The 'Book Review

New MacBook Pros Benchmarked, Ultrahigh Performance MPG Pro Laptop, New OCZ SSDs, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2010.04.16

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. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iOS News Review. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Products & Services

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

Apple Overhauls MacBook Pro Line

On Tuesday, Apple introduced new 13", 15", and 17" MacBook Pro models. The Early 2010 models all use Nvidia GeForce graphics, include 4 GB of RAM (8 GB max.) and have the best battery life to date. The new models have the same weight and dimensions as the models they replace.

At the small end, the 2010 13.3" MacBook Pro gets a speed bump to 2.4 GHz and 2.66 GHz, 6% and 5% higher than last year's model respectively. The 13-incher is the only MacBook Pro to use Intel's Core 2 Duo CPU, and it's coupled with an Nvidia GeForce 320M, a special GPU that Nvidia designed for Apple. The battery is rated at 10 hours of wireless productivity, the best Apple has ever offered.

The larger models move to Intel's i5 and i7 CPUs, which has an integrated Intel HD graphics processor. Intel's i-series CPUs have the ability to modify their clock speed upward by 25% or so depending on heat and system demands, so clock speeds are not comparable to those in older Macs. The i5 is a lot more powerful, and the i7 adds HyperThreading to the mix, letting two cores act like four as far as the OS is concerned.

Also new to the range is automatic graphics switching, where the operating system can switch between the integrated Intel HD graphics and the dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 330M GPU, which also has dedicated video memory.

The new 15.4" MacBook Pro ships at 2.4, 2.53, and 2.66 GHz clock speeds, the latter an i7 CPU. Battery life is 8-9 hours of wireless productivity. For those who need higher resolution, there's a $100 1680 x 1050 display option. The entry-level model sells for $100 more than last year's, but that one didn't have Nvidia graphics. At the top end, the 2.66 GHz i7 model retails at $100 less than last year's 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo model.

The 17" MacBook Pro remains Apple's largest notebook. The base configuration has a 2.53 GHz i5 and retails at $200 less than last year's model. For power users, there's a 2.66 GHz i7 build-to-order option. Like the 15-incher, battery life is 8-9 hours of wireless use.

Other options across the board are larger hard drives and solid state drives (SSDs) in 128, 256, and 512 GB capacities.

Meet the MacBook Pro's Core I5 and I7 Chips

Macworld's Roman Loyola reports:

"The new Core-based MacBook Pros have arrived, a few months after Intel introduced the 2010 Core processors at the Consumer Electronics Show. The new Core processors are used inside the 15" and 17" models. And while we'll still need to run thorough tests on these new systems, the processors that power the latest MacBook Pros could possibly usher in a new standard in Mac laptop performance."

The Secret Behind Apple's Automatic Graphics Switching

Gizmodo's John Herrman reports:

"The new Intel Core i5/i7 MacBooks come with 'automatic graphics switching technology' to instantly toggle between Intel's onboard graphics and more powerful Nvidia hardware. Sound familiar? Well, weirdly, it's not Nvidia's Optimus switcher - it's something entirely new."

Spotlight on the MacBook Pro's Improved Graphics

Macworld's James Galbraith reports:

"The new MacBook Pros unveiled Tuesday may look identical to Apple's previous batch of pro laptops, but there are a few notable under-the-hood upgrades. Chief among them are the new graphics found throughout the line that should make these MacBook Pros significantly faster at graphics-intensive tasks, while also increasing battery life."

Bare Feats' Preliminary Analysis of the New MacBook Pro

Bare Feats' rob-ART Morgan has posted a customarily erudite and analytical first take on the new MacBook Pros, outlining what's new and what isn't. He concludes that this is a desirable processor upgrade for those who use their MacBook Pro as a desktop surrogate but still wishes the 15" model had an ExpressCard/34 slot.

15" MacBook Pro i7 Benchmarked: 50% Faster!

Gizmodo's Jason Chen reports that the new 17" and 15" MacBook Pros with Core i5/i7 processors are fast, fast, fast, estimating them to be about 50% faster than the preceding Core 2 Duo models

Chen's article contains benchmarks showing exactly how much faster the Core "i" chips are. The 2.66 GHz i7 outperforms the 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo by 50% using Geekbench.

