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By Andrew Eisner

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The rumors are flying on an Apple netbook, with some reliable sources claiming confirmation of a forthcoming device, but that doesn’t stop us from fantasizing about what an Apple netbook might look like. We are big netbook fans and think an Apple netbook is a great idea. Apple watchers agree that a netbook from Apple is likely, pointing to the acquisition of P.A. Semiconductor and the hiring of Mark Papermaster from IBM as signs that Apple is planning a new mobile device like a netbook.

What is a Netbook?
Netbooks are characterized by their screen size, weight, battery life, price, and ability to connect to the Internet. The most popular screen size appears to be 10 inches like the Asus Eee PC 1000HE or the Samsung NC10. The longer the battery life, the better, with some new netbooks claiming up to 9.5 hours of normal use on a single charge. Although netbooks costing over $500 like the new Sony VAIO P ($899) or the Dell Mini 10 ($599) are common, netbooks under $500 appear to be more popular. Of course, that doesn’t mean a killer Apple netbook couldn’t justify a higher price tag.

What Could an Apple Netbook Look Like?

What will it look like or what should it look like? We’d like to hear what you think? Here’s what we think Apple might be considering and what we would like to see in an Apple netbook:

1. Battery
You know it probably won’t have a replaceable battery but it will use their new battery technology that they announced at Macworld Expo. Apple claims their team of scientists has developed a new “smart” battery. They also note that innovative chemistry and an embedded chip that manages individual battery cells and adjusts charging current will increase battery lifespan and expand capacity.

Should Include
If Asus can deliver a netbook with 9 plus hours of battery life Apple should be able to beat that. Why not 12 hours?

2. Display and Touchpad
An Apple netbook would have to include gesture-based input either in the form of a touchpad (MacBook style) or touchscreen (iPhone style).

Should Include
It probably won't happen in this Apple netbook but one of these days we'll see a netbook with an OLED display. After all, Samsung just announced a phone with a 3.7 inch OLED display. We wonder how much more consumers would be willing to pay for a netbook with a 10 inch OLED display?

Here’s a wild idea; what if the device had two 10 inch displays in a clamshell carbon fiber case where one screen could function as touchscreen keyboard or part of an ebook reader?

3. Connectivity
We will probably see built-in 3G wireless service, 802.11n WiFi, and maybe stereo Bluetooth (A2DP). Of course USB connections will be included along with a Mini-Display Port so Apple can make some money on a video adaptor.

Should Include
One of these days we might see built-in Wimax

4. Operating System
An Apple netbook will have to run a variation of the Mac OS that might combine the best of MacBook and iPhone operating systems. Mobileme will keep an Apple netbook in synch with other Apple devices.

Should Include
Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to run big screen versions of iPhone apps on a netbook?

5. Cameras and Video
A built-in iSight, font-facing, camera is a likely feature for iChat sessions.

Should Include
How about a rear facing camera for taking pictures and recording videos?

6. Quality Audio
High quality stereo speakers and 3.5mm jack would make for a great media viewing or listening device.
7. GPS and Accelerometer
Should Include
Add GPS with turn-by-turn navigation and accelerometer and voila, the ultimate netbook! These could also come in handy for theft recovery.
Your Turn
If there is, in fact, going to be an Apple netbook, what do you think it will or should include? If not a netbook then what?

Could we see a beefed up iPhone with slide out QWERTY keyboard and other cool features?

What do you think an Apple netbook would look like?
(leave a comment below)
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I definitely think there

I definitely think there should be a disc drive, unlike the MacBook Air.

What do you think an Apple netbook would look like?

Hi,
nothing to reply about the cosmetic appear. It's very nice, really!
What I do not like is the very limitated possibility of hardware connections. This is BAD!
And again I do not like at all the stupid "User friendly" interface of OS. It permit only some usual and banal operations. I want to do WHAT I WANT, and not what OS WANTs!!
It is not for me: I have to work and not to exibite a trendy gadget!
Sincerely.
Dav.

What the Apple Netbook should include!!

