Apple's previously rumoured 11.6in MacBook Air may be nearing release. Industry moles cited by DigiTimes say that Apple's contract manufacturing partner Quanta will ship up to half a million "11.6in MacBooks" out of its factories by the end of the year. It seems unlikely that Apple would offer an 11.6in version of its plastic- …
an item of desire....
really miss my 12inch G4 - only gave up the ghost as a web surfer on the sofa earlier this year.
Now that would be tempting
The 12" Powerbook was a fantastic little machine - powerful in its day and yet entirely portable. They still get good money on eBay because they are the perfect machine for travelling when you don't need too much grunt.
It might be too much to hope Apple will bring the new machine in at a sane price though.
The obvious problem being of course, that it will probably cost about £700.
£700 would be amazing value, but unlikely
I think that price is unlikely, as Apple's recent conversions have shown less faith in the UK economy than even the most pessimistic of financial pundits. £800-900 would be more likely, to sit between the iPad and the MacBook Pro.
But if they did it would look cracking value compared to a Nokia Booklet 3G or a Vaio X. Because that's the market Apple woudl be gunning for.
And there's no point comparing it to a cheaper notebook, because it would take it apart on build quality, screen, keyboard and trackpad. And Apple has a number of customers prepared to pay a premium for this.
Sounds like a worthy successor to my black 13" Macbook. I want an ipad too though.
Getting more and more comfortable with SAAS in the cloud so grunt not such a biggie any more: form factor, battery life, and ease-of-use much more important.
I swore I wouldn't do Apple - the ipad had promise, but was an anti-climax, so I was safe. Not so with this. It certainly tempting.
If it's done right.
But my rational side *knows* it'll be over-priced, and sporting some fatal weakness on the specification front (usually fixed in V2.0). Given the thermal problems with an air-style form factor in 11" will probably have, I'd say the weakness will be netbook style CPU and GPU, with resulting lack of power. That, and Apples traditional lack of ports or user upgradeability.
Will just have to wait and see, I guess.
"netbook style CPU and GPU"
I really, really don't see them coming out with an Atom w/Intel Integrated Graphics or Ion graphics. IF (and it's a big *IF* IMO) they really do make one of these, I'd expect it to at least have the equivalent of a low end laptop.
Just my opinion, FWIW
Atoms and NetBooks.
I'm a confessed netbook 10 inch form factor advocate.
1. Atoms and like are powerful enough to do a lot of 'every day' stuff. For the average joe I would say this is more often true than not, gaming excluded but who games on something this small?
2. Not having a GPU and a high power chip means you get more battery life.
3. Not having a GPU and a high power chip means you don't have a lot of heat... ouch
4. Or a noisy fan.
This means, you have something you can use untethered FOR HOURS anywhere.
Of course, no one would have a 10-12 inch machine as their SOLE machine, so for more demanding tasks you will have your other.
And honestly, even if you didn't ... what are you actually losing out on? Probably only video games and stuff that demands a lot of grunt like image/video manipulation/rendering.
Apple would do well to make a CHEAP, light 10-12 inch lappie with tons of battery life. Yes, I would trade raw CPU power for battery life and form factor. I will be in the market for another netbook soon, if they do it right, I may be interested.
But a cheap apple is an oxymoron is it not?
I can guarentee it won't have many ports. Apple has been waging war on ports for years. You'll get USB x1, Mini DisplayPort, headphone jack and that's all.
So your safe :)
A low-end laptop for a high-end price?
It won't be a netbook
Apple won't compromise too much on performance. While the original Air wasn't a powerhouse, the CPU was at least custom made by Intel for the Air.
Apple using Intel is a big thing for Intel and so they're keen to help Apple when designing an ultra portable with rather challenging size constraints.
They won't do a 'netbook' simply because netbooks are cheap and poor quality on the whole and Jobs has maligned them in the past.
Gracias el reg
for keeping up with mac news despite all the "fanboi" related snidery.
I thought Jobs had declared the netbook form factor unfit? If he was describing the typical netbook performance (which is really more of an issue with the Atom processor than the form factor) then I can't say I really disagree.
I find this rumor to be a little unbelievable based on Apple's (Job's) previous position, but this could be another about-face... an issue of "unfit" until Jobs deems it fit and, to their credit, does it better as they did with the iPad vs. UMPCs and tablets.
Maybe they're finally reacting to the Hackintosh crowd, who have gone through hell to try and get OSX working on the more portable form factor.
Apple fans want a small Mac laptop
There are a lot of people out there who loved the old 12 inch powerbooks and have been waiting for a long time for a modern replacement.
The 12 inch powerbook was full blown laptop in terms of mac specifications. It just had a smaller screen and dimensions.
"I thought Jobs had declared the netbook form factor unfit?"
