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Psystar readying Mac notebook clone?

updated 10:25 am EDT, Wed October 29, 2008

Psystar Mac Notebook

Psystar is preparing to follow up its recent Blu-ray desktop with a notebook that would also be capable of running Mac OS X, says a message from the company to an AppleInsider reader. Without providing details, the Florida PC builder acknowledges that an Open Computer notebook is "in development" and that the system should follow Psystar's usual practice of trying to undercut Apple on cost with a "very competitively priced" example.

The firm's Open Computers have so far been limited to desktops and servers and have been helped along by the nature of these systems, which let Psystar hand-pick components it knows will work with the modifications that bypass Apple's usual checks on running Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware. Notebooks are often either custom designed or require the use of "white box" designs.

The plans also appear despite mutual lawsuits filed by Apple and Psystar against each other that alternately accuse the other of violating licensing and of antitrust violations, respectively. Both firms are engaged in out-of-court arbitration that isn't considered binding. [image via Flickr]

by MacNN Staff



  1. MatildeMatilde

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't know about this Psystar lark.

    One of the reasons I buy Apple hardware is because I trust Apple to use well-designed, quality components. Why save a few hundred dollars to buy an unsupported platform of questionable quality that could be bricked by any update?

    You wouldn't buy a car from a mechanic that put a BMW engine into a Pontiac in his garage at home. Insane and risky.

    Price is no indication of value.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Sceptical

    I don't know. I don't trust Apple to use well-designed, quality components. I used to. But it is hard to find a model of Mac lately that hasn't had its share of component issues, be it video on iBooks and MBP, PowerMac G5 coolant leaks, PowerMac G5 power supply and CPU issues, capacitor issues on the iMacs, exploding computers (I saw an ad where this Mac apparently blew some guy right out of his house!), etc.

    Oh, and it is 'skeptical"

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    car analogy

    All apples laptops contain the same "engine" that pc's do. They are all BMW engines. They just have different bodies. For the most part, they have the same CPU which is the engine as well as the same chipset for the motherboard.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: guest

    Wrong, the design and ergonomics of Apple products are different. In addition to the superior warranty services. To many people, it is worth the "perceived" premium (note that Macs have a longer usable life and far less time required to set up and keep it working).

  1. 11211

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Go Psystar!

    I'll be curious to see the specs on this, I'd love to be able to run OS X on a more functional laptop. As one of the many many people who had an iBook which went through multiple logic boards both in and out of warranty, I know the superior hardware claim is a myth, although most of the components are now off-the shelf PC ones.

    How much does Apple make off each $1600 13" laptop anyway? And what's the profit margin on that machine, $700? And why does it have less than half the ports/extendability options that most $800 Windows laptops have?

    Like the software, don't like getting ripped off on the hardware.

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "Road Macs"

    All iBooks except the clamshell and first gen Dual USB iBooks were utter garbage with many failures

    The G4 Quicksilvers were garbage

    Uniprocessor G5s were garbage

    Early watercooled G5s, trash

    Apple using better parts? HA! Not anymore. PowerPCs had an advantage for what Apple tailored their OS around and now that has changed to be compatible with others. That's OK, I suppose, except that the price for PPC Apple hardware was justified because it was BETTER than that of PCs. Now it's all the same. The Intel Macs have had more issues than the G5 PPCs, which were really the first systems (except the poor design of the G3 iBook Dual USB) to have massive problems and be considered unreliable.

    iMac G5 popping power supplies, anyone?

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969


    parts are not parts

    anyone who builds PCs can tell you that not all parts are equal. Just peruse NewEgg's listings and you'll see a wide variety of ratings for the same chipset on differing motherboards. The design of the mobo is up to the designer and manufacturer, as is the selection of components such as transistors, capacitors, etc. The parts that Apple designs are of top quality, and who knows what PsyStar is supplying. When it comes to drives, batteries, etc., Apple is at the mercy of other manufacturers. But the stuff they design is a cut above.

    I would rather build my own Hackintosh than trust PsyStar to pick components for me. The bottom price option is rarely the wise choice.

  1. cyn1c

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Psystar sucks.

    Apple subsidizes its OS development from the profits it makes on its hardware. This is why OS X is so cheap and is only sold separately as an "upgrade disc." Psystar is utilizing Apple's OS with cheap hardware to make a profit.

    If Psystar is successful, this will drive up the price of OS X as Apple makes sure they are profiting from their development put into their software.

    Psystar is like the Chinese companies that blatantly copy products and ideas without reimbursing the developers. By supporting them, you will either kill OS X, increase its price or stifle its development.

  1. Mojo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nice To Have Options...

    I have had Macs since 1995. Only one has not had a hardware problem: a G3 iMac. The portable Macs have had the worst record: both my G3 and G4 iBooks required multiple repairs under warranty. I just purchased a previous-generation MBP for the matte screen and superior keyboard; I can only hope that I do not have GPU nor keyboard problems as reported by numerous MBP owners.

    Apple hardware has been going downhill for years... The PPC desktop Macs were pretty well built compared to PCs, but I doubt that there is a significant difference in hardware quality in comparably-priced computers these days. Macs certainly are no longer worth the price differential.

    Die-hard Mac supporters typically respond to these kinds of complaints with "it's the OS dummy!" True Enough. I would personally welcome a Mac hardware option if it is better quality and if I had a choice between a matte and "glassy" screen.

    Me thinks that Steve Job's well-known arrogance has permeated the culture at Apple... Macs are introduced that disregard the needs of long-time Mac users and significant hardware problems are denied for weeks, if not months. And when Apple is finally compelled to acknowledge a problem the remedy is a half-assed one.

    Apple would do well to do more for their loyal customer base, because more than a few of us are beginning to look for alternatives.

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