Mac nano: First Mac to Dump the Hard Drive?

by Todd Ogasawara

I read a number of Apple rumor sites speculating about Apple replacing the Mac mini (a moment of silence for mine that passed on last week) with a Mac nano. Some of the rumor items speculate that Apple might dump the optical drive (DVD) from the unit to save space.

Here's the thought that prompted this posting though... When Apple introduced the iPod nano, they dumped the hard drive from the mini line and went to flash storage. I think Apple needs to keep an optical drive for at least playing CD music and DVD video without having an ugly cable attached device on a Mac nano. But, what about dumping the hard drive from the Mac and going all flash storage (say 30GB) with the option of adding a 80 to 320GB hard drive in a small enclosure either beneath or above the Mac nano with a seamless bus plug (like a notebook in a docking station) instead of a cable?

I just hope they have it ready for sale soon. I need to replace my Mac mini and am waiting for Leopard and whatever new Mac emerges before doing so.


2007-10-05 12:27:56
Expanding by way of external cables? That's just not how Apple rolls.
Todd Ogasawara
2007-10-05 12:30:28
SK: Isn't that what I said???
Martin MC Brown
2007-10-05 12:52:41
Wouldn't a Mac Nano - i.e. Mac Mini without a DVD drive - basically be an AppleTV?

One of the things that is useful about the Mini, and that makes it ideal as a media box is it's ability to play DVDs.

2007-10-05 12:58:25
"I just hope they have it ready for sale soon. I need to replace my Mac mini and am waiting for Leopard and whatever new Mac emerges before doing so."

I think the rule on that sort of thing is that whatever you want will be introduced within 30 days after you finally give up and buy whatever you can get.

2007-10-05 13:23:54
What if the "base" you refer to contained the optical drive also? Then you could just shed all the extra drives if you didn't want them. Perfect little home server too, and it could just sit under your hi-def TV (to replace the AppleTV)...
2007-10-05 13:24:04
Aha, I must have missed it. Still, external anything does not seem like Apple's style either.
2007-10-05 13:38:23
Don't forget that mac mini design with the iPod dock in the top which did the rounds a while back. My iPod *is* my home folder, anyone?

2007-10-05 15:00:25
Come on! Are they going to do this on something that isn't portable on a low cost unit?

Apple hasn't even done this yet on the MacBook Pro.

My 2 cents. Can't imagine why I'm wasting my time posting.

2007-10-05 16:56:37
That's a really bad idea. Flash memory has limited writability; it is, therefore, a really bad candidate for replacing magnetic HDs in computers because of a little thing called virtual memory. You are more likely to see flash based HDs in portable devices like notebooks where a user might need the high performance to low power consumption enough to justify the cost of installing that much flash memory.
Chris Tyler
2007-10-05 17:38:09
How about souping up the iPhone so it can act as a Mac Nano? Add a DVI port, accept the mouse and keyboard via the USB port (in host mode) or bluetooth. Or you could grab it and run out the door, and you have all of your files in your pocket, with viewers so you can see (and in a rudimentary way edit) the files on the go, or plug it into another computer (via USB) and access the files as though on a USB flash drive.
Todd Ogasawara
2007-10-06 01:10:45
Anonymous: Lighten up. It's just speculation. And, what's to stop Apple from releasing both a small desktop AND a small notebook at the same time?
Todd Ogasawara
2007-10-06 01:13:05
Dave: A lot of people (including me) thought the first iPod with its (what I thought) absurdly high price for an MP3 player was a bad idea too. I also thought using a hard disk drive in the first iPod was a bad idea. Sometimes we're wrong about what looks like bad ideas.
Todd Ogasawara
2007-10-06 01:19:32
Chris: Lacking a smiley face, I can't tell if you are serious or jesting. That said, I'll take your statement at face value and assume you are serious. While what you say may sound far fetched to people who use non-smartphones, a lot of us already do some of the things you suggest. I have a Stowaway Bluetooth keyboard that I use for long-form email, writing and spreadsheets on a variety of Windows Mobile 5 and 6 baseed smartphones. Since the iPhone is running some version of Mac OS X, it makes sense to me that it may do much of what you suggest a few versions down the road.
Brandon Wirtz
2007-10-06 13:52:09
There is a photo at Mac Nano to replace the Mac Mini [Exclusive Photo] I think they are just dumping the optical drive not the Hard disk. whcih should be a 1.8 inch hard disk like in the iPod
2007-10-06 14:13:14
I just wrote about this as well. I sure hope that they come out with a very cheap mac!
2007-10-07 23:01:05
The AppleTV has the same form factor as this "Mac nano", and you can get it with a 160 GB HD and no optical drive TODAY. Why replace that with a 1.8" GB HD? To use the space for other things? Like what: a fan, heatsink, dimms? Bogus.

And competing against or replacing the Core 2 Mac mini introduced only a couple months ago? That finally lets you run Leopard 64-bit on every Mac Apple makes? Double bogus.

And if you're itchin' to replace your dead mini, buy a used one on ebay. If there really is a Mac nano, without an optical drive, the price of a used mini won't change more than $100. So at most you're out $100, but you actually get to use a computer between now and then.

Saint Fnordius
2007-10-09 07:28:24
Here's what I would like to see: a mac nano with the drives externalised, in Lego fashion. The connector bus between the units is hidden under the Basic Nano, and the drives can be stacked one on top of the other. No visible cables, the custom connector daisy-chains hidden from view.