Benchmarks Show Core i7 MacBook Pros Offer 50% Speed Boost

AppleInsider's Slash Lane reports that preliminary benchmark tests with Apple's new 15-inch Intel Core i7 MacBook Pro shows the notebook's CPU has gained a 50% performance boost over its Core 2 Duo predecessor.

Nvidia 320M GPU Made Especially for New 13" MacBook Pro

AppleInsider's Neil Hughes reports that while the GeForce GT 330M featured in the new 15" and 17" MacBook Pros is an off-the-shelf component also used in competing notebook PCs, the new Nvidia 320M integrated graphics chipset used in the new 13" MacBook Pro (which still has Core 2 Duo processors rather than the 32nm technology Intel Core "i" family silicon) is a custom unit created just for Apple.

Steve Jobs on 13" MacBook Pro's Retention of Intel Core 2 Duo Processors

MacRumors' Eric Slivka reports that some observers have questioned why Apple did not include more substantial CPU upgrade in the new 13" MacBook Pro models, citing a fan who emailed Steve Jobs about the decision, receiving a reply that Apple chose to focus on the graphics performance and combine it with outstanding battery life instead of opting for the alternative of merely a small increase in CPU speed, arguing that we will see a greater performance boost from the speedier (claimed to be as much as 80% faster) graphics.

Hackintosh Friendly Dell Mini 10v Discontinued

TUAW's TJ Luoma reports:

"The Dell Mini 10v, choice of netbook hackintosh owners everywhere, has apparently been discontinued as of a week ago."

Dell will be releasing a successor to the 10v using Intel's Pine Trail Atom CPU. How Hackintosh-able it will be remains to be seen.

iPad: Can It Replace My Laptop?

Macsimum News' Dennis Sellers winds up a four-part review of the iPad by revisiting his theory that the device might possibly replace both his iPod touch and his MacBook, noting that while it will replace the iPod touch, the laptop not so much. He's still optimistic about the forthcoming release of iPhone OS 4, with the caveat that he's not a road warrior, does most of his computing on an iMac, and uses portables only as ancillaries to his desktop rig.

To wit, Sellers cautions that If you do a lot of work - or any heavy duty work - on your laptop, don't plan on trading your MacBook or MacBook Pro in for an iPad.

Sellers notes that while it's okay for responding to email and posting short blips on Facebook, the iPad's virtual keyboard is not up to the task of production typing work, and while the optional $70 iPad Keyboard Dock or a Bluetooth keyboard are adequate workarounds, they're awkward to lug around in carrying bags, and the current lack of support for multitasking is a major pain in the nether regions, so he's not ready to give up his laptop yet for that reason alone. While he has no trouble recommending the iPad as a Mac companion, he doesn't recommend it as a Mac replacement.

Will the iPad Replace the MacBook Air?

Cnet's David Carnoy reports that a sales rep at an Apple store in New York informed him that the iPad is replacing the MacBook Air. Carnoy adds that the opinion was clearly the rep's and not policy from Apple, but says that she spoke with such conviction that he inferred it must be based in some sort of fact.

When Carnoy argued that the iPad doesn't support a real computer OS like OS X, the rep agreed that is a shortcoming, but said she tells customers they shouldn't buy the Air as their primary computer anyway - it being better suited as secondary computer, more for traveling.

Products & Services

OWC and Diglloyd Offer Ultrahigh Performance MPG Pro Laptop

PR: An ordinary MacBook Pro, or is it? On-the-go professionals need laptops that will hold up to field use and provide ideal performance. The MPG Pro Laptop is a ultra high performance portable system configured for speed and/or reliability, pre-tested and ready-to-use.

Diglloyd MacPerformanceGuide.com (MPG), a leading resource on Mac configuration and performance optimization, and hardware vendor Other World Computing (OWC) announce a new Mac laptop upgrade service, the MPG Pro Laptop - a premium laptop upgrade service based on research at Mac Performance Guide. Using dual internal drives (solid state and/or hard drive), the options open up to the ultimate in speed, or mirrored reliability, and various other combinations of speed and capacity.