No he didn't, he said he wouldn't make a £300-400 computer because it would be rubbish - as netbooks are wont to be, with poor build quality and substandard parts. This will be more than twice the price, with way more than twice the quality. And whether the anti-Apple-tards like it or not, Apple kit has way better quality than a £350 Acer.
Replacement for MacBook?
To me, the white-plastic MacBook has looked awkward in the Mac range for a long time -- I suspect it has only hung on because the uni-body Macs appeared just at the time the global economy tanked, so having a lower cost alternative probably seemed like a good idea. But even now, having something to compete with netbooks and low-cost laptops seems wise.
But the white MacBook isn't a million miles from a low-end MacBook Pro in terms of spec. So perhaps they'll replace the white MacBook with a range of low-power, non-optical-drived, small light-weight MacBooks.... kind of like the MacBook Air, but this time re-positioned as the low-end portable Mac?
For the same reason, I'd suggest MacBook Pro pricing can remain the same, the existing MacBook disappears but is replaced with this MacBook Air-like machine at the current MacBook price level..... all pure speculation of course! ;)
Smaller border round the display
If they could somehow have next to no border around the display - say less than 3 mm - the 13.3 inch display could be kept since there is also space around the keyboard. My current macbook could lose 36mm on its overall width if the borderless display was feasible and the keybaord would still fit.
If they did borderless with a 12 inch display, I reckon it could be smaller than some of the current netbooks with smaller displays.
overpriced macs ? don't think so.
I crossed to the dark side a few years ago.
Usual stuff -best laptop I've ever had yada yada.
However - here's an example of why apple does it for me (even with Mental Jobs at the helm):
I bought an imac from ebay 6 months ago - 2006 core duo. screen a bit shagged for inch on left hand side, otherwise fine. 200 quid.
It was useable and a bargain.
However, 2 weeks ago screen went totally.
Hmm.. gonna be expensive I think. Well - first step is to find out how expensive. I bring it in to my local apple store - NOTE: a 5 year old computer - 4 years out of warranty. no applecare, etc.
Hmm, they say... it needs a new LCD panel, possibly new motherboard.
Arg I say, probably not worth repairing then.
No no, they say - we'll repair it free of charge.
I day later, they call to say its all fixed - need a new LCD panel.
I'm typing this on it now.
say what you want about apple, but I can't think of another computer company I'd get that service from.
1. Where exactly did you get it fixed? Which apple store?
2. Are all apple stores going to do this for all 5 year old hardware or was yours a special case?
3. If it was a special case, how did you swing it?
ie. why would ANY company out there choose to swap a mobo and LCD *FREE* for 5 year old second hand kit.
Not that I don't believe you but surely there must be a reason. An exception for the PR it may generate perhaps - which makes me wonder if they will do this again for everyone. Or maybe you're a mac shop and they have a lot of business with you anyways?
We want to know.
Apple invented the netbook*
>I thought Jobs had declared the netbook form factor unfit?
What Jobs meant of course was the netbook done by everyone else, was unfit (and you should buy an iPad). The 12" G4 was the equivalent of a netbook in its day and its a pity Apple stopped developing the format. I was happy with mine and its still doing service somewhere in Spain. However, I wouldn't want to go back to a cramped keyboard and smaller screen. And the 12" G4 was quite chunky - 4.6 lbs vs. 3.0 lbs for the MB Air - plus the weight of the extra battery you needed to carry around.
*Actually Tandy invented the "netbook" - TRS-80 model 100 with built-in 300 baud modem, circa 1983
TRS-80 model 100 designed by
Many folks on here dont want to pay the high apple prices and hate the apple arrogance.
I totally agree so have always bought apple kit second hand unless i know someone visiting the states.
I currently use an 18month old air for iphone dev.
It runs Photoshop, Xcode, Firefox, thunderbird, itunes and skype pretty much 24/7 and then i run other apps on top and find its not that sluggish.
Laptops are too heavy... its the 21st century, i don't plan on owning anything heavier than a macbook air again. (and my girlfriend's Dell Adamo is even lighter)
Hackintosh miny in 10v
Now there really IS a wonderful machine. And only £250.
Sadly the Mini 10V has been discontinued and there doesn't so far appear to be a hackintoshable netbook to replace it.
@Apple invented the netbook*
"*Actually Tandy invented the "netbook" - TRS-80 model 100 with built-in 300 baud modem, circa 1983"
<sigh> Oh the memories.... I worked for a huge rock band in the eighties and the management (and me) used several Tandy 100's to organise and run an 18 month world tour. Had to use a Tandy acoustic coupler with the 'phone handset...
We all had Telecom Gold (nothing to do with BT as I remember) accounts and communicated round the world. It worked brilliantly although it was hell sorting out the dial up parameters sometimes. And good fun if there was an operator in involved, because when they heard the units starting to communicate they'd pull the plug because they thought something was wrong...
Try telling kids today....
If they bring this out - I will immediately buy it...
...and find a use for it later.