The 'Book Review

MacBook Keyboard Among Best Ever, Glass Trackpad Less than Intuitive, TiBook Desktop Mod, and More

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.01.09

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

Reviews

Tech Trends

Products

Software

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Apple Pegs 17" MacBook Pro Battery Swap at $179

Computerworld's Gregg Keizer reports:

"Apple Inc. today confirmed that it will charge $179 to swap out the new MacBook Pro's built-in battery if it fails, but said that the swap would be a same-day service at its retail stores.

"Apple's new top-of-line MacBook Pro, a $2,799 'unibody' laptop that features a 17-in. screen, relies on a lithium-polymer battery that the company claims can power the laptop for up to eight hours, and be recharged at least 1,000 times before it needs replacing. Apple unveiled the new laptop yesterday during its last-ever keynote at the Macworld Conference & Expo."

No Zinc in New MacBook Pro Batteries

Seeking Alpha's Michael Kanellos says:

"Well, here's a surprise.

"A lot of people, including me, thought Apple would adopt the zinc silver batteries from ZPower in its 17-inch notebook. ZPower, after all, is slated to soon announce a notebook win with a major manufacturer.

"It turns out that Apple has rigged its notebook with a lithium-polymer battery that it designed itself (with probably a good deal of help from battery makers.) Lithium-polymer batteries don't come shaped in cells, like standard batteries. Instead, they are sacks of electronic goo. Lithium-polymer batteries typically don't share the same energy density that lithium-ion cell batteries have, but the amorphous shape allows notebook makers or others to fit battery material into various nooks and crannies."

New Trackpad Less Intuitive Than Foreseen

Hardmac's Lionel reports:

"Many people on the web have found that the new trackpad on the new portables can in certain cases pose problems.

"To start with, it happens that the click is ignored. This is especially the case if one lets trail on the surface many fingers or part of his palm.

"For others, the problem seems with something already known in the past. There is a time lag of a few second to take into account the actions. But more aggravating certainly is the function of zoom which can be activated by anything, for example while scrolling a page of Safari one gets a sudden enlarging of the fonts...."

Day One with a MacBook Pro

Mac Blorge's Michael W. Jones reports:

"We are documenting the move by a business and professional from a Windows PC workstation / notebook to the Mac OS X platform. Today, what are the subjective initial impressions gained from unboxing a MacBook Pro?"

An Argument for an Apple Netbook

Mac Observer's Vern Seward says:

"If you've been paying any attention to technology this year then you'll know that netbooks, the class of wee laptops pioneered by ASUS, is the talk of the town. Few hardware makers can figure out where, in the grand scheme of things, these little devices fit in their lineup. Make them too underpowered and they look like toys, make them too powerful and they could siphon sales from more profitable offerings.

"Hardware makers like HP and Dell are content to test the waters with some interesting devices that are stylish as well as convenient. But style and convenience isn't reason enough, in my never so humble opinion, for Apple to get into the netbook business, they have to offer something more.

"More is an easy thing for Apple; their computers come with a whole host of useful applications all designed to let you get something done. If Apple took that same philosophy and applied it to netbooks what might they come up with?"

TiBook Inelegantly Modded into Desktop

TiBook modded into desktopEngadget's Darren Murph reports:

"We're all for taking lemons and making lemonade, but at least clean up the mess before you showcase it to the world. All kidding aside (sort of...), Sir Bibin and Nick Lee found something better to do with their jacked up PowerBook G4 Titanium than fetch a few pennies on eBay. When the hinges finally cracked, they decided to just fold 'er on over, epoxy a pair of totally lackluster speakers on the side and add a wired Apple keyboard in to create a makeshift PowerMac...."

MacBook Air SuperDrive Hacked for Use with Other Macs

tnkgrl.wordpress.com says:

"So like me, you have a MacBook Air SuperDrive . . . It's affordable, it's functional, it's sexy. If only it was usable with other Macs and PCs!

"Well rejoice :) I have successfully hacked my MBA SuperDrive to work with other Macs and PCs. All you need is a $9 part (shipping extra) and a bit of soldering and you too can do this mod."

Reviews

Uncle Dave Reviews His New MacBook

Dvorak.org's Uncle Dave reports:

"While I mainly use Windows machines for work and at home, I've also used Apples since the late '70s. Among my computers is an old PowerPC Mac mini, but I needed a new laptop so for Festivus I bought myself a new MacBook.

