The 'Book Review

WiMax Likely, Apple Not Green Enough, Next MacBook in Q3, Cool Feet for Notebooks, and More

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.05.23

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

General Apple and Mac desktops is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

News & Opinion

Apple Updates

Tech Trends

Products

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

WiMax Option Likely for MacBook, MacBook Pro

Computerworld's Seth Weintraub reports:

"Over the weekend, the FCC leaked out a bit of exciting news. Intel is soon releasing the 5350 WiFi/WiMax combo card that fits into Mini PCI Express card slots.

Intel 5350 WiFi/WiMAX combo card"To Mac hardware hackers this mini PCI slot card might look very familiar. It has the same form factor as the WiFi cards in MacBook and MacBook Pros.

"Does this mean you will be able to swap out your WiFi Card for a combo WiFi-WiMax card? Yes!"

Editor's note: WiMax is a long distance wireless protocol that can deliver 10 Mbps performance at 6 miles/10 km from a base station - and up to 70 Mbps at close range. dk

'My Next Notebook Might Not Be an Apple'

Green ZD Net blogger Heather Clancy says:

"I'm thinking I owe GreenTech Pastures readers an update on the state of my Apple PowerBook G4, which now is resting comfortably on the desk behind me, although it's in a bit of rehab with some applications that have disappeared. (Yes, I have two computers, so shoot me.) One of them was given to me and is four years old, so I'm doing my part when it comes to reuse. In any event, it seems as if disaster has been averted, although I now have a new philosophy toward file management and de-dupe after this scare.

"Nonetheless, I did some preliminary research on my options for buying a new green notebook, because that seemed the right thing to do as someone who is writing about green tech. And, to my dismay but not really to my surprise, I found that Apple wouldn't meet my needs in that department."

Apple Laptops Require Just as Much Repair as Everyone Else's

MacUser's Cyrus Farivar reports:

"Granted, we're a little late to the game on this one, but Fake Steve Jobs points us to a Consumer Reports piece on the computer industry. The part that caught CNET's eye, though, was the section on frequency of computer repair.

"So how does Apple stack up against Lenovo, HP, Dell and all the rest? On this chart, it appears that Apple is down at the bottom. Not so fast, turbo...."

Specing the Rumored MacBook Update

Ars Technica's Charles Jade says:

"Another piece of the puzzle in the rumor about the redesigned MacBook has fallen into place. AppleInsider, Macrumors, and pretty much everyone starved for news on a Friday is mongering the latest gossip from the Mac OS Rumors of Asia, DigiTimes.

"AU Optronics and Chi Mei Optoelectronics will evenly split the LCD panel orders from Apple for the company's new MacBook consumer notebook PCs to be launched in the third quarter, according to the Chinese-language Commercial Times."

"An Apple Event introducing a substantially redesigned MacBook in time for back-to-school shopping is a given, early August being likely. The real news would be what that MacBook looks like...."

MacBook Upgrade Set for Q3

9to5Mac's Andy Space reports:

"Apple is moving toward the release of a redesigned MacBook, a new report emanating from the company's Asian Mac manufacturers claims.

"AU Optronics Corp. and Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. have been signed-up to produce flat-panel screens for the new MacBook models, confirmed the Commercial Times this morning, citing 'sources'."

Apple Plots New MacBooks for Q3?

Macworld UK's Jonny Evans says:

"Apple is placing orders with component manufacturers that suggest updated MacBook models will ship in the third quarter....

"The news emerges as Mac industry chatter speculates Apple may have a complete redesign of its consumer laptops planned, perhaps introducing aluminium, rather than plastic, case designs."

AU Optronics, Chi Mei Optoelectronics Receive MacBook Orders

MarketWatch reports:

"Taiwan's top two flat-panel makers by revenue, have obtained flat-panel orders for Apple Inc.'s new MacBook, the Commercial Times reported Friday, citing industry sources."

Hon Hai to Enter Contract Notebook PC Business

Reuters reports:

"Taiwan's top electronics maker, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., will soon enter the notebook contract manufacturing business, looking to take a piece of the fast-growing sector, local media reported on Monday.

"Hon Hai will join the business next year, the Commercial Times quoted company chairman Terry Gou as saying, putting it in direct competition with local players such as Quanta Computer and Compal Electronics, the world's two largest contract laptop makers.

