The 'Book Review

2010 MacBook Pros Benchmarked, Samsung Passes Apple in Notebook Sales, Platinum MacBook Air, and More

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2010.07.09

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

Samsung Overtakes Apple in Notebook Sales

Electronista reports that Samsung has passed not only Sony but Apple as well in notebook sales, according to iSuppli, with portable shipments increasing 14.9% in the first three months of the year to top 1.9 million units, surpassing Apple's 1.8 million MacBooks for seventh place - and clearly overtaking Sony.

The top five laptop makers recorded mostly flat or declining sales. HP leading but slipping to 18.9% of the market, Acer also off with 17.5%, Dell steady at 11.5%, and Toshiba moving up slightly to 9.3%, while ASUS declined to 8.3%.

Mid 2010 MacBook Pro Models Benchmarked, Compared

Bare Feats' rob-ART Morgan notes that the 2.66 GHz 13" MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo clocks at the same core frequency as the 2.66 GHz 15" MacBook Pro Core i7, begging the question of the Core i7 can really "crunch numbers" that much faster. And how about the graphics processor? Is the 15" machine's Nvidia GeForce GT 330M IGPU dramatically faster than the 13" Pro's GeForce 320M? rob-Art used three CPU tests and three GPU tests to answer these questions, and for added perspective included an "early 2008" MacBook Pro 2.60 GHz Core 2 Duo with the GeForce 8600M.


New MacBook Pros benchmarked.

In short, the answer to both questions was "yes," although with the caveat that the standalone GPU in the 2008 or 2009 Core 2 Duo 15" MacBook Pro is stronger than the integrated GeForce 320M used in the 2010 Core 2 Duo MacBook Pros.

Platinum MacBook Air: Most Expensive Ever

TecheBlog reports:

"Limited to just 5-units and priced at a hefty $486,616, the MacBook Air Platinum from Stuart Hughes is the most expensive ever. The laptop's casing was crafted entirely from solid platinum and weighs approximately 15.4-pounds. Video after the break."

Products & Services

G-Drive Mobile Portable FireWire Drive for MacBook Pro

PR: G-Drive Mobile hard drives are designed to compliment the Apple MacBook Pro. Weighing in at less than 9 oz., G-Drive Mobile is the ultraportable and stylish way to travel with up to 500 GB of storage space for your important documents, MP3s, digital video and digital photo files.

G-Drive Mobile is bus powered, eliminating the need to carry an external AC power supply.

G-Drive Mobile is formatted at the factory HFS+ with Journaling and is Time Machine ready right out of the box. A simple re-initialization is all it takes to prepare G-Drive Mobile for use with Windows systems.

Quick Facts:

  • Compact size, weighs less than 9 oz
  • Storage capacities up to 500 GB using 5400 RPM Hitachi drives
  • Bus powered - no AC adapter required
  • Ships complete with all cables
  • Unique and stylish enclosure designed with the MacBook Pro user in mind
  • Mac OS X and Windows compatible - Time Machine ready
  • Standard 3-year factory warranty

G-Drive Mobile is backed by a standard 3-year factory warranty.

Includes:

  • 0.6 Meter USB 2.0 Cable (white)
  • 0.6 Meter FireWire 800 Cable (white)

Interface:

  • 2x FireWire 800
  • 1x USB 2.0

Disk Drives:

  • Hitachi SATA 5400 RPM
  • 8 MB cache

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.3.x or higher
  • Windows 2000/XP/Vista

500 GB - $149.99

G-Drive Mini High-Speed Portable Drive

G-Drive MiniPR: G-Drive Mini hard drives are the perfect storage solutions for people on the go. Weighing in at less than 9 oz., G-Drive Mini is the ultraportable and stylish way to travel with up to 500 GB of storage space for your important documents, MP3s, digital video and digital photo files. The system can withstand up to 1000 G's of shock* to ensure your data is protected against the bumps and bruises encountered on the road.

G-Drive MiniG-Drive Mini is bus powered, eliminating the need to carry an external AC power supply. G-Drive Mini features a fanless cooling system the latest technology 5400 or 7200 RPM hard drives.

High Performance in a Portable Form Factor

G-Drive Mini mobile drives max out the FireWire 800 port and provide fast data backup and instant access to large multimedia and audio/video files while on the go.

Easy to Setup - Time Machine ready

G-Drive Mini is formatted at the factory HFS+ with Journaling and is Time Machine ready right out of the box. A simple re-initialization is all it takes to prepare G-Drive Mini for use with Windows systems.

The Best Warranty & Support in the Business

G-Drive MiniG-Drive Mini is backed by a standard 3-year factory warranty.

