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back to article Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER

Apple is preparing to release a MacBook which tabloid newspapers might describe as "worryingly thin", supply chain sources have claimed. The claims surfaced in the Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, which quoted "supply chain makers" in the country. The current MacBook Pro is a relatively chubby 2.4cm, but the report suggested …

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Meh

I look forward to finding out what ports they've dropped this time and if you need a set of special screwdrivers to open one or just a crowbar.

As I've said before, reconditioned non-Retina MacBook Pros have never made so much sense. There must be demand for them otherwise they wouldn't be selling them.

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They can keep all the ports by utilising a lightning cable adaptor for $50/£50 per port or part thereof...

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I've got one of those, if you want to buy it

I have a 2010 model with 8GB memory, 256GB SSD, 15" model (oh yeah, it's got the graphics card too). How much are you willing to pony up? :-)

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Anonymous Coward

"I look forward to finding out what ports they've dropped this time and if you need a set of special screwdrivers to open one or just a crowbar."

Yes, yes, that's very funny.

But seriously, remember the first MacBook Air and how few ports it had? They added a bunch for the subsequent version.

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Yeah I got the 2013 macbook pro and still pissed they removed the gigabit and firewire ports to make it thinner!!!

Don't see how they can make this thing any thinner since the thunderbolt and usb is already flush up against the edges with no space remaining?except at the front end like the mac book airs they are tapered smaller away from the power and usb, thunderbolt ports. Maybe they can get away with it for the low end model that uses Iris graphics but the one high end one with Nvidia graphics already runs pretty hot most likely because inadequate cooling. I have suspicions that the cpu even throttles down if you are running any cpu intense apps for too long since it just can't deal with the heat. That's why they introduce overaggressive power management,etc to hide it.

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Finally a machine to replace my ZX81!

Such a new machine would demonstrate the concept of diminishing returns in two senses.

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Anonymous Coward

less repairable / upgradeable than ever

Sounds like they've finally transitioned to complete Genius bar handcuffing.

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Re: less repairable / upgradeable than ever

I currently own an 11" MacBook Air. I don't see that it could be made any less repairable. I don't think a new floor will be forthcoming because I don't think one can be found.

Though the same comment goes for equivalently-priced TVs, etc...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: less repairable / upgradeable than ever

"I currently own an 11" MacBook Air. I don't see that it could be made any less repairable."

What on earth are you talking about? The MacBook Airs might be Apple's most repairable products, possibly tied with the Minis.

If you have the right screwdriver (which costs a couple of dollars from iFixIt) then you can pop the bottom off the MBA in less than a minute, then it's a trivial matter to access/remove/replace any of its relatively few parts (battery, SSD, wifi card, etc.). Easy access to everything, nothing is glued in, etc.

I owned several PC laptops before my current MacBook Air and they are all MUCH harder to disassemble/repair. I wonder what on earth you're comparing the Air to if you think it's hard to work on?

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Re: less repairable / upgradeable than ever

That's the SSD with the custom connector and where's the memory slot again?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: less repairable / upgradeable than ever

"That's the SSD with the custom connector and where's the memory slot again?"

The comment was about the laptop being repairable, not upgradeable. The SSD can be "repaired" by swapping it with a new one of the same kind in a matter of seconds. I doubt the memory will ever need to be repaired.

If you want to keep beating a dead horse re: not being able to upgrade the memory, fine. I'm sure there are a bunch of things in your laptop that you can't upgrade too. It happens.

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Re: less repairable / upgradeable than ever

You're reliant on a limited number of suppliers or just Apple themselves (noted for supplying parts on demand) for a new SSD. They may all may lose interest (Apple included) a relatively short time after Apple changes the connector.

Of course memory needs to be 'repaired' (replaced), if it didn't memtest wouldn't have been written.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: less repairable / upgradeable than ever

"You're reliant on a limited number of suppliers or just Apple themselves (noted for supplying parts on demand) for a new SSD. They may all may lose interest (Apple included) a relatively short time after Apple changes the connector."

You clearly don't have much insight into the Mac repair process/system. Apple makes spare parts available for many years after they become obsolete. And if (for some reason) you can't get a spare part from Apple, there are other sources, e.g., eBay.

"Of course memory needs to be 'repaired' (replaced), if it didn't memtest wouldn't have been written."

