The 'Book Review

'All Nvidia GeForce 8600 Chips Bad', Subcompact MacBook in 2009?, Instant On Notebooks, and More

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.08.15

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

Tech Trends

Products

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

'All Nvidia G84 and G86s Are Bad'

The Inquirer's Charlie Demerjian reports:

"The burning question on everyone's mind is what Nvidia parts are failing in the field? No GT200 jokes here, NV personnel are still quite sensitive about that, but our moles have told us about the bum GPUs.

"The short story is that all the G84 and G86 parts are bad. Period. No exceptions. All of them, mobile and desktop, use the exact same ASIC, so expect them to go south in inordinate numbers as well. There are caveats however, and we will detail those in a bit....

"Go check the message boards, any notebooks that came with G84s and G86s have boards filled with dead machine problems...."

Editor's note: That includes the Nvidia GeForce 8600 graphics processor, which has been used in the two most recent generations of the MacBook Pro. dk

MacBook Screen Flickering; MacBook Pro Display Refresh Problems When Scrolling

MacFixIt reports:

"Many Apple laptop owners are experiencing two very prominent display problems. With regard to the MacBook Pro there is a problem with either the display drivers or the graphics processor itself which causes scrolling to not completely refresh the screen, resulting in garbled-looking display output with text and images running into themselves. In addition, some users are experiencing a similar problem where parts of the display that are actively being scrolled will flash in big checkered-like blocks during the scrolling process....

"Non-pro MacBook owners are experiencing a different display problem where the screen begins to flicker. While unlike the MacBook Pro the display image seems to be just fine, the backlighting mechanism appears to get in a state where it flickers between low and high brightness about 10-15 times per second...."

Apple Readying an Eee PC Subnotebook Rival?

T3's Katherine Hannaford says:

"Still, it's only just a rumour for now, with an analyst at UBS Investment Research, Maynard Um, claiming Apple was initially going to announce it this year however it's looking more likely to debut next year, possibly at Macworld in January.

"What can we expect from an Apple logofied netbook? Chances are it'll be around 8.9-inches in size; white; have about 4 GB of internal storage and cost around £400-£500."

Apple Subnotebook Coming in 2009?

Mobile Computing News' Jenny says:

"It seems as if computer manufacturers the world over have been infected by the Eee PC craze. Only months after the surprising and stunning success of the Eee PC subnotebook, or netbook, an entire new laptop genre was created, with every major computer maker struggling to announce their own competitive model . . . Apple? One might think Apple already has their own dedicated market and the company doesn't need to get involved in the cheap netbook market, however, recent rumours and assertions by top analysts claim Apple has also been infected by the netbook virus; with their own Apple netbook planned for a 2009 release.

"USB analyst Maynard Um has questioned his sources in the industry and believes Apple will upgrade and update its MacBook by the end of this year. Furthermore, he goes on to claim the next generation MacBook will be a true subnotebook, not like the MacBook Air....

"According to the Analyst Um, the Apple netbook was originally slated for a 2008 release, but will be delayed to 2009."

Ultraportable Mac a Distant Prospect

MacNN reports:

"People should not expect to see a new ultraportable Mac in September, or possibly even during 2009, say analysts with Piper Jaffray. While some groups have predicted an announcement during September - when Apple normally introduces new hardware - and others have suggested a delay until early 2009, Piper argues that the release of a new ultraportable is 'more likely a 2010 event.' The firm in fact argues that the closest Apple may come to such a system in the near future is a revised version of the MacBook Air for 2009, designed to be even smaller than it is currently."

MacBook Air Is Light, but It's No Lightweight

National Geographic Adventure's Steve Casimiro says:

"Breathe, must remember to breathe. It's just a computer. Really, just a computer. Breathe, son, breathe. Keep telling yourself it's just a computer.

"Who am I kidding? The MacBook Air is the sexiest laptop ever. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it connects to the internet, processes words, "i"s your life, etc., etc. But those lines! That sleek, svelte silhouette . . . it's like nothing you've ever laid your hands on. And yes, you have to lay your hands on it to get the full effect....

