Return of the Apple 'Ultra-Portable' Line?

by Joe Leo, Columnist September 29, 2006


NEWS: (9.29.06)-- Yesterday, two "reputable" Mac-centric news/rumor sites reported that Apple will be bringing back their "ultra-portable" laptops sometime next year, specifically reserved for the MacBook line. The catch? These computers may turn out to be even smaller than their original "ultra-portable" 12-inch line of the now defunct iBooks and PowerBooks.

"Wishes do come true." (To quote Apple's own tagline in their ad campaign for the premiere of the MacBook Pro).

(Clarification: according to the Dictionary application that comes with your Mac, the word defunct means "no longer existing or functioning." Let's just stress here right now that while these 12-inch babies no longer exist as a current product line, they are still functioning just fine thank you, and can still be found somewhere brand new, though in limited quantities, or even refurbished straight from Apple).

The reason why this story is being recycled/featured here is because it relates to an article written here last week, entitled, "Apple's Efforts to Innovate Inconsistent as of Late," where it was mentioned that in Apple's efforts to "Think Different," they got rid of their 12-inch line of laptops in favor of a larger-sized replacement with the MacBook.

In turn, forever losing the "ultra-portability" factor and their "ultra-compact" line of laptops. Along with the question of why Apple decided to do this, and reasons why they should bring it back. (Go read the article if you haven't already done so!).

While we're not trying to just rehash the two other websites' stories here, we will mention-- in case you never point your mouse that way --that the reason why these rumored laptops would be quite significantly smaller is the fact that earlier this week, Intel further discussed the details of a laptop architecture that uses flash-based memory, a product which they previewed to developers earlier this year.

And rumor has it-- according to these two sites, which will be cited later (no pun intended) --because of the ties that the Mac-maker has with the chip company, there are big plans to bring back their "ultra-portable" line real soon which will incorporate this new technology into their laptops, and by doing so, reduces the overall size and weight of the computer's internal components.

Which could lead to the possible size of the actual unit itself being less than 12 inches, outdoing themselves by improving upon the already "ultra-compact" form factor, and making it even smaller!! (which definitely goes along with the angle of the article written here last week).

Again, it must be pointed out that this is strictly a rumor that originates from another website, but it does go hand-in-hand-- coincidentally, just a week later --with this columnist's wishes for Apple to bring back the 12-inch laptop. Maybe it will be called the MacBook mini? Who knows.

Just hurry up already and make like a Nike shoe... "Just Do It!" (Again, you know who to credit if Apple does use that name for their new product).


SOURCES:

AppleInsider.com, "Apple looks toward flash-enabled notebooks" (9.28.06)
MacRumors.com, "Apple Flash-Booting MacBooks?" (9.28.06)