"It's one of the aluminum ones with the LED-backlit screens. The screen is amazingly bright and easy to read. I've always preferred non-glare screens, so I was wary of the gloss screen the MacBook has, but I've been pleasantly surprised. Aside from having a lamp directly behind me that reflects its image on the screen, it isn't a problem. In fact, it actually seems to make what's on the screen more readable and, well, shiny.

"The other big question mark was the keyboard. It's more of a chiclet-type than your usual laptop or desktop kind, but I've been amazed at how easy and enjoyable it is to type on. In fact, it ranks as the second or third best keyboard I've ever used over the last 30+ years! On top is still my late-80's PC keyboard that's built like a rock and can't be beat for feel. Nothing allows me to type as fast as I can on that, but the MacBook's keyboard is astonishingly close...."

Tech Trends

MSI X-Slim Series X320 Super-Slim 1.3 kg 13.4" Notebook

MSI (Micro-Star International)'s new X-Slim Series X320 subnotebook pays frank homage to the MacBook Air, and outdoes it in some aspects, notably I/O port connectivity and presumably price by a substantial margin. The MSI X320 is equipped with an Intel CPU and a 13.4" display with an optimized 16:9 screen, and weighs in at about 1.3 kg (2.9 pounds or a tenth of a pound less than the Air).

Not only light, the X320 is also very thin with an overall thickness as little as 1.98 cm, with the thinnest point being only 6 mm. In addition to its lightness and thinness, the X320 also features up to 10 hours battery life.

Once again debunking Apple's implication that there is no room for a decent array of I/O ports on a machine this small, the X320 is equipped with built-in ethernet, three USB ports, an SD card reader, and VGA out.

Unlike the MacBook Air, the MSI X320 is available with several color options: Champagne Gold, Pearl White or Jet Black.

A US launch date hasn't yet been announced.

AMD and VIA to Take on Intel Atom

The Register's Rik Myslewski reports:

"2009 promises to be the Year of the Dual-Core Netbook, what with low-power dualies from Freescale, AMD, and VIA Technologies poised to join Intel's dual-core Atom 330.

"AMD's and VIA's are full-fledged dual-core processors and Freescale's chip, a new member of its i.MX family, will include dual graphics cores that provide OpenVG and OpenGL support.

"No word yet on its all-important thermal design power (TDP) rating - details will be made available when Freescale rolls it out at CES in January - but since it's ARM-based, expect it to be sufficiently power-miserly to give the Atom 330, which has a TDP of 8 watts, a run for its netbook money....

"Netbooks are the hot items these days (are you listening, Apple?), and Intel's Atom has held the lion's share of socket space. The range of processor options, however, is set to expand"

Freescale Takes on Intel in Netbooks

PC Mag's Mark Hachman reports:

"Non-PC devices can access the Internet. So why do netbooks need to include a processor designed for PCs?

"That's the argument Freescale Semiconductor will make at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, as it prepares to demonstrate its i.MX51 ARM Cortex platform that the company hopes will become a foundation for the netbook market, displacing the Intel Atom."

Products

Verbatim Announces 833x ExpressCard SSD for PC and Mac Users

PR: Verbatim Americas, LLC announced at Macworld today its new ExpressCard SSD for PC and Mac users. The new card is a solid-state drive (SSD) that provides ExpressCard slot-equipped XP/Vista PCs and OS X-equipped Macs with plug-in storage that is up to five times faster than USB based ExpressCards. Based on the 34mm ExpressCard module (75mm x 34mm x 5mm), the Verbatim ExpressCard SSD will be available the end of February with capacities of 16, 32 and 64 GB. The high-performance, high-capacity storage solution comes bundled with NTI Shadow IV, a backup application that provides PC and Mac users with continuous real time backup of critical data.

With read speeds of up to 125 MB/sec (833x) and write speeds up to 30 MB/sec (200x), Verbatim's new ExpressCard SSD offers significantly higher performance than USB-based ExpressCard SSD solutions, due to the throughput limitations of the USB 2.0 interface. Verbatim's PCI ExpressCard SSD is also enhanced for Windows ReadyBoost to allow the user to allocate a portion of the device's unused storage capacity to speed system performance on Windows Vista equipped PCs.