"Hon Hai counts Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Nokia as major clients...."

LED Backlit Displays in All MacBooks by 2009

DigiTimes' Yvonne Yu reports:

"Apple plans to use LED backlight units (BLUs) in all of its MacBooks in 2009, which will benefit Taiwan-based BLU maker Kenmos Technology, according to the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN).

"Kenmos was Apple's main suppler for LED BLUs in 2007, according to the paper...."

How to Cool Down Hot Laptops

A new MacFixIt tutorial says:

"We previously reported on MacBook Airs that appear to be overheating under various circumstances for some users, resulting in freezes. Overheating laptops collectively represent a recurring theme across Apple's line. We've gathered some tips for cooling the systems down.

"For some users, laptops seem to get exceptionally hot with general use, or when put to sleep. This happens randomly, though with ever increasing frequency, and can lead to crashes or other faulty system behavior. It is exceptionally important to deal with overheating, and not allow your computer to get to the point where it is uncomfortable to pick it up or hurts to the touch...."

Apple Updates

MacBook Air: Migration Tips and Tricks

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"Here are some things to consider before migrating data to your new MacBook Air.

"Both the source and target computers must be plugged into power prior to starting the migration process. Ensure both are plugged into an AC outlet before you start.

"If you would like to reduce the amount of time required for system migration, consider using a USB Ethernet adapter on your MacBook Air and a wired Ethernet connection to your migration source for your data migration. This should be faster than using a wireless connection. For the best experience, be sure to attach your source and target computers to the wired network before you start.

"If you are having issues with your Ethernet or wireless network, another method that can be used for migration is Internet Sharing from your source."

Resetting a MacBook's System Management Controller (SMC)

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"Learn more about the MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air's System Manager and how to reset it.

"This article refers to Apple's Intel-based portables manufactured February 2006 or later. For PowerPC-based products manufactured before that date, see 'Resetting PowerBook and iBook Power Management Unit (PMU)'.

"The System Management Controller is an integrated circuit (computer chip) that is on the logic board of the computer. As the name implies, it is responsible for power management of the computer. It controls backlighting, hard disk spin down, sleep and wake, some charging aspects, trackpad control, and some input/output as it relates to the computer sleeping.

"Over time, the settings in the System Management Controller may become unusable, which can result in operational anomalies with the computer. Examples include not turning on, not waking from sleep, not charging the battery, or not recognizing the AC Adapter, among others."

Tech Trends

One Laptop Per Child Plans Next Generation of Revolutionary XO Laptop

PR: One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a nonprofit organization focused on providing educational tools to help children in developing countries "learn learning," announced today that work is already underway on a second- generation version of its revolutionary XO laptop computer. Leveraging new advances in technology, the primary goal of the "XO-2" will be to advance new concepts of learning as well as to further drive down the cost of the laptop so that it is affordable for volume purchase by developing nations.

"Based on feedback from governments, educators and most important, from the children themselves, we are aggressively working to lower the cost, power and size of the XO laptop so that it is more affordable and useable by the world's poorest children," said Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of One Laptop per Child. "The delivery of the first generation XO laptop has sparked tremendous global interest in the project and provided valuable input on how to make the XO laptop an even better learning tool moving forward."

"One Laptop per Child and the XO laptop are crucial to the fulfillment of the proposed UN Ninth Millennium Goal: to ensure that every child between the ages of 6 and 12 has immediate access to a personal laptop computer by 2015," said Nirj Deva, Member of the European Parliament. "It's only through access to education that young people will be able to develop the skills necessary to compete globally and to develop the solutions required to break the cycles of poverty, disease and malnutrition. Learning unites the child with the world, binds the village into a community, and joins that community to the global village."

