Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Mar 2009 22:13 UTC
Apple The usually already overactive Apple rumour mill has been spinning like crazy the past few days due to rumours about apple possibly entering the netbook market. The rumours are vague and not exactly definitive, but that doesn't mean mulling a possible apple netbook isn't interesting. If the Cupertino company built a netbook, what would it look like?
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12.1?
by darknexus on Tue 10th Mar 2009 22:20 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Personally, I think anything larger than a 10 inch screen is too big for a netbook. It's not only the thickness and weight of the machine that counts, but also the overall dimensions, and to me anything larger than a 10.2 screen would simply make it too big. It would be a pretty small notebook, but not a netbook.

Reply Score: 2

RE: 12.1?
by Delgarde on Tue 10th Mar 2009 22:45 UTC in reply to "12.1?"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

I agree with that - the fundamental concepts of a netbook are that it's cheap, yes, and that it's extremely portable, both small and lightweight.

It's not like there's an exact line to draw, but for me at least, a 12" model seems too much a compromise - too big to really benefit from that easy mobility, and too underpowered compared to other larger machines. That just leaves the advantage of being cheap, and well, we're talking Apple here...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 12.1?
by Kroc on Wed 11th Mar 2009 09:30 UTC in reply to "RE: 12.1?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

The VAIO P is not a cheap netbook--correction, "UMPC". There's a market for expensive netbooks, especially if they do something nobody else does - something Apple always try to do with a new product in a new market.

You can guarantee that *if* Apple enter the Netbook market, they will do something either innovative, or do something that's always been possible (touch screen for example) but just make it actually *usable* for the general public. Touch screen is nice, but XP isn't exactly _designed_ for it, whereas iPhone is!

Reply Score: 1

RE: 12.1?
by galvanash on Tue 10th Mar 2009 23:40 UTC in reply to "12.1?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Personally, I think anything larger than a 10 inch screen is too big for a netbook. It's not only the thickness and weight of the machine that counts, but also the overall dimensions, and to me anything larger than a 10.2 screen would simply make it too big. It would be a pretty small notebook, but not a netbook.


There is of course a limit to how small the bevel can be, but if you had NO bevel at all you could go all the way down to about 10.5 inches in width on a 12 inch/16:9 display - about the same width as current 10 inch netbooks. My bet is they do a 12 inch screen with a VERY small bevel (say 1/8 inch) to keep the form factor close to existing 10 inch netbooks. If they build it out of aluminum (as they do everything else) the case will have more structural integrity and they can probably reduce the bevel significantly.

Hell, Id be happy if they just lifted the screen from the old HP Mini Note 2133 (8.9" 1280x768). Sure its small, but the resolution is drastically better than any of the current netbook offerings.

Regardless, no matter what they do, I would almost guarantee Apple will not use the same panel as everyone else - they will go with a higher resolution panel no matter what the size. Its the resolution that is the problem with the current netbook crop, not the screen size.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: 12.1?
by werpu on Wed 11th Mar 2009 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE: 12.1?"
werpu Member since:
2006-01-18

Well the gigabyte m912 has a much higher resolution as well as a touchscreen...
But if apple already has the perfect netbook, except for the price, the macbook air...
Believe me that thing is what a netbook should be and it is miles better than any netbook in existence!

Anyway, apple has one huge advantage when it enters the netbook market, they are not crippled by Microsofts insane limitations pushed onto the OEMs for getting XP onto netbooks!
So they can bring out a bigger harddisk, and probably a bigger screen, but it will be interesting on what they are going to do not to cut into the sales of the air!

Reply Score: 1

RE: 12.1?
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 11th Mar 2009 00:33 UTC in reply to "12.1?"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

It would be a pretty small notebook, but not a netbook.


That size would also put it in a position to potentially cannibalize sales of the Macbook Air (which I'm sure Apple doesn't want, unless they're planning to kill off the MBA).