My experience with memory is that it starts out faulty (as in, "I just put a stick of new RAM in my computer and now it's crashing") vs. becomes faulty over time. So either you will need to have your Mac repaired under warranty immediately for faulty RAM or you'll never have to repair it. Please correct me if you have more information about RAM failures developing.

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Re: less repairable / upgradeable than ever

I do. My 2007 iMac's memory needed replacing two years ago, I used that opportunity to upgrade it as well.

Part failures usually happen at the start-of-life or the end-of-life. If you make it impossible to replace that part, then the end-of-life of that part becomes the end-of-life of that device.

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Exclusive picture of new laptop

See below my comment for a side on image of the new laptop, together with a side on view of the new iPhone 6 for comparison

---------------------------------- -----

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Re: Exclusive picture of new laptop

hammarbtyp, they’re crenellated now? What will Ive think of next?

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Anonymous Coward

Also wondering about the ports

Maybe they will do away with USB this time, because of its depressing shape. All you get is Thunderbolt – but there is a suprisingly pricy choice of adaptors to "legacy" connectors for those silly ones refusing to replace all their equipment every three years. It will also be a complete 1-way operation – no repairs possible whatsoever, so once the battery is dead, it's dead for good. Go pick up a new one, Scrooge!

Always the same complaints, I know. I also know a guy who "works with video" and who says he would have loved to get the new Mac Pro as it would save him quite some time. Yet it would also turn into a hefty five-figure investment just to keep the present specialized hardware.

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This will not stop

Until the MBP is as thin as a sheet of paper and can be conveniently folded to fit in a DL envelope. By which time it will be irrelevant because Google Glass will detect you are looking at a sheet of blank paper and overlay it with a laptop image.

This will work wonderfully with the holographic 2D universe.

But not, sadly, until the supply chain includes fairy dust and is pulled by pink unicorns.

Seriously, WTF? Haven't we reached the stage at which thickness is impinging on key travel? Impressive technical achievement, guys, who would have known glue could be so versatile, but even my small briefcase isn't so thin I need any more reduction.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This will not stop

As long as they don't touch the battery life and keep a decent key travel it can be thinner because it also means lighter.

However, I would gladly exchange some iPhone thinness for a decent battery life. As a matter of fact, I do already because I have one of these battery pack sleeves. Either give me a decent battery life or make the battery back replaceable. It's gotten so bad that I moved all primary phone traffic back to an old Motorola v3i, and I'm about to buy an extra battery for that (I have an old one which I use as a backup and battery charger). For those that think I have a defective battery: no, I'm presently working in an area at the edge of a cell (aka "some distance from civilisation")..

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Re: This will not stop

Thinner doesn't necessarily mean lighter if the packing density of the parts is increased to achieve it. However, it does mean that the modulus of the chassis/case has to increase if you don't want unpleasant keyboard flex and, in the worst case, screen cracking. This tends to increase mass unless you use a material with a low density and a high Young's modulus, in which case you are heading into heat treated aluminium or titanium territory - which Apple has done, but at high cost and with various technical problems. Using synthetic crystalline alumina for screens will get higher E than gorilla glass, but we'll have to see how that works out, if it does.

I'd rather have something which was comfortable in engineering terms and allowed room for removable batteries and screws for dismantling, but let's face it, I remember some years ago an AA survey that showed that when it came to buying an expensive piece of capital equipment - a car - for most of the population factors like carrying capacity, running costs and reliability came well behind what it looked like. I have to face up to the fact that I'm a niche buyer.

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Paris Hilton

Re: This will not stop

> it does mean that the modulus of the chassis/case has to increase if you don't want unpleasant keyboard flex and, in the worst case, screen cracking.

Screen-cracking: that would be bad for whom, exactly?

Let LightOn=True

Actually I presume there's no problem going thinner as long as you go longer/wider and your heatsink works ok. MBA thickness appears to work ok. However, the no-go for me is all the dongles a mac will require. 802.11ac is fine if where-ever you are has it and the contention is low. Something inside me rebels at pushing video through USB3 - it just feels wrong!

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Coat

"detect you are looking at a sheet of blank paper and overlay it with a laptop image"

Er...,

This fatuous idea is almost doable now....

I've seen worse ideas patented by Apple.

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Facepalm

Great news!

A couple more generations and I won't need a laptop AND a carving knife.

Convergence, eh! Amazing. I just wish they'd add a bottle opener and corkscrew.

