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Intel PowerBook theory...keep an open mind when reading


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Intel PowerBook theory...keep an open mind when reading
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2006-01-10, 10:33

I just had a thought (uh oh)...

What if Apple is shooting for simplicity in its laptop line?

What if - bear with me - they're going back to the TiBook days of only one size PowerBook (15")?

Here are my reasons:

- For reasons discussed a million times already, I'm betting the 12" PowerBook is history. It always, always lagged behind the two larger models
- With the recent PowerBook updates, the 15" got the same resolution the 17" model has had from day one...suddenly making the 15" seem/feel as roomy as the 17", in terms of screen real estate
- In three years, I've heard more people ding the 17" PowerBook than not. "Too large", "too unwieldy", etc. I realize those are subjective, personal opinions. But still, it's what I've heard (and still hear)
- A dual-core PowerBook, with great graphics, FireWire 800 and the whole bit (the 17" had no special features or ports that the 15" didn't, so there was no other benefit to it other than its sheer size...and if the 15" is now sporting 1440x960 - or a more 16:10 1440x900 - would there really be that much complaining? Especially when, of course, the 15" PowerBook could be connected to basically any monitor in the world.

So what if this was it? Maybe this is why we're not hearing much talk about the 17". Some of the more recent rumors have specificially referenced the 15" PowerBook, saying it would go Intel (and some rumors going on to say, "followed by a 17" version sometime after"). That never made sense to me: if the 15" went Intel, why not the 17" on the same day?

So a return to a single, massively full-featured PowerBook (iSight, Mighty Mouse inspired trackpad, 1440x900 resolution, super thin, dual-core, 7200rpm hard drive, dual-layer SuperDrive, all the usual ports and goodies, etc.).

Is THAT not a true PowerBook, in anyone's eyes? AND, as most everyone agrees, the 15" is the sweet spot in the line-up, and has been all along: the perfect blend of features AND portability (has all the features/capabilities lacking in the 12", BUT without the size and bulk of the 17"...BUT, the same resolution/working space!). And if it gets thinner than the current one, that's even better!

And then, to accompany this new PowerBook, a single 13-14" widescreen iBook.

You can BTO each model (RAM, hard drive, optical drive, etc. to something higher/better), but two basic stock models of each.

It's my opinion that not only will today see the end of the 12" PowerBook...it also sees the end of the 17". And if the 15" was tricked out in the way that I described a few paragraphs up, who in the hell would legitimately complain?



I don't see any reason to keep the 17" around for bragging rights if the 15" does it all, and better, in a smaller, thinner package than anything we've seen thus far. And that's the holy grail of laptops, right...power/performance AND manageable size/weight?

Maybe Apple nailed it...

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rollercoaster375
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2006-01-10, 10:37

I agree that the 17" is too large for many purposes, and that the 15" can accomplish them all, but I don't agree that a 12" notebook is useless. A 15" PowerBook is not as portable as some people make it out to be. It's still reasonably large, and quite hard to pick up with one hand.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2006-01-10, 10:42

I understand. But maybe that's where the 13-14" iBook comes in? I've never understood the lingering lust for a 12" PowerBook when it always lagged behind the other two sizes.

And if a new, small and compact Intel iBook outperforms any previous 12" PowerBook (and I'm sure it would) and was only a smidge larger side-to-side, wouldn't that be a good thing?

Are people just getting too hung up on names and appearances?

Other than spanning (which COULD be enabled in the iBook if Apple got a clue), what did the 12" PowerBook have over the iBook in true, measurable ways? Especially the past year or so? Other than spanning, not much that I can see.

The 12" PowerBook was always more like an iBook Extreme than a PowerBook anyway, IMO.

That's no slam, mind you. Just how I - and many others - viewed it.
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InactionMan
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2006-01-10, 10:44

Didn't that Kevin Rose guy (he predicted the nano) mention something about a MacBook being released? One portable to rule them all may be feasible.
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chucker
 
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2006-01-10, 10:46

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0
- For reasons discussed a million times already, I'm betting the 12" PowerBook is history. It always, always lagged behind the two larger models
I'm sure that will change. Right now, the 12-inch PowerBook is nothing but a fancy 12-inch iBook. I believe it even shares internal build numbers with the iBook series or something. They could easily change that.

