The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds |

Business / Technology

Our network sites | Advanced

Brier Dudley's Blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

E-mail Brier| 206.515.5687 | Follow Brier on Twitter| Microsoft Pri0 blog| RSS feeds Subscribe | Blog Home

January 15, 2008 2:28 PM

Apple's laptop is lovely, but is it an "ultramobile"?

Posted by Brier Dudley

As usual, one of the most suprising things out of Macworld this year is the coverage.

There was so much expectation that Apple would introduce an ultra-mobile PC that some respected news outlets are calling Apple's new laptop an ultramobile.

Don't get me wrong -- the MacBook Air looks fantastic, it will be easier to carry than heavier laptops and it will breath fresh air into the PC market.

But it's ultrathin, not ultramobile. If it has a 13-inch screen, a full keyboard and a clamshell case, it's a laptop. Even Apple's calling it a "notebook" computer, which is its word for laptop.

Am I off base here?

Until the reporters fired up their MacBooks in San Francisco today, ultramobile referred to handheld computers with screens up to around 7 inches -- basically the machines that fall between the iPhone and small laptops.

Intel, which builds the engines used in Apple's new machines, initially framed the ultramobile category as devices with 5-in. to 7-in. displays. Last year it made that category even more specific, by adding a new category -- "mobile Internet device" -- referring to devices with 4-in, to 6-in. displays.

Microsoft and Intel used to have high expectations for UMPCs -- they expected 100 million to be sold in 2008. The takeoff hasn't happened yet in part because the devices have been somewhat eclipsed by Internet capable phones, such as Apple's iPhone.

I'm curious to know whether Apple is still developing the rumored touch-screen ultramobile. That's a category that desperately needs some fresh air and Steve Jobs' marketing genius, but maybe Apple decided there's not big enough market for the purse-sized machines.

Or maybe Apple's stuck like all the other OEMs waiting for new hardware, such as Intel's Menlow platform, that they need to build tiny computers that are reasonably priced and have enough power and battery life to finally make ultramobiles a must-have device.

Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

Submit a comment

*Required Field

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Recent entries

Mar 18, 08 - 12:00 AM
SourceLabs launches open-source support suite, new Linux play

Mar 17, 08 - 12:16 PM
Amazon pre-announces Microsoft's Vista SP1 ship date

Mar 17, 08 - 09:32 AM
A vision of the Web services future Microsoft is developing

Mar 14, 08 - 02:15 PM
MySpace goodies coming to WSJ, CTO says

Mar 13, 08 - 04:43 PM
Nanaimo gaga for Google







Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
Browse the archives

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

December 2007

November 2007

October 2007



Demo of the Week:

Share your thoughts!

Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.