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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > MacBook Update 5/15/2007

MacBook Update 5/15/2007
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Gamoe
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May 15, 2007, 01:11 AM
 
I'm always on the lookout for any realistically possible tidbit of MacBook news and rumors. Frankly, I'm disappointed with what I'm reading lately. Both AppleInsider and ThinkSecret (here and here) are reporting relatively insignificant updates to the consumer line, with Santa Rosa and LED backlighting coming to the Pro line, but either only SR or neither item coming to the MacBook. Frankly, I was hoping for better graphics and LED backlighting on the MacBook.

On the other hand, rumors are hot about a new MacBook lite notebook coming out of Apple, which is great, but not particularly useful for me, since I need a more feature-full notebook and I'm sure the price will be higher than I would care to fathom. Still, it's exciting news and I hope it comes through.

ThinkSecret insists on updates Tuesday, that is, today/tomorrow at 8 AM EST. I guess we'll see... I'm certainly hoping a little more for the MacBook, though it's unusual when the rumors underestimate an update, as it's usually the other way around.

They say the MacBook offerings will expand from three present configs to five. I wonder if that includes some kind of price drop, or perhaps even a high-end graphics-card model, but perhaps that's too hopeful-- then again hope springs eternal, no?
     
butterfly0fdoom
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May 15, 2007, 01:37 AM
 
Honestly, I just mainly wanted Santa Rosa. LED backlighting would be nice, but Apple would obviously introduce that on the higher-level product. But the MacBook stands to benefit a lot from Santa Rosa (especially in the graphics department) and I see no reason for Apple to not implement SR into the MB. If they don't but still update the MacBooks tomorrow, I may as well just get one tomorrow, then, cuz I can't hold out until November. X___X
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iDaver
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May 15, 2007, 02:25 AM
 
My prediction: updated MacBooks this week, including two new 15" models. Processor specs will remain unchanged while memory and hard drive specs will be bumped up a bit. Prices will drop $100 on each existing model. MacBook Pros will be updated later, probably just a few days before WWDC.
     
gramsey
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May 15, 2007, 08:11 AM
 
The Apple store is currently off line, which generally means they're updating prior to a new product launch, so, finges crossed for the macbook.
     
phazedowt
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May 15, 2007, 08:44 AM
 
Already updated-- slight speed/hd bump. 1GB RAM in all models.
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mduell
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May 15, 2007, 09:19 AM
 
Really underwhelming upgrade... marginal CPU/memory/disk bumps with no change to graphics (which needs an upgrade the most and has an 'easy' one available).
     
butterfly0fdoom
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May 15, 2007, 09:25 AM
 
Kinda was hoping for SR (I guess that was somewhat apparent), but I'll take what I can get. D: But really, now, is an X3000 too much to ask for?
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Ado
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May 15, 2007, 09:29 AM
 
I waited 4 months for this rubbish?

The GPU alone wont be decent for leopard when its out next month.

Um i think apple did this so it wont compete with a "13 Macbook Pro.
     
slugslugslug
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May 15, 2007, 10:00 AM
 
So the Store went back down before I could play with BTO options. Anyone get a chance to configure the middle model like the top one to see what the Black Tax is?

Originally Posted by Ado
The GPU alone wont be decent for leopard when its out next month.
Leopard won't be out for around another 5 months, and what makes you think this GPU won't work with it? I'm sure most of Leopard's functionality will be perfectly usable on any Intel machine and plenty of PPC ones.
     
MindFad
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May 15, 2007, 10:05 AM
 
Let's just get it out of our systems now:


The GMA 950 is more than adequate to deal with whatever Leopard has in store. It handles the OS graphics fine now—why wouldn't it handle Leopard? Of course, that's the only GMA praise you'll get out of me.
     
Simon
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May 15, 2007, 10:32 AM
 
The GMA 950 just plain sucks. It might be OK on a $599 mini, but it is definitely not OK on a $1099 MB. And it's outright ridiculous on a $1499 MB. Obviously Apple has been selling very many MBs lately. I'm surprised to see them become that lazy so quickly.
     
analogika
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May 15, 2007, 10:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Ado View Post
I waited 4 months for this rubbish?
Why the hell did you wait?