Quote:
- In three years, I've heard more people ding the 17" PowerBook than not. "Too large", "too unwieldy", etc. I realize those are subjective, personal opinions. But still, it's what I've heard (and still hear)
I've also seen different opinions. Some like the largeness. It makes them feel more comfortable for some reason.

Quote:
- A dual-core PowerBook, with great graphics, FireWire 800 and the whole bit (the 17" had no special features or ports that the 15" didn't, so there was no other benefit to it other than its sheer size...and if the 15" is now sporting 1440x960 - or a more 16:10 1440x900 - would there really be that much complaining? Especially when, of course, the 15" PowerBook could be connected to basically any monitor in the world.
Actually, the 17-inch PowerBook pioneered quite a few features that later on made it to the 15-inch (but never to the 12-inch), such as the illuminated keyboard and optical audio in and out.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2006-01-10, 10:48

I'm not talking about "pioneered"...I realize all that. I'm talking about RIGHT NOW. The 15" and 17" PowerBooks are equal in performance, features, ports, etc.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory.
 
2006-01-10, 10:49

I'd agree that getting rid of the 12" PB is a logical step, especially if the new iBooks are super-speedy (and if Apple would enable monitor spanning). But the 17"? That's here to stay in my opinion. In fact, with Apple's continued push into the HD editing environment I wouldn't be suprised to see something even a bit larger. They need to get something out there that can display 1080 at 100%. Video Pros are still looking for the 'true' mobile workstation that Apple has yet to deliver.

So it goes.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2006-01-10, 10:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by InactionMan
Didn't that Kevin Rose guy (he predicted the nano) mention something about a MacBook being released? One portable to rule them all may be feasible.
For the record, I don't think ONE portable, period.

There would still be an iBook line, of course. But just one size of PowerBook, tricked-out to high heaven and truly earning its name.

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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2006-01-10, 10:58

I don't think they'll discontinue the 17" model myself, but I think (hope) that they ditch all 4:3 notebook screens. Not just on PowerBooks, mind you, but on iBooks as well. I know there are problems when comparing Apple to Dell, but just to give some perspective, all Dell notebooks save one are widescreen, and the least expensive one is only $500 (and yes, it has a 14" wide-aspect screen). Of course, that $500 Dell also has shared VRAM and probably only ships with 256 MB of RAM, but if Dell can do that for $500 then I'm sure Apple can incorporate a widescreen into even the lowest-end iBooks for $1000.

And if size is really a concern, there are even 12" widescreens, which are still a little wider than 12" 4:3 screens, but they're not as tall. In the end you have a machine that is equally compact. One thing seems certain to me, at least... XGA (1024x768) has got to go. It is OLD. REALLY, REALLY OLD. Apple's first XGA notebook was released in 1998, and the iBooks have stayed with exactly the same size and resolution since 2001 (2002 for the 14" version).
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InactionMan
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2006-01-10, 10:59

Yeah, people like the 12 inch iBook. But with the 12 inch PowerBook seeming useless and the 14 inch iBook seeming equally useless, I could see Apple moving to a single line of portables.

Just like the iPod Video. Two sizes, available in either balck or white. Maybe?
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2006-01-10, 11:03

I think 1280x800 on a ~14" widescreen is a reasonable thing (it's what I see on all those Compaqs at Best Buy, and it's totally comfortable AND allows for plenty of workroom). It wouldn't be much more vertically...but quite a leap side-to-side, from the current 1024!

And so many of the things we do now on our Macs would benefit from that: GarageBand and iMovie timelines, Mail, Safari and iChat windows all open and somewhat visible, etc.

I just don't wanna get into squinting/leaning forward, with some crazy high resolution on a screen that compact.

SquinTronic™...wasn't that the phrase amorph always used?


