The 'Book Review

Next Gen MacBook Pro to Have Intel 'i' CPUs and Nvidia Optimus Graphics?, iPad Not a Laptop, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2010.02.26

So we can post our three news roundups (Mac News Review, The 'Book Review, and The iNews Review) earlier, we first do a quick proofread and link check, leaving out images. We add images later when time permits. dk

General Apple and Mac desktops is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Products & Services

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

MacBook Refresh Expected Soon

BusinessWeek's Arik Hesseldahl reports that Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu has released a research note saying a check of the distribution channel suggests that MacBook Pro supplies are tight, usually an indication that a product refresh is on the way. Combine that with the fact that Intel is shipping its next-generation mobile processor, codenamed Arrandale, to PC makers in large volumes, and Wu speculates that will result in some new features that will help Apple engineers differentiate the MacBook further from other machines on the market.

New MacBook Pros Could Broaden Gap with MacBooks

AppleInsider's Sam Oliver also cites Shaw Wu's comments, noting that constrained supplies of MacBook Pros suggest an anticipated notebook refresh is growing closer - one that could further differentiate the premium lineup from the low-end MacBook, and that Apple has not refreshed its MacBook Pro line since last June.

New MacBooks Coming: Should You Wait?

Computerworld's Mitch Wagner says he decided to buy a new MacBook Pro this month, but changed his mind at the last minute - and he's glad he did, since it's looking like Apple is getting ready to release the next generation pretty soon, with news blog sites like AppleInsider, Gizmodo, and CrunchGear reporting that Best Buy is expecting new Apple hardware soon, perhaps in in March.

With Intel Core "i" silicon upgrades virtually a lock for the next MacBook Pros, I think he's made the wise decision.

Future MacBook Pro to Get Nvidia Optimus Dual Graphics?

Electronista comments that the anticipated next MacBook Pro revisions, which should be imminent, may use Nvidia's Optimus dual graphics to work around the lack of a faster integrated chipset, according to a leak that surfaced Friday morning on AppleInsider (see above), noting that Mac laptops could run on Intel's slow but energy-efficient graphics to save battery life most of the time but switch in real-time to dedicated graphics when on AC power or a particular task demands more graphics processing muscle. The article also speculates that Apple would probably use Nvidia's new GeForce 300M series chipset since the company is currently barred from producing another fully integrated mainboard chipset like the currently ubiquitous in Apple Core 2 Duo products GeForce 9400M integrated graphics due to Intel litigation claiming Nvidia's license for chipsets doesn't cover Intel processors with built-in memory controllers like the new Core "i" series chips expected in the next-gen MacBook Pros.

An iPad Is Not a Laptop

Gizmodo laments that while coffee shops used to be places people went to to talk, read, or even just to enjoy coffee, now they've become simply another place to use a laptop where customers sit affixed and silent with the ubiquitous laptops smothering the atmosphere, so it's refreshing to anticipate something different, people connecting to people, instead of gadgets.

The article notes that the iPad is supposed to be a "third thing" - bigger than a phone, capable of being a book reader and video player, so could it possibly have a place in a laptop-free utopia?

Would You Buy an iPhone OS Laptop?

OSnews' Thom Holwerda says:

"Now that Apple has unveiled the iPad, people are wondering what the future holds for the iPhone OS platform and the concepts behind it. The iPad comes scarily close to being an actual computer . . . and a recent Apple job posting seems to indicated the Cupertino giant is interested in further moving the iPhone OS up the ladder. We ask you: would you be put off or excited about the iPhone OS' restrictive model moving up the stack?

"Holwerda notes that Computerworld specifically speculates that the iPhone OS might one day power MacBook Air-like laptops, even, arguing that low-end Macs, like the Mac Mini and MacBook, might follow suit, observing that this looks like a horror scenario to him, but is interested in how other Mac OS fans feel."

George Fox University Students Will Get Choice: iPad or MacBook

ipad-landing.jpg

PR: With Apple's unveiling of the iPad in January, George Fox, which is ranked as the top Christian college in America by Forbes, has opted to give new students the option of choosing the new device or selecting its current offering, the Apple MacBook. For more than 20 years, George Fox has supplied a computer for each incoming undergraduate student to keep upon graduating. The cost is included in tuition.

The decision to offer a choice puts George Fox on the cutting edge of technology in higher education circles, according to Greg Smith, the university's chief information officer.

"With this, we're basically asking students 'What computing system will work best for you?'" Smith said. "By giving them this option, they can choose between the iPad, a mobile device known for its networking and E-textbook capabilities, or the laptop, which offers more computing horsepower."