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Laptop users have special needs: Reliability in the field is paramount, and performance must be high to support work in the field for demanding photography or HD video capture or editing. The MPG Pro Laptop encapsulates that approach: it leverages the hardware expansion capabilities of Apple's superbly engineered MacBook Pro together with optimal configuration to provide the best possible experience, based on the research presented at Mac Performance Guide. Configurations reflect feedback from hundreds of professional photographers and media professionals, ranging from wedding to sports to stock photography to landscape to service bureaus.

All configurations are fully assembled, properly configured, rigorously pre-tested, and ready-to-use right out of the box (users will need to install their own specific software applications).

The MPG Pro Laptop is especially well suited for photography and similar media, but is valuable in any demanding professional environment.

Following on the heels of the MPG Photo Workstation, the MPG Pro Laptop upgrades any recent model MacBook Pro to 8 GB of memory and dual internal drives, offering any of the following combinations:

Dual 100 GB or 200 GB enterprise-grade solid state drives, for a 200 GB or 400 GB capacity offering approximately 4 times the drive performance compared to a conventional hard drive.

OR

One 100 GB or 200 GB solid state drive paired with a 500 GB 7200 hard drive, allowing internal Time Machine backup capability and/or additional data storage.

OR

Dual 500 GB 7200 rpm hard drives as a RAID-0 mirror, so that either drive can fail without loss of functionality.

In perhaps an industry first, each MPG Pro Laptop ships only after a rigorous 8-hour burn-in test to ferret out any weak components before the customer receives it.

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Here's how our research applies to the MPG Pro Laptop that OWC will build you:

  • Memory - based on our research, we've found that demanding applications like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom need at least 8 GB memory. We specify top-quality, cost-effective RAM modules.
  • Solid state drives - the boot (system) drive we specify is a reliable and ultrafast enterprise-grade solid state drive (SSD) that makes your applications launch almost instantly.
  • Fast virtual memory - the right solid state drive means that if memory does get low, the virtual memory performance is markedly higher than with a hard drive.
  • RAID - The optional addition of a second internal SSD opens up possibilities for redundancy (mirroring), or doubled speed and capacity. You can choose lightning-fast read/write performance so your loading, saving and copying of files is super-efficient. Or you can specify RAID mirroring to provide the ultimate in data redundancy (dual enterprise grade SSDs). Or you can choose a separate boot drive and data drive, for the desired capacity.
  • Quiet operation - use of a solid state drive means no hard drive noise, a boon for applications where sound is being recorded. Or simply pleasant in a quiet office.

The MPG Pro Laptop targets Photoshop and Lightroom users, professional photographers, graphic designers, and audio/video producers. Performance gains with large Photoshop files are dramatic with with the SSD configurations. See: http://bit.ly/cj9yyv

"The MPG Pro Laptop will reset your expectations of what a laptop can deliver, it's a personality transplant!," explains MacPerformanceGuide author and researcher Lloyd Chambers. "The MPG Pro Laptop setup maximizes the ability of the new Core i7 processor to run full throttle."

After your laptop is configured by OWC, it is stress-tested under conditions well in excess of most normal use. The CPUs, memory, hard drives and cooling system are run at peak load for hours, exposing nearly any reliability issue or faulty component. Your system must pass the stress test, or it doesn't ship.

All CPU cores are run at peak load, accessing all memory continuously, placing a high heat load on the CPUs, memory, and cooling systems. This procedure ferrets out marginal components. (You'll probably never use the machine that hard on your own.)

Hard drives are filled to near-capacity to force bad blocks to be mapped out ahead of time, and for glitches to reveal themselves. (The drives are then erased to empty after testing, ready for your use).

Hard drives and SSDs are tested to verify that they deliver the expected level of performance.

External drives you order are similarly tested.

Nothing is perfect, hardware can and does fail with use, power spikes, etc., but these measures are a pragmatic step to reduce initial hardware problems to an absolute minimum.

Optional consulting is also available directly from Mac Performance Guide author Lloyd Chambers to walk customers through choosing the right configuration and backup strategy based on their particular needs.