The last revision of MacBooks was splendid!
     
makku
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May 15, 2007, 10:50 AM
 
Most consumers who buys the MB probably doesn't understand/care about computer specifications. However for me... Yeah this update sucks. They should have waited couple more weeks and added Santa Rosa. Now they probably won't update the macbooks for couple months. I wouldn't have bought it even though if it did have Santa Rosa (already have a MB). I'm just annoyed because I feel like Apple is getting really far behind on Macs and iPods since the iPhone announcement.
     
mdc
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May 15, 2007, 11:00 AM
 
I'm both disappointed and happy with this update. I was hoping for a new video card, but at the end of the day I don't play any games on my Mac and I know the GMA950 is enough for Leopard, but deep down I was hoping for more.
I am happy with the 120gb drive and $75 more for a 160gb.

I'm looking to sell my 17" Powerbook 1.67ghz and pick up a MacBook and a 24" iMac and a MacBook for my wife. I think this update will be enough on the MacBook side, and I'll hold off for the rumored iMac redesign.
     
ph0ust
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May 15, 2007, 11:18 AM
 
last i read, the santa rosa chipset was like $19 CHEAPER than the current c2d chipsets. adding to the fact that every other laptop on the market that costs even a marginal amount of money is getting the sr chipset it makes you wonder what the hell is going on at apple. first the atv comes out handicapped (first garbage apple product i have bought ever) and now this lame non-update.

i agree with a previous poster... this is something that just gets thrown out there... it isn't an update. why did they even wait for this? if nothing else, they clearly should have thrown this out there before everyone else is tossing sr-based laptops onto the scene. so lame......
     
iDaver
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May 15, 2007, 11:44 AM
 
Hopefully today's "update" leaves room at the bottom for Mac minis to be upgraded soon to the specs the MacBooks had yesterday.

It also leaves room at the top for MacBook Pros to be upgraded next month so that they are much better than MacBooks, as they should be.
     
mdc
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May 15, 2007, 11:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by ph0ust View Post
...first the atv comes out handicapped (first garbage apple product i have bought ever)...
If this is too much of a derail, do you mind creating a new thread? I'd love to hear your thoughts on why the AppleTV is garbage and handicapped.
     
yticolev
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May 15, 2007, 12:08 PM
 
The Blackbook penalty is up to $125. This is up from $50 is memory serves me.
     
Nodnarb
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May 15, 2007, 01:08 PM
 
I thought it was $200 before just for the black? $50 wouldn't have been extremely unreasonable, but IIRC it was a $200 premium for the black MB.

Anyone know for sure?
     
ajprice
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May 15, 2007, 01:11 PM
 
I have a G4 tower and CS3 is struggling, I don't have the funds for a Mac Pro or MBP because I just bought CS3, or the desk space for an iMac. I'm not that much of a PC or Mac gamer (thats what consoles are for), but do use photoshop a lot and am getting into web design at the moment (using CS3). So I'm not really that fussed over the lack of Santa Rosa, as I believe that the upgrade would mainly make the 3D games run better. The Macbook would be connected to a Dell 2407, either dual screen or lid shut.

How well would a Macbook 2.16GHz (white) with 2GB RAM (works out £10 cheaper than a standard blackbook) run Adobe CS3 and be usable as my main computer?

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
Simon
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May 15, 2007, 01:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nodnarb View Post
I thought it was $200 before just for the black? $50 wouldn't have been extremely unreasonable, but IIRC it was a $200 premium for the black MB.
Yesterday:
• 2.0 GHz, white, stock 80 GB drive: $1299
• 2.0 Ghz, black, stock 120 GB drive: $1499
• 2.0 GHz, white, upgraded HDD to 120 GB: $1444
-> black costed $50

Today:
• 2.16 GHz, white, stock 120 GB drive: $1299
• 2.16 Ghz, black, stock 160 GB drive: $1499
• 2.16 GHz, white, upgraded HDD to 160 GB: $1374
-> black costs $125

Obviously the black models were selling really well. We'll see how this works out.
     
Bunit
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May 15, 2007, 01:38 PM
 
I'm surprised an update like this hasn't come sooner. I have the previous MacBook and love it, but it's so close to a MacBook Pro. It's obvious Apple is trying to make a difference between the two lines. I wouldn't be surprised if there's another update before leopard with Santa Rosa in it though.
     
im_noahselby
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May 15, 2007, 01:49 PM
 
I was expecting this to happen. Hopefully there aren't too many pissed off people. Judging by all the negatives on the story at MacRumors however, I think a lot of people are pretty upset...
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im_noahselby
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May 15, 2007, 01:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ado View Post
I waited 4 months for this rubbish?