The first generation XO laptop went into production in early November 2007, and there are approximately 600,000 units in deployment in a number of countries including Peru, Uruguay, Mongolia, Haiti, Rwanda, Mexico, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the US and Canada (as a result of the Give One Get One charitable giving campaign that ran last November 12 - December 31, 2007). Key goals for the XO-2 include:

  • Cost Reduction - Set in early 2005, the original target price of the XO laptop was $100. Although that target has not yet been met (it is now at $188), it is clear that OLPC must aim for an even lower target price of $75. New developments in display, processor and other hardware and software technologies will make it possible to achieve the $75 target in the future.
  • Lower Power Consumption - While the first generation XO laptop already requires just one-tenth (2-4 watts versus 20-40 watts) of the electrical power necessary to run a standard laptop, the XO-2 will reduce power consumption even further to 1 watt. This is particularly important for children in remote and rural environments where electricity is scarce or nonexistent. Lowering the power consumption will reduce the amount of time required for children to generate power themselves via a hand crank or other manual mechanisms.
  • Smaller Footprint - The XO-2 laptop will be about half the size of the first generation device and will approximate the size of a book. The new design will make the XO laptop lighter and easier for children to carry with them to and from school or wherever they go. The XO-2 will continue to be in a green and white case and sport the XO logo in a multitude of colors that allow children to personalize the laptop as their own possession.
  • Enhanced Book Experience - Dual-touch sensitive displays will be used to enhance the ebook experience, with a dual-mode display similar to the current XO laptop. The design provides a right and left page in vertical format, a hinged laptop in horizontal format, and a flat two-screen wide continuous surface that can be used in tablet mode. Younger children will be able to use simple keyboards to get going, and older children will be able to switch between keyboards customized for applications as well as for multiple languages. The dual-touch display is being designed by Pixel Qi, which was founded in early 2008 by Mary Lou Jepsen, former chief technology officer of One Laptop per Children and a leading expert on display technology.

"It's crucial that the design of the XO laptop produce something that is both highly functional and a lot of fun for children to use," said Yves Behar, founder of the fuseproject, a San-Francisco-based design and branding firm, and the industrial designer of the XO laptop. "Children have an amazing capacity to let us know how they use the laptop and what they want. The design of the next-generation XO is in response to their passion for learning, for sharing with each other, and for self-expression."

Availability of the XO-2 is planned for delivery in 2010. XO-1.5 will be released in the spring of 2009 with the same design as the first generation but with fewer physical parts and at a lower cost than XO-1.

About One Laptop per Child

One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is a nonprofit organization created by Nicholas Negroponte and others from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture and distribute laptop computers that are sufficiently inexpensive to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education. These XO laptops are rugged, open source, and so energy efficient that they can be powered by a child manually. Mesh networking gives many machines Internet access from one connection.

Enterprise SSDs to Match High-end Disk Prices in 2010

The Register's Austin Modine reports:

"EMC predicts the end is nigh for rotating drives dominating data center storage.

"Speaking at EMC's annual conference in Las Vegas, David Donatelli, boss of EMC's storage division said he expects enterprise solid state drives to match the price of its spinning magnetic media counterpart within only two years.

"'By 2010, flash will have reached parity with high-speed fibre channel disks. The enterprise flash drive will significantly change the way storage products are designed.'"

Acer Aspire 16" and 18.4" Gemstone Blue Notebook Series Available in North America

PR: Powered by Intel Centrino Duo processor technology, the Aspire Gemstone Blue notebook series offers the latest dual-core processing capabilities allowing users to effortlessly multitask. Targeted for home users seeking Full HD, 16:9 entertainment with centralized multimedia management, for gamers who want high-resolution support with superior display quality, and for creative professionals and SOHO users who require maximum multimedia resources and powerful communication, the Aspire Gemstone Blue notebook PC series is an excellent choice for everyone.

The 18.4" Aspire 8920 features:

  • 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9500
  • Mobile Intel PM965 Express chipset
  • 1 or 2 hard disk drives, up to 320 GB each
  • Integrated Blu-ray Disc drive or 8X DVD Super Multi double-layer drive
  • 18.4" Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution Acer CineCrystal display
  • Discrete Nvidia GeForce 9650M GS or Nvidia GeForce 9500M GS
  • 6-in-1 card reader
  • Express Card/54 slot, HDMI port with HDCP support
  • 802.11a/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth, gigabit LAN, V.92 modem, integrated webcam
  • Street price: $2,400

The 16" Aspire 6920 features:

  • 2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9300
  • Mobile Intel PM965 Express chipset
  • Hard disk drive up to 320 GB
  • Integrated Blu-ray Disc drive or 8X DVD Super Multi double-layer drive
  • 16" Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution Acer CineCrystal display
  • Discrete Nvidia GeForce 9500M GS
  • 6-in-1 card reader
  • Express Card/54 slot, HDMI port with HDCP support
  • 802.11a/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth, gigabit LAN, V.92 modem, integrated webcam
  • Street price: $1,850

Both the Aspire 8920 and Aspire 6920 notebooks include the second generation Dolby Home Theater technology with powerful audio technologies - CineSurround, Tuba CineBass booster, and up to five integrated speakers for True5.1 sound output - the new standard for the notebook sound and the ideal choice for Full HD movies and gaming.

