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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Apple user's obsession with thinness

Apple user's obsession with thinness
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Chooglin'
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Jan 17, 2008, 08:24 AM
 
Just wanted to say, I don't understand the need for an "ultrathin" notebook. The apple laptops are already thin enough. I could easily transport a 17" powerbook anywhere. For all the tradeoffs, the thinness factor seems pretty shallow and a pretty weird obsession.
     
slpdLoad
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Jan 17, 2008, 08:30 AM
 
Try working from a coach seat in a plane with a 17" PowerBook.
     
Chooglin'  (op)
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Jan 17, 2008, 08:56 AM
 
See this is what I don't get.

You can afford a Macbook Air, but you won't pay the money for a first class seat.

There's something wrong with that.

And I could get a 17" powerbook into a coach seat. it's not bigger than the tray.
     
mdc
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Jan 17, 2008, 08:57 AM
 
I think the thinness is a by product of them trying to get the weight down; which I feel is the main issue. I carry a MacBook, in a backpack, everyday and while it's not heavy, I would love it to be almost half the weight.
     
MacosNerd
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Jan 17, 2008, 09:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chooglin' View Post
Just wanted to say, I don't understand the need for an "ultrathin" notebook. The apple laptops are already thin enough. I could easily transport a 17" powerbook anywhere. For all the tradeoffs, the thinness factor seems pretty shallow and a pretty weird obsession.
This may be hard for you to understand but not one size fits all. Just because you like the 17" and have no issues lugging that beast around everyone should have one. Many people do not like that. I myself think its too big, and so I have the 15" MBP. I also think the 13" screen of the MacBook and now the MBA is too small for my needs.

Just because the computer doesn't fit your needs doesn't mean it fails to meet everyones needs or desires.

I know a few people who think this is a great model and have gone out and purchased the MBA. It was exactly what they were looking for.
     
Pierre B.
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Jan 17, 2008, 09:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chooglin' View Post
Just wanted to say, I don't understand the need for an "ultrathin" notebook. The apple laptops are already thin enough. I could easily transport a 17" powerbook anywhere.
I am afraid that except you that, as you say, you are sufficiently strong for this, there are many other that could not do this, or could not do it for prolonged periods of time many hours a day, without getting back pain or more severe problems.

Originally Posted by Chooglin' View Post
For all the tradeoffs, the thinness factor seems pretty shallow and a pretty weird obsession.
In the form of an obsession it appears that it is more common in the female population. But as I said previously, there are other reasons far from obsession.

I don't think Apple addresses some obsession here, but rather the demand of those people who can afford a secondary stripped down computer, as much light as it can get without compromising usability (see tiny keyboards), for their regular mobile needs.
     
Eug
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Jan 17, 2008, 10:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by slpdLoad View Post
Try working from a coach seat in a plane with a 17" PowerBook.
I don't see how a MacBook Air would help you in a coach seat in a plane as compared to a 13" MacBook.

The MacBook non-Air has the better battery life by the way.


Originally Posted by Chooglin' View Post
See this is what I don't get.

You can afford a Macbook Air, but you won't pay the money for a first class seat.

There's something wrong with that.
That makes no sense at all.

Flight overseas to China, coach: $1000
Flight overseas to China, business class: $5000
     
ctt1wbw
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Jan 17, 2008, 10:11 AM
 
It's not just Apple users who are obsessed with thinness. Dell proclaims proudly on their website that the XPS-1330 is the world's thinnest notebook. So Windows users are obsessed too, otherwise everyone else's websites wouldn't be saying all this stuff.
     
shinykaro
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Jan 17, 2008, 11:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by ctt1wbw View Post
It's not just Apple users who are obsessed with thinness. Dell proclaims proudly on their website that the XPS-1330 is the world's thinnest notebook. So Windows users are obsessed too, otherwise everyone else's websites wouldn't be saying all this stuff.
Just want to echo that sentiment. It's not an Apple thing. Thinness, as someone already pointed out, is a byproduct of trying to reduce the volume of the notebook. They reduced the weight by reducing minimizing the container and maximizing the computer within those limitations.

Now aesthetics and industrial design ARE an Apple thing. Placing the form factor on the same level as other considerations, that's an Apple thing. It's not thinness for thinness' sake. It's uncompromising design goals and then making the technology, working with suppliers and producers, to make producing it possible. The iPod, the iMacs, the consumer and pro MacBooks were all built on those principles. Isn't that partly why we love to be seen with their products?
     
ghporter
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Jan 17, 2008, 12:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chooglin' View Post
See this is what I don't get.

