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Johnny Appleseed
13th December 2008, 01:29 PM
With all the speculation over Apple making a netbook or "MacBook touch", and Steve Jobs saying the iPhone already is a netbook, I thought I'd gauge MacTalk readers' views.

What do you think? Is this a market Apple should be addressing? Or does it already have all the bases covered?

I voted for the smaller MacBook Air - I'd like to see something with the surface area of the 12" PowerBook again.

Geoff3DMN
13th December 2008, 01:38 PM
The MacBook Air is as light as most netbooks but has a dual core processor, a decent sized screen and keyboard.

Netbooks (and yes I have one although I don't use it much) have too many compromises in usability IMHO.

wmyeoh
13th December 2008, 01:38 PM
How bout yes, but not a tablet and nothing resembling the MacBook Air (ie overpriced, underpowered hairdresser's laptop)?

Johnny Appleseed
13th December 2008, 01:40 PM
Netbooks (and yes I have one although I don't use it much) have too many compromises in usability IMHO.

True, the main complaint I've heard about netbooks is that the keyboards are too small. If they make a smaller MacBook Air they should make it wide enough to accommodate a full-size keyboard, like the 12" PowerBook.

matthew858
13th December 2008, 01:41 PM
The MacBook Air size is OK at the moment, it is just the price that is stopping the notebook from really taking off.

chrsha01
13th December 2008, 01:46 PM
I always thought that the Macbook Air was Apple's attempt at creating "Macbook Mini/Netbook".


No, the MacBook Air is compact enough

Johnny Appleseed
13th December 2008, 01:47 PM
How bout yes, but not a tablet and nothing resembling the MacBook Air (ie overpriced, underpowered hairdresser's laptop)?

Netbooks by definition are underpowered. And if Apple makes one you can be sure it will be perceived to be overpriced!

decryption
13th December 2008, 01:48 PM
I probably wont buy one, but new Apple gear makes me wet, so go forth Apple!
Plus I can cash in on the affiliate link when you all buy em :D

A $1,799 MacBook Air would be total pwnage however.

wmyeoh
13th December 2008, 01:50 PM
Netbooks by definition are underpowered. And if Apple makes one you can be sure it will be perceived to be overpriced!

But the existing netbooks aren't considered to be overpriced. In fact, that's their most attractive quality. I think Apple could make an awesome netbook, and if the price was reasonable, I would consider getting one. But IMHO the Air was a missed opportunity for them, because no one is paying a couple of grand to get something that runs like a piece of poo. People are, however, willing to pay a few hundred bucks for something that runs like a piece of poo. If they could get that right, they would make a killing.

decryption
13th December 2008, 01:52 PM
But the existing netbooks aren't considered to be overpriced. In fact, that's their most attractive quality. I think Apple could make an awesome netbook, and if the price was reasonable, I would consider getting one. But IMHO the Air was a missed opportunity for them, because no one is paying a couple of grand to get something that runs like a piece of poo. People are, however, willing to pay a few hundred bucks for something that runs like a piece of poo. If they could get that right, they would make a killing.

I beg to differ - the MacBook Air is selling like crazy according to the resellers I talk to. So it's hardly a failure if Apple is raking in the cash. Sure, you may not want one (and neither do I, well kinda. I want one, but I don't need one), but in terms of it being a success in the marketplace, the MacBook Air is one.

Johnny Appleseed
13th December 2008, 01:56 PM
The MacBook Air would actually suffice as my primary computer. Guess I'm not a power user.

I will be waiting, however, till it gets smaller and/or gets a bigger and cheaper Flash drive.

wmyeoh
13th December 2008, 02:00 PM
I beg to differ - the MacBook Air is selling like crazy according to the resellers I talk to. So it's hardly a failure if Apple is raking in the cash. Sure, you may not want one (and neither do I, well kinda. I want one, but I don't need one), but in terms of it being a success in the marketplace, the MacBook Air is one.

Maybe your right, and they're probably selling well because they are fucking sexy machines. But I don't see the point in spending a couple of grand on one, when I can get a Macbook Pro for about the same price. Then again, I know I'm preaching to the converted here.

Hate to be the devil's advocate, but what if they had marketed it as something else, as the portable, budget option, maybe they would have sold even more?

decryption
13th December 2008, 02:08 PM
Maybe your right, and they're probably selling well because they are fucking sexy machines. But I don't see the point in spending a couple of grand on one, when I can get a Macbook Pro for about the same price. Then again, I know I'm preaching to the converted here.