The Aspire Gemstone Blue notebooks ship with Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate or Windows Vista Home Premium preinstalled. Additional installed software includes Acer Empowering Technology (Acer eAudio, ePower, eDataSecurity, eRecovery, eSettings Management), Acer Arcade Deluxe featuring Cinema, Album, Music, Acer HomeMedia, Acer InstantOn Arcade; Acer Bio-Protection; Acer Crystal Eye; Acer GridVista; Acer Launch Manager; Acer GameZone; Acer Video Conference Manager; Acer Video Conference Manager featuring Video Quality Enhancement (VQE); Adobe Reader; CyberLink PowerDirector trial version; Norton Internet Security; NTI Media Maker; Microsoft Works 9.0 with Office Home and Student 2007 Trial.

The new Aspire Gemstone Blue notebooks are now available through Acer authorized resellers and selected retailers throughout North America, with pricing beginning at $1,299 for the 1.83 GHz Aspire 8920 and $849 for the 1.83 GHz Aspire 6920.

[Editor's note: Be sure to read today's MacBook Holds Its Own Against Dell and HP Notebook Pricing to understand how the PC industry markets such inexpensive notebooks by providing lots of affordable options that eventually put them in the same price range as Apple's MacBooks. dk]

All Acer notebooks come with a standard one-year parts and labor warranty, which includes concurrent International Traveler's Coverage that can be extended to three years with the Acer Advantage service that also covers accidental damage to the notebook. Additionally, all Acer notebooks are backed by toll-free service and support.

Products

FastMac U-Charge Universal Battery Charger for Apple Notebooks

PR: FastMac has announced "U-Charge," a universal battery charger for multiple Apple laptops including iBooks, MacBooks & PowerBooks. The new U-Charge works externally & connects directly to the battery's terminals to recharge the battery quickly and efficiently, FastMac U-Chargewithout the need for a laptop. Batteries from multiple Apple laptops can be recharged using this single, compact, lightweight and portable charger. FastMac's U-Charge is scheduled to ship within 30 days and can be preordered from fastmac.com for a special introductory price of $69.95. Each U-Charge carries a 1-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee.

"U-Charge simplifies the battery charging process for those who have more than 1 battery or more than 1 type of Apple laptop," said Michael Lowdermilk, Business Development Manager of FastMac Performance Upgrades, Inc. "This may very well be the last battery charger you will ever buy."

Specifications

FastMac's U-Charge is a 45W external battery charger that connects directly to the battery's terminals to recharge batteries quickly and efficiently, in some cases faster than Apple's AC adapters. Unlike other external battery chargers available in black or whitethat are powered by higher wattage AC adapters, the energy efficient U-Charge supplies exactly the power needed to charge only the battery, bypassing the need to power the laptop. Its main housing features battery indicator charge LEDs that mirror Apple's own battery charge indicators- with one glance, you can quickly determine the charge status & battery level. Like all of FastMac's TruePower products, each U-Charge is individually tested and includes safety features to protect against overcharge, overheating, short circuits and power surges. Weighing in at less than 6 ounces and with dimensions that match those of the Apple AC adapter, FastMac's U-Charge is the 1st external battery charger that can truly be called a portable battery charger.

Compatibility

Compatible modelsFastMac's U-Charge Universal Battery Charger is compatible with the following Apple laptop computers:

  • iBook G3 12-inch
  • iBook G4 12-inch
  • MacBook 13-inch
  • MacBook Pro 15-inch
  • MacBook Pro 17-inch
  • PowerBook G3 Bronze (Lombard)
  • PowerBook G3 Pismo
  • PowerBook G4 12-inch
  • PowerBook G4 15-inch
  • PowerBook G4 17-inch

Slim External USB 2.0 SuperDrive Alternative for MacBook Air, Other Notebooks

PR: Very compact and less than 2 cm thick, easily transportable, this slim external DVD burner is the perfect companion for your laptop. It's ideal for a MacBook Air, which does not have an internal drive, but also works with any other portable computer, which Apple's external MacBook Air optical drive doesn't.