In addition to providing instant access to volumes of portable storage and reliable backup/recovery, Verbatim's ExpressCard SSD solution provides advanced sync features to keep multiple storage devices and computers updated.

"We're excited about the launch of our new ExpressCard SSD because it offers all the advantages of a traditional SSD in a plug-and-play, integrated form factor," said Mark Rogers, Verbatim Product Manager. "Since it's a plug-and-play device, there's no hardware installation. It fits completely inside your laptop's ExpressCard slot so you can easily take it with you for automated backup of your critical data, without the need to carry around or keep up with external devices. If you want to sync up your data and travel with just your ExpressCard SSD, you can leave the laptop behind. It's the best way to add storage capacity to your laptop without changing it's footprint with external devices, or going inside the case to install hardware."

With NTI Shadow 4, backup jobs are conveniently executed transparently in the background without disturbing the user and without slowing system performance. Files or file groups can be automatically backed up in their native format every time a change occurs. The software also offers scheduled backups, custom file type filtering, version control, drag and drop file restoring, and more.

The Verbatim ExpressCard SSD for PC and Mac users will be available through Verbatim retail and distribution channels late February with MRSPs of $99.99 for the 16 GB card, $149.99 for the 32 GB card and $299.99 for the 64 GB card. Includes software drivers required for XP and Mac OS.

Modbook Pro, the Ultimate Tablet Computer, Unveiled at Macworld

PR: At the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, California, hardware and software manufacturer Axiotron this week unveiled the Modbook Pro, the world's fastest and largest-screen tablet computer. With its sleek black enclosure made from precision-machined aluminum, powerful graphics processing capabilities and revolutionary Synergy Touch technology, the Modbook Pro redefines the tablet computing experience.

Modbook ProAn aftermarket modification of the unibody Apple MacBook Pro computer, Axiotron's Modbook Pro offers a 15.4-inch pen-enabled display with a pixel resolution of 1440x900 WXGA, and features a surface layer of the company's etched, paper-emulating ForceGlass for optimum drawing and writing comfort. The screen assembly is flush-mounted in the top bezel, providing a completely level drawing and writing surface and maximizing the Modbook Pro's onscreen workspace.

In addition to the RF-based pen digitizer components, the Modbook Pro also feature Axiotron's Synergy Touch, a revolutionary technology that - unlike any other touchscreen computer - employs touch functionality primarily in support of the pen input. Synergy's user interface, Quicktouch, appears on the screen as translucent overlays of buttons and pads, permitting users to enter text or keyboard shortcuts with the "alt," "option" or "command" keys to directly modify pen clicks.

While the Axiotron Modbook Pro completely replaces the original Apple MacBook Pro's enclosure, it leaves the main system components unmodified, maintaining 100% compatibility with both the system hardware as well as the Mac OS X operating system. The voided Apple warranty will be replaced by Axiotron's one-year Modcare Hardware Warranty, covering the complete hardware solution top to bottom.

As another first, customers can order their Modbook Pro with a partitioned drive preinstalled with Windows Vista Business Edition. The Modbook Pro also comes with Axiotron's Quickapps suite, including Quicktouch (the pen-supporting touch user interface), Quickclicks (onscreen software keyboard and shortcuts), Quickflip (screen rotation utility), and Quickscript (advanced handwriting recognition).

The Axiotron Modbook Pro is compatible with all 15.4-inch unibody Apple MacBook Pro systems, hosting up to a 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, up to 4 GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, up to 320 GB of storage on a 7200-rpm hard drive or 128 GB of storage on a solid-state drive, and an Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics subsystem.

Modbook ProThe Modbook Pro is slated to ship in May/June 2009. The manufacturer's suggested retail price for an Axiotron Modbook Pro built from a customer-supplied Apple MacBook Pro base system via Axiotron Modservice starts at $3,049. An Axiotron Modbook Pro built from a brand new Apple MacBook Pro base system starts at $4,998. Customers can direct pre-orders through Axiotron's website at http://www.modbook.com/. Placing a pre-order now will secure a customer's place in line when the Modbook Pro begins shipping.

To celebrate the Modbook Pro's unveiling at the Macworld Expo, Axiotron is offering the following discount promotions through January 19th, 2009.