"Now, I have made some foolish buying decisions when swept away by product lust. The Contax G2 rangefinder camera comes to mind - beautiful, but for me impractical. The Air, though, is more than a hot piece of sculpted aluminum - it's a powerful computer that could easily replace your current laptop. Indeed, the $1,800 1.6 GHz version kept pace with my year-old MacBook Pro, even though it has less RAM and processing speed. If my photography didn't require more intensive needs (FireWire port, larger hard drive), I'd snatch up the Air in a second. The speed, diminutive size, and special Apple sauce make it a compelling, almost irresistible ultra-portable.

"Let's take a look at key points...."

Mac Laptops in High Demand for Higher Ed

Macworld's Jim Dalrymple reports:

"In the next month or so, students will leave behind swimming pools, beaches, and other settings of summer fun to head back to school. And when they arrive on campus, a large chunk of those students will tote new Mac laptops - at least according to a new survey conducted by a research firm focusing on higher education.

"The study, conducted by Student Monitor, polled 1,200 full-time four-year undergraduates in the US and found that the 84 percent who plan to purchase a computer in the next 12 months will buy a notebook. Among that group of students, 43 percent plan to buy a Mac...."

SSD Drive Finally Coming to MacBook/MacBook Pros?

Computerworld's Seth Weintraub says:

"Just about everyone (including me) is saying that new MacBooks will be landing in about a month. Unlike the past few updates, this one (by most accounts) will be a total redesign.

"Besides glass trackpads, and a thinner, full aluminum shell, what other fun stuff could be thrown in?"

"SSD Storage. I thought Apple was ready last time around but it now seems the numbers weren't there . . . Well, Dell just made an announcement. The Latitude series comes with an add on 128 GB SSD option for only $450 . . . That is a price point that MacBook (especially Pro) customers can really sink their teeth into.

"But why does Apple have to stop there? Can't we have the best of both worlds? Why can't Apple ship a laptop with two forms of storage?"

"With twice the SSD space (128 GB) costing roughly half the cost of the SSD option of January, will Apple take the plunge and give its users the option for an SSD powered MacBook?"

'Laptop Machines' an Anagram of 'Apple Macintosh'

The Guardian's Stephen Fry says:

"'Laptop machines', by one of those preposterous twists of circumstance that make you wonder who is running things and why they haven't got anything better to do, just happens to be an anagram of 'Apple Macintosh'. If an anagram is a derivative rearrangement of essential elements, then one might be disposed to argue that such has been their rise in influence and prestige that almost every new digital product seems to be an anagram of Apple....

"Toshiba joins the [subnotebook] fray with the Portégé R500 [weighing] 1.7 lb. . . . Somehow, the geniuses at Toshiba have found room for a fingerprint scanner, three USB ports, an SD card reader, an iLink (FireWire) connection, microphone and headphone sockets, and what I took be an ethernet port but turns out to be for an RJ-45 phone jack. WiFi and Bluetooth wireless come as standard, and there is in option for 3G WWAN wireless, too. The killer blow is the availability of a massive 128 GB of solid-state storage. Toshiba's doubling of capacity (Apple's very expensive SSD is only 64 GB), quintupling of connection sockets and inclusion of a CD drive make the Portégé a very attractive alternative to the Air....

"...Lenovo's entry into the ultraportable market, the ThinkPad X300 . . . is so closely allied in look and feel to a 'proper' ThinkPad that one soon forgets that we are in the ultra-lightweight arena . . . the bright, clear LED screen is 13.3 inches, like the Air, but at a functionally higher resolution than the Apple or Toshiba. There are three USBs, a fingerprint reader and a Gigabit Ethernet, but no SD card or FireWire...."

New Video Features Coming to Mac Notebooks?

BusinessWeek's Arik Hesseldahl says:

"Dan Frommer at Silicon Alley Insider reports a tip from saying claiming to know saying as follows: 'I happen to know that the product transition referred to in Apple's recent conference call was referring to QuickTime encoding/decoding chips built into their products.'

"Hmm. Well now, there has been a good deal of speculation about what the next 'new product transition' CFO Peter Oppenheimer referred to will be all about....

"Adding dedicated video chips would add some serious capabilities to the MacBook and MacBook Pro...."

Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook That Came with 10.5

An anonymous Mac OS X Hints contributor says:

"I was able to get Mac OS X 10.4 to run on a new OS X 10.5-based Intel MacBook. To make this work, you need to own an Intel iMac or Mac mini that runs on 10.4, as well as a USB hard drive. Here's how I got it working...."

Editor's note: the process sounds time-consuming and convoluted, and I'm curious as to why someone with a machine that runs Leopard well would bother. cm

Tech Trends

Are 'Instant on' Notebooks the Future?

ZD Net blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes says:

"Dell has previewed a new instant on technology that allows users to carry out basic tasks on their notebooks without having to boot up into Windows. Is this the future for notebooks?

"The technology, called Dell Latitude ON, will feature on the Latitude E4200 and E4300 in the next few months. It will allow users to have near-instant access to a Linux-based environment that offers email, calendar, attachments, contacts . . . and a web browser, all without ever needing to boot into the main operating system. An added advantage of Dell Latitude ON its that it extends the battery life from hours to days. Sweet....

"Instant on technologies have a number of potential upsides for the end user. Speed of boot-up (near instant) and increased battery life are two obvious benefits, but there are others....

"If I think about my normal notebook usage patterns, I'm pretty sure I could spend a good 80-90% of my time in the instant on environment and only boot into Windows when I needed to do something specifically Windows-centric...."

Editor's note: And on a Windows machine I can understand why you would want to.... ;-) cm

Intel to Release Nehalem Laptop Chips Next Year

IDG News Service's Agam Shah reports:

"Consumer laptops and desktops could get faster and more power-efficient when Intel releases chips built around its new Nehalem microarchitecture in the second half of 2009.

"Further details about the new chips are set to be revealed at Intel Developer Forum, which will be held in San Francisco's Moscone Center between August 19 and 21.

"The chips will first be targeted at high-end desktops and servers but later scaled down for consumer desktops and laptops . . . Nehalem cuts bottlenecks of Intel's earlier Core microarchitecture to improve system speed and performance-per-watt...."

Lenovo Launches Quad-Core ThinkPad

Sci-Tech Today's Barry Levine reports:

"Lenovo's 17-inch ThinkPad W700 has a 17-inch screen, a built-in graphics tablet and supports Intel's mobile quad-core processor. The Lenovo ThinkPad also includes a color calibrator, Nvidia graphics, dual hard drives and a fingerprint reader. Lenovo's ThinkPad W700 is expected to be available in September with prices starting at $2,978."

New Latitude Subnotebook 'Brackets' MacBook Air

Electronista reports:

"Electronista on Tuesday had an opportunity to listen to Dell executives on camera following the PC maker's Latitude introduction that reveals the company's approach to targeting systems such as the MacBook Air. The firm says it isn't worried about the competition from Apple, Lenovo, or other rivals as the Latitude 'brackets' these systems; the E4200 is smaller and lighter than the Air through its use of an ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo processor, while the 13.3-inch E4300 uses a full-power Core 2 Duo and has an optical drive bay absent on these competitors."

New Dell Latitudes Claim 19-Hour Battery Runtime

Electronista reports:

"Dell today launched the new Latitude line, ushering in a significant refresh of its business systems. The new models have a new streamlined design with the choice of multiple shell colors and take cues both from recent PC designs like the Studio as well as the MacBook Pro; the new systems now have backlit keyboards, a magnesium shell designed to be strong, and an extra-thin design. The mainstream models are the thinnest ever in the mid-size class, the Texas-based company claims, while its ultraportable E4200 model weighs as little as 2.2 pounds.

"The company also claims to have set a record for battery performance using a combination of proprietary software as well as Intel's Centrino 2 platform. The mid-grade Latitude E6400 with an extended 12-cell battery can last up to 19 hours on a single charge, according to Dell...."

Toshiba and Wave Systems Partner to Develop Full Disk Encryption Solution for Mobile PCs

PR: Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD), an industry pioneer in small form factor hard disk drives (HDDs), and Wave Systems Corp. (NASDAQ:WAVX), a leader in trusted computing applications and services, today announced an alliance to develop a robust standards-based solution for the secure encryption of data on mobile computing platforms, such as laptop PCs.

