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iBox (the hardware)

Cloudscout's Avatar Picture Cloudscout – January 14, 2008 03:08PM Reply Quote
Box mini
Box Pro
BoxBook Pro

The more the boxes change, the more they stay the same... or don't.

(talk about the hardware here)

stan adams – January 15, 2008 04:55PM Reply Quote
I The MBA is not "crippled" so much as "compromised for beauty". More like a sexy open road touring car than a something that has artificial governors and such..
Consider that, on paper FW is no faster than USB 2, though real world FW works better, but there's no room for more than one port and FW is not as essential. That whole lil' cluster looks more than a little "Faberge Egg" to me -- more eye candy than function. I bet they'll cause repair techs nightmares of ripped out horror.

Replicator, smeplicator -- nobody who gets one of these will ever sit at desk long enough to care about tethering to anything. It is so friggin sexy to have no wires -- like complaining about $300/week dry cleaning bills while dating a runway model that has to get all her dresses dry cleaned after each wearing 'casue she never wears underthings, you have to suffer for some stuff.

I suspect that for $99 that matching MBA SuperDrive does not have much "secret sauce" in it. I can even see how that puppy opens the door for and Apple branded BluRay drive down the road...

SoupIsGood Food – January 15, 2008 05:35PM Reply Quote
Nobody uses the optical drive anymore. Software is downloaded, and sneakernet is all thumb-drives, and you can get cheap USB DVD-R's if you really need a spinning plastic frisbee hooked up to your deck.

The problem with the EDU/Uni crowd is that the Mac Book is a lot cheaper, a lot more durable, and you can swap batteries and hook up an external monitor, which is more popular than you'd think. (Tho USB video cards are slowly getting there.)

This leaves the MBA as a fashion exercise, and it's a damn good one. It's just that fashion exercises only sell so much... features sell, too. The best Apple gear mixes high utility with high style. The Mac Book is already stylish, and to be blunt, the "thin is in" tech craze is borderline last-year, when the iPhone and Blackberry drove the nails into the coffin of the Motorola Edge.

What's more, the MBA might get lost in the razzle-dazzle of new "lightweight" Linux appliances... the OLPC and the Asus EEE and the Nokia 810 and the UMPC... that offer style and function and cost around $200-$500 each.

SoupIsGood Food

stan adams – January 15, 2008 05:51PM Reply Quote
The MBA use the same video chipset as the MB -- spanning is no problem for the card, but the "dongle" and cable are gonna "ruin the lines of the suit"...

If anything this thing will drive the folks at Asus and the other places to make some kind of crazy Lin-pliance thing that will have 3g connectivity -- another HUGE omission from the MBA. ExpressCards are moderately sexy/statusy, but the USB connected things are grotesque.

Simon – January 15, 2008 07:44PM Reply Quote
SoupIsGood Food
Nobody uses the optical drive anymore.
Except for people installing say MS Office, or Leopard...

The MBA is just Apple showing off, like they did with the cube. I don't see what this is going to do for them.

El Jeffe – January 15, 2008 07:58PM Reply Quote
What a journey.
well, they showed off with the iPhone, too. And it's been pretty good. Maybe if the MBA was a cell phone, too?

What a journey.

Simon – January 15, 2008 08:07PM Reply Quote
Well, my point is that they're just showing off. there isn't anything in the MBA that points to a definitive market that makes the product worth doing, something apple is usually very specific about.

John Willoughby – January 15, 2008 08:14PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
I think the folks who spend their days in airports and walking from conference room to conference room for meetings ad infinitum will love it. It looks VERY cool and it's light. The Japanese will probably love it, too, those lovable weirdos.

stan adams – January 15, 2008 09:07PM Reply Quote
Japan - there's a target market.

I can see the next OS release coming on a thumb drive -- hell the marginal cost of flash storage ought to be low enough to do it now.

Simon does have a point, and others have hit on it too -- the thing about Cube, Spartacus & MBA is STYLE, while pretty much all the other Mac have some superior FUNCTION. Though when you get right down to the heart of pretty every Apple product, even the Apple II -- the PACKAGE has been a HUGE part of the appeal.

Mighty Mouse – January 15, 2008 09:26PM Reply Quote
I've given up on trying to guess what will sell and what won't. I said the original iPod was too expensive. I thought the iPhone was too expensive. The MBA, however, strikes me as an ok price, not too high but could be better. I think it will sell, the question is if it will maintain momentum.

And don't forget one thing: the atmosphere is quite a bit different than in the days of the Cube. Apple has the appeal and the attention now. They didn't back then. That's worth quite a few units right there.

I also think this is partly Jobs trying to shape a market and push it in a particular direction. The iPhone was that type of product. The iPod another. But with the MBA, its "value" isn't as clear cut. One thing I do know: the people on this board are not the target audience.

Another point to ponder: Maybe this isn't all there is. Maybe this is the first shot or a trial balloon. Ask yourself this looking at the MBA: How much would need to be done to do a tablet?

ghidorah – January 15, 2008 11:41PM Reply Quote
Raise taxes on cavemen. --jw
my thoughts exactly MM

ARL (Moderator) – January 16, 2008 03:30AM Reply Quote


Intel GMA X3100 graphics processor with 144MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory

Macbook graphics at Macbook Pro prices. Nice.

It's odd. Apple released the cube roughly around the same time the US slid into recession. I think history is about to repeat itself...