The GPU alone wont be decent for leopard when its out next month.

Um i think apple did this so it wont compete with a "13 Macbook Pro.
Many people in this forum have been letting others in the macnn community know for months that this upgrade wasn't going to be very spectacular and that if anything we would be seeing a modest MacBook upgrade. The rumor sites confirmed this in various reports that have been trinkling around for the past several weeks. Sure enough, we got a very underwhelming upgrade to these machines. Nobody should be surprised. This is why sometimes you are better off just biting the bullet and buying the machine that meets your needs.
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analogue SPRINKLES
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May 15, 2007, 03:20 PM
 
LED backlighting is expensive and hardly on the market. Why would apple put it FIRST in the low end consumer products with the lowest margins?
     
analogika
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May 15, 2007, 03:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Yesterday:
• 2.0 GHz, white, stock 80 GB drive: $1299
• 2.0 Ghz, black, stock 120 GB drive: $1499
• 2.0 GHz, white, upgraded HDD to 120 GB: $1444
-> black costed $50

Today:
• 2.16 GHz, white, stock 120 GB drive: $1299
• 2.16 Ghz, black, stock 160 GB drive: $1499
• 2.16 GHz, white, upgraded HDD to 160 GB: $1374
-> black costs $125

Obviously the black models were selling really well. We'll see how this works out.
You ignore that Apple's upgrade price from the 80GB to the 120GB hard drive was completely absurd at $150 even when it was first introduced.

$60 or so would have been appropriate, making the "Black Premium" about $90 - not that much less than today.

And yes, the black ones are selling well.
     
mac128k-1984
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May 15, 2007, 04:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post
How well would a Macbook 2.16GHz (white) with 2GB RAM (works out £10 cheaper than a standard blackbook) run Adobe CS3 and be usable as my main computer?
I was running the CS3 apps on my core duo (not c2d) Macbook and it was slow, add on the fact that the screen is way too small to do anything in PS you'd need to make sure you have an external monitor.

I'm not sure much faster these new machines are as compared to my core duo but I'd avoid doing any heavy PS work on a Macbook and instead save up for a machine that can really handle the load.
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Gamoe  (op)
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May 15, 2007, 04:21 PM
 
Personally, I'm not "pissed off", but I'm rather disappointed, because I think it's very reasonable to assume a Santa Rosa update for Apple's consumer notebook, considering all the much-cheaper PC notebooks which have gotten and are getting such an upgrade and the fact that the new chipset is supposedly cheaper than the old, slower one.

Surely, Apple needs to differentiate the consumer and Pro lines, but I think this differentiation (if indeed the MacBook is to stick to the old chipset for a few more months while the MBP receives the SR upgrade) is somewhat disingenuous, unnecessary and more artificial than most.

I wish the low-end model would have gotten a superdrive, at least. <sigh>
     
kjd88
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May 15, 2007, 04:40 PM
 
I just bought a whitebook 2.16ghz stock to replace my 12" powerbook g4 1.5ghz.
     
Andhee
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May 15, 2007, 04:44 PM
 
I think its all down the marketing techniques, and them knowing that people want santa rosa in their macbooks. Theyve possibly done it so when they upgrade the macbook pros they'll put SR in that, so then people who were on macbooks might go for the higher cost (making apple benefit).

To be honest, I think this upgrade was fine, you got more for your money, which is what everyone wants, right?
     
Andhee
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May 15, 2007, 04:47 PM
 
I see they have also upped the disk drive to 8x double layer from the previous 6x
     
Gamoe  (op)
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May 15, 2007, 06:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andhee View Post
I think its all down the marketing techniques, and them knowing that people want santa rosa in their macbooks. Theyve possibly done it so when they upgrade the macbook pros they'll put SR in that, so then people who were on macbooks might go for the higher cost (making apple benefit).