How about incorporating a swivel screen that acts like a tablet netbook. Include a car bracket so that the "Tabnet" can be docked onto the bracket in the car for GPS navigation. That would be real cool right???

Put in place of the arrow

Put in place of the arrow keys just below the shift key a full set of number keys. Incorporate the arrow keys into the number keys as done many times before.

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These mockup are simply not realistic

Looking to such an idea of an Apple netbook, I just do not believe that Apple comes up with such a design. This doesn't fit at all in the current line up of Macbook, iMac, Mac Mini and Pro.

Strongly I believe that Apple won't release a netbook, I think this has just been created by some one who just want to have an apple notebook but doesn't have the money for it

And how would they call it? A Macbook Mini ? (although this fits in the naming convention Apple is using for their current line of products.

netbook ideas

stereo bluetooth with an extended range. My ears are good for about 30 feet but would be great if that was 200' I can't carry the notebook everywhere I go and would like to stay in touch from a greater distance. Iphone to netbook to bluetooth ears would be the ultimate.

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20 minutes in the future

Love the product, but for Apple to rock the world again, it's time to launch video communication via a built-in camera that streams to other Netbooks or computers in a Skype sort of way. We already have iPods, Kindles, Internet access, streaming videos... the next logical thing is live action video piped through the internet! And if you want to really lock out the competition, make is so affordable to everyone that the thought of buying anything else would be stupid. Like under $400.

What they should include

What they should include should be nothing, it shouldn't be built. It won't be compatible with anything just like any other apple product.

wow. insightful.

wow. insightful.

Apple Book

First I love your design and features and if it were $799 it would be a big seller and the number of sales would equal the number of persons saying it was too expensive. I would buy it at $799. There could be a lesser model at $599.

The question always about price and features is when does something cannibalize another model like the low end macbook at $999 - perhaps that is discontinued (which would not be good)

we need a name it can't be an Apple NetBook. Perhaps an Apple iBook - yeah, it's been done before but it is a good name. Or perhaps the Apple HandBook (or Mac HandBook) - suggesting you can hold it in your hand and it is no bigger than that.

But the name has to suggest that a Mac Netbook is the best and the most powerful - no dinky processor, no dinky OS - perhaps the Mac XBook.

time will tell

NetBook

When video is viewed, how about a "picture in picture option". Ichat and watch television -- watch television and watch a movie or I-tube. What do you think?

this would be awesome touch

this would be awesome touch screen good, Touch screen keyboard bad. I think it would need to be at least twice the size of the iphone. It could be cool

ok it looks really

ok it looks really cool
except whats up with the backwards camera???

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Sounds to me like this thing

Sounds to me like this thing will already cost as much as a regular PC laptop would, maybe even more than that.

I like Apple but I have to say that I'd rather they spent money trying to make more affordable computers that more people can afford to buy than making every cool, nifty gadget they can think of. Don't get me wrong - I know how business works. They're in it for the money, not their health. And Apple doesn't need to do anything to become competitive since they have a niche market and they'll always have a built-in fanbase. But I think they would do even better as a business and gain a better reputation if they tried to make products with the same great quality that more people can afford to buy. Yes, okay, people will argue that that's what financing is for. But do you think anyone wants to have yet another monthly payment to make in this economy? Yes, Apple's products are better than PCs and will last longer and cost less money in the long run. But that still wouldn't keep people from being scared away from their initial hefty price tags. My PC laptop just died and I'd love to buy a new Macbook Air. Can I? Heck no, not at the price it's going for, not when I could get one from another manufacturer that may not be a cool but is still a fraction of the cost and will work just as well .

If Apple can make this netbook for no more than an average netbook on the market today, I'll be there with bells on. Otherwise, not so much.

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Apple netbook would look like

Really nice piece Andrew. LUV the far out design too. IMO, Apple will create a Netbook that all will want yet the price will be high (like the MacBook Air). I have a PowerBook 12 and yearn for a small form factor without giving up the necessities.. cheers, sam