Modbook Pro Promotion:

Customers who pre-order a complete Axiotron Modbook Pro, including those built with a new Apple MacBook Pro base system, will be eligible for a manufacturer's discount of $399. With this discount customers can get a complete Axiotron Modbook Pro solution that includes the 2.4 GHz Apple MacBook Pro for as little as $4,599.

Modservice for Modbook Pro Promotion:

Customers who pre-order an Axiotron Modbook Pro upgrade for their preowned 15.4-inch unibody Apple MacBook Pro will be eligible for a manufacturer's discount of $449. With this discount customers can get a brand new Modbook Pro for as little as $2,600.

Two-Year Modcare for Modbook Pro Promotion:

A two-year extension of the Modcare warranty for the Modbook Pro is available for $549. Customers who pre-order this two-year extension - in combination with their pre-order for the Modbook Pro or Modservice for Modbook Pro - will receive a $150 discount on the warranty extension. With this discount customers can get three full years of complete warranty coverage on their Axiotron Modbook Pro for $399.

Modbook Promotion:

Customers who purchase a complete Axiotron Modbook, including those built with a customer-supplied Apple MacBook base system through Axiotron Modservice, will be eligible for a manufacturer's discount of $100. With this discount customers can get a complete Axiotron Modbook solution built from a new 2.1 GHz Apple MacBook base system for as little as $2,148.

Modservice for Modbook Promotion:

Customers who purchase an Axiotron Modbook upgrade for their preowned white or black Apple MacBook through Axiotron Modservice will be eligible for a manufacturer's discount of $150. With this discount customers can get a brand new Modbook for as little as $1,149.

Synergy Touch for New Modbook Promotion:

Beginning in April 2009, Axiotron will make Synergy Touch available as a hardware and software upgrade to the Modbook for $449. Customers will have the option to purchase their new Modbooks with Synergy Touch, and current owners of the Modbook will have the option to upgrade their existing Modbook.

Customers who pre-order the Synergy Touch upgrade - together with their purchase of a complete new Modbook solution - will be eligible for a manufacturer's discount of $150. With this discount Modbook customers can pre-order the Synergy Touch upgrade for as little as $299.

Modbook Plus Modbook Pro Promotion:

Customers who pre-order a new Modbook Pro solution - together with their purchase of a new Modbook solution - will be eligible for a manufacturer's discount of $699. With this discount customers can get a new Modbook right away, and a Modbook Pro once it begins shipping in May/June 2009, for as little as $6,547.

More information about Axiotron, the Modbook, and the Modbook Pro is available at:

http://www.axiotron.com

Customers can place an order for Axiotron products by visiting:

http://www.modbook.com/

or at any Axiotron Authorized Reseller.

FirmTek Shipping SeriTek/SpyderHUB eSATA Converter

PR: FirmTek, LLC, developer of Serial ATA solutions for Apple Macintosh and PC computers, announced at Macworld the availability of the SeriTek/SpyderHUB. An industry first and perfect for notebooks such as the MacBook Air, the SeriTek/SpyderHUB converter provides USB or FireWire host connection options plus Hardware RAID, eSATA Mac OS boot capability, and FireWire daisy-chaining in an ultra-small external design.

SeriTek/SpyderHUB eSATA ConverterThe SeriTek/SpyderHUB changes everything!

The ultra small, four-ounce SpyderHUB is a great travel mate for computer users who want the ability to connect to external eSATA hard drive enclosures such as the SeriTek/2EN2. MacBook Air users now have the ability of attaching and booting from eSATA hard drives on the road. Professional users can now plug their eSATA enclosures into desktop and notebook computers that lack eSATA ports. System administrators needing access to eSATA enclosures from any computer will benefit from the expanded connectivity of the SpyderHUB.

Instant Delivery:

When professional users create videos, audio or other multimedia content, they often use the powerful Mac Pro. When the final presentation is delivered to the client, a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, MacBook, iMac or Mac mini may be utilized. To reduce the time, energy, and equipment needs, the SpyderHUB allows the same eSATA hard drives used in the CPU-intensive creation process to also deliver the presentation on lower powered computers. The SpyderHUB provides instant boot capability for external eSATA enclosures which provides another option for controlling the Mac OS system version utilized.