With its fast USB 2.0 interface and internal mechanical Panasonic UJ-870 mechanism, you can rapidly burn DVDs (including multilayers) and CDs. The recorder has a tray load, which also allows it to read and write mini CDs and 8 cm DVDs.

The drive's aluminum body is both elegant and robust and enjoys excellent heat dissipation, will provide excellent lifetime and reliable burning.

Offering high performance, this recorder supports both Macs and PCs and can be an indispensable tool for mobile users.

Specifications:

  • Supported by Mac OS X 10.5 (or via downloadable PatchBurn for earlier versions of Mac OS X)
  • aluminum
  • USB 2.0 Interface
  • Compatible with 8 and 12 cm CD and DVD
  • Mechanics: Panasonic DVD burner UJ-870
  • Speeds burning: 8x DVD-R, DVD + R 8x, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD + RW, DVD + /-DL 6x, DVD-RAM 5x, 24x CD-R, CD-RW 24x
  • I/O: via one or two USB plugs (cables), according to the computer model, no AC adapter (but sold as an option in case your USB 2.0 ports will absolutely not bus power)

System requirements:

  • 1 or 2 USB 2.0 ports depending on the type of computer (one port for example MacBook Air, which delivers enough power)
  • Operating systems: Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) | Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) | Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) | Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) | Windows XP | Windows 2000 | Vista

Specifications:

  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Ports: 1 x USB B
  • DVD: 8x
  • Read/write CD: 24x
  • Types of recordable discs: CD-R | CD-RW | DVD + R | DVD + R DL | DVD + R9 | DVD + RW | DVD-R | DVD-R DL | DVD-RAM | DVD-RW | DVD-RW DL
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 168 mm | 136 mm | 20 mm
  • Net Weight: 513g

Unit prices sliding scale (Quantity/Price):

  • 1/74.00 euro TTC (US$117.75 at today's exchange rate)
  • 2/70.84 euro TTC
  • 5/69.25 euro TTC
  • 10/67.67 euro TTC
  • 20/64.51 euro TTC (US$101.78)

For more information, visit (site in French - use machine translation):

Cool Feet for Your Laptop

Cool FeetPR: BlueLounge designed Cool Feet as compact and removable supports that temporarily fix to the bottom of your laptop with suction cups. Elegant, simple to attach and detach, they raise the laptop just enough to allow a constant cooling airflow

Cool FeetNo doubt about it laptops get hot, often very hot. So hot in fact that manufacturers like Apple now prefer the term "notebook" or "portable computer" since you can't use them on your lap without a risk of injury.

In search of the simplest possible design solution to this dilemma, BlueLounge designed Cool Feet as compact and removable supports that temporarily fix to the bottom of your laptop with suction cups. Elegant, simple to attach and detach, they raise the laptop just enough to allow a constant cooling airflow.

Not only do Cool Feet raise your laptop for cooling, they also create a comfortable ergonomic angle for the keyboard. In fact, this bonus feature is one many of our users appreciate the most. After typing on an angled keyboard, it's really hard to go flat again.

  • Cool FeetFind Your Best Angle - The Cool Feet package includes two tall feet and two short feet allowing user customization in three different angles and positions.
  • How It Works - Cool Feet attach directly to any laptop with a smooth underneath surface such as an iBook. For all others, BlueLounge includes four ultra-thin clear smooth adhesive plates to be glued under the computer to which suction cups will latch tightly, while remaining easily removable.
  • To remove, simply pull the small tab then store the feet until required in the provided carrying pouch.
  • USB powered cooling pads, cooling trays and cooling stands can be noisy, bulky and not very portable. Cool feet are the total opposite, small, silent and handy.

$12.95

Logitech V450 Cordless Laser Mouse for Notebooks

PR: You're always on the go, always looking for the next opportunity. With its laser precision, 12 months battery life, and ergonomic design, the V450 Nano gives you everything you need to get the job done.

Be more productive.

