The Powerbook 12" has been reincarnated, and it is an Alienware

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by coupdetat, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. coupdetat macrumors 6502

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    #1
    For YEARS I've been looking for that perfect PB12 combination of strong processor, fast GPU, lots of ports, and mobility. Although lots of people still use their PB's, these days the G4 processor just isn't up to the task of handling multimedia-heavy webpages. That's why I freaked a little when I saw this!!

    http://gizmodo.com/5442786/alienware-m11x-hands+on-fast-ride-in-a-short-machine

    It's an 11.6" Alienware that seems to embody all of the traits of the PB. In fact, if you turn off the lights on current Alienware models (M15/M17), they look pretty nice and understated. The finish is very nice too, it's a tough rubberized plastic as opposed to the nasty glossy plastics used in most consumer laptops.

    As a replacement for my 12" PB, I've been using a Vaio TZ, but sometimes the power is lacking for number crunching in Matlab or gaming. I'll be very very interested to see what this new Alienware model is like.
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    Under $1000 is pretty good considering the spec. Too bad its so ugly.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #3
    Honestly it doesn't look like anything special to me. LEDs everywhere...woohoo?
     
  4. coupdetat thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    You can turn off the LED's, and the design itself is very simple. It's got a few more contours than the old Powerbook, but the overall shape is similar. Honestly, the current Alienware aesthetic is very close to that of the Powerbook G3 style.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #5
    So I'm curious... since the review you posted, on the other hand, said this:

    Have you seen this notebook in person?

    I'll give it that it has pretty good battery life, and a fairly impressive GPU. But... meh.
     
  6. coupdetat thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I've used the M15 and M17 and they are really clean looking with the LEDs off, and the materials are great. The M11 looks like it's the same design but just scaled down, based on the shots on Gizmodo and Alienware's own website.

    Come on, doesn't anyone else think that the form factor, performance, etc. meets the standards set by the Powerbook G4? It's a really big deal to me that there's finally an ultraportable with a strong dedicated graphics chip and CPU again.

    Right now, I need both a Lenovo T61 and a Vaio TZ to meet my computing needs. I will probably sell both to get the M11 if the reviews are favorable.

    If you guys hate the aesthetics so much, what do you think about this then?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. bamaworks macrumors 6502

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    #7
    So what you're saying is that we should like something that you claim is aesthetically similar a >10 yr old design? Come now, we've grown up since the G3. Will the Alienware desktop version be a Beige Box w/ fifteen neon LEDs? Not to mention the G3 Powerbook is more organic in design w/ a matte finish while the Alienware is far more geometric and a glossy finish with some cheeseball Alien head on it. Only the ultra basic design elements are similar to, of what I already mentioned, a ten year old device.
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #8
    Also, I think the Decepticon logo looks really cool, but I don't want a notebook computer whose lid looks like it, you know?
     
  9. TSE macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Looks like an amazing laptop. Powerful, portable, and great battery life.

    I think it looks decent if you turn off the lights, but I still would prefer a more simplistic design, similar to my HP DM3. :)
     
  10. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #10
    I'd say that these two have not very much in common. Straight lines vs. curved lines, matte vs. glossy finish, etc. Ok yes, they are both black...
     
  11. coupdetat thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Well they're both very understated designs--that's what I was trying to convey. Clearly a 10 year old design will not cut it today, but they share a similar aesthetic. I didn't mean to say that they have the same design features or anything.
     
  12. acurafan macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    that mac and the alienware designs has one thing in common: they're both fugly as hell!!
     
  13. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #13
    If you turn the LEDs off it's even less distinguishable from its competition. You're left with a high-end laptop that runs windows. Forgive me, but Alienware doesn't exactly have a monopoly on that market.
     
  14. coupdetat thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    AFAIK there aren't any laptops (other than the PB 12" that comes to mind) that combine 12" form factor with full-size graphics and processor. That's the appeal. The MBA comes close, but it lacks in battery life, graphics performance, and flexibility, and its footprint is too big.
     
  15. shrimpdesign macrumors 6502a

    shrimpdesign

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    #15
    What really made the 12" PowerBook was OS X, and without that, any Windows laptop is not a true replacement.
     
  16. coupdetat thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    True. Windows 7 is nice, but it's not as easy to use or as reliable as OSX. However, since Apple refuses to fill that niche, other companies will. I went from my PB 12" to the MBA, but sold it after a few months due to the drawbacks and went to a Vaio TZ. I miss OSX, but the hardware on the Vaio makes up for it. Hopefully this new Alienware will further reduce the drawbacks of the Vaio, namely, not enough speed for scientific number crunching.
     
  17. bamaworks macrumors 6502

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    #17
    To speak from the perspective of someone in science field, number crunching is very rarely done on portables. Data entry/collection is generally done on portables while analysis is completed on more powerful, permanent desktop machines be it Mac or PC...
     
  18. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #18
    An ugly notebook running Windows. Awesome!

    12" inch Powerbook this aint. What's the point of this thread?
     
  19. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #19
    Meh... why all the hate? Sure, the design is a little bit... eccentric but it seems to be a fast little laptop, and if it runs OS X fine, it would be a pretty good alternative to the 12" PB!
     
  20. coupdetat thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    The MBA can barely hold out 3 hours doing regular stuff, and there's also the issue of the non-replaceable battery and very slow charge time. In comparison, the CULV powered Alienware is supposed to last 6 1/2 hours. Lots of CULV laptops these days can hit 10+ hours, so 6 1/2 with a beefy graphics card seems doable. Citing the 2 hour gaming figure is pretty meaningless.

    As for the number-crunching issue, I don't run serious routines on my laptop, but I do lots of envelope detection and other signal analysis type work. These are everyday tasks for me that require my Thinkpad, but I would love to be able to consolidate my Vaio and Thinkpad into one. I'm still in college and I work in research part-time, so I just bring my laptop to and from the lab. What the heck do you mean by so-and-so work "typically done" on a portable vs. a desktop?? If there's anything I've learned from science, it's that anything goes, and most labs don't have the luxury of doing everything with the exact right equipment.

    I'm not sure why everyone feels the need to downplay or purposely misunderstand this computer or my posts. Anyways, I think it's badass and it will make my life easier. It will fill the role that the Powerbook left behind. And if it can do that well, I frankly don't care if it doesn't have stylish rounded lines or a fancy fruit logo.

    [Edit] By the way, I'm not the only one who thinks this is a PB 12" successor.
     
  21. Ardoptres macrumors regular

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    #21
    It's so ugly you'd think they made it like that on purpose.
     
  22. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #22
    seems like alienware might be getting on the right track here. we'll see though
     
  23. marksman macrumors 603

    marksman

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    #23
    I think Miles hit it right.

    With the emergence of the netbook market, a 12" laptop makes little sense. It is too big to compete with a quality netbook for portability, and it is to small to compete with a traditional laptop.

    It is in no-mans land and that is why the OP is having a hard time finding viable machines like this. Most people don't want it.

    I certainly understand the desire for dedicate graphics cards in smaller devices. I think laptop and netbook manufacturers overlook this and really should make more machines with such options available.

    However as a form factor, the 12" is like buying a 25" HDTV. Doesn't make a lot of sense.
     
  24. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #24
    My god, they are both rounded squares when they are closed! You may be on to something here.....:rolleyes:

    The inside is just hideous, plus, my biggest pet peeve: OFF CENTER TRACKPAD!!!
     
  25. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #25
    Or on real computers running Linux!
     

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