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Anonymous Coward

New laptop will simply be a tablet with a desk-stand, the keyboard will be one of those projected laser ones, a virtual one.

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Where is the "worryingly thin" quote?

Not in the Digitimes link provided. Unless it is so thin I'm worried it might bend or snap in half in my laptop bag, I'm not going to be "worrying" about its thinness. Anorexia is a good thing where laptops are considered, the less they weigh the better!

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Big Brother

Re: Where is the "worryingly thin" quote?

https://www.adbusters.org/content/thinner-ever

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Thinness is good news for hour suppliers, bad news for repairability and horses.

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Anonymous Coward

News is thinner

Yes,

we are now getting the thinnest ever iNews dripfeed.

What a complete and utter bore the iGadgets have become.

After Thunderbolt and then Lightning we seem to be flogging dead horses.

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the objective

is to make iThings so thin that the acid on your fingers is capable of eating through the device in under, say, 6 months.

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Joke

Macbook Air: So thin you can use it as a razor!

Coming soon, Macbook Air Duo for twice the closeness

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Joke

Or the Mach(book) 5

Daisy chain them together with Thunderbolt for faster image editing.

Also, really bad razor burn.

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Bronze badge
Trollface

" GLUE, GLORIOUS GLUE"

Thats how they're gonna make it thinner...over to you 'IFIXIT'.

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Anonymous Coward

"I was just holding it and it broke in two. Mind you, there was a bit of a breeze"

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I openly mock people who constantly, irrationally desire thinner technology and claim its because they need a lighter laptop to bring everywhere.

Look at those small, frail people with fragile birdlike bones that who can't handle an extra two pounds worth of laptop. They are so small and fragile. Like their laptops.

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"Look at those small, frail people with fragile birdlike bones that who can't handle an extra two pounds worth of laptop. They are so small and fragile. Like their laptops."

I'm 6'1 and I can bench press over 200 lbs. I know, I'm not Arnold, but it's not a small amount either. And I notice a big difference between my old 5 pound laptop and my current 2.3 pound MacBook Air. Maybe it's a moment-of-inertia thing (or just regular inertia thing) where the weight is effectively multiplied when you're carrying it in a backpack or swinging it in a duffel bag, but I was reluctant to pack my old laptop unless I really needed it, whereas I have literally gone on 2 day trips with the MBA without realizing that the laptop was in my bag until I got home and unpacked. Now that's a convenient size and weight.

A few people have made fun of my small laptop and I know a few big men who have deliberately purchased matching big laptops. But my manliness isn't really threatened when I'm using my laptop for scientific computing and my friends are using their 8 lb laptops for email and Facebook.

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IT Angle

"we've made it 5mm thicker to give you 10h more battery life"

I wonder how that would be received?

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Anonymous Coward

I want one of those SciFi glass screens

Until they come up with a real, usable version of those glass sheets they're so fond of using in SF movies I'm not going to be happy, sorry. Even if I have to dim the lights a bit to read it - I just like the look of it :)

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Bronze badge

Yes and that's not all....

I have seen the future of devices and when the dust settles the devices we use will not be like anyone today imagines. Fondle slabs and notebooks will be nearly as thin as credit cards. Not only can it be done...it will be done. The "you" of today would be mind blown to see it. My only question is if it will come from Apple or one of the Chinese manufactures first.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't know about thinner but it could be a little smaller

The 11" Air has a pretty big bezel around the screen and almost half an inch of metal to the left and right of the keyboard. The whole computer could be made meaningfully smaller, although I suppose it would be tricky to have the ports on the side since it might interfere with key travel at the top edges.

Either that or they could put a bigger screen in the same form factor. Either way it would be an improvement.

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Anonymous Coward

Another load from Jasper ...

Never one for accuracy is our Jasper:

1) Current MacBook Pro is a max 1.8cm thickness. The old 2.4cm one was discontinued some time ago.

2) Your Ming-Chi Kuo quote is from another article you wrote last week. You shouldn't really astroturf using your own articles as reference - only sad bloggers sitting in their mothers' basement with 2 followers (mom and dog) do that. But of course Ming-Chi Kuo is going to be correct one way or another. Its very hard not to be when you say that the product may or may not be going to launch. Read the article:

"Kuo's language in the report, which suggests the launch of the iWatch "could" be postponed, indicates that he is somewhat uncertain about the target ship date for the device."

Have a great weekend Jasper.

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