Collapsible Port Patent Filing Hints of Apple Ultraportable Notebook Coming

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A report by Apple Insider shows that Apple has filed for a patent on a collapsible port system that would help to conserve space on an ultraportable style notebook. The expectation of a widescreen ultraportable notebook from Apple has been in the rumor mill for sometime now, but the revelation of this design shows that Apple is most definitely at work on something.

Basically the patent shows pictures of a port system located on the back of a notebook in which ports could "collapse" when they are not in use and allow the notebook to have a slimmer overall profile. Connections such as the Ethernet RJ-45 port, commonly found integrated into most notebooks, is actually quite a large port that would be too large for a super slim notebook. The slimmest of slim notebooks that have been released in the past, such as the Sony VAIO X505, required a dongle to be inserted that then attached to an RJ-45 port adapter.

The ultra-slim Sony VAIO X505 used a dongle to accomodate for larger ports such as Ethernet (view larger image)

One problem with this design from Apple would be that it means all the ports are located on the back, something that’s quite annoying in terms of accessibility to ports. Another issue is that these ports would need to involve moving parts to collapse, and that means greater potential for a port to break. The design does appear to be innovative though, and if anyone can pull off a unique hinging design and coming up with a way to make things thinner, Apple would be the company to do it. We’ll find out in a few months whether this design does actually see the light of day — rumor is for an end of year to early 2008 ultraportable release from Apple.

Read More: Apple Insider

 

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