"FirmTek is following through on our continuing commitment to offer enhanced functionality, value, and the highest quality products in the industry. The SeriTek/SpyderHUB provides a new innovative solution for expanding eSATA enclosure connectivity and maintaining the highest eSATA performance standards. The SeriTek/SpyderHUB allows eSATA enclosures to be used for high performance multimedia content creation on the Mac Pro and moved to a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro or another portable platform for delivering the presentation to the client."

Hardware RAID:

The SeriTek/SpyderHUB can be utilized in JBOD mode as a tool for sharing data among systems using USB or FireWire host connections. It can also be used to create a hardware RAID. The SeriTek/SpyderHUB supports JBOD, RAID 0 and SPAN (concatenate) formats. The RAID 0 setting includes the capability to create a striped RAID set while SPAN allows two SATA hard drives to be combined into one large volume. Users can create a hardware RAID and partition it with the "Master Boot Record" format to provide compatibility with both Mac OS X and Windows platforms. The built-in hardware RAID support provided by the SeriTek/SpyderHUB expands the RAID options to include multiple OS support.

Two eSATA + FireWire:

When the SeriTek/SpyderHUB is connected to a computer via FireWire, it can also be used to daisy chain additional FireWire devices. This feature expands the storage connection options of the SpyderHUB to also include FireWire devices. Two eSATA converter ports and FireWire expansion provides SpyderHUB owners with a great amount of connection options.

SeriTek/SpyderHUB Key Features and Benefits:

  • Provides Mac OS boot capability to eSATA enclosures
  • Allows content to be shared between different computer models
  • Provides FireWire Daisy Chaining capability
  • Operates using bus power (power adapter optional)
  • Expands eSATA direct connect enclosure connectivity to include FireWire 800/400/USB 2.0 host interfaces. (FireWire 400 requires optional adapter)
  • Features dual external eSATA and a FireWire device port
  • Features a FireWire 800 or a USB 2.0 host port
  • Power and activity LEDs for each hard drive
  • Supports JBOD or Hardware RAID 0/Concatenate modes
  • SATA II compliant; auto-negotiation between the latest 3 Gb/s and legacy 1.5 Gb/s Serial ATA drives
  • Attractive design
  • Features Kensington Security Slot
  • Easy to set up, easy to transport, compact and portable
  • Platform and Operating system independent; compatible with all Macintosh and PC computers running Mac OS X, Windows and Linux

The FirmTek SeriTek/SpyderHUB is available now for the estimated retail price of $129.95 (P/N SATA-SpyderHUB). The product is available directly from FirmTek and FirmTek authorized resellers.

Targus Showcases New Eco-Friendly Mac Bags

PR: Targus Inc., maker of the world's top-selling laptop computer cases and accessories, has announced its Spruce EcoSmart line of MacBook Pro carrying cases. Specially designed for Mac users, Targus' newest bags are sleek and stylish as well as eco-friendly and economical.

The new cases are made of 100% recycled nylon and are PVC-free, making the production of these bags less harmful to the environment. Additionally the metal used in the Spruce EcoSmart case is nickel-free and all plastic components are recyclable.

"Targus continues its commitment to developing environmentally conscious laptop bags," said Al Giazzon, vice president of marketing at Targus. "With the growing popularity of MacBooks around the globe, Targus' new line of Spruce bags provides a stylish and eco-friendly alternative for carrying and protecting the MacBook Pro."

A perfect fit for the 15" MacBook Pro, these bags not only make a green statement but are fashionable with a sleek black design and green accent stitching. No matter what your preference, there's a Spruce EcoSmart for everyone.

  • The Spruce topload (TBT049US) measures 15.63" x 4.25" x 13.25" and weighs 1.80 lb. with an estimated street price of $79.99.
  • The Spruce messenger (TBM015US) measures 16.63" x 4.50" x 13.75" and weighs 2.06 lb. with an estimated street price of $79.99.
  • The Spruce backpack (TBB013US) measures 13" x 8.25" x 18.75" and weighs 2 lb. and has an estimated street price of $89.99. All three bags are designed to offer ample room for all your belongings, including custom designed pockets for your Apple products and accessories.

Backed by a limited lifetime warranty, the Targus Spruce EcoSmart carrying cases will be available this spring through Targus Commercial Distribution, Resellers, Retailers, DMRs and at Targus.com

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Targus invented the laptop case and continues to advance the mobile accessories category with innovative and relevant solutions for today's mobile lifestyle. Targus products enhance productivity, connectivity, and security, liberating users to work in any and all environments with the utmost convenience and comfort. Founded in 1983, Targus headquarters are located in Anaheim, Calif., with offices worldwide and distribution agreements in more than 100 countries.