The full disk encryption solution integrates Toshiba's HDD encryption technology and an enhanced version of Wave's EMBASSY Trusted Drive Manager and Remote Administration Server products for the management and administration of encrypting hard drives. Toshiba and Wave will demonstrate development versions of these products at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, August 19-21.

Wave has extended its client software, EMBASSY Trust Suite (ETS), which includes the Trusted Drive Manager, and the EMBASSY Remote Administration Server, to provide cross-vendor support for encrypting HDDs from multiple disk drive OEMs, including Toshiba's HDD encryption technology. ETS also manages other PC trusted computing hardware components such as Trusted Platform Modules (TPM), biometric finger print sensors and smart card readers. ETS is an industry-leading trusted computing software, with more than 30 million copies shipped via Wave's major PC OEM partners.

Toshiba's HDD encryption technology uses design principles from the evolving draft specifications for trusted storage devices. The solution provides high-performance data encryption integrated into the drive hardware, with strong protection of the encryption keys and secure authentication as integral elements of the HDD design. Availability of Toshiba HDD models incorporating the encrypting technology will be announced at a later date.

"Stronger security for information on mobile PCs is becoming a high-demand feature as customers look for solutions to protect sensitive personal and business data," said Maciek Brzeski, vice president of marketing at Toshiba Storage Device Division. "Building on our legacy of HDD innovation and technology leadership, our partnership with Wave Systems enhances our current encryption technology platform and provides mobile PC manufacturers with advanced security features to deliver the data protection mobile users require."

When combined, Toshiba and Wave's state-of-the-art components provide a highly secure, easy-to-use and remotely manageable data protection solution for mobile PCs. Wave's solution also assists enterprises with the compliance assertion tools required by many stringent data protection laws and regulations worldwide.

"As trusted computing hardware, including encrypting HDDs, becomes integrated into more mobile PCs, having components and software designed with common principles centered on strong access and data security becomes important for interoperability and cross platform management," said Lark Allen, executive vice president, Wave Systems. "Wave Systems is committed to being an industry leader in implementing existing and developing trusted computing standards. Toshiba's HDD encryption technology represents an important step toward delivering strong access security to enhance the protection of data - particularly data on mobile PCs."

Toshiba and Wave Systems will demonstrate this solution in the Wave meeting room located on the third floor of Moscone Center West in San Francisco, August 19-21, 2008. For demonstration and meeting appointments contact Wave's executive vice president Lark Allen at lallen@wavesys.com

Products

New Logitech V550 Nano Mouse Clips to Your Notebook

Logitech V550 Nano mousePR: Many people prefer a mouse to a touchpad but often leave the mouse behind when moving from room to room. Logitech is about to change all that with the introduction of the Logitech V550 Nano cordless laser mouse for notebooks, featuring the Clip-and-Go dock. The unobtrusive dock lets you conveniently clip the V550 mouse to your laptop - and go.

Logitech V550 Nano mouse"Logitech research revealed that the vast majority of people who use a notebook PC are mobile both within and outside the home," said Rory Dooley, Logitech senior vice president and general manager of the Control Devices business unit. "To meet the demands associated with increased mobility, the V550 mouse offers a complete set of features to make it easier to use a mouse with a notebook when moving from the kitchen to the living room or from one's desk to a meeting. Now, you won't have to choose between grabbing your mouse or a cup of coffee."

Logitech V550 Nano mouseAlways ready for use, the V550 Nano also features the Plug-and-Forget Nano-receiver - it's so small that once it's plugged into your computer, you can forget about it. The Nano-receiver stays nearly flush against the side of the computer (protruding just 8 mm), so it doesn't have to be unplugged when you stow your laptop.

With increased mobility comes increased concern about battery life. You don't want to be caught out and about with a mouse that's run out of power. The new V550 mouse offers up to 18 months of battery life and is the only Logitech cordless laser mouse currently offering this extended level of use. Plus, the V550 Nano saves additional power by automatically turning off when it's docked or when the Nano-receiver is stored inside the mouse.

Logitech V550 Nano mouseTo enhance your productivity, the V550 mouse's scroll wheel can spin freely to let you move quickly through long documents and Web pages. Or, by pressing down on the wheel, you can switch to click-to-click scrolling mode and scroll precisely through lists, slides or photos. In addition, the button directly below the scroll wheel allows you to switch between applications (after installing software available at no additional charge from www.logitech.com/downloads ).