Totally agree - it's why I sold my MacBook Air to buy a MacBook Pro. But you know, a lot of people aren't like you and I. A shock I know, but it's reality :)


Hate to be the devil's advocate, but what if they had marketed it as something else, as the portable, budget option, maybe they would have sold even more?

They could sell more, but there'd be less profit perhaps? Let us not forget, Apple is in the business to make money.

Glompbot
13th December 2008, 02:14 PM
There is a difference between a netbook and an ultraportable.

Apple only has ultraportables. No netbooks as yet, the iphone doesn't even qualify, really, only the ipod touch does.

Also, I quite like the air. I don't really play games these days, so I have no desire for power, and I'm quite content on my current blackbook... but having used xenex's air, I am in awe of how light it is. Its actually a tad gruntier than my macbook :(

wmyeoh
13th December 2008, 02:15 PM
Totally agree - it's why I sold my MacBook Air to buy a MacBook Pro. But you know, a lot of people aren't like you and I. A shock I know, but it's reality :)

And in that one sentence, you have summed up everything that is wrong in the world today :rolleyes:


They could sell more, but there'd be less profit perhaps? Let us not forget, Apple is in the business to make money.

Apple's business model has never revolved around low profit, high volume, although one could argue that that is changing. The iPhone isn't as expensive as some of the other alternatives, neither are the new earphones etc etc.

It will be interesting to see how (and if) this changes given the current economic situation. Thoughts?

Quamen
13th December 2008, 02:23 PM
But I don't see the point in spending a couple of grand on one, when I can get a Macbook Pro for about the same price.

1.13 Kilos and a much smaller physical size are worth it.

NeoRicen
13th December 2008, 02:53 PM
Yes, but I think they should take their time to make a good product, so maybe MacWorld '10.

I don't want them to make a tablet. Who the hell would even use one beyond "Hey look at this cool thing I got!".

vargz
13th December 2008, 03:02 PM
The MacBook Air still has a MacBook footprint (or thereabouts). To me that isn't in the ultraportable class.

Shrink it down in size so it has a screen around 10", then i'll consider it.

gizo
13th December 2008, 03:06 PM
Being that I can se a Netbook-sized place in my life at the moment, and that I love Apple industrial design, I would love a MacBook Nano.

Of course, it'd need to be as cheap as the Dell Mini 9 or the MSI Wind, but I'd be all over one like a rash (if I could find the cash)

markpalavra
13th December 2008, 03:06 PM
paying a couple of grand to get something that runs like a piece of poo.

I own a Macbook Air and mine doesn't run like a piece of poo.

Maybe it is because I realise what my needs are as a computer user, and I match the power of my hardware purchases to those needs. Anything I need to do on my Air, is easily done.

Johnny Appleseed
13th December 2008, 03:08 PM
Shrink it down in size so it has a screen around 10", then i'll consider it.

Once upon a time I would have considered 10" too small, but if Apple can leverage the resolution-independence of OS X it might work.

But if they just made the MBA the same width as the keyboard it would probably qualify as an ultraportable.

decryption
13th December 2008, 03:08 PM
Being that I can se a Netbook-sized place in my life at the moment, and that I love Apple industrial design, I would love a MacBook Nano.

Of course, it'd need to be as cheap as the Dell Mini 9 or the MSI Wind, but I'd be all over one like a rash (if I could find the cash)

What if it was $899 (not $599 like the Dell/MSI Wind)

gizo
13th December 2008, 03:12 PM
What if it was $899 (not $599 like the Dell/MSI Wind)

ooh... I'd probaby wait for a revision or two, a small price drop, and a payrise. It'd be tempting, but out of reach for me.

markpalavra
13th December 2008, 03:15 PM
I don't see the point ... when I can get a Macbook Pro for about the same price.

Well I'm just speaking for myself, but what I want out of a laptop, the Macbook Air does everything the Macbook Pro does.... just in a much nicer design, smaller weight and thinner profile.


As for wanting the Air to be even a smaller footprint.. I love the way my MBA is... I probably would have bought a 13" MB or 15" Pro if the Air was a 7" or 10" screen.

Geoff3DMN
13th December 2008, 03:19 PM
It doesn't have to be an either or choice... there is probably room in the Apple line up for the 13 inch MacBook Air as well as a 10 inch Netbook (the 9 inch ones are just too small).

Johnny Appleseed
13th December 2008, 03:50 PM
I'm sure Apple are doing their market research. If not entering the netbook market isn't costing them any sales, they won't do it.