ARL (Moderator) – January 16, 2008 03:44AM Reply Quote
And the biggest thing people are missing to get the pretty 0.4 cm thick version of the MBA is that it's not $1800 -- it's $3098 -- $300 more than a 17 inch MBP

MBA - priced by MBA's for MBA'S I think...

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2008 03:48AM by Tony Leggett.

Simon – January 16, 2008 08:38AM Reply Quote
No, that's the price for adding the SSD. they are giving the max. and min. dimensions of the case, not options on the size of the case.

Mighty Mouse – January 16, 2008 11:30AM Reply Quote
Making things like this thinner/smaller/lighter is expensive. That said, the price point on this isn't that bad. I don't think this product is aimed at people who are looking for the best deal. In fact, you could argue that nothing Apple makes is aimed at anyone thinking that way.

This is a compromise, as with any other product. You want lightweight, small, unobtrusive, this is your product. You want less expensive? Not yours. You want processing power, more ports, better graphics? Not yours.

The more I think about the MBA, the more I think it will sell fairly well, and I think it's a sign of things to come.

But, really, comparing the MBA to the MBP is a stretch. Comparisons to the MB are more appropriate. It's a stripped down MB, but that stripping down is to make it thinner/lighter/smaller, which comes at a price.

stan adams – January 16, 2008 12:22PM Reply Quote
MM --

I agree with most of what you're saying, but I still don't agree with the "different thinking" that Apple did on this thing, but I might be able to offer an explanation of why they did it.

The "reason for being" for MBA is MacBook not "sexy", MBP not "small n' light". Most other laptop lines offer an "executive" model that is small n' light. TSO acknowledged this with the comparison to the Vaio. The MBA is unquestionably smaller & lighter than the Vaio. I suppose there are consumers that will stop looking right there are whip out the Amex. A suspect a fair number of even tech savvy folks will do so, just as they've bought iPhones and hacked them in various ways. More power to 'em.

I prefer "total solutions". The MBP is a superior solution to mobile computing AND desktop replacement. I still believe no other laptop does so much so well. I sincerely hope that Apple does not deviate from this thinking for the MBP. I suspect the bottom line success of the line lets them know loud and clear that it is the right thing to do.

The MBA offers an interesting glimpse into Apple product evoultion, especially when one considers the iPod Nano. Presumably the MBA will appeal to those who consider the MBP "too much" and the MB "too little". I have to admit that when it comes to music the HD based iPods are "too much" for me and the Shuffle is "too little" the Nano is "just right", I guess that the iPod mini classic was closest to the Nano, in the way that the MB is closest to the MBA, but the flash memory of the Nano made it a "tech forward" choice and was the deal closer for me. The birth of the Nano killed the iPod mini. I think we will soon see the death of the MB, or at least a re-incarnation of it.
The MBA similarly offers the option of a SSD, though for me that is too precious on option, just a load of cash and you don't really even get any outward sign of its presence -- if Jon Ivie would have spent more time studying Buicks he'd have put some kind of "porthole" int he MBA and given the SSD model more vents, even if none were needed.
(The MB can easily lose the built in optical drive, schools would not miss 'em, and fewer ports mean less things for frustrated admins to epoxy over. I see a great future for slot free MBs, I hope that the price drops quickly so that Apple has more room to play in the entry laptop arena. That will be very good for the "Mac ecosystem". Personally I would like to see about $200 come off the base MB.

The oddest omission to me is that MBA does not have a built in high speed cell card, though upon reflection this is a conscious decision that makes sense given the state of ubiquitous web access. WiFi still rules. When the next iPhone comes out with 3G I'll probably get one, but SJ will already have the "next iteration" of web access worked out. It might be WiMax or 700mhz or something else. It will give Apple more clout and more control. And they will be hacks to allow MBAs to tether to 3G iPhones and whatever else folks "in the know" will use to get on the interwebs...

Mokers (Moderator) – January 16, 2008 12:49PM Reply Quote
Formerly Remy Martin
You should still be able to Bluetooth to your 3G phone for internet access. The problem with including a card in something like this is that cell phone companies can change the spec on you. If there is a 3G iPhone, I expect Apple to promote the dongle capability.

I think the MBA does speak to a new design language. I don't think it will be the end of the MB, but I do think some changes are in store. Sucks that I can't do target disk mode in the MBA though.

Cloudscout – January 16, 2008 01:16PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!

Sucks that I can't do target disk mode in the MBA, though.

Ooh. I hadn't thought of that one. Are we sure they haven't implemented a USB Target Disk Mode for the MBA?

Mighty Mouse – January 16, 2008 01:22PM Reply Quote

I agree with you, except where you say the MBP is too much and the MB too little. I would say the MBA would be "too little" in the scheme of things based on features. Again, the price point puts it between the MB and MBP, but that's because of the design, not features.

I don't think the MBA spells any differences for either the MB or MBP. They all three are aimed at different market segments.

johnny k – January 16, 2008 01:47PM Reply Quote
> And they will be hacks to allow MBAs to tether to 3G iPhones and whatever else folks "in the know" will use to get on the interwebs...

Doesn't even have to be a hack, with any decent Bluetooth phone currently. Apple just needs to make it easier than setting up a modem.

tliet – January 16, 2008 01:59PM Reply Quote

Lack of wired ethernet is a biggie IMO, while WiFi is ubiquitous, it isn't really in offices, although it may be in the suites where this product should be targeted at. Although the lack of G3 connectivity makes it most certainly less appealing to those that travel a lot. I see travellers with G3 PCcards/Express cards all the time.

It does look sexy tho, but I don't envy one, too flimsy.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2008 02:00PM by tliet.

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