Logitech V550 Nano mouseBecause you often use your notebook in busy wireless environments, Logitech's advanced 2.4 GHz wireless technology provides a powerful, reliable signal that effectively eliminates delays and dropouts. With its exceptionally robust signal, which exchanges data between the receiver and the mouse 300 times faster than conventional 27 MHz wireless technologies for cordless mice, Logitech's advanced 2.4 GHz wireless technology dramatically reduces interference.

The V550 Nano is offered in two colors - gray with silver accents and silver with cool-blue accents. And with the purchase of the new Logitech mouse, you'll receive two Clip-and-Go docks - one silver, one black. An included setup kit makes it easy to install the dock, and to remove it, if necessary.

The new Logitech mouse is compatible with both PC and Mac computers, and the Clip-and-Go dock is compatible with all notebook styles.

The Logitech V550 Nano cordless laser mouse for notebooks is expected to be available in the US and Europe beginning in late August. The suggested retail price in the US is $59.99.

LapWorks Builds a Better MouzPad

PR: Fresh from the release of its revolutionary debut in the gaming peripheral market with the Gamer's Desk, LapWorks Inc., specialist in ergonomic and heat-reducing laptop desks and stands, announced today a reimagining of one of its most popular laptop desk accessories - the MouzPad. When critics called the original 6x9 MouzPad small, LapWorks listened and designed the Max MouzPad.

Max MouzPadBuilt to accommodate LapWorks' UltraLite and Futura Laptop Desks, the Max MouzPad offers users a mousing area of 9 x 11 inches - enough space for Web surfers, gamers, and professionals alike.

Just like the Laptop Desks the Max MouzPad easily snaps into place on, the accessory is designed to work at home or on the go. Other features of the Max MouzPad include:

Weave your wired mouse's cord through the teeth at the top or bottom of the Max MouzPad. Don't be a victim of missed frags caused by sliding, falling mice, even at an incline.

If you use a wireless mouse with your Laptop Desk, both sides of the Max MouzPad feature a cupped rim, providing a ledge to keep the mouse steady without harming your wrist.

Max MouzPadThe Max is sturdy as well. The super-sized MouzPad is crafted from polycarbonate plastic - the same material used to make bulletproof glass. Travel with your Laptop Desk in confidence knowing that the Futura and its accessories won't be broken during transit.

The Max MouzPad is set to debut on October 3 at the 2008 E For All Expo in Los Angeles, CA. LapWorks will be on hand at the exposition with the new model and all of our signature laptop desks, stands and other accessories.

  • Standalone Price: $9:95
  • Futura + MouzPad Bundle Price: $34:95

Editor's note: See Charles Moore's review on Mac Opinion.

AirDesk Swing-Away Laptop Computer Desk/Stand

PR: Let the AirDesk laptop desk turn your sofa, recliner, bed or car into an ultra-comfortable workstation. Work for hours on your laptop computer in comfort.

AirDeskStandard AirDesk for any chair, recliner or sofa.

Tall AirDesk for everywhere, including your bed.

You no longer need a dedicated office to surf the web or work at home. Work for hours in total comfort with the new Air Desk. Watch DVDs, game, work or surf in the comfort of your living room or bedroom. Unique, zero footprint design frees valuable living space. Slide the thin Air Desk base under furniture if needed. No more stuffy home office. No more baking legs, no more hunched back. Sit back, relax, enjoy, life!

AirDeskStyled for the living room or the boardroom, the Air Desk is totally functional and unobtrusive. Securely supports any laptop for any sofa, recliner, chair or bed. No more clunky office desk in the home.

Ideal for any living room, enjoy the family and watch TV while you work, surf or play. To stand, simply swing the computer away. All cables are bundled together along the frame and swing away with the computer. Sit down and swing your computer back. Right side, left side, no problem.

AirDeskThe unique, ultra-thin base slides under your furniture's legs or castors for maximum usable floor space. The elegant Air Desk is beautifully styled, sturdy and truly a pleasure to use. Kick back and enjoy!

The Tall Air Desk has all of the great features of the Standard Air Desk plus it has the added height necessary for computing in bed or while standing.