And related, but slightly OT: I am hoping that the popularity of netbooks will help drive down the price of "ultraportables" (Thinkpad x-series, etc). I've encountered more and more casual computer users having "What the eff?" reactions when they notice the $2,500 price difference between 2lb and 3lb laptops.

Reply Score: 2

Thinner but with bigger footprint? Was RE[2]: 12.1?
by RavinRay on Wed 11th Mar 2009 01:06 UTC in reply to "RE: 12.1?"
RavinRay Member since:
2005-11-26

"It would be a pretty small notebook, but not a netbook.
That size would also put it in a position to potentially cannibalize sales of the Macbook Air (which I'm sure Apple doesn't want, unless they're planning to kill off the MBA). "
I've got the chance to compare my Ideapad S10 with one of my student's MBA after class. While the MBA certainly is admirably thin, it is wider. So with a forthcoming Mac netbook, which way would Apple go: not so thin but smaller footprint, or thinner but bigger footprint. Lenovo has other Ideapads that fit the latter category, but they're not marketed as netbooks, which the S series is.

Talk is though, that the 2009 generation of netbooks could very well have the 12.1" screen form factor. Lenovo's rumored S20 supposedly will be so, Samsung's NC20 already is, so if the netbook moniker will be successfully applied to this size then a Mac portable with the same dimensions could be called one as well.

Edited 2009-03-11 01:07 UTC

Reply Score: 1

I tried to use some of them and hated it.
by godDLL on Tue 10th Mar 2009 22:24 UTC
godDLL
Member since:
2008-12-11

What would really be neat, is an ARM-based Apple netbook.
A bastard child of the iPod Touch and the MacBook.

I'd buy one. For everyone I know.

Reply Score: 3

itll be...
by helf on Tue 10th Mar 2009 22:32 UTC
helf
Member since:
2005-07-06

Probably thinner than the current crop. Have an aluminum case, multitouch touchpad thats too big and gets in the way *cough* ala macbook pro *cough* (I have one at work, its a PITA). a 4200rpm 80gb hdd - because anything better would hurt the Air -, be limited to 1gb of ram. Period. It'll be a hardware limitation. Because if it could handle more, it'd take even more away from the Air. have the same, lame, 1024x600 resolution LED backlit screen most of the netbooks have. Oh, and a glowing Apple logo on the lid to annoy the people sitting across from you at the cafe.

And be priced at the ever so reasonable price of $899 for the 512mb model with 32gb hdd and 4 cell battery.

Reply Score: 3

OS-X on small displays
by Delgarde on Tue 10th Mar 2009 22:49 UTC
Delgarde
Member since:
2008-08-19

The interesting bit would be the software. The Mac OS X user interface isn't exactly geared towards small displays, which raises the question whether or not Apple has to come up with a special interface of some sort to make Mac OS X better fit for small displays.


Oh, I don't know. There are people out there who have managed to get OS-X installed on netbooks, and while it might not be perfect, it seems to work for them...

Reply Score: 1

RE: OS-X on small displays
by helf on Wed 11th Mar 2009 00:10 UTC in reply to "OS-X on small displays"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

one of my friends runs OSX 10.5.6 on his inspiron mini 9. He LOVES it. the hardware is 100% supported. He showed me some videos of it running (he's in another state) and its super smooth. boots up in about 50 seconds.

His specs :
1.6ghz Atom
2GB ram
16gb ssd
1.3mp cam
5in1 card reader
bt 2.0
wifi G

I'm actually planning on getting one. The only downside is the screen resolution, but I can deal with that. I'm probably going to run OSX on it as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE: OS-X on small displays
by DonMartin65 on Wed 11th Mar 2009 14:18 UTC in reply to "OS-X on small displays"
DonMartin65 Member since:
2008-06-04

The user interface is the finder, the dock and the system wide menu bar. Replacing the former two is a relativly easy operation for Apple.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by yokem55
by yokem55 on Wed 11th Mar 2009 00:00 UTC
yokem55
Member since:
2005-07-06

My bet is that Apple, having gotten hooked on the money that their AT&T revue sharing agreement makes an ARM tablet, basically a larger iphone (maybe an 8" screen?), that AT&T sells at $499 with a $40/month data plan.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by yokem55
by bousozoku on Wed 11th Mar 2009 05:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by yokem55"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

My bet is that Apple, having gotten hooked on the money that their AT&T revue sharing agreement makes an ARM tablet, basically a larger iphone (maybe an 8" screen?), that AT&T sells at $499 with a $40/month data plan.