To be honest, I think this upgrade was fine, you got more for your money, which is what everyone wants, right?
Sure, I'm glad there was an update, but this one is relatively poor when compared to many PC notebooks within the same price range. In the PPC era, one could say it is like comparing apples to oranges, but nowadays Apple is using the same hardware platform (with little difference), so yeah, I think it's right that we expect more, and Apple has not the same old excuses, nor can it blame IBM or Motorola anymore.

Apple can't have it both ways claiming it's consumer portable a superior premium product (compared to consumer PC notebooks) while skimping on the latest update which is supposedly actually cheaper to implement than the old. Apple should be putting more value into it's professional notebook line rather than weakening its consumer line by not adding a less costly, more competitive chipset that too many competitors have added to their consumer notebook lines.

Oh, and the superdrive issue is silly. It's there simply to coerce most users to buy the middle model, while allowing Apple to state "Starting from $1099". Either drop the lowest model or give us a superdrive with it, Apple!

But no use arguing about it now. It's either buy now, or wait potentially six months or so 'till the next update. Hopefully it will be sooner than that, though. Personally, I'd like to get myself a MacBook, but I can't afford it just yet, so hopefully by the time I can it'll be based on Santa Rosa.
     
cjrivera
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May 15, 2007, 06:35 PM
 
Did the previous version of the MacBook have 802.11g? If so, then another upgrade is to 802.11n.
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cherry su
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May 15, 2007, 06:49 PM
 
The previous MacBook had a 802.11n card but was advertised as a 802.11g card.
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May 15, 2007, 06:50 PM
 
Below is the most current news of Apple's plans vis-a-vis an upcoming iteration of the MacBook.


macnn
View this article at: MacNN | Flash-based Apple notebooks planned
Tuesday, May 15,2007 @ 3:00pm
Flash-based Apple notebooks planned

Apple is planning to release a new notebook with solid state flash memory "soon," according to sources cited by Macworld UK. The Cupertino-based company is destined to release an ultra-portable thin 13-inch MacBook with an LED-back lit display, no optical disc drive, and on-board NAND flash memory that is thinner and lighter than existing MacBooks, according to AppleInsider, which should launch late this year or early next year. Industry watchers speculate that the portables will make use of Intel's new Santa Rosa laptop processor, which implements support for solid state memory that can boost laptop battery life and startup times. Apple CEO Steve Jobs earlier this month in an open letter to the public revealed that the company plans to introduce its first Macs with LED backlight technology this year.
Copyright ©1995-2005 Macintosh News Network, Inc. All rights reserved.


Today's move to "spiff up" the current MacBook model(s) --by increasing memory and HD sizes-- is likely one to insure continued sales until the new "WonderBook" (my name for the Flash ultra-thin) arrives, and to prepare for the Summer's Back-To-School marketing program.

It strikes me as counter-intuitive --especially given Apple's normally reticent attitude about discussing future plans-- to make such an announcement. However, given the way Jobs & Company (aka "JobCo") is handling the buzz about the iPhone, it may just signal a shift in their marketing agenda going forward. Of course, the announcement wasn't from Apple, and should only be viewed as speculation, but. . . We shall see, won't we?
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May 15, 2007, 07:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by cherry su View Post
The previous MacBook had a 802.11n card but was advertised as a 802.11g card.
Really?? I didn't know this.
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May 15, 2007, 07:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by unixfool View Post
Really?? I didn't know this.
Oh yeah, there was a big hubub over Apple having to charge $1.99 to enable the unadvertised hardware in the MacBooks after they had been purchased. Some sort of legal reasoning, as I understand it.
     
shinykaro
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May 15, 2007, 08:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Gamoe View Post
Sure, I'm glad there was an update, but this one is relatively poor when compared to many PC notebooks within the same price range. In the PPC era, one could say it is like comparing apples to oranges, but nowadays Apple is using the same hardware platform (with little difference), so yeah, I think it's right that we expect more, and Apple has not the same old excuses, nor can it blame IBM or Motorola anymore.
I can't say much for hardware stuff, but I do believe we're still comparing apples to oranges here. People don't switch for the hardware alone. They switch because of what OS X has to offer over Windows. That part of the user experience is still the most valuable one, so we can't look at comparable hardware and pricing on the Windows PC side and say we're looking at two members of the same species. Any computer running OS X is a different animal (cat?) than its Windows counterparts, and isn't that why we go with Apples?
     
iDaver
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May 15, 2007, 08:20 PM
 
The thing I find comical about Apple's hardware update schedule of late is this. When Apple switched to Intel processors, it was said that Intel's roadmap for processors looked better than IBM's or Motorola's. The pundits said that we would see more frequent hardware upgrades from Apple because Intel would have new processors more often than IBM or Motorola. This has turned out to be nonsense, so far. I see the same weak two-times-yearly upgrades as I saw before. Granted, it hasn't been that long since Intel was introduced into Macs and things might get better.