  • Laser precision: Enjoy smoother cursor control on virtually any surface (Laser sensor does not work on mirrors or clear glass). The V450 Nano outperforms ordinary optical mice.
  • Powerful, reliable connection: Logitech's advanced 2.4 GHz wireless dramatically reduces interference with 300 times faster data rate.**
  • Virtually no delays or dropouts. Enjoy all the benefits of a cord with the convenience of cordless.
  • 12 months battery life: Minimizes hassle and helps you stay more productive.
  • Convenient on/off switch saves even more power.
  • Battery-indicator light eliminates surprises.

Be more mobile.

  • Plug-and-Forget Nano-receiver: Barely larger than a coin - the Nano-receiver is so small that once you plug it into your notebook, you can forget about it. Your mouse is always ready to use.
  • Storable Nano-receiver: Store the Nano-receiver inside the mouse, if necessary. When stored inside the battery compartment, the mouse turns off automatically.

Be more comfortable.

  • Sculpted, ergonomic design with soft rubber grip: Work longer in more comfort.
  • Sculpted keys: Position fingers naturally.

The Logitech V450 Cordless Laser Mouse for Notebooks sells for $49.99.

Marware CEO Envi Leather Slipcase for MacBook Air

CEO Envi Leather SlipcasePR: Marware Inc., designer and manufacturer of innovative products for the Apple market, announces the CEO Envi for MacBook Air. The CEO Envi is the ultimate in luxury for the MacBook Air. Top quality leather, a premium finish and sleek profile, gives the Envi its visual appeal.

The soft-lined interior hugs the MacBook Air and reduces smudges and fingerprints associated with normal use. The Envi is lightweight and ideal for hand-carrying. It also protects the MacBook Air when placing it inside a briefcase, messenger bag or travel case.

CEO Envi Leather SlipcaseFeatures include:

  • Smooth, black leather sleeve with with white stitching
  • Secure magnetic closure system
  • Ultra-sleek and lightweight
  • Snug fit without added bulk

"This sleeve is as amazingly thin as the MacBook Air," said Jose Fuentes, Sales Executive for Marware Inc., "and the premium black leather is the perfectly stylish companion for your ultra-thin Apple notebook."

The CEO Envi is available in black smooth leather, with white stitching. It retails for $89.99 and is available for purchase online or select retail stores. Marware is a leading provider in Laptop, iPhone, iPod Cases, Clips and Accessories.

Up to 1 TB Storage Now Available Inside Your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or PowerBook G4

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PR: The new MCE OptiBay Hard Drive was created for users who want as much hard drive space as possible inside their MacBook Pro, MacBook, or PowerBook G4....

The new MCE OptiBay Hard Drive was created for users who want as much hard drive space as possible inside their MacBook Pro, MacBook, or PowerBook G4 . . . period. The MCE OptiBay Hard Drive replaces your machine's internal SuperDrive with a high performance hard drive. Now you can have unheard of capacities in laptop disk storage space for everything you need to store . . . digital video, music, photos, etc. Two bootable hard drives inside your system provide a freedom and flexibility never before experienced in a Mac laptop... have one disk a scratch disk and the other your system/applications disk, RAID configurations, one disk Mac and the other PC, extra music storage for digital DJ's, and more. Plus, you have the option of including an external SuperDrive or optical drive enclosure for your removed SuperDrive or Combo drive so you'll still have CD/DVD read/write functionality anytime you want for loading system software or applications, as well as burning, playing, or ripping CDs and DVDs.

Take your SuperDrive out and put an OptiBay Hard Drive in and give yourself up to an extra 500 GB of high performance hard drive space to use however you'd like. Combine it with up to a 500 GB internal hard drive and find out what a dream it is to have up to 1 TB of hard drive space inside your laptop.

OptiBay Hard Drive At a Glance

  • Up to 500 GB additional internal hard disk storage
  • Up to 1 TB total internal hard disk storage!
  • Can be used as an individual volume, as part of a RAID array, or combined with internal hard drive as one very large volume
  • Bootable
  • Easy setup using Apple's Disk Utility program
  • Negligible impact on battery life
  • S.M.A.R.T. drive status compliant
  • Optional FireWire SuperDrive or optical drive enclosure
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • OptiBay: 100% MCE Support

The MCE OptiBay Hard Drive is a high performance laptop hard drive inside a specially designed, lightweight case that's been engineered to the exact same dimensions as your laptop's SuperDrive or Combo drive. We made the case so lightweight, in fact, that replacing your optical drive with an MCE OptiBay Hard Drive will actually shave up to a quarter pound off the weight of your MacBook Pro, MacBook or PowerBook G4! Besides just appearing different, laptop optical drives and hard drives have very different data connectors as well, so an adapter was developed allowing the hard drive to communicate with your MacBook Pro, MacBook, or PowerBook G4 through the optical drive connector on the motherboard. Since they already speak the same language, ATA, not one bit of speed or performance is lost in adapting the drive's connector.