The iPad features a 9.7", LED-backlit IPS display with a multitouch screen. At just one and a half pounds and a half-inch thick, it's light and easy to transport. Like its mobile WiFi counterparts, the iPhone and iTouch, it is ideal for social networking and browsing the Internet. And, Smith adds, it could prove ideal for referencing E-textbooks, a trend whereby students can access their college textbooks electronically, with a goal for richer content and lower cost.

"The trend in higher education computing is this concept of mobility, and this fits right in with that trend," Smith said. "At the same time, we realize there are a number of uncertainties. Will students struggle with a virtual keyboard? Can the iPad do everything students need it to do when it comes to their college education? These are the kinds of questions we really won't know the answer to until we get started."

For that reason, Smith stressed the importance of offering a choice.

"It would be reckless to make a switch and only offer the iPad," he said. "We honestly don't know everything about it. But by doing this, we're opening the door to innovation. What we learn can influence the future of technology as it pertains to higher education."

To accommodate the offering of a mobile device, Smith said plans are in the works to expand WiFi coverage in university dormitories. The service is already offered on most of the Newberg, Ore., campus, including on its main campus quad and academic facilities.

Ultimately, the goal of the Connected Across Campus program is to offer the most innovative tools that promote teaching and learning.

"The issue for us is the changing landscape of educational computing and the value dilution of a laptop for a traditional undergraduate," Smith said. "George Fox happens to find itself at the crossroads for both of these issues, so we felt it best to offer this alternative."

Smith said students may choose the iPad either because they already have their laptop of choice or because they believe the iPad is truly the more functional computing device for them to be a successful student. Smith suspects the MacBook will be the more popular choice for students in professional programs such as the engineering major, film major or computer science major who need that extra computing power.

"How the numbers work out will be interesting, but no matter what I think we will see many iPads, iPhones and iTouches throughout the undergraduate population," Smith said.

Products & Services

SanDisk Ships Highest Capacity SD Card: 64 GB SanDisk Ultra SDXC Memory Card

PR: SanDisk Corporation has begun shipping the 64 gigabyte (GB)1 SanDisk Ultra SDXC memory card, the company's highest capacity SD card ever. With its 64 GB capacity, up to 15 MB/sec read speed2 and Class 4 speed rating, the new high-capacity SD card is ideal for capturing and storing massive 1080p High-Definition video files and then transferring them quickly to a computer.

Ultra_SDXC_Writable_64GB_RGB.jpg

"The 64 GB SanDisk Ultra SDXC card delivers the speed and capacity consumers need for extended HD video recording and improved rapid shooting of still images. The card is an ideal complement for recently-announced SDXC-compatible cameras and camcorders."

SDXC cards are based on the new SD 3.0 specification, which makes it possible to manufacture SD cards with storage capacity up to 2 terabytes (TB)3. The SDXC card's exFAT file structure helps consumers record long-duration HD videos. The 64 GB SanDisk Ultra SDXC card can store more than eight hours of high-definition video with recording speed of 9 Mbps (HD standard)*.

"SDXC is the successor to the popular SDHC card format," said Susan Park, director, retail product marketing, SanDisk. "The 64 GB SanDisk Ultra SDXC card delivers the speed and capacity consumers need for extended HD video recording and improved rapid shooting of still images. The card is an ideal complement for recently-announced SDXC-compatible cameras and camcorders."

Because the SD 3.0 specification was recently released, only a handful of devices may be immediately available that support SDXC cards. However, the pace of new camera model introduction supporting the SDXC format is accelerating. Canon announced at CES that all of its new VIXIA camcorder models and PowerShot cameras are compatible with SDXC cards. Widespread adoption of SDXC is expected to occur across a range of consumer electronic products including HDTVs, Blu-ray recorders/players, camcorders, cameras, mobile phones, navigation systems and computers. SanDisk ImageMate memory card readers are compatible with SDXC cards if the connected PC uses an operating system that supports exFAT.

The 64 GB SanDisk Ultra SDXC card comes with a lifetime limited warranty**. The new memory card is available immediately at sandisk.com via the U.S. ecommerce site with a price of $349.99, and will be available at SanDisk locations around the world soon after.

  1. 1 gigabyte (GB) = 1 billion bytes.
  2. Up to 15 MB/sec read speed; write speed lower. Based on SanDisk internal testing; performance may be lower depending upon host device. 1 megabyte (MB) = 1 million bytes.
  3. 1 terabyte (TB) = 1 trillion bytes.

