Apple gets fans juices flowing with iMac-like laptop dock
Designed for the rumoured Mac sub-notebook?
The latest Apple patent filing to excite the Mac masses shows the manufacturer's iMac recast as a docking station for a MacBook laptop.
Apple's been here before, of course, with its Duo range of PowerBooks, launched in 1992. Unlike standard PowerBooks, the Duos were designed to dock into a Mac-like desktop unit that improved the unit's monitor support and audio output, and added a floppy drive.
Apple's mooted dock: made for the Flash-based MacBook?
This time round, however, the docking station described in US patent application number 20080002350 incorporates a flat-panel display. The unit looks like an iMac, but with a big slot in the side to take the notebook.
The rear of the docking station shows a full array of ports, while the side panel with the docking slot shows a dedicated docking port. With the portable in place, its side-facing optical drive is exposed to allow the user to slot in DVDs and the like.
That probably means it's not being developed specifically for the much-rumoured Flash-based ultra-portable MacBook, which is widely being tipped to be unveiled at the Macworld Expo show in San Francisco on 15 January.
The slimline laptop is claimed to lack a built-in optical drive, the better to reduce its thickness and weight.
That said, optical drives are pretty skinny these days, and if the sub-notebook does, as has been suggested, sport a 13in widescreen display, there'd certainly be room for an optical drive in the casing.
Maybe an Aple Hoax
Is this not Apple trying to put people of the cent, for what they will actualy release next week. Why else would the pantent be released for public show, so close to launch??
Apple at it again
I thought patents are supposed to protect innovation and new ideas? This is as dubious as Apples patent application for an 'extra wide' mousepad for their laptops. So now patents are for 'take an existing idea, tweak it slightly and it becomes a whole new patentable product'? The whole system needs rebuilding from scratch
Is it scratch proof?
The most innovative thing here would be, how you would get to slide it in and out day after day without battering the hell out of the MacBook casing.
Anyway it is surely the most obvious, space saving and minimalistic way to dock a laptop to a screen and keyboard.
Now I have just thought that there should just be enough room to put 1 or 2 laptop HDD(s) into the docking unit as well. Hence providing a backup or additional storage solution to boot.
Now you heard it here first so if Apple use that idea, then I WANT MY FREAKING MONEY!
"USPTO staff obviously have their brains sucked out as a pre-condition of employment. It's the only excuse I can find for some of the bullshit they're allowing through as patentable these days."
They just make money on the application, then granting of the patents.
See less granting means less people applying. That equals less money
There are new claims they want to protect
Anyone who's actually written patents knows that patents are incremental, and any sort of new work needs to be patented if it's going to be afforded the protection of the patent system. An integrated display and a low-footprint vertical dock are both new, and the integrated display itself makes it a much more different beast than current and former docking solutions. Also, remember that many patents cover things which are obvious-in-retrospect, but can anyone complaining about the patentability of this innovation honestly say they came up with this idea first?
Also, the DuoDock did more than just improve the video and audio; it also had slots for its own RAM and FPU, to actually vastly improve the capabilities of laptops (back when RAM densities were so low and FPUs were so large that they actually made a noticeable impact on the size of the notebook).