Friday, January 04, 2008

Apple Patents fuel the Rumour Mill

News of the Apple patent for a docking station, combined with the recent rumours of a subnotebook have fueled the Apple rumour mill to unexpected levels (via CrunchGear), even for just before a Macworld.

CREDIT: Gizmodo
Gizmodo's mock-up of Apple's rumoured notebook dock

As mentioned else where with this patent Apple have re-invented the PowerBook Duo and its DuoDock base station, and that idea seems to have come in from a lot of flak. But I'm not really sure why...

As I've mentioned in the past, the laptop market is split into two core demographics, the road warriors and the power users, and the two never really understand each other that well. I'm firmly in the road warrior camp, I'd kill and maim for a decent replacement for my faithful 12-inch Powerbook, and the 13-inch Macbook I bought back in October really isn't it.

Until I pick up a new Intel based desktop I'm not really going to be able to get rid of my old Powerbook, in favour of the new Macbook, entirely. So, not counting the 24U rack of servers I have stashed away in the machine room upstairs, I'm currently working from three different computers. My new 13-inch Macbook, my old 12-inch Powerbook and a 20-inch iMac. The idea that I could have a flash based 12-inch subnotebook for the road, and come home and slide that into a 24-inch iMac-like dock with the associated hard disk and screen real estate, without having to pull out and connect multiple wires is a very attractive proposition. For people who are on the go constantly this is the perfect solution.

Pity it's only a mock-up based on a patent application really...

Update: Anyone that thinks that a laptop can't be someone's primary computer is well behind the curve. Almost half the people working here in the astronomy group in Exeter, heavy CPU and disk users all, have a laptop as not just their primary, but their only computer. Desktops are pretty much dead tech except for specialised uses...