I would believe a tablet like that would be their choice, but without inbuilt phone support, more like an iPod touch. The operating system would have to be a more typical Mac OS X installation, though still limited.

The trouble is whether the touch screen itself would be too expensive for the whole thing to be available at a reasonable (for Apple or otherwise) price.

Reply Score: 2

v Can we get real?
by jackeebleu on Wed 11th Mar 2009 00:39 UTC
this is what it be like.
by graigsmith on Wed 11th Mar 2009 01:33 UTC
graigsmith
Member since:
2006-04-05

it would be tiny, pointless. pretty, and smooth. and cost more than a high end pc laptop.

Reply Score: 3

It wouldn't matter...
by mrhasbean on Wed 11th Mar 2009 03:00 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

Just to clarify something Thom. The iPhone's OS runs only a single foreground application through an imposed limitation. That doesn't mean it isn't capable of running more, and the iPhone's menu system is just another App, which by the way is not dissimilar to a simplified interface and software management system Apple built years ago called AtEase, which interestingly could prevent the user from running more than one app at a time. So the underlying OS could very well be a candidate for an Apple Netbook, although I think it would be more likely to be a more standard version of OSX with a lot of the iPhone's goodies included. Oh wait, we're already seeing some of that in Snow Leopard - hmmm I wonder what that's all about then?

That said, it really wouldn't matter what specs or features Apple built into a Netbook there would be some people who would love it purely because it carries the logo, and some people who would hate it for the very same reason...

Reply Score: 5

If Cupertino built a netbook...
by alcibiades on Wed 11th Mar 2009 08:46 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

1) It will be locked to an App store, and any attempt to unlock it would be prosecuted under the DMCA, copyright law, the EULA and perhaps the prevention of terrorism legislation.

2) It will be locked to a mobile network, and any attempt to unlock it.....yes, as above...

3) All apps for it, in the App store, will have to meet the provisions of decency and fitness. These provisions will be enforced by a small army of clerks in Bangalore who will be paid the minimum wage. They will play betting games on who can deny the best app submission for the silliest reason.

4) It will play videos which can be bought from the App store, which will be encrypted using some special Apple encryption scheme, and attempts to unlock or hack this....yes, you guessed it, you terrorist!

4) The hardware will have some completely silly unique feature that no-one can use for anything useful. For instance, it may come with wireless recharging of its battery. You will recharge the battery by putting the machine on a special charging plate which only works with this device. This will work rather well, most of the time.

5) The battery will not just be soldered to the machine, it will be welded in. Anyone who needs to change batteries probably is a terrorist.

6) There will be iBooks, which will be made available from a section of the App store. These too will be encrypted in a special Apple encryption....

7) There will be serious heavy duty integration of the hardware and software, for instance, the hinges of the case will have special drivers which will be part of the kernel. This will ensure that the user has a seamless experience.

8) People will object to all this on the grounds that it is DRM encrusted, and we will have two replies. One is, if you don't like it, don't buy it. The other is, marketing is still working on the other. We may say that the underlying kernel is open source, since it is based on Darwin. Or maybe we will say that we are a hardware company after all.

Whatever, whole armies of people will defend us and buy it regardless.