But then they could redefine the whole category with a MB touch (like they did with the iPhone).

melbmac
13th December 2008, 04:30 PM
I think they should for two reasons;

1 - I want and one, and soon will need one.
2 - I would be willing to pay a premium over the windows based equals. Take more of my money damn it apple!

melbmac
13th December 2008, 04:31 PM
What if it was $899 (not $599 like the Dell/MSI Wind)

Ahh.

I would pay that happily....

wmyeoh
13th December 2008, 04:54 PM
What if it was $899 (not $599 like the Dell/MSI Wind)

I think if people are willing to pay $599 for the Windows netbooks, most would probably be willing to pay $899 for the Apple equivalent, based on the current difference between Windows/Mac laptop prices.

Velociraptors
13th December 2008, 05:52 PM
It could be... Macbook..... Vacuum? (less than air).

uhhh ok dana. not funny. dad joke. :|

still, if it looked like:

http://www.danamania.com/tmp/macbook_vacuum.jpg

ghettro
15th December 2008, 07:09 PM
I considered getting an eeepc or an iPod Touch/iPhone. When the iPhone came out I just got that and now I would have little need for a netbook. I already have a laptop so the netbook is not particularly useful to me. I personally think the iPhone/iPod touch does most of what a netbook does except that it fits in your pocket and you have it with you all the time.

Also I would tend to agree that Apple would be unlikely to release and underpowered ultraportable notebook, they wouldn't go slower than the current 1.6ghz merom chip in the MBA as the experience of OS X would probably be substandard on something like an Atom chip.

lnc12
15th December 2008, 07:44 PM
Netbooks are for loses sorry

Glompbot
16th December 2008, 05:49 AM
spelling is for loses ?

ZacDavies
17th December 2008, 09:31 PM
Solution (if they don't make one)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3014/2695576900_fd8a098933.jpg

Runs perfect on an MSI Wind now...

:D

ZacDavies
19th December 2008, 01:49 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noe3kR8KqJc

Cods
19th December 2008, 02:58 AM
Newton MkIII FTW!
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Apple/images/atom-iphone.jpg
http://images.appleinsider.com/newton-reincarnation-070925.png
OK then, settle down, how about "9 inch MacTablet FTW"?

http://www.everymac.com/images/cpu_pictures/apple_newton_mp_2000.gif
My Newton 2100 (http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/messagepad/stats/newton_mp_2100.html) (the final model) is about right physically, although I'm sure the 2009 MkIII model needn't be so thick, given what Apple can pack into an iPhone:
- 21cm x 12cm x 2.8cm (in inches, 8.3" x 4.7" x 1.1")
- ~8 inch diagonal touchscreen
These days it could all be screen with almost no border (see iPhone), so it'd be ~9.5 inches of touchscreen.

Even back eleven years ago in the dark ages, Apple could pack the following into that form factor:
- 2x Type 2 PC card slots
- modem
- 4x AA batteries
- infinite amounts of awesome...

If you look at what Apple can pack into an iPhone sized package, then imagine what they could do with all the room in a Newton sized chassis. To save you the effort, I've already imagined it for you:
- 3G phone / data
- 802.11 B/G/N WiFi
- Assisted GPS
- Decent sized SSD or integrated storage (32Gb+)
- four finger multitouch as per the current unibody MB & MBP
- integrated graphics (GeForce 9400M?)
- audio out / speaker(s) / microphone
- Bluetooth 2.1
- USB ports
- SD slot?
- iSight?
- FireWire?
- Mini DisplayPort?

Even though much laughed at because of the first generation problems, by the time the 2x00 series came out the handwriting recognition was actually extraordinarily good. I used a version of the same engine on my various Windows Mobile PDAs for years afterward. Plenty good enough for entering an appointment or a quick email, and barely a Doonesbury moment in sight.

A portable keyboard (not too dissimilar to that on the Psion) rounded out the package - of course today it'd be BlueTooth, not wired. Although thumbtyping on an onscreen keyboard (a la iPhone) on a 9" device would probably be pretty easy.
http://www.throwdownyourguns.com/eat/newton/images/apple-newton-400.jpg

I didn't even bother with owning a PC or a Mac, no need... OK, wistful Newton daydreaming ends.

