Apple is set to release a netbook with a difference, sometimes this year. We can be sure of a few things though, including the fact that it will NOT be called a Netbook by Steve Jobs and that it will almost certainly be a niche player rather than a mainstream device.
All in all you can expect Apple's netbook to wow us with a device which will be like no other. We've identified 8 aspects where Apple is expected to mark its difference with the rest of the field although a revolutionary new laptop with no keyboard is not expected to be part of the plan.
1. It will be classier
By classier, we mean using "extensive use of premium materials" and great aesthetics akin to Apple's Mac Book Air. Thence, we can expect an ultra slim chassis, probably Apple's thinnest ever, made up of aluminium, which will ooze quality and exude class. A far cry from the likes of Asus' EEE PC.
2. It will be way more expensive
Unsurprisingly, Apple's netbook will not come cheap. Apple's cheapest Macbook comes in at £719. We suspect the Netbook version will cost the same as Apple will want to link it with the Mac Book Air, not the polycarbonate 13-inch Apple Mac Book.
3. It will NOT run Windows
Unlike 99 percent of other Netbooks, Apple's will be the ONLY one to run Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard in the world.. legally that is. But since Apple will use an x86 platform, expect it to be compatible with Windows 7 and Vista out of the box. Parallels anyone?
4. It will have a touchscreen
That's what the rumours say. A 10-inch touchscreen LCD display is expected to grace the body of the new Apple Netbook with some interesting results. We expect the device to have a thin edge with some control buttons and it should not come as a surprise that it will be a multitouch one. The other feature we expect the touchscreen to exhibit is a toughened glossy screen.
5. It will have multitouch pad
Multitouch touchpad? You can bet that it will happen. It will mean that Apple will have to work some magic when it comes to the keyboard layout, but since protruded keys will be used, this should be easier than for traditional laptops. The touchpad might be smaller than the Mac Book Air but will have the same characteristics as its bigger brother. A spotless finish, triple finger control and acres of space, compared to netbooks.
6. It will be a tablet PC as well
Not sure about this one. Why would Apple want to make a laptop with a touchscreen if it isn't a tablet PC? The only other device in Apple's range that comes near is the iPhone/iPod Touch and it doesn't carry any keyboard. We would still bet that Apple will have a keyboard AND a touchscreen. It will be difficult but we expect Apple to ace on it as usual.
7. It will only be available with SSD
The combination of factors like size, price, power consumption and durability means that the Netbook should only be available with solid state drives. That's not a problem really because 32GB models are falling down in price and since Apple will be charging a premium for its model, we could even expect a 64GB Netbook model.
8. It will run on a low-voltage Intel Core CPU
That's another dead cert. We don't think that Apple will go for an Atom platform. It is more likely to stick with an ultra low voltage single core Penryn processor. The Core 2 Solo SU3300 for example runs at 1.2GHz and consumes only 5.5w, making it an ideal candidate. Also likely to join the fray is Nvidia's 9400M platform.