Features:

  • Capacities of 100 GB, 120 GB, 160 GB, and 250 GB
  • High Performance Spindle Speeds of 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM
  • Bootable
  • S.M.A.R.T. Status Compliant
  • Sets up easily using Apple's Disk Utility program
  • Can be set up as a single volume, partitioned, or made part of RAID array
  • External Enclosure for SuperDrive or Combo drive compatible with iDVD, DVD Studio Pro, iTunes, iPhoto, and Finder Burning
  • Compatible with All MacBook Pro, MacBook and PowerBook G4 Systems

The MCE OptiBay Hard Drive is compatible with the 17" and 15" MacBook Pro, the 13.3" MacBook and also the 17", 15", and 12" Apple PowerBook G4.

System Requirements: MacBook Pro (15" or 17") or MacBook (13.3") running Mac OS 10.4.x or later. PowerBook G4 (12" Aluminum, 15" Aluminum or Titanium, or 17" Aluminum) running Mac OS 9, Mac OS 10.2, Mac OS 10.3, Mac OS 10.4 (or later) Full Disc Burning compatibility with FireWire or USB 2.0 enclosure requires Mac OS 10.4 or later. PowerBook G4 15" Titanium DVD-ROM only drive not compatible with FireWire Enclosure.

Order direct from MCE 24-hours a day, or call 1-800-5000-MAC.

OptiBay Hard Drive At a Glance

  • Up to 500 GB additional internal hard disk storage
  • Up to 1 TB total internal hard disk storage!
  • Can be used as an individual volume, as part of a RAID array, or combined with internal hard drive as one very large volume
  • Bootable
  • Easy setup using Apple's Disk Utility program
  • Negligible impact on battery life
  • S.M.A.R.T. drive status compliant
  • Optional FireWire SuperDrive or optical drive enclosure
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • OptiBay: 100% MCE Support

OWC Announces Lowest-cost Mercury On-the-go FireWire + USB 2.0 Portable Storage Drives

Mercury On-the-go Portable DrivesPR: Other World Computing has announced the lowest cost line of OWC Mercury On-The-Go FireWire + USB 2.0 storage drives, with 500 GB capacity priced at $329. The new line of OWC Mercury On-The-Go high-performance FireWire 400 + USB 2.0 drives are fully bus powered with no additional external power or secondary powering cable required.

Immediately available and priced starting at $95.99, the Mercury On-The-Go portable drive is a palm-sized performer with a huge capacity up to 500 GB that fits in a shirt pocket. Built with the latest reliable, high-performance drive mechanisms and interfaced with OWC's custom bridge solution featuring the Oxford chipset, the Mercury On-The-Go is the portable solution you can count on.

Pricing for OWC Mercury On-the-Go FireWire + USB 2.0 models:

  • 40 GB 5400 RPM $ 95.99
  • 80 GB 5400 RPM $109.99
  • 120 GB 5400 RPM $119.99
  • 160 GB 5400 RPM $129.99
  • 250 GB 5400 RPM $157.99
  • 320 GB 5400 RPM $179.99 - NEW
  • 500 GB 5400 RPM $329.99 - NEW
  • 100 GB 7200 RPM $139.99 - NEW
  • 200 GB 7200 RPM $189.99 - NEW

Built for the "On-The-Go" Road Warrior

Geared to the demanding "on-the-go" professional road warrior that requires dependable, high-performance storage, OWC Mercury On-The-Go portable drives are compatible with virtually all computers with an available FireWire or USB port, including all Macs and PCs. They also work with all FireWire and USB gadgets, including digital cameras, camcorders, and other gear, for an instant on-the-go portable storage solution to quickly and safely store all your digital photos and video while on the road.