Last edited by psmith2.0 : 2006-01-10 at 11:09.
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Mugge
Thunderbolt, fuck yeah!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
 
2006-01-10, 11:03

For a beginning I think you are on the right track pscates. One iBook 13" and one PowerBook 15" allows Apple to focus their resources.

But in the long run offering different sizes and specs in both lines, will lure in more customers to. Some like them big, some like the sweet spot and some are even willing to pay up for an underpowered but shiny 12" PB. If Dell and others offer a wide selection, then potential customers would expect the same from Apple. Otherwise they might just choose that 17" Inspiron for their Photoshop work.

In the future I think we are going to see a lot of different sizes, especially as Apples marketshare grows and strength in numbers will make this feasible. Even a 12" PowerBook.
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rollercoaster375
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2006-01-10, 11:06

PowerBook over iBook: (12"ers)
- Metal Keyboard
- Smaller
- DVI/Spanning
- Marginally Faster: 1.5/166 vs 1.33/133
- 5400 RPM HD
- Graphics are far better on the PowerBook
- Lastly, PowerBooks look a whole lot better than iBooks.

I'm not saying that the 12" won't be dropped, I'm saying that there's a reason to have a portable Laptop, that isn't an iBook.
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torifile
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2006-01-10, 11:13

Quit hatin' on my 12" powerbook! I love the thing to pieces (though discontinuing the 12" line would increase my resale value - and I could go for a tricked out 15" model. )

If it's not red and showing substantial musculature, you're wearing it wrong.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2006-01-10, 11:24

rollercoaster, you're right. But you're comparing today's offerings with today's offerings.



- Metal Keyboard That not in the realm of possibility for a new iBook? Even if not, that's a fairly subjective thing...I know quite a few people who like the iBook keyboard too, for whatever reasons
- Smaller By a smidge...is 1/2", 1/4" or 1/8" inch REALLY going to be a dealbreaker for most?
- DVI/Spanning I totally agree...this is where Apple needs to wake up and stop purposely blocking this, and I hope they do!
- Marginally Faster: 1.5/166 vs 1.33/133 Yeah. But what about NEW Intel iBooks, and the possibilities there? Those speeds aren't always going to be that
- 5400 RPM HD Yes, like DVI/spanning above, this needs to be the stock HD speed on iBooks...with 7200rpm in the PowerBooks...and again, maybe an Intel iBook would have this?
- Graphics are far better on the PowerBook Yes, today
- Lastly, PowerBooks look a whole lot better than iBooks. I'll give you that...BUT, again, based on today and what's out there.

I'm basically looking ahead, and thinking there could very well be an iBook that meets or supasses your various points. That's all.

The points you make are all true, no doubt, as things are currently spec'd. But I expect bigger and better things from a future Intel iBook to make up for those discrepencies in that particular size category.

If that came to be - and it was sleek and sexy - would it not be a great iBook, and a worthy successor to the 12" PowerBook? And since the 12" PowerBook never looked like it was going to get FireWire 800, PC slot, lighted keyboard, etc., why not let that role (small, compact but solid laptop) be filled by a product line where no one's expecting those features to begin with?
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Stone Of Love
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2006-01-10, 11:29

I love rumors!

MacBook Pro
15.4 inch widescreen display
1.0 inches thick
5.6 lbs
iSight camera
1.67 or 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo

Or so I'm told.....

Different Strokes, for Different Folks.
And So On and So On, and Skoobie Doobie Doobie.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2006-01-10, 11:29

See, even you - backhandedly and after the fact - acknowledge my genius.
Quote:
Originally Posted by torifile
Quit hatin' on my 12" powerbook! I love the thing to pieces (though discontinuing the 12" line would increase my resale value - and I could go for a tricked out 15" model. )
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2006-01-10, 11:31

Sounds good to me...I was hoping it would hit the 2.0GHz mark though... The rest sounds really nice...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone Of Love
I love rumors!

MacBook Pro
15.4 inch widescreen display
1.0 inches thick
5.6 lbs
iSight camera
1.67 or 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo

Or so I'm told.....
  quote
Stone Of Love
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2006-01-10, 11:32

I can't wait to find out if my source knows what they are talking about!!!
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