The MacBook Pro you upgrade can be either a new MacBook Pro or an existing recent-model MacBook Pro. The April 2010 MacBook Pro Core i7 model is suggested for the highest performance.

Pricing

All prices below are approximate, and exclusive of shipping, tax, and optional extras.

  • You supply the MacBook Pro of your choice (screen size and type and speed, etc.). Goal: extreme speed
    • Approximate cost: $399 labor + $1930 parts (dual SSD, bracket, memory)
  • Dual solid state drives of the same capacity, configured as a single volume (RAID-0 stripe).
    • Approximate cost: $399 labor + $1600 parts (dual SSD, bracket, memory)
  • One 100 GB SSD for the Boot drive and one 200 GB SSD for data.
    • Approximate cost: $399 labor + $1320 parts (dual SSD, bracket, memory)
  • One 200 GB SSD for the Boot drive and one 500 GB HDD for internal backup.
    • Approximate cost: $399 labor + $710 parts (dual SSD, bracket, memory)

OWC Announces Memory and Storage Upgrades for New MacBook Pros

PR: Other World Computing (OWC) announces OWC DDR3 1066 MHz Memory Upgrades up to 8 GB and internal 2.5" hard drive upgrades up to 1 TB for the new 13", 15", and 17" MacBook Pro models. OWC Memory and internal drive upgrades offer owners of the newest MacBook Pro models savings of up to 46% versus factory installed options, as well as upgrade options not available from the factory.

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Full product and ordering information for OWC Memory, internal hard drive upgrades, and other accessories for the new MacBook Pro models, as well as existing MacBook and MacBook Pro models introduced since 2006, is available online.

OWC Memory Upgrades for MacBook Pro 13", 15", and 17" models:

  • OWC 4 GB DDR3 1066 MHz Memory Module - $159.99 (with factory module trade-in rebate)
    • Replaces an existing 2 GB factory installed module for 6 GB of total memory.
    • Not available as factory memory upgrade option
  • OWC 8 GB DDR3 1066 MHz Memory Kit (2 x 4 GB matched memory modules) - $315.99
    • With factory modules trade-in rebate, $84 lower cost than factory installed 8 GB memory upgrade.

Both OWC Memory upgrades can be found at http://bit.ly/5Zcbw

OWC Internal 2.5" Hard Drive Options up to 1.0 TB for MacBook Pro 13", 15", and 17" models:

* Save up to 46% ($70 lower cost) when upgrading from a base Apple factory installed drive to comparable models from OWC. Additionally, increase performance and/or internal storage capacity with hard drive options and "DIY"

Upgrade Kits available in 5400 RPM, 7200 RPM, and SSD models with capacities up to 1 TB:

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/2.5-Notebook/

* Priced nearly the same as just a factory drive upgrade alone, OWC "DIY" Kits come complete with an internal hard drive upgrade plus a toolkit, enclosure, and free on-line install video so the existing factory drive can be utilized as additional external storage: http://bit.ly/4Mjd4y

Additional savings are also available for customers who take advantage of OWC's trade-in programs, which provides up to $30.00 cash back per 2 GB Apple factory standard MacBook Pro memory module and up to $50 cash back for the Apple factory standard hard drive. With the trade-in, the final cost of OWC's 8 GB MacBook Pro Upgrade Kit is $315.99 . . . a savings of $84 compared to the factory installed upgrade cost.

OCZ Technology Announces Vertex 2 and Agility 2 Solid State Drives

PR: OCZ Technology Group, Inc. a leader in innovative, ultrahigh performance and high reliability memory and flash-based storage as an alternative to hard disk drives (HDDs), has unveiled the Vertex 2 and Agility 2 SATA II 2.5" Solid State Drive (SSD) Series. These are new enthusiast-class SSDs designed for consumers who are seeking unprecedented speed and reliability with the goal of enhancing both their daily computing experience and long-term productivity.

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"OCZ's original Vertex Series of solid state drives have become a top seller due to the product's exceptional performance and reliability," says Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. "The new Vertex 2 and Agility 2 SSD lines continue that tradition by incorporating the latest controller and firmware technology. They are an excellent solution for customers who are looking for improved transfer rates and best-in-class input/output per second (IOPS) for a wide range of uses, ranging from entertainment to workstation and tier 2 storage applications. Additionally, this new product line highlights our continuing determination to be the market leader in the high reliability memory and flash-based storage market."