(yes, I've seen this (http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2007/06/newton-iphone.jpg), and this (http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2007/12/apple_newton_umc_rumors.html), and this (http://blogs.computerworld.com/node/8460/print), and this (http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/bto/20080730/newton-treo-iphone-480.jpg)... and this (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/05/14/intel_exec_vouches_for_atom_based_apple_newton_tab let_report.html).)

stevejay
19th December 2008, 06:13 AM
What if it was $899 (not $599 like the Dell/MSI Wind)

$900 for an authentic, apple badged subby? F*** yeah! I could save for that in 4 pays at the "low bills" part of the year!

Too much to hope it'd have Firewire, though ;) (Not that that matters now my cam has died and my insurance sucks.)


Runs perfect on an MSI Wind now...

How's Garage Band's performance?

vargz
19th December 2008, 07:37 AM
Runs perfect on an MSI Wind now...

:D

That looks cool.

Does perfect include wifi, sleep and software updates to the OS?

WonderBoy
19th December 2008, 08:48 AM
Where is the choice for just a simple "Yes"?

I don't want a smaller MacBook Air. It's not just the size that disqualifies this machine as a NetBook, but also the price.

And a tablet is a tablet. Not a NetBook.

Piratbyran
19th December 2008, 09:12 AM
Stuff netbooks. What do you want in them anyway? Sure, it runs at 25mHz (overclocked to 35), but my emate 300 with its wifi card can do everything I need. Opera, Jabber.. :p

A bit wishful i guess, but it could do at a pinch.

arkenstone
19th December 2008, 10:26 AM
The MacBook Air is as light as most netbooks but has a dual core processor, a decent sized screen and keyboard.

and it's FUCKING expensive.

A netbook should cost less than a Macbook. As I said in the latest podcast about $700 is the max price I'd be willing to pay.

ford.boy
19th December 2008, 10:50 AM
Stuff netbooks. What do you want in them anyway? Sure, it runs at 25mHz (overclocked to 35), but my emate 300 with its wifi card can do everything I need. Opera, Jabber.. :p

I enny you, sir.

sageco
19th December 2008, 10:56 AM
Well, i want there to be an apple netbook, if only do i can get my mom one. The biggest boon to this dream will be Snow Leopard. With Apple's plans to "lighten" its OS, then it will be more viable to build a sub $500 laptop that doesn't suck.

Johnny Appleseed
19th December 2008, 11:19 AM
Where is the choice for just a simple "Yes"?

I don't want a smaller MacBook Air. It's not just the size that disqualifies this machine as a NetBook, but also the price.

And a tablet is a tablet. Not a NetBook.

You can be guaranteed if Apple made a netbook it would still be expensive. I doubt they would make compromises on power or functionality.

And a tablet would be Apple's way of "redefining" the netbook market, like it did with music players and phones.

Bart Smastard
19th December 2008, 11:34 AM
I answered yes to a smaller MacBook Air but on the condition it's not as hamstrung as the Air. Give it at least 2 USB ports (preferably 3), access to RAM (or no less than 2GB if it has to be built-in for sake of slimness), a removable battery and a 10" screen. Above all the price must be competitive, the definition of a netbook is a small and low-cost portable computer. I'm not expecting it to be comparable in price to the MSI Wind, I'm a reasonable fellow, and think Apple could easily do something close to the HP Mini 1000 (http://www.cnet.com.au/laptops/laptops/0,239035649,339292954,00.htm) or at the extreme the ASUS S101 (http://www.cnet.com.au/laptops/laptops/0,239035649,339292526,00.htm) or N10 (http://www.cnet.com.au/laptops/laptops/0,239035649,339293744,00.htm).

And if the MSI Wind can run Leopard there's no reason for Apple to put some stupid cut down version of OS X on it.

Actually. Forget it. I don't want Apple to make a netbook. They'd just end up making some over priced, shiny thing with less features that would disappoint the majority of the market.

Skeetz
19th December 2008, 11:34 AM
has anyone seen this deal the resellers have got going on the macbook air? - That makes it a much cheaper option and very open to being a netbook competitor as you get far better performance from a C2D then any atom. + snow leopard support

http://www.synergeticaustralia.com/product/265/MacBook_Air_13-inch_1.6GHz_with_AppleCare.html

$2229 WITH APPLECARE .... thats a $1810 Macbook Air... its the model before the nVidia chipsets though but still

Rant
19th December 2008, 11:47 AM
I want a half-height screen on a Mac with a footprint the size of the Air keyboard. Doesn't have to be as thin as the Air as long as it's half the footprint.

I sent this suggestion off to Steve Jobs a while ago - yes Marc is correct, I send Steve suggestions all the time - if he ever replies, I'll let you know.

stevejay
19th December 2008, 11:49 AM
And a tablet would be Apple's way of "redefining" the netbook market, like it did with music players and phones.