That said, I completely understand why Apple would want to keep MacBooks a processor-generation behind MacBook Pros. Apple is in business to make profit. They profit more on Pro models than they do on non-pro models. If we allow that as a given, we should expect Apple to be darned quick about getting santa rosa into the MacBook Pros. If they aren't quick about that, they're just lame, and any criticism would be justified.

And now that MacBooks have been updated, it's time for a Core 2 Duo line of Mac minis with yesterday's MacBook specs. There's no excuse to hold them back any longer.
     
imitchellg5
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May 15, 2007, 08:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post
I have a G4 tower and CS3 is struggling, I don't have the funds for a Mac Pro or MBP because I just bought CS3, or the desk space for an iMac. I'm not that much of a PC or Mac gamer (thats what consoles are for), but do use photoshop a lot and am getting into web design at the moment (using CS3). So I'm not really that fussed over the lack of Santa Rosa, as I believe that the upgrade would mainly make the 3D games run better. The Macbook would be connected to a Dell 2407, either dual screen or lid shut.

How well would a Macbook 2.16GHz (white) with 2GB RAM (works out £10 cheaper than a standard blackbook) run Adobe CS3 and be usable as my main computer?
It would work just fine at CS3.
     
imitchellg5
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May 15, 2007, 08:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
The GMA 950 just plain sucks. It might be OK on a $599 mini, but it is definitely not OK on a $1099 MB. And it's outright ridiculous on a $1499 MB. Obviously Apple has been selling very many MBs lately. I'm surprised to see them become that lazy so quickly.
You need to remember the target audience of the MacBook. It's not made for peope who care that much about graphics. That's what the MacBook Pro is for... professionals who need the graphics performance and faster processor and more RAM. If you need the graphics, get the MacBook Pro. If not, don't whine about the MacBook's GMA.
     
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May 15, 2007, 08:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by GatorsFan View Post
...The Cupertino-based company is destined to release an ultra-portable thin 13-inch MacBook with an LED-back lit display, no optical disc drive, and on-board NAND flash memory that is thinner and lighter than existing MacBooks, according to AppleInsider, which should launch late this year or early next year...
What I don't get about these speculations about an "ultra-portable" Macbook, is that how the hell is someone going to re-install Mac OS X without an optical disc drive or for that matter applications or games. Is there something I missed?
     
Ado
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May 15, 2007, 08:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Why the hell did you wait?

The last revision of MacBooks was splendid!
I will be travelling soon and wantto be able toplay Company of Heroes via bootcamp, the current gpu in the macbook is enough just to display a resolution and play the occaisional LAST GEN 3d game in low res.


REASON why I waited - Macbooks are identocal to ASUS....ASUS already announced the SantaRosa and newer GPU's.
I thought these would have been the new macbooks...I was wrong. Apple could havereleased these updates weeks ago.

I believe Apple did this as an attempt to not fight with a Pro macbook "13 when its released.
All I ask Apple is please loose the brush metal and go black again.. Im sick of metal it looks last gen.
     
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May 15, 2007, 10:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by ph0ust View Post
last i read, the santa rosa chipset was like $19 CHEAPER than the current c2d chipsets
are you sure about this? that's the only thing i've read so far that disappoints me about the update. i never expected them to roll SR into the macbooks this early, i think apple is keen to create a bigger performance distinction between MB and MBP, and have been for quite some time. SR will come later.

if SR really is cheaper, not including them in the upgrade is just insane.
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May 15, 2007, 10:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by disposable View Post
What I don't get about these speculations about an "ultra-portable" Macbook, is that how the hell is someone going to re-install Mac OS X without an optical disc drive or for that matter applications or games. Is there something I missed?
If they add a firewire port then you could put the MBM (I'm going to call it the MacBook Mini) into target disk mode and then use another Mac to boot off the install CD and then install, say, Leopard straight to the Flash memory of the MBM
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May 15, 2007, 11:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by disposable View Post
What I don't get about these speculations about an "ultra-portable" Macbook, is that how the hell is someone going to re-install Mac OS X without an optical disc drive or for that matter applications or games. Is there something I missed?

