ever feel cheap or difficult to handle. Granted that it is not a mobile device like the iOS devices, so criteria for judging is quite different.

    Thanks so much for listing these! I suppose you wouldn't know how the aluminum back compares to a back out of LiquidMetal or some other potential material (carbon-fiber?)?

    Thanks for this lengthy post on the carbon fiber option. Not sure what I was thinking when I mentioned carbonite! I was probably trying to remember the name of LiquidMetal, which is another material in the running to replace aluminum on some Apple products (or maybe just the glass back on the iPhone?). I know about the cracks in the carbon fiber frames for bikes... but I imagine any carbon fiber used for an iPad would be under much less stress than a bike! And I don't think sun exposure would be that much of an issue, for the same reason (different products, different uses). Thanks again, though, for your input on the potential benefits and drawbacks of carbon fiber.
  18. 4DThinker macrumors 68020

    Mar 15, 2008
    Eventually it'll be possible to have an tablet that looks like just a plate of glass. Kind of a clipboard without the clip. Apple will go there too, just because they can.
  19. Mac.World macrumors 68000


    Jan 9, 2011
    In front of uranus
    Carbon fiber frames, subframes, rims and bodywork of any quality usually has UV protection coating. The cheap stuff doesn't, and can yellow within months.

    As for cracking, the stress placed on bikes and motorcycle rims/frames is exponentially higher than that of an iPad. However, I imagine that throwing an iPad with a CF back on the ground could crack it. A potential issue.

    Magnesium backing would lighten the weight of the back by 1/3 and be 20-40% stronger, only downside is you don't want it to catch fire!

Share This Page