AirDeskIt is designed for for bedside but will work anywhere you need extra height for your laptop. Set it next to your bed and swing your laptop toward you. Your laptop is suspended over your lap while you rest comfortably in bed. Compute in total comfort.

Since Air Desk's patent pending design allows you to position your laptop at just about any angle, you will love the ease of computing without leaving your bed. The mast measures 42-inches tall and gives you the same space saving, infinite positioning features as the standard height AirDesk.

  • Tall Air Desk - price: $165
  • Tall Air Desk w/ 1 AirShelf - price: $179
  • Tall Air Desk w/ 2 AirShelves - price: $195

Radiator MacBook Case

PR: The Radiator MacBook Case's four suction cup array on the lid interior allows the case to stay attached to the laptop while it is being used at a desk, in the field, or even in bed, unlike other cases which fall away once opened. The smooth surface of the MacBook leads itself particularly well to this system - the suction cups make a solid connection to the lid without straps or other crude retainers and cannot leave any permanent marks.

Radiator MacBook CaseIf the MacBook needs to be removed from the case, the ribbon at each suction cup can be looped over the cup to break the suction until it is needed again. This lets it function as a regular sleeve.

Fast laptops can get very hot. radiator effectively insulates your lap with 5mm (1/4") EVA foam (material commonly used for shoe outsoles). When in open position, the laptop bottom is tilted out of the case (by suction holding the lid) allowing air convection to cool the core.

Raising the MacBook's back also corrects its overly flat typing and viewing angles - improving ergonomics. Radiator cools when closed too. A bubble around the hot spot is joined to the x-channels and draws cooler air in while hot air escapes through a vent array. An orange stopper seals the vents for outdoor use and velcros it into the spare bubble while vents are open.

The matte black exterior has stealthy, elegant looks, with aesthetics mirroring the minimalist language of the Apple product line. Inspired by the functionality of "jerry-can" fuel canisters like those used on rugged trucks, Radiator's most noticeable visual feature is the "X" truss which gives structure and stiffness to the case.

Most computer sleeves are just made to go inside a bigger bag. While Radiator does this of course, it also works in 2 other useful modes. It comes with high quality shoulder strap with swiveling snap-hooks and the box-stitched carry handles let you use it like a small shoulder bag. Using Civilian Lab exclusive Squidlock lid retainers while hooking shoulder strap to side loops to create "Work-station" mode.

Features:

  • Squidock suction cup lid
  • Ventilated / insulating / ergonomic
  • Integrated Mac remote bay
  • Thermomolded protection & looks
  • Three carrying options

Product Dimensions:

  • Exterior: 14 x 10.5 x 2 inches
  • Interior: 12.8 x 8.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds

Price - $56.99

Sale Price - $46.99

Available from Semsons.com

Oncore 6-Bay Battery Charger

PR: A leading supplier of replacement power products for the education market, Oncore Power Systems today announced it has developed a 6-Bay Charger specifically for Apple MacBook and iBook computers that recharges up to six batteries. Oncore is also introducing a power upgrade kit that includes the 6-Bay Charger and six replacement batteries, specifically intended to give new life to older classroom computers.

6-Bay Battery ChargerThe new 6-Bay Charger is designed to serve a need within the education market where laptop usage in the K-12 classrooms has grown steadily over the past 15 years. Students first began using Apple computers in the classroom back in 1983 when Apple offered every classroom in California a free computer. Today classrooms across the US use laptops and teachers have incorporated the technology into their lesson plans.

In classrooms, students work at their desks with laptops, many of which are older models still using original batteries. With new batteries offering a maximum of 3 hours of run time, power continuity is critical for classrooms to maintain a smooth transition from one student or class to the next. An Oncore 6-Bay Charger and a pack of six replacement batteries can keep an entire class powered up continuously and cost effectively.

With the 6-Bay Charger, Educational users can charge up to six batteries, and keep them ready to power their students Apple notebooks when needed. And whether you have the latest MacBooks, or are using legacy 12 or 14-inch iBooks, Oncore has you covered with a model for each.