Building on the features that distinguished their highly acclaimed predecessors, the Vertex 2 and Agility 2 incorporate a cutting-edge new controller design that delivers superior performance across the board. As the higher-end option, the Vertex 2 excels in 4 KB random writes up to 50,000 IOPS and features transfer rates up to 285 MB/s read and 275 MB/s write. For the value-conscious enthusiast, Agility 2 provides similar performance at a lower price point and delivers identical read/write rates and 4 KB random writes up to 10,000 IOPS.

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OCZ Vertex 2 and Agility 2 SSDs not only provide a faster, more responsive PC experience, but also promote cooler, quieter and more energy-efficient conditions compared to traditional mechanical hard drives. Built with SATA 3 Gb/s, the drives easily integrate into today's mobile and desktop platforms and feature TRIM support for Windows 7 systems. Available in 50 GB, 100 GB, 200 GB, and 400 GB capacities*, Vertex 2 and Agility 2 will begin shipping in the next few weeks through OCZ's extensive global channel. Both series come backed by a three-year warranty and OCZ's dedicated technical support for ultimate peace of mind.

* 400 GB to be available at a later date depending on firmware availability.

CMS 2.5" Laptop Hard Drives at Deep Discount Prices

PR: CMS offers a wide variety of 2.5" hard drive upgrade solutions for laptops with a serial ATA (SATA) hard drive or parallel/IDE (PATA) hard drive. If you would like to replace or upgrade your laptop hard drive with a drive pre-fitted to a caddy or mounting bracket designed specifically for your laptop, check out their Upgrade Finder for your model. If CMS does not stock custom upgrade solutions for your model, you usually always have the option of reusing the caddy from your old hard drive and can upgrade using one of their bare drive upgrades below. All CMS laptop upgrade solutions include a three year warranty.

5400 RPM SATA Laptop Hard Drives

  • 320 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive: Price: $160. Sale Price $96
  • 500 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive: Price: $193. Sale Price $116
  • 640 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive: Price: $180. Sale Price $139.95
  • 250G SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive: Price: $147. Sale Price $86
  • 160 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive: Price: $129. Sale Price $81

7200 RPM SATA Laptop Hard Drives

  • 320 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive 7200 RPM: Price: $167. Sale Price $151
  • 250 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive 7200 RPM: Price: $153. Sale Price $92

Products for Apple Universal Upgrades' MacBook Notebooks

Bare Drive Upgrades 7200 RPM SATA

  • 160 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive 7200 RPM
  • 250 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive 7200 RPM
  • 320 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive 7200 RPM

Bare Drive Upgrades 5400 RPM SATA

  • SATA2.5-640 640 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive
  • SATA2.5-320 320 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive
  • SATA2.5-500 500 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive
  • SATA2.5-120 120 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive
  • SATA2.5-160 160 GB SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive
  • SATA2.5-250 250G SATA 2.5" Hard Disk Drive

Easy-Plug-Easy-Go Hard Drive Upgrades

CMS Easy-Plug-Easy-Go upgrades include a laptop hard drive pre-mounted to a caddy designed for your specific model laptop. These upgrades are designed and fully tested for compatibility with the original manufacturer's specifications and fit. Check our Upgrade Finder below for your model. If you can not locate the hard drive upgrade for your laptop, please let us know. We would be happy to research your upgrade options.

EasyBundle Hard Drive Upgrades

If CMS does not offer an Easy-Plug-Easy-Go solution for your laptop, you may also find our EasyBundle Upgrade kits a suitable option. Our EasyBundle Upgrade kit contains a laptop hard drive and a data transfer kit, everything you need to make use of your existing drive and caddy. Simply plug the new hard drive into the included data transfer enclosure, run our BounceBack Transfer software, migrating everything onto your new hard drive, then plug it into your laptop. Simple!

