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MacBook Updates Rumored To Include Glass Trackpad 273

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the unfounded-speculation dept.
CWmike writes to tell us that Seth Weintraub has been hearing some interesting rumors surrounding the next iteration of Apple's MacBook line. "I have been hearing some interesting things about Apple's upcoming line of portable computers. The talk amongst insiders on the new MacBooks is kind of scattered but here's a summation of what I've heard: The new models are thinner than current MacBook and MacBook Pros and slightly more rounded, taking design cues from the MacBook Air; the trackpad is glass, multi-touch and uses gestures. The screen isn't multi-touch; the body is manufactured out of one piece of aluminum. Eco-friendly, yet sturdy. Manufacturing process is completely different; the release date will be in the last weeks of September."
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MacBook Updates Rumored To Include Glass Trackpad

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  • I don't get it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Monday July 28, 2008 @03:14PM (#24373263) Journal

    Eco-friendly, yet sturdy.

    What makes this "eco-friendly"? The glass trackpad? The "manufactured out of one piece of aluminum"?

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Monday July 28, 2008 @03:17PM (#24373317) Homepage Journal

    they paid off the right groups

    -or-

    realistically they know what words sell.

  • by jgtg32a (1173373) on Monday July 28, 2008 @03:19PM (#24373341)
    They are most likely going on about the more energy efficient processors.
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Monday July 28, 2008 @03:30PM (#24373513)
    I've used a few touchpads in my time, and the bad ones are the ones that either started off glossy, or became glossy because of wear. I'm fine with using glossy touch-screens for tapping around or stylus work, but trying to operate one as a mouse for a long period of time gets immensely annoying. The slightest bit of sweat on my fingertips makes them stick and stutter across.

    I've not used an iPhone or iPod touch for long, but I got the impression that they were designed to favour short finger motions on the pad for precisely this reason. I'm not sure it would translate well into a touchpad.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2008 @03:40PM (#24373685)

    It's not about being devoted exclusively to Linux/FOSS, it's about the simple fact that this entire "article" is that there's a rumour that new Macbooks might have a glass touchpad and an aluminium casing. Even if that was a stone-cold fact it wouldn't be newsworthy, so as a rumour it's complete bullshit. The GP is right.

  • Re:Touchscreen (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2008 @04:06PM (#24374109)

    touchscreens works damn well on things like the iphone or kiosks. but as the default pointer input on a laptop? suck.

    that's a 12-17 inch screen you have to move your hand across just to control the pointer... so unless the majority of your apps are entirely pointer driven it's gonna be usability hell. same reason i think tablets aren't that great, useful in very specific situations. (using it like a digital notepad and such).

  • Screw trackpads (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quattro Vezina (714892) on Monday July 28, 2008 @04:14PM (#24374231) Journal

    If Apple wanted to be cool, they'd dump the trackpad entirely and add a trackpoint.

    Yes, that's right. They should switch to the nub. The pencil eraser. The clit mouse. The keyboard clit.

    C'mon, it'd be awesome.

  • by doombringerltx (1109389) on Monday July 28, 2008 @04:15PM (#24374233)
    Lately they've been using core2 desktop processors and not mobile chips in their laptops and are still hailed as being ecofriendly. I doubt for the next gen they will be using intel Atom or the AMD turion chips, or anything else thats actually geared towards being an energy efficent mobile chip. Now a days being "eco-friendly" is just pointing to one or two places where you are saving the enviroment. I could ship people huge bags of thallium, mercury and dead baby condors and still be hailed as eco-friendly as long as the packaging was recycled.
  • by Quattro Vezina (714892) on Monday July 28, 2008 @04:18PM (#24374279) Journal

    Why do you assume bigger is better? I'd rather have a 13" laptop than a 15" laptop.

    My perfect laptop form factor would be a 12" non-widescreen with nVidia discrete graphics. Oh, and it would be even more awesome if it were a tablet and doubly awesome if I could rotate it into portrait mode.

    Too bad the ThinkPad X61 only has GMA...

  • Re:Glass trackpad? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2008 @04:20PM (#24374301)

    Wouldn't your finger stick to it?

    Only if your finger is covered with glue. Seriously have you never tried the demo units (iPod Touch, iPhone) at an Apple Store?

  • Re:Tough one... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Monday July 28, 2008 @04:40PM (#24374677)

    I would think the internals would be damaged more by a thin soft case than by a sturdy one.

    There needs to be a happy medium. Most damage to a notebook with be blunt-force, not sharp-pointy. As long as the energy from a fall is used up in deforming the exterior, the interior will take less damage. If the exterior is made of diamond, the interior will slam into the diamond exterior with the same energy as if it had hit the ground itself. Of course, if someone's stabbing your laptop, you'll want a hard case, and maybe better working/living conditions.

