Psystar planning Mac OS-based notebook

Mac clone maker Psystar has confirmed it is working on a notebook that will run Mac OS, although the timing of that release remains unclear.

Tom Krazit
Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
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Psystar is working on a Mac OS-based notebook that will round out its Mac clone product line.

Mac clone maker Psystar will soon have a Mac OS X-based notebook to join its desktop products, such as the Open Computer seen here. Psystar

A company representative confirmed a message sent to an AppleInsider reader indicating that a Psystar notebook using Mac OS is in development, although it's not clear when it will arrive. Psystar has of course been selling Mac OS X desktops for over six months, much to the chagrin of Apple's lawyers.

Building a notebook, however, is a very different undertaking than a desktop. The average person reading this article could slap together a desktop PC while watching a football game on a Saturday afternoon, using off-the-shelf parts from an electronics store like Fry's. And there has always been a thriving market for so-called "white box" desktops built by local shops such as Psystar and distributed to small businesses.

A comparable market does not exist for notebooks. Most notebooks are almost completely assembled by system builders in China or Taiwan, and then distributed by big companies once the final build is complete. Some places sell so-called "barebones" notebooks, but very few people seem to be interested in building their own notebooks.

However, PC companies sure are. It's an old story that virtually all the growth in that market has come from notebooks over the past two or three years, and just this week IDC announced that notebook shipments have overtaken desktops in the U.S. market for the first time in the history of the industry.

I e-mailed Psystar CEO Rudy Pedraza wondering if the company is assembling a notebook in-house or whether they have struck up a relationship with one of the big contract manufacturers in Asia. I didn't hear back immediately, but I'll update this post when and if he returns the message.