You can afford a Macbook Air, but you won't pay the money for a first class seat.

There's something wrong with that.

And I could get a 17" powerbook into a coach seat. it's not bigger than the tray.
MacBook Air-one time purchase. Coach to first class upgrade-every time you fly. Have you looked at the premium to go from coach to first class? It gets much steeper the closer to the departure day you get. You could easily pay for another MBA with what it costs to buy a first class ticket purchased less than a couple of weeks in advance. Seriously, your "buy an expensive computer but won't buy an incredibly expensive airline ticket" argument really isn't effective.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
mduell
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Jan 17, 2008, 06:52 PM
 
A 15" widescreen is about as big as you can go in coach. With the person in front of you reclined, it's more like 13" widescreen. Even in Economy Plus I can't see fitting a 17".

Originally Posted by mdc View Post
I think the thinness is a by product of them trying to get the weight down; which I feel is the main issue.
Not really; there are laptops that are twice as thick at the same weight (or lighter).
     
Simon
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Jan 18, 2008, 05:28 AM
 
If anybody thinks the price of a MBA compares even remotely to the cost of flying first rather than coach, you obviously don't fly much. I fly about twice a week on average. Even if I'd just chose 'only' business over coach that would cost me about $35,000 extra a year. So that's what? About a dozen totally pimped out MBAs!

Anyway, I have pretty much given up trying to do serious work on my 15" MBP in coach. You can barely get the thing on the tray. And once the seat's reclined, good luck seeing anything on your screen. Watching a movie will work, but trying to write code and actually concentrate on work? Forget about it.

I've also tried taking my MB with me instead. It's definitely better (fits well on the tray), but it's still not great. And that's actually also my biggest gripe with the MBA. The thickness is awesome. The weight is great. Keeping a full-sized keyboard and 1280x800 display is the right call too. But what the hell is that huge bezel there for? The screen and KB both have over an inch of bezel surrounding them. If Apple could get rid of that (even if it meant adding 2 mm thickness) it would make the MBA not just light and thin, but actually really tiny. Now that would be great to work with on coach!
     
Macola
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Jan 18, 2008, 02:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
I But what the hell is that huge bezel there for? The screen and KB both have over an inch of bezel surrounding them. If Apple could get rid of that (even if it meant adding 2 mm thickness) it would make the MBA not just light and thin, but actually really tiny. Now that would be great to work with on coach!
I miss my 12" PowerBook
I do not like those green links and spam.
I do not like them, Sam I am.
     
TailsToo
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Jan 19, 2008, 09:49 AM
 
I think the problem is that Apple puts more importance on thinness than anything else. I love that my MBP is only 1" thin, but the fact that they had to drop dual layer support and use a slow 4x drive when the first unit came out makes that tradeoff unacceptable (I waited until the C2D was out with the dual layer drive).

The iPod touch is an amazing device.. but if they would have been willing to make it a little thicker to get a 160GB drive in there, it would be the perfect iPod. Instead it was more important to get it thinner.
     
MacosNerd
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Jan 19, 2008, 10:14 AM
 
I disagree, I think that when you're dealing with a portable device, whether its an iPod, iPhone, or Laptop, size matters, that includes thickness. My 15" MBP is a great size and not too thick.

At the office one of my co-workers has a test machine (for compatibility testing) and that's an old iBook. Man I was surprised at how thick and heavy that was. No we need apple to keep pushing the envelope, otherwise we'd be walking around with big heavy laptops.
     
butterfly0fdoom
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Jan 19, 2008, 05:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by TailsToo View Post
I think the problem is that Apple puts more importance on thinness than anything else. I love that my MBP is only 1" thin, but the fact that they had to drop dual layer support and use a slow 4x drive when the first unit came out makes that tradeoff unacceptable (I waited until the C2D was out with the dual layer drive).

The iPod touch is an amazing device.. but if they would have been willing to make it a little thicker to get a 160GB drive in there, it would be the perfect iPod. Instead it was more important to get it thinner.
The drive problem isn't Apple's fault, no suppliers had a dual-layer drive of the thinness that Apple needed.

As for the iPod touch, it uses flash memory, not hard disks. Thickness won't fix anything in that instance.
MacBook Core 2 Duo 2.16 (Black)
iPod classic 160GB
iPhone 8GB
     
mavherzog
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Jan 19, 2008, 09:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by slpdLoad View Post
Try working from a coach seat in a plane with a 17" PowerBook.
The MBA is worse in this category than the MacBook. (Being BOTH wider and deeper than the MacBook (if only marginally)).
     
   
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