Tom Bihn Offers Nine Bags for Apple's 17" 'Unibody' MacBook

PR: Tom Bihn, designer, manufacturer and retailer of laptop bags - is offering nine backpacks, briefcases, and messenger bags to fit Apple's new 17" aluminum MacBook Pro, including the following bags.

Checkpoint FlyerThe Checkpoint Flyer

The Checkpoint Flyer is the only "airport checkpoint friendly" laptop bag designed in sizes specifically for Apple laptops. The Checkpoint Flyer allows one to send their laptop through the x-ray machine while still inside its protective laptop case. $220. Ships direct from Tom Bihn within one business day.

The Size 1 Brain Cell

The Tom Bihn Brain Cell laptop case has gained a reputation for offering some of the best protection anyone can get for their laptop with 8mm thick soft foam padding and a 12mm thick strip of memory foam inside a 4mm hard corrugated plastic shell that protects from the front, back, and bottom. $60. Ships direct from Tom Bihn within one business day.

The Super Ego Distinguished by an interchangeable strip available in over 15 colors and fabrics, the Super Ego is a large messenger bag capable of carrying the 17" MacBook Pro and a ton of other stuff. Three different shoulder straps are available to choose from. $150. Ships direct from Tom Bihn within one business day.

All Tom Bihn bags are made in Seattle. We use the highest quality US made materials from 1050 denier ballistic nylon to YKK splash-proof zippers. We stand behind our bags with a Lifetime Guarantee.

Case Logic Expands Line of Apple-Specific Accessories

PR: Case Logic debuts new lines of iPod cases and MacBook-specific sleeves at the Macworld Expo, January 6 through 9 at the Moscone Center's North Hall in booth number 3410.

Having established themselves in the consumer electronics space for 25 years, Case Logic continues its legacy of developing innovative solutions with a renewed focus on addressing the needs and desires of today's on-the-go consumer. In 1984, the company started with a simple goal: creating a solution for cassette tapes rattling around on the floor of the car while traveling to the ski slopes. Today, Case Logic offers more than 350 innovative products as an industry leader committed to developing and delivering intelligent organization solutions for the ways people live, including products developed specifically for Mac and iPod enthusiasts.

"Case Logic is thrilled to celebrate 25 years of helping consumers organize and store their favorite electronics, including their iPods and MacBooks," said Jeff Warde, director of marketing for Case Logic. "We are excited to continue this legacy of innovation with the introduction of a new generation of mobile lifestyle solutions for fans of Apple products."

Case Logic's innovations for 2009 include a new generation of iPod cases designed for everything from the new nano to the touch and iPhone and sleeves specifically designed for MacBooks.

iPod Cases

Case Logic introduced five new collections of iPod-specific cases in September 2008 and offers consumers the ability to showcase their own individuality with a variety of styles, colors and trend-forward designs. All of these cases provide the protection and innovation that has become synonymous with Case Logic over the past 25 years.

MacBook Sleeves

MacBook SleevesThe travel and technology industries are changing rapidly with new guidelines and Case Logic has developed solutions that will help consumers navigate through these changes with more ease and efficiency. One of the highlights of its new product assortment is a collection of MacBook-specific sleeves. In August 2008, Case Logic responded to new guidelines implemented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) surrounding carry on luggage by introducing the Security Friendly collection of laptop sleeves. This new collection makes navigating through airport security faster and easier by allowing travelers to pass through screening checkpoints without removing their MacBook from the protection of their sleeve for individual inspection.

Mobile Lifestyle Accessories

Case Logic will also be showcasing their portable hard drive cases designed to protect important data, and a limited assortment of multi-use messenger bags, backpacks and photo accessories.

Speck Unveils Innovative New Line of Backpacks, Bags and Sleeves for Notebook Computers

PR: Speck has introduced a new line of original bags, backpacks and sleeves specially designed to meet the needs of today's demanding notebook computer owners.

Commenting on the company's new product category announcement, CEO Irene Baran stated, "We are pleased to introduce four distinct notebook carrying solutions that draw from Speck's long history of originality and quality. Our new packs reflect our continued focus on designing and crafting high-quality products that offer distinctive personality and thoughtful features."