Bring Your Computer Everywhere You Go

With the Mercury On-The-Go, you can back-up your entire desktop computer and bring it with you everywhere you go. For easy backup, the drive also includes the full retail software versions of the latest award-winning Prosoft DataBackup III for OS X and NovaStor NovaBackup for Windows. In addition, the Mercury On-The-Go is "Time Machine" ready, meaning that it keeps an up-to-date copy of all of your files and documents under OS X Leopard™, so you can go back in time, anytime, to recover anything with ease.

All Mercury On-The-Go portable drives are available immediately through OWC and other retailers. The drives ship with a carrying case; cables for all interfaces supported by Mercury On-the-Go models; Prosoft DataRescue III for OS X; and NovaStor NovaBackup for Windows. All portable drives are covered by a one-year warranty and are compatible with Apple OS Versions 8.5 through 9.2.x; Apple OS X 10.0.3 and higher (including the latest OS 10.5.x); and Microsoft Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, and Vista.

Special OWC Exclusive Hitachi Rebate is available now and through May 23rd on all OWC Mercury On-The-Go 200 GB 7200 RPM Models. Save an additional $30 per unit on up to 5 drives on qualifying purchases. Qualifying models and more information online.

Bargain 'Books

Bargain 'Books are used unless otherwise indicated. New and refurbished units have a one-year Apple warranty and are eligible for AppleCare.

There are two different versions of WallStreet running at 233 MHz, the cacheless MainStreet version and the later Series II with a level 2 cache. It's not always possible to determine from the vendor's listing which is being offered, so we've included links within this paragraph to the two models. The same goes for the PowerBook G4/667 (VGA) and G4/667 (DVI), the titanium vs. aluminum 15" PowerBook G4 at 1 GHz, and 1.25 GHz to 1.5 GHz 15" PowerBooks.

PowerBook, iBook, and MacBook profiles linked in our Portable Mac Index.

Apple Store

New this week; a $50 price drop on the 15" 2.4 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro model, $100 lower for the 2.5 GHz model, and $100 lower on the 17" 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro. The three Penryn MacBooks offered are also down $50, as are 2.2 GHz Santa Rosas. Each model comes with an Apple one-year warranty, and ground shipping is free.

  • refurb 2.1 GHz Penryn MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/Combo, $949
  • refurb 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/SD, $9999
  • refurb 2.4 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook, white, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,099
  • refurb 2.4 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook, black, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,299
  • refurb 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,699
  • refurb 15" 2.5 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $2,149
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,099
  • refurb 17" 2.6 GHz hi-res Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,499

TechRestore

  • 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $419.99
  • 12" iBook G3/800, 256/20/Combo, $429.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/667 (VGA), 256/30/Combo, $599.99

Wegener Media - Pismo - 15" PowerBook

  • Pismo PowerBook G3/400, 128/6/DVD, $299.99
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/400, 256/40/DVD, $399.99
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/400, 256/60/DVD, $419.99
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/500, 128/6/DVD, $349.99
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/500, 256/40/DVD, $439.99
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/500, 256/60/DVD, $449.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $599.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.25 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $629.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $679.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/Combo, $699.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/- 1.5 GHz, 512/80/Combo, $709.99
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 1 GB/80/SD, APX, $739.99
  • 15" hi-res PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/80/SD, APX, $799.99

Baucom Computers

  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 1 GB/80/Combo, APX, $689
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 1 GB/80/Combo, APX, $799
  • 15" 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, APX, $1,129

Power Max

  • open box 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 2 GB/160/SD, warranty started, $1,049
  • open box 2.2 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,299
  • open box 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,449
  • open box 1.6 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/80, $1,749
  • open box 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2/200/SD, $1,949
  • open box 17" 2.33 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,288
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, warranty started, $2,049
  • open box 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, warranty started, $2,349
  • 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,449
  • open box 17" 2.5 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,688
  • 17" 2.6 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,699

PowerBook Guy

  • 12" iBook G3/500, 256/10/Combo, $279.95
  • 12" iBook G3/600, 128/20/CD, $229.95
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/400, 192/6/Zip, $269.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 1 GB/80/SD, $1,099.95
  • 15" 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,599.95

For deals on current and discontinued 'Books, see our 13" MacBook and MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, 17" MacBook Pro, 12" PowerBook G4, 15" PowerBook G4, 17" PowerBook G4, titanium PowerBook G4, iBook G4, PowerBook G3, and iBook G3 deals.

We also track iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle deals.

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