Reply Score: 7

RE: If Cupertino built a netbook...
by Kroc on Wed 11th Mar 2009 09:39 UTC in reply to "If Cupertino built a netbook..."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I don't know whether to mod Funny or Insightful! ;)

Reply Score: 1

Comment by gfx1
by gfx1 on Wed 11th Mar 2009 10:37 UTC
gfx1
Member since:
2006-01-20

The crippled base model will be 1.5 times as expensive as a normal one and the model you want/need at least twice the price of a netbook so 799 euro could be higher though.

Reply Score: 1

PA Semi Team
by Treza on Wed 11th Mar 2009 12:20 UTC
Treza
Member since:
2006-01-11

I wonder what are doing all the CPU design experts that Apple got when they bought PA Semiconductors which created fine and highly efficient PowerPC chips (PA6T core). They are supposed to design ARM-based System On Chip devices.

I'm convinced that Apple is preparing something original, maybe not another x86 netbook (current netbooks are fine hackintoshes), probably more of the kind large-iphone-with-a-keyboard.

Reply Score: 1

RE: PA Semi Team
by werpu on Wed 11th Mar 2009 13:12 UTC in reply to "PA Semi Team"
werpu Member since:
2006-01-18

I wonder what are doing all the CPU design experts that Apple got when they bought PA Semiconductors which created fine and highly efficient PowerPC chips (PA6T core). They are supposed to design ARM-based System On Chip devices.

I'm convinced that Apple is preparing something original, maybe not another x86 netbook (current netbooks are fine hackintoshes), probably more of the kind large-iphone-with-a-keyboard.


They bought it for the iphone period, the iphone is arm based and will be for the forseeable future, not matter what Intel says they are not in the same league with their measly Atoms!

Reply Score: 1

Unfortunately, Thom is still wrong...
by NathanHill on Wed 11th Mar 2009 13:22 UTC
NathanHill
Member since:
2006-10-06

The iPhone and iPod Touch are netbooks, and they completely demolish anything in the market right now. A bigger iPod Touch is simply going to be awesome, especially with some sort of Simple Finder/At Ease feature from good ol' classic Mac OS. An application switcher that allows for basic multitasking.

Of course, I was also intrigued by some of the ARM-based prototypes too, so that might be nice. I just think Apple will probably try to steer clear from a cramped keyboard, since that is the weirdest and lamest feature of netbooks right now.

Reply Score: 0

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The iPhone and iPod Touch are netbooks, and they completely demolish anything in the market right now.

Uh huh, just keep telling yourself that. The iPhone and iPod Touch are very capable devices, but they're not netbooks by any stretch, no matter what Jobs has said.

Reply Score: 4

Here it is...
by stereotype on Wed 11th Mar 2009 14:42 UTC
stereotype
Member since:
2007-04-06
come on, give me my newton^2!
by puenktchen on Wed 11th Mar 2009 15:20 UTC
puenktchen
Member since:
2007-07-27

i'd prefer something like these netbooks:

http://osnews.com/story/21031/ARM_Shows_Prototype_Netbooks
http://osnews.com/story/21075/Want_Touch_Book

osx doesn't need a x86-processor, it does run on arm-processor. even a single arm-core at say 1ghz should be fast enough for the stuff most people do on netbooks. the most taxing stuff are compressed movies and flash-ads. a media-coprocessor aka gpu could help with the movies. opencl might also help. and i'd really like a fanless design with > 10 hours battery life.

ed: changed touch book link to osnews

Edited 2009-03-11 15:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

my view on an Apple netbook
by spinnekopje on Wed 11th Mar 2009 17:14 UTC
spinnekopje
Member since:
2008-11-29

Netbooks are supposed to be portable, but most of them have a short battery life. I hope that if Apple introduces a 'netbook' it will have an impressive battery life.
It should be a device you don't need to switch off anymore and only need to plug in the power cord once every couple of days (typical use).
I think the 1024x600 resolution is fine for such a device and processing power doesn't need to be more than other netbook.
Give it an Apple design and optionally a specific gui and it could convince me to buy one.

Reply Score: 1