Or what if they stored the restore image onto a firmware. To restore you simply invoke some keystrokes on bootup and it restores itself. You never know...
     
iDaver
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May 15, 2007, 11:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by C.A.T.S. CEO View Post
If they add a firewire port then you could put the MBM (I'm going to call it the MacBook Mini) into target disk mode and then use another Mac to boot off the install CD and then install, say, Leopard straight to the Flash memory of the MBM
Yes, you probably could but that would be a ridiculous assumption on Apple's part. I would fully expect an external DVD writer to come in the box. For the $2500 or so Apple would charge for this hypothetical MBM, it had better.
     
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May 16, 2007, 12:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by shinykaro View Post
I can't say much for hardware stuff, but I do believe we're still comparing apples to oranges here. People don't switch for the hardware alone. They switch because of what OS X has to offer over Windows. That part of the user experience is still the most valuable one, so we can't look at comparable hardware and pricing on the Windows PC side and say we're looking at two members of the same species. Any computer running OS X is a different animal (cat?) than its Windows counterparts, and isn't that why we go with Apples?
Totally agree with you there-- The ability for Macs to run Mac OS X is the main point that sets them apart form any other PC hardware. ANd that's why Apple not keeping up with the hardware end disappoints me-- I can't just go out and buy some PC notebook, cause it won't run my trusty Mac OS X.

Apple is a hardware manufacturer and it shouldn't rely on software differences alone to distinguish it's products. At least, they should be in-line with the rest of the industry, and preferably comparable to the top-of-the-line PC manufacturer, as that's what Apple aims to be seen as (top of the line).

Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
You need to remember the target audience of the MacBook. It's not made for peope who care that much about graphics. That's what the MacBook Pro is for... professionals who need the graphics performance and faster processor and more RAM. If you need the graphics, get the MacBook Pro. If not, don't whine about the MacBook's GMA.
Yep, and the iBook predecessor of the MacBook and the one before that one, and the one before, and the PowerBooks before those all had discrete graphics and yet were sold as "consumer notebooks".

If Apple is saving money and making a more efficient motherboard design by using integrated graphics, that's fine, but at least give us the kind of performance ratio we had before (and better!) between the pro and consumer lines when they all used discreet graphics cards.

Originally Posted by disposable View Post
What I don't get about these speculations about an "ultra-portable" Macbook, is that how the hell is someone going to re-install Mac OS X without an optical disc drive or for that matter applications or games. Is there something I missed?
Just a guess but.. USB Optical drive or ethernet. These optical-drive-less notebooks aren't meant to operate alone usually, but in conjunction with other Macs or peripherals at home. That's the tradeoff for portability that lots of people are willing to do.
     
Eug
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May 16, 2007, 12:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
You need to remember the target audience of the MacBook. It's not made for peope who care that much about graphics. That's what the MacBook Pro is for... professionals who need the graphics performance and faster processor and more RAM. If you need the graphics, get the MacBook Pro. If not, don't whine about the MacBook's GMA.
Unfortunately, you can't get a 13" (or smaller) MacBook Pro.
     
iDaver
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May 16, 2007, 01:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Gamoe View Post
...These optical-drive-less notebooks aren't meant to operate alone usually, but in conjunction with other Macs or peripherals at home. That's the tradeoff for portability that lots of people are willing to do.
Apple makes a whole widget, so I don't believe the rumor that there will soon be a Mac ultra-portable with no optical drive. I don't think we'll go back to the days of the PowerBook Duo when you needed your dock to get anything done. (IMO, someday optical drives may be left out and replaced with something else, but not this year. Someday Apple might provide OS X on a flash memory stick instead of a DVD, but not this year.)

The part of the rumor I've heard about incorporating flash memory in lieu of a hard drive might prove to be true. If Apple is willing to make the iPhone with just four to eight GB of memory, it's conceivable they'd make a lightweight portable Mac with just 32. I'm not sure I'd want one though. Is flash memory even fast enough to make that practical?
     
 
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