Friday, December 07, 2007

Ultralight Mac notebook rumors gather steam

December 06, 2007 (Computerworld) -- Rumors that Apple Inc. will unveil a new thin, lightweight MacBook in just over a month gained strength today as the CNBC cable network cited sources claiming the portable was real.

Helge: I can understand the need for ultralight. Anyone traveling and computing, blogging, social networking needs something that is light and easy to carry and works everywhere.

Jim Goldman of CNBC said that the subnotebook system will be 50% thinner and lighter than the MacBook Pro, which is approximately 1-in. thick and weighs between 5.4 and 6.8 pounds, depending on the model.

Helge: Hmmm.

Citing a source close to Apple's Asian manufacturing partners, Goldman also said that the new notebook would use NAND flash memory in lieu of a traditional hard disk drive, and would be equipped with a 12-in. display.

Helge: A small display. These things that I've been waiting for are coming.

Other reports, including one by Taiwan-based DigiTimes, however, have claimed that at least one display maker shipped 10,000 13.3-in. LED-backlit screens to Apple in November and will deliver another 90,000 this month. The displays, 13.3-in. rather than the 12-in. claimed by Goldman, are a good fit for the unnamed ultralight machine, since the LED-lit screens consume less power than traditional fluorescent-lit LCDs.

Helge: Something is going on in the manufacturing places.

Currently, only the 15-in. MacBook Pro notebooks use LCD-backlit displays.

The retail price for the new Mac will be around $1,500, Goldman claimed, a price point that falls between the $1,099 of the cheapest MacBook and the $1,999 of the least-expensive MacBook Pro.

Helge: Low-cost?

The subsize Mac will launch during the Macworld Conference & Expo, Apple's annual blowout in San Francisco, which will run Jan. 14-18.

Helge: Macworld, is that the news?

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