Initially launching in two distinct colors, Speakeasy Black Pinstripe with robin's egg blue interior and Coffeehouse Brown Plaid with desert tan interior, each of the four new packs are aptly named for their unique form, function and styling.

AftPack Notebook BackpackAftPack Notebook Backpack: Comfort and Capacity to Carry All the Essentials and up to 17" Notebooks

The AftPack notebook backpack was designed to offer complete on-the-go storage and notebook protection that lets you bring it all along in style and comfort. Contoured, padded shoulder straps with tuck-away chest straps, extra-comfortable vented body padding, and the quick-access notebook compartment opening all help make AftPack your trusted got-your-back companion as you charge through your daily routine. Available for $99.95 MSRP.

CorePack Notebook Messenger BagCorePack Notebook Messenger Bag: Dual-Position Shoulder Strap System and Ample Storage Holds up to 15" Notebooks

Whether you're dodging traffic or traversing the subway, the CorePack hugs your body with precision. With the innovative, adjustable dual-position shoulder strap buckle system, you can cinch-up CorePack to wear messenger-style, on your back or over the shoulder, or carry briefcase style using the convenient tuck-away carry handle. Available for $89.95 MSRP.

PortPack Notebook Shoulder BagPortPack Notebook Shoulder Bag: Sleek Vertical Styling and Protection for Notebooks up to 15"

PortPack's clean, upright appearance gives you a tidy look and feeling no matter how jumbled up your day can be. Sling PortPack over your shoulder and stash your media player while using the headphone cord pass-through to keep up your neatness. Slyly remove the shoulder strap and untuck the carry handle for a crisp, clean look. Even sneak in a water bottle when no one's looking. Available for $79.95 MSRP.

TuckPack Notebook Carrying SleeveTuckPack Notebook Carrying Sleeve: Lightweight, On-the-Go Protection for Notebooks up to 13"

Lightweight and simple, the TuckPack features a plush, micro-fleece padded notebook compartment and is the perfect way to carry and protect your notebook when size matters, yet small enough to be slipped into a larger backpack, bag or briefcase. The included shoulder strap lets you conveniently sling your notebook at your side or simply remove it to tuck it under your arm or carry in hand. Available for $39.95 MSRP.

The new AftPack, CorePack and PortPack designs offer individual styling and flexible options, yet share many useful notebook-friendly features in common, including:

  • Extra-plush micro-fleece padded notebook storage compartment
  • Media player storage pocket with headphone cord pass-through to exterior
  • Stylish, durable exterior fabric and quilted nylon interior lining
  • Comfortable adjustable seat-belt style nylon-webbed shoulder straps and high-performance buckles
  • Ample deep-well storage and organization pockets and pouches
  • Expandable mesh zippered water bottle pocket
  • Detachable key leash
  • Tuck-away carry handle

The TuckPack carrying sleeve shares similar construction and styling found in the AftPack, CorePack and PortPack designs, but sheds select features to focus on delivering its ultra-lightweight, form-fit notebook protection.

Software

CoolBook Monitors and Controls CPU Frequency, Voltage, Temperature of MacBooks

PR: CoolBook is a tool for the MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. It lets you monitor the frequency, voltage and temperature of the Core Duo/Core 2 Duo CPU.

Registered users can also change the frequency and voltage of the processor. Download CoolBook to find out more.

The "Santa Rosa"/LED MacBook Pro is only partially supported. Read the manual for more info.

New in version 2.12:

  • Improved support for the new MacBook models.
  • Fixed an issue affecting temperature limitation.

System requirements:

  • MacBook Pro or MacBook
  • Some support for iMac and Mac mini.