The Oncore 6-Bay Charger immediately reviews the state of health of the battery and safely charges each one with an automatic charge cycle. The 11" x 7" charger holds six MacBook or iBook batteries and can recharge six empty MacBook batteries in less than 8 hours. The Oncore 6-Bay Charger was designed as a companion to Apple laptop computers, with a sleek, white design and low profile.

"Budget cuts are keeping schools from upgrading equipment, and many classrooms are using older notebooks. Students at our local schools have complained of batteries that last only 10-15 minutes before needing to be changed. This is a distraction for the students and the teachers. What schools need is a low cost power upgrade solution tailored for their specific needs. The right charger, combined with six new high capacity Oncore batteries, can maximize students' run time and improve a school's performance on older notebooks at a fraction of the cost of buying a new machine today," said Mark Rapparport, president of Oncore Power Systems and the design leader behind the new charger.

The new Oncore 6-Bay Charger sells for $395 in single unit quantities and is currently available through PC Mall Gov (www.pcmallgov.com), 800-MALLGOV and other preferred resellers. The Charger is also available in a value power upgrade kit with 6 high capacity Oncore batteries.

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

A $200 price cut on the 2.5 GHz Penryn 15" MacBook Pro this week and $100 on the 2.6 GHz unit. Each model comes with an Apple one-year warranty, and ground shipping is free.

  • refurb 1.6 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/80, $1,499
  • refurb 1.8 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/80, $1,699
  • refurb 1.6 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/64 SSD, $2,099
  • refurb 1.8 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/64 SSD, $2,299
  • refurb 2.1 GHz Penryn MacBook, white, 1 GB/120/Combo, $899
  • refurb 2.4 GHz Penryn MacBook, white, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,099
  • refurb 2.4 GHz Penryn MacBook, black, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,299
  • refurb 15" 2.4 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, $1,699
  • refurb 15" 2.5 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,999
  • refurb 15" 2.6 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, $2,299
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,899
  • refurb 17" 2.5 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $2,299
  • refurb 17" 2.5 GHz hi-res Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $2,499
  • refurb 17" hi-res 2.6 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $2,499
  • refurb 17" 2.6 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, $2,649
  • refurb 17" 2.6 GHz hi-res Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $2,699

ExperCom

  • 15" 2.6 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 4 GB/500/SD, $3,069

Wegener Media - Clamshell iBook -12" PowerBook - 17" PowerBook - 15" MacBook Pro - 17" MacBook Pro

  • clamshell iBook G3/300, $199.99
  • 12" PowerBook G4/867 MHz, 256/40/Combo, $489.99
  • 15" 1.83 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $1,099.99
  • 15" 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $1,154.99
  • 15" 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 1 GB/ 100/SD, $1,399.99
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 512/60/SD, $789.99
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, /512/80/SD, $849.99
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, /1/100/SD, $879.99
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, /1/100/SD, $909.99
  • 17" 2.16 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, $1,299.99

Baucom Computers

  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 1 GB/80/Combo, APX, $719
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 1 GB/80/Combo, APX, $785
  • 15" 2.1 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, APX, $1,129

Power Max

  • open box 1.6 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/80, $1,699
  • open box 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,249
  • open box 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,899
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,988
  • open box 17" 2.4 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,188
  • open box 17" 2.5 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, APX, $2649
  • open box 17" 2.6 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $2,649

PowerBook Guy

  • 12" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 768/40/Combo, AP, AppleCare, $599.95
  • Pismo PowerBook G3/400, 192/10/Zip, $269.95 (Note: great price, and since most folks buying a Pismo these days will be planning to install a 550 MHz G4 processor upgrade, a 400 MHz machine is no disadvantage compared with a 500 MHz unit, since they are otherwise pretty much identical.)
  • 15" PowerBook G4/667 MHz DVI, 256/30/Combo, $499.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 1 GB/80/Combo, APX, $999.95
  • 15" 2.16 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 1 GB/120/SD, APX, $1,799.95
  • 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, APX, $1,799.95

For more deals on current or discontinued models, see our MacBook deals, MacBook Air deals, 15" MacBook Pro deals, 17" MacBook Pro deals, 12" PowerBook G4 deals, 15" PowerBook G4 deals, 17" PowerBook G4 deals, titanium PowerBook G4 deals, iBook G4 deals, PowerBook G3 deals, and iBook G3 deals.

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