* Approximations: results will vary based on file size, resolution, compression, bit rate, content, host device, preloaded files and other factors. See sandisk.com

** 10 year warranty in regions not recognizing lifetime limited warranty.

BBP Breathe Sleeves for 13" ,15", 17" Laptops, 10" Netbooks, iPads

PR: Typical laptop sleeves trap heat, but the ventilated design of the BBP Breathe Technology (patent pending) releases heat. It's literally cooler? Why is this important? Heat is the #1 enemy that reduces/degrades laptop battery performance. This laptop sleeve design cools up to 33% faster than Incase's neoprene sleeve. BBP even independently tested it. Check out the report by National Technical Systems linked from our Website.

breathesleeveping.jpg

Stuff in your external mouse or power cord into the convenient front pouch or slip in papers or a magazine into the backside slot pocket. There's a USB drive mini-pocket as well. And of course slip in your valuable laptop and get a custom fit from the high quality padded neoprene. This is the complete laptop sleeve. No cutting corners.

breathesleeve2view.jpg

Features

  • High quality 4mm shock-absorbing and custom fitting 4-way stretch neoprene
  • Front accessories pouch and rear magazine slot
  • BBP Breathe Technology (patent pending)
  • USB drive mini-pocket
  • BBP Limited Lifetime Warranty

breathesleevepinkside.jpg

Exterior Dimensions and Weight

  • Small - 13"W x 9.25"H x 1" D - 0.5 lb.
  • Medium - 14"W x 10"H x 1" D - 0.5 lb.
  • Large - 16"W x 11"H x 1" D - 0.5 lb.

Laptop Capacity - Macs

  • Small - 13" Mac
  • Medium - 15" Mac
  • Large - 17" Mac

Laptop Capacity - PCs

  • Small - up to 13.25"W x 9.5"H x 1.4"D (Up to 13.3" PC's)
  • Medium - up to 14.25"W x 10.25"H x1.4"D (Up to 15.4" PC's)
  • Large - up to 16.25"W x 11.25"H x 1.4"D (Up to 17" PC's)

Starting at $34.95

Free Ground Shipping on orders over $20 (US domestic only)

LA garde robe for 13" MacBook

PR: Slim, light, smart, and stylish, LA garde robe is the natural extension to carry your MacBook (Pro) 13 sleeve LA robe to a short ride outside. Take with you : LA robe 13, MacBook charger, A4 documents, and all the small necessities.

legardegreen.jpg

  • High-quality 200D nylon envelope
  • Easy access A4 documents back pocket,
  • Zipped front pocket and inside organizer pocket High-Grade Adjustable Shoulder Strap
  • Very light (375g) yet carry all your essentials

garderobepinkopen.jpg

Outer Dimensions: 38 x 28 x 4 cm

LA robe Black Addict Fits 13" MacBook

  • Low Resilience Polyurethane (LRPu) Technology Robe protection Thickness 5MM
  • Trendy, Unique Design
  • Inner Lip for maximum protection
  • Stand alone or in your bag
  • No more Scratchs for your Notebooks

LArobe-blackpumpkin-openside.JPG

Initially designed for the Apple notebooks, LA robe is made in a soft, shape-memory material, ideal to dress your notebook in an original fashion while protecting it from mobile life worries.

LE rush 13: Your Daily Commuter Bag for 13" MacBook

PR: LE rush is the perfect gear to carry along your laptop, documents and accessories through a typical busy day. The LE rush Black coffee/Lime park/ Lagoon dream color choices are going to refresh the moments accented with a hint of playful color.

lerushtq.jpg

The exclusive, classic looking LE rush has a functional pocket design, hand carry and an optional shoulder strap. All built with hi-quality durable nylon fabric, the efficient design brings great comfort and convenience for a carefree use. With 3 color choices and 2 custom-fit designs for the MacBook Pro 13 or 15, featuring high-density padding for the ultimate protection of your computer during transit. All theses customs features make LE rush, a "be easy" bag for your mobile Life.

Hi-quality 1682D ballistic nylon envelope Hi-Grade nylon belt handles and shoulder strap Hidden silicon pads for additional laptop protection Lightweight: 730g

lerushback.jpg

Outer Dimensions: 37 x 28 x 8 cm

LE rush 15: Your Daily Commuter Bag for 15" MacBook Pro

PR: LE rush is the perfect gear to carry along your laptop, documents and accessories through a typical busy day. The LE rush Black coffee/Lime park/ Lagoon dream color choices are going to refresh the moments accented with a hint of playful color.

LErushopen.jpg

The exclusive, classic looking LE rush has a functional pocket design, hand carry and an optional shoulder strap. All built with hi-quality durable nylon fabric, the efficient design brings great comfort and convenience for a carefree use. With 3 color choices and 2 custom-fit designs for the MacBook Pro 13 or 15, featuring high-density padding for the ultimate protection of your computer during transit. All theses customs features make LE rush, a "be easy" bag for your mobile Life.

Hi-quality 1682D ballistic nylon envelope Hi-Grade nylon belt handles and shoulder strap Hidden silicon pads for additional laptop protection Lightweight: 760g

Outer Dimensions: 40 x 30 x 8 cm

Bargain 'Books

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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