Untwist Systems Announces New Options for the Hudzee Internal Hard Drive Case

PR: Untwist Systems, LLC, a leading New York City systems integrator and reseller, has announced the immediate availability of their 3.5" Hudzee hard drive cases in three new colors, and a special Hudzee that supports 2.5" hard drives.

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Untwist will be displaying the Hudzee Hard Drive Cases in booth SL10312 at the 2010 National Association of Broadcasters show from April 10-15, 2010 in Las Vegas, NV.

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The Hudzee Hard Drive Case is an innovative product used to safely secure bare internal hard drives. The Hudzee Hard Drive Case is built from special antistatic materials and features a sturdy safety latch. The Hudzee is designed to cushion bare internal hard drives in a pressure-free, stable environment, and makes protection and organization easy.

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The Hudzee can be stored on a shelf vertically, or stacked horizontally; and with the inclusion of a convenient clear plastic title window, the Hudzee provides consumers and businesses with a low-cost method of organizing and cataloging their library of internal drives, assuring peace of mind and promoting industry best practices.

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The 3.5" Hudzee Cases are available in Red, Green, Blue, and Black. The new colors are designed for easier organization and classification of hard-drive storage media. The new 2.5" Hudzee Cases, utilizing a special antistatic insert, is designed to securely hold 2.5" hard drives and is available in White only.

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"The tapeless workflow is upon us, and video tape is dead. By using bare internal hard drives, the Broadcast, Production, Digital Film, and Post industries can save a significant amount of money by not having to pay for the added expense of external drive solutions." said Todd Brous, president of Untwist Systems. "Computer tape is great for long-term backups, and will be around for a very long time. However, it is not always the right tool for the job. Our Hudzee Hard Drive Cases continue to help revolutionize our client's media storage pipelines."

For more information about the Hudzee, call 1-315-219-4463 or visit the Hudzee website.

Karvt Wooden MacBook Skins

PR: Karvt skins are personally hand-crafted and offer customers a simple and effective way to completely remodel their computer. These skins are made of 100% real authentic wood that use a professional grade 3M backing adhesive that sticks perfectly to your notebook

Karvt is owned by Mac enthusiasts, Kurt Barbee and Sean Herman. Sean is a designer by trade but also a scratch deejay and skateboarder at heart. He's traveled the world making music with some of biggest and best performing artists around such as the Godfather of soul, James Brown and Grammy Award Winning artists Arrested Development. His love of all things design, coupled with his constant monitoring of "all things fresh", have led him to become a "go to" guy when someone seeks the services of a multidisciplinary designer. Kurt is someone who has always been a huge fan of technology and has been inspired by the DIY attitude of the indie rock, punk and gig-poster subcultures. Kurt's interest in computers and art finally merged a couple years ago when he started his own laser engraving company, which specialized in collaborating with artists from all over the world to extend their work in the new, exciting medium of "laser engraving". These two decided to take their unique skill sets and produce a tangible product that employed aspects of beautiful design along with cutting edge technology.

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They say because their Mac protects their livelihoods, whatever they may be - career, hobby, leisure-whatever it is, it's in the Mac. Our Mac takes on our personality and its hard drive supplements our memory. These pieces of hardware come together and create a partner who not only listens but makes things more convenient for our daily lives. We constantly put our personalities into our computers, why not put some of that person on the outside? Why not feed our Macs superficial craving for attention? Why not show some personality on the outside of the computer? Lets face it, we love our Macs. Plain and simple, we are cooler then the "other" laptop owners. Why not rub it in their face that they have plastic skins... and we have organic, durable, wooden ones.

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How It Works

Karvt skins are personally hand-crafted and offer customers a simple and effective way to completely remodel their computer. These skins are made of 100% real authentic wood that use a professional grade 3M backing adhesive that sticks perfectly to your notebook.

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How to Apply

  • Step 1. Remove Backing.
  • Step 2. Center the Apple.
  • Step 3. Slap it on.

No seriously. Those are the directions. No more bubbles with cheesy vinyl sticker skins. Enjoy.

The Karvt skins come in Bamboo, cherry, maple, pine and walnut - available stained or unstained,and are backed with 3M adhesive for easy stick-on. They all sell for $35, except for the "Artists Series" that uses laser etching to add a layer of design to the wood and which sell for $50.