  • Re:Glass trackpad? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday July 28, 2008 @04:43PM (#24374711)

    Bullshit. Styli don't function on the iPhone, only fingers. Why make things up?

  • Re:Tough one... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ksheff (2406) on Monday July 28, 2008 @04:59PM (#24374911) Homepage
    AL will flex some, but I don't think they are trying to protect against a stabbing (although that could be a design consideration for the UK) as much as someone accidentally stepping on it, being pressed up against another hard object in book bag, vehicle storage, etc. Shocks from drops can be addressed with a dampening material at the circuit board mounting points.
  • Re:Tough one... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2008 @05:03PM (#24374977)

    I disagree...

    I work at an Apple Store (therefor the AC, and obviously take what I say with a grain of salt as I'm as much a fanboi as the best of em').

    From everyone's perspective, having repairs done in larger part replacements are much better. There is one flaw with your statement. The large replaced part isn't just thrown away, but rather can be refurbished.

    Consider an LCD display on a laptop. We'll low-ball and say there are 7 individual replaceable parts and cables. Brick and Mortar big box retail stores get shipments from all shipping companies for all different purposes from all over the globe. With Air and Ground shipping for say 4 failed parts in an LCD panel (say it's a liquid damaged LCD) and you get shipments from DHL, UPS, and FedEx delivering all of your parts over a period of 3 days. Now, if you only have to order a monitor clam-shell instead of 4 different parts, you have 1 shipment on 1 single day. When you are sending parts back to be refurbed or recycled or trashed, you are sending a single item as opposed to several different packages. From an inventory standpoint this means MUCH less paperwork per shipment and less boxes/packing material being used to ship and be trashed/recycled.

    For users, repairs can be done faster. (If repairs can be done while customer waits, only one car trip out to store)

    For retail stores, more repairs can be done in-store. This means fewer repairs will be packaged and shipped out to repair centers.

    I just don't see how single part replacements are bad. This allows Apple to help end users more effectively. It takes less shipping and packing, and as I've understood eco-matters (and I won't pretend to be the brightest bulb on the matter), air cargo and travel are pretty big carbon emitters. Apple can then refurb/recycle the part in a larger warehouse environment that is more adept at repairing the individual components of the larger part.

    Any-hoo... just my $0.04

  • by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Monday July 28, 2008 @05:29PM (#24375377) Homepage

    It cracks me up how many people who read a "news for nerds" web site are confounded by a laptop that requires a screwdriver and some simple instructions to disassemble.

    Gosh, it's so HARD! There's SCREWS!

  • by orbitor (166566) on Monday July 28, 2008 @05:48PM (#24375705)

    I think this [apple.com] puts your theories to rest.

  • by DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) on Monday July 28, 2008 @06:22PM (#24376315)

    Surely glass is a really bad idea for laptops? It's heavier than plastic, and less durable in terms of scratch resistance and shattering. Worse still it has more friction than some plastics, so not ideal for moving your finger over.

    Actually, glass is more scratch resistant than most plastics (try dropping your plastic sunglasses on the beach, once. Then try again with a pair of proper glasses, made from glass).

    Glass can also be made less sticky by roughening up the surface. Now, I agree that it's indeed heavier than most plastics. The only reason to have a glass trackpad instead of a plastic one would be if one wanted to protect what's underneath...

    We have seen Apple using Glass as a cover for the iMac displays, and for the iPhones. So I would conjecture that they would go for a display under the trackpad. That, however, strikes me as odd from an ergonomics point of view: You'd have to move your head back and forth between the display and the pad, which sounds stupid.

    Well, it is a rumour.

  • by kimvette (919543) on Monday July 28, 2008 @06:33PM (#24376491) Homepage Journal

    re: Why do you assume bigger is better?

    More screen estate, higher resolution. I actually want two laptops: one Eepc and one 17" laptop. One is obviously ultra-portable and fine for checking email, running diagnostics with wireshark, etc. while on the other you can do real work or play actual games. Sometimes just having a portable desktop/workstation replacement is nice.

    Of course considering I prefer to run Linux, gaming would be limited to LBreakout and Supertux. ;)

  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Monday July 28, 2008 @10:16PM (#24379159)

    So what happened? I've installed an awful lot of OS X developer tools and it's always been a double click on the CD. Actually, if you're doing it on a large number of machines (a research lab of 40 or so, say) then it's faster to put the downloadable disk image on the server and double click on that.

    So what did you do?

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long

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