Redefining the market is probably what they have to do now, otherwise how would an Apple netbook stand out from the flock?

A "massively multitouch" mini tablet is the low end of the "redefine" parameter. It'd need some sizzle to add to the steak, maybe a co-launch of a new iLife component like a simple vector animation tool or multiple audio input hardware for Garage Band portability.

And probably it would be nothing like this but will still blow people's minds and make Netbook early adopters bitter enough to call us all fanbois.

ZacDavies
19th December 2008, 11:50 AM
That looks cool.

Does perfect include wifi, sleep and software updates to the OS?

http://gadgets.boingboing.net/gimages/osxnetbooks.png

sighclops
19th December 2008, 12:43 PM
a lot of people in this thread seem to be misunderstanding the concept of a netbook. for starters, it is unreasonable comparing a netbook to the air. with the launch of the new macbook recently, it renders the air almost useless (excluding aesthetics and *gasp* price). netbooks are small, very small, do the basics and are, above all else, cheap. lets face it, the air is an overpriced thin macbook. if it were HALF the size of the air, then yes it would be considered a worthy comparison to a netbook.

here in japan the air isn't even displayed amongst the macbook line-up, it really is pointless.

apple need to revolutionize the netbook market. and then there's the issue of a a multitouch tablet. who knows where they will go with this one!

so yeah, AIR = NOT A NETBOOK COMPARISON.

Bart Smastard
19th December 2008, 01:13 PM
Redefining the market is probably what they have to do now, otherwise how would an Apple netbook stand out from the flock?


If Apple made a netbook using the ARM Cortex A8 CPUs (http://blogs.computerworld.com/apples_tablet_to_be_based_on_arm_cortex_architectu re) they'd be able to make bold claims such as "days between charges instead of hours", that would be tempting enough.

Snipped from the linked article:

While pretty close in speed, the ARM Cortex A8 absolutely kills the Intel Atom in power efficiency. We are talking Apples and Oranges here. Not double, but an order of magnitude better for ARM. Some ARM chips routinely use 10-20 times less power than Intel for similar operations. Battery usage with ARM chips in prospective netbooks could be measured in days, not hours much like smartphones.

Carve
19th December 2008, 01:16 PM
http://gadgets.boingboing.net/gimages/osxnetbooks.png




2133 Mini works with all of them

i have one, but would happily switch it for an apple netbook

decryption
19th December 2008, 02:22 PM
If Apple made a netbook using the ARM Cortex A8 CPUs (http://blogs.computerworld.com/apples_tablet_to_be_based_on_arm_cortex_architectu re) they'd be able to make bold claims such as "days between charges instead of hours", that would be tempting enough.

Snipped from the linked article:

This is a motion I fully support. How would the Cortex A8 go running full-blown OS X? (not AppleTV or iPhone OS X)

forgie
19th December 2008, 02:26 PM
If apple went with ARM CPUs in a "mac" product, we'd have "Triple-Universal-Binaries", which would make every application 3 times the size it needs to be, instead of the current double required for x86/PPC compatibility.

melbmac
19th December 2008, 05:36 PM
has anyone seen this deal the resellers have got going on the macbook air? - That makes it a much cheaper option and very open to being a netbook competitor as you get far better performance from a C2D then any atom. + snow leopard support

http://www.synergeticaustralia.com/product/265/MacBook_Air_13-inch_1.6GHz_with_AppleCare.html

$2229 WITH APPLECARE .... thats a $1810 Macbook Air... its the model before the nVidia chipsets though but still

That's an awesome deal but after the recent repair debacle they're a no go for me...

I wish apple would do it, I am looking around at xp netbooks and to be honest am not enjoying the thought of having windows back in my life at home.

melbmac
19th December 2008, 05:39 PM
http://gadgets.boingboing.net/gimages/osxnetbooks.png

ha ha!

Awesome chart!

Thanks!

Supreme
19th December 2008, 06:43 PM
Couldn't give a shit about netbooks really. Just another fashionable "throw-away" technology, coming to a landfill near you!

Netbook = iPhone

timothy
19th December 2008, 10:23 PM
The Touch concept is going to make money for Apple, The current iPhone is a small Tablet.

Apple will be cashing in on the success of the "Golden Goose" App store. I can see three different sized versions of these Tablet devices...

From a money making perspective it would be fine if there was an oversized iPhone that has all the extras that people want in the current iPhone.

And of course people will just want an iPhone nano... no matter what it doesn't...