Quick Facts

  • Portable, high-speed external hard drives
  • High-speed Interface - FireWire 800 (FireWire 400 via included cable) and USB 2.0 ports
  • Compact size, weighs less than 9 oz
  • Storage capacities up to 500 GB using 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM drives
  • Bus powered - no AC adapter required
  • Integrated heatsink provides near silent operation and ensures proper cooling for long life and data reliability
  • Ships complete with all cables and high-quality protective carrying case
  • Unique industrial design, compact all aluminum enclosure
  • Mac OS X and Windows compatible - Time Machine ready
  • Standard 3-year factory warranty

G-Drive Mini Storage Unit includes

  • 0.6 Meter FireWire 800 Cable (white)
  • 0.6 Meter FireWire 800 to 400 Cable (white)
  • 0.6 Meter USB 2.0 Cable (white)
  • Protective Carrying Case
  • CD Manual

G-Drive MiniInterface:

  • 2x FireWire 800
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • (FireWire 400 via included cable)

Disk Drives

  • Hitachi SATA 5400 or 7200 RPM
  • Cache - 8 MB cache
  • Cooling System: Integrated heat sink
  • Bridge: Oxford 934 chipset

Size (LxWxH): 4.94" x 3.19" x .875" / 125 x 81 x 22mm

Weight: 0.55 lb. / 0.25 kg

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.3.x or higher
  • Windows 2000/XP/Vista

250, 320, and 500 GB capacities available at $119.99, $129.99, and $169.99 respectively.

Zemno DeskBook Pro Docking Stations for MacBook Pro

Zemno DeskBook Pro Docking StationPR: A docking station can substantially enhance your laptop computer's capacity and versatility as a production platform, arguably making a desktop workstation machine superfluous.

With the right dock, your notebook becomes a control and command center for your digital world. Zemno's new DeskBook Pro docking stations for Mac and PC laptops feature seven USB ports, three FireWire 800 ports, one FireWire 400 port, one DVI output port, one eSATA data port, one eSATA power connection, one audio stereo input/output, and a Flash card reader. You can attach a variety of external devices to address your needs as a power user, leaving all your peripherals plugged in at the office or home without the necessity of plugging and unplugging multiple peripherals when going mobile or returning from the road.

DeskBook Pro docking stations are compatible with any Mac or PC notebook up to 15 inch with FireWire and USB capabilities, and the first docking station for these machines to allow internal connection of hard drives, batteries, and peripherals, overcoming laptop storage limitations while providing an upgrade path for future peripheral connectivity. Dock two hard drives simultaneously, or any combination of hard drive, battery, or peripheral device, such as an iPod. Both 13" and 17" notebooks are also compatible with the DeskBook Pro but won't match the dock's enclosure flush as with a 15" notebook.

Zemno's innovative "ModBays" let you add storage capacity in convenient, hot - swappable HDD or SSD formats, and also allow internal docking of popular external devices like iPads, iPods, and iPhones, allowing for convenient access and creating more desktop space. On the road, multiple accessories can be stored neatly inside the dock, charged, and ready to go when you are.

Zemno DeskBook Pro Docking StationModBay modules include:

  • sMod: 500 GB hard drive - for added storage inside the DeskBook as well as a portable hard drive you can take with you to use with other devices. The 500 GB Hard Drive Storage ModBay can be used inside the DeskBook Pro for added storage and backup, with connection being made over FW 800. This Hard Drive ModBay can also be used without the DeskBook Pro as a standard external hard drive. It can be used with any computer with USB 2.0 or FireWire capabilities.
  • bMod: lithium ion battery - for use on the road to keep your DeskBook charged for 2.5 hours depending upon use. The Battery ModBay powers the DeskBook Pro (note: it does not power the laptop) when mobile on average, 2.5 - 3.0 hours per charge. Two bMods will allow you to double your power for the road.
  • iMod: internal docking and charging iPod and iPhone (coming soon)

ModBays will continue to be developed to take advantage of all the latest peripherals, thereby enabling your DeskBook to grow and maintain its state of the art status. Industry-specific designs can allow ModBays to provide interface solutions for virtually any mobile application.

Zemno DeskBook Pro Docking StationWith battery powered ModBays, the slim profile DeskBook Pro is the world's first self - powered, portable, modular docking station, enabling you to convert your laptop into a desktop at home, office, or on the road. Just bring as many battery modules as you need and you're set to have power to charge your digital devices, no matter how remote your location.

DeskBook lives neatly under your notebook and out of your way, with a single low profile interface that saves space and helps control the cable creep of peripherals.

The combination of ModBays the DeskBook's 16 ports and connections, you can gain device control, flexibility, and unlimited data storage options. Your notebook can have the functionality of a full-size desktop, and allow you to take desktop capabilities with you when you go mobile.

The connection between the laptop and the DeskBook Pro is made over USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 or 800 simultaneously. The USB and FireWire cables stay plugged into the dock, thus two connections are made to the computer when connecting.

DeskBook Pro has two custom universal FireWire/USB combo cables, one short, one long, that come bundled with the dock.

The DVI port is output only. The video signal travels out from the notebook over the USB connection to the dock which then outputs a DVI signal to the monitor. Maximum resolution supported: 1920 x 1080.

DeskBook Pro provides for storage upgrades and additional ports as your needs grow. You can extend the life and functionality of your desktop while maintaining a small footprint.

You can use the DeskBook Pro's DVI output to drive an additional monitor on your desktop, providing extra visual work or play space to run separate applications fullscreen.

DeskBook Pro is compatible with the vast majority of today's laptops including Macs and PCs. The all aluminum body particularly complements the look of Apple laptops.

Dimensions and weight:

  • Height: 1.1" (28 mm)
  • Width: 14.25" (364 mm)
  • Depth: 9.82" (249 mm)
  • Weight without ModBays: 2.9 pounds (1300 g)
  • Weight with ModBays: 4 pounds (1820 g)

Zemno DeskBook Pro sells for $599.99; the Storage Module 500 GB Hard Drive is $179.99 and the Battery Module - BMod-100 is $149.99.

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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