System Support: Intel

$10 Shareware

Bargain 'Books

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

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

Apple Store

  • refurb 1.6 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/80, $1,149
  • refurb 1.8 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/80, $1,399
  • refurb 1.8 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/64 SSD, $1,699
  • refurb 2.4 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook, black, 2 GB/160/SD, $949
  • refurb 2.4 GHz Unibody MacBook, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,399
  • refurb 15" 2.5 GHz MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,499
  • refurb 15" 2.6 GHz MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, $1,799
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,799
  • refurb 17" 2.4 GHz Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,849
  • refurb 17" 2.5 GHz Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, $1,899
  • refurb 17" 2.6 GHz hi-res Penryn MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200 @ 7200 rpm/SD, $2,299

TechRestore

  • 1.6 GHz MacBook Air, 2 GB/80, $1,199.99
  • 15" 1.83 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, $949.99
  • 15" 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro, 1 GB/80/SD, $989.99

MacMall

  • 2.0 GHz Unibody MacBook, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,199.98
  • 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/160/SD, $1,299.99
  • 15" 2.4 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/200/SD, $1,349.99
  • 15" 2.4 GHz Unibody MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,844.99
  • 15'' 2.5 GHz Core 2 MacBook Pro, 2 GB/250/SD, $1,598.99
  • 15" 2.53 GHz Unibody MacBook Pro, 4 GB/320/SD, $2,339.99

Mac Connection

  • 2.1 GHz MacBook White, 1 GB/120/SD, $999.99 less $50 mail-in rebate = $949.99 shipped

Wegener Media - G3 iBooks - 15" Titanium PowerBook - 15" Aluminum PowerBook - MacBook - 15" MacBook Pro

  • 12" iBook G3/500 MHz, 128/10/CD, $169.99
  • 12" iBook G3/600 MHz, 128/15/CD, $249.99
  • 12" iBook G3/700 MHz, 128/20/Combo, $329.99
  • 12" iBook G3/800 MHz, 256/30/Combo, $399.99
  • 12" iBook G3/900 MHz, 256/40/Combo, $489.99
  • 1.83 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 512/60/Combo, 60 day warranty, $594.99
  • 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook, white, 512/60/Combo, 60 day warranty, $659.99
  • 2.0 GHz Core Duo MacBook, black, 512/80/SD, 60 day warranty, $719.99
  • 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, white, 1 GB/80/SD, 60 day warranty, $769.99
  • 2.0 GHz Core 2 MacBook, black, 1 GB/120/SD, 60 day warranty, $799.99
  • 15" titanium PowerBook G4/867 MHz, 256/30/Combo, $549.99
  • 15" titanium PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $699.99
  • 15" aluminum PowerBook G4/1.25 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $599.99
  • 15" aluminum PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/Combo, $639.99
  • 15" aluminum PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 1 GB/80/Combo, $679.99
  • 15" aluminum PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 1 GB/80/SD, APX, $729.99
  • 15" hi-res aluminum PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/80/SD, APX, $799.99
  • 15" 1.83 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD, 90 day warranty, $899.99
  • 15" 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/80/SD 90 day warranty, $979.99
  • 15" 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, 512/100/SD 90 day warranty, $1,099.99
  • 15" 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro, 1 GB/100/SD, 90 day warranty, $1,179.99

ExperCom

  • 2.0 GHz MacBook, white, 2 GB/80/SD, $729
  • 2.0 GHz MacBook, black, 2 GB/80/SD, $779
  • 2.0 GHz MacBook, white, 2 GB/120/SD, $799
  • 2.0 GHz MacBook, black, 2 GB/120/SD, $799
  • 2.0 GHz MacBook, black, 2 GB/500/SD, $999
  • 2.0 GHz MacBook, black, 2 GB/320 (7200 rpm)/SD, $999
  • 1.83 GHz 15" MacBook Pro, 2 GB/80/SD, $899
  • 2.0 GHz 15" MacBook Pro, 2 GB/100/SD, $899
  • 2.0 GHz 15" MacBook Pro, 2 GB/80/SD, $979
  • 2.16 GHz 15" MacBook Pro, 2 GB/100/SD, $1,049

Baucom Computers

  • 15" hi-res PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 1 GB/80/SD, $715
  • 15" hi-res PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 1.5 GB/100/SD, $805

PowerBook Guy

  • 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 512/30/Combo, $499.95
  • 12" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 768/40/Combo, AP, AppleCare, $599.95
  • 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 1 GB/80/Combo, APX, $799.95

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.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Links for the Day

Recent Content

Go to the 'Book Review index.

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

MacSurfer
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
MacInTouch
MyAppleMenu
InfoMac
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
RetroMacCast
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
DealMac
Mac2Sell
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

Affiliates

Amazon.com
The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac
eBay

Low End Mac's Amazon.com store

Advertise

Open Link