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10% off all Preorders

If you are interested Karvt skins this would be a great time to get your order in as they will be giving 10% off to everyone who preorders using the code PREORDER in checkout!.

Incase Nylon Sleeve Plus for 13" MacBook

PR: Constructed of custom-made lightweight, weather resistant nylon, the Nylon Sleeve Plus features large exterior pockets, two internal mesh compartments, and a breakaway accessory clip for maximum durability, storage and organization. The ergonomic shoulder strap and retractable tuck away handles offer carrying comfort, while the plush faux-fur lined interior and reinforced padding provide optimum notebook protection.

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Features:

  • Optimum notebook protection
  • Custom weather resistant nylon construction
  • Ultra plush faux-fur lined interior
  • 7mm cushioned interior padding
  • Double-stitched, concealable nylon handles
  • Removable, padded shoulder strap
  • Exterior magazine pocket with Velcro closure
  • Two covered expandable exterior pockets with topographic print lining
  • Two mesh utility sub-pockets with elastic tops for sturdy storage of small items
  • Breakaway accessory clip

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Compatibility

  • White unibody MacBook
  • Aluminum unibody MacBook
  • White MacBook
  • 13" MacBook Pro

Colors: Burgundy, Muted Cyan, Red, Gray, Chocolate, Black

Interior Dimensions: 12.78 x 8.92 x 1.08 inches

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$59.95

XChange UK and ThePowerXChange.com Announce ThermaPAK Laptop Cooling Pads and Bags

XChange UK and ThePowerXChange.com, the sources for extended technology worldwide are pleased to announce the availability of the new ThermaPAK laptop cooling pads and bags. ThermaPAK is the ultimate laptop cooler for dissipating notebook computer heat. The patented HeatShift Technology draws heat away from a computer using the laws of thermal dynamics and energy conversion.

A device that transfers heat by conduction AND convection provides the maximum amount of heat exchange. Conduction is heat transferred directly from one object to another by physically touching. Convection is heat transferred by the movement of liquid molecules from warmer areas to cooler ones. HeatShift Technology pads utilise both conduction and convection to cool a laptop, and the user's lap! The unipocket design used in the HeatShift Technology ensures maximum heat distribution from the notebook computer. Its design also creates air channels beneath the computer for proper ventilation and air passage.

ThermaPAK's patented HeatShift Technology is the culmination of nearly a decade in researching thermal dynamics. At the core of HeatShift Technology is a unique blend of phase changing material (PCM) created by research and development engineers. This formula has proved successful in cooling laptops by up to 6°C (11°F), with the following benefits:

  • Requires No Refrigeration
  • Requires No Laptop Power (which extends battery life) - Mobile and easy to carry (approved for airport security) - Can be used for notebooks of all brands sizes - Performance comparable to USB fans
  • Available in 13", 15" and 17" laptop models - Also available for netbooks
  • Completely portable, rolling up and fitting easily into any laptop carrying bag.

When a laptop cooler featuring HeatShift Technology is placed under any notebook computer, the crystals inside are in a solid state. As the underside of the laptop begins to warm up, this heat is transferred to the HeatShift Technology device. This transferal of heat gradually changes the PCM crystals into a liquid. ThermaPAK's pad grooves channel air under the laptop, and use the second law of thermodynamics (which states that heat will tend to flow from hot areas to cold ones to reach equilibrium) to draw heat from the laptop. Lab results, as well as those of independent reviewers, have seen temperature decreases of up to 6°C (11°F). After the laptop begins to cool, the HeatShift Technology device changes back to a solid crystal - ready for the next use.

HeatShift Bag

The ThermaPAK Memory Foam Laptop HeatShift Bag is an effective solution to keep a laptop cool, protected, and mobile. The laptop bag is made of high density visco-elastic memory foam to protect a laptop from dings and scratches. Within the bag is a removable pad that uses ThermaPAK's patented HeatShift Technology to dissipate heat away from a laptop computer. The ThermaPAK laptop and netbook cooling pads and bags are available now through XChange